Slate Cleaning and Restoration
Once only due it its durability, slate is becoming a more popular option for home décor and business environment furnishings alike.
Typically, darker in shade, both natural and smoothed slate have a strikingly unique appearance and can create a powerful beauty to your home. Similar to limes tone, slate stone is formed under the sea and has unique structural properties. As it is highly durable, it can be used in both interior and exterior settings with higher levels of foot traffic and can stand weight with ease; it is even used in livestock farming! Now that’s a test of any material.
If you have had slate laid in your home or have recently moved into a property with slate flooring (usually in the bathroom and kitchen), you may feel that, as it is durable, maintaining it will be easy. Granted, you can drop highly acidic drinks on to it, alcohol and even places hot frying pans on to it without issue, so it’s care must be simple.
This is a common error that many people make, giving rise to potential problems that may not be so easy to repair; even improper use of cleaning materials can potentially cause structural issues and even warping. At MK Marble, we are frequently consulted about slate flooring and these are some of the top issues we are asked for help with.
Issues You May Have with Your Slate Surfaces
Maintenance of any natural flooring does not come without its own challenges and slate flooring is no exception. As previously mentioned, its durability makes it more resistant than other natural stone to cracks, chipping and breakages; but this does not make it indestructible.
A key idea about grouting is that it is both simple and cheap to do; this has, unfortunately led to many DIY enthusiasts becoming overly confident and making basic errors when it comes to grouting wall and ground tiles.
Grouting naturally wears and weakens over time; with slate, if the incorrect ratio of cement and water is used in the grout mixture, the slate will not stay secure, leading to breakages (if wall slates) and even injury if located on the floor. Indeed, even excess amount of water in the grouting can lead to your slate warping over time, which is very dangerous!
So, you are mopping over your newly installed slate floor and when it has dried, you notice streaks. Everywhere.
Once again, this is potential due to your overconfidence that maintaining slate would be as easy and thus, you have chosen an incorrect cleaner. The streaks left are built up soap scum
If your slate floor was not correctly installed, it may be more prone to breaking. It is impossible to cut slate accurately without specialised tools and as mentioned before, the underlayer o the flooring must be prepared and grouted correctly.
Excess water use seeps into the slate and can weaken its structure as well as causing mould to form in the grouting.
As visually striking as slate is, it can be extremely variable in its appearance. If you need a matching tile to replace a broken or damaged one, you will probably have a hard time matching it perfectly. Unless you yourself installed the flooring, you are unlikely to have spare tiles lying around to fix this problem quickly.
Services We Offer
If you are worried about how to manage your slate flooring, don’t worry. Our expert staff can help you with everything from repairs to finishes at a competitive price!
Cleaning and Stripping
Striping slate may be required prior to cleaning due to aesthetic issues. This process removes either urethane or acrylic sealants that are improperly used to ‘finish’ the flooring but allow dirt and grime build up.
For this, we use our specialist cleaners and brushes, to remove and surface dirt and to create a fresh workable surface.
Cleaning is typically done both before and after any finishing touches, just to ensure we have removed all traces of dirt. We use our specialist detergents to clean your slate and dry it gently using fabrics designed for drying slate.
This can be a daunting task, especially if you did not install the flooring or surface yourself. When we assess the damage to your slate surface, our experts will note the width, colour and patterning of the slate tile and will an exact match from our warehouse of tiles.
Depending on the severity, we may choose to either remove the entire tile or simply replace part of it, which we will seal with out resins, to provide a flawless finish.
If your grouting is mouldy, powdery or simply old, we can remove it and replace it with sturdier grout. Remember, poor grouting can lead to damages, not only to the floor but potentially to anyone walking on it!
We take time to re-grout each tile individually rather than on mass to ensure it is secure and fit for purpose; this is particularly important in high foot traffic areas.
If you have a marble floor, you will want a finish that is glossy, as it oozes sophistication and class.
The good news about slate is that you can have either a matte, glossy or semi glossy finish depending on your taste.
For this, we use our hard-bristled rotation pads and, if you desire a glossier finish, we break out our diamond encrusted pads to leave a beautiful sheen to your tile work.
Remember, a slate floor is a great option for areas of the home exposed to changing temperatures, such as bathrooms and kitchens and we can advise you on how to ensure that your slate tiling stays in the best condition for the longest time.
If you require any slate related services that are not listed here, simply contact us via phone or through the ‘Contact Us’ form on our website and we will be happy to arrange a visit to your property to assess what needs to be done.