This is an old Riven Green Slate floor in the kitchen of a property in Leyland that dates to when the house was built around 150 years ago. It was looking very worn indeed and the cement pointing was falling out in several areas. The client requested a site visit so we could provide a quote for the renovation.
On inspection I could see the floor was in desperate need of a deep clean, repairs to the pointing and then sealing to add protection going forward. Having worked on the renovation of similar stone floors I was confident we could improve it significantly and with a new sealer applied it would look totally different. They were happy to go ahead with my quote and we booked in a suitable time to carry out the work.
Cleaning and renovation of a Riven Green Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor
Were happy to take on work of any shape and size and as jobs go this was one of the smaller floors I’ve been asked to work on.
Work began with the application of a coarse 200-grit diamond pad fitted to a weighted rotary floor buffer. The pad was worked into the floor using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go for extra cleaning power and lubrication. The scrubbing action releases a lot of dirt and old sealers etc from the Slate turning the solution black. This was then rinsed off with water and the soil extracted with a wet vacuum.
Old floors like this one don’t have a damp proof membrane installed under the stone and so it’s quite common to see moisture from underneath the floor rising through the stone and depositing minerals including salts on the surface as the moisture evaporates. This problem is commonly known as effloresce and to counter it I like to neutralise the alkaline salts by giving the floor an acid rinse. This involves further cleaning the stone using a dilution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up which is scrubbed into the stone and then rinsed off with water and extracted afterwards. Not only does this dissolve any salts is also neutralises the use of alkaline cleaners and etches the stone slightly so you get a better bond with the sealer.
Once the floor cleaning part of the renovation plan was complete attention turned to knocking out the old failing cement that was used to grout the Slate slabs. With the rubble cleared away the stone was repointed using a modern breathable and flexible product that will cope with any moisture rising through the floor. Once dry the floor was then cleaned again removing all the soil with a wet vacuum and left to dry overnight.
Sealing a Riven Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor
Calling back the next day one thin coat of Tile Doctor X-Tra Seal was applied which added a bit of lustre and this will add strong protection to the stone. X-Tra seal is a premium product, but it was the perfect product for this stone and situation as its formulated using an oil-based resin that will bring out the colour of the green slate; it’s also fully breathable and waterproof so it’s a great sealer for use in high traffic internal or external areas.
Again, it’s not a cheap sealer but for old rough stone floors in an old house without a damp proof membrane it ticks all the right boxes. Once done the floor was complete and it looked so much cleaner and healthier.
As usual I discussed after care with my client and recommend they use Tile Doctor pH Neutral Cleaner which is a lot milder than the bleach based cleaners you often find on supermarket shelves. These stronger products can damage the seal (not the stone) and within weeks or months of using that type of cleaner the sealer will be compromised. It’s the sealer that stops dirt from becoming ingrained into the pores of the stone so it makes sense to use a cleaning product that will maximise its life.