Slate tiles are extremely durable. Specific sealers are required to mitigate and protect such tiles. Accumulated soil can be thoroughly cleaned. However, professional stripping is important to remove previous coats and wax.
Black slates are extremely dense but are easily scratched. It is lowly porous in nature. It is recommended especially for outdoor use and indoors too. It is a foliated metamorphic rock which comes from shale and mica and quartz grains. It is an excellent stone for the exterior. It has high absorbency which is ideal for exterior areas with sub-zero climates.
Almost all slates come in a scale from grey to black. The rocks embedded inside it may either be red or purple. The surface is usually uneven and the cleft planes can spall. It has low absorption tolerance to oils and other forms of liquids. Such slates need sealing with oil-repellant penetrating sealer to avoid staining. Pressurized cleaning of NOTHING above 800PSI are needed to clean all cleft panes and spalling, while ensuring that the grout is good.
It is a very difficult task of cleaning Slate tiles. This is because of the many varieties of slate tiles and they are usually sealed using topical water or solvent based sealants
Therefore testing the slate material prior to cleaning is vital. Understanding the type if sealant used is imperative to determining the cleaning procedure.
Slate tiles have many varieties originating from different places around the globe. Therefore the cleaning procedure varies. It is important to test the slate surface to determine that the cleaning product use will not damage or discolour the surface. Cleaning products with alkaline base are usually suitable. However, acidic based cleaning products will definitely damage the surface of such tiles.
Slates are porous in nature, many varieties of impregnating and topical sealers can be used.
If topical sealants are used to seal the slate tiles, then it needs stripping prior to cleaning. It is useful to determine the sealant or wax used to the right usage of the stripping product.
Slate tiles are very dense and porous. A bit of water can stain the slate. It therefore requires good sealing for durability and perfect long lasting appearance.
Since slates tiles can naturally look kind of drab but there are various sealing solutions designed to enhance the color and apply a glossy finish to them.
Slate tiles usually have a drabby natural look. The good side is there exist various sealants to enhance the colour of the tiles and provide the glossy finish to improve the appearance.
Three main options of sealants available are:
Impregnating Sealants protect the tile and grout from both water-based and oil based stains. Any form of liquid will badly stain the tile and grout. Impregnating clear sealants will definitely prevent the tiles from staining and ease the maintenance of such tiles.
Slates can be sealed with either water or solvent based sealers. It is highly recommended to use water based sealers as they are not smelly when applying or removing. They are also easier to use with lesser time needed for drying. Most European countries have banned the use of solvent-based sealers.
Noting which water based sealer is used is definitely important. Whether the tile is laid in the interior or exterior of a building is also important. As most sealers are not long lasting for external use as they come highly recommended for internal use only.
It is imperative to ensure that the tiles are thoroughly cleaned prior to sealing them. This procedure will evidently protect the tile form dirt and grime. It will also enhance the look of your flooring.
Water based and solvent based clear sealers are used. Solvent based sealers were used before as they absorb deeper into the tile and grout for long lasting effect. Nowadays advanced quality water based sealers are available and is highly recommended as it is odourless.
Solvent based clear sealers are far tricky to apply. It may also pose more problems if applied wrongly. It is also more difficult to remove. Water based sealers are therefore the highly recommended sealer to use.
All Tiles Cleaning highly recommend the use of water base sealers for slate tiles and grouts for the perfect finish while protecting your slate.
Slate tiles still use topical sealers which has a glossy plastic top coating. However, these sealers trap moisture and makes the surface slippery when wet. It is important to strip and reseal all heavy traffic areas where slate tiles are used.
It is therefore vital to seal the slate tiles with good quality, clear, breathable impregnating sealers. The effect is long lasting protection, slip resistant and ultra-protection of the slate from trapping dirt and grime.
Appropriate maintenance cycle from the time of installation is needed to maintain slate tiles. As the tiles lack the mineral calcite in it, it is very acid resistant. The high degree of porosity can cause many problems to slate tiles. It is therefore important to use good quality penetrative sealer to protect the slate flooring. Honed or polished slate tiles may have bigger scratches on the surface. Barrier mats are needed to trap the abrasive oil to protect it.
Even after thorough cleaning, the slate tiles still do not portray that clean look I is pertinent to thoroughly scrub the tiles and grout to maintain and protect the colour and appearance of the slate tiles.
Sydney Tile Cleaning are the premier natural stone restoration specialists in Sydney Australia. Specialising in cleaning, polishing and the restoration all types of natural stones, Marble, Travertine, Limestone, Slate, Quarry, Other Natural Stone as well as Porcelains and Ceramics. Please select the type of stone you have for more details.