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How to Care for Slate Flooring

Cleaning Slate Flooring
Cleaning Slate Flooring
12 April 2010- A slate floor can make the outdoors as well as home interiors beautiful. Slate, being a natural stone grants many advantages main being its durability. However, caring for slate flooring might require different techniques than other tile floor cleaning and caring. Here are some tips for cleaning slate floor as well as caring for slate floors through troubleshooting certain common problems faced by them.

General Caring and Cleaning Slate Floor

Given the porous nature of slate stone, slate flooring should be sealed with a quality stone floor sealer. The floor sealers penetrate the outer surface of the slate, and protect the slate flooring from soil, scratches, and grease. For general cleaning of slate flooring, it should be washed and rinsed well with a detergent and water solution. Alkali cleaners generally do not harm slate floors. However, strong solutions for cleaning should be avoided. If extra protection and shine is required for slate flooring, a water-based, self-polishing wax may be applied over a clean, dry, and sealed slate floor. Slight damp mopping can be done on a waxed floor at an interval of 7-10 days. This is enough to keep the slate flooring clean. Washing with detergent is needed only once in a while.

Cleaning Grout Lines from Slate Flooring

The white deposits of salts seeping through the grout joints or from the mortar can be cleaned with the help of grout cleaner tools that are a fine blade embedded in a plastic housing. Chisels can be used efficiently for cleaning grout lines on slate flooring. A narrow tipped cold chisel or a blunt wood chisel can be used for scraping out wide lines. Some people also wash slate floors with acid to clean off the grout lines. However, this should be avoided if the lines are not too stubborn and are gone with scraping. If there are grout lines on black slate floor, washing the floor with a mild solution of sulfamic acid can be done but after rinsing the floor with acid, it should also be rinsed with plenty of clean water.

Removing Scratches from Slate Flooring

If a scratch occurs on a slate tile and if it is natural cleft, the scratch marks can be removed by oiling the scratch which makes it fall in line with the rest of the natural cleft. In other cases, a topical sealer can hide the scratches. If one wants to remove the scratches entirely instead of hiding them, then the slate floor would have to be resurfaced. However, if the texture of the slate flooring is uneven then it is not advisable to resurface the floor. It is better to hide the scratches with sealing. In fact, many slates are very soft that need to be sealed every three months or so.

Cleaning Gray Slate Floor with Rough Finish

Rough finish of a gray slate floor might catch fibers of the mop when cleaning slate floor. For solving this problem, one should go for deep cleaning slate floor in order to remove all dirt and grime from it. After that, a high-quality acrylic floor sealer should be applied in multiple coats, if required. This will make slate floor cleaning much easier.

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