I recently completed the renovation of a Black Slate Floor at a property in Grange over Sands. The Slate floor was in the hallway which as you can imagine is one of the busiest areas in any house. The Slate had been down for many years and was now in need of an upgrade.
After surveying the Slate floor, I recommend using a method we have developed at Tile Doctor called Milling. This doesn’t just clean the stone but cuts through the rough texture and old shaling leaving a much smoother finish. This It is a bit like sanding a wooden floor using various grits of sandpaper to resurface the wood and then add a polish. In the case of stone of course sandpaper wouldn’t long, so when Milling we use coarse heavy duty floor pads encrusted with industrial diamonds.
I gave my client a quote for the work, which was happily accepted, and we scheduled a date for the work to be done the following month.
Resurfacing a Black Slate Tiled Hallway Floor
For Milling we use three different grits of pad applied in sequence with a weighted heavy duty floor buffer, the extra weight is needed to ensure a strong contact with the floor. Work starts with the 50-Grit Milling pad, then 100-grit and finally a 200-grit. Water is used to help lubricate the process and a wet vacuum is used after each pad to remove the slurry generated, the water also helps keep down the dust.
The mortar between the Slate was also in a poor state so this was broken out using a hammer drill and new pointing was applied, we like to use VDW800 for this purpose as it is available in 5 different colours. The natural tone looks very similar to lime pointing, but unlike lime pointing this product sets fully hard after 48 hours and it’s fully breathable so it is perfect for using with old floors like this without a damp proof membrane.
Once the stone was milled and pointed, it was left to dry for 48 hours so it would be ready for sealing. I don’t recommend applying a sealer to a damp floor as the seal will struggle to cure and this can lead to an uneven result.
Sealing a Black Slate Tiled Hallway Floor
Returning later in the week, we then gave the floor one last light clean before applying two coats of Tile Doctor X-tra seal. This is a very effective and modern oil-based impregnating sealer the leaves a nice satin finish and breathable. Oil based sealers are essential for black stone as black stone is only black because of its oil content. In fact, Tile Doctor developed X-tra Seal in 2021 for exactly this type of job. The sealer can also be used outside as it comes with UV light protection unlike most sealers on the market which are really designed for internal use.
My client was very happy with the work and even left the following feedback.
For aftercare cleaning I recommended the use of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which will keep it looking in great condition.