Nothing in your house is more timeless than a natural stone floor. Slate Flooring comprises fine-grained, metamorphic rock that one can find on every continent but Antarctica. Being eco-friendly and easy to find, it has been used for thousands of years by millions of people.
It updates your property and stands the test of time, keeping a unique sophistication unmatched in other materials. This rustic stone tile will give any old place instant personality and a bold identity without completely emptying your wallet.
Over the last few years, slate flooring has grown in popularity to become a trendy and elegant option for beautiful residential homes. Slate is not like laminate or hardwoods, which can have days when they look more stunning than others – it’s all remarkable every day. It’ll provide a beautiful aesthetic with durability and authentic style.
The test is in your hands. You can go and buy another floor that will break, buckle or wear down over time, but you know what’ll happen if you do? It’ll waste a part of your life – the best years of it!
This isn’t just a purchase. This is your home, the place where you form bonds with people who are supposed to be with you long after it all falls apart. Whether it be bloodlines or friendships, this should be one place built for eternity. So, make sure they get the attention and cleaning care they deserve!
What is Slate Flooring?
When people talk about a rock being tough and rigid, slate is the word on their minds. It’s of the most intricate natural stone floors available with its abrasion-resistant properties and is naturally preferred among construction businesses in residential and marine applications. It’s a flat floor that holds up under dust during carpentry and cutting, not to mention against dents from other heavy objects.
If you remember elementary school geology, since it’s a metamorphic rock- it has been formed under high heat, pressure, and burning mineral-rich fluids. It’s a mix of many ores such as quartz, calcite, chlorite, muscovite, etc. These are compressed over a long, long time and then finally come together to form a slate.
It is worth noting that there are many colors to choose from for those who want more than just an off-white at a moderately reasonable price point. Depending on the origin of the slate, it can be black, gray, and dark green but can also include strands of red, blue, and gold. Being the most common stone used in homes, it is reliable, elegant, and will bring smiles to your faces for a long time.
How To Clean Slate Floors
Slate floors are easier to clean than most floors. However, they do require a proper technique. These are the steps to include while cleaning slate floors:
Step 1: Sweep or Vacuum
In the ideal cleaning process, you first remove all dust and dirt from the floor. This allows that mopping job to go much quicker and more smoothly because it won’t be slowed down by the larger soil particles or small rocks that one could have removed beforehand. Do this with a broom or vacuum with soft bristles and attachments to not damage the floors.
Step 2: Mop
This is a simple way to keep your floors clean consistently. Mop with a mixture of a pH-neutral cleaner such as a mild laundry detergent, dish soap, or cleaner specifically meant for slate and warm water, and let it sit for 10 minutes. When you’re done with that step, use an absorbent cloth where the water’s not cleaned away yet – and sweep off residual dirt. Your slate floor will be sparkling clean if you follow up with the steps carefully too!
Step 3: Use Slate Oil
The final finishing touches on your floor are just simple oiling to bring it up, punch that hard-earned shine in and give the surface some long-lasting protection. If you’re looking for a less expensive alternative, teak oil works as well!
What To Avoid When Cleaning Slate Floors?
Cleaning your slate floors is a snap, assuming you use the right mop and no harsh cleansers. Generally speaking, these floor tiles can stand up to anything except really stiff scrubbing with heavy solvents on unprotected surfaces. So, these are a few things you should avoid while cleaning your slate floors.
Do not use abrasive cleaners.
Strong chemicals in abrasive cleaners damage the natural stone floors. Any chemical solutions, including vinegar, lemon, or any other strong acids, should be avoided. Please know that if you use any cleaning products containing made for bathrooms or kitchens, it can permanently damage the finish. These cleaners may dull the finish or change the color of the stone or tile.
Do not drag furniture across the floors.
Avoid dragging furniture; use a roller chair or furniture protector pads. If you have to lift a piece, always lift it by the legs. If you must drag furniture across the ground, place a sheet over your floor to protect it. The slate will endure the most wear from people moving furniture around the house. Throwdown area rugs in high traffic areas to help protect the stones.
Do not mix chemicals unless the instructions say so.
Many chemicals can be dangerous when mixed. These reactions can produce flammable, toxic gases and even corrosives that can eat through materials. Chemicals such as chlorine bleach and ammonia can be hazardous. Make sure you know the dangers involved with these chemicals and don’t ever mix them together.
Do not use damaged vacuums or brooms with stiff slate bristles.
For most homeowners with stone floors, the thought of standing over the tub with a vacuum cleaner can be exhilarating. But using an appliance with attachments such as rolls or wheels or with stiff steel bristles on top can scratch the surface. You don’t want to ruin your floors with scratches from sharp metal parts.
Special Care Required For Slate Floors
Sealing your slate tile is an essential part of ensuring that you get the most out of it. A non-slip, water-resistant sealer will protect against staining and prolong the life of your slate tile. Further, to find out how well a sealer works, pour a bit of water on your floor. If the stain fades away in the next 10 minutes, you have an excellent sealer! Without a sealer, your slate tile is at risk of exposure to moisture and pollutants, which can create unsightly discoloration or stains on its surface. To ensure the protection of your investment, be sure to seal your slate flooring yearly.
Removing Scratches and Stains- Store-Bought Solution
You can easily remove scratches or stains from your slate floor by applying a stain-removal poultice for stone floors, available in most home-improvement stores. After using the poultice, leave it on the scratch or stain for 24 hours, and then wipe away the residue. Remember to seal your slate flooring regularly with a waterproofing sealer to protect from staining and scratching.
Removing Scratches and Stains- Homemade Solution
For one homemade solution, you can mix equal parts of flour and hydrogen peroxide until the mixture has the consistency of putty. Work this into the scratch or stain with your fingers, then plug your nose and rub it in vigorously with a toothbrush for two minutes. Cover the poultice with plastic wrap to keep it moist for six hours or overnight. Remove it with a damp cloth or a gentle scraper.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. How can I remove different types of stains from slate floors?
There are different methods for identifying and removing various stains from slate floors. Some of them include:
- Oil-Based Stains (Margarine, Gasoline, Motor Oil, Cooking Oil)
Oil stains on a stone are a common problem. Over time, the oils will seep into the pores and combine with the stone itself. If left unattended, these stains can gradually take their toll on the beauty of your stone. There are a few ways you can remove these stains effectively using materials you have in your home or at home. The best is using a soft liquid cleanser followed by an acetone soak. Be sure to dry the stain thoroughly.
- Biological Stains (algae, fungi, moss)
Removing biological stains such as fungi and moss from stain floors is simple. Mix bleach, ammonia, or hydrogen peroxide with half a gallon of water and clean the stains. Don’t mix these chemicals together as they are highly explosive. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the quantity required for cleaning and follow the directions on time to use it.
- Organic Stains (Coffee, fruits and vegetables, bird droppings, food)
Removing organic stains from slate floors is not as hard a job as you might think. Even if you’re not an expert in carpentry or masonry, there are methods and products that you can use to remove organic stains from a rugged, waterproof surface like slate flooring. There are numerous commercial products available for use, but the best is letting the sun and rain clean it up if it’s outdoors. Indoors, use 12% hydrogen peroxide solution, remove the organic material and leave clean slates for a beautiful clean look (no pinkish tones from dirt stains).
- Inorganic Stains (ink, paints, color dyes)
Removing inorganic stains from slate floors is a task that takes patience and care. Bleach and hydrogen peroxide will wash away blemishes, but they are harsh chemicals and damage the dark-colored floors, so only use them for light-colored ones. You will want to consider other options for removing stains, such as using lacquer thinner or acetone on dark-colored stones.
- Fire and Smoke Damage
Removing fire and smoke damage from slate floors typically requires specialized equipment and time-consuming cleaning work. In most cases, a professional tile contractor can complete this task, but it may not be worth it if you simply want to keep the floor looking its best for other purposes. For example, if you are installing a new carpet or upholstery for your bedroom, at minimum, one should hire a professional floor cleaning service to tackle the job. Commercially available smoke removal products also save time and effort.
Q2. Why is sealing necessary? How often should it be done?
Sealing should be done immediately after installing the tile system to prevent any accidentally leaving behind stains and scratches on uneven surfaces. Sealing needs to happen at regular intervals as the acidic environment inside the ground creates an environment favoring mold. Sealing your stone floor every 2-3 months is an excellent idea as it prevents mildew and moss buildup, which will otherwise. Do it as soon as you start seeing patchy spots or floors starting to stain quicker.
Q3. Is putting rugs on the floors useful?
Placing rugs on your floors can be an effective method for keeping the slate clean. These absorb odors and keep the resting surface dry. In addition to being comfy, carpetings are also beautiful, offering some visual appeal to your space. So, placemats, rugs, and carpets in heavy traffic areas such as entrances and exits. This prevents stains and scrapes from shoes. Putting it beneath furniture is also efficient as chairs, stools, tables, and other furniture are moved constantly throughout the day and may damage the floors.
When it comes to ensuring your floors look good year after year, there are a few things you can do to ensure your flooring remains in top shape and keeps looking its best. The best way to maintain and restore a tile floor is with regular cleaning and thorough vacuuming. Even good soil can cause problems when not taken care of properly. A clean slate means a clean conscience for both you and your tenants. You can be confident that your property is in good hands with a clean slate flooring by following these cleaning and maintenance tips.