Composed of compressed mud, slate is a metamorphic that is tough, flaky, and durable. The layers split easily making it into beautiful tile. The natural tile or cleft, can be used, or the slate can be honed or polished. Though very versatile, slate is frequently used more in mudrooms and bathrooms. No matter where you have it, in order to manage the beauty, condition, and lifespan, it needs proper maintenance and care that we at Silver State Floor Restoration would like to share today.
Slate Tile Flaking in Shower
Up to about the first three months after installation, spalling, the naturally, cleft flaky stone, can be expected to flake and break away from the tile. As the slate settles, spalling occurs, which is a normal process. Following the installation, you will notice excessive dust and small chips underfoot. Be sure to adamantly sweep the slate tile daily to remove the chips and dust to preserve the slate’s condition. You can also use a hard surface vacuum or a vacuum with the beater bar deactivated with the bare floor setting. Once the slate settles, the spalling will stop, and the dust and debris will be from normal daily activity.
How to Clean Slate Floors
Since slate is a natural stone, acidic and alkaline cleaners will likely cause the surface to etch. Though it may not be noticeable on cleft slate, it will be especially noticeable on slate that has been polished or honed. Sweep or vacuum the floor daily or as often as possible to manage the grit and debris. To wash the flooring, use natural stone cleaner and a cleaner with neutral pH level. Avoid etching and other damage by staying away from any cleaners that have lemon or other citrus, or vinegar based cleaners. Use a damp cloth or mop to rinse the cleaner off the surface after you have washed the slate tile; to prevent water spots dry polished and honed slates with a soft cloth.
Natural Stone Slate Cleaning & Sealing
Professional cleaning is necessary for routine maintenance. Hire a specialist to deep clean your slate tile every 6-12 months to remove the buildup that normal washing cannot cut through. Including some made with quartzites, there are many variations of slate tile. Moisture and staining substances can be easily absorbed since most slate is naturally porous. To prevent staining and moisture buildup, seal the slate every year or more often if needed. You can test the sealant by pouring an ounce or so of water on the surface. If after 10 minutes the water made the area darker, you need a new sealant application. Depending on the cleaning, care, and foot traffic, the sealant can last up to about a year. To make sure that the sealing is done well, contact a professional for sealing services. Keep in mind that the slate tile will need to be deep cleaned before the sealant application to avoid trapping moisture, debris, and stains.
Does Slate Scratch Easily?
The slate tile may develop chalky-looking scratches from time to time, especially the areas that see high traffic. You can disguise the scratch marks by applying mineral oil to the scratch and the surrounding area of the slate tile. The slate tile will need to be cleaned and completely dry before you treat the scratches. Rub the oil into the scratch until it dissipates by applying the miner oil onto a clean, soft cloth. The mineral oil will seal a little of the scratch areas.