Slate tile flooring has become an extremely popular choice for floors which are heavy traffic areas, and with good reason. Slate is extremely durable and its surface texture means it is less likely to stain as quickly as other types of stone floor. Despite this, it is a material which is surprisingly difficult to keep clean and looking new – but there are some maintenance tips which, if followed correctly, will help you protect your floor and aid cleaning efforts.
The first step is regular sweeping of the floor to remove any dirt or grit which may ingress into the area. This should be done daily and thoroughly. It is also prudent to put strategically placed mats for wiping shoes on. A high percentage of dirt is introduced from the soles of shoes (take a look, you may well be surprised) and this simple step can help reduce this.
Finally you should take care when washing. Use a mop and bucket of water with a little detergent – be very careful with any cleaning liquids you use. Don’t inundate the floor with too much water and just give it a regular clean as often as you can.
You may well find that, despite your best efforts, over time your floor may become stained, or dulled and acquire an unsatisfactory appearance. When this occurs you may find your cleaning efforts becoming ineffective, and may well need to consider contacting a company specializing in cleaning floor tile. There are several problems which may have led to this:
Grout: grout is a construction material used to fill voids and join seals, and is the substance you can see between the tiles. It is a naturally porous material and therefore stains easily as well as being notoriously difficult to apply to slate flooring. Any sort of spillage can very quickly stain grout, even if cleaned immediately, and as it stains unevenly, can soon affect the whole aspect of your floor.
Surface scratching and abrasions: even if you meticulously sweep and conscientiously wipe your shoes, you will find that grit and dirt inevitably get introduced into the area, especially if it is a high traffic area. This dirt can cause tiny surface scratching and abrasions which can allow the slate to stain easily. These scratches can also occur when furniture and heavy objects are placed and moved.
Staining: even if you immediately clean up spillages, the aforementioned surface markings can lead to staining. Once this staining becomes visible, layers upon layers of stains and bacteria will have built up leading to a stain which cannot be removed by regular cleaning efforts.