Although a slate stone has a natural protection on its surface from outside elements, the daily activity to which slate flooring tiles are exposed to regularly make it vulnerable to moisture, stain and abrasion. Apply coats of sealer on the slate tiles to prolong its polished-look and life.
Step 1 – Select and Purchase a Sealer
Buy a penetrating sealer specifically designed for natural stones with silicon content. This type of sealer penetrates the stones’ pores for firm adhesion and closes the pores with its silicon formulation. If the tile grout is unsealed, it will be practical to purchase a 2-in-1 sealer that seals both the tiles and the grout.
You may choose either the spray-on or the brush-on type. The brush-on type can be applied with paint or roller brush. This type of sealant is cheaper as compared to the spray-on type. The latter, however, provides convenience in application, since you only have to spray it on the tiles' surface.
Step 2 – Clean the Surface
Remove furniture and any other items that cover the floor’s surface.
For newly installed slate flooring, you only have to clean the surface using a water and light liquid detergent solution and mop it on the floor. Rinse the suds with water. Let it dry and proceed to Step 3.
If the slate flooring tiles have been installed for quite some time and you have decided to seal it now, follow these cleaning steps: Mix water and all-around detergent to make a solution. Dip a rope-cotton mop on the solution and wipe it around the floor. Next, prepare an oxygen bleach solution. Mix liquid or powder oxygen bleach to water. Follow manufacturer’s instruction on the right ratios. Wash the mop and dip it on the oxygen bleach solution. Wipe it on the floor to rinse the floor of detergent suds. Next, apply one coat of acetone stripper on the floor and use a floor scrubber to scrub off the oil, deep-seated dirt, grime and grease.
WARNING: Bleach can be toxic, so put on a face mask and gloves and open several windows to make sure your work area has adequate ventilation before you apply it. Follow similar precautions if you use acetone stripper.
Step 3 – Neutralize
Purchase a natural stone cleanser. Apply it on the floor. Follow manufacturer's application instructions. Rinse it off with distilled water. Let the floor dry thoroughly.
Step 4 – Apply the Sealer
If you plan to stain the slate tiles, now is the time. You can purchase acrylic stains in color you desire and apply it by following the instructions on the product leaflet. Let it dry for 24 to 48 hours and then you may start coating the tiles with a sealer.
Brush-on or spray-on a thin coat of sealer on the slate flooring. Make it a point to apply the sealer evenly. Follow manufacturer’s instruction on drying time in between coats. Apply a second coat, again a thin coat, and let it dry. When the final coat is applied, let it dry overnight before resuming activity on the area.