Sealing slate tile flooring is an easy DIY project. To get you started, you only need the right tools and a pair of handy hands, to prepare the surface and apply the sealer with a paintbrush. Here are the steps.
Clean the Surface
Clear the area. Move the furniture, and remove the rugs or mats from the floor. Sweep or vacuum the floor, to remove dirt and other debris.
Next, create soapy water with detergent and water. Get the mop, and wipe the floor with soapy water. Get a bucketful of clean water, dip a clean mop, and wipe-rinse the floor.
If you want to treat the floor for molds, mildews, and other living organisms, you may mop the floor with an oxygen bleach solution. This step is optional. To make a solution, mix oxygen bleach with water in a ratio of 50:50.
If your slate tile flooring is in the dining or kitchen area, the use of a degreaser is an option to remove oil and grease on the surface. This will ensure that the sealer that will be applied later will not slide off.
Strip and Neutralize
Old sealer from the slate tile flooring should be removed as well. This can be done with the use of a paint stripper. Select eco-friendly friendly strippers, that contain natural and mild ingredients. An example is a soy-based stripper that can be used for natural stones, such as slate.
Apply stripper on the area using a paintbrush or roller. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions on how to apply the compound, and the waiting time before rinsing. Use a stiff nylon brush to remove old paint or sealer on the surface. Vacuum the floor to remove debris.
After chemical stripping, the slate tiles have to be neutralized, to prevent oxidation and the tiles from becoming brittle. Mop the neutralizer on the floor and rinse. Follow the instruction on the package for the correct usage of the neutralizer. As a rinse, use distilled water. Tap water contains minerals that can cause discoloration and oxidation on the slate’s surface. Allow the surface to dry completely
Check for Damage and other Possible Repairs
Inspect the tile for cracks, holes, and broken tiles. Use epoxy glue to repair cracks and holes. Remove and replace broken tiles.
Apply the Sealer
Get the paintbrush or roller and dip it in the sealer. Apply the sealer in 1 direction only, starting with a very thin coat. Let it stay for 10 minutes or more, depending on the instructions, and then thinly apply the second and third coats. After several coats, allow the area to dry for more than 24 hours, before resuming heavy traffic on the area.