How to Seal a Slate Floor

Categories // Tips and Tricks, Hard Floor Cleaning

Slate Floor Seal
The very first part of the procedure and unquestionably the most important aspect involved when attempting to seal a slate floor is to ensure that any old remaining seal is removed prior.
Simply cleaning the slate floor surface will not ensure the old seal is adequately removed. This can lead to other issues that will not be apparent until the job is finished. At that point it will be too late to rectify the issues without then having to strip off the new seal as well as the underlying old seal.

There are many brands of slate floor seal easily available to purchase online or even at some DIY stores that have a nice image on the tin displaying a bright shinny floor. Most will advise within the instructions to give the floor an intensive clean prior to using the seal.

This is correct as the floor will require an intensive deep clean to remove the surface soiling, however if an amount of a previous seal remains and it is not removed or at the very least the surface adequately abraded it can cause the new seal to underperform resulting in an unsatisfactory finished product.

The surface may become slippery due to the volume of seal or appear dull within a short space of time.

Stripping Off Slate Seal

The common issue with stripping off old surface seal from slate flooring is that most slate tiles used in properties in recent years are of a riven or tumbled appearance therefore making accessing the slim grooves difficult.

In this type of slate tile even with the use of a mechanical scrubber a certain amount of hand work will be required to remove the seal. A good seal removing product like Pro-Strip will help to break down the old seal so it can be cleaned off.

After ensuring any adjoining surfaces are protected from contaminations carefully apply the seal remover and allow the product adequate time to react with the seal prior to cleaning it off. You may find that the process has to be repeated, especially if you are doing the work without mechanical aid.

Slate Stripped and Cleaned
When the seal and all the surface slurry and residue has been wet vacuumed or mopped off, the slate floor surface will require thoroughly neutralising to ensure no chemical residue or soiling remain. This can be achieved by rinsing the floor several times with fresh water.

Before the seal is applied make sure the floor surface is thoroughly dry and free of any dusts or other contaminates.

Once the surface has been prepared you should then apply the slate seal using an applicator or roller. Go around the edges first and then working away from the far wall of the room work backwards toward the door. Any excess should be removed with a lint free cloth as you progress.

After leaving the floor for the recommended drying period a second coat may be required to ensure full coverage is achieved.

It is advisable if possible to work in a cross pattern to the first coat. This generally ensures that any little patches or sections missed with the first coat are covered.

Once the coating is finished the seal will usually take several days to fully cure. You should be able to use the floor for light use after a few hours (see recommendations on product) but it is important not to wash or replace carpets or rugs until full curing is achieved.