Here at Floor Coverings International Vancouver/Portland, we love the beauty, durability, and versatility of slate tile. Slate is a flaky but durable metamorphic rock that has been a favorite tile material choice for many years. Slate tiles can be buffed, polished and sealed to have a high sheen and protective coating, or they can be left in a more natural state with a matte finish for a more traditional look.
Slate tiles are ideal for bathrooms, showers, hallways, mudrooms, and foyers. Slate can also be installed in kitchens and dining rooms for a classy yet inviting look. It’s water resistant, which makes slate a good choice for these moisture-prone areas.
What to Expect
It takes some effort and knowledge to care for your slate tile and keep it looking its best. It’s also good to know what to expect from the slate floors in your Vancouver or Portland home. For about the first three months following installation of your new tile, small bits and layers of slate may flake off it. This is called “spalling,” and it is normal and a result of the slate’s natural structure.
Even if actual chips do not come off, your slate floor may seem excessively dusty during this time. This powdery residue is also due to the spalling process. Sweeping your slate floor more often within the first few months can help to minimize the mess and expedite this settling process for your new floor. You can also vacuum using the brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner.
Tips for Cleaning Your Slate Floor
The first and most important thing to remember when cleaning your slate floor is it is a natural stone. Using harsh cleaners containing chemicals, acids, or alkaline compounds is not a good idea. If the substance is too harsh, it can scratch or etch into the surface of the slate tile.
Instead, use a cleaner designated as safe for slate or mild cleaner diluted in warm water. Be sure whatever you use has a neutral pH (neither acidic nor alkaline). Before washing, sweep or vacuum the floor thoroughly. Then wash and rinse with clean water. The slate tiles can then be polished with a soft dry cloth if you wish.
Sealing Your Slate Floor
You may choose to seal your floor to help ensure a longer life. If your variety of slate is highly porous, this is a wise idea. Sealing your slate floor can help to prevent staining and prolong a like-new look. Ask the flooring manufacturer or installer for recommendations about sealing your particular type of slate floor. There are oil-based clear sealers as well as sealants that can change or enhance the slate’s natural color.
Slate tile is a beautiful, natural choice for flooring in your home. To schedule a free in-home consultation and learn more about slate, contact Floor Coverings International Vancouver/Portland today!
You Might Also Be Interested In:
Photo: © John Wollwerth