an introduction to slate floor cleaning

Slate floors are a good choice for a wide variety of locations, both domestic and commercial, due to the range of colours, designs, textures, shapes and the high score in terms of cost durability. Slate floors are one of the most durable types of floor available, but that does not necessarily relate to ease of cleaning and maintenance. Slate floors are long lasting but without proper and regular maintenance you will find yourself with a floor which can quickly become uneven, dull or unsatisfactory.
Slate floors are often found in kitchens and washrooms - locations where spillages are likely and this is one of the main causes of staining and marking of floors. Spillages are accidental, so it is pointless to advise to be careful with drinks etc, as children and pets can also be responsible for dirtying the floor. What you can do is protect your floor to keep it looking good, and of course clean up spillages as soon as they occur.
The first step to protecting the floor is the application of a good quality sealant. A sealant offers an extra layer of protection and basically makes the floor less permeable and susceptible to staining and marking. This is particularly important with slate because, as well as protecting the surface, you must also look after the grout which is a highly porous substance. Two factors which you must be aware of with sealants is that they keep dirt out or IN, so make sure the floor is properly cleaned before you seal. The second factor is to choose the right kind of sealant - a slate floor cleaning specialist will be able to recommend one for you. There are separate tile and grout sealants available.
Once the sealant has been applied it is important to protect it as much as possible. Sealants can be scratched, exposing the surface, or simply wear over time and become ineffective. This can occur simply through wear from traffic in the area (more common in commercial locations) or from surface scratching which is generally caused by tiny particles of grit, dirt and sand walked in on the soles of shoes. A quick sweep of your floor will show just how much grit is walked in on a daily basis, as well as general dust in the air - so you should sweep and vacuum as much as possible to remove this. Doormats at entrances are also a good idea.
Anther cause of surface marking is from heavy objects such as furniture, or sharp points such as the legs of chairs. Care should be taken when moving these objects and padded tips added wherever possible.