Slate is a fine-grained, homogeneous metamorphic rock composed of clay or volcanic ash through low-grade regional metamorphism, which result is a foliated (a penetrative planar fabric present in rocks) rock in which the foliation may not correspond to the original sedimentary layering. When expertly “cut” by striking with a specialized tool in the quarry, many types of slate will form smooth flat sheets of stone which have long been used for roofing and floor tiles and other purposes.
Slate tiles are common in the home and are becoming increasingly popular as a choice for flooring as it is an attractive option with a variety of choices of colour available as well as varying shapes and finishes. It is also durable and relatively stain resistant and will add to the value of any property. It is, however, a hefty investment which you will need to look after and maintain correctly if you are to keep it looking good for many years to come.
Keeping slate floors clean is not a difficult task assuming that it is cleaned regularly and certain steps should be carried out daily if possible. To begin with we will assume that the floor has been correctly installed and that a sealant has been applied – you will need to follow the following basic steps:
Sweep the floor regularly with a broom to remove the sand and dirt particles brought into the area, usually on the soles of shoes. This is important as most surface scratching is caused by this. After you have done this (it is recommended daily) you should sweep again with a finer dust mop (non-oil based) to remove the fine dust that can build up over time and cause an unpleasant appearance developing.
After you have done this you will need to mop the floor. Usually warm water will be sufficient but it is always a good idea to use a little detergent to ensure the floor is as clean as possible. It may be necessary to rinse the floor if there is any residue from the detergent, and it is always a good idea anyway. Afterwards you simply need to wait for the floor to dry, although humid days may make this a lengthy process. Make sure there is no traffic in the area while it is drying. If you wish to use a specialist product, you should consult a slate floor cleaning specialist to make sure it is suitable for the floor.