How to Care for Slate Tile Floors

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Slate is a natural stone that is formed by the bond of silt and clay particles under high temperatures and pressure. The resulting material is highly durable and nearly impenetrable by liquids. Slate comes in a variety of natural colors, including an array of greens, red and grays, as well as deep charcoal and rust. The texture of slate creates slip-resistant flooring.

  • Wear socks or slippers on slate floors. Keep in mind that the oils from bare feet can mar a slate floor and attract dirt.

  • Dust the floor well before cleaning. Use a dust mop or commercial duster over the entire surface of the floor.

  • Clean the floor with warm water only. Use a mop and wring it out well before applying to the floor. Allow the floor to dry completely before walking on it or replacing throw rugs or area carpets.

  • Clean spills on slate floor immediately. Work from the outside of the spill to the inside to keep the spill from spreading to more grout and the edges of the flooring. Soak up the excess with paper towels or cleaning rags. Mop the area with warm water.

  • Remove stains in the grout with a 50-50 solution of hydrogen peroxide and water. Spray the solution on white grout only and leave it for 15 minutes. Repeat as needed.

  • Treat stubborn stains by covering them with a paper towel soaked with hydrogen peroxide and covered with plastic wrap. Follow with a paste of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda after the fizzing subsides. Apply the paste the grout. Spray the paste with hydrogen peroxide if it dries out.

  • Apply a sealant regularly to the slate floor. Talk to a knowledgeable salesperson at the home improvement store for the best product and recommended application techniques.

Tips & Warnings

  • Shoes can grind sand and grit into the slate surface.
  • Color grout will fade if sprayed with the hydrogen peroxide-water mixture.

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