Slate is a stone that is cleft cut. It has natural ridges that on some tiles can be a trip hazard if they are too deep.
The slate restorations we are asked to complete typically involve a foyer. Some of these floors were installed decades ago. The sealers used back then were mostly wood floor finishes. Over the years the floor would be mopped for daily maintenance with a periodic resealing. These resealing were coats of whatever finish could be found at the local hardware store. In time this coating yellowed and then darkened as more coats were added. The homeowner had no practical way to remove the many coats of sealer. Sometimes a painter or floor contractor would try to remove the coating and this would typically result in a disaster because the residues caught in the tiles texture were almost impossible to remove. Another coat of sealer was applied. Some used heavy strippers that were designed to remove paint from furniture. These strippers are responsible for several deaths each year when used in enclosed spaces.
In the photos we show the product we use for slate stone floor refinishing. It is a soy bean based stripper that has the power to remove the coating, but is not nearly as toxic as the paint strippers found at the big box stores. The soy stripper has an odor, but it is nothing like the solvent based strippers. We leave the stripper on for about an hour. Following this we extract the soy stripper with a machine we keep in the truck outside your home. The floor in these pictures took several coats to remove. One word of caution for the do it yourselfer. If you plan to try this project on your own, have a thought out plan in advance of how you will recover the stripper. Soy stripper is not easily recovered and if we did not have the machine to do it for us, and had to rely on a wet vac we would not use this product.
As you can see the slate looks great at the end. It was a bit washed out looking, so we applied an enhancing sealer to deepen the color. These old thick urethane sealers were so strong the slate was never exposed to oxidation. The product under the sealer, by virtue of this is in an almost pristine condition. So when you do finally remove it, you are in for a real treat.
So if you have a slate floor that needs refinishing, call us today at 221-9550.