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Everything You Need To Know About Your Slate Floor

by | Dec 9, 2020 | 0 comments

What is Slate?

To learn about your slate floor and how to clean slate, we must first understand natural slate itself and its journey to eventually become your floor.

Slate is a fine-grained metamorphic rock. Metamorphic rocks are existing rocks that have gone through a process called metamorphism. Slate, in particular, starts off as a shale type of sedimentary rock or volcanic ash that goes through low-grade metamorphism.

Due to its composition slate is often fire and frost resistant, which is why it is a very common and obvious choice for both flooring and roofing.

Slate is mined or quarried all over the world, but one of the largest manufactures of slate is right here in the UK, in Wales. Welsh slate, mined from the picturesque Welsh mountains, is popular all over the world. This slate is sliced from the earth in large slabs which are then cut down into smaller slabs or tiles.

Your slate floor tiles will then often go through a process of gauging. This involves levelling out the back of the tile so that it is smoother and therefore easier to install onto your floor. Ungauged tiles are often used outside for applications such as stepping stones.

The colour of the slate is largely dependent on its mineral composition. Colour tones will, therefore, vary in relation to where the slate itself is mined from. Slate is most commonly found in a variety of shades of grey.

Slate Floor - Coloured Blue Slate Floor Tiles - KleanSTONE Floor Cleaning

Other Uses for Slate

Other than slate floors, this material has a lot of different uses around the world.

Slate was famously used to write on in school in the Victorian era and as blackboards. Slate is also used for memorial objects, such as gravestones and plaques. This is due to its low porosity and frost resistance making it easy to withstand outside temperatures,

In the modern restaurant, slate is often used in food presentation. Its dark composition makes for a fantastic contrast to display food on. It is worth noting that slate although perfect for the food industry, due to its aesthetic appeal and heat resistance is not microwavable due to the trace metals in its composition.

Fireplace hearths are another common use for slate. Read on to gain knowledge of this popular material and tips on how to clean slate hearth.

Your Slate Floor

Slate floor tiles come in a variety of different finishes making it an incredibly versatile choice to suit any style. The most common finishes for slate floors are:

  • Riven
  • Honed
  • Chipped Edge
  • Tumbled
  • Polished

A slate floor is popular due to its striking beauty in any room of the house.

Slate Floor - Slate Hallway Tiles - Black Slate - KleanSTONE Slate Floor Cleaning

Cleaning Slate Tile and Caring For Your Slate Floor

How to clean slate tile floor

When it comes to cleaning slate, slate floors, like most natural stone floors, must be cleaned with an alkaline or pH neutral floor cleaning solution. It is extremely important you understand how to clean slate, as acidic cleaners will react with and damage the surface, creating problems with your slate floor.

Slate floor cleaner

Best cleaner for slate floors. Detergon R3 and Deepclean are safe to use on your slate floor as well as providing a fantastic clean slate tile.

It is important to sweep your slate floor daily as despite its durability to things like temperature it can be prone to scratches. It is advised to avoid scratching by using furniture protectors, lifting (instead of dragging) furniture, using rugs and sweeping daily.

Slate cleaner and sealer

Sealing your slate floor regularly will help to improve its water resistance, repel stains and help to avoid scratches.

KleanSTONE Natural Slate Cleaning Machines are ideal to use on slate floors as its heavy-duty brushes will ensure to get into the fine rivets of the stone without scratching the surface, like a machine with a roller would do.


KleanSTONE Kara Floor Cleaning Machine - Quarry Tile Floor Cleaning - KleanSTONE

Problems With Slate Floors

FAQ’s About Slate Flooring

Is Slate good for flooring?

Slate is an excellent natural stone to use as flooring. Its high durability makes it resistant to cracks, scratches, chips and more. Slate flooring is also very easy to maintain and it will not require a high level of maintenance.


Do slate floors scratch easily?

Given the composition of slate, slate floors can be prone to scratching easily. That’s why it’s important to properly seal your slate floor and be make sure to regularly give the floor a sweep as debris could scratch the surface if left for some time.


Are slate floors hard to maintain?

No, slate floors require minimal maintenance. Like with all floors, you should regularly sweep and mop your slate floor with a natural PH detergent or, better yet, use a Kleanstone floor cleaning machine once a month to keep your floors gleaming.


Cleaning slate tiles with vinegar

Don’t do it! Vinegar is acidic! Never use acidic or abrasive cleaning products when mopping a slate floor or when spot-cleaning stains. Acidic cleaners, including ordinary vinegar, cause a chemical reaction that can etch the stone. Strong cleaning agents can strip the sealer on slate and grout. View our safe and professional Cleaning Products range.

How often do you need to seal slate floors?

Slate floors should be sealed every 3-5 years to ensure the sealer is protecting the floors properly.

Can you steam clean natural stone floor tiles?

You maybe looking for how to clean slate floors with steam. We would not recommend steam cleaning your natural stone floor tiles. The primary reason for this is that the hot steam has the potential to remove the stone sealer. With your sealer removed, there is a higher chance of mould and mildew growth within your stone floor and with no sealer, there is little to prevent stains from occurring.

Another reason for not steam cleaning your limestonegranitemarbletravertine, or whatever type of stone floor you have is that with repeated steaming, there is a high chance your floor with ‘spall’. Spalling is when water enters the stone and forces the surface to peel, pop out or flake off entirely. In limestone, spalling is known as flaking.


Effortlessly Clean Slate Floors with KleanSTONE

Gleaming slate floors inspire confidence and style in any setting, whether domestic or commercial. Here at KleanSTONE, we supply advanced floor cleaning solutions to help you achieve a spotlessly clean, perfectly finished slate floor without the elbow grease. Our stone floor cleaners tackle spills, stains and everyday grime with ease for a healthier, happier home or work environment.

Our products extend the lifespan of your slate flooring with powerful, effective cleaning that is gentle enough to use every day and perfect for floors in your home or business, inside and out.

Aside from offering a range of products for stone floor cleaning, we love to share our knowledge and experience from our years helping customers succeed at extending the lifespan of your floors. Read more on the KleanSTONE Blog, explore our Help & Guides or download our range of Cleaning Guides and learn more about how to care for your natural and engineered stone floors so that they last a lifetime!

Further Reading on the KleanSTONE Blog: