Slate is the most popular stone flooring option. It is naturally beautiful, durable, fire-resistant, and less expensive than comparable options. Whether used on a fireplace or the floors, slate can bring earthiness and texture to any room.
However, since slate is a natural stone, it takes more upkeep and cautious cleaning methods to keep it looking its best.
What’s the Best Way to Clean Slate Floors?
- 1 What’s the Best Way to Clean Slate Floors?
- 2 Cleaning Slate Flooring: Everything You Need to Know
- 3 Frequently Asked Questions
- 4 Final Thoughts on Cleaning Slate
To keep slate floors clean and looking their best, sweep them daily. Dust and dirt particles can act like sandpaper on a slate floor, grinding away pieces of the stone. Mop your slate floors as needed or weekly with a damp mop and a gentle cleanser made specifically for natural stone.
Cleaning Slate Flooring: Everything You Need to Know
The most important upkeep task for slate floors is sweeping. This should be done daily. All you need for this is a large dust broom. Run the broom across the slate floors, picking up the dust and debris. If you opt to use a vacuum instead of a broom, make sure your vacuum is on the hard floor setting to avoid scratching the tile.
Stay away from vinegar and citrus-based cleaners – they are too acidic and can cause damage. You’ll also want to avoid oil-based cleansers since they can make your floor extra slippery.
If there is any standing water on the floor after mopping, wipe it up with a towel or dry microfiber mop.
As needed: Spot Treat Stains
If you find a stain on your slate floors, you can treat it using isopropyl rubbing alcohol. Here’s what to do:
- Mix 1 part rubbing alcohol to 8 parts water
- Soak a rag in the solution and wipe on your stain
- Let sit for a couple of minutes and then wipe off
If the stain is still showing, lightly scrub it with this solution. Repeat if necessary.
Every 3-5 Years: Seal Your Slate
Even though slate is highly durable, it’s still porous. Porous materials soak up liquid, which is why you need to seal your floors regularly.
To determine if your slate needs to be sealed, here’s what to do:
- Pour several drops of water on your slate floor
- Allow the water to sit for 10-30 minutes and then wipe away
- If your floor is darkened, it needs to be sealed
If you fail to seal your slate flooring properly, water and other liquids will be able to penetrate it, causing damage and making your floors look lifeless.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the best way to make my slate floors shiny?
The best way to make your slate floors look shiny is to use an enhancing sealer. If your slate is brand new, you can do this after installation. If your slate tiles are older, you’ll first need to clean them thoroughly.
Enhancing sealers can bring out the natural colors of your tiles and give your floor a wet, shiny look.
Can I use vinegar on slate floors?
You should never use vinegar on slate floors. Vinegar is highly acidic and can react with chemicals naturally found in slate, dulling the stone’s color and making it look brittle.
You should only ever use gentle cleaners on your slate floor.
Can I use a steam cleaner on my slate floors?
Maybe. You’ll need to refer to the manufacturer of your sealant to see if a steam cleaner mop will be an appropriate way to clean your floors. Some sealant manufacturers claim that a steam mop can break down the sealer, leaving your floors exposed.
If you do use a steam mop, be sure to keep it on the lowest heat setting.
Final Thoughts on Cleaning Slate
Slate is a beautiful flooring option. And although it requires careful cleaning, it’s not hard to care for. The most important things you can do to keep your slate looking fantastic for years to come are keeping your floor sealed and sweeping and mopping regularly.