Homeowners wanting a rustic-looking flooring surface often prefer natural slate flooring. This flooring has a rich texture and doesn’t scratch or stain easily. Natural slate flooring is impervious to water-induced issues and is counted among the most durable of natural stone surfaces. However, over a period of sustained usage, natural slate flooring surfaces are prone to developing certain blemishes that tarnish their aesthetic appeal. To make the surface immune against such issues and to ensure that the natural brilliance of natural flooring is restored, resealing is a preferred option.
Step 1—Getting Started: Preparing Natural Slate Flooring
Get started by wearing plastic gloves. Remove any furniture items placed on the flooring. You can use masking tape to protect the edges of walls and other surfaces that are in contact with the slate flooring. Remove carpets or any fabrics that are near the flooring as the chemical vapors can stain them. Use a dry mop to clean the dust off the flooring. If the slate flooring hasn’t been cleaned in a long time, clean it with some tap water. However, allow the surface to dry completely before proceeding further.
Step 2—Stripping Natural Slate Flooring
Acetone floor solution is commonly used for stripping natural stone surfaces. You need to rent a stone flooring buffer for this project. Ensure that you order stripping pads along with the buffer. Open all the windows to allow the vapors to escape from the room. Use a paint-roller to spread the stripping solvent across the floor. However, don’t spread the solution across the entire flooring at one time. Spread it over a small area that you will strip first.
Allow the stripper solution to dry according to packaged instructions. Plug-in the floor surface buffer and start rubbing the solvent on to the flooring. Use a steady back and forth motion for moving the scrubbing machine. Within a few strokes you should be able to see a distinct gloss on the slate flooring. Repeat a few more strokes and then move across to the next section of the flooring. Strip the entire slate flooring in this manner.
Step 3—Rinsing & Drying Stripped Slate Flooring
Use a mop and water for thoroughly rinsing the chemically-stripped slate flooring. Allow the floor to dry completely. Use a vacuum cleaner to remove any bit of dust that might have been dispelled by the powered buffer pads. Lock the windows and doors and vacate the room for a day.
Step 4—Re-sealing Natural Slate Flooring Surface
It is better that you use a polyurethane sealer. It is even better to use the water-based variety since it is more environmentally-compatible and leaves little residue on the flooring surface. Water-based polyurethane compounds are better equipped to fight-off stains and more adept at protecting the slate surface.
Apply the branded sealing compound according to packaged instructions. Usually, it is retailed with an accompanying applicator. You can also use a big paintbrush for this purpose. Apply repeated coats according to the kind of finish you want and the packaged recommendations. Allow each coat to be imbibed by the slate surface before you apply the new layer. Allow the re-sealed natural slate flooring surface to cure for about 24 hours before walking upon it.