Dealing with Urine Smelling Slate floor in Bowling Alley Toilets

Although we do get a lot of residential work we also cover commercial properties such as this local bowling complex in Slough where complaints of a bad odour in the male toilets had been received. The owner of the bowling complex realised the problem was coming from the slate tiled floor and decided to call in their local Tile Doctor to identify and eliminate the odour.

Slate Floor Gents Toilets at Bowling Alley Inspection

Upon closer inspection, it was identified that the unsealed slate floor in the toilets had been contaminated by urine ingress. Urine ingress is a common problem for people who have small animals like cats or dogs as household pets, but it also quite often affects public toilets.

Slate Floor Gents Toilets at Bowling Alley Inspection

Urine ingress occurs because urine, after leaving the body as an acid, becomes a white alkali crystal salt as it dries. Using normal detergents (including bleaches) for cleaning will actually add to both the odour and the problem overall since they are alkaline-based cleaners. At the same time, neglecting to clean can also be damaging, as urine in its initial acidic form will start to eat away at the sealer if not removed quickly.

Cleaning Slate Tiles

Our first action was to use Tile Doctor Remove & Go, a tile and stone friendly stripper, which we applied liberally to the toilet floor. This particular solution is highly effective at removing protective sealers, whilst also drawing out ingrained stains and removing any heavy grease build-up. The solution was allowed to sit for a short period of about ten minutes. It is important not to leave the product to dwell on the surface for too long in case it dries completely. Next, we added a small amount of water to the Remove & Go, before employing a heavy weighted rotary with a nylon brush to carefully scrub the slate and grout lines.

Slate Floor Gents Toilets at Bowling Alley Stripping

After the soils and sealers had been successfully removed, the next task at hand was to neutralise the bad odour caused by urine ingress. This was achieved using a mild mix of the phosphoric acid-based detergent Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up, which was able to neutralise the alkali crystal salts back to a neutral state. The floor was then scrubbed again, before being thoroughly rinsed with plenty of fresh water.

Slate Floor Gents Toilets at Bowling Alley Stripping

Sealing a Slate Floor

As the bowling complex experiences high volumes of customers on a daily basis, it was essential to use a sealer which would provide the floor with durable protection. We advised our client that an impregnating sealer rather than a topical sealer would be the most suitable for use in this type of environment and recommended a combination of Tile Doctor Stone Oil and Ultra-Seal (suitable for use on all natural stone, including slate) be used instead.

Slate Floor Gents Toilets at Bowling Alley Sealing

We left the floor to dry overnight before applying the Stone Oil. Stone oil reconditions the Slate tile and enhances the colours within the stone. The product then needed a further period of time to dry before we applied two coats of Ultra-Seal impregnating sealer to the stone.

Slate Floor Gents Toilets at Bowling Alley Sealing

Why did we use an impregnation sealer instead of a topical sealer?
Impregnation sealers, such as Ultra-Seal and Colour Grow, are absorbed by the pores in the stone, offering both stain and soil resistance, and providing protection from within. In addition, they are usually solvent-based, and provide durable protection even in areas which experience high traffic. By comparison, topical sealers will essentially build up layers on top of the stone in order to offer protection. The downside to using this is that, in high traffic areas, the sealer can be effectively ‘kicked’ or walked off the surface of the stone.

You’ll notice in some of the photos that the grout appears to be a different colour after cleaning. That’s because the grout had been repaired by the bowling complex prior to our work on the floor. This mistake has been realised, however, as they have matched the grout in with the dirty discolouration, rather than the clean so addressing this issue will be another job on their list!

Slate Floor Gents Toilets at Bowling Alley Sealing

In summary I’m happy to report we were able to effectively clean the slate floor and eliminate the bad odour caused by urine ingress in the process; then due to the busy nature of the bowling complex a combination of sealing products were applied to the stone to provide long-lasting protection.

Overall, our client was left with a cleaner and more durable slate floor.
 
 
Source: Professional Tile, Stone and Grout Cleaning service in Berkshire

Slate Floor Restored at new Yoga Studio

This Slate tiled floor is in a barn in Beckley, near Rye, Hawkhurst, Tenterden and Robertsbridge. For years it had been used to store furniture, gardening equipment and worryingly, a leaky motorbike which had stained the slate.

Slate Floor in Beckley Barn Before Oil Staining
You can see from the photographs below that the Slate tiles were much worn, stained, faded and far from looking their best.

Slate Floor in Beckley Barn Before Slate Floor in Beckley Barn Before

Deep Cleaning Slate Tiled Floor

Firstly I swept out the whole area then applied Tile Doctor Remove and Go to several areas where engine oil had leaked. After leaving it to soak in for fifteen minutes I began to strip and clean the floor with Tile Doctor Pro-clean worked in with a buffer machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. However it became apparent that some of the ridges on the slate were damaging the black pad so the remainder had to be done by hand with a deck brush. Once the stone was stripped and cleaned the appearance was even greyer than before. I assured the customer that once the sealer has been applied it would be transformed to a much darker colour.

Sealing Black Slate Floor Tiles

After two days drying I returned to seal the floor checking first to ensure it was dry and no further work was required which is just as well as I had to wipe away what appeared to be stray dog paw prints. I got to work applying Tile Doctor Ultra Seal having previously estimated that four coats would sufficient to give it a dark finish; I should mention that Ultra Seal was chosen due to the fact that it’s provides a no-sheen natural look appearance.

Frustratingly it was quite a cold barn with little ventilation despite it being an unseasonably warm autumn day outside and this increased drying times. However by about four o’clock in the afternoon the job was finished and looking remarkably transformed. The customer was pleased with the improvement and is now moving forward with to fit out the barn as a yoga studio.

Slate Floor in Beckley Barn After Slate Floor in Beckley Barn After

Source: Tile, Stone and Grout Cleaning in Sussex

Cleaning and Sealing 120m2 of Slate Tiles at an Enterprise Centre

These photographs are taken at an Enterprise Centre in Millom where local business are encouraged to network and they also offer various training courses, all of which results in a large amount of people coming and going across the 120m2 of rough black Slate which covers the communal areas. Interestingly enough this is not the first time we have cleaned and sealed this floor with the last visit being five years ago. Five years of wear and tear had taken its toll on the tiles though and the black Slate was looking tired but not horrendous given its location so I think it’s fair to say the sealer had performed well over the Intermitting period.

Rough Black Slate Millom Before Cleaning

Cleaning Rough Black Slate

As I mentioned before the area in total was about 120m2 which is a large area so we operated in sections working around the public and ensuring the correct signage was displayed were relevant.

To clean the Slate tile and grout and remove the remaining sealer the floor a good deep clean using a dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go leaving it to soak in for fifteen minutes before working it in with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary buffing machine. This process was followed by rinsing and cleaning with fresh water, stubborn areas were retreated and the water was removed using a wet vacuum to the get the floor as dry as possible.

Sealing Rough Black Slate

Once the section of floor was clean we left it to dry and moved onto cleaning the next section coming back later to seal it which we did with two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that occupies the pores preventing contaminates from becoming ingrained. Colour Grow is also a colour enhancing sealer that brings out the deep colour in the slate.

Rough Black Slate Millom After Cleaning

The customer knew about using the right cleaning solution for regular cleaning however as it had been five years since our last visit we thought it best to remind them and recommend the use of Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner which will not reduce the life of the sealer like an acidic cleaning product would.
 
 
Source: Commercial Tile and Stone Cleaning and Sealing in Lancashire