Tile & Grout Cleaning and Sealing

Applying grout to slate wall tiles is more demanding than applying grout to floor tiles. You will need to be sure to give the tiles sufficient time to dry and must be careful when you work with the tiles themselves. Make sure you follow these guidelines carefully.

What You’ll Need:
Unsanded grout
Grout squeegee
Grout float
Tile sealant

Step 1 – Cleaning
Start off by cleaning the tiles from any residues and excess mortar. Wipe with a dampened soft cloth.

Step 2 – Sealing
Once the tiles have been allowed to dry, apply a coating of tile sealant on their surface with a small paintbrush. Coat only the surface of the slate tile and do not allow the sealer to get into the lines around the tiles where the grout will be applied.

Step 3 – Mixing the Grout
Next, you have to mix the grout. It is best to use unsanded grout. Also, try to choose a color which is similar to the tiles’ color. Mix well until you achieve the desired consistency. It is best to add the water a little at a time.

Step 4 – Applying the Grout
Scoop a small amount of grout onto a grout float and apply it carefully in the space between one tile and another. A grout squeegee may also come in handy to press the grout down in the space. Use a damp sponge to wipe away any excess grout.

Black slate tile has a style that is unique. It an give a room an elegant style and lasts a long time. Black slate tiles are installed in kitchens, bathrooms and living rooms. It comes in porcelain, ceramic or natural tile stones.

What You’ll Need:
Liquid Grout
Notched Trowel
Tile Spacers
Rubber Mallet
Slate Tile Sealer
Wet Saw

Step 1 – Measuring the Room and Arranging the Tiles
Measure the room and find its center point. Mark the center and snap a chalk line to keep the measurements. Next, arrange the tiles in the desired pattern. Then, cut the tiles using a wet saw.

Step 2 – Installing the Tiles
Black slate tiles are easy to install. Set the tiles in thin-set using a notched trowel. The trowel creates lines in the thin-set that allow the tiles to be pushed into it with no oozing. As the black slate tiles are laid, make sure a steady spacing pattern is maintained. Allow the surface to cure for 24 hours. A grout released liquid can be applied over the tiles. Keep the grout off of the slate’s edges.

There are a variety of ways to cut small slate tiles but the process will be made easier with the use of the right tools and equipment. Observe proper safety precautions when using power tools to cut small slate tiles.

What You’ll Need:
Slate cutter
Thin snips
Pencil straightedge
Masonry table
Portable circular saw
Safety goggles

Step 1 – Cut Small Slate Tiles with Slate Cutter
Wear safety goggles to protect your eyes during the entire procedure. Use a pencil and a straightedge to mark a line on the back of the slate tiles. Place the slate tile on the slate cutter and lower the handle to cut a straight line. You may use tin snips to create curves or small cuts on small pieces of slate tiles.

Step 2 – Cut Slate Tiles with Circular Saw
Mark a straight line on the back of the slate tiles with a pencil. Place the slate tile on the masonry table and use a circular saw or angle grinder (with a diamond edged blade) to cut through the straight line. Never use a hack saw to cut slate tiles as this will result in poor quality tile cuts.

Take extra care when handling power tools and observe proper safety procedures when working with cutting equipment.

It is vital that you seal outdoor slate tile during installation. This must be done before you apply the grout. If applied to unsealed slate tiles, the grout infiltrates the tiles and causes stains. Use a silicone-based sealer to give the slate higher resistance against moisture. This helps to maintain the slate in good condition which enhances the natural beauty of your home. Below is a guide on how to seal this tile.

What You’ll Need:
Natural stone cleanser
Soft scrub brush
Slate sealant
Sponge roller
Painters tray
Rubber float
Lint-free cloth

Step 1 – Clean the Slate Tile
Prepare a solution of natural stone cleanser and water in a bucket. Use a soft scrub brush to clear away all dust and debris from the floor. This will leave you with a clean floor which is vital before you apply sealant. Rinse the floor well. Use water sparingly so that the floor doesn’t get saturated with water. Remove excess water from the floor with a dry mop. Leave the slate tile to air-dry for 24 hours.

Step 2 – Apply Sealant
Pour some sealant onto a painter’s tray. Begin application at one corner of the floor with a sponge roller. Apply sealant in short, even strokes to achieve uniform coverage. It is best to apply a thin coat as it attaches to the slate better. Too much sealant will collect in puddles and give you inconsistencies in appearance. Work your way from one corner and move across the width of the floor to the opposite corner. Steadily apply a thin, even coat as you move downwards until you complete the entire floor. Allow the sealant to dry for the stipulated time. An overnight wait is usually sufficient.

Step 3 – Apply Grout
Prepare grout as per the instructions that come with the product. Use a rubber float to apply grout along the joints. Press the grout firmly into the joints. Work in small sections. This way, you can wipe away the excess grout before it dries. Use a damp sponge to wipe away excess grout. Be sure to rinse the sponge in a bucket of clean water before you do each wipe. Change the water when it begins to look cloudy. Allow about 3 hours for the grout to cure. Wipe the floor with a clean, lint-free cloth. This removes residual grout which can give your slate tiled floor a hazy look.

Step 4 – Clean the Floor
Mop the entire floor with plain water. This will clear the floor of residual dirt and fine debris. Dry the floor with a dry mop. Allow 24 hours for the floor to air-dry in readiness for more sealant.

Step 5 – Add More Sealant
Use a clean sponge roller to apply sealant to the floor in the same manner as applied in Step 2. In most cases, 2 to 3 coats are required for higher efficacy. However, you must ensure that each coat dries completely before a subsequent coat is applied. It is best to apply sealant every 2 to 3 years. This helps to give your exterior slate tile floor higher protection against the elements.

Bathroom remodels are often the first project a homeowner will do. Bathrooms are small spaces that provide a lot of use. Bathroom remodels are important because they can increase the value of the home. Among the greatest things about bathroom remodels is that they can take on many different themes and styles. The style can coincide with the home, or it can differ from the style of the home. The article that follows will provide several bathroom remodels that will not cost much money or take much time.

Casually Elegant
This style is very clean and contemporary. It can make the bathroom a strong asset. This type of style appeals to a wide range of people. Start by painting the bathroom in neutral colors. You can add a deep burgundy or royal blue to one of the walls to make the room appear larger. Replace the countertop with a terrazzo counter to mimic the appearance of expensive marble. Beveled mirrored tile set against dark slate tiles will provide depth and warmth.

Changing fixtures can be costly, but if you decide to go that route, then choose sleek and dynamic stainless steel or brushed nickel fixtures. Other ideas include 2-tone fixtures and pedestal sinks. Purchase towels to match the accent color. Add small ceramics and pharmacist jars to complete the look.

Shabby Chic
Bathroom remodels that are shabby chic tend to come from the rest of the home, which is also shabby chic. The imperfect nature of the style is nostalgic and comfortable. Wooden cabinets painted white are an easy way to create a shabby chic style.

Fixtures should be traditional, with swift curves. Metallic hardware will set off the style. The color schemes for shabby chic bathroom remodels are calming. Periwinkle, sage green, and French blue are all possibilities. You can also decorate with artwork.

Indoor Tropical
Think about a basic Floridian theme with colors that are warm and bright. Always accent these colors with something neutral, such as hunter green or soft blue. Change the floor tile to terra cotta or bamboo. Store towels in wicker baskets. Natural wood cabinets and a ceiling fan add a distinctive flair.

Choose simple fixtures, such as brass or chrome. Add glass tiles to reflect all of these colors. Install natural wood molding around the bottom and the top of the walls. You can also use wall paper stripping with bamboo trees as a repeating pattern. If you have the space, include terra cotta or sandstone planters. Increase the lighting with LED light bulbs.

Pebble flooring is a very unique type of flooring to bring to the outside. When you want to hang out with friends or family outside, pebble flooring makes for an inviting atmosphere in your home. Pebble flooring installed on the outside is especially inviting if there is a pool, spa or an outdoor fountain. One thing about installing pebble flooring outside, is that you can expand them out as far as you want. They can even be used to connect a patio or sunroom. A lot of people who do not wish to upkeep a large grass lawn will install pebble flooring. This especially pertains to back yards. A lot of homeowners will make this a do-it-yourself project. The tools and steps needed to install pebble flooring outside are listed below.

What You’ll Need:
Black plastic edging (for landscaping)
Quick set concrete mix
Mixing trough
2 by 4 by 8 lumber
Epoxy (UV resistant)

Step 1 – Shape out a Design
It is best to already know what shape or design you will want your outside flooring layout to be before digging out the flooring depth. Use the black edging to form an outline of the shape. Make sure the depth dug out is leveled even.

Step 2 – Mixing the Concrete
Mix up enough concrete to fill the outline of the flooring base within 2 inches of the top of the black edging.

Step 3 – Mix the Concrete and the Pebbles
Mix the pebbles and the concrete together. If a cement mixer is available, it is better to use that. The mixer will ensure that the concrete to gravel ratio is consistent. If a mixer is not available, a mixing trough will work.

Step 4 – Pouring in the Mixture
Slowly pour the mixture inside of the base you formed. Smooth it out as it is poured so that it will level even. Pour the mixture until the depth reached is approximately 2 inches. Add more pebbles while the concrete is still wet. This helps fill the top two inches of the edging.

Step 5 – Leveling the Mixture
Use the 2 by 4 by 8 lumber to smooth the extra concrete away. This will push the pebbles down into the concrete. More pebbles can be added if they sink down too far. This mixture will need a few hours to cure. The instructions should give you the curing time needed.

Step 6 – Adding the Epoxy
Pour the epoxy on the very top of the flooring you just created. The epoxy needs to stay in the border of the edging. Let it fill in all the spaces of the pebbles. Wait 24 hours and add another layer of epoxy to the flooring. This will confirm that all pebbles are sealed.

Step 7 – Curing the Seal
The seal needs to cure before the flooring is used. Usually the label will let you know how long the epoxy will need to cure.

Marble flooring is a beautiful and unique fixture in any home. However, as any person with this type of flooring can attest, it requires careful maintenance and care in order to maintain its appearance and aesthetic. One of the best ways to keep your marble floor smooth and gleaming is by regularly buffing it. This process is quite easy and requires minimal time and effort. However, you must repeat it frequently in order to ensure that your marble flooring always looks its best. Read on for a brief guide on how to buff marble flooring.

What You’ll Need:
Tape measure
Broom and dust pan
Wet mop
Buffing machine (available at many home improvement stores or at rental agencies as well)
Marble cleaner solution

Step 1 – Determine which Machine to Use
Before you rent or buy a cleaning machine, you’ll need to know how much area you’ll be buffing out. Larger areas typically require larger machines. While a smaller machine will work for any job, you can save yourself time and effort by measuring out your space first. Take the square footage of the marble flooring in with you to the home improvement store or rental agency so that you can find the best machine for your needs.

Step 2 – Clean Off the Floor
Before you can properly buff the marble flooring, you’ll need to completely clean off the floor. Begin by removing any furniture, carpeting, debris or other objects that may be covering the marble floor. Use a broom and dust pan to thoroughly clean up any smaller debris or dirt from the floor. Double check that the flooring is completely clean before you plan to begin buffing the floor. If there is any debris remaining, it may be worked into the floor and may cause problems for the appearance of the marble.

Step 3 – Mop the Floor
After cleaning up any debris that might exist on the floor, use a wet mop to thoroughly clean up any sticky stains or other liquids that may have spilled since you last buffed the floor. You need not use cleaning solution at this point, but it’s important that you remove any dried liquids that have previously spilled in this area.

Step 4 – Buff the Floor
Set up the buffing machine according to the instructions for that equipment. Insert the cleaning solution into the buffing machine and carefully run the machine over the marble floor. If you are new to the process of buffing the floor, follow any instructions as provided to you be a representative at the rental agency or the home improvement store where you acquired the buffing machine.

Be sure to allow the cleaning solution time to dry before you walk on the floor again. If you’d like, you can mop up the floor once again after the cleaning solution has dried so that you can eliminate any shiny spots or uneven areas on the floor.