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Slate Care And Maintenance

TOPIC: Slate Cure / Clean

Slate Cure / Clean 2 weeks 5 days ago #2481

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Q 5448: My problem is two fold. First, the previous owner installed the slate floor in the bathroom with the toilet in place and where there was a gap (any where from a 1/2" to 1") he filled in with colored chalk. I want to repair this. If I do not or cannot remove all the chalk, will this effect my grout joints? Second, where the slate met the walls there is paint on the slate. Can I use ZIP STRIP (for paint and clear finishes) to remove this, without damage to the slate? Thanks for your time. Frank, July 23, Reply

Q 5445: Have installed brazilian cinza slate tiles in the kitchen (cleft finish) and same material in honed slab for the countertop. The kitchen is very small (140 sq feet) and the countertop is approx 7 feet with cutouts for sink and cooktop. Neither has been sealed and both have developed some stains. the countertop stains are food based and the floor are grease, garden soil, paint. I think I should seal both. How do I first clean the surfaces, and then what sealer would you recommend for each surface. I have an electric power washer and also a floor machine. thank you-- Naresh, July 23, Reply

Q 5444: We have a concrete base on a second level outdoor patio. Two years later, the slate is buckling up. Thin set was used to attach the slate to the concrete and grouting between the slate tiles. When you tap on the tiles, there seems to be a hollow sound underneath? Does this mean that it is loose? I’ve been told it does not. A outdoor waterproof sealer was used on the tile when the patio was built. How can I fix these tiles that have become loose and how can I prevent it from happening again? Many thanks. Howard, July 23, Reply

R1: First question is where did the slate come from? Was the bottom gauged? How thick was the material? And what is the drainage system like? Debra

Q 5443: I have a black slate counter top that came out of a doctors office and it looks like it has never been sealed, I want to put it outside on my deck and was wondering what would be the best sealer to use to keep it from getting stained and to bring out some shine?. Thanx, Frank, July 23, Reply

Q 5429: I am a builder and used slate on some decks on two houses which are above living areas. I used GlazeNSeal Multipurpose Sealer (2 coats) but I am experiencing a lot of efflorescence pushing out at the edges of the decks and getting onto the shingle siding. The decks were constructed with a pitch to the gutters and most of the effloresence goes into the gutters but I did not curb the edges (mistake!) and during heavy rains there is water and calcium salts pushed out the sides. I am looking for the best sealer to minimize the amount of water that pentrates the slate and grout lines. I know I can't stop it but if I can decrease the water volume it will hopefully run down into the gutters and not out the sides. Any recommendations on products??? I would appreciate your opinion. Thanks! Dan, July 23, Reply

R1: Miracle Sealer has a good sealer called Mira matt which should solve your problem Willard

Q 5422: Hi, I have a problem with my bathroom floor.......it is slate. I actually have slate in the kitchen and hall as well although it is fine. In the bathroom it appears that water has got underneath the sealer (I'm guessing). It is virtually white (my slate is very dark). It looks okay when you first mop it but when it dries the white patches come back. It is very frustrating. Can you sand slate? If you can, would the white patches just reappear with time or do you think that the sealing wasn't done properly. Looking forward to you advice. Sharyn, July 23, Reply

R1: Strip the sealer with acidtone from home depot (nail polish remover) or solvent and re-seal with good acrylic sealer or acrylic floor finish 3 coats Willard

Q 5420: How many types of bonding are there for marble? How many types of bonding are there for slate? July 22, Reply
R1: For marble there are two popular bonding agents, which are epoxy and two-part acrylic glue. The former (more expensive) is more apt for outdoor installations. The latter can be successfully used in indoor installations. About slate I don't know anything and I don't want to know anything! :) Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
R2: What do you mean by bonding? It is a counter top, floor or landscaping application? Honed or natural cleft? Debra

Q 5419: I bOUGHT SOME TAbLE TOPS FROM A SCHOOL LAb TO USE ON MY COUNTER TOPS CAN I REFINISH THIS AND SEAL IT. ALSO HOW DO YOU CUT SLATE WITH OUT bREAKING IT ANY INFORMATION WOULD GREATIL bE APPERCIATED. THANKS U T. July 22, Reply

R1: Slate is cut with diamond blades and water. Debra

Q 5417: I too am trying to get some scratches from slate - no more than a fraction of a mm deep. I've tried sandpaper, glasspaper, aluminium oxide sanding disk, slow speed, high speed, with and without water but all I remove is a microscopic amount of slate dust - I could be there for days ! Any ideas where I am going wrong - are some types of slate much harder than others (these are just common or garden wall tiles from the DIY store - no idea of their original source. Thanks Stephen, July 22, Reply

R1: Likely the softness is your problem. Usually, if a scratch occurs on a slate tile,, if it is natural cleft, you simply oil the scratch and it falls in line with the rest of the natural cleft. If the surface has been honed. Further minor honing and sealing should do it. Slate, like any other material can either be of low quality or high quality…Origin usually is a good indicator. Does the slate have pyrite? These corrode and allow pits to form, etc. Many slates from Asian countries are very soft and need to be sealed every three months or so… Debra C. Donovan

Q 5416: My husband and i are planning on installing black slate tile in our foyer. This is a first for us, we have installed ceramic but never slate. Other than sealing it is the installation different? Also, we are planning on cutting the 4 corners off, and placing a 2x2 inch green slate sqare between each black tile. How difficult is it to cut the tile, do I use the same wet saw I would use if I were installing ceramic. Thanks for any advice you can provide. Rachel, July 22, Reply

R1: Install like ceramic. Just remember to seal once before applying grout. This will ensure that the grout washes off the slate if it accidentally gets onto the slate. Debra C. Donovan

Q 5415: My Mom has two slate covered back stoops. Some of the slate pieces are starting to come off. I would like to try and repair it for her. Any suggestions? Thank you in advance for your help. Diane, July 22, Reply

Q 5414: We are building a home and want to use slate for our large fireplace surround, entry, porch, and basement stair landing. Can I buy slate from Home Depot that will be good for these applications and what can I expect to pay for black (gray) slate? Do some of the stores have better prices than others? I can go to Dallas to buy. Thank You!!! Donna Lewis, July 22, Reply

R1: If you purchase Vermont or Canadian or UK slate, you will be in good geology. Debra

Q 5413: I live in Vancouver, and would like to install a 16x16 black slate tiles for my kitchen floor, mostly because I want black, I like the look of natural stone, and apparently slate is a not as slippery as when wet as ceramic tiles can be (which makes sense in a kitchen)
I have read many questions on the findstone site, and it has just confused me even more, so many conflicting answers.
Are there differences between slates (aside from colour) if I am looking for black slate, is black slate, black slate? Or are there some that are better than others? Do I just tell my flooring contractor that I want black slate, and let him go get it?
I do prefer a little more shine than slate offers, and one tile store showed me how a few coats of sealer can make the slate less dull, yet I have read many q&a on this site that leads me to think this is not necessarily so.Thank you Marie, July 22, Reply

Q 5411: My neighbor removed all the slate from her yard. They are irregular pieces. Most at least one inch thick. Can I install this as a kitchen floor? Thanks! Annemarie, July 22, Reply

R1: We offer gauged irregular slate flooring. Coming from outdoors, need to know where it came from. You will have weight issues and installation will be more challenging where the slate is not all the same thickness and the bottom will not be perfectly flat. Debra

Q 5410: I am contemplating changing my exposed aggregate patio by overlaying it with slate flagstones. I prefer not to use cement as some people do. Can I use the sand method? The patio is quite low versus the house so I've plenty of room to put more layers on it w/o it becoming too high. If I use the sand method, do I also use grout? [This email was prepared using voice recognition software rather than keyboarding; please disregard any formatting glitches or the like. Sara, July 22, Reply

Q 5408: I recently had an outdoor slate floor (black with a blue-ish tint) installed. It's about 300 sq ft. The tiles are 2 foot square and 1 inch thick and are set at 3/4 inch spacing finished with a dark colored outdoor grout. Shortly after the installers left and after a few rainfalls, I noticed that a white-ish film was developing in a pattern matching the rain runoff. It looks a bit like efflorescence, but might be coming from the grout?
In addition, I'd like the color of the floor to be a richer, deeper color. Maybe not so flat.
I've read about color enhancers, but don't know if I also need a sealer and if so, is it applied before or after the enhancer. Finally, with the enhancer do the job of sealing the grout or does that need something completely separate.Anyway, I'd appreciate your help in this dilemma.If pictures would help, I'd be happy to send them.Regards, Rick July 22, Reply

R1: The grout is likely causing the problem. The grout would need to be sealed. If you used a slate oil/sealer, it could do both jobs for you. but you need to ensure that the surface is truly dry. Is there good drainage from your base?. Concrete absorbs water and the moisture is coming from the bottom. Debra C.

Q 5407: I just purchased a house and the black slate floor is starting to turn white and the surface is flaking. It turns out that in 1997 the floor was stripped and then a "wet look" lacquer was applied. Since then it has had coats of sealer to help it shine. I want to remove all coatings and start over from the bare stone/slate.What should I use to remove these finishes and how should I proceed in sealing it to get the dark black and low gloss look, July 22, Reply

R1: Paint stripper would likely work. but could do damage to the grout. The slate can withstand any chemical (if it is a quality slate) The grout is your weak link. Debra C. Donovan

Q 5406: I am putting a raised stacked stone hearth at my fireplace and need suggestions for a hearth cap. I want a surface that I can sit on and maybe set a drink on (not too uneven). I love slate and have slate designs in my kitchen backsplash which is adjacent to my fireplace room.Would slate be appropriate? If not, any suggestions? Pam, July 22, Reply

Q 5403: Laid 1200 square feet of slate outside on porch and patio. Though the installation looks fine, the finished used on it (Aqua Mix Stone Enhancer) seems to have created a dull, grayish look that makes all the color in the slate disappear, particularly in the sunlight. A few tile installers have looked at it and said it's not supposed to look like this. I hate the "shiny" look and want it to be natural stone look but with more color and maybe only a bit of a sheen that picks up light. Any suggestions? Thanks. Ann, July 22, Reply

Q 5402: I am studying an interior design course and currently have to do a paper on interior use of marble and slates. I am having difficulty getting technical information and are wondering if you can help me. below is a list of the information I need. Composition (i.e. calcium carbonate etc and what type of rock it is i.e. I know marble is metamorphic) Hardness (rating i.e.. Marble is 3 for soft and an explanation - "can be easily scratched") Absorption rating and what it absorbs (water / oil?) Sealants type used and why Cleaning and maintenance (what is it cleaned with - how often)binding process (I have no idea what a binding process is, why, what is used, etc) Fire classification (I think they want this one so you know if you can use it in a kitchen or fire hearth - not sure - there must be some sort of rating) Thermal value Acoustical value I would very much appreciate it if you can help.Thank you in advance Kind Regards, Robert Ross, July 22, Reply
R1: Dear Robert Ross: And who said that miracles don't exist? Look, an interior designer to be who wants to now something different than color!! :)I do believe I can answer most of your questions. Gimme a holler at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and get in touch with me. There's a little fee involved (as you will be told), but I'll be glad to help. Ciao and good luck,Maurizio, Expert Panelist

Q 5400: I have a concrete front porch. There are no cracks, but it is pitted in some areas. What tile would be appropriate for this space? Would 1/4" slate tiles work? What prep is needed prior to laying tiles or slate? I live in the north-east, so temperature change is a major factor. I have gotten conflicting information from the so called experts in the area. Your advice would be helpful. Thank you. Tracey, July 22, Reply

R1: We usually recommend thicker tiles for the exterior. This will help to protect the adhesive from condensation due to freeze/thaw cycles on sunny days. (Got this info from an old Italian tile person) Does make sense though. We have always suggested 1 -1.5 inches thick for exterior applications when wet laid and we have not had problems. Our stone has been freeze thaw tested, etc. Technical info on web site as well as installation info. Let me know if I can be of further service. Debra

Q 5404: I am building my first and last home. The overall look that I want is "rustic elegance." A full walk-out, poured concrete basement will be the center of attention. I want as low-maintenance as possible, and would sincerely appreciate your unbiased opinion. I like slate, stone, porcelain tile and granite. It seems your answers to most questions indicate that you prefer granite counter tops. How about the covering for the concrete floor? Granite or marble is too elegant for me here, so I would appreciate your suggestion for a care-free surface. Tim, July 22, Reply
R1: Dear Tim: Nothing is more care-free than porcelain tiles. What's also nice about them that they come in any type of "natural stone" looks. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
R2: Have you considered a high quality slate.? Geology is very important when dealing with stone materials. North American slates are ranked as the best in the world along with those from the UK.

Once installated, only need to wash with water and vinegar. If you have infloor heating the slate hold the heat really well. We usually suggest a thicker slate tile for these floors. (Same price whether tile is ½” or anything up to 1.5” thick. And we custom cut the tiles to any size) Not affected by salt or sand or chemicals. Let me know if I can be of further service.Debra
R3: You need the real thing - which is slate flooring - the perfect rustic low maintenance flooring Willard

Q 5398: I am looking at a roof in Enid, Oklahoma that is claimed to be damaged from the build-up of about 3 inches of ice over it full area. Ice remained for about 2 weeks before completely melting. Its a 12:12 slope. Reported to be 100 year old slate from Illinois, installed about 5 to 10 years years ago. Do you have any articles that dicuss the type of damage expected from such an occurance, and any comments would be appreciated.Thanks, Jerry, July 22, Reply

Q 5397: what kind of sealant should I use for a slate floor? what kind of thinset? grout? Kathy, July 22, Reply

Q 5396: I am currently installing a new bathroom with slate floor and shower. How should I initially treat the slate, and how should I best maintain it? James, July 22, Reply

Q 5394: I ran across your website regarding questions from readers. I am considering of installing slate in my entry and into the family room. What is your opinion on slate for such rooms. Also, advice on the specific type of slate on should install for such high traffic area. Also, is there any special care, of applying a shield or etc, that I need to be concern with? Any information you provide will be most appreciative. Thanks, Mike, July 22, Reply

Q 5393: Could you possibly tell me what to use on slate tile floors?I need something to clean them .Thank you, Linda, July 22, Reply

Q 5391: Hey There! We own a 70's house with a raised black slate hearth. We've actually painted the white grout black...hope this is ok {it looks 100x's better}.The slate now just needs to be perked up with a little polish or sealant. What are your suggestions? signed, barb, July 22, Reply

Q 5389: I broke a slate back to a sink, how can i repair it and hold it back together. it was a clean brake from the top to the bottom.thanks nathan, July 22, Reply

Q 5388: I need to know what I should do to get crayola crayon markings off of the slate on my fireplace base. I've scrubbed with soap and water on a scrubber sponge but it didn't work. I'm afraid to use a harsh chemical. Please help! Thanks Andrea, July 22, Reply

Q 5387: I have a problem with my bathroom floor.......it is slate. I actually have slate in the kitchen and hall as well although it is fine. In the bathroom it appears that water has got underneath the sealer (I'm guessing). It is virtually white (my slate is very dark). It looks okay when you first mop it but when it dries the white patches come back. It is very frustrating. Can you sand slate? If you can, would the white patches just reappear with time or do you think that the sealing wasn't done properly. Looking forward to you advice. Sharyn, July 22, Reply

Q 5385: I have multi-colored slate tiles to install in a new powder room. I want to select the ones with the most colors on them. How do I tell what they will look like when sealed? If I put water on them will that give me a resonable facsimile of what it will look like sealed? Thanks H. July 22, Reply

R1: Yes Debra


Q 5384: I have found a fire place in my mother’s house which was built in the early 1920’s. I have enclosed some photos as I am wondering if you can identify what type of stone it is. It looks like marble however it could be some sort of granite or slate or something else. I would like to restore the fire place but without knowing what it is I cannot do anything. Can you please please help me? Kind Regards Silvana, July 22, Reply

Q 5383: I have been contacted to be an import agent of slate and other stone from India in to the U.S. I need information on everything about being an Import /Export agent. I would appreciate it if you would email me the information.Thank you, Nina, July 22, Reply
R1: Dear Nina: If you want to sell slate, you will need to get three things and three things only: 1. A manual on marketing. 2. A magic sentence. 3. A good pair of earplugs. Let me explain what I mean and how you will be using the three means I listed for you.The first one is pretty much self-explanatory: you've got to learn how to sell the stuff, and the more you will sell of it the more money you will be making! Of course you won't have much time left to learn about what the heck you're selling, but it really doesn't matter. In fact, you do NOT want to know! The second, which is the magic sentence that you MUST learn by heart is: "All you have to do is seal it!" (Whatever that means! but then again it's not necessary to understand that, either.) In fact, here comes the last and most important "accessory" to the whole business: the earplugs. When somebody will come back complaining about the beautiful stuff you sold to them, and also report that the sealer turned out to be only the trading of a problem for another one, by wearing your all too precious earplugs, you will get away from any possible trouble totally unscathed! It does work! Look at this very site: How many complains come in about slate every single day! I had to stop answering them because in most instances they were without a solution, and the slate merchants who are involved in this site complained very loudly about my "attitude", which was hurting their business. Fine, I said, let them solve their own problems! Did you ever see that happening? Not a chance! The earplugs are on all the time! :) Ciao and good luck,Maurizio, Expert Panelist
R2: If you want to sell slate, sell the geology of it. Slates coming from certain geologies are very soft and need to be sealed just about every month. Quality geology, as found in Canada, Vermont and UK are a lot less work. If installed properly, they are worry free. Problem is that low quality product is being dumped into our high end North American markets and the consumer needs to be educated about the different geologies and how that affects the performance of different slates. Most of the problems from slate consumers is that they likely purchased a very soft, low price imported slate. Debra

Q 5366: I've been seeing a lot of front stoop makeovers on television. Mostly, they cover the concrete with pretty slate. I would love to do this, but we're in Minnesota, and don't know if that is the best stone to use in this climate. I would certainly appreciate your advice! July 14, Reply

Q 5360: I am considering several stones for my kitchen countertops: brazilian green slate; a jura green German limestone; a black (with white veins) Italian limestone; and a grey Irish limestone. I know granite is probably the best choice for kitchen countertops, but I do not like granite. Can you comment on the pros and cons of the brazilian slate, vs. the limestones. I was also considering a Vermont slate, but it is significantly more expensive than the brazilain slate. Is it worth the price difference? Thanks in advance for your advice. Liz, July 14, Reply
R1: Dear Liz: In my opinion, none of the materials you listed is suitable for a busy kitchen countertop. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
R2: We install 5 kitchen counter tops per week with brazilian Slate mostly honed or natural black which is more a dark grey but some green as well - it is very succesful and we cannot keep enough slab material in stock at the moment. We do both slate and lime stone in flooring and counter tops, Wilard
Q 5347: I have slate flooring on my floors in the foyer, hall, 1/2 bath and wet bar room. I have no idea what kind it is, but the base color is dark grey with some green in it. It's dull, and lifeless. Is there any sealer that will make it shine like glass? Would any of the interior concrete sealers that are buff-ed to a high gloss work? Not only is this same slate on the floors that run throughout this house but the remodel contractor that I was told did the work 10 years ago put it on the wet bar counter top and back splash. When its wet it's it looks great, but dries dull. Help me. All the natural stone stores I've been to here in Cleveland Ohio have told be there is nothing that can be done to make it shine. The cost of replacing it is more than my husband is willing to spend. Thanks in advance - Roxanne, July 02, Reply

R1: A good acrylic floor finish will do the job - which can be purchased from any good janitorial place , Willard

Q 5341: We are building a "hearth" out of natural slate to place our free standing propane stove on. How do I bring out and maintain the natural wet look? Does the grout have to cure for any period of time before we can seal it? Darline, July 02, Reply
R1: Dear Darline: Consider the application of a good-quality stone color enhancer. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5335: I am putting in a granite or slate kitchen counter top and granite bathroom tops in my new condo. Your site was very informative. I am also beginning to work with local contractors in their business to assist with material acquisition. Alice, July 02, Reply
R1: Dear Alice: And the question is … Ciao and good luck, Maurizio.
Q 5331: I have an area that will not grow grass well. It is an area shaped like a lope-sided tear drop. I have been thinking of putting down some stone. Slate has come to mind. However I am not interested in putting any mortar between the stones (whatever kind) I use. My question then is how to do this so that the stone will remain still and shift at a very minimum. With other stones there are instructions on how to handle the ground (till, put in sand, etc., etc.). Do I have an option here with slate? Please advise, July 02, Reply
Q 5330: We have a black slate fireplace mantel that looks more gray than black. Can we use a sealer to darken the color? If so, what sealer do you recommend? Thanks! Cherie, July 02, Reply
R1: Dear Cherie: A good quality stone-color enhancer should do the trick for you. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5328: I am planning to have a slate patio installed. Our water is extremely hard with lots of calcium + other minerals. The water will surely leave unsightly deposits and staines within a few weeks. Is there a sealer that can prevent this? I read about Cabot offering a waterproofing sealer with Teflon. Does this make any sense? Richard, July 02, Reply

Q 5325: I am attempting to lay 12x12 black slate tile floor in my kitchen and am finding inconsistencies in advice from many experts...i am hoping you may assist me....
1. i currently have linoleum that is well adhered and had planned on laying 1/4 inch concrete board without removing the lino...is this ok?
2. i am certain that i want a satin finish, but there seems to be a discrepancy at what point to seal the slate...should i seal each piece individually before installation, seal after installation but before grouting, or after grouting???
3. what type of sealer would you recommend for a high traffic and possible spillage area??? shane, July 02, Reply

Q 5324: I recently installed 4x4 slate on a Hardibacker wall (with one inch air gap) behind a pot belly wood stove. My question is about gloss sealers. Is there a special product which can take the intense heat in a stove area? Is lacquer base better than water base? Tomy, July 02, Reply

Q 5314: I just had my bathroom remodeled with a natural "rainforest" slate (greenish with tan and brown fossil patterns, probably from India) on the floor, countertop and tub surround and backsplash. I want it to look the way it looks when I sponge water on it, but not shiny. I've been told to use "color enhancer" but need to know which product is best. Should it be "surface" or "penetrating", acrylic or urothane, does it need to be a sealer as well, and is there a difference between the high-priced brands and those that are more affordable? Deanna, July 01, Reply
R1: Dear Deanna: A color enhancer is a below surface (penetrating, that is) product; therefore it will darken the stone without altering the original surface finish. You can get my maintenance guidelines for residential stone installations by giving me a holler at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . They do carry a small price tag, but are worth every single penny and then some! It’s a one-of-a-kind document that you won’t find anywhere else, I promise! What’s more, I will also tell you a way to get your money back!Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist

Q 5309: My home is 60 plus years old. The fireplace hearth is made out of slate (I think). I have tried many different ways (wax, marble polish, etc.) to bring out some luster but I am getting no way. I don't want it shiny, I just don't want it as dull as it is. Any ideas. Thanks, Kimberly, July 01, Reply
R1: Dear Kimberly: Sure, I’ve got plenty of ideas! but the slate people don’t like them very much for some reason. See my answer to the post 5308 below. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio
Q 5307: I picked up a sample of 12 X 12 slate at Lowe's and I am considering it for a kitchen, laundry room and bathrooms. What are the advantages and disadvantages of slate? Is slate hard on the feet? I have difficulty telling which side is up/down. Also it appears that there are layers of slates in this material when viewed from the edges. Any advice you can give would be helpful. I plan to install myself after much study. I have installed tile but never slate. Sincerely, Fred , July 01, Reply
R1: Dear Fred: Let me start from the pros of slate flooring in a kitchen, laundry room and bathroom … hmmm … I must have a temporary loss of memory, because I can’t remember any. Ok, let’s get to the cons; I remember those! … Oh, I’m sorry, I can’t say them: the slate people would get upset, and we don’t want that to happen, do we?! :-) Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5303: I have a vermont slate foyer and the grout between the slates I would like to remove. I have already tried removing some of it with carbide bits attached to dremel tools and hand grout removal tools, and the process is very slow and tedious. The grout has a consistency like mortar, is that normal?If you know of a better and faster method to remove this grout I would appreciate knowing Also, how deep do I have to remove the grout to get a good bond with new grout? Thanks, Dennis, July 01, Reply
Q 5302: We are looking to install slate flooring . What bare the best tips for this procedure? The surface to be tiled is smooth concrete, with no cracks. What is the best
adhesive to use? Should we seal the tiles before doing the grouting na dthen again
afterwards? Jonathan, July 01, Reply
R1: Dear Jonathan: You don’t want to know what I think about slate floors; therefore I won’t make any comment. About your questions, I reckon that them slate people who don’t like me too much should try to find some time out of their busy selling schedules to answer them. It never happened before, but, like the saying goes, there’s always a first time for everything! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5296: I would like to seal floor of bathroom and shower, made of black slate. I would like a semigloss appearance, Sandra, July 01, Reply

Q 5295: Split some red candle wax on my unsealed slate fireplace hearth. Having read through your comments to others, am I correct to conclude nailpolish remover or acetone may get the wax and stain out of the light grey slate. A poor attempt with scraping, then scouring it out only seemed to make the wax go deeper into the slate....haste makes waste. What should I do? betsy, July 01, Reply

Q 5294: Can you use Mastic to adhere slate to wall? I'm planning to cut slate into 4 X 12 rectangles and mounting on wall to use as "baseboard". Thanks, Mark, July 01, Reply

Q 5293: How do I clean crayon scribbling off of a slate fireplace ? Anthony, July 01, Reply

Q 5290: Hello, I have access to beautiful slightly used slate roof tiles. They are in various shades of gray. I was thinking about using them as my counter top material or possibly as floor tiles. Is this being done? What are some of the things I will need to be concerned about. We are a organic household and enjoy the possibility of using this renewable source. Thank you for any thoughtful feed back, Candus, July 01, Reply

Q 5287: I have a 90+yr old house with a black slate sink. The sink is structurally sound but somewhat greying... I have noticed some people have some very black slate sinks. Is there a simple way to clean up or polish the sink, Dan, July 01, Reply

Q 5135: My husband and I are building a home and I have been trying to decide on a material for the kitchen countertop. At this point, I think I want to go with slate tile but I'm finding a wildly varying price range. There is one place online that sells "brazilian" slate in varying sizes for about $2.50 per sq ft.
1. Is all brazilian tile the same hardness and porosity?
2. If it is an inferior tile, can the porosity problem be fixed with a good sealant?
3. What is considered a minimum thickness for a kitchen tile?
Sorry for all the questions, but this is a big step for us and I want to be sure. A big slab of stone is way out of our budget, but I am also leery of a price that seems to good to be true. Sincerely, Judy, June 3, Reply
R1: Judy: Let me explain you something: I'm a maintenance man, and I HAD to write postings against slate (especially in a kitchen!) on the account of all the complaints and gripes that end-users have with such a material. However, the slate merchants who use this wonderful site for their trade complained quite loudly with its management because my comments were hurting their business. I believe that what was hurting their business were the complaints themselves, not my comments, but I decided not to follow up any longer slate posts. At the same time I encouraged those merchants to take care of their own customers. I think it's only fair. The complaints kept coming in like clockwork, but never received one single follow up. They were too busy selling it, I reckon. I promised then that I wouldn't make any comments about slate anymore and I'm going to keep that promise, but I sincerely hope - also considering that you don't sound extremely wealthy - that you can draw your own conclusions. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5154: Planning to use slate on the floor of my cabana, should I seal it and if so will it be slippery? Margie, June 3, Reply
R1: Hi Margie, Depends on the sealer-seal on tile and try it on site. If there is going to be a high level of moisture or water I would seal it with an impregnator rather than topical sealer. Topical sealers can give you a real headache in the future "Stone"

Q 5162: I just purchased 40 - 12"x12" inch sheets of 2"x2" slate to use for a kitchen backsplash. The Chinese slate is all covered with mud which hides the true color. I have spent over 1 hour trying to clean 1 sheet and am making little progress. I have used a wet sponge and scrub brush which is removing it slowly. I plan to use and enhancer and selant before installing. Any suggestions on removing the mud ? Thanks, Stern, June 11, Reply
R1: Dear Stern:You do NOT want to know what I think about your problem. I sure hope that the slate merchants will chime in! (Don't hold your breath, though…)Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist

Q 5186: I recently purchased and installed a multi-classic slate. I sealed the slate with a penetrating sealer prior to grouting the floor. I am unable to restore the original appearance of the tile prior to grouting. I have tried a stone cleaner and also applied another coat of the penetrating sealer and am unable to remove the haze from the tile. I read a few previous questions/answers and I would like to verify with you what I have read: 1. a 50/50 soluton of muratic acid and water will remove the haze and NOT harm the tile? 2. a surface sealer will give the tile a "wet look" without a glossy look - you mentioned a product called Miton 42 that would work best - how/where can I purchase this product? Regards, Shawn, June 16, Reply

R1: Dear Shawn: Where are the slate people when you need them? Sorry, they are too busy selling the stuff! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist

Q 5193: We just put a natural black slate on our kitchen floor and i feel as though it is not clean i like the natural look but for my sanity i think we'll have to put something on it lots of kids and pets running around what should i do? thank you kim, June 16, Reply
R1: Probably a good top finish will help a lot. Try one tile and use it for a week, see how it performs. Stone

Q 5201: Just installed a new slate floor outdoors around our home pool and deck in South Florida--about half will be under roof. It is Indian slate. The colors run from blue-black to yellow mud. Some is very flaky. We like the way all that looks and picked the slate partly because it seems to be relatively non-slip. From reading the questions about slate, I wonder if there is a problem with it bleaching in the sun or deteriorating in other ways. Should we seal it? With what? We are satisfied with a natural dull look, but some sheen would be OK if it did not make it slippery. I have talked to one company that is recommending a two-part finish that they make. They say they will add non-slip and it will last 10 years. Two coats will cost about half the price of the slate, which seems high. but my big concern is that it will look like linoleum. If I wanted that, I would not have laid slate. Any suggestions will be welcome. John, June 16, Reply
R1: Dear John: Just sit tight and some slate people will chime in with all the answers! … I hope … You see the reason why you always read questions about slate is because the slate people, so far, never bother answering them. but … you don't want to give up your hopes! :-) Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist

Q 5216: I have just had slate floors installed in a bathroom and sunroom in my house. The advice on sealing and how to seal is very spotty and conflicting. My contractor told me to wait several days to let the stone cure and then to sponge on a thin coat of sealer. The product instructions say I should let the floor cure for thirty days, wash it with acid wash and then apply sealer with a lambswool applicator. All of the websites I have read say that I should not use any kind of acid on stone floors. I am totally confused and I wanted to get it done today before company arrives tomorrow for the holiday weekend. This brings me to my last question. How long does the sealer need to dry? My contractor said for about 8 hours. No one else gives specific information. Just instructions to wait until the sealer is dry. -Dayna, June 17, Reply
R1: Dear Dayna: Just sit tight and some slate people will chime in with all the answers! … I hope … You see, the reason why you have all these conflicting opinions is because the slate people are too busy selling the stuff to bother assisting their own customers. but … you don't want to give up your hopes! :-) Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist

Q 5241: I just bought some african multicolor autumn slate to use for my kitchen counters but I was trying to clean it before installing it and all the orange and red color keeps coming off-it seems no matter how many times I brush it (I am using a firm brush with water and laundry detergent) I continue getting a residue and the bright colors are becoming very dull and dark-is this normal or did i get a bad batch of slate-please help! thank you Pat, June 20, Reply
R1: Yes it is normal. Ciao Stone
R2: You need to apply a sealer to stop the color from coming off - the color will be enhanced and your tile protected with a gfood acrylic sealer.Willard
Q 5256: I'm building a patio deck on the back end of my house In Portland or of course it rains alot here. I'd like to accent the steps with and outdoor tile like Slate or Granite. How do I prepare the step surface I've done alot of ceramic tile and marble flooring inside but this is the first time for outside. Can I use a plywood base if si do I need the hard backer board and do I use a sanded grout to fill the spacing or is there something else I can use. Thanks, Don, June 20, Reply
R1: Hi Don, I prefer using cement boards followed with a membrane over it. Im not familiar here with the term hard backer board. I would also use epoxy joints to complete work. Follow the directions from your local glue supplier, thats the best way to have a good guarantee. Stone
Q 5260: I have multi-colored slate tiles to install in a new powder room. I want to select the ones with the most colors on them. How do I tell what they will look like when sealed? If I put water on them will that give me a resonable facsimile of what it will look like sealed? Thanks H, June 23, Reply
R1: Hi H, yes it will bUT, you should be presealing them, it makes it much easier to clean and you can actually see the colors before you lay them down. Choose an area larger than the actual floor to be done (ex. garage) lay them down in the same configuration as the washroom and apply a coat of appropriate sealer. As they are wet you will see all the colors vividly. All you have to do is move them around like a puzzle in the layout of choice. Turn them and mark them 1,2,3 , etc., (on the underside) That's it. Your installer can no longer make a mistake and you have the floor looking the way you like it. Ciao Stone

Q 5261: I was considering a slate countertop. Is this a good material to use and how does it compare to granite, soapstone or corian in cost? Thank you. Power, June 23, Reply
R1: Dear Power: It does NOT compare with any of the materials you listed. And you do NOT want to know what I think about slate kitchen countertops! (Actually, I'm sure you would, but the slate people would get pretty upset, and we don't want to do that, do we?!) Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5062: I am in the process of laying a rough JACK bLACK slate floor in India, and find that the material has arrived with scratches from the quarry - as a result of the transport, and abrasion of one tile against the other. Can these scratches be removed - would a coating on the stone help remove these scratches... they are not very deep but do mar the visual quality of the surface. I do not mind a darkening of the slate with a coating. Could you recommend an appropriate sealant. thanks Anjani , May 29, Reply
R1: Dear Anjani: I have not the faintest idea! (Or maybe I do …) At any rate, slate manufacturers do read these postings all the time. (In fact they got very upset when I was making not so flattering comments about slate in general!) Unfortunately, they are so busy selling their stuff that they have no time to help any of their customers out! but I am sure that in your case they will make an exception and solve your problem in a jffy! Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 5031: We have a builders grade slate fireplace surround and hearth in black. it always looks chalky. could you recommend a cleaning method and solution to seal the slate to bring out a richer color. John, May 02, Reply
R1: Dear John:Yes, you could apply a good-quality stone color enhancer. If you want to know more, gimme a holler. Maurizio
Q 5024: We are planning to move an older billiard table from one home to another home, a distance of about 10 miles. We plan to rent a 14-foot U-Haul truck. The slate, which is 3/4 to an inch thick, is ONE PIECE of approximately 4 feet wide by 8 feet long (we are not sure but guess that it weighs about 800 pounds). What are the recommended ways to truck this piece of slate without cracking it or damaging it? We have asked numerous movers and billiard table personnel this question and have received a lot of conflicting answers, including 'lay if flat on the truck bed', 'lay it flat on pallets', 'lay it flat on blankets', 'do not lay if flat', 'use an A-Frame', 'truck it on edge'. etc. So we think we need a conclusive answer from any expert. Zoppettie, May 02, Reply
R1: Zoppettie, The A-frame is your best bet for shipping the stone without damage. I try to ship anything under 3 inches thick upright. Thin stone should be moved around much the same as a sheet of glass. Good luck, JVC, Expert Panelist
Q 5079: I work in a wholesale brick & tile company in Nebraska. We sell some tumbled marble, travertine, slate, granite, and limestone. Can you tell me the differences between the tumbled marble, travertine and limestone. Also, honed, filled and polished marble, etc. This is very confusing to me when trying to explain to a customer. Also, I know it depends on where it comes from. I am just looking for a general description of how it is formed from the earth and by man when sold. Thank you for any help you can offer. Julie, May 29, Reply
R1: See the Library of Articles in this site itself
Q 5450: We have a small black slate floor in the foyer of our home. We have light white scratches in the floor from the kids playing with their toys. Should I use baby oil to take away the scratches or should baby oil not be used for floor? Chris
Q 5449: Will a sealant help prohibit iron from weeping through the surface of green slate? Jim,
Q 4661:I am buying a new home, actually an old home. Gutting the kitchen. I’ve always loved carrera marble but know that its awful for kitchen counters due to stains etc. So I’ve moved off that and am now very fond of French blue limestone...however you state that limestone is equally as awful for countertops...so here’s my dilemma. I want real stone—not Caesarstone or Silestone—and I absolutely disliked granite. So what are my options? Travertine? Slate? Soapstone? Any thoughts/advice would be greatly appreciated. Andrea, april 9, Reply
R1: We instal 5 kitchen per week of brazilian slate tops - it is very good product for kitchens - bathrooms etc.Willard
Q 4631: We just bought and installed a cast iron fireplace with a black slate hearth. It came with a smooth flat finish, all matt black, but no polish. While doing the decorating, some patches of stong wallpaper paste got onto the hearth, and some small spots of danish oil which had been used to repolish a coffee table.I can't seem to shift these substances, no matter what i try. I triepntd turps substitute (white spirit?), then a soft finish remover which is similar to white spirit, then what I believed to be an acetone liquid sold for removing sticky gluey things. Nothing moved the paste or spot of oil.I don't know what to do next. I'd be very grateful for your help and advice. Is it possible to use harsher things, or to use wire wool or a scouring pad for instance? I do not want to damage the hearth stone.We have another similar black slate hearth, and that one came polished. Can you give me any advice on polishing the unfinished one.Thanks in advance. Tricia, april 9, Reply
Q 4610: We just moved into a house 2 months ago with a screened in porch. It looks like it has a slate floor. However, it looks like the "slate", which is wet, is turning to mud! HELP. What is this and how do we care for it? Fran, March 29, Reply
Q 4600: I am installing multi color slate floors in my kitchen and family room. Should I seal with and enhancer or sealer or both? Does this seal the grout also, or do I have to use a different product? Please advise, March 29, Reply
Q 4524: We are purchasing a home with a fireplace. The previous owners painted over the slate type stones surrounding the fireplace with latex paint and possibly a primer. We want to remove the paint and bring the stone back to it's original state. Any ideas/suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Gayle, March 27, Reply
Q 4523: I am about to renovate the kitchen of my 1915 Victorian. I am trying to keep the appearance appropriate to the age of the house. Therefore polished granite is not the look I am striving for. I am interested in a countertop that provides a dark, dull, solid appearance, without the speckles typical of granite. I am interested in Pietra Cardoso, soapstone, slate, black-honed granite and any other product that fits this description. I would like to know how each of these stones reacts to spills, such as wines and oils and scratches. I am also interested in the maintenance requirements of each. I don't mind having to do monthly treatment, but don't want to have to do anything other than a wipe down each day. I also don't mind a stone that will take on a worn look with age but I want to avoid obvious staining. Also, is there a way to prep a stone when it is installed in order to prevent scratches and permanent staining? Jocelyn, March 26, Reply
R1: We sell 5 kitchen a week in slate counter tops in both honed surface and natural cleft - brazilian slate in almost impregnablke to spills once treated with mineral oil a monthly or bi-weekly treament - should a serious stain occur it is simply remover with 1200 grid emery paper - I have it in my house and would have nothing else - both from a maintenance point of view and mostly from an eye pleasing perspective.Willard
Q 4522: A small piece of slate (about six inches long, three inches wide) chipped off a slate porch. Can I glue it back on with epoxy or some other glue? Thanks. Eric, March 26, Reply
Q 4521: I would like to know more about the charactoristics of natural stones. Specifically granite, limestone, sandstone, marble, slate and flint. Thank you, Margaret, March 26, Reply
Q 4520: I am a contractor. I get many calls for natural stones applications and installation for marble, granite slabs and tiles, tumbled stones and slate. I would like info on installation tips and techniques. Thank you, Dustin, March 26, Reply
Q 4501: My daughter wants to put "Jet Mist" honed granite on her countertop - can you guide me re maintenance and if this is a good choice - She wanted a slate-look. She has a large family (5 children) and would appreciate any advice you may give. Thanks. Alicia, Feb 14, Reply
Q 4495: I recently bought tiles labelled "slate" at a building superstore to put on the floor of a new mudroom. They were inexpensive and rough looking, which seemed reasonable for an entry that sees hard use. I was not looking for a high end kind of surface. The sample tiles looked beautiful, with mottled soft gray and rusty brown surface. They were labelled made in China. THe installer has cemented them down, and I was surprised to see that the colouring on most of the pieces were much darker gray and very deep rust. Jan 9, Reply
Q 4491: Does anyone know how i can use the thick slurry in the quarries at Portland here in England to fire it ? Apparantly it just needs some chemicals added, any clues ? Greetings Sharon, Jan 9, Reply
Q 4419: I do not now who this MAURIZIO guy is that is giving all this advice but he should get alittle more info on stuff he speaks about. All slate is not the same we quarry vermont slate and all the stuff he speaks about slate does not include Vermont slate It works great in Kitchens, bathrooms, and it can br sealed with natural oils corn vere, ect. and when all these people are ttalking about discoloration on their floors thats from the wrong type of cleaners being used, the brown discoloration can be removed, After reading some of his stuff If I was lookingto purchase slate he sure would turn me off. So why not tell that all slates are not the same. STEPHEN, Jan5 Reply

Q 4109: I have been having a very difficult time cleaning my slates floors. Everyone tells me to do a different thing to do. What should I do? I have black slate in my shower and on the floors. In the past I used Miracle sealer and Miracle enhancer. My floors and shower have white marks coming out. It looks very dirty. Please help! Dana, Nov2. Reply
R1: Dear Dana: For your mental well being, rip it out and start all over with a more proper stone. Maurizio
R2: Dana, Please do not rip it out. It is Perfect. You just have calcium deposits. LimeAway and elbow grease will take it off. Once you have that done then re-seal the shower with an acrylic solvent based sealer. This will protect the surface of the stone. Do this Once a year and you should have No troubles. best Regards, Stephen, Slate Expert - Canada
Q 4121: I have scratched some slate tile on my floor with a piece of machinery and do not know how to treat this scratch. It is fairly deep, about 1/8", and fairly long and wide. I would rather not replace the tile, so do you have any suggestions about repairing this scratch? I saw your article about contacting you concerning the correct tools to perform this operation. I hope you can elaborate, bob, Nov2. Reply
R1: Dear bob: Nobody can remove a scratch. It would be like trying to remove a hole out of doughnut! What you should do is to eat the doughnut and the hole is gone! Same thing with your slate: you'd have to grind your tile along the scratch down to the depth of it, and the scratch is gone. The only unsurmontable problem is that you can't grind natural-cleft finished stone. This is by far the major draw-back with natural-cleft slate used as a flooring material: it can't be refinished. Forget it, replace the tile. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
R2: bob, just wet the surface and stand back and see if it kind of disappears. If it does just dab a bit of acrylic sealer on it. If it doesn't work then try to match a grout color to the slate and fill the trench in with some grout. Then seal the grout. best Regards, Stephen, Slate Expert, Canada.
Q 4200: I'm planning on installing clefted slate on a bathroom floor. Is it ok to use Aldon's Grout Easy to prevent grout build up on the slate? Also should I use a sealer? Water based or solvent? Lyssa, Nov15. Reply
R1: Lyssa, I do not know anything about Aldons Grout Easy. The best looking Slate floor that I have seen is a floor that was installed and grouted then 10 days later we sealed it with an acrylic solvent based sealer. A clean bucket of water and good sponges will do the job. Do not waste your money on high priced products. best Regards, Stephen, Slate Expert, Canada
Q 4112: Our home was built in 1980 and has a slate foyer. Not to our surprise, the underlayment used was not sufficient and the floor is now quite loose. What do we need to do to repair the loose tiles and what type of grout and sealant do you advise we use to protect the flooring? Also, how long does it take for the repairs take to hold? Liz, Nov2. Reply
R1: Liz, Try to remove the tiles and not break them. Then try to remove the thinset underneath. Then just re-install the tiles and grout them and re-seal the surface with an acrylic solvent based sealer. best Regards, Stephen, Slate Expert, Canada.
Q 4125: We built a new home with slate surrounding the fireplace and on the hearth.
I believe it is an Indian slate ("beach sand" color), which has not been honed. The color is very light and we want to darken it quite a bit to bring out the natural colors and depth. I tested two products by Aqua Mix on some leftover pieces -- "Stone Enhancer" (water based formula) and "Low Sheen Sealer". They both barely hardly darkened the slate at all. We want it much richer and darker, with minimal sheen. What product should we use?
No products have been applied the the slate so far. Thanks. brenda brenda, Nov5. Reply
R1: Dear brenda: None. Get a darker slate. Maurizio
R2: brenda, Maurizizo do not know what he is talking about. He is prone to Marble and not slate. It is like asking a Santa Claus how he delivers his Easter Eggs. O.K. beach Sand is a color that we sell in North America. There is a Product that makes it wet looking called Miton 42. Try to wet it and see if you like the darkness. Look up Miton 42 on the Internet and you should find us. We sell it. It will do exactly do what you want. best Regards, Stephen, Slate Expert, Canada
Q 4140: My friend has black slate in her entryway. She was thinking of covering it with another flooring product. I was wondering if she can lighten or change the color by using some sort of acidic liquid. The slate is about 30 years old, and has not been sealed in probably 30 years, so it is quite pourous. It appears to be sawn slate, it is very flat, symmetrical squares, Nancy, Nov6. Reply
R1: Dear Nancy: No, black slate is not porous at all. That's why they use it as roofing material. Tell your friend to go with her original idea to have a new floor installed (not slate, I hope!). Maurizio
R2: Nancy, re-install a new slate floor. You will love the feel of the imported slates. The material that you have is from Quebec. but no you will not change the color by adding acid or other topical substances. best Regards, Stephen, Slate Expert, Canada
Q 4182: What's your opinion about slate as a countertop material. Does it need to be sealed? Are the minor scratches a problem. bottom line: Is it tought enought for a high traffic kitchen with 3 kids and lots of cooking? Lisa.J, Nov14. Reply
R1: Dear Lisa; No, it does not need to be sealed. It needs to be totally forgotten about, and big time, too!! You do NOT want any slate it in your kitchen! Maurizio
R2: Lisa, We are installing about 10 Kitchens a day with brazillian slate for countertops. We seal ours with Mineral oil once or twice a month. It will handle the kids. Mineral oil takes the scratches and makes them disappear. Slate is Great. best Regards, Stephen, Slate Expert, Canada
Q 4224: I am at the grouting stage, and I was told by the slate company that the impregnator sealant will seal that grout as well as the slate. What I am wondering is, do I still have to wet mop the grout 2x a day for three days before I seal the floor or can I seal 24 hours after grouting and leave it at that. (I already have one layer of impregnator on.) Thanks. Shari, Nov20. Reply
R1: Dear Shari: Well, for starters, your fisrt layer of impregnator shoud be IN, not ON. Second you want to leave the grout cure for a few days before you seal it. Maurizio
R2: Shari, Maurizio finally has something good to say, for once. You should of let the grout cure for at least 7-10 days. but you do not need to mop the floor that much. best Regards, Stephen, Slate Expert Canada
Q 4229: I have a vermont slate entry foyer. It is down with mastic on the 3/4" decking of the house can I ruff the surface and install tile over it? Nov21. Reply
R1: You can and we have do it but I will not recommend it. It do not take long to rip out the old slate and put in new slate. best Regards, Stephen, Slate Expert, Canada
Q 4234: I am about to lay a brasil Verde slate floor with tiles of 30x30cm to be finished with a matt sealant. Can you suggest a colour for the grouting? Also what distance would you recommend between the tiles? Thanks Amanda, Nov21. Reply
R1: Amanda, You can use a green colored grout but I would use just Natural Grey grout. and the grout lines be about 1/4" wide. best Regards, Stephen, Slate Expert, Canada
Q 4235: My spouse and I just installed an African Slate flooring, it's beautiful, but do we need to do anything else? (ie seal it?). Lydia, Nov21. Reply
R1: Yes, Lydia, you should seal it. If you like it when you wet the surface the use an acrylic solvent based sealer. It will pull out the colors. best Regards, Stephen , Slate Expert, Canada
Q 3069: Firesurround, in old painted slate, not sealed colour uneven, can see black in patches allover, how do i restore?, any advice would be helpful. thankyou, Clare, Oct 21. Reply
:R1: Clare, you need to get a stripper and stirp the surface back down to the raw surface and let dry. Then re-seal the slate and away you go. best Regards, Stephen, Slate Expert, Canada
Q 3093: How do you get white bleach spots off of a non-sealed black slate table top? The bleach bottle left huge white spots where it was sitting? Doesnt wash off. My boss is very upset, Vince, Oct 23. Reply
R1: Dear Vince: Well, the only good thing in this picture is that it happened to your boss
and not to you! The only way to "remove" bleach marks is to do the same thing that you do when fabric is bleached, which is: NOTHING! Anyway, if the table top was ground and honed having it re-ground and re-honed by a professional stone refinisher will do the trick. If it's a natural cleft finish, then it's terminal. And, by the way, sealing it with a stone impregnator will hardly do anything even for the future. Maurizio
R2: Vince if you wet the white surface, does it disappear. If so put a coat of acrylic sealer over top . First try to pour pure Muratic acid on it and scrub with gloves on and then rinse it off. Then seal it. best Regards, Stephen, Slate Expert, Canada
Q 3096: I bought a pool table from a friend of mine and i was wondering if there is a secret to filling in the screw holes with wax, filling the seams with wax (three piece slate), and putting the felt back on. if I could get some instruction on these matters it would be much appreciated. Thanks.Tim, Oct 23. Reply
Q 3047: email me relevant information on tiling my fireplace with slate. I've already tiled it. My concern is wether or not I should apply a sealer prior to grouting. If so which would be best to use for slate. Thank You, brady, Oct 19. Reply
R1: Dear brady: What do you plan to spill on your slate that you feel like you need to seal it?! If you're thinking about a topical sealler (Urethane or such), then you want to apply that a few days after grouting.Maurizio
R2: Put a coat of Acrylic sealer on it and that will make it look nice. best Regards, Stephen, Slate Expert, Canada
Q 4042: I have what I believe is a slate floor in the entry of my home which was built in 1967. based on the condition of other parts of the house, I don't think it has been cared for properly. What is the proper care for a slate floor? Is there any way to "lighten up" or enhance the color of the floor? Thanks, Joan, Oct 24. Reply
R1: Dear Joan: Rip it out. You'll be glad you did! Maurizio
Q 4023: we are in the process of looking at slate for a shower. The slate is from China and the various colors are gorgeous. We would like some advice about using Color Enhancer to bring out the natural color and than using a sealer to help reduce some of the problems that may result from using slate in a shower. Is it advisable to use a color enhancer first, let it cure and then go with a sealer? Charity, Oct 24. Reply
R1: Dear Charity: Yes, that's what you have to do. Maurizio
Q 4022: My son recently purchased a coffee table with a hexagonal slate top. The slate is a dark charcoal gray, is very rough-surfaced and is sealed. There are some round light gray stains and a few scratches in the slate. What is the best was to return the top to a uniform color. He has tried to clean it with tri-sodium phosphate and other "home made" cleaners, with no avail. Do we need to strip the top and reseal? Ed, Oct 24. Reply
Q 3057: I have cleft copper slate from India in a foyer. It was installed seven years ago and finished with Sparks Stone Glamor. The slate still looks good but i was wondering what should be used for general cleaning and whether it would be advisable to apply more of the finish after a good cleaning. basically nothing has been used on the stone except damp mopping and vaccuuming from day one. Thanks for any input. Jim, Oct 20. Reply
R1: Dear Jim: I don't know this "Sparks Stone Glamour" product. Is it a strippable topical finish, or a permanent one (Urethane-based or something)? Without that piece of information I can't give you any advice. Maurizio
Q 3059: We have just had a new slate floor installed in our basement. After 1 week, we applied 2 coats of sealer to slate & grout (Miton 42 - acrylic solvent sealer) as instructed by the installer. About a week after the sealer, my husband was cleaning up some construction dust, etc. and mopped some of the new floor with a mop that contained much soap (from a previous clean up of the old cement basement floor) DUHH! Now the some of the grout on the slate floor has white residue in the "mopped" areas (presumably it is soap?). I have cleaned the grout multiple times with water and it seems to be helping a bit, but whenever it dries, the white appears again. What I'm wondering is if
we could apply more sealer over these areas (would it get rid of the "whiteness") or do I just keep cleaning with water until it is all removed. HELP! Jerry, Oct 20. Reply
Q 4059: Thanks for what seems to be an unusually brilliant resource. However, I can only find repair and restoring advice as opposed to information on how toget things right in the first place.I've just laid a slate floor in my kitchen. I haven't even grouted it yet. What should I do? Thanks, Per, Oct 24. Reply
R1: Dear Per: Oh, you're wrong about that! Personally I give more advice about selecting the right stone for the right place (when I have a chance, of course!), than maintenance tips after the cutting of the ribbon (see my answer to the posting 4058 right below yours!) So, I really don't know what and how extensively you read this place, but if you had read it deep enough you would have found out that always tell people to stay away from slate in the kitchen. Now, please, don't ask me what you have to do to make it enjoyable. If I -- or anybody else for that matter -- had an answer to that, I wouldn't be telling people not to use slate, would I! Get rid of it. It's only money! You have an option, though: you can always ask the merchants who sold the slate to you how to make it enjoyable! I'm sure they know everything about it and then some!! Maurizio
A 4058: Water-tight with that stone? Not in your lifetime! Yes, keep sealing it, and sealing it, and sealing it ... It's going to be any day now before it's sealed ... Any day ... "Now, remember, when it comes to natural stone, maintenance is an all too important yet neglected subject that should begin before you even select it, as you can tell from several of this very site's postings! Don't become another statistic! Maurizio
R2: Per, Can you elaborate on what information you are interested in? Regards Steven, Expert Panelist
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