Old Slate Floor needs major repair

swickbbMay 26, 2009

Anyone have any suggestions how to clean up and repair the grout lines in an old slate floor? I had one floor cleaner professional remove the polyurethane or whatever is on the floor in one small section before he realized it was going to take a lot more work than we estimated. The removal is one thing, but how to repair/renovate the grout lines is another. There is all kinds of efflorescence and chips/holes in the grout lines. The floor guy says it was an old "mud job" with the slate laid into it.

Here are the pictures of it where you can see the before and after removal:

Slate Floor

Is this something that can be repaired? I hate to have to seal it all up and put another floor over it. All that mixed slate has so much character and it would look marvelous with clean lines after it has the shiny surface removed.

Any suggestions would be appreciated!

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kimkitchy

Your photo is not showing up for me.
While I can't answer your question, I would suggest that you cross post this question on the kitchens forum and the bathrooms forum to the attention of stonegirl or Bill Vincent. They respond regularly over there, and I bet they could help.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2009 at 10:38AM
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swickbb

Thanks kimkitchy. Here's the link to the photo of the floor: From Slate Floor

I also posted in flooring. I really wanted to try and save the floor to keep it original to the house but I am not having any luck with finding anyone to help. Restoration people don't return phone calls or email since I don't think they want to deal with residential work and the carpet/flooring people don't quite know what to do with it. Most of the comments I get are to remove the surface/sand blast it/jackhammer it all out and then use a leveler on it and start over with another floor.
I think the efflorescence is the biggest problem in that it could keep coming back up. It seems such a shame to cover up all that beautiful red, purple, blue, green and gray slate (which looks just green and brown in the pic because of the yellowed surface).

    Bookmark   June 1, 2009 at 8:10PM
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worthy

As you can see below, stripping old acrylic or urethane finishes off slate is no simple job. And the joints could be a real problem. Best to have a stone setter look at those before you expend any effort or money stripping the stone.

Here is a link that might be useful: Care and Maintenance of Slate Flooring

    Bookmark   June 1, 2009 at 11:12PM
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kimkitchy

WOW. I would want to keep that floor too, if I were you. Sometimes what we can't get done right away, we simply live with until we can take care of it properly (or afford to). In the end, if you did have to take it up, maybe you could use it for a patio or re-lay it in a garden room or use it for some other purpose. (Hope you find a way to keep it where it is though).

    Bookmark   June 2, 2009 at 5:51PM
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swickbb

Thank you kimkitchy and worthy, especially for that website explaining urethane removal from slate floors. I have contacted a couple of floor restoration/cleaning companies and will see if they can help me. This is too big of a job for me to diy.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 9:07PM
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