Slate is a metamorphic rock derived from shale. The stone’s colours can be red, brown, black or grey depending on the minerals present when the metamorphosis took place. Slate is used for a number of purposes including, roof tiles, indoor and outdoor flooring. This stone is appealing to many for its practicality and design qualities.  

Slate tiles

Typical Uses of Slate

Indoor:

Kitchen and bathroom floors: Slate is a common choice for indoor tiles because of its acid resistance and aesthetic appeal.  The stone’s practicality for use around food and entertaining areas does not compromise its attractive design.  

Slate floor

Finishes:

  • Honed: The surface is smooth with no gloss. Honed slate is often used for floor and wall tiles. The variation in appearance and texture of the stain is why it is readily used in homes and commercial buildings.   
  • Sand Rubbed: Commonly used as flooring for indoors and outdoors, this finish leaves the surface flat with no reflection. Sand rubbed finishes are desired as it highlights the natural features of slate.   

Outdoor:

Roof tiles: Slate’s ability to be cut into thin sheets with parallel faces is why it is often used as roofing material. Depending on the type of slate used this material can last more 250 years.  

Patios and other outdoor areas: Slate is a popular choice for outdoor paving because of its durability and range of colours and textures.The variety of finishes that can be applied are another reason why slate is used outdoors. Smooth or rough surfaces can be achieved for a refined or more natural look.

Finishes:

  • Natural Cleft: The surface of the stone has been split into smooth parallel planes also known as cleavage. This is a desired finished when creating a natural look for an area.
  • Split Faced: Commonly used as wall cladding or flooring, this finish leaves the surface rough and uneven. This is often chosen for outdoor floors as it can improve the slip-resistance.   
  • Tumbled: Slate is cut into pieces and then tumbled in a rotating container to give a surface a weathered, aging look. 

Slate stackstone

Common Problems of Slate

Efflorescence:

­­Slate that is located outdoors can be susceptible to a condition known as efflorescence. It is caused by water moving through the substrate of a material collecting and carrying minerals and salts found in the mortar bed, grout, soil or the stone itself. When the impure water reaches the surface of a material and evaporates, the minerals and salts will be left behind. Through a reaction with carbon dioxide in the air, these form those white marks commonly seen on unprotected porous surfaces.

If detected early, efflorescence can be removed using a metal brush or a mild acid. Time is essential, the longer efflorescence is left to cure the more difficult it will be to remove. However, the best treatment for efflorescence is prevention. Dry-Treat’s STAIN-PROOF Original™ provides premium water and oil repellency. The sealer deeply penetrates into the pores of a material, permanently bonding through a chemical reaction. This creates a water-repelling barrier which stops water ingress. The pores of the material are not blocked so moisture trapped in the substrate can escape as vapour, preventing the salts and minerals reaching the surface.   

Stains:

Although different types of slate may range in porosity any stain left on the surface will eventually be absorbed into the material.  

Dry-Treat™ has a number of products that can protect against staining and remove those difficult deep stains. 

  • STAIN-PROOF™ Original provides superior water and oil repellency, which will help prevent staining from food and liquid spills on all granite surfaces.  The invisible, impregnating sealer permanently bonds to the pores of granite through a chemical reaction. This means a treated surface will not be affected by traffic, exposure to UV radiation or commercial cleaning processes.   
  • Oxy-Klenza™, part of Dry-Treat’s HANAFINN™ range is perfectly suited for removing stubborn stains. The powerful, oxygen based cleaner can be made into a closed poultice which can remove stains that have had time to sink into dense stones such as granite. Refer to our maintenance guide for how to apply a closed poultice to a stain.  

Picture Framing:

Picture framing can occur when grouting a paver that has not been pre-sealed. The water inside grout contains cement and other minerals. When this water penetrates into the edge of the paver, the minerals set inside the slate. This leaves a permanent stain, identified by the distinctive dark frame seen around the edge of a material. 

Picture framing can also appear over time.  Grout is extremely porous which means it will absorb more water than the slate itself. This impure water will permeate around the edge of the paver numerous times. When the surface dries, the water evaporates leaving behind minerals which are permanently set inside the slate, making it impossible to remove. 

Once picture framing has occurred there is no way to remove it, so prevention is vital. Sealing your slate surface and surrounding grout with a Dry-Treat impregnating such as STAIN-PROOF Original™ provides a deep, water-repelling barrier. This will significantly reduce water being absorbed into the grout and material, lowering the risk of picture framing.   

Protecting your slate surfaces

For protection against stains, efflorescence and the enhancement of slate surfaces:

 

For natural look:

STAIN-PROOF™ Original - 2 coats

For protection against water and oil-based stains and efflorescence we recommend using STAIN-PROOF™ Original. The sealer’s deep penetration into the pores of your material will provide superior water and oil repellency. This will stop food and liquid spills from causing permanent staining and significantly reduce the formation of efflorescence. STAIN-PROOF™ Original creates a chemical bond inside the pores, permanently becoming part of your material. 

 

META-CRÈME™ - 1 coat

For indoor applications, we recommend using META CRÈME™ for protection against water and oil-based stains and efflorescence. The ultra-low VOC sealer chemically bonds to the lining of a material’s pore structure, providing permanent protection. META CRÈME™ deeply penetrates into the pores which creates an excellent water and oil repelling barrier. This sealer is easier to apply, requiring only 1 coat, and is suitable for smooth surfaces.


For enhanced look

INTENSIFIA™ - 2 coats

For superior color enhancement of a surface whilst providing protection against water and oil-based stains, we recommend using INTENSIFIA™.



Maintaining your slate surfaces

For everyday and heavy-duty cleaning of your slate surfaces: 

Maintenance is an important part of owning a natural stone or other hard porous surface. Being diligent about the condition of your surface can minimize the need for regular, heavy-duty cleaning. There are a few simple actions that can be taken such as:

  • Wiping up spills as soon as possible.
  • Regularly washing down areas such as pool surrounds with fresh water after use.
  • Frequently removing leaves, branches and other plant matter from patios. If left for long enough, some leaves will bleed tannins, staining the surface.
  • Using walk on/walk off mats and vacuuming can reduce the amount of grit on a surface. 
  • When symptoms of efflorescence occur, clean the blooming patches with a metal brush or stiff bristle brush.

For outdoor cleaning:

Oxy-Klenza™

For regular outdoor cleaning of organic stains such as grease, motor oil, mold stains, plant stains and stains from animal waste Oxy-Klenza™ can be used. Oxy-Klenza™ is a powerful triple action outdoor cleaner and stain remover for natural stone and other hard porous surfaces. The oxygen, alkaline and detergent based cleaner breaks down organic stains and soiling.

For indoor cleaning:

Rejuvenata™ ACTIVE

For regular indoor cleaning of organic stains such as oil, mold stains and food grime Rejuvenata ACTIVE™ can be used. The powerful active enzyme cleaner concentrate is specially designed for natural stone and other hard surfaces.

For countertop cleaning:

Rejuvenata™ for countertops

Countertops are a key feature of any kitchen. It can be a space for food preparation, dining and even acting as a second table. For this reason porous natural stone countertops usually need to be cleaned daily.

Rejuvenata™ spray for countertops is a pH neutral cleaner specially designed for natural stone countertops. The everyday cleaner is food safe and contains a tiny amount of invisible sealer to increase protection from staining. Rejuvenata™ spray’s mild, natural citrus scent provides a refreshing aroma.

For efflorescence, rust mark, limescale, and grout haze:

Eff-Erayza™

Inorganic stains can ruin the appearance of a surface and can be extremely difficult to remove. The longer mineral deposits such as efflorescence, limescale, rust and grout haze are left on the surface, the harder they will be to remove.

Eff-Erayza™, the ultimate safe acid can be used to remove these mineral deposits from non-acid sensitive surfaces. The powerful cleaner performs like a strong acid without the harmful chemicals. Unlike muriatic acid cleaners Eff-Erayza™ is much safer to use. The natural mineral and acid-based cleaner out-performs phosphoric acids, loosening and dissolving unsightly deposits from the surface.

Other Surfaces :

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The names Dry-Treat, STAIN-PROOF, ENHANCE-PLUS and DRY-TREAT 40SK are all trademarked and the property of Dry-Treat Pty Ltd.
The information on this site is for the use of Dry-treat Pty Ltd and its affiliates in the pursuit of sales and positive exposure of Dry-Treat products only.
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