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Flooring and Carpeting/Removing slate tile sealer

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Question
I have existing slate tile that has been sealed about 10-years ago when I installed it. I would like to apply a new sealer/enhancer to the tile and I need to know how I can remove the old sealer.
Once the existing sealer has been removed I also want to dye the grout a darker color, the I will apply the sealer-enhancer to both the tile and the grout.

Thank you,
Paul

Answer
If there is nothing unusual about the sealer you applied ten years ago, you should be able to remove it with a stripper.  We make a stripper that will remove just about everything except epoxies and two component urethanes. It is called SR-5 Stripper. You can look it up on our website, www.sparkssw.com

A word of caution. A lot of sealers now are based on a "fluoropolymer grease" which, once applied, cannot later be completely removed. It will block water and oil, but being a grease, it will, in time, track dirt,etc. into it, and it is nearly impossible to clean off due to the nature of the "grease".  The reason they are being used is twofold:  1. High profitability.  2. Easily complies with all existing VOC level requirements.  It would seem that the VOC requirements were created with this fluoropolymer in mind. I for one resist being dictated to by anyone or any government entity what I can and cannot do based on arbitrary rules, designed to benefit large corporations while punishing small ones.

When you grout has been cleaned, there are companies that make grout colorants. You can also take ink designed for calligraphy work, thin it way down with water, and stain your grout that way.  After it dries, you can further darken any light areas with more ink.

Bill Hohmann
Sparks

Flooring and Carpeting

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Bill Hohmann

Expertise

I can answer questions concerning the stripping and sealing of various tile, brick, and stone flooring with an emphasis on Mexican Tile. I cannot help in regards to installation issues, such as what sort of tile to use; how to install or remove tiles, etc.

Experience

Over 30 years experience in the manufacture development and use of sealers, coatings and cleaners for tile, stone, brick, etc.

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