Slate of Events, Part 2

This is Part 2 of my slate saga.....

I spent the better part of yesterday doing a final cleaning of the 504 sqf of tile and 27 sqf of backsplash at my SR project.  I was on my hands and knees (kneeling on a gardening board), with a scrub brush, a bucket of water and a grout sponge.  I was washing off the final haze of grout.  When I got home I could hardly move.  This a.m. I'm 'pleasantly' sore.  The nice thing about a 'work'-out....a time when you are actually performing that you have something to show for it!  Arms, buttocks and quads get a great workout performing this task.

After the floor was installed, Mike 2 and I were chatting.  The refrain of "it's gonna be rough" in our song and dance on this slate was relative to the surface of the tile (rather than entire installation).  Well, yes, it is a clefted face, so I knew that it it wouldn't be smooth.  However, apparently even though the material presents itself as textured through the clefting, some consumers believe that it will be a smooth floor.  So.....'it's gonna be rough' was a CYA refrain on the tiler's part.  Accordingly, as I was expecting 'rough' (appropriately so), adding another layer of 'it's gonna be rough' was unnerving.

The quite pleasant part of my slate cleaning was marveling at the glorious colors (they are muted colors and not quixotic colors!) and patterns in this slate.  Each is like a miniature work of art, and the beauty of them is just breathtaking.  To be sure, I'm having some second-guessing my choice, but it is a material of enduring beauty and quality.  I walked on it in my bare feet, and it was very comfortable.  Unless you have experienced slate, you don't realize that it is quite soft for a stone material.  Sitting/standing on slate is not the same thing as sitting/standing on ceramic or porcelain tile--a bit like asphalt v. concrete. 

There is still some grout residue stubbornly clinging to some of the ridges.  I'm committed to having these tiles in pristine condition before sealing.   My situation is not horrible in the least...but I want a little cleaner finish than I currently have.

I met Mike 1 at the site today to discuss.  He uses sulfamic acid crystals. I couldn't get it at the tile store.  Looks like Home Depot sells it.  I'm going to try The Aldon, Grout Release, which product claims to be stronger (though you can vary the dilution with the crystals) that sulfamic acid, as effective as but safer than muriatic acid.  In the home that I grew up in, the tile folks used muriatic acid in the wrong concentration and etched the tile in the main bathroom.  I may do a side by side test of the Aldon product and the sulfamic acid product. 

My husband wonders out loud, "Why are you doing this?" (Rather than let others do it).

I guess, the reason is because I still can.  


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