How to clean and care for slate floor tile

Updated April 17, 2017

Slate floors are very versatile and relatively easy to care for. When installing slate floor tile, consider hiring a professional, as it can be tricky to install correctly. Slate flooring comes in a variety of colours, such as black, green, red and grey. Slate floor tiles are also available in a range of shapes, making it possible to form designs with the tiles. It's important to seal the floor according to the manufacturer's recommendation to preserve the floor as well as possible.

Fill a bucket with warm water. Special slate cleaner or plain soap can be used with the water. Use a sponge mop or a microfiber mop to clean the floor. Do not use alkaline cleaners on slate floors, as these can alter the appearance of the slate.

Periodically steam clean slate floors. Steam cleaner mops can be purchased at many department and hardware stores. Before using the steam cleaner, wipe up any obvious spills and stains from the floor, then vacuum or dust the entire floor surface. The floor can be left to dry naturally after steam cleaning.

Wax slate floors with acrylic-based or water-based waxes. This can be done on a yearly basis, depending on the amount of traffic on the floor. Always read the label on the wax to make sure it's safe for slate floors. It is also possible to check with the manufacturer to see if there is a special wax recommended for your floor.


When purchasing new slate floor, ask if there is a maintenance guide for that particular tile.

Things You'll Need

  • Steam mop
  • Bucket
  • Warm water
  • Slate cleaner or plain soap
  • Wax
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About the Author

Kathy Gleason is a freelance writer living in rural northern New Jersey who has been writing professionally since 2010. She is a graduate of The Institute for Therapeutic Massage in Pompton Lakes, N.J. Before leaving her massage therapy career to start a family, Gleason specialized in Swedish style, pregnancy and sports massage.