Rejuvenating a Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor

What causes a tiled floor to become dull and discoloured? Typically, it’s a combination of heavy soil build-up and an ineffective approach to cleaning and maintenance. Such was the case with this heavily soiled Quarry tiled hallway floor in Bedford.

A further problem was that the tiles were very pitted and at some point, in the past they had been filled with grout, additionally, when I took a closer inspection of tiles, I established that there was a wax sealer present on the floor that has bend topped up from time to time – without the tiles being deep cleaned. This has caused an accumulation of soil trapped between multiple layers of wax. The result? Extremely dull and unattractive Quarry tiles that the customer was desperate to get back to looking their best.

Quarry tiles before cleaning Bedford

Cleaning a Very Dull and Dirty Quarry Tiled Hallway

My first course of action was to vacuum the floor thoroughly to remove any small quantities of grit or loose debris. I then masked up the carpet and radiator to protect them before mixing up a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean mixed with hot water. This was then applied to the surface of the floor in small areas of three square metres each. The high alkaline cleaning product was left to dwell for a short period before I agitated the tiles with a black stripping pad to remove the heavy soil. The resulting cleaning slurry was extracted with a wet vax machine.

This cleaning process was repeated throughout the entire area. Inaccessible places, such as under the radiator and stairs, were manually cleaned using hand brushes. I then dried the floor with a fan for 30 minutes, before mopping on a solution of the acid-based Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up to neutralise the Pro Clean and removing the dirt on the grout lines with the hand brushes.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Hallway

The area was allowed to dry completely overnight. I returned the following day and applied two different types of sealer in two separate test areas so the customer could get a better idea of the final effect that would be achieved.

The customer could’ve opted for Tile Doctor Seal and Go, which is a topical sealer that provides a high quality, durable low-sheen finish. However, after further discussion, it was decided that the best product would be Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is an impregnating sealer that penetrates the tiles and provides a more natural finish, emphasising the colours in the stone.

Quarry tiles after cleaning and sealing Bedford

As you can see from the photos above, a deep clean and fresh seal truly worked wonders for these Quarry tiles. Both myself and the customer were very happy with the outcome of the work.
Source: Quarry Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in Bedfordshire

Resolving Quarry Tile Installation Problems

This customer had a fantastic rough heather set Quarry tiled terrace laid on the exterior of their property in Dunstable. While from a distance the tiles appeared to be in quite good condition, there was one very obvious problem. The customer, following the advice of the retailer – but against best practice and the advice of the installers – opted to use a polymer-based white grout. To worsen the problem, the tiles were also not sealed before grouting, resulting in a blotchy white appearance once dried.

Removing Grout Haze from Quarry Tiles Dunstable

This was a big problem, and needless to say the customer was eager to set the situation right. The customer contacted me and I travelled to the property to see what could be done. Although it was virtually impossible to remove the problem entirely, I was able to eliminate most of it and significantly improve the condition of the tiles. Here’s how I did it:

Removing Grout Haze from Quarry Tiles Dunstable

Cleaning Badly Stained Quarry Tiles

Removing the blotchy white stains required the use of a number of different cleaning products, combined with lots of rinsing with clean water.

My initial attempts involved firstly the application of Tile Doctor Remove and Go, before scrubbing it into the tiles. Remove and Go is a multi-purpose product that is often used to break down old sealers, adhesives and synthetic finishes, however, in this case it served to draw out the ingrained white stains.

I followed this up with an application of Tile Doctor Acid Gel, which is a blend of Phosphoric and Hydrochloric acids in gel form used to treat grout smears and efflorescence. It is not recommended for use on acid sensitive stone such as Limestone and Marble as it can cause etching, but here it helped make some good progress with cleaning the Quarry tiles.

Removing Grout Haze from Quarry Tiles Dunstable

Even after a long period of cleaning, some of the particularly ingrained polymer refused to budge. My best option was to use Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU, which utilises nano-sized cleaning particles to penetrate deep into the stone to eliminate stubborn marks. The product was brushed into the Quarry tiles in combination with a steamer, achieving some good results. We then brought in a spinning tool fitted to our truck-mounted cleaning machine to thoroughly rinse the tiles, leaving them much improved.

Removing Grout Haze from Quarry Tiles Dunstable

We used air movers to dry the terrace off quickly in order to see the final
result, which the customer was very pleased with, especially considering the extent of the staining. We then advised the client to wait until June or July to give the terrace another clean, along with a fresh seal using Tile Doctor Colour Grow, a colour enhancing, impregnating sealer which will improve the appearance even further.
Source: Quarry Tile and Stone Cleaning and Restoration Service in Bedfordshire

Renovating Black and Red Quarry Tiled Hallway

Details below of a restorative clean and seal that I recently completed on a Quarry tiled hallway at a house in the small village of Riseley, North Bedfordshire.

The floor was a mix of fantastic black and red tiles; however, it had lost its character after a long period without professional maintenance. My client commissioned me to strip off the old sealer from the floor and replace it, but not before providing a thorough clean, including tackling some adhesive staining and inherent grout haze.

Red and Black Quarry Tiles Riseley before cleaning

Cleaning a Quarry tiled floor

The first task involved mixing our high alkaline cleaner, known as Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, with water to form a strong solution. The solution was applied to the tiled floor and left to dwell for a short period. This dwelling time allows for the Pro-Clean to seep into the stone to get underneath the ingrained dirt and lift it out. Pro-Clean also contains stripping properties, and thus helped to break down the old (and now ineffectual) sealer.

After completing this initial clean I rinsed the floor using a standard mop and bucket method. With the old sealer removed, it became evident that there was also plaster residue marking the tiles, as well as inherent grout haze on the surface of the tile probably from the original installation. To tack these problems I used Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up, which is an acid-based cleaner that dissolves the adhesive and the grout. Being an acid you have to be careful and ensure the floor is rinsed thoroughly after use and if you’re considering using this product yourself read the label and make sure you use the right protective equipment.

Sealing a Quarry tiled floor

After the floor was thoroughly rinsed with water it was dried as much as possible using a wet vacuum which literally sucks the water off the floor. The floor was then left to dry for four days, with the help of several air movers. By the time I returned to the house, the floor was completely dry and ready to take the seal.

I opted to use a combination of sealers, including one coat of our colour enhancing, impregnating sealer, known as Colour Grow, followed by three coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go to provide a truly robust and aesthetically pleasing surface seal.

Red and Black Quarry Tiles Riseley after cleaning

The photographs demonstrate the finished results better than words can and I think you will agree the floor is quite transformed.
Source: Quarry Floor Cleaning and Sealing service in Bedfordshire

Extremely Worn And Dirty Quarry Tiles

This was a very interesting job at a house in the town of Langford in Bedfordshire which used to be an old butchers shop which had been converted for residential use. One aspect of the butcher’s shop that my client wanted to keep for the new house was an extremely worn and dirty Quarry tiled floor. The floor had experienced a high amount of traffic in the past, evidenced by the fact that in some areas the top layer of the tiles had been lost and to make matters worse the floor had been covered in a layer of concrete paint which would need removing.

Although the floor had fallen into a serious state of neglect, I was confident that with the right products and techniques I would be able to restore the appearance of the tiles.

Quarry Tiles Before Restoration in Langford

Cleaning Old Quarry tiles

My first step in the restoration was to apply a solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, a high alkaline cleaner, to the floor, leaving it to dwell for roughly twenty minutes. I then agitated the solution into the tile using a combination of scrubbing pads and brushes, in an attempt to remove as much of the dirt and muck as possible. This served more as an initial rinse to prepare the floor for a much deeper clean later on in the process.

Having rinsed the tiles, I installed air movers to help the floor dry quickly. This allowed me to see which areas of the floor required some more specific cleaning attention. The next step was to give the floor an acid rinse using Tile Doctor Tile and Grout Clean-Up. This step was necessary to tackle the salt deposits which were coming up through the tile and grout; this process is more commonly known as efflorescence and is usually due to a lack of damp proofing under the floor which is not surprising given the age of the floor.

Quarry Tiles Before Restoration in Langford
I soon realised that the tiles were still partly shielded by a plastic covering which had been in place for upwards of forty years. I used a steamer to loosen the covering to the point that I could then remove it by hand. Once all of the Quarry tiles were finally exposed I came across a lot of stubborn marks along and, unsurprisingly, decade’s worth of dirt. To give the tiles a thorough clean I used Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU which stands for Heavy Build-Up cleaner. As the name suggests, this is a product which uses tiny abrasive particles to penetrate deep into the pores of the tile to lift out the dirt normal cleaning products simply can’t reach, enabling the removal of tough dirt and stains.

Sealing Quarry tiles

After completing the clean I left the house for several days to allow the floor to dry assisted by a number of air movers and dehumidifiers that I left at the property to speed up the drying process. When I returned to the house, I ran damp tests to double check that the tiles were completely dry. This was important as any excess moisture has the potential to damage the performance of the sealer.

To seal the floor I used a combination of Tile Doctor Colour Grow (one coat) and Seal & Go (six coats). This provided a robust surface seal and also accentuated the natural shades in the Quarry tiles.

Quarry Tiles After Restoration in Langford Quarry Tiles After Restoration in Langford

As you can see from the photographs, although not perfect due to its history, this was quite a transformation and I was happy to bring yet another old floor full of character back into daily use; original features are also very popular these days so I’m sure this has added a lot of value to the property.

Source: Professional Tile, Stone and Grout cleaning and restoration services in Bedfordshire

Restoration of old Red and Black Quarry Tiles

We were asked to restore a beautiful Victorian tiled floor at a house in the small village of Sharnbrook, Bedfordshire. The floor had been badly treated for many years until new occupiers decided to restore it.

The area comprised of a Pantry, Loo, Lobby, Dining room, Kitchen and Conservatory, we had several problems to deal with including some tiles that were loose, some had cement on them and the dining room floor had the remnants of a coir rug stuck to the surface.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Restoration in Sharnbrook

Cleaning Old Quarry Tiles

Having moved all the furniture we started from the far end pre-treating the coir matted dining room tiles by soaking them in a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean; leaving them to soak in this way would soften up the matting and enabled us to remove the debris more easily with a scrapper by the time we got to the dining room.

We then started on the rest of the floor again using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was left to dwell on the tile for ten minutes before being worked in using a scrubbing pad until any remaining old sealer was stripped off the tile the tiles were clean.

For the tiles which were covered in cement we treated them with an acid rinse using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up, being an acid you have to take care and wear appropriate personal protection and not to leave the acid on the tile for too long. It was satisfying however to watch the cement fizz away to reveal the beautiful tile below.

Once everything was stripped and the floor clean we gave the tiles a thorough rinse and extracted as much water from the floor as possible before installing a number of and air movers to speed up the drying process.

Whilst the floor was drying our attention moved onto the replacement of the lose tiles and re-adhering them to the floor. This was a straight forward job using tile adhesive and matching grout and we then left to allow the floor to dry out thoroughly.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Deep Cleaning in Sharnbrook

Sealing Quarry Tiles

We returned seven days later and took more damp readings, these all read ok so we proceeded to seal the floor. First we used a coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer the gets into the pores of the tile protecting it from within and also enhancing the colours in the tile in the process; this was then followed with four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go to leave a high shine finish as requested by the client.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Restoration in Sharnbrook

Source: Professional Tile, Stone and Grout Restoration service in Bedfordshire

Removing layers of sealer from Quarry Tiles

We were asked to work our magic on these dirty Quarry tiles at a residence in the historic town of Hitchin. The tiles had been sealed on a number of occasions but had not been deep cleaned beforehand which effectively trapped the dirt under the sealer making it difficult to get clean.

Quarry Tiles in Hitchen Before Cleaning

Stripping Quarry Tiles

To get them clean the coatings on the surface of the Quarry tile had to be stripped off back to the original surface. To do this we mixed a dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go 50/50 with NanoTech UltraClean and applied it to the floor leaving it to soak in to the tile for around 20 minutes before scrubbing it in with a wire brush. Remove and Go is as its name suggests is a coatings remover which is safe to use on Tile and Stone and is designed to remove most products from, this is assisted by the addition of NanoTech UltraClean which adds tiny abrasive particles into the solution making it more effective. The floor was then scrubbed using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad and the grout lines scrubbed by hand using a stiff brush. The floor was then rinsed with water which was removed using a wet vacuum. The process was then repeated until we were happy that the tile and grout was clean and that the old sealer had been removed, again the floor down and being the last time washed down thoroughly as traces of cleaning products can upset sealers later on.

Sealing Quarry Tiles

Once happy with the floor and it had time to dry off it was sealed with four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go sealer adds a nice sheen to the floor as well as adding long term stain protection; needless to say the customer was very happy with the results.

Quarry Tiles in Hitchen After Cleaning and Sealing

Source: Quarry Tile Cleaning Services in Hitchin

School Quarry Tile and Grout Refurbished

Before and after photograph below of a Quarry Tiled floor at a school in Dunstable that was in such a bad state we had to apply grout colourant to the floor. Quarry tiles are fairly indestructible so ideal for use in schools etc. where they will see a lot of foot traffic and abuse, having said that they will fade with wear over time and naturally the grout can become ingrained with dirt if not protected.

Cleaning Quarry Tiles

It had been a while since the Quarry Tiles and Grout had been given a really deep clean to so we mixed a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean 50/50 with NanoTech UltraClean and applied it to the floor and left to soak in for around 10 minutes; Pro-Clean is a multipurpose alkaline cleaning product designed specifically for cleaning tile and stone and NanoTech UltraClean adds tiny abrasive particles into the solution to make a more effective cleaner. The floor was then scrubbed using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad and the grout lines scrubbed by hand using a stiff brush. The floor was then rinsed thoroughly with water which was removed using a wet vacuum, once the Quarry tiles were dry it was possible to spot the areas in need of further attention and these were scrubbed by hand together with more of the Pro-Clean/UltraClean mix and a steamer. At this stage it became apparent that that although the grout had improved it was too far gone and never going to make the grade and either needed to re-done or as per our suggestion re-coloured.

Grout Colouring

For floor grout we always recommend the use of an epoxy grout colouring product which not only completely covers the grout making it look new again but also provides a permanent barrier that prevents the grout from staining in future. They can be quite time consuming to apply however especially if you have a small format Quarry tile with lots of grouting.

Sealing Quarry Tiles

Once happy with the floor and it had time to dry off it was sealed with six coats of Tile Doctor High Shine Sealer which will provide future surface stain protection and also leaves a nice deep shine on the floor. It took a long time but I think you will agree from the before and after photograph below we managed quite a transformation.


Tired Quarry Tiled floor restored in Dunstable School