Restorative Cleaning of Edwardian Quarry Tiles in Leicestershire

Details below of a restorative clean and seal we completed of an Edwardian Quarry Tiled Floor and Edwardian Geometric Floor at a house in the town of Market Harborough, Leicestershire. Market Harborough is a very old town that dates back to Saxon times, as a result it has some very old buildings including the church that was built in the 1300’s.

Both floors had been hidden underneath carpets for many Years. They were exposed by our customer thirteen years ago, who had painstakingly removed the cement-based levelling screed from the Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Restoration Market Harbourough Quarry Tiled Floor Before Restoration Market Harbourough

The floors were moisture damaged from years of inherent damp build-up and didn’t look their best with ingrained historic soiling and damage to the hall tiles.

We were asked to quote for a restorative cleaning, sealing and repairs by our customer. After inspecting the floor, we quoted for the work and advised how long it would take to complete. We also guided our customer where to purchase period reproduction tile replacements from. In this instance our customer purchased made to order tiles from world renowned tile manufacturer Craven Dunnill in Bridnorth, Shropshire.

Cleaning Edwardian Quarry Tiles

We carried out repairs first carefully removing the damaged tiles and fixing in place the replacements purchased by the customer. Some of the original tiles were also loose but in good physical condition so these were re-fixed in place and grouted in.

Quarry Tiled Floor During Restoration Market Harbourough Quarry Tiled Floor During Restoration Market Harbourough

Once the grout had set we started the cleaning process with the application of Tile Doctor Remove & Go ready to use heavy duty cleaning solution and coatings remover to the tiles. Working in small sections we allowed the product to soak into the tile for thirty minutes and then agitated the solution, with both an abrasive brush and a coarse 200 grit pad. This process quickly broke down the years of soiling and surface contamination. We extracted the resulting slurry and followed up with the application of Tile Doctor Acid Gel to treat inherent cement contamination and historic efflorescence salt staining. This was again worked into the tiles and the floor rinsed using low moisture methods.

We had arranged to seal the floor the next day, so air movers and a fan heater were left in place to help dry the floor overnight.

Sealing Edwardian Quarry Tiles

On the second day after confirming the tiles were dry we sealed the tiles with four coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing sealer that soaks into the pores of the tile protecting it from within. The floor was then buffed by hand to remove excess sealer and was ready for use within the hour. We advised the customer that whilst the floor could be walked on quite quickly, that the sealer would take up to 48 hours to fully cure.

Quarry Tiled Floor After Restoration Market Harbourough Quarry Tiled Floor After Restoration Market Harbourough

Before leaving we advised the customer that the sealer can be prematurely worn down by the use of strong cleaning products and so recommended the they use Tile Doctors pH Neutral Floor Cleaning concentrate. This should always be diluted correctly, and the water changed frequently, to avoid suspended soils from being deposited back onto the surface of the floor. If properly maintained, then the sealer should last a minimum of 5 years.
Source: Quarry Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Market-Harbourough, Leicestershire

Deep Cleaning Grubby Quarry tiles

This Quarry Tiled Kitchen floor had been laid in 2000 which is relatively recent compared to some of the floors I’m asked to deal with, the tiles are 150 x 150 mm Quarry tiles with a mixture of colours. A customer in Cardiff said that the Quarry tiles has been sealed by the tiler however it wasn’t long after it was completed that the before became very grubby looking. You can see this for yourself in the photograph below where you should be able to make out the ingrained dirt and discoloured tile grout.

Grubby Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Cardiff Before Cleaning

Cleaning Quarry Tiles

I set about cleaning the floor with undiluted Tile Doctor Remove and Go mixed 3 to 1 with NanoTech UltraClean which adds tiny abrasive particles to a strong coatings remove; this mixture not only removes any previous sealers but also deep cleans the tiles and brings the grout back to its original colour. I used a rotary machine with a disc shaped scrubbing brush attachment disc which really gets into the dirt. The soiled solution was removed using a wet vacuum, stubborn areas retreated and then the floor was rinsed until all the cleaning solution had been removed.

Grubby Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Cardiff During Cleaning

Sealing a Quarry Floor Sealing

The floor was left to dry for 24 hours and I came back later to seal it. Before sealing I used a hand held damp meter to verify the floor had dried. I had previously discussed the choice of sealer with the customer to establish how they wanted the floor to look and selected Tile Doctor Seal and Go for its satin shine.

Grubby Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Cardiff During Sealing

I went on to seal the tiles with two coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go using a water test to verify I had applied the right amount of sealer and that liquids were being repelled from the surface of the tile as opposed being absorbed.

Grubby Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Cardiff After Cleaning and Sealing

The floor cleaned up really well especially after sealing which brought the colours in the tile back to life; the customers were delighted with the results.
Source: Residential and Commercial Tile Cleaning in South Wales

Removing Plaster from Quarry tiles

This floor was another case of builders failing to protect the Quarry Tiled Floor when they were working at this house in Bedford, this is certainly not un-typical of plasters considering the number of messy floors we have had to clean up previously. I guess in some ways we shouldn’t complain as they are keeping us busy but it was my floor I would be quite upset.

Deep Cleaning Quarry Tiles

To get rid of the plaster I applied a solution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up which is an acid based product designed to remove grout from the surface of tiles but works equally well on cement, plaster and other mineral deposits such as effloresce and rust. Working in sections the Grout Clean-up was applied, scrubbed in and then washed off, being an acid it’s not advised to leave it on the tile for too long.

Once the plaster was dealt with the whole floor including the tiles and grout was given a good clean using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a strong alkaline product that’s safe to use on Tile, Stone and Grout. For best results leave it to soak into the tile for twenty minutes before giving the tiles a good scrub.

Once the tiles were clean the floor was given a good rinse with clean water to remove any remaining chemical and neutralise the floor before sealing; a wet vacuum was used to remove as much water from the floor as possible so it could dry faster.

Deep Cleaning Quarry Tiles in Bedford Before Deep Cleaning Quarry Tiles in Bedford After

Sealing Quarry Tiles

We left the floor to dry overnight and came back the next day to seal it using four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go sealer which adds a nice sheen to the floor as well as providing long term stain protection. The photographs above show the transformation of the floor and certainly the customer was very happy with the result.
Source: Residential and Commercial Tile Cleaning in Bedfordshire

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