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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.