Removing Efflorescent Salt Stains from a Quarry Tiled Floor in Wicken, Cambridgeshire

We were called out to quote for restoring this Quarry tiled living room & hallway for a building contractor in the local area of Wicken. This is a small village on the edge of The Fens near Soham in East Cambridgeshire.

The works needed to be completed at short notice as the property was due to be put up for rent, so I agreed to work over two evenings to make sure it was ready for the first tenant. We discussed the cost and the process, and the contractor was happy to go ahead. We can always be flexible with our diary to help out our clients.

Quarry Tiled Floor With Salt Staining Wicken Before Cleaning Quarry Tiled Floor With Salt Staining Wicken Before Cleaning

The floor had signs of alkaline salt efflorescence which had left white patches on the tiles, this problem is usually indicative of a damp issue but when I went over to survey the floor, I checked with a damp meter and couldn’t find any evidence of dampness. Clearly something had happened in the past and as the floor dried out it left these white salt deposits on the surface.

Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Living Room and Hallway Floor

To remove the salt stains the floor was given an Acid Wash several times with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up worked in with a stiff brush pad fitted to a rotary machine. The acid in the product counters and removes the alkaline salts, it also cleans up the tiles of any other mineral deposits such as old grout smears. The floor was then rinsed with water to remove the now soiled solution and then extracted using a wet vacuum.

Once I was happy that the salts had been removed, we applied Tile Doctor Remove and Go to strip the quarry tiles of old sealers. This is a non-flammable, multi-purpose stripper which is safe to use on tiles and works best when left to soak into the tile for ten minutes first. This product also draws out ingrained stains and removes heavy grease build-up and any ingrained dirt. We used the rotary machine again fitted with the stiff brush as before to get the floor nice and clean. As before the floor was rinsed with water and the soils extracted using the wet vacuum.

The floor was then left to dry overnight in preparation for the sealant to be applied.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Living Room and Hallway Floor

Upon arriving the following evening, the floor was checked again with the damp meter to make sure it was dry, all was well, so it was then sealed with multiple coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go. This provides both a stain resistant surface seal and a durable low-sheen. The sealer brought back the deep colour in the tile and made a huge difference to the look of the floor. It would also make the floor much easier for the new tenant to maintain going forward.

You can see from the pictures the transformation that was achieved. The client was very happy with the completed work and was satisfied he would now be able to rent the property out to his next tenant.

Quarry Tiled Floor Wicken After Cleaning Quarry Tiled Floor Wicken After Cleaning

 

Source: Quarry Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Wicken, Cambridge

Restoring 100 Year Old Quarry Tiles in Great Witley, Worcestershire

It is lovely when we get called out to properties with an interesting history. This delightful property in the pretty Malvern Hills village of Great Witley dates to the 1800’s and was once used as children’s home. The property has since been renovated and turned into a residential property. During the renovation works the new owners were delighted to peel back the carpet on the large entrance hallway and dining room to reveal an original quarry tiled floor believed to be well over 100 years old.

The floor however was in quite a bad state after years of being covered with various carpets over the years and was ingrained with layers of dirt and varnish. The owners were unsure if the floor could be repaired and restored and after finding Tile Doctor on-line they arranged for me to pop over and survey the floor.

Period Quarry Tiled Floor Before Restoration Great Witley Period Quarry Tiled Floor Before Restoration Great Witley

On the day of the inspection I could see that this would take some work to bring the floor back and over 20 tiles would need replacing due to salt damage or broken tiles some of which had completely perished. There was also layers and layers of white paint over many tiles from previous decoration work to deal with. Even in such a state I was still very confident that with the combination of my own abilities, the right tools and Tile Doctor products that the floor could be restored. We discussed a price for the work which was accepted and scheduled a convenient date for me to pop round and restore the floor.

Cleaning and Repairing a Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor

My first job was to remove all the damaged tiles, being careful not to damage any good tiles. I then repaired the substrate and prepared the area for the replacement tiles which were all slightly larger so needed cutting with an electric wet saw.

Period Quarry Tiled Floor During Restoration Great Witley Period Quarry Tiled Floor During Restoration Great Witley

This work took up much of the first day and on the second day the new tiles were laid using a flexible fast setting adhesive. The area was then grouted and left overnight before starting the cleaning process.

The following day the entire floor was sprayed with a dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which was then left to dwell and soak into the tiles before being scrubbed in with a rotary floor machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. Difficult areas such as the paint splashes were covered with a sheet of plastic, so the solution wouldn’t dry out and left until the paint became easier to scrape away.

Period Quarry Tiled Floor During Restoration Great Witley Period Quarry Tiled Floor During Restoration Great Witley

The floor was then rinsed with water which was the soil extracted using a wet vacuum. More work was needed to release the layers or ingrained dirt, so this was followed by scrubbing the floor with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and then more rinsing and extracting.

Last step of the cleaning process was to treat the floor to an acid rinse using Tile Doctor Acid Gel. This was also scrubbed in with a rotary cleaner before being rinsed off with water and the slurry removed using the wet vacuum. The acid rinse will counter any mineral salts in the floor and reduce the chance of efflorescence occurring as the floor dries out.

Once I was happy with the floor I left it to dry overnight, the floor was already looking significantly better.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor

I returned on the fourth day to compete the restoration by applying a sealer, checking first that the floor had dried with a moisture meter. Once I was happy the Quarry tiled floor was sealed with five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra which made the natural colours of the tile shine through without looking too glossy. This product is also fully breathable which is an important factor for these old floors where no damp proof membrane is present, and moisture needs to be able to pass through the tile unimpeded.

Period Quarry Tiled Floor After Restoration Great Witley Period Quarry Tiled Floor After Restoration Great Witley

The deep cleaning and sealing process ensured the new replacement tiles blended in well with the original tiles and the whole floor was transformed back to its former glory. The client was over the moon with the results and surprised at what we had been able to achieve!

 

Source: Quarry Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Great Witley, Worcestershire