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

Removing Cement Screed from a Quarry Tiled Floor in South Wales

The owner of this Quarry tiles floor at a house in Swansea had expended much effort in its restoration and feeling exhausted decided to call in their local Tile Doctor to finish it off.

Quarry Tiles in Swansea Covered in Cement Compound Quarry Tiles in Swansea Covered in Cement Compound

I never saw the original flooring but I could see it had been covered by some sort of cement screed which had probably been used, judging by the imprints, to support large carpet tiles. I’ve come across a few floors like this, you can’t simply put carpet over a tiled surface as tiles can be slightly convex in shape and the grout lines result in dips forming in the carpet so as a result a floor levelling compound is usually applied beforehand.

After doing a cleaning sample and a test to see how stubborn the cement compound was to remove I agreed with the customer that it was possible and showing her the test results, she was happy to proceed with the work.

Quarry Tiles in Swansea Covered in Cement Compound Showing Test Clean

Removing Cement from a Quarry Tiled Floor

Before starting I took a few moisture readings with a handheld damp meter, I always recommend doing this at the start as it gives you a baseline reading that can be used to determine the floor has dried and ready for sealing later. Most old floors don’t have a damp proof membrane installed and so if the moisture readings were high I would recommend coming back to seal the floor at a warmer part of the year.

The first step was to remove all the cement compound from the surface of the tiles and then scrape as much paint and plaster off the tiles before cleaning with an undiluted mixture of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and Remove and Go. This combination of two different products make a great team; Pro-Clean is a versatile, high alkaline cleaner that is used to deal with reasonably heavy soil build-up on natural stone and Tile. Remove and Go, also safe to use on natural stone and tile is specially formulated to remove old coatings including paint and old sealers.

Quarry Tiles in Swansea Removing Cement Compound

This solution was applied to the floor and, working in small sections, I scrubbed it into the tiles using a rotating scrubbing machine fitted with a nylon brush attachment; it was also scrubbed into the grout using a stiff brush. The floor was then rinsed, and the resulting cleaning slurry was vacuumed away using a wet-vax machine.

The final stage of the cleaning process was to run over the tiles with a coarse 200 grit diamond pad together with Grout Clean-up which is another Tile Doctor product that removes mineral deposits such as old grout and cement smears. After a final rinse I could see the all the cement had been removed and the Quarry tiles were looking much healthier and ready for sealing.

Quarry Tiles in Swansea With Cement Compound Removed

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Floor

I left the floor to dry out overnight with the aid of heater fans and all doors closed to keep it warm. When I returned the next day, I retested the floor for moisture and compared the initial readings to confirm the floor was ready for sealing.

The Quarry tiles were quite porous so to seal the Quarry tiles, I eventually used eight coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go which not only provides a protective covering but also enhances the colours of tiles especially old red quarry floor tiles.

Quarry Tiles in Swansea After Restoration

The customer was thrilled with the results of the floor and was so impressed told me she was going to recommend Tile Doctor to her friends.
Source: Quarry Tile and Grout Cleaning Service in Swansea