Cleaning Stained Quarry Tiles in Hitchin

Details below of a small Quarry Tiled floor we deep cleaned which included a lobby and adjacent toilet. The property was located in Hitchin which is a market town in North Hertfordshire it is notable for St. Mary’s Church, which is remarkably large for a town of its size.

Quarry Tiled Entrance Lobby Restoration Hitchin Before Cleaning

The tiles were in good physical condition, but were looking a little tired, they just needed a good clean and seal. Also, if you look closely at the photographs you will see the grout was stained with the remains of some red paint which needed to be removed.

Quarry Tiled Entrance Lobby Restoration Hitchin Before Cleaning Showing Paint Staining

They had tried some household solutions but had not managed to remove the marks and the floor had lost its’ sheen. We discussed the process, agreed a price and I arranged a date to return and carry out the work.

Quarry Tiled Entrance Lobby Restoration Hitchin Before Cleaning

On our return our first task was to prepare the areas with protective tape to threshold edges surrounding the floor, adjacent doors and anywhere that we didn’t want our solutions to touch.

The paint stains were spot treated using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which was scrubbed into the grout by hand. This is a multi-purpose stripper made with a long dwell-time to remove most coatings and sealers, but particularly good on paints. It is also the perfect product to draw out ingrained stains and remove any heavy grease build-up.

Then the tiles and grout were cleaned using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, this one is a concentrated, multi-purpose high-alkaline cleaner, stripper and degreaser. Dependent on the needs of the tiles we dilute it to suit. We usually dilute with 3 to 5 parts water to use as a very effective cleaner that removes grease, from areas that have been neglected or subjected to heavy use. Alternatively, and as in this situation, we diluted with 2 parts water to strip the synthetic and acrylic waxes that had built up on the floor over the years.

The entrance and porch were then wet vacuumed, and the water rinsed, then allowed to dry off overnight ahead of the sealing process the following day.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor

On returning to the property the following day, I used a moisture meter to ensure the floor was completely dry and ready for the next stage. Once satisfied I started to apply a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow this is an impregnating sealer which is applied to protect the tiles and offers a durable surface whilst enhancing their natural colour. Finally, to complete, this was followed by three coats of Seal and Go to add a lasting protective seal and a low sheen durable finish.

Quarry Tiled Entrance Lobby Restoration Hitchin After Cleaning

The client was very happy with the completed floor, it had brightened up the whole area, particularly the downstairs cloakroom. She was also pleased it was now going to be easier to maintain and keep clean and she had finally got rid of the offending red paint!

Quarry Tiled Entrance Lobby Restoration Hitchin After Cleaning

 

Source: Quarry Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in Hitchin, Hertfordshire

Removing Red Tile Paint from Quarry Tiles in South Croydon

I thought you might find this Quarry tiled floor restoration from a property in South Croydon interesting, especially considering the transformation that we were able to achieve. The Quarry Tiles were in a covered porch at the front of the property and the previous owners had painted them with red tile paint several times and they had also become stained from other decoration work. They were now in a neglected state and really needed to be stripped of paint and restored.

Quarry Tiled Porch Before Restoration South Croydon Quarry Tiled Porch Before Restoration South Croydon

Removing Paint from Quarry Tiles

To get the red paint off the Quarry tiles, Tile Doctor Nanotech HBU Remover was applied to the floor and left to dwell and soak into the tile and grout for about twenty minutes. HBU stands for Heavy Build-Up and is a strong product that utilised small Nano sized abrasive particles to remove floor coatings. There were a number of layers of paint that needed removing so a scouring pad was used to work the product into the floor.

Quarry Tiled Porch During Restoration South Croydon

As you can imagine that paint didn’t want to come off easily, so it took several attempts before the Quarry tiles were completely clean. After each application the floor was given a thorough rinse to remove any trace of product and the soil removed with a wet vacuum.

Grout Renovation with a Charcoal Grout Colourant

When we eventually cleaned everything off, we found the grout had absorbed the paint in places leaving a patchy appearance. Removing and replacing the grout would take a long time so I suggested to the owner that we Colour Seal the grout lines using a Charcoal Grey Grout Colourant. The colourant is basically painted onto the grout with a small brush and when it hardens it forms a protective barrier over the grout and would give a consistent appearance. The process is quite quick and given then grout lines had already been given a good scrub the colourant should achieve a good bond. The owner was happy to for us to proceed and I think you will agree we achieved a very good result.

Sealing Porch Quarry Tiles

The floor was left to dry out for a few days and we returned to finish the restoration by sealing the tiles in order to protect them from future staining and also make them easier to clean. I used an impregnating colour enhancing sealer called Tile Doctor Colour Grow for this purpose and I think you will agree the floor looks much improved.

Quarry Tiled Porch Before Restoration South Croydon Quarry Tiled Porch Before Restoration South Croydon

My customer was delighted with the final result and left the following review on our website.

“My small hall floor proved to be a challenge but couldn’t be more pleased with the results. Very professional service throughout. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend.
Helen B, South Croydon.”

 
 
Source: Quarry Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in South Croydon

Painted Quarry Tiled Floor Restored in Whaley Bridge, Derbyshire

This was an unusual Quarry Tiled Floor that I was asked to renovate at a house in Whaley Bridge which is a small town in Derbyshire Peak district. The floor tiles were laid in a diamond pattern using alternating Black & Red quarry tiles. The house was more than 100 years old and recently changed hands. A large rug had previously occupied the middle of the floor and the tiles around the side has been painted over with black paint.

Old Black and Red Quarry Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Whaley Bridge

To restore the floor to a consistent appearance I could see the paint would need to be removed and then the whole floor given a deep clean and seal. Additionally, there was an old Fireplace at one end of the room decorated in antique Ceramic tiles that needed cleaning, the Tiles are very old but in good physical condition for their age.

Old Ceramic Tiled Fireplace Hearth Before Cleaning Whaley Bridge

Cleaning Old Black and Red Quarry Tiles

My first task was to remove the black paint and years of ground in dirty by treating the tiles with a poultice made from two Tile Doctor products namely Nano-Tech HBU Remover and Remove and Go. Working in sections the solution was applied to the tiles and left to soak in for a good twenty minutes before scrubbing with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad running at slow speed.

The resulting soil was extracted using a wet vacuum and then the tiles rinsed with water, so I would see where more work was needed. Stubborn stains were then spot treated with the same process before moving onto the next section. The Ceramic tiles in the fireplace hearth was treated in the same way.

After removing all the dirt, stains and paint I gave the floor a final rinse to remove any trace of cleaning product and extracted as much moisture as possible using the wet vacuum. The floor would need to be dry before applying a sealer, so to allow the floor to fully dry off I left the floor for two days.

Sealing Original Quarry Hallway Tiles

On my return I checked the tiles first to ensure they were dry. All was good so I set about applying a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing impregnating sealer that occupies the pores in the clay. Additionally, Colour Grow is a breathable sealer which is important for these old floors that don’t have a damp proof course. There was no need to apply the sealer to the ceramic tiles in the hearth however as they won’t take a sealer due to the glaze.

Old Black and Red Quarry Tiled Floor After Cleaning Whaley Bridge

Once completed the floor looked completely transformed and the client was more than happy. Work continues in other parts of the house and once they have finished decorating they have asked me to return to restore their beautiful old Victorian tiled hallway.

Old Ceramic Tiled Fireplace Hearth After Cleaning Whaley Bridge

 
 
Source: Quarry Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in Derbyshire

Rebuiling a Damaged Quarry Tiled Floor in Croydon

There is perhaps nothing more irritating for a homeowner than to discover a leaking pipe. Even worse still is when that leak occurs underneath a natural stone floor!

This recent customer of mine, who lives in Croydon, had unfortunately discovered a leaking pipe underneath her Quarry tiled kitchen floor. The plumbers had dug a trench in the floor to replace the pipe and fix the problem. As you can see in the photos below, the original tiles were not replaced and the entire floor was generally left in a bit of a mess.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Rebuild Croydon Quarry Tiled Floor Before Rebuild Croydon

The customer had been trying to find a professional company to restore the floor, but her insurance company would only agree to sending normal cleaning companies to the job. Given the reality of the situation, you won’t be surprised to know that these companies all politely refused!

The situation went unresolved for over six months before the customer finally decided to contact Tile Doctor to restore the floor.

Rebuilding and Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Floor

The restoration took place over the space of six days. Our first port of call was to replace the tiles that had been removed as part of the plumbing work. This wasn’t the easiest process as we had to level up the floor before the tiles could be replaced.

Making matters more complicated, the tiles were all hand-made, and it was a bit like completing a jigsaw to avoid lippage. Lippage – for those unfamiliar with the term – means when a floor is laid unevenly and it can make walking on it hazardous.

Quarry Tiled Floor During Rebuild Croydon Quarry Tiled Floor During Rebuild Croydon

Once the tiles were reinstalled, it was time to give the whole floor a deep clean. For this, we used Tile Doctor Oxy Gel, leaving it to dwell on the surface for around ten minutes, before scrubbing it into the stone in combination with hot water. Oxy Gel is a strong, alkaline-based cleaner which works effectively to break down dirt and grime, as well as old sealers and waxes.

The next stage of the restoration was to rinse the floor with fresh water, and then lay down Tile Doctor Acid Gel for 15 minutes. Acid Gel is a blend of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids in gel form which is used to neutralise any grout haze and efflorescence on the tiles.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Floor

After completing the deep cleaning process, we rinsed the floor again with fresh water and then left it to dry for three days. Giving the floor enough time to dry was important, since any excess moisture would not have allowed us to complete the restoration by sealing the tiles.

After a few days, however, the floor was indeed thoroughly dried and could receive a fresh seal. We sealed the floor using five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, a topical sealer which eliminates traditional two-step sealing methods. What this means is that it provides both a robust surface seal and a high-quality low sheen finish – in one product.

After six months of difficulty and disruption, the customer was very happy to have her Quarry floor completely restored in just six days. Check out the photos below to see the outcome.

Quarry Tiled Floor After Rebuild Croydon Quarry Tiled Floor After Rebuild Croydon

 
 
Source: Quarry Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Croydon, South-London

Removing Carpet Glue from Quarry Tiles in West Surrey

Dunsfold is a very small village in the borough of Waverley in West Surrey. It’s well known for the Dunsfold Aerodrome, an airfield that was built by the Canadian army during World War II. Hundreds of years ago, members of the English aristocracy held large estates of land in and around Dunsfold – and several historic cottages still exist in the area.

A customer of mine had recently bought one of these cottages and, during renovation work, had removed the downstairs carpets in three rooms to discover a Quarry tiled floor. Naturally, they were caked in many years’ worth of muck and carpet glue.

It would be a significant job to get the tiles in the three rooms back to looking their best – but it was a job I was more than willing to undertake. Classic Quarry tiles exude a certain rustic quality and charm – a welcome addition to many vintage properties, especially those located out in the countryside.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Renovation at Dunsfold Cottage Quarry Tiled Floor Before Renovation at Dunsfold Cottage

Deep Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Floor

I started the restoration by soaking small areas of the floor in Tile Doctor Remove and Go. This product is excellent for removing floor coatings such as old sealers as well as shifting stubborn filth and loosening carpet adhesive deposits. After carefully scraping any excess adhesive off manually with a sharp blade, I ran my buffing machine across the floor and immediately the tiles cleaned up well.

Next, I used a 200-grit (Coarse) diamond-encrusted burnishing pad on the floor. This basically skims a layer off the tile surface, revealing the original colour of the stone that had previously been hidden underneath. A small amount of water was used as lubrication for this process. Quarry tiles are naturally very porous so after rinsing the soil off the floor I left them over the weekend to dry.

While the somewhat aggressive approach of burnishing is highly effective, it can leave the tiles looking a little washed out – and the colour slightly diminished. However, I assured the customer that the colour would return once the tiles had been sealed.

Sealing an Original Quarry Tiled Floor

While I was enjoying my weekend off, the customer fortunately found a few replacement Quarry tiles in his attic to fit around the fireplace as upstands where there were some tiles missing. So, on my return to the property my first task was to fit these replacements, before sweeping the floor clear of any debris.

To finish the restoration, I applied a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, an impregnating sealant which provides the matte, natural-look finish the customer wanted. This sealant penetrates into the pores of the tile, so it dries inside the stone not on the surface. It also intensifies the fantastic red shades in the Quarry.

Quarry Tiled Floor After Renovation at Dunsfold Cottage

Around an hour after the coats of Colour Grow had been applied, the floor was dry and free to be walked on, and all the furniture could be returned. Much needed life and character had been restored to the Quarry tiled floor and the new property owner was very happy as a result.
 
 
Source: Quarry Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Dunsfold, West Surrey

Stripping Wax and Paint for Quarry Tiles in Cheltenham

It’s often quite surprising what condition we find some tiles in when were asked to come out and survey the floor. Case in point being this Quarry tiled kitchen floor I was asked to look at by a customer in Cheltenham, which as you may know is particularly famous for its racecourse and the top-secret GCHQ.

Upon arrival at the property, I found that the floor was not in great condition. For some reason, it had been painted over with red tile paint and then covered with a wax coating which was easily scratched. To Make the situation worse, there were around 20 tiles in the floor with holes in them that had simply been filled with concrete.

Quarry Tiled Floor Cheltenham Before Removing Paint Quarry Tiled Floor Cheltenham Before Removing Paint

Clearly, the tiles had not been maintained properly in the past but fortunately the current owner of the property who was keen to have them restored had called in Tile Doctor and after a demonstration clean I was booked to come back and correct the numerous issues.

Cleaning a Damaged Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor

On the first day of the restoration, I started by applying a solution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go across the entire floor and leaving the product to dwell for around 30 minutes. Remove and Go is a powerful stripper designed to loosen paint splashes, adhesive stains and many types of urethane and wax coatings so that they can be easily removed.

After leaving the product to dwell, I could use a handheld scrapper to simply remove the wax coating and layer of paint on the floor. This process took about half a day; during the second half of the day, I spent my time removing the damaged tiles and replacing them with new Quarry tiles that had been sourced to match nicely with the existing floor.

Quarry Tiled Floor Cheltenham During

On the second day, any stubborn paint splashes remaining were re-treated and I subsequently deep cleaned the floor using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. This strong alkaline cleaning product was worked into the tiles using a 17-inch scrubbing pad fitted to a specialised rotary machine. The resultant soil was extracted off the floor using a wet vacuum and given a rinse with water to neutralise the floor. The wet vacuum was used again to remove the water and extract as much moisture from the tiles as possible to improve the drying time.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor

Once the deep clean had been completed, I left the floor dry for two days to allow sufficient time for it to dry thoroughly. Upon returning to the property, I ran a damp test to see if the tiles were dry enough to be sealed. To my surprise, the floor recorded only around 4% moisture even though the property is relatively old and is unlikely to have a damp proof membrane installed.

Nonetheless, this meant I could seal the floor. I did this by using a single coat of our impregnating, colour-intensifying sealer known as Tile Doctor Colour Grow, followed by three coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, a water based sealer which provides a high-quality satin finish.

Quarry Tiled Floor Cheltenham After Cleaning and Sealing Quarry Tiled Floor Cheltenham After Cleaning and Sealing

The deep clean, combined with the application of two different sealers, really helped to give these Quarry tiles a new lease of life. The customer was very happy indeed – in fact, had this been an exam, I’m certain I would’ve received top marks and it was certainly a major improvement on how they were before.
 
 
Source: Quarry Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in Gloucestershire

Quarry Tiled Hallway Restoration in Surrey

As the West Surrey Tile Doctor I cover quite a large area including Haslemere which is a town on the South-Western edge of the county in the borough of Waverley. I was down there to visit a customer who had recently bought an old property there and during the renovations uncovered six foot of quarry tiles by the front door. There was a patch of concrete that also needed investigating.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Haslemere Quarry Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Haslemere

Cleaning Hallway Quarry Tiles

I began by carefully removing the layer of concrete with a scraper and a covering of Tile Doctor Acid-Gel hoping it would expose more quarry tiles underneath. Sadly, this wasn’t the case and all I exposed was an area of ruined quarry tiles and four buried bricks. These would have to be removed then filled to bring them to the same level as the remaining tile so I could lay new tiles their place. A couple of noisy hours later following drilling and violent chisel work I’d removed enough to lay flat tiles.

I spent the next hour cleaning and preparing the remaining good tiles. After years of being covered by carpet there was a fair amount of adhesive to remove. This was loosened with Tile Doctor Remove and Go and small abrasive hand-held Diamond blocks to get into the corners.

The Remove and Go was applied to the tiles, left to soak in for ten minutes and then worked into the tile and grout with a stiff brush. The then the soiled solution was rinsed off and extracted using a wet vacuum. Following this work the tiles looked clean but worn out and colourless which is not unusual for this stage of the process and would be resolved once a sealer had been applied.

Tiles were then cut to measure then fixed in place with a rapid adhesive in line with the originals. Once they had set they were grouted in with a grout that closely matched the original. The rest of the floor was inspected at this point and any holes filled with more grout until flat. The grout and tiles were left to dry which was a good opportunity for me to eat lunch.

Sealing Original Quarry Tiles

It was only a small area so later that afternoon the tile and grout and I was able to finish the restoration with the application of two coats of sealer. On this occasion I chose to use Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that soaks into the pores of the clay Quarry tiles protecting them from within and also enhancing the red colours in the tile.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Haslemere

The result was a significant improvement and the customer was very happy, leaving the following testimonial on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

“Rupert was absolutely brilliant. Very friendly and professional, worked cleanly and totally rejuvenated our quarry tile entryway. Would definitely call him again and recommend to friends.”
 
 
Source: Quarry Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Surrey

Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Kitchen at a Listed Building in Devon

This story follows on from a previous post on the renovation of a Victorian Tiled Reception Area at a listed Georgian Townhouse in the middle of the small market town of South Moulton in North Devon. You may recall he was struggling to clean the floor in the reception area and I was called in to sort it out. Whilst I was there he also asked me to deep clean and seal the Kitchen Quarry Tiles.

Kitchens as you can imagine are one of the busiest areas in any house and as a result the floors do see a fair amount of wear; in this case the Quarry tiles were dull and lifeless and I suspect any previous sealer had long since worn off.

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning South Molton

Cleaning Kitchen Quarry Tiles

The Quarry tiles were in a better state than the Victorian tiles I discussed in the previous post so a less aggressive course of action was required. In this case I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and left it to soak in. Pro-Clean is an effective tile cleaner which will clean and strip off old sealers in a strong dilution. This was important as I wanted to be sure any remaining sealer would be removed, typically sealers wear off in the high use floor areas first so it was quite possible some sealer would still be present on the less used parts of the floor.

After ten minutes I agitated the solution with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary scrubbing machine to really get the floor clean and then rinsed off the soiled cleaning solution with water and a wet and dry vacuum before leaving it overnight to dry off fully.

Sealing Kitchen Quarry Tiles

The following day I returned and after rechecking the moisture levels to ensure that they had adequately dried out I started to seal the Quarry tiles in the Kitchen using Six coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which leaves a satin finish once dried and gives the tiles a freshly mopped or slightly glazed look.

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor After Cleaning South Molton

The customer was thrilled and left the following feedback on the Tile Doctor feedback system:

“The work was carried out in a professional manner, with excellent results.”

For aftercare I left the customer with some guidance on care and maintenance of the floor as well as a suitable bottle of tile cleaner.
 
 
Source: Quarry Floor Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Devon

Maintaining a Victorian Quarry Tiled School Floor in Northamptonshire

It was back in 2013 that I first visited this school in Oundle to attend to a 150-year old Victorian Quarry tiled floor which, at the time, had extensive problems with damp and a poor performing sealer that had gradually peeled away.

Victorian Quarry Tiles Oundle School in 2012

Over a few weeks, we successfully stripped away the old and ineffective sealant and addressed the damp issues, before applying a breathable sealer. We subsequently allowed the tiles to successfully dry out for several months before returning to the school to provide a light clean and apply our topical sealer, known as Tile Doctor Seal and Go, as the school required a shiny, yet hard-wearing finish.

I posted a story on my website about this original job, which you can see here:

150 Year Old Quarry Tile Restoration in Northants School

As part of my initial visit, I had supplied the school with five litres of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner, which is a pH neutral formula designed for regular use, and a white buffing pad. I had also spent an hour with their in-house cleaner (who was already familiar with using a buffing machine) to talk through daily maintenance of the floor, as over 100 children can be walking over these floors at any one time on an almost daily basis.

Of course, not every floor will receive this amount of traffic and suffer from this level of wear and tear, but in these situations Tile Doctor can offer a maintenance plan for our customers.

Victorian Quarry Tiles Oundle School in 2013

Cleaning and Sealing Quarry Tiles for Maintenance

The school have me back annually to carry out a full maintenance clean and seal. This involves, firstly, etching the top coats of sealant with a green diamond-encrusted burnishing pad to remove any build-up of dirt and staining. Then, I rinse the whole floor with fresh water and soak up the residue with a wet vacuum.

After drying the area with fans, I proceed to reapply two fresh coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go. This is now my fourth year of visiting the school and, as the photos show, an annual maintenance plan is the best way to keep floors in top condition without the disruption caused by a full clean or restoration.

Victorian Quarry Tile After Maintenance Oundle School in 2017

Contact your local Tile Doctor consultant about the maintenance plan we offer for any natural stone flooring after an initial clean.
 
 
Source: Tile Cleaning and Maintenance Service in Northamptonshire