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

Rebuilding a Quarry Tiled Floor in an old Rugby Pub

Pubs have been though a decline in the last ten years with one in five closing due to increased business rates and some believe the ban on smoking has had a part to play. My client saw this particular pub come up for sale in Newbold-on-Avon near Rugby and snapped it up with the intention of turning the lovely thatched Cottage back into a home. It needed a lot of work though and I was called into to sort out the floor which was a mixture of 6×6 inch and 9×9 inch Quarry tiles. The tiles were in a bit of a state and there were also large sections of concrete in 3 areas that had been painted red to blend in with the tiles.

Quarry Tiled Floor Thatched Cottage in Rugby Before Quarry Tiled Floor Thatched Cottage in Rugby Before

Rebuilding and Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Floor

The customer wanted the Quarry tiled floor restoring and extended throughout the floor which meant a substantial amount of work would be required to remove the concrete, rebuild the foundation and level with screed and then fit around 100 reclaimed tiles not to mention cleaning and sealing.

Quarry Tiled Floor Thatched Cottage in Rugby During Rebuild Quarry Tiled Floor Thatched Cottage in Rugby During Rebuild

The work was hard going at times, especially knocking out the concrete and adding the screed surface to the right level. Once that was done worked moved quickly on to laying the new tiles and grouting them in. Overall it took three days just to rebuild the floor alone.

Quarry Tiled Floor Thatched Cottage in Rugby During Rebuild Quarry Tiled Floor Thatched Cottage in Rugby During Rebuild

The customer did not what the Floor to look too different between the old and new so once the tiling was done the whole floor was treated with Tile Doctor Remove and Go to remove traces of red paint and glue. The solution was scrubbed in using a rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad and then rinsed off with water and then extracted using a wet vacuum.

This improved the look of the tiles but it also revealed some grout haze issues on the original tiles and after digging up the floor earlier I was aware no damp proof course had been installed which is not unusual in these older properties. To counter the grout haze and deal with any potential efflorescence issues I gave the whole floor an acid wash with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up which was scrubbed in and then rinsed off with water and extracted with a the wet vacuum. The tiles need to be dry in order to be sealed so I left the floor for 24 hours with a number of industrial Air Movers in place to aid the drying process.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Floor

Upon my return to the house I checked for any dampness that could have damaged the performance of the sealer, thankfully, the floor was dry and ready to seal, and so I proceeded to apply several coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go Extra.

Seal & Go Extra is a fully breathable sealer that allows for effective moisture transmission, important where no damp proof course is installed. The sealer provides durable surface protection against dirt and stains, and is suitable for most kinds of internal, natural stone tiled floors, including Quarry, Victorian and Flagstone.

Quarry Tiled Floor Thatched Cottage in Rugby After Quarry Tiled Floor Thatched Cottage in Rugby After

The job took a week in total and as you can see from the photographs I successfully managed to restore the old tiles which with the addition of the cleaning and sealing have blended in well with the new tiles.
 
 
Source: Quarry Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Warwickshire

Restoring a Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Hidden under Lino in Cambridge

This job was for a lovely old lady in Cambridge, her kitchen floor had been covered with a wood effect Lino thirty years earlier and she felt it was time to have it removed and have the original Kitchen Quarry tiles underneath restored.

Kitchen Quarry Tiled Floor Covered with Lino Cambridge Kitchen Quarry Tiled Floor Covered with Lino Cambridge

The lino was good quality having stood the test of time however to ensure the lino didn’t sink into the grout lines the whole floor had been levelled with some sort of screed which would need to be carefully removed.

Kitchen Quarry Tiled Floor with Lino Removed Cambridge Kitchen Quarry Tiled Floor with Lino Removed Cambridge

Removing the Linoleum covering and cleaning the floor

My first task was to carefully scrape off as much of the linoleum covering as possible without damaging the floor beneath. I managed toe remove most of the screed by lightly chipping away with a chisel and hammer followed by a blade to scrape as much screed as possible off the tile and grout.

To deal with the remaining screed I used a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up which is an acidic product and needs to be applied with care. It was scrubbed in using a rotary machine running on slow speed and fitted with a black scrubbing pad. To remove the soil I used our truck mounted hot water extraction machine which applies hot water under pressure with a special lance that simultaneously extracts the waste back to a tank on the van.

The last stage of cleaning was to apply a coat of Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel to remove any previous sealer that may still be present on the tile. As well as using the scrubbing machine I also used a stiff brush along the grout lines as well. Final step was another rinse with the truck mounted extraction machine before leaving the floor to dry off fully overnight.

Kitchen Quarry Tiled Floor Before Restoration Cambridge Kitchen Quarry Tiled Floor Before Restoration Cambridge

Sealing Kitchen Quarry Tiles

When I returned to the property I used a damp meter to test the floor, making sure that the surface was dry enough to commence sealing (as any excess solution can affect the performance of the sealer). My sealer of choice was Tile Doctor Seal & Go Extra, a topical sealer which works well on Quarry tiles restoring appearance and providing a nice finish along with durable protection. This particular sealer is also suitable for floors where damp maybe an issue and with an old floor like this installed before the invention of Damp Proof Membranes choosing the right sealer is very important to avoid issues with efflorescence.

Kitchen Quarry Tiled Floor After Restoration Cambridge Kitchen Quarry Tiled Floor After Restoration Cambridge

The floor was completely transformed and the client was extremely happy with the out come and even left the following lengthy testimonial on the Tile Doctor Feedback system which is always appreciated.

“Tom did excellent work on quite a tricky job. Our kitchen tiles are over sixty years old. Tom took up and disposed of our old kitchen Lino, removed the layers of concrete screed, then buffed, glossed and sealed the original tiles until they shone like new! The natural salts worked their way to the surface of the tiles just like Tom said would happen, and a fortnight later Tom returned to re-surface and re-gloss the tiles. The floor now looks great. Tom was very professional throughout and the work was no easy job to accomplish, so he has done a great job. We are very pleased with our kitchen floor, which now has a new lease of life. I would recommend the Tile Doctor if you need a floor restored at any time.
Miss Webber, Cambridge 02 August 2017”
 
 
Source: Quarry Tile Cleaning and Maintenance Service in Cambridgeshire

Worst Grout Haze Removed From Quarry Tiled Patio

This customer based in New Cross South East London had a significant problem with their patio. Their home is a period Victorian property so when choosing a stone for the patio, they bought reclaimed quarry tiles to marry up with the period of the house, and proceeded with their DIY project. Unfortunately they were not aware that quarry tiles are porous until sealed, and grout left on the tile and not wiped off immediately, will leave a grout haze or in this case stick to the tile altogether.

I inspected the tiles and confirmed this was the worst case of grout haze I had ever seen; un-deterred I proceeded to carry out a test clean (you can see this reflected in the video above) and this demonstrated successfully that the tiles could be restored.

Cleaning Patio Quarry Tiles

Satisfied with the results of the test clean I proceeded to clean the rest of the floor. For this I used Tile doctor Grout Clean-Up which contains concentrated acid and is designed to penetrate below the surface to remove grout smears; this was diluted 1 to 1 with water which is a very strong mix. I sprayed the solution onto the tiles, working 1sqm at a time, leaving it to dwell on the tiles for a few minutes before scrubbing the tiles by hand with a rough pan cleaner. I then rinsed the area off with water and used my wet vac to remove the soiled solution. The strong mix had the desired effect on the Quarry tiles but it was necessary to go over the area again after spotting some of the worse stains the first application had missed. Happy with the result, I carried out this process across the rest of the patio, working 1 sqm at a time.

Sealing Kitchen Quarry Tiles

When I was finished the customer was very happy with the result, and now had a patio they could use. The customer was keen to carry on with their DIY project, and wanted to seal the patio themselves, so I advised them to use Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is a colour intensifier and impregnated sealer; this will both protect and enhance the reclaimed quarry tile into the future.
 
 
Source: Removal of grout haze from reclaimed Quarry Tiles on a Patio

Removal of Grout Haze on a Quarry Tiled Floor

These photographs are from a recently laid Quarry tiled floor in Woodford. East London where the tiler had smothered the tiles with grout and left it on the surface too long where it had then dried and he was unable to remove it. Unable to rectify the problem the Quarry tiles were then sealed, I suspect this was in an attempt to improve the look of the floor which unfortunately left it looking quite the opposite.

Quarry Tiles with Grout Haze

Remove Grout Haze and Cleaning Quarry Tiles

Undeterred by the state of the floor which we were confident could be put right we took the job on. The first step was to remove the sealer by using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed 3 parts water to 1 part Pro-Clean. This was left to dwell on the tile surface for ten minutes before scrubbing with black pads fitted to a rotary scrubbing machine.

Removing Grout Haze

Once we were happy the sealer had been removed we could tackle the Grout Haze with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up. It’s applied to the tile surface and again scrubbed in with black scrubbing pads. There was a lot of grout haze so the processes had to be repeated; all the edges were done on hands and knees with small doodle bug pads. Once the haze was removed we washed the floor three times with water to remove any residue.

Quarry Tile During Cleaning Quarry Tiles with Partial Grout Haze

The dirty solution was removed using a wet vacuum and the floor was rinsed three times to remove the residue and neutralise it, the floor was then left for 48 hours to allow it dry fully prior to sealing.

Sealing Quarry Tiles

When we returned we sealed the Quarry tiles using Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is recommended for sealing quarry tiles and give’s a nice low sheen effect. Five coats of sealer where needed in total which took some time to apply as you have to let the sealer dry before applying the next coat.

Quarry Tiles Cleaned and Sealed

The result was a very satisfied customer.
 
 
Source: Quarry Floor Cleaning and Sealing in Woodford, Essex

Quarry tile refresh in Leicestershire

Details below of a Quarry Tiled kitchen floor installed in a house in the Leicestershire village of Croft. The floor was very old and heavily soiled with some paint spots and the quarry tiles were looking dull and tired, there was some staining to the grout.

Croft Quarry Tiles Before Cleaning

Cleaning Kitchen Quarry Tiles

A solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean was applied to the floor and left to soak for a short while before being scrubbed in with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The grout also need attention, unfortunately we don’t have a machine that will get into the grout lines so this had to be manually scrubbed by hand using a grout brush, which as you can imagine took some time to do. The soiled cleaning solution was then removed using a wet vacuum and the floor thoroughly rinsed with water and then left to dry overnight.

Sealing Kitchen Quarry Tiles

When we returned the next day we could see there were some grout lines that we had missed the day before so we set about cleaning those up. Once we were happy with the floor it and it had managed to dry off we sealed the floor using five coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which provides surface stain protection to the quarry tile and grout and also brings out the colour in the surface of the tile.

Croft Quarry Tiles After Cleaning and Sealing

 
 
Source: Quarry Tile Cleaning in Leicestershire

Neglected Victorian Quarry Tiles Transformed

We were asked to restore this Original Victorian Quarry tiled floor following a major refurbishment of a Grade 1 listed mansion in Pangbourne, Berkshire. The tiles has seen many years of neglect and as you can see from the photo below it was not given much thought or care by the builders and decorators who had been working on the property.

Neglected Victorian Quarry Tiles

Cleaning Victorian Quarry Tiles

We set about stripping and cleaning the floor of all the paint and dirt that had been left to accumulate on its surface over the years starting with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean worked into the Quarry tiles using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. This was removed using a wet and dry vacuum and followed by hours of detailed cleaning using Tile Doctor Remove and Go mixed 50/50 with NanoTech Ultra Clean which adds Nano sized abrasive particles to the solution to make a more effective coatings remover. We allowed this to dwell for a short while before agitating it with a rotary machine again fitted with a black scrubbing pad working the solution into the floor, this treatment tackled the stubborn paint and all sorts of other residues. Once we were happy with floor it was given a good rinse down with clean water and then left to dry.

Refurbished Victorian Quarry Tiles

Sealing Quarry Tiles

Once the Quarry Tiles were dry we set about sealing them, a low sheen finish was required so four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go were applied, it’s a water based sealer that will protect the surface going forward. The Main contractor could not believe we managed to get the floor looking pristine and back to its original condition.
 
 
Source: Transforming a neglected Victorian Quarry Tiled floor in Berkshire

Cleaning Kitchen Quarry Tiles

Details below of a Quarry Tiled kitchen floor that were cleaned and sealed for a customer in Fareham. The main problems were that the tiles were becoming increasingly difficult to clean so they looked dull and tired and the grout had become stained.

Cleaning Kitchen Quarry Tiles

A solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean was applied to the floor and left to soak for a short while before being scrubbed in with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The grout was also in need of attention and this had to be scrubbed by hand using a stiff brush along the grout lines, which as you can imagine took some time. The soiled cleaning solution was then removed using a wet vacuum and the floor thoroughly rinsed with water and then left to dry overnight.

Fareham Quarry Tiled Floor Begin Fareham Quarry Tiled Floor Begin

Sealing Kitchen Quarry Tiles

When we returned the next day we could see there were a few areas in need of some further attention so we set about cleaning those up. Once we were happy with the floor and it had managed to dry off we sealed the floor using six coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water based sealer (so no smell) that provides surface stain protection to the quarry tile and grout and also leaves a nice deep low sheen on the tile surface.

Fareham Quarry Tiled Floor Finished Fareham Quarry Tiled Floor Finished

 
 
Source: Quarry Tile Cleaning in Hampshire

Removing efflorescence from old Quarry Tiles

This Quarry tiled floor in Milton Abbas, Dorset was over 200 years old and had suffered from various attempts at maintenance over the years. Built at a time before the invention of damp proof membranes there was evidence of efflorescence where damp had risen up through the floor and deposited salts on the tile surface leaving white staining.

Quarry Tiles Floor Before

Cleaning and Efflorescence removal

Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up was applied to remove the Efflorescence, it’s an Acid based product more commonly used for the removal of grout from the tile surface but also just as handy for the removal of mineral deposits, rust stains as well as efflorescence; I should warn that you can’t leave the product on the tile surface for too long as being an Acid it can damage the tile so it needs to be washed off with clean water soon afterwards.

Once we had tackled the efflorescence problem we set about cleaning and neutralising the floor using a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed 50/50 with NanoTech Ultra Clean which adds nano sized abrasive particles to the solution to make a more effective cleaner. We allowed this to dwell for a short while before agitating it with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad working the solution into the floor. Once we were happy with floor it was washed down with a high pressure spinning tool which is a special floor cleaning machine. Once clean the dirty solution was removed using a Vet Vacuum and then left to dry.

Quarry Tiles Floor Cleaning Quarry Tiles Floor During

Sealing Quarry Tiles

When the floor was dry we applied Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a specially formulated water-based blended sealer ideal for Quarry tiles that provides both a stain resistant surface seal with a durable low-sheen finish, six coats were required to completely seal the floor.

Quarry Tiles Floor During

I think you will agree the floor has been transformed and given a new lease of life.
 
 
Source: Quarry Tile Cleaning in Dorset

Quarry Tile Restoration

This Quarry tiled floor is installed in a house that was built circa 1920, well before the invention of damp proof course. Although there was no evidence of damp there was quite a bit of old plaster, trapped dirt and paint splashes on the quarry tiles, the video below gives you a good idea of the state it was in.

Cleaning Quarry flagged flooring

We cleaned the Quarry tiles first with a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-clean which improved the floor but struggled to shift the stubborn areas. Something stronger was required to we applied Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up on the Plaster and Grout followed by a small amount of Tile Doctor Remove and Go to get rid of the Paint Splashes. The floor was then rinsed down with clean water which was then vacuumed off the floor using a wet vacuum and left it to dry overnight.

Sealing Quarry floor tile

The next morning we used a damp meter to verify the floor had dried sufficiently for sealing, it’s always possible to hurry this along with an industrial fan or heat gun for small areas. In this case the floor was fine and we proceeded to seal it using four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which results in a nice low sheen finish as well as providing lasting stain protection, four coats of Seal and Go were needed to seal the Quarry Tiles.

I think you will agree the floor looks transformed.
 
 
Source: Quarry Tile Cleaning in Lancashire

Restoring Varnished Quarry Tiles

This Quarry tiled hallway installed in a house in South West London had been varnished many years previously and was worn through leaving a dark and uneven appearance and difficult to clean.

Cleaning the Quarry Tiled Floor

We started cleaning the Quarry Tiles by applying a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean worked into the floor using a buffing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. Although this had an effect on the Varnish it was proving difficult to shift so using a scraper tool it was manually scraped off the floor. The floor was washed down with clean water and then cleaned again using Pro-Clean before finally washing down three more times using clean water in order to neutralise the floor and remove any trace of cleaning products before sealing.

Quarry-Tiled Hallway before cleaning

Sealing Quarry Floor Tiles

The floor was left to dry overnight and I came back the next day to apply the sealer. For sealing the Quarry tiles I used five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, it’s recommended for Quarry tiles and adds a nice low sheen to the floor; sealing does take time as it’s necessary to allow each coat to dry before applying the next so it took most of the day to complete the job. You can see the difference in the floor which has come up a lot lighter and is now much easier to maintain.

Quarry-Tiled Hallway after cleaning and sealing

 
 
Source: Quarry Tile Cleaning in London SW11