Located in the hallway of an old vicarage in the historic town of Stratford upon Avon these Quarry tiles had been hidden under carpet for many years and before that it appears had been painted in red brick paint and splattered with plaster and paint from decorating. I was asked if there was anything we could do to restore them and having done a number of these types of renovations before I was confident that would could and got the go ahead to proceed.
Restoring a Quarry tiled floor
The first job was to give the floor a really good deep clean and to remove any coatings from the tiles. To do this a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go was left to soak into the floor for about 30 minutes before being scrubbed in using a slow speed rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. I then used a wet vacuum to remove the resultant soiled solution and rinsed the floor down with water. There were quite a few stubborn areas and so the whole process had to be repeated, additionally some of the paint needed to carefully removed using a scraper.
Once the floor was clean I gave it a wash with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up which is an acid based product that will remove light grout smears and mineral deposits from effloresce which can leave to white salt deposits appearing on the tile surface and can be quite common on old tiled floors that have no damp proof course.
The cleaning process took up the whole day and after finishing the whole floor was given a thorough rinse with water to ensure no trace of cleaning product remained on the floor.
Sealing a Quarry tiled floor
I left the floor overnight to dry then came back next day and used a damp test meter to verify the floor was dry and ready for sealing. Once happy I proceed to apply four coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which matched their requirements in a sealer exactly as it provides a matt finish brings out the colour in the stone and offers great stain protection.
The owner of this residence near Caerphilly Castle had discovered a 150x150mm red Quarry tiled floor in the kitchen which dated back to before 1900 and had unfortunately been tiled over by a previous owner. Keen on restoring such an original feature the owner set about removing the tiles on top using a chisel and scraping off the adhesive, it was at this point we got the call to assist.
Restoring a Quarry Tiled Floor
Before proceeding my first job is to always check the moisture levels, many of these old floors have no damp proof membrane so without taking a base reading it’s tricky to know if the floor has thoroughly dried later. The kitchen was being replaced and the old kitchen had been removed so I was able to work on the restoration before the new one had been installed making the task easier.
To clean the floor I realised I would need a strong cleaning solution to get these old Quarry tiles clean so I diluted Tile Doctor Pro-Clean 50:50 with Heavy Build-up Remover or Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU as we like to call it. This was applied to a wet floor and scrubbed in using a scrubbing machine fitted with a coarse back pad running on slow speed. I rinsed the floor every so often so I could see the difference and discovered my choice of cleaning product has proved to be effective and fast. Before long I was happy to rinse away the now soiled cleaning solution satisfied that I could not improve the tiles any further with more cleaning.
Sealing a Quarry Tiled Floor
I left the floor to dry for 24h hours before returning to seal the tiles. On my return I checked the moisture levels and there were some high readings so using a heat gun I applied some gentle heat to the tiles allowing them to cool before checking again. This did the trick and the second reading was much better so I proceeded to seal the tiles using Tile Doctor Seal and Go which I find works well on quarry tiles. The quarry tiles were quite worn and very porous and as result needed at nine coats of sealer before they were fully sealed. I do find multiple of coats of sealer works well on floors of this condition as it helped to hide the imperfections and marks caused by the chisel and scrapper.
The owners were delighted with the results and asked me to come back and restore their terrazzo hallway floor which will be subject to another post.
This house near Banbury was the tied accommodation for an old village police station from the days when the local bobby would live in the house next door. I’m sure the Quarry tiled floor had a rich history which no doubt contributed to its poor state and was eventually was covered up with linoleum which had been stuck to the tiles with adhesive. Recently however the house had been sold and redecorated and the new owner wanted the floor restoring to its former glory.
Restoring Quarry Tiles
I started by covering the floor with a dilution of Tile Doctor Remove & Go which was left to dwell for 20 minutes taking care to ensure it didn’t dry out; it was then scrubbed into the floor with a black pad attached to my Rocky floor machine. This process removed most of the glue on the floor so after removing most the slurry and inspecting the floor I could see it would be necessary to repeat the whole process again and get down on my hand and knees to scrape off the thicker parts of the glue.
Once the glue had been removed the floor it was rinsed with clean water which was then removed using a wet vacuum. The next process was to clean the dirt out of the pores of the tile using a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean and warm water. Again the solution was left to soak into the tiles before scrubbing, rinsing and removing with the wet vacuum.
After a lunch break the surface of the floor was drying and I noticed that the tiles we’re going white which would need to be dealt with before sealing. Older floors tend not to have a damp proof course which can lead to damp rising up through the tile depositing white salts on the surface in the process. This problem is called efflorescence and to resolve the tiles needed to be treated with Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up which was scrubbed into the tiles and washed off as before. The floor was then vacuumed dry and then left so it could dry out completely.
Sealing a Quarry Tiled floor
I returned a couple of days later and the floor was dry and clean but looking rather dull; to put some life back in the floor it was going to need to be sealed. I first put a coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow down which brought the colour back into the tiles plus this is a good sealer on its own as it impregnates the pores of the tile and makes a terrific base seal. To complete I followed up with a number of coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go which Is a topical sealer that provided the shiny finish the customer wanted.
The quarry tiled floor is now restored from what was once a very old neglected floor to a nice clean easy to maintain surface.
Apologies for the poor quality of these grainy Quarry Tile Cleaning photographs taken in the kitchen of a residential property in Daventry but it was the middle of winter and I was using my phone camera which doesn’t have an effective flash. Hopefully you can see from the photograph below how dirt had become ingrained into the tile and stains to the grout.
Cleaning Quarry Tiles
To get the floor clean I removed the kick boards around the base of the kitchen units and applied a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed with NanoTech Ultraclean which adds tiny abrasive particles to an already powerful alkaline cleaning product that is safe to use on tile and stone. It was applied with a mop and left it to dwell on the floor for twenty minutes first in order to give it chance to soak into the tile and get to work on the dirt. It was then worked into the floor using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad, stiff hand brushes were along the grout lines. The soiled solution was picked up with a wet and dry vacuum and the floor was then rinsed with clean water to neutralise the tile and allow us to see which areas need further attention. Once I was happy the floor was given a final rinse and then left to dry overnight ready for sealing the next day.
Sealing Quarry Tiles
On my return the floor was checked in a number of places with a damp meter to confirm it had dried which it had and it was then sealed using numerous coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which adds a nice shine to the floor as well as providing a surface seal that will help protect the tile from stains going forward. Sealing can take some time as you need to let the first coat dry before starting the second.
A while ago I was asked to quote to clean up an old quarry tiled floor in a converted barn in Ashtead. Whilst I was there I carried out a test patch for the lady to show what the results would be; she had said that if she wasn’t satisfied she was going to replace the floor so she must have met her expectations as a week later we were given the go ahead to carry out the work.
Cleaning Hallway Quarry Tiles
Fortunately for us they had recently removed the old kitchen and scheduled us after to clean the quarry tiles before completing the decorating and refitting a new kitchen. We cleaned the tiles using a mixture of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean diluted 1:4 parts with water and Nanotech Ultraclean which adds tiny abrasive particles into the cleaning solution. Normally I would work this into the floor using a black scrubbing pad however the floor was very uneven so I used a medium nylon brush on my rotary machine instead, this had the added advantage of reaching into the grout as well. I should mention we thoroughly rinsed the floor as we went along using a wet vacuum to remove the soiled solution. It took two of us two days to scrub the areas that had to be done and we had a blower running to help dry out the floor.
Sealing Hallway Quarry Tiles
We returned three days later and carried out moisture test to ensure the floors were dry and ready to be sealed. The Quarry tiles were then sealed them with five coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that reaches into the pores of the tile and lifts the natural colours. The owner was extremely happy with the floor and couldn’t wait to have her new kitchen installed to see how it would look.
These photographs are from a Quarry Tile Cleaning job we did for a house owner in Cambridge, I’m afraid my photographs are not the best but I think you can see how the Quarry tiles were looking discoloured and worn.
Cleaning Kitchen Quarry Tiles
Working in sections the floor was wetted with a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean combined 50/50 with Nanotech UltraClean, these two products combine to make a powerful and effective cleaning solution that’s safe to use on tile and stone. The solution was left to soak into the tile for twenty minutes whilst we got our machinery ready.
It helps if you have the right tools for the job and in this case we fitted a scrubbing pad to a rotary buffing machine and working the cleaning solution into the floor to scrub away the ingrained dirt. The machine can struggle to get into the grout lines so these need to be scrubbed by hand using a stiff brush and more cleaning solution. Once the floor was clean the soiled solution was picked up using a wet and dry vacuum and then washed down with clean water to remove any trace of chemical. This revealed a few stubborn areas that needed further work so these were re-treated and the floor washed down again and then left to dry overnight.
Sealing Kitchen Quarry Tiles
We came back the next day to seal the floor and after checking the tiles had indeed dried we proceeded to apply Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water based sealer (no smell) that really brings out the shine and colour in Quarry tiles. Around five coats were sufficient and once it had dried the floor was transformed.
These old red and black Victorian quarry tiles at a house in Leek, Staffordshire, were in a bit of a state as you can see from the photographs below.
Cleaning old Quarry Tiles
To clean the floor I applied a 50/50 mix of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and NanoTech Ultra Clean diluted with water which was left to soak into the floor and then worked into the tile using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad running at a slow speed. Pro-Clean is a strong alkaline cleaner and NanoTech Ultra Clean adds tiny abrasive particles to the solution that can help lift out the dirt.
After cleaning it I noticed that in places it was not as clean as I would of liked it, so to improve it further it necessary to get on my hands and knees and scrub them with a stronger dilution of the Pro-Clean and NanoTech UltraClean solution and a small black pad. This did the trick and so final step was to neutralise the floor tiles ready for sealing by giving them a good wash with clean water and then left it overnight to dry. A Wet Vacuum comes in handy during this process for removing fluids from the floor
Sealing old Victorian Quarry Tiles
The next day I wiped it over with a damp mop to get any dirt or dust that might have settled overnight and then when it was dry again I applied four coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go using an air mover to help dry the floor quicker between coats.
Seal and Go adds a nice low shine to the tile and as you can see the floor looked amazing afterwards, needless to say the customer was very pleased with the transformation and left the comment below.
“I found Trevor a very professional and dedicated workman. He would not let the job finish until he had got the best result.
Miss Jackie Spencer, Leek”
Customer had these Dennis Ruabon Quarry Tiles fitted over 20 years ago in the WC of his house in Low Bentham, various cleaning and sealing products have been used since however this left a build-up of contamination on the Tiles which was detrimental to their aesthetic appeal and also left a noticeable residue smell.
Cleaning Quarry Tiles
To clean the Tiles and strip off previous sealing coatings we used Tile Doctor Pro-clean diluted 1 to 10 with warm water. This was left to dwell on the floor for a while before being worked into the tile using and black buffer pad fitted to a rotary buffing machine. The whole area was cleaned in this manner along with a stiff hand brush to get into the grout lines and a wet vacuum which was used to suck up the dirty residue before the floor was rinsed down with cold water. The wet vacuum was used again to remove the water, one tile was loose so this was re-fixed and the floor left to dry.
Sealing Quarry Tiles
Once the floor was fully dry we applied two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which will protect it going forward and also helps to bring out the colour in the tile whilst maintaining a more natural appearance. There were some stubborn stains and discolouration on the tiles that could not be treated however I think you will agree it is much improved and you will have to take my word for this but it also smells better
Before leaving we left the customer with a bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral cleaner, this product is recommended for sealed floors due to its very low PH formula; there are a number of acidic floor cleaning products available which should not be used with stone or sealed floors as the acid will eat into the seal or stone surface over time reducing its life.
These photographs are from a Quarry Tile Cleaning job we did for a lady in Brixton recently, as you can see from the early pictures they were not only dirty but there was also evidence of an old sealer and splashes of paint on them as well both of which would have to be removed first.
Cleaning Hallway Quarry Tiles
The first task we did on arrival was to disconnect her cooker and washing machine which were placed outside in the garden, this would allow us to get at all the tiled areas and also meant there was less to protect.
Working in small sections the next step was to pre-wet the floor tiles followed by adding a dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go combined 50/50 with Nanotech UltraClean, these two products combine to make a powerful cleaner/stripper that’s safe to use on tile. The cleaning solution was left to soak into the tile whilst we set up all of our equipment and added protective coverings to the kitchen units, walls and adjoining floors.
After about forty five minutes we re-wet the areas and hand scrubbed the tiles using scouring pads. This process was repeated covering small areas at a time until the kitchen was finished. We then used our scrubbing machine with a medium brush head fitted and thoroughly rinsed the floor to remove any trace of chemical.
We needed the floor dry for sealing so a couple of Turbo blowers we setup to force dry the floor and this took a couple of hours before my moisture meter told me that the floor was dry enough.
Sealing Hallway Quarry Tiles
After discussing sealer choices with the customer it was decided to seal the floor with Tile Doctor Colour Grow which provides a natural finish whilst lifting the natural colours in the tile. Two coats were sufficient and once it had dried we refitted the cooker and washing machine, put all the plinths back and removed all of our protective coverings.
The lady was really pleased with our work and left the following testimonial.
“Bill did a fantastic job on my kitchen floor, I can’t thank him enough. Mrs Scott, Brixton”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I think you will agree the floor has been transformed and given a new lease of life.
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.
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.
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.