Improving Salt Damaged Quarry Tiled Floor in Hartlebury, Worcestershire

I was contacted by the new owner of a property in Hartlebury who needed help renovating a Quarry tiled floor in their dining room. The house was full of original period features however the Quarry tiles had experienced a lot of wear over the years and were now in need of a deep clean and seal. Hartlebury by the way is a lovely village close to the larger town of Kidderminster and famous for Hartlebury Castle which was built in the mid-13th century.

There were a few tiles which had experienced salt damage in the past and I explained that as a Tile Doctor I could change these tiles for her to give the best finish. The customer however, decided she would like to keep the original floor without changing the tiles and just concentrate on the clean and seal. I conducted a test clean on part of the floor to demonstrate the difference we could achieve and also work out the best products for the floor. The test went well and happy with the results my quote was accepted, and the work scheduled.

Salt Damaged Quarry Tiled Floor Before Renovation Hartlebury

I have mentioned this before but it’s worth pointing out again that damp proof membranes did not become common until the 1970’s. Properties built before then were subject to damp rising through the sub floor drawn up by evaporation at the floor surface. Alkaline salt deposits would also be brought up with the moisture and leave a white deposit on the surface of the tile. This process is commonly known as efflorescence and can cause damage to tiles which are coated with a non-breathable coating. In extreme circumstances where the whole floor is trapping moisture under the surface then it can spread outwards into the walls leading to rising damp.

Deep Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Dining Room Floor

My first step was to concentrate on the edges of the floor using a wire brush and Tile Doctor Remove and Go on the difficult areas and paint marks. I then sprayed the rest of the floor with some more Tile Doctor Remove and Go and left it to dwell for ten minutes. Once the dirt had started to lift, I used my rotary scrubber with a black pad and worked the solution in. The soiled product was then rinsed off the floor with water and vacuumed away using a wet vacuum.

The next step was to remove the white efflorescence from the surface of the Quarry tiles and neutralise any alkaline salts within the tile. The best way to do this is to give the floor an acid wash. I use Tile Doctor Acid Gel for this purpose and being a Gel it’s very easy to control. Again, the product is worked into the floor using a rotary machine and black pad. The floor was then rinsed thoroughly and then vacuumed to remove all the soil and as much moisture as possible. After I had finished the floor looked much brighter.
Once I was happy the floor was clean and any trace of efflorescence removed, I finished for the day and left the floor to dry out fully overnight. I arranged to return the following day to seal the tiles.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Dining Room Floor

The customer had requested a gloss finish however the inherent damp issues meant I would need to apply a fully breathable sealer that would allow moisture to rise thorough the Quarry tiles unimpeded. The solution was to apply Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra, this a semi-gloss topical sealer which is fully breathable. This sealant leaves a beautiful finish and allows the natural colour of the tiles to shine through.

After using my damp test meter and making sure the floor was fully dry, I started the sealing process. The Quarry tiles were treated to five coats and the customer was very pleased and left some great feedback which I’ve copied below.

Mark was very efficient and professional. Worked hard and did a good job. Very pleased with results. Sue R., Hartlebury

Salt Damaged Quarry Tiled Floor After Renovation Hartlebury

Although we didn’t replace the damaged tiles, they were much improved and added character to the floor. Also, the new sealer will make them much easier for the customer to keep clean. For aftercare I recommended the use of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner to keep the floor looking pristine, unlike harsher products you find in supermarkets it won’t damage the sealer prematurely.

Salt Damaged Quarry Tiled Floor After Renovation Hartlebury

 

Source: Quarry Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Hartlebury, Worcestershire

Replacing and Restoring Flood Damaged Quarry Tiles in Bearwood, Smethwick

My client contacted me regarding their quarry tiled floor which hadn’t been in a good condition for some time. A recent flood in the house, caused by a ruptured pipe in an upstairs boiler had only added to the problem. As you can see from the before pictures, the floor was in a sorry state. On the plus side the flood had led to an insurance claim which would cover the cost of the restoration.

I visited the property and did a test clean on a section of Quarry tiles which came up well. The client was happy the result and agreed to go ahead, my quote was agreed, and the job booked in. The property was in Bearwood which is in the southern part of the Birmingham suburb of Smethwick.

Flood Damaged Quarry Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Bearwood

Cleaning and Repairing a Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor

The client also needed some Quarry tiles replacing due to them being broken and damaged. So before returning my first task was to source some replacement quarry tiles that would be a good match for the existing. Fortunately Quarry tiles are still popular and I was able to find a set of reclaimed tiles that would make good replacements.

I was able to get the replacements delivered in time for the job starting which was just as well as my first task would be to repair the floor. Fitting the replacements was tricky work as some of the tiles were up to two inches thick and came in various sizes and so had to be cut to size with a wet tile cutter. The tiles were a good match though and they were set in place. Later that day I was able to grout them in using a matching grout along with some other areas that needed re-grouting. By the end of the first day the floor was already looking much improved.

Flood Damaged Quarry Tiled Floor During Repair Bearwood Flood Damaged Quarry Tiled Floor During Repair Bearwood

The next day the floor was cleaned with a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. The solution is left on the tiles to dwell for about ten minutes so it can start to soak into the deep-seated dirt and break it down. The tiles were then scrubbed with a black pad fitted to a weighted rotary machine. The grout was also cleaned at this point using more Pro-Clean and a hand-help scrubbing brush.

There was also a fireplace hearth that needed cleaned, this also had to be cleaned by hand as the machine was too large. The floor was then rinsed with water and the resultant slurry extracted with a wet vacuum.

Flood Damaged Quarry Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Bearwood

The last part of the cleaning process was to give the tiles and acid-wash using a dilution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up. This is an acidic product that can remove mineral staining and will also counter any alkaline salt deposits in the pores of the tile that could surface as the floor dries later. The floor was rinsed again and allowed to dry out for two days before I returned.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor

On the final day I first confirmed the Quarry tiles had dried out were ready for sealing. I then sealed the tiles using Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a fully breathable sealer that would protect whilst allowing moisture in the floor to rise through the tile. This sealer will also enhance the strong natural colour of the quarry tiles. The tiles were quite porous so four coats of sealer were needed, then after drying the floor was buffed with a white pad.

Flood Damaged Quarry Tiled Floor After Restoration Bearwood

The work transformed the floor and my customer was over the moon with the end result.

Flood Damaged Quarry Tiled Floor After Restoration Bearwood

For after-care I left the customer with a complimentary bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner. This is a pH neutral product that is safe to use on sealed surfaces and won’t prematurely erode the sealer.

 

Source: Quarry Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Bearwood, Birmingham

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