Dealing with Efflorescence on Quarry Tiles in Goostrey, East Cheshire

Pictured below is an old Quarry tiled floor in the Kitchen of a house in the small farming village of Goostrey. I went over to survey the floor at the request of the owner who felt it was overdue a deep clean and seal.

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Goostrey

It was a classic floor that suited the kitchen and its Aga well however I’m sure it could tell a story. There were patches of white efflorescent salts in front of the Aga itself and another section of floor where the tiles were a slightly darker shade. I assume some replacements were made in this section at some point in the past. Efflorescence occurs when damp in the subfloor rises through the tiles depositing white alkaline salts on the surface of the tile as the moisture evaporates. This is quite a common problem in older properties where no damp proof membrane is present under the floor and more so where you have a warm Aga heating the space and encouraging evaporation.

As per usual the floor was survey noting all the points above and then I carried out a test clean on a small part of the floor. This helps me understand what products and process I need to follow in order to renovate the floor and thereby product an accurate quote for the work. This went well and the owner was happy for us to process so we agreed a date to start the work which would take two days.

Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Floor

To clean the floor and strip off any remaining sealer I first created a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which was sprayed onto the tiles and then left to soak in. Remove and go is a powerful stripper and cleaner that is safe to use on tile and stone. The product is designed to loosen paint stains, adhesives and many types of urethane and wax coatings so they can be easily removed.

After thirty minutes the solution was scrubbed into the tile and grout using a weighted rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad and running at a slow speed. The resulting cleaning slurry was rinsed off with water and then extracted from the floor using a wet vacuum. I repeated this process until I was confident the tiles were clean and free of old sealer.

The next step was to neutralise the alkaline salts in the floor which could later lead to efflorescence by treating it to an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel. The gel was left to soak in for five minutes before washing it off using the wet vacuum to get the floor as dry as possible.

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor During Cleaning Goostrey

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Floor

The floor was left to dry out overnight and the next morning I returned to the property and took some readings from the floor with a damp meter. It’s important to check the floor is dry before sealing because any excess moisture can cloud the sealer and prevent it from doing its job properly.

Once satisfied that the floor was dry, I applied a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a breathable impregnating sealer that enhances colour and protects from within. I left the floor to dry for one hour and then followed up with four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which provides both a robust surface seal and a long-lasting low sheen finish. The new sealer transformed the tiles and gave the whole floor a uniform appearance

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Goostrey

The customer was very impressed with our work and asked if we can come back later to remove the white tiles in front of the Aga and replace with Quarry tiles to match the rest of the floor.

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Goostrey

 

Source: Quarry Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Goostrey, East Cheshire

Full Restoration of Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Hidden under Screed in Mobberly

We were asked to take a look at restoring a Red and Black Quarry tiled kitchen floor that at some time in the past had been covered in a floor levelling screed. The house was in the old village of Mobberly on the East side of Cheshire and was undergoing significant renovation works. The compound was up to one inch thick in places and underneath the screen was a lovely red and black quarry tiled floor that was just about visible in the thinner parts of the screed. The owner was keen to understand if they could be restored.

After inspecting the floor, I offered to do a test clean and given the state of the floor decided to tackle it with a strong batch of tile doctor remove and go mixed 50/50 with Tile Doctor HBU Remover. This was applied to the floor, left to soak for ten minutes and then scrubbed in. The process was successful and demonstrated the screed could be removed and tiles cleaned and so we were booked into to do the job a couple of weeks later.

Red and Black Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Covered in Screed Test Clean in Mobberly

Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Floor Hidden Under Screed

On our return to the property I took a couple of photographs before we began removing the screed.

Red and Black Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Covered in Screed Before Cleaning in Mobberly Red and Black Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Covered in Screed Before Cleaning in Mobberly

I then setup about removing the screed starting with the application of a fresh batch of Tile Doctor Remove and Go mixed 50:50 with HBU Remover. HBU stands for Heavy Build-Up and therefore just the thing for this floor. The solution was applied to the floor and left to soak in for some time. This had the action of softening the floor levelling screed and we were able to remove it using a combination of wallpaper steamer and scrapers taking care not to scratch the quarry tiles. In some of the more stubborn areas the floor was covered in a plastic sheet and the solution left to sweat into the screed overnight to soften it further.

Red and Black Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Covered in Screed During Cleaning in Mobberly Red and Black Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Covered in Screed During Cleaning in Mobberly

When all the screed was removed we washed the tile and grout down with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean worked in with a rotary buffing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. This brought out the ingrained dirt which was rinsed away with water and then extracted off the floor using a wet vacuum.

With the screed removed it revealed a couple of areas where the floor tiles had become lose and would need rebuilding, both areas were near doorways so I suspect past home improvement work had cause the tiles to lift.

Red and Black Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Showing Damaged Tile Section in Mobberly Red and Black Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Showing Damaged Tile Section in Mobberly

We were able to re-use all of the tiles and after rebuilding the subfloor they were laid and grouted in.

Red and Black Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Showing Repaired Tile Section in Mobberly Red and Black Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Showing Repaired Tile Section in Mobberly

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Floor

With the floor now clean and lose tiles re-laid the next day we moved onto to the final job of sealing the Quarry tiles. First checking to ensure the floor was dry we then proceeded to apply three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that leaves a matt effect and brings out the colour in the tile.

Red and Black Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor After Cleaning and Sealing in Mobberly

It was a long job spread over quite a few days but it was well worth the effort. The costumer couldn’t believe the transformation that had taken place to the floor.

Red and Black Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor After Cleaning and Sealing in Mobberly

 
 
Source: Quarry Tile Cleaning and Restoration in Mobberly, Cheshire

Old Quarry Tiled Farmhouse Kitchen Floor Rejuvenated in Devon

Rackenford is a tiny village in North Devon, with a population of approximately 400 people, and is surrounded by many farms as agriculture is the main source of employment in the area.

I recently visited one of the farmhouses in the area at the request of the property owner who needed help restoring an area of Victorian quarry tiles which were around one hundred and twenty years old. The floor had been extended with a new batch of tiles which ran into a later extension about ten years prior. Both areas were dirty and attracting grime and the older tiles had some heavy damage to some tiles and had lost the colour which was indicative of being covered by carpet for a long period and salts had dried in to the tiles, damaging them and creating an orange peel type of surface.

In the past, the floor had been sealed with a topical sealer i.e. one that sits on top of the tile rather than being absorbed into it. In most areas, the sealer had long since worn off but in a few areas that it remained it had been scratched by the chairs near the large inglenook fire at one end of the room.

The customer was looking to clean and re-seal the whole floor to try to improve the look of the damaged tiles but also to make the floor easier to keep clean and maintain and were hoping that the divide between old and new tiles was less striking.

Old Quarry Tiled Farmhouse Floor Rackenford Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Dirty Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor

When it comes to cleaning natural stone tiles, our go-to cleaning product is Tile Doctor Pro Clean. Pro Clean is a multi-purpose, high alkaline cleaner that serves to both strip away any old and ineffectual sealer, and clean heavily soiled stone. The product is suitable for use on all types of natural stone and tiled floors.

I mixed a strong dilution of Pro Clean and water before spreading it liberally across the whole floor. I then left it to dwell for roughly 10 minutes before proceeding to agitate it with a scrubbing brush fitted to a heavy rotary machine. This helped to eradicate the soil build-up. Any resulting cleaning slurry was promptly removed using a wet vacuum, before the floor was left to dry completely overnight.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor

Returning to the property the next day, I immediately ran some damp tests to see if there was any excess moisture present on the floor. Knowing that this was an old property, I expected that there would be no damp proof membrane installed and this would increase the chances of damp issues.

Thankfully, the floor proved to be completely dry and I was able to seal the floor using eight coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go. Seal and Go is a water-based acrylic polymer sealer that provides both a stain resistant surface seal and a durable, aesthetically pleasing low-sheen finish that helped to return the natural reddish colours to the Quarry tiles. Although the top layer of the damaged tiles had been lost the colour had returned and were now looking much healthier.

With a fresh seal in place, the floor will now be much easier to clean and maintain. The customer was really pleased with the outcome of the restoration, which you can see in the photos below. Another satisfied customer!

Old Quarry Tiled Farmhouse Floor Rackenford After Cleaning

Although nothing can really replicate a hundred years of patina, the difference between the old and new tiles was reduced with a good clean and a consistent finish throughout. Certainly, the customer was happy and left the following feedback:

We are very pleased with this refurbishment of old quarry tiles, which have regained colour and texture. The overall slight gloss added to both these and the newer tiles next to them makes a huge difference to the whole picture. The cleaning and maintenance guide is also very useful. The bill was also very reasonable for two intensive days work – many thanks

Old Quarry Tiled Farmhouse Floor Rackenford After Cleaning Panorama

 
 
Source: Quarry Tile Cleaning and Restoration in Devon