Quarry Tiled Floor Restored in Shop to Flat Conversion in Oxford

This ground floor flat in the City of Oxford had been converted from a shop which as you can imagine, was quite complex. One significant element involved in the conversation was the restoration of an old Quarry tiled floor which ran through the main hallway and had for many years been covered in a commercial linoleum covering.

When the linoleum covering was removed, the sheer amount of glue which had been used to affix it had completely ruined the appearance and condition of the Quarry tiles. There was also a lot of concrete in the bathroom, and our client was keen to have this removed in the hope that the tiles beneath were salvageable.

Quarry Tiled Floor Oxford Before Restoration Quarry Tiled Floor Oxford Before Restoration

Removing Concrete and Glue Stains from a Quarry Tiled Floor

My first task at the property was to deal with the adhesive. I covered the entire floor area with Tile Doctor Remove and Go and then covered it with a plastic sheet and leaving it to soak into the glue and break it down overnight. Remove and Go is powerful stripper with a long-dwell time, formulated to break down adhesives and paint stains, amongst other coatings.

I returned the next day and, removing the plastic sheeting, I scrubbed the floor with a carbon brush attached to a rotary floor scrubber to remove the huge glue deposits. I worked in sections, rinsing each area of the floor with water after it had been scrubbed. Once I had finished the entire floor there was still some glue remaining, so I covered it again with a solution of Remove and Go combined with Tile Doctor HBU Nanotech, which utilises nano-sized particles to get underneath tough stains, dissolve them, and lift them out. I left this solution on the floor for about two hours to dwell and scrubbed it again.

During the next day of work, I used a very coarse 100 grit diamond burnishing pad to manually grind away the remaining stubborn bits of glue. Paying attention to the bathroom, I used a 50-grit coarse milling pad followed up with a 100-grit diamond burnishing pad to do the same to the area of concrete.

The next part of the process was to use Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up to acid wash the floor. This was successful in removing the last bits of cement and the remaining residue of the glue. To complete the cleaning process, I then rinsed the floor with plenty of water and vacuumed up any soiled solution.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Floor

I opted to leave the floor alone for a couple of days to fully dry off so that it could be sealed upon my return. This is crucial as any moisture or damp issues can damage the performance of the sealer and expose the floor to further ingrained dirt and staining.

To seal the floor, I used Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This is an impregnating sealer that also enhances the natural reddish shades in the Quarry. I applied two coats of the sealer, giving the floor the natural look matte finish the customer desired.

Quarry Tiled Floor Oxford After Restoration Quarry Tiled Floor Oxford After Restoration

The customer was very impressed with the results of this thorough restoration. She even left the following feedback:

“I cannot recommend this service enough. The Oxford Tile Doctor (Barry) was a superstar: he cleaned up the tiles in my hallway, which were covered in a very thick layer of glue, and removed concrete from the tiles. They now look superb and I’m really happy with the outcome. Barry was always on time, considerate, and kept me up to date. The quote for the job was exactly right. I would not hesitate to recommend him.”
Source: Quarry Tile Cleaning and Restoration in Oxfordshire

Dealing with Efflorescence on a Quarry Tiled floor

This property was situated only a few hundred yards from the River Nene in Thrapston, near Kettering in Northamptonshire. And, while it is certainly nice to live next to a river, it can cause long running damp issues for certain properties, as was the case with several houses along this road. I was particularly aware of this, having treated a floor in a similar area of the town.

This client had recently uncovered a Quarry tiled floor which had remained hidden under Linoleum for a long time. She wanted professional help and advice on restoring the floor back to looking its best, and was especially aware that it was marked by white patches of efflorescence (mineral salts).

Quarry Tile Before Cleaning Thrapston Quarry Tile Before Cleaning Thrapston

I explained to the client that the damp issues can never be completely rectified without building work being undertaken to install a damp proof membrane. Unfortunately, this is a very expensive process. Nonetheless, the following is an account of the results which can be achieved with badly stained Quarry tiles using professional methods and products.

Cleaning a stained Quarry tiled floor

I arranged a date to do the work on my return the first stage in the floor restoration was to give the tiles a deep clean. This was done with a high alkaline cleaner known as Tile Doctor Pro Clean, which is applied to the floor and left to dwell for a short period, before being agitated with black stripping pad fitted to a rotary floor buffing machine. This strips away any old sealer and lifts away trapped dirt. The soiled solution was then rinsed away using clean water, and the resulting slurry was soaked up using a wet vacuum.

Quarry Tile Before Cleaning Thrapston

Following this I gave the floor an acid rinse with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up in order to neutralise the mineral salts. Then, to draw the contaminants completely out of the tiles – and to assist with the cleaning process – I applied the heat of a steamer.

To complete the cleaning process the floor was rinsed down again which was again was removed with a wet vacuum which extracted as much water from the floor as possible. I then installed a powerful industrial dehumidifier and allowed two weeks for the floor to dry completely. However, I was aware that given the extent of the damp issues that this might not, in fact, be long enough.

Upon my return to the house, I took further damp meter readings to discover that the floor was indeed still damp. I suggested that the best course of action in this scenario was for my client to carry out daily mopping with a mild acid solution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up for a period of three weeks to help tackle the inherent salt issues that had been present for many years.

Sealing a Quarry tiled floor

After the three weeks had passed, I was able to apply just a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is a breathable impregnating sealer that allows for effective moisture vapour transmission. It also contains colour intensifying properties to help enhance the natural shades in the Quarry stone.

Quarry Tile After Cleaning Thrapston Quarry Tile After Cleaning Thrapston

The client also purchased some Colour Grow sealer for her to apply herself later in the Spring, as the floors were still too damp for the two to three coats that I would normally apply.

The photographs show what can be achieved with Quarry tiles suffering from inherent damp issues. Although they may still look slightly patchy, rest assured that by the Spring they will have dried out sufficiently enough to apply more sealant – this will achieve the desired finish.
Source: Cleaning and Maintaining Quarry Tiled Flooring in Northamptonshire