Removing Efflorescent Salt Stains from a Quarry Tiled Floor in Wicken, Cambridgeshire

We were called out to quote for restoring this Quarry tiled living room & hallway for a building contractor in the local area of Wicken. This is a small village on the edge of The Fens near Soham in East Cambridgeshire.

The works needed to be completed at short notice as the property was due to be put up for rent, so I agreed to work over two evenings to make sure it was ready for the first tenant. We discussed the cost and the process, and the contractor was happy to go ahead. We can always be flexible with our diary to help out our clients.

Quarry Tiled Floor With Salt Staining Wicken Before Cleaning Quarry Tiled Floor With Salt Staining Wicken Before Cleaning

The floor had signs of alkaline salt efflorescence which had left white patches on the tiles, this problem is usually indicative of a damp issue but when I went over to survey the floor, I checked with a damp meter and couldn’t find any evidence of dampness. Clearly something had happened in the past and as the floor dried out it left these white salt deposits on the surface.

Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Living Room and Hallway Floor

To remove the salt stains the floor was given an Acid Wash several times with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up worked in with a stiff brush pad fitted to a rotary machine. The acid in the product counters and removes the alkaline salts, it also cleans up the tiles of any other mineral deposits such as old grout smears. The floor was then rinsed with water to remove the now soiled solution and then extracted using a wet vacuum.

Once I was happy that the salts had been removed, we applied Tile Doctor Remove and Go to strip the quarry tiles of old sealers. This is a non-flammable, multi-purpose stripper which is safe to use on tiles and works best when left to soak into the tile for ten minutes first. This product also draws out ingrained stains and removes heavy grease build-up and any ingrained dirt. We used the rotary machine again fitted with the stiff brush as before to get the floor nice and clean. As before the floor was rinsed with water and the soils extracted using the wet vacuum.

The floor was then left to dry overnight in preparation for the sealant to be applied.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Living Room and Hallway Floor

Upon arriving the following evening, the floor was checked again with the damp meter to make sure it was dry, all was well, so it was then sealed with multiple coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go. This provides both a stain resistant surface seal and a durable low-sheen. The sealer brought back the deep colour in the tile and made a huge difference to the look of the floor. It would also make the floor much easier for the new tenant to maintain going forward.

You can see from the pictures the transformation that was achieved. The client was very happy with the completed work and was satisfied he would now be able to rent the property out to his next tenant.

Quarry Tiled Floor Wicken After Cleaning Quarry Tiled Floor Wicken After Cleaning

 

Source: Quarry Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Wicken, Cambridge

Extending and Restoring a Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor in Blakedown, Worcestershire

We received an enquiry requesting we take a look extending a Quarry Tiled hallway floor at a property in Blakedown which is a small village in the Wyre Forest District of North Worcestershire. The house had an extension to the front of the property added previously which increased the size of the hallway however this had not been tiled to match the existing, simply backfilled with screed.

Quarry Tiled Floor Extension Blakedown Kidderminster Before Quarry Tiled Floor Extension Blakedown Kidderminster Before

The owner had decided to have the extension floor tiled to match the existing Quarry tiled floor which would also need renovating due to it being covered in part with a variety of paint, glue and screed. Whilst most of our work is repairs and cleaning my background in tiling means I’m also able to lay new tiled floor so this job was a perfect match for my skills.

I arranged a site visit to view the floor as it is difficult to tell from the photos the work that would be needed. The floor would require extensive restoration and then extending into the extension so after visiting the property and assessing what was required, I wrote out a detailed quote and the quote was accepted. We booked a date in to complete the works which would be carried out over a few days.

Cleaning and Extending a Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor

The first job was to break up the existing screed that the builder had laid in the extension. It was a lot of work, so I enlisted the help of Mick Gayton the Warwickshire Tile Doctor. Together we broke up the screed, removed the rubble and then used Bal self-levelling compound to prepare the surface for tiling.

Quarry Tiled Floor Extension Blakedown Kidderminster Removing Existing Screed

The customer had decided to go with a slightly different shade of tile for the extension as the original front door step had been left in the existing floor and would create an interesting feature between new and original. It turns out that the step penetrated deep into the substrate and could not be removed.

I waited for the new surface to dry before laying out the tiles to find the best layout, then satisfied with the pattern the tiles were fixed in place using a flexible adhesive and grouted in.

Quarry Tiled Floor Extension Blakedown Kidderminster Laying Tiles Quarry Tiled Floor Extension Blakedown Kidderminster Tiles Laid

The next day we returned to restore the original Quarry tiled floor, firstly using Tile Doctor Remove and Go to break down any old sealer and paint. The product is sprayed on and allowed to dwell for a short time giving it time to penetrate. The product is then worked into the tile and grout using a rotary floor machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. The soil generated is rinsed off the floor with water and extracted using a wet vacuum.

Next, I decided to give the floor an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel to remove any old grout smears and other mineral deposits that were affecting the appearance of the Quarry tiles. Again, the product was scrubbed in and then removed using water and the wet vacuum. Once that was done the floor was left overnight so it could dry out ahead of the sealing process.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor

The following day the floor was check for moisture and then sealed with four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra. This has a special acrylic-based formula which being fully breathable copes well with locations such as hallways where damp conditions are more likely. Seal and Go Extra also adds a nice subtle sheen to the Quarry tiles which enhanced their appearance and made the difference between the original and new tiles less conspicuous.

Quarry Tiled Floor Extension Blakedown Kidderminster After Quarry Tiled Floor Extension Blakedown Kidderminster After

The customer was very happy with the new floor and pleased that we had been able to match it so well to the existing.

 

Source: Quarry Tile Cleaning, Sealing and Tiling Service in Blakedown, Worcestershire

Deep Cleaning and Sealing a Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor in Didcot, Oxfordshire

This quarry tiled hallway at a house in Didcot had not been renovated for many years and any sealer that was once present on the tiles had long since worn off leaving it vulnerable to dirt which then became ingrained in the tile.

Quarry tiled Hallway floor before renovation in Didcot

I went over to the property in Didcot to survey the floor and could see that although the floor was in good physical condition it was now long overdue a deep clean. The floor had a lovely black and white border around the terracotta coloured tiles and I was confident that this floor would look really good once fully cleaned and resealed.

Deep Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor

The first process was to scrub the floor with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean using a rotary machine fitted with a silicon carbide brush. This is a multi-purpose cleaner which is high-alkaline, it acts as a stripper and degreaser too so is perfect for this situation. The highly concentrated solution is left to dwell on the floor for a short time which helps it to work on the stubborn dirt. Once the floor had been scrubbed the residue was rinsed off with clean water. Finally removing the slurry produced with a wet vacuum.

To counter the strong alkaline products used on the floor and further clean the tile the floor was given an Acid Wash using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up. It was scrubbed into the tile and grout using a soft brush and then rinsed off with water. I then scrubbed the floor with Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner to neutralise and remove the acidic cleaner again using a wet vac to remove all the liquids from the floor. Once, I was satisfied that the floor was as clean as possible I left the floor to dry overnight.

Quarry tiled Hallway floor during renovation in Didcot

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor

On day two I returned to seal the floor. The first job of the day was to test it with a damp meter first to make sure it was dry. We don’t recommend applying a sealer if the floor isn’t dry as we know from experience that the results can be patchy. Happy that we were good to go ahead I sealed the floor with several coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go. This is a specially formulated water-based blend of acrylic polymers that provides both a stain resistant seal and a gives the floor a durable attractive low-sheen finish.

The customer was very happy with the results and left the following feedback:

“Barry was brilliant! Has made a lovely job of our hall. We had one small problem (our fault) which he rectified promptly. Would happily recommend him.”

Before leaving I discussed with the client the best way to maintain the floor going forward. Many homeowners don’t realise this but many of the tile cleaning products sold in supermarkets are designed for cleaning Ceramic or Vinyl tiles and are not recommended for use on a sealed surface as they will prematurely erode the sealer away over time. We recommended using the Tile Doctor concentrated Neutral Tile and Stone cleaner. It has been especially formulated for the regular cleaning of sealed tile and stone surfaces.

Quarry tiled Hallway floor after renovation in Didcot

 

Source: Quarry Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Didcot, Oxfordshire

Renovating Cloakroom Quarry Tiles in a Worcester Village

These photographs are from a beautiful farmhouse in the tranquil village of Brotheridge Green near the city of Worcester. Worcester is famous for many things, Royal Worcester Porcelain, Lea and Perrin Worcester Sauce, Berrow’s Worcester Journal which claims to be the oldest newspaper, and indeed it was also the hometown of the composer Edward Elgar.

Quarry Tiled WC Floor Brotheridge Green Farmhouse Before Cleaning

The owner of the farmhouse asked me to come and look at their downstairs cloakroom which had existing quarry tiles fitted. They were becoming frustrated that they couldn’t get the area to look clean and were considering replacing the floor. The owners of the property had used every cleaning product they could find and scrubbed for hours to try and get these quarry tiles in their cloakroom clean. The problem with the tiles was a build-up of ingrained dirt over time as the tiles had not been sealed, so no amount of cleaning with household products would have helped. There was also an issue with salts rising through the tiles which was making them look worse, common in properties of this age.

Quarry Tiled WC Floor Brotheridge Green Farmhouse Before Cleaning

Following my inspection, I explained to the customer what I could do to bring the tiles back to life. I completed a quote for the work that evening which they gladly accepted, and the work was scheduled in.

Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Cloakroom Floor

On day one of the job my first step was to sweep away any loose debris from the quarry tiles. I then tackled the floor with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean this is a heavy-duty alkaline cleaner which is safe to use on Tile and Stone, in concentrated form it can strip away sealers and grease and was perfect for this job. As I was working in a confined space I opted to complete the job by hand using a deck brush and scrubbing brush to work the solution in after leaving the Pro-Clean to dwell and soak into the floor for ten minutes. I then extracted the resultant slurry off the floor with my wet and dry vacuum and repeated this process until I was happy the floor was as clean as it could be given its age.

I then finished the cleaning of the floor with an acid rinse using Tile Doctor Acid Gel to remove grout stains and counter potential salt efflorescence issues which are a common problem with these old floors where no damp proof membrane has been installed. The floor was then rinsed again with water, dried with the wet vacuum and left to dry off fully overnight.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Cloakroom Floor

When I returned the following morning, I checked the floor was dry using my moisture meter; this is important step as a damp floor will effect the ability of the sealer to cure.

I decided to seal the Quarry tiles with Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra, which is a semi-gloss breathable sealer to allow for any damp issues and applied four coats allowing each coat to dry for approximately 30 minutes before adding the next. This gave a nice natural finish letting the colour of the quarry tiles shine through.

Quarry Tiled WC Floor Brotheridge Green Farmhouse After Cleaning

The customer was very happy with the result and is looking to get the rest of the Quarry tiles in the house cleaned and sealed in the future. They were very happy that the floor didn’t need to be replaced.

Quarry Tiled WC Floor Brotheridge Green Farmhouse After Cleaning

 

Source: Quarry Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Brotheridge Green, Worcestershire

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