Efflorescence Damaged Quarry Tiled Hallway Renovated in Cambridgeshire

This quarry tiled floor in the village of Gamlingay had been subject to efflorescence salt staining over many years. This problem typically occurs in older houses where the floor has been laid without a damp-proof membrane allowing moisture to rise through the tile bringing with it salts from the sub floor. Gamlingay is located in South Cambridgeshire, near the border with Bedfordshire, is an ancient village which features in the Domesday Book. Not surprisingly a lot of the property here is quite old and includes sixty listed buildings.

Salt Stained Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor Before Cleaning Salt Stained Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor Before Cleaning

Before the current owner moved in the property had been left dormant and empty with no heating which hadn’t helped the condition of the floor amongst other things. The white efflorescent salt staining was now very evident on the Quarry tiles and had caused a lot of damage to the surface of the floor. I discussed with the client how we could help and carried out a test clean. They were happy with the result and we agreed our quote to renovate the floor. We arranged to return later in the month.

Renovating a Salt Damaged Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor

The cleaning began with the application of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which was sprayed onto the tile and left to soak in for about ten minutes. The tiles were then scrubbed with a very coarse 200-grit diamond pad fitted to a rotary machine. The soil was then extracted using our van mounted hot water extraction system which makes light work of rinsing the floor and keeps the mess to a minimum. The combination of Tile Doctor Remove and Go and the coarse pad cleaned and resurfaced the tile improving the appearance of the floor and once the soil was removed you could really see the transformation.

We finished the cleaning process by giving the whole floor an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel. The acid dissolves the alkaline salt still present in the floor and removes any grout haze still present on the tile. Once this had been scrubbed in it was rinse off and extracted using the hot water extraction system as before. The floor was then left to dry out which due to the lack of damp-proof membrane was expected to lake longer than usual, so we decided to leave the floor a few days.

Sealing an Old Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor

We returned on a nice sunny day and first tested the floor with our damp-proof meter. This just tests the moisture levels in the floor to check they are to an acceptable level. If the floor is not dry the seal will not cure properly, and the process would be a waste. In this case the readings were fine, and I was happy the floor was dry enough to be sealed.

The client had requested the floor have a low sheen appearance and they didn’t want it to look too shiny. Given the floors history with Efflorescence however I needed to choose a sealer that would give the desired appearance but was also breathable to allow for moisture to rise through the tile. Trapping moisture under the tile with a non-breathable sealer can result in moisture spreading to the walls leading to rising damp.

On this occasion I opted to go with the application of Seal and Go extra which is breathable and leaves a subtle sheen appearance. The acid wash we gave the tiles should neutralise the alkaline salts and now the house was occupied the damp issues which had led to them occurring in the first place are less likely. I applied six coats of sealer, allowing each one to dry before applying the next.

Salt Stained Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor After Cleaning Salt Stained Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor After Cleaning

As you can see from the pictures, the work made a dramatic difference to the floor and my client was delighted with the transformation.

Salt Stained Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor After Cleaning

 

Source: Quarry Cleaning and Renovation Service in Cambridgeshire

Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Kitchen at a Listed Building in Devon

This story follows on from a previous post on the renovation of a Victorian Tiled Reception Area at a listed Georgian Townhouse in the middle of the small market town of South Moulton in North Devon. You may recall he was struggling to clean the floor in the reception area and I was called in to sort it out. Whilst I was there he also asked me to deep clean and seal the Kitchen Quarry Tiles.

Kitchens as you can imagine are one of the busiest areas in any house and as a result the floors do see a fair amount of wear; in this case the Quarry tiles were dull and lifeless and I suspect any previous sealer had long since worn off.

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning South Molton

Cleaning Kitchen Quarry Tiles

The Quarry tiles were in a better state than the Victorian tiles I discussed in the previous post so a less aggressive course of action was required. In this case I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and left it to soak in. Pro-Clean is an effective tile cleaner which will clean and strip off old sealers in a strong dilution. This was important as I wanted to be sure any remaining sealer would be removed, typically sealers wear off in the high use floor areas first so it was quite possible some sealer would still be present on the less used parts of the floor.

After ten minutes I agitated the solution with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary scrubbing machine to really get the floor clean and then rinsed off the soiled cleaning solution with water and a wet and dry vacuum before leaving it overnight to dry off fully.

Sealing Kitchen Quarry Tiles

The following day I returned and after rechecking the moisture levels to ensure that they had adequately dried out I started to seal the Quarry tiles in the Kitchen using Six coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which leaves a satin finish once dried and gives the tiles a freshly mopped or slightly glazed look.

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor After Cleaning South Molton

The customer was thrilled and left the following feedback on the Tile Doctor feedback system:

“The work was carried out in a professional manner, with excellent results.”

For aftercare I left the customer with some guidance on care and maintenance of the floor as well as a suitable bottle of tile cleaner.
 
 
Source: Quarry Floor Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Devon