Renovating a Quarry Tiles Hidden under Vinyl in Gloucestershire

This client who lives in Filton had been informed by the previous owner of his property that there was a Quarry tiled floor in the Kitchen but it had been covered up with stone effect Vinyl flooring. Keen to have it removed and have the original Quarry tiles brought back to life we were contacted to see if it could be done.

I visited the property to survey the floor and work out a plan for the restoration. The lino was heavily stuck in place with about 5mm of adhesive so I could see this was going to be no easy restoration. It would be necessary to remove, the floor, adhesive compound and cement beneath it.

Lino Covered Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Restoration in Filton Lino Covered Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Restoration in Filton

I discussed the project with the client the project, explaining it was difficult to ascertain how long it would take but anticipated it would be around three days. The process would involve stripping off the Vinyl tiles, removing the adhesive, deep cleaning the Quarry tiles and the apply a sealer to protect them. The client agreed my quote and we arranged a convenient date to return to make a start.

Stripping Stone Effect Vinyl from a Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor

After removing the kickboards from underneath, the kitchen units, and taping up the surrounding areas to protect them, I set about restoring the floor. I used a variety of different methods to remove the adhesive compound and cement but mainly hand tools and hard labour! After three long days we had managed to remove the Vinyl and one once all adhesive was removed it was starting to look like a Quarry tiled floor. It was actually quite rewarding to see the Quarry tiles emerge as we progressed.

Lino Covered Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor During Restoration in Filton Lino Covered Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor During Restoration in Filton

Once the Quarry tiled floor was fully exposed, I applied Tile Doctor Acid Gel which was worked in using a large buffing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The soil was rinsed off with water and the waste extracted with a wet vacuum. I repeated this procedure until I was satisfied the floor was as clear of old adhesives and residue and as clean as possible. Actually, we had uncovered a really nice-looking floor, which considering the covering was generally in good condition. The floor was left for a few days to ensure it was totally dry, ready for the sealing process.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor

We used a lot of water during the cleaning process, so I left the floor to try out for two days before returning to apply the sealer. I had chosen to use Tile Doctor Colour Grow for the sealer; it leaves a matt finish whilst intensifying the natural colours in the tile. It works by occupying the pores in the tile thus preventing dirt from becoming trapped resulting in durable protection. It also allows the surface to breathe which is important on a floor of this age. We applied 2 coats to the tiles allowing each to dry before applying the next, the lovely colours of the floor were now enhanced.

Lino Covered Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor After Restoration in Filton Lino Covered Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor After Restoration in Filton

Our client was amazed at the results and so happy they were finally rid of the old lino which was passed its best. For aftercare I recommended they should use Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which is designed for cleaning sealed tile and stone.

 

Source: Quarry Tile Restoration Service in Filton, Gloucester

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 fully breathable and 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 fully 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

Replacing Tiles in a Period Quarry Tiled Floor Lancaster, Lancashire

The pictures below are taken from a property in Lancaster which had two areas of tiled flooring that needed work, one Quarry tiled and the other an original Victorian tiled hallway which was over 100 years old.

We often get called out to restore broken tiles, missing pieces and then do a clean and seal afterwards to make it all look as good as possible. Tile Doctor covers both areas and our aim is to restore a tiled floor to its best possible condition, ideally making it look new or at least as close to new as is feasible with an old floor.

Quarry Tiled Floor Lancaster Before Repair

Repairing a Quarry Tiled Floor in Lancaster

The focus of this article will be the renovation of the Quarry tiled floor which required a lot of tiling work due to cracked and missing tiling. This presents a problem as it can be difficult to find exact match replacements, especially when the floor has been down for some time. There are a few companies that specialise in reproduction Victorian tiles however Quarry tiles don’t have a dedicated store or website where we can get matching tiles. In this case the client had scoured the internet and hunted down replacements which came close to matching the original.

Quarry Tiled Floor Lancaster During Repair

The first step in repairing a tiled floor is to carefully remove any damaged tiles and, in this case, there were quite a few. The exposed area is the cleaned of old adhesive and grout and the subbase is made good where required. Next the replacement tiles are laid onto a base of new rapid set flexible floor adhesive, I prefer to use a flexible adhesive as it will allow for any further moment in the floor. Once the adhesive had set the tiles were grouted in and we then left floor to fully set overnight.

Deep Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Floor in Lancaster

I came back the next day with our cleaning equipment and products to get the floor clean which should help blend the new tile in with the original.

I started by applying a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to the Quarry tiles and then scrubbed it in with a rotary floor machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. Pro-Clean is a strong and effective alkaline cleaner which is safe to use on Tile and Stone and unlike acid wont damage the clay. The cleaning solution soon turned black with the dirt that had been released from the old Quarry Tiles, so I gave the floor a rinse with water and extracted the soil with a wet vacuum.

The last job was to give the tiles a light acid rinse using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up, this isn’t a strong acid like the brick acid you find in DIY stores so it’s safe to use on most surfaces if it isn’t left for too long. The Grout Clean-up removes any old grout and minerals such as efflorescent salts from the Quarry tiles and is then rinsed off with water and extracted with the wet vacuum. The other advantage of giving the floor an acid rinse is it counters the alkaline cleaning products used earlier effectively neutralising the pH level of the tiles. Lastly the acid slightly etches the clay tile ensuring a much stronger bond with the sealer.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Floor in Lancaster

The Quarry tiled floor was then sealed with Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a matt sealer that impregnates the pores of the clay enhancing colour in the process and effectively adding protection to the tile from within.

Quarry Tiled Floor Lancaster After Repair

The quarry tiled floor looked much cleaner and fresher following the work, the cracked tiles were gone, and our customer was pleased with transformation we had managed to achieve.

 

Source: Quarry Tile Repair and Restorative Cleaning Service in Lancaster, Lancashire

Removing Red Tile Paint from Quarry Tiles in South Croydon

I thought you might find this Quarry tiled floor restoration from a property in South Croydon interesting, especially considering the transformation that we were able to achieve. The Quarry Tiles were in a covered porch at the front of the property and the previous owners had painted them with red tile paint several times and they had also become stained from other decoration work. They were now in a neglected state and really needed to be stripped of paint and restored.

Quarry Tiled Porch Before Restoration South Croydon Quarry Tiled Porch Before Restoration South Croydon

Removing Paint from Quarry Tiles

To get the red paint off the Quarry tiles, Tile Doctor Nanotech HBU Remover was applied to the floor and left to dwell and soak into the tile and grout for about twenty minutes. HBU stands for Heavy Build-Up and is a strong product that utilised small Nano sized abrasive particles to remove floor coatings. There were a number of layers of paint that needed removing so a scouring pad was used to work the product into the floor.

Quarry Tiled Porch During Restoration South Croydon

As you can imagine that paint didn’t want to come off easily, so it took several attempts before the Quarry tiles were completely clean. After each application the floor was given a thorough rinse to remove any trace of product and the soil removed with a wet vacuum.

Grout Renovation with a Charcoal Grout Colourant

When we eventually cleaned everything off, we found the grout had absorbed the paint in places leaving a patchy appearance. Removing and replacing the grout would take a long time so I suggested to the owner that we Colour Seal the grout lines using a Charcoal Grey Grout Colourant. The colourant is basically painted onto the grout with a small brush and when it hardens it forms a protective barrier over the grout and would give a consistent appearance. The process is quite quick and given then grout lines had already been given a good scrub the colourant should achieve a good bond. The owner was happy to for us to proceed and I think you will agree we achieved a very good result.

Sealing Porch Quarry Tiles

The floor was left to dry out for a few days and we returned to finish the restoration by sealing the tiles in order to protect them from future staining and also make them easier to clean. I used an impregnating colour enhancing sealer called Tile Doctor Colour Grow for this purpose and I think you will agree the floor looks much improved.

Quarry Tiled Porch Before Restoration South Croydon Quarry Tiled Porch Before Restoration South Croydon

My customer was delighted with the final result and left the following review on our website.

“My small hall floor proved to be a challenge but couldn’t be more pleased with the results. Very professional service throughout. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend.
Helen B, South Croydon.”

 
 
Source: Quarry Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in South Croydon

School Quarry Tile and Grout Refurbished

Before and after photograph below of a Quarry Tiled floor at a school in Dunstable that was in such a bad state we had to apply grout colourant to the floor. Quarry tiles are fairly indestructible so ideal for use in schools etc. where they will see a lot of foot traffic and abuse, having said that they will fade with wear over time and naturally the grout can become ingrained with dirt if not protected.

Cleaning Quarry Tiles

It had been a while since the Quarry Tiles and Grout had been given a really deep clean to so we mixed a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean 50/50 with NanoTech UltraClean and applied it to the floor and left to soak in for around 10 minutes; Pro-Clean is a multipurpose alkaline cleaning product designed specifically for cleaning tile and stone and NanoTech UltraClean adds tiny abrasive particles into the solution to make a more effective cleaner. The floor was then scrubbed using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad and the grout lines scrubbed by hand using a stiff brush. The floor was then rinsed thoroughly with water which was removed using a wet vacuum, once the Quarry tiles were dry it was possible to spot the areas in need of further attention and these were scrubbed by hand together with more of the Pro-Clean/UltraClean mix and a steamer. At this stage it became apparent that that although the grout had improved it was too far gone and never going to make the grade and either needed to re-done or as per our suggestion re-coloured.

Grout Colouring

For floor grout we always recommend the use of an epoxy grout colouring product which not only completely covers the grout making it look new again but also provides a permanent barrier that prevents the grout from staining in future. They can be quite time consuming to apply however especially if you have a small format Quarry tile with lots of grouting.

Sealing Quarry Tiles

Once happy with the floor and it had time to dry off it was sealed with six coats of Tile Doctor High Shine Sealer which will provide future surface stain protection and also leaves a nice deep shine on the floor. It took a long time but I think you will agree from the before and after photograph below we managed quite a transformation.


 
 

Tired Quarry Tiled floor restored in Dunstable School

Restoring Quarry Tiles in Cambridge

These photographs are from a Quarry Tile Cleaning job we did for a house owner in Cambridge, I’m afraid my photographs are not the best but I think you can see how the Quarry tiles were looking discoloured and worn.

Quarry Tiled Floor Cambridge Before

Cleaning Kitchen Quarry Tiles

Working in sections the floor was wetted with a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean combined 50/50 with Nanotech UltraClean, these two products combine to make a powerful and effective cleaning solution that’s safe to use on tile and stone. The solution was left to soak into the tile for twenty minutes whilst we got our machinery ready.

It helps if you have the right tools for the job and in this case we fitted a scrubbing pad to a rotary buffing machine and working the cleaning solution into the floor to scrub away the ingrained dirt. The machine can struggle to get into the grout lines so these need to be scrubbed by hand using a stiff brush and more cleaning solution. Once the floor was clean the soiled solution was picked up using a wet and dry vacuum and then washed down with clean water to remove any trace of chemical. This revealed a few stubborn areas that needed further work so these were re-treated and the floor washed down again and then left to dry overnight.

Sealing Kitchen Quarry Tiles

We came back the next day to seal the floor and after checking the tiles had indeed dried we proceeded to apply Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water based sealer (no smell) that really brings out the shine and colour in Quarry tiles. Around five coats were sufficient and once it had dried the floor was transformed.

Quarry Tiled Floor Cambridge After

 
 
Source: Quarry Tile Renovation in Cambridge

Transforming old Victorian Quarry Tiles

These old red and black Victorian quarry tiles at a house in Leek, Staffordshire, were in a bit of a state as you can see from the photographs below.

Quarry Tiles Before Cleaning Quarry Tiles Before Cleaning

Cleaning old Quarry Tiles

To clean the floor I applied a 50/50 mix of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and NanoTech Ultra Clean diluted with water which was left to soak into the floor and then worked into the tile using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad running at a slow speed. Pro-Clean is a strong alkaline cleaner and NanoTech Ultra Clean adds tiny abrasive particles to the solution that can help lift out the dirt.

After cleaning it I noticed that in places it was not as clean as I would of liked it, so to improve it further it necessary to get on my hands and knees and scrub them with a stronger dilution of the Pro-Clean and NanoTech UltraClean solution and a small black pad. This did the trick and so final step was to neutralise the floor tiles ready for sealing by giving them a good wash with clean water and then left it overnight to dry. A Wet Vacuum comes in handy during this process for removing fluids from the floor

Sealing old Victorian Quarry Tiles

The next day I wiped it over with a damp mop to get any dirt or dust that might have settled overnight and then when it was dry again I applied four coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go using an air mover to help dry the floor quicker between coats.

Quarry Tiles After Cleaning Quarry Tiles After Cleaning

Seal and Go adds a nice low shine to the tile and as you can see the floor looked amazing afterwards, needless to say the customer was very pleased with the transformation and left the comment below.

“I found Trevor a very professional and dedicated workman. He would not let the job finish until he had got the best result.
Miss Jackie Spencer, Leek”

Quarry Tiles After Cleaning Quarry Tiles After Cleaning

 
 
Source: Restoring old Quarry Tiles in Staffordshire