The following photos are from a 16th Century cottage in the village of Broughton near Kettering which was undergoing major restoration works. The Quarry tiled floor was not as old as the house and was probably installed in the Victorian era. The clients wanted the floor restoring before the plastering of walls and new kitchen was installed. There was also a section where a pantry wall had been removed with tiles missing, so these needed to be replaced with reclaimed tiles that the customer had sourced.
I visited site to look at the project, survey the Quarry tiled floor and give them a firm price for the work. I was confident that we could replace the tiles and we could blend the area in to match the existing. Once the floor had a good clean and seal it would look a lot better.
With the quotation agreed I arranged a date where I would have sole access to the property which is always preferred as it means you do not have anyone walking through whilst your cleaning. This also has the added advantage of not having to take precautions over social distancing.
Restoring a Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor
On the first day on site I carried out the replacement of the missing tiles. This work started by cleaning up the holes in the floor left by the now removed wall and getting the base level and ready for tiling. Next the reclaimed tiles we cut down to fit the shape left by the wall to match the existing tiling. The fit needed to be exact as any mismatch would show later. Once I was happy with the cuts the tiles were fixed in place with rapid set adhesive and once that had set were grouted in place. The next step would be to give the floor a deep clean, so it was left to dry off overnight.
The next day with the tile adhesive and grout having gone off overnight I was able to start the cleaning process. Working in sections I began by applying Tile Doctor Oxy Gel to the tile and grout with a little water, leaving it to soak in for ten minutes and then working it into the tiles using a 17 inch rotary scrubbing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. A stiff brush was also used along the grout lines to make sure they were equally treated. After scrubbing the now soiled solution was vacuumed off with an industrial wet vac and repeated the process until the entire area had been cleaned.
Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up was then applied using a 1:10 dilution with water. It was mopped it over the entire area to neutralise the tile and remove any grout smears, hazing and mineral deposits which are quite common with floors of this age. The entire area was then given a good rinse with clean water to remove any trace of cleaning product. An industrial fan was also installed and left on site to assist with the drying process until we returned a week later. This would ensure the floor would be bone dry for our return and ready to accept a sealer.
Sealing a Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor
Returning the following week, I tested the moisture levels in the tiles with a damp meter. I was conscious that due to the age of the tiles there may be some inherent damp however my plan had worked, and the tests confirmed the floor was indeed dry and ready for sealing.
The client required a silk finish so I opted to apply several coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go Extra which would provide the required finish yet is breathable and so will not impeded moisture rising through the floor allowing it to evaporate and not become trapped. This is an important consideration when choosing a sealer for an old floor which don’t have a damp proof membrane installed as trapping moisture under the floor can lead to it reaching out to the walls where it can result in rising damp.
The client was extremely happy with the results and has left the following comments on our feedback page.