Cleaning Sealing Red and Black Quarry Floor Tiles Buxton


The photographs below are from a client who lives in an older property in Buxton which you may have heard of due to its famous spa and popular spring water. Buxton is situated in the county of Derbyshire, in the East Midlands and has the highest elevation of any market town in England.

The property had Red and Black Quarry tiles laid throughout the Kitchen and the downstairs in a diamond pattern. Quarry tiles are very hard wearing and thus a popular and traditional flooring option for high traffic areas in the past. Certainly, in this case they were in good physical condition given their age and they looked very much in-keeping with the period property along with the fireplaces.

Red Black Quarry Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Buxton

The client loved the feature floor but felt the tiles were looking neglected and they were struggling to keep them clean. This is a common problem with quarry tiles which are porous and need to be sealed to keep them looking good, however over time the sealer wears down with use and dirt becomes ingrained in the pores of the tile making them impossible to clean effectively. The client just wanted them to look clean and ensure they could be easily maintained.

Red Black Quarry Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Buxton

I recommended deep cleaning the tiles to remove the dirt and the sealing them to protect them going forward a process which usually takes around two days.

Cleaning and Restoring Quarry tiles

My quote was accepted, and I returned on the agreed date to complete the work starting with the first part of the process which involved removing the ingrained dirt, grime and any remaining sealer that may be present on the floor. To do this I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and left it to dwell for ten minutes. The Pro-Clean was then worked into the tile and grout using a black buffing pad fitted to a rotary machine. Once done the now soiled cleaning solution was rinsed off the floor with water and a wet vacuum was used to extract it from the floor. Some areas of tile were stained with paint slashes from decorating and these was spot treated with Tile Doctor Nanotech HBU which stands for Heavy Build-Up remover and is pretty good at dealing with all sorts of stains and tough soiling on tiled floors. The floor was then dried using the wet vacuum and left overnight to allow it to dry out thoroughly.

Sealing Quarry Floor Tiles

The client had left the radiators on overnight to aid the drying process and by the next morning the floor was nice and dry. I tested the moisture content to be sure and it was well within acceptable levels and therefore ready for the next stage. It’s important to ensure the tiles are dry before applying a sealer as the sealant won’t cure and the result will be compromised.

I sealed the floor a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer. I chose this product because the house had some damp problems due to its’ age and I decided a breathable fully sealer was the best option for this situation as this will allow moisture to rise-up through the tile and evaporate without causing any problems. Colour Grow works by soaking into the pores of the tile protecting it from within and improving the natural colours of the tile in the process.

Red Black Quarry Tiled Floor After Cleaning Buxton

The end result was the floor looked much cleaner and colours in the tiles were more vibrant, needless to say my client was very pleased with the result and the sealer will ensure the floor is easy to maintain floor for the future as per their brief.

Red Black Quarry Tiled Floor After Cleaning Buxton

 

Professional Restoration of Quarry Tiles in Derbyshire



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Black and Red Quarry Tile Renovation in Whaley Bridge


This was an unusual Quarry Tiled Floor that I was asked to renovate at a house in Whaley Bridge which is a small town in Derbyshire Peak district. The floor tiles were laid in a diamond pattern using alternating Black & Red quarry tiles. The house was more than 100 years old and recently changed hands. A large rug had previously occupied the middle of the floor and the tiles around the side has been painted over with black paint.

Old Black and Red Quarry Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Whaley Bridge

To restore the floor to a consistent appearance I could see the paint would need to be removed and then the whole floor given a deep clean and seal. Additionally, there was an old Fireplace at one end of the room decorated in antique Ceramic tiles that needed cleaning, the Tiles are very old but in good physical condition for their age.

Old Ceramic Tiled Fireplace Hearth Before Cleaning Whaley Bridge

Cleaning Old Black and Red Quarry Tiles

My first task was to remove the black paint and years of ground in dirty by treating the tiles with a poultice made from two Tile Doctor products namely Nano-Tech HBU Remover and Remove and Go. Working in sections the solution was applied to the tiles and left to soak in for a good twenty minutes before scrubbing with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad running at slow speed.

The resulting soil was extracted using a wet vacuum and then the tiles rinsed with water, so I would see where more work was needed. Stubborn stains were then spot treated with the same process before moving onto the next section. The Ceramic tiles in the fireplace hearth was treated in the same way.

After removing all the dirt, stains and paint I gave the floor a final rinse to remove any trace of cleaning product and extracted as much moisture as possible using the wet vacuum. The floor would need to be dry before applying a sealer, so to allow the floor to fully dry off I left the floor for two days.

Sealing Original Quarry Hallway Tiles

On my return I checked the tiles first to ensure they were dry. All was good so I set about applying a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing impregnating sealer that occupies the pores in the clay. Additionally, Colour Grow is a breathable sealer which is important for these old floors that don’t have a damp proof course. There was no need to apply the sealer to the ceramic tiles in the hearth however as they won’t take a sealer due to the glaze.

Old Black and Red Quarry Tiled Floor After Cleaning Whaley Bridge

Once completed the floor looked completely transformed and the client was more than happy. Work continues in other parts of the house and once they have finished decorating they have asked me to return to restore their beautiful old Victorian tiled hallway.

Old Ceramic Tiled Fireplace Hearth After Cleaning Whaley Bridge
 
 

Professional Restoration of Original Quarry Hallway Tiles in the Peak District



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Rebuilding and Restoring a Damaged Quarry Tiled Floor in Croydon


There is perhaps nothing more irritating for a homeowner than to discover a leaking pipe. Even worse still is when that leak occurs underneath a natural stone floor!

This recent customer of mine, who lives in Croydon, had unfortunately discovered a leaking pipe underneath her Quarry tiled kitchen floor. The plumbers had dug a trench in the floor to replace the pipe and fix the problem. As you can see in the photos below, the original tiles were not replaced and the entire floor was generally left in a bit of a mess.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Rebuild Croydon Quarry Tiled Floor Before Rebuild Croydon

The customer had been trying to find a professional company to restore the floor, but her insurance company would only agree to sending normal cleaning companies to the job. Given the reality of the situation, you won’t be surprised to know that these companies all politely refused!

The situation went unresolved for over six months before the customer finally decided to contact Tile Doctor to restore the floor.

Rebuilding and Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Floor

The restoration took place over the space of six days. Our first port of call was to replace the tiles that had been removed as part of the plumbing work. This wasn’t the easiest process as we had to level up the floor before the tiles could be replaced.

Making matters more complicated, the tiles were all hand-made, and it was a bit like completing a jigsaw to avoid lippage. Lippage – for those unfamiliar with the term – means when a floor is laid unevenly and it can make walking on it hazardous.

Quarry Tiled Floor During Rebuild Croydon Quarry Tiled Floor During Rebuild Croydon

Once the tiles were reinstalled, it was time to give the whole floor a deep clean. For this, we used Tile Doctor Oxy Gel, leaving it to dwell on the surface for around ten minutes, before scrubbing it into the stone in combination with hot water. Oxy Gel is a strong, alkaline-based cleaner which works effectively to break down dirt and grime, as well as old sealers and waxes.

The next stage of the restoration was to rinse the floor with fresh water, and then lay down Tile Doctor Acid Gel for 15 minutes. Acid Gel is a blend of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids in gel form which is used to neutralise any grout haze and efflorescence on the tiles.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Floor

After completing the deep cleaning process, we rinsed the floor again with fresh water and then left it to dry for three days. Giving the floor enough time to dry was important, since any excess moisture would not have allowed us to complete the restoration by sealing the tiles.

After a few days, however, the floor was indeed thoroughly dried and could receive a fresh seal. We sealed the floor using five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, a topical sealer which eliminates traditional two-step sealing methods. What this means is that it provides both a robust surface seal and a high-quality low sheen finish – in one product.

After six months of difficulty and disruption, the customer was very happy to have her Quarry floor completely restored in just six days. Check out the photos below to see the outcome.

Quarry Tiled Floor After Rebuild Croydon Quarry Tiled Floor After Rebuild Croydon

 
 

Professional Tile Repairing, Cleaning and Sealing for a Quarry Tiled Floor Restoration in Croydon



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Quarry Tiled Floor Restored at Historic Cottage in Dunsfold


Dunsfold is a very small village in the borough of Waverley in West Surrey. It’s well known for the Dunsfold Aerodrome, an airfield that was built by the Canadian army during World War II. Hundreds of years ago, members of the English aristocracy held large estates of land in and around Dunsfold – and several historic cottages still exist in the area.

A customer of mine had recently bought one of these cottages and, during renovation work, had removed the downstairs carpets in three rooms to discover a Quarry tiled floor. Naturally, they were caked in many years’ worth of muck and carpet glue.

It would be a significant job to get the tiles in the three rooms back to looking their best – but it was a job I was more than willing to undertake. Classic Quarry tiles exude a certain rustic quality and charm – a welcome addition to many vintage properties, especially those located out in the countryside.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Renovation at Dunsfold Cottage Quarry Tiled Floor Before Renovation at Dunsfold Cottage

Deep Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Floor

I started the restoration by soaking small areas of the floor in Tile Doctor Remove and Go. This product is excellent for removing floor coatings such as old sealers as well as shifting stubborn filth and loosening carpet adhesive deposits. After carefully scraping any excess adhesive off manually with a sharp blade, I ran my buffing machine across the floor and immediately the tiles cleaned up well.

Next, I used a 200-grit (Coarse) diamond-encrusted burnishing pad on the floor. This basically skims a layer off the tile surface, revealing the original colour of the stone that had previously been hidden underneath. A small amount of water was used as lubrication for this process. Quarry tiles are naturally very porous so after rinsing the soil off the floor I left them over the weekend to dry.

While the somewhat aggressive approach of burnishing is highly effective, it can leave the tiles looking a little washed out – and the colour slightly diminished. However, I assured the customer that the colour would return once the tiles had been sealed.

Sealing an Original Quarry Tiled Floor

While I was enjoying my weekend off, the customer fortunately found a few replacement Quarry tiles in his attic to fit around the fireplace as upstands where there were some tiles missing. So, on my return to the property my first task was to fit these replacements, before sweeping the floor clear of any debris.

To finish the restoration, I applied a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, an impregnating sealant which provides the matte, natural-look finish the customer wanted. This sealant penetrates into the pores of the tile, so it dries inside the stone not on the surface. It also intensifies the fantastic red shades in the Quarry.

Quarry Tiled Floor After Renovation at Dunsfold Cottage

Around an hour after the coats of Colour Grow had been applied, the floor was dry and free to be walked on, and all the furniture could be returned. Much needed life and character had been restored to the Quarry tiled floor and the new property owner was very happy as a result.
 
 

Professional Restoration of a Quarry Tiled Floor Restoration in Surrey



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Poorly Maintained Kitchen Quarry Tiles Rejuvenated in Cheltenham


It’s often quite surprising what condition we find some tiles in when were asked to come out and survey the floor. Case in point being this Quarry tiled kitchen floor I was asked to look at by a customer in Cheltenham, which as you may know is particularly famous for its racecourse and the top-secret GCHQ.

Upon arrival at the property, I found that the floor was not in great condition. For some reason, it had been painted over with red tile paint and then covered with a wax coating which was easily scratched. To Make the situation worse, there were around 20 tiles in the floor with holes in them that had simply been filled with concrete.

Quarry Tiled Floor Cheltenham Before Removing Paint Quarry Tiled Floor Cheltenham Before Removing Paint

Clearly, the tiles had not been maintained properly in the past but fortunately the current owner of the property who was keen to have them restored had called in Tile Doctor and after a demonstration clean I was booked to come back and correct the numerous issues.

Cleaning a Damaged Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor

On the first day of the restoration, I started by applying a solution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go across the entire floor and leaving the product to dwell for around 30 minutes. Remove and Go is a powerful stripper designed to loosen paint splashes, adhesive stains and many types of urethane and wax coatings so that they can be easily removed.

After leaving the product to dwell, I could use a handheld scrapper to simply remove the wax coating and layer of paint on the floor. This process took about half a day; during the second half of the day, I spent my time removing the damaged tiles and replacing them with new Quarry tiles that had been sourced to match nicely with the existing floor.

Quarry Tiled Floor Cheltenham During

On the second day, any stubborn paint splashes remaining were re-treated and I subsequently deep cleaned the floor using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. This strong alkaline cleaning product was worked into the tiles using a 17-inch scrubbing pad fitted to a specialised rotary machine. The resultant soil was extracted off the floor using a wet vacuum and given a rinse with water to neutralise the floor. The wet vacuum was used again to remove the water and extract as much moisture from the tiles as possible to improve the drying time.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor

Once the deep clean had been completed, I left the floor dry for two days to allow sufficient time for it to dry thoroughly. Upon returning to the property, I ran a damp test to see if the tiles were dry enough to be sealed. To my surprise, the floor recorded only around 4% moisture even though the property is relatively old and is unlikely to have a damp proof membrane installed.

Nonetheless, this meant I could seal the floor. I did this by using a single coat of our impregnating, colour-intensifying sealer known as Tile Doctor Colour Grow, followed by three coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, a water based sealer which provides a high-quality satin finish.

Quarry Tiled Floor Cheltenham After Cleaning and Sealing Quarry Tiled Floor Cheltenham After Cleaning and Sealing

The deep clean, combined with the application of two different sealers, really helped to give these Quarry tiles a new lease of life. The customer was very happy indeed – in fact, had this been an exam, I’m certain I would’ve received top marks and it was certainly a major improvement on how they were before.
 
 

Professional Restoration of a Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor in Gloucestershire



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Original Quarry Tiled Hallway Given New Life in Haslemere


As the West Surrey Tile Doctor I cover quite a large area including Haslemere which is a town on the South-Western edge of the county in the borough of Waverley. I was down there to visit a customer who had recently bought an old property there and during the renovations uncovered six foot of quarry tiles by the front door. There was a patch of concrete that also needed investigating.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Haslemere Quarry Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Haslemere

Cleaning Hallway Quarry Tiles

I began by carefully removing the layer of concrete with a scraper and a covering of Tile Doctor Acid-Gel hoping it would expose more quarry tiles underneath. Sadly, this wasn’t the case and all I exposed was an area of ruined quarry tiles and four buried bricks. These would have to be removed then filled to bring them to the same level as the remaining tile so I could lay new tiles their place. A couple of noisy hours later following drilling and violent chisel work I’d removed enough to lay flat tiles.

I spent the next hour cleaning and preparing the remaining good tiles. After years of being covered by carpet there was a fair amount of adhesive to remove. This was loosened with Tile Doctor Remove and Go and small abrasive hand-held Diamond blocks to get into the corners.

The Remove and Go was applied to the tiles, left to soak in for ten minutes and then worked into the tile and grout with a stiff brush. The then the soiled solution was rinsed off and extracted using a wet vacuum. Following this work the tiles looked clean but worn out and colourless which is not unusual for this stage of the process and would be resolved once a sealer had been applied.

Tiles were then cut to measure then fixed in place with a rapid adhesive in line with the originals. Once they had set they were grouted in with a grout that closely matched the original. The rest of the floor was inspected at this point and any holes filled with more grout until flat. The grout and tiles were left to dry which was a good opportunity for me to eat lunch.

Sealing Original Quarry Tiles

It was only a small area so later that afternoon the tile and grout and I was able to finish the restoration with the application of two coats of sealer. On this occasion I chose to use Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that soaks into the pores of the clay Quarry tiles protecting them from within and also enhancing the red colours in the tile.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Haslemere

The result was a significant improvement and the customer was very happy, leaving the following testimonial on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

“Rupert was absolutely brilliant. Very friendly and professional, worked cleanly and totally rejuvenated our quarry tile entryway. Would definitely call him again and recommend to friends.”
 
 

Professional Restoration of an Original Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor in Surrey



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Annual Maintenance of a Victorian-Era Quarry Tiled School Floor in Oundle


It was back in 2013 that I first visited this school in Oundle to attend to a 150-year old Victorian Quarry tiled floor which, at the time, had extensive problems with damp and a poor performing sealer that had gradually peeled away.

Victorian Quarry Tiles Oundle School in 2012

Over a few weeks, we successfully stripped away the old and ineffective sealant and addressed the damp issues, before applying a breathable sealer. We subsequently allowed the tiles to successfully dry out for several months before returning to the school to provide a light clean and apply our topical sealer, known as Tile Doctor Seal and Go, as the school required a shiny, yet hard-wearing finish.

I posted a story on my website about this original job, which you can see here:

150 Year Old Quarry Tile Restoration in Northants School

As part of my initial visit, I had supplied the school with five litres of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner, which is a pH neutral formula designed for regular use, and a white buffing pad. I had also spent an hour with their in-house cleaner (who was already familiar with using a buffing machine) to talk through daily maintenance of the floor, as over 100 children can be walking over these floors at any one time on an almost daily basis.

Of course, not every floor will receive this amount of traffic and suffer from this level of wear and tear, but in these situations Tile Doctor can offer a maintenance plan for our customers.

Victorian Quarry Tiles Oundle School in 2013

Cleaning and Sealing Quarry Tiles for Maintenance

The school have me back annually to carry out a full maintenance clean and seal. This involves, firstly, etching the top coats of sealant with a green diamond-encrusted burnishing pad to remove any build-up of dirt and staining. Then, I rinse the whole floor with fresh water and soak up the residue with a wet vacuum.

After drying the area with fans, I proceed to reapply two fresh coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go. This is now my fourth year of visiting the school and, as the photos show, an annual maintenance plan is the best way to keep floors in top condition without the disruption caused by a full clean or restoration.

Victorian Quarry Tile After Maintenance Oundle School in 2017

Contact your local Tile Doctor consultant about the maintenance plan we offer for any natural stone flooring after an initial clean.
 
 

Professional Victorian Quarry Tiled Floor Maintenance at a School in Oundle



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