Dirty Wax Sealed Quarry and Terracotta Floor Renovated in Bucklebury


I was recently asked to survey the floors at a substantial property in Bucklebury which used to be a school. At some point in the 1970’s there was a major makeover and the property was converted into two houses. During the conversion a combination of Terracotta and Quarry tiles were installed throughout the ground floor and then sealed with what we believed was a wax-based product. Although Wax was a traditional sealant for Terracotta there are better modern sealers available now that are designed for the job and so we don’t recommend it. In this case the wax had deteriorated over the years and left the tiles looking tired and dirty.

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Bucklebury Before Cleaning Terracotta Tiled Floor Bucklebury Before Cleaning

After reviewing the flooring, I demonstrated cleaning the tile and grout which went well and impressed the customer who after living with the floor looking dirty for some time was eager for the job to be completed. I gave the customer a price for renovating the whole floor which was agreed, and we set a date for the work to commence.

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Bucklebury Before Cleaning

Cleaning Dirty Quarry and Terracotta Tiles

My first job was to strip off what remained of the wax sealer using Tile Doctor Remove and Go and a new Tile Doctor product called Wax Away which has been specifically designed for dealing with wax. Both products had very similar effects and together striped off the old coating with little issue. Of the two products my preference to use Wax Away as it foamed less when wet extracting with a spinner tool.

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Bucklebury During Cleaning

After applying the Wax Away, I left it to dwell for fifteen minutes re-applying more product when it began to dry out. Leaving it to dwell allows it to penetrate the wax and weaken it so it’s easier to remove. I then used a 17-inch black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor machine to scrub the solution into the tiles. Finally, I used a spinner tool fitted to a hot water pressure extraction system that is housed in my van to rinsed away and extract the resulting slurry.

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Bucklebury During Cleaning

After the floor was clean, I set to work on the grout lines that still had traces of embedded wax sealer. The floor pads can struggle to reach into the recesses of the grout, so the solution is to use a stiff grout brush and scrub them clean by hand assisted with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is out go to grout cleaning product.

As a last step in the cleaning process I gave the floor and Acid Wash using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up. I did this to further clean the floor and to neutralise Its pH after using so many high alkaline cleaning products.

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Bucklebury After Cleaning Terracotta Tiled Floor Bucklebury During Cleaning

Sealing Quarry and Terracotta Tiles

I returned at the end of the week and checked that the moisture levels of the floor, we always do this to ensure the floor is dry before sealing and would not recommend sealing a damp floor as the results can be patchy. The readings were spot on, so I was able to get a started.

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Bucklebury After Sealing

The customer wanted to keep the rich terracotta colours in the tile and wanted a sheen, so I selected Tile Doctor Seal and Go as the sealer. To fully seal the tiles, I used six coats on the smaller Quarry tiles and nine coats on the large Mexican Terracotta tiles. Seal and Go is a modern water-based acrylic sealer that provides both a stain resistant seal and a durable low-sheen finish, also being water based it doesn’t give off a smell as it dries.

Terracotta Tiled Floor Bucklebury After Sealing

The result was a huge improvement, needless to say my customer was very pleased and left the following feedback.

”I had a large quarry/terracotta tiled floor in kitchen/conservatory badly in need of cleaning. Dennis did an incredible job. He was very efficient and the result is outstanding, very happy to recommend”

 

Professional Renovation of a Large Quarry and Terracotta Floor in Berkshire



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Full Restoration of an Old Quarry Tiled Floor in Great Witley


It is lovely when we get called out to properties with an interesting history. This delightful property in the pretty Malvern Hills village of Great Witley dates to the 1800’s and was once used as children’s home. The property has since been renovated and turned into a residential property. During the renovation works the new owners were delighted to peel back the carpet on the large entrance hallway and dining room to reveal an original quarry tiled floor believed to be well over 100 years old.

The floor however was in quite a bad state after years of being covered with various carpets over the years and was ingrained with layers of dirt and varnish. The owners were unsure if the floor could be repaired and restored and after finding Tile Doctor on-line they arranged for me to pop over and survey the floor.

Period Quarry Tiled Floor Before Restoration Great Witley Period Quarry Tiled Floor Before Restoration Great Witley

On the day of the inspection I could see that this would take some work to bring the floor back and over 20 tiles would need replacing due to salt damage or broken tiles some of which had completely perished. There was also layers and layers of white paint over many tiles from previous decoration work to deal with. Even in such a state I was still very confident that with the combination of my own abilities, the right tools and Tile Doctor products that the floor could be restored. We discussed a price for the work which was accepted and scheduled a convenient date for me to pop round and restore the floor.

Cleaning and Repairing a Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor

My first job was to remove all the damaged tiles, being careful not to damage any good tiles. I then repaired the substrate and prepared the area for the replacement tiles which were all slightly larger so needed cutting with an electric wet saw.

Period Quarry Tiled Floor During Restoration Great Witley Period Quarry Tiled Floor During Restoration Great Witley

This work took up much of the first day and on the second day the new tiles were laid using a flexible fast setting adhesive. The area was then grouted and left overnight before starting the cleaning process.

The following day the entire floor was sprayed with a dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which was then left to dwell and soak into the tiles before being scrubbed in with a rotary floor machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. Difficult areas such as the paint splashes were covered with a sheet of plastic, so the solution wouldn’t dry out and left until the paint became easier to scrape away.

Period Quarry Tiled Floor During Restoration Great Witley Period Quarry Tiled Floor During Restoration Great Witley

The floor was then rinsed with water which was the soil extracted using a wet vacuum. More work was needed to release the layers or ingrained dirt, so this was followed by scrubbing the floor with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and then more rinsing and extracting.

Last step of the cleaning process was to treat the floor to an acid rinse using Tile Doctor Acid Gel. This was also scrubbed in with a rotary cleaner before being rinsed off with water and the slurry removed using the wet vacuum. The acid rinse will counter any mineral salts in the floor and reduce the chance of efflorescence occurring as the floor dries out.

Once I was happy with the floor I left it to dry overnight, the floor was already looking significantly better.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor

I returned on the fourth day to compete the restoration by applying a sealer, checking first that the floor had dried with a moisture meter. Once I was happy the Quarry tiled floor was sealed with five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra which made the natural colours of the tile shine through without looking too glossy. This product is also fully breathable which is an important factor for these old floors where no damp proof membrane is present, and moisture needs to be able to pass through the tile unimpeded.

Period Quarry Tiled Floor After Restoration Great Witley Period Quarry Tiled Floor After Restoration Great Witley

The deep cleaning and sealing process ensured the new replacement tiles blended in well with the original tiles and the whole floor was transformed back to its former glory. The client was over the moon with the results and surprised at what we had been able to achieve!

 

Professional Restoration of an old Quarry Tiled Floor in Worcestershire



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Deep Cleaning Quarry Tiles at a Converted Pub in Geldeston


Tucked away on a back street in Geldeston about a mile away from Gillingham, Norfolk is the newly-restored former Garden House pub which has been converted into a two-bedroom private residence by the new owners. Everything had been renovated to the highest possible standard using local craftsmen and top-quality materials. The last piece of this jigsaw was the renovation of the quarry tile flooring which was laid in a brick pattern and runs from the kitchen through the dining room and into the main entrance hall.

As is often the case during major building works, the floor had been inadequately protected and consequently it had become completely coated in a combination of builder’s dust, plaster, paint and mud from the garden. As it’s such a large area it really needed some attention to get back its lustre.

Quarry Tiled Floor Geldeston Before Cleaning

Renovating a Quarry Tiled Floor in Geldeston

In order to prevent further scratching to the tile surface during the cleaning process our first job was to vacuum the whole area to pick up all the larger bits of debris and grit. Next, the floor was deep-cleaned using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad and a strong solution (1:3 ratio) of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, our high pH combination stripper and cleaner which made short work of the top layer of dust and grime.

Having power rinsed and vacuumed away the resulting slurry, we found that there were a large number of ground-in plaster spots and patches still remaining, which gave the floor an unsatisfactory white spotted appearance. These were removed using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up applied with a 6-inch black scrubbing pad fitted to our hand held DeWalt buffing machine, one of the most useful bits of kit in our tool bag! Great for attacking stubborn areas individually. The whole area was then allowed to dry with assistance from two industrial air movers.

Sealing Quarry Tiled Floor in Geldeston

Returning a few days later, I checked the moisture levels in the floor which were satisfactory, so we were ready to move on to the finishing stage. My original intention had been to seal the grout lines alone with Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal, our no-sheen solvent based penetrating sealer, assuming that the tile surface was in a reasonably good condition. Unfortunately, owing to the age of the floor along with the abuse it had suffered during the building works, I found that the floor had a tired, pale look to it when completely dry. I decided, therefore, to seal and refinish it with four coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go which both deepened and emphasized the colours within each individual tile and gave a pleasing mid-sheen to the whole area.

Quarry Tiled Floor Geldeston After Cleaning

On completion of the job, our client said three words we love to hear… “It looks GREAT!”
It is lovely to have another satisfied client and great to add the finishing touches to their renovation.

Quarry Tiled Floor Geldeston After Cleaning

 

Professional Restoration of a Quarry Tiled Kitchen in Norfolk



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Painted Quarry Tiled Porch Floor Restored 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.”

 
 

Quarry Tiles Restored in South London



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Screed Covered Quarry Tiled Floor Renovated in Coulsdon


Pictures below of a Quarry Tiled floor that a customer had discovered when taking up the lino at her house in Coulsdon. Realising the floor was original and worth saving she contacted Tile Doctor and I popped round to take a look.

A lot of the tiles had been covered in a screed to provide a flat base for the Lino and that would need removing. In order to be sure what treatments would work to remove the screen and successfully restore the Quarry tiles without causing any damage I ran a couple of tests and everything seemed ok.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Renovation Coulsdon Quarry Tiled Floor Before Renovation Coulsdon

We could both see the job wasn’t going to be easy and would take some days to complete so I worked out a price which was accepted and we agreed a date for the work to start.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Renovation Coulsdon Quarry Tiled Floor Before Renovation Coulsdon

Removing Screed from Quarry Tiles

The Quarry tiles in the WC hadn’t been covered in Lino so they would just need a good clean and seal so the main work would be in the Hallway and Kitchen. Fortunately my customer was having a lot of other work done in the house and was in the middle of stripping the walls so I didn’t need to worry too much about protecting the skirting boards etc.

Working in sections I soaked the screed in water and then carefully chipped away at it until it came loose, it was slow work but I could see the process was working as expected and eventually all the Quarry tiles were revealed. There was still a lot of cement from the screed stuck to the surface of the tile so after sweeping up the chippings I set to work applying a strong solution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up to the tiles and leaving it to soak in for a short while. Grout Clean-Up is an acidic product that we normally use for removing grout smears from the surface of tiles. The solution was scrubbed in and then rinsed off with water and extracted with a wet vacuum.

Quarry Tiled Floor During Renovation Coulsdon Quarry Tiled Floor During Renovation Coulsdon

To get the tiles in the toilet clean I gave them a good scrub with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a reliable and effective Tile and Grout cleaner. Once clean they were rinsed with water and dried with the wet vacuum.

Sealing Quarry Tiles

I had timed my visit between working being carried out at the property so I was able to leave the floor for a few days so it could thoroughly dry out. I returned later to check the Quarry tiles were dry and completed the renovation by sealing the floor with Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water based sealer that works really well on Quarry tiles. Five coats of Seal and Go were needed to fully seal the tiles and the floor now looks transformed.

The owner was very satisfied with the improvements and before leaving I advised to cover the floor before starting the decorating work.
 
 

Old Quarry Tiles Restored in Coulsdon, Surrey




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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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Ex Pub Quarry Tiled Floor Restored to Fantastic Condition in Newbold-on-Avon, Rugby


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.
 
 

Quarry Tiled Floor Restoration in Warwickshire



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Full restoration of a Lino Covered Quarry Tiled Kitchen floor in Cambridge


This job was for a lovely old lady in Cambridge, her kitchen floor had been covered with a wood effect Lino thirty years earlier and she felt it was time to have it removed and have the original Kitchen Quarry tiles underneath restored.

Kitchen Quarry Tiled Floor Covered with Lino Cambridge Kitchen Quarry Tiled Floor Covered with Lino Cambridge

The lino was good quality having stood the test of time however to ensure the lino didn’t sink into the grout lines the whole floor had been levelled with some sort of screed which would need to be carefully removed.

Kitchen Quarry Tiled Floor with Lino Removed Cambridge Kitchen Quarry Tiled Floor with Lino Removed Cambridge

Removing the Linoleum covering and cleaning the floor

My first task was to carefully scrape off as much of the linoleum covering as possible without damaging the floor beneath. I managed toe remove most of the screed by lightly chipping away with a chisel and hammer followed by a blade to scrape as much screed as possible off the tile and grout.

To deal with the remaining screed I used a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up which is an acidic product and needs to be applied with care. It was scrubbed in using a rotary machine running on slow speed and fitted with a black scrubbing pad. To remove the soil I used our truck mounted hot water extraction machine which applies hot water under pressure with a special lance that simultaneously extracts the waste back to a tank on the van.

The last stage of cleaning was to apply a coat of Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel to remove any previous sealer that may still be present on the tile. As well as using the scrubbing machine I also used a stiff brush along the grout lines as well. Final step was another rinse with the truck mounted extraction machine before leaving the floor to dry off fully overnight.

Kitchen Quarry Tiled Floor Before Restoration Cambridge Kitchen Quarry Tiled Floor Before Restoration Cambridge

Sealing Kitchen Quarry Tiles

When I returned to the property I used a damp meter to test the floor, making sure that the surface was dry enough to commence sealing (as any excess solution can affect the performance of the sealer). My sealer of choice was Tile Doctor Seal & Go Extra, a topical sealer which works well on Quarry tiles restoring appearance and providing a nice finish along with durable protection. This particular sealer is also suitable for floors where damp maybe an issue and with an old floor like this installed before the invention of Damp Proof Membranes choosing the right sealer is very important to avoid issues with efflorescence.

Kitchen Quarry Tiled Floor After Restoration Cambridge Kitchen Quarry Tiled Floor After Restoration Cambridge

The floor was completely transformed and the client was extremely happy with the out come and even left the following lengthy testimonial on the Tile Doctor Feedback system which is always appreciated.

“Tom did excellent work on quite a tricky job. Our kitchen tiles are over sixty years old. Tom took up and disposed of our old kitchen Lino, removed the layers of concrete screed, then buffed, glossed and sealed the original tiles until they shone like new! The natural salts worked their way to the surface of the tiles just like Tom said would happen, and a fortnight later Tom returned to re-surface and re-gloss the tiles. The floor now looks great. Tom was very professional throughout and the work was no easy job to accomplish, so he has done a great job. We are very pleased with our kitchen floor, which now has a new lease of life. I would recommend the Tile Doctor if you need a floor restored at any time.
Miss Webber, Cambridge 02 August 2017”
 
 

Restoring a Quarry Tiled Floor Hidden under Vinyl in Cambridge



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