This Quarry tiled floor was at a house in the town of Market Harborough and as you can see from the photograph below it was in a right state due to the plastering that had gone on previously while the property was refurbished. The plasterer has taken no steps to protect the tiles and as a result there was plaster and plaster dust ingrained into the tile.
Deep Cleaning Quarry Tiles
To clean the floor and remove mess of plaster that it has become covered it the whole floor was soaked in a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a strong coatings remover that is safe to use on tile, stone and grout. If was left to dwell on the tiles for around twenty minutes before being worked into the floor with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad, the grout was also scrubbed but this needs to be done by hand with a stiff brush. The soiled cleaning solution is then rinsed away using a wet vacuum and the process repeated on stubborn areas until all the tiles were clean. Once I was happy the floor was in an acceptable condition it was thoroughly rinsed with water to remove any cleaning products that might upset the sealer and then left to dry overnight; the wet vacuum was used again to remove the water and help dry the floor.
Sealing Quarry Tiles
We delayed our return until the decorators had painted the walls and unlike the plasterers they protected the floor so we didn’t have to spend time removing paint from the tiles. The tiles were thoroughly dry when we returned and so we got straight on with the task of sealing them with five coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that occupies the pores in a tile preventing contaminates from become ingrained and as its name suggests does a great job of enhancing the colour in the tile.
This Red Quarry Tiled floor had been laid when the house was built back in 1910 so it was over 100 years old and had years of wear and tear to show for it including old cement and paint from some decorating work that had been done some years prior. The house was located in the town of Treharris just outside of Cardiff and being an original feature of the house the owner wanted it looking as good as it could be.
Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Floor
I first checked for any moisture as these old floors were often laid without damp proofing and a damp floor can impact sealing later. Fortunately the reading was nice and dry, I then set about carefully scrapping off as much old paint and cement as possible. I then swept up as much of the dust as I could and caught the rest with a hoover.
The next step was to cover the whole floor in Tile Doctor Remove and Go mixed with a little NanoTech Ultra Clean which basically adds tiny abrasive particles to a powerful coatings remover. I left this on to soak into the tile for about an hour knowing that using this combination would not only remove any old surface coatings such as sealers it would also clean the floor as well. The solution was then worked into the floor using a rotating scrubbing brush attachment on a floor machine effectively letting the machinery do all the hard work. The floor was then rinsed twice with clean water which was then removed using a wet vacuum.
It was clear at this point that the cement I could see on the surface of the tile was basically grout from an appalling tiling job when the floor was laid 100 years earlier. Fortunately Tile Doctor has a solution for that problem called Grout Remove and Go which is an acid based product that will remove grout and mineral deposits such as efflorescence. Being an acid I had to be careful so it was applied to the tile working one square metre at a time cleaning and scraping as I went along. After each section the floor was given a good rinsing again using the wet vacuum to remove the liquids from the floor. The last step of the cleaning process which I always do for Quarry and Victorian floor tiles was to finish off the rinsing process with a steam clean which brings out any remaining dirt and brings the tile back to its raw state.
Sealing a Quarry Tiled Floor
I cleaned the floor on the Friday and then left it to try for two days coming back on the Sunday to damp test the floor once again to ensure it was ready for sealing. The moisture reading was fine for sealing and as the customer had asked for a mild shine finish I sealed the floor using Tile Doctor Seal and Go which brought out the black and red colours in the tile back to life.
The customer called me in to resolve a problem in at a beautiful holiday cottage in Cockermouth which had an old Quarry tiled floor installed which she had tried to make shine but had ended up turning it pink in places
Cleaning Quarry Floor Tiles
On my arrival I spent time protecting the kitchen units and adjacent wooden floor and then started on removing the old sealer with Tile doctor Remove and Go; I sprayed it on working in small areas and working it into the tile with a brush making sure to scrub it in well, the resultant soiled solution was washed off with clean water the and then removed using a wet vacuum. After finishing with the tile I moved onto the grout joints using the same process to make sure they were all clean and then the floor was given a good rinse to neutralise the floor before sealing. Again a wet vacuum was used to remove any liquids from the floor and it was then left to dry fully overnight.
Sealing Quarry Floor Tiles
The next day I returned to the cottage and after verifying the floor was dry with a damp tester it was sealed with four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which provides on-going protection as well as adding a nice shine to the tile.
This job took me two days and whilst I was there I took the time to explain how to maintain the floor going forward and the importance of using a Neutral Cleaner to extend the life of the sealer. Certainly the customer was very happy with the results and left the following message our feedback system:
“Absolutely delighted the tiles were very marked in places but Heidi has managed to get them off and the tiles are back to their true colour which I hoped they would be. Heidi explained step by step the procedure and I am very pleased with the result Thank you very much for the time spent and I would recommend Heidi — Veronica”