Cleaning Candle Wax Staining from Fireplace Quarry Tiles

A lady from Rochdale contacted us with what she had thought was irreparable damage to the Quarry tiles surrounding her brick fireplace. They used to have a lovely glossy finish but due to small accident with candle wax that happened whilst removing the candle the were now dull and patchy. The fireplace and tiles were 17 years old and as far as the customer was aware, they had never been sealed in the past.

Wax Damaged Quarry Tiled Fireplace Surround Before Cleaning Rochdale

Unsure of how to resolve the problem they decided to give Tile Doctor a call. As it turns out they had also called their insurance company and were considering replacing the whole fireplace if no one could help resolve it! But the brick fireplace suited the design of the house which also had lovely wooden beams in the same room so that was not their first choice. They certainly did not want the disruption of replacing it.

Wax Damaged Quarry Tiled Fireplace Surround During Cleaning Rochdale

I went over to survey the tiles and carried out a small patch test, the test went well, and I was confident that the tiles could be restored to their former glory! Happy and relieved with the results the customer booked me in to complete the work.

Cleaning Candle Wax from a Quarry Tiled Fireplace

First, we ensured the area around the fireplace was covered and taped up, to ensure no spills onto the nearby carpet and surrounding area. To clean the quarry tiles and remove the candle wax I applied undiluted Tile Doctor Remove and Go which was left to dwell for fifteen minutes before being scrubbed in.

The space around the fireplace was tight so to scrub the product into the tile I used a small six-inch black scrubbing pad fitted to a hand buffer. The soil was extracted with our wet vacuum and then the tiles rinsed with water to ensure the mess was kept to a minimum.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Fireplace

Normally I would wait for the tiles to dry naturally overnight before sealing, however given the small size of the area involved I was able to dry it using some gentle warmth from a heat gun. This meant I would be able to complete the job in the same day thus saving time and expense for the customer.

To seal the Quarry tiles, I applied a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, which gives a nice durable low sheen that works well on Quarry tiles. Seal and Go is also water based so it doesn’t give off a smell as it dries.

My customer was very happy with the results which were astonishing! “It’s like having a whole new brick installation ” they explained after we finished! Further they left the following comment on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

“After trying to claim on my “accidental” house insurance with an extortionate policy excess, I contacted the Tile Doctor. My tiles were renovated to an excellent standard. The lady who renovated the tiles represented the company in a professional way and was very respectful of my home and the work carried out far exceeded my expectations. My fireplace tiles look brand new. I would definitely recommend this company. Donna B, Rochdale”

Wax Damaged Quarry Tiled Fireplace Surround After Cleaning Rochdale

 

Professional Restoration of a Quarry Tiled Fireplace in South Lancashire

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Flood Damaged Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor Renovated in Cragg Vale

I was contacted by the owners of a cottage in the small village of Cragg Vale who had unfortunately suffered a flood in their kitchen which had resulted in damage to their Slate tiled kitchen floor. Cragg Vale is a very small village situated on the moors above Hebden Bridge in the borough of Calderdale. The cottages were originally built circa 1860 for workers at the local mill. Although the mill has now gone, the cottages are still lived in by people who enjoy living so close to the scenic Blackstone Edge Moors.

Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Cragg Vale

It’s difficult to appreciate the problems from the before photo but once I visited the property, I could see where some of the tiles had been damaged by the water leading to flaking and salting. The other major issue that became apparent was that the floor had also been covered in layers of sealant and varnish which had been applied over the years. This had left the overall finish looking a uniformly dark colour although it was very shiny.

After doing some tests and a full survey, I submitted a quote to carry out the work which was to be covered by the owner’s insurance. This was accepted and a date was set to begin the work.

Cleaning a Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

Given the amount of work involved restoring the Slate, the complex nature of the job and the need to proceed quickly, I recruited the services of South Yorkshire Tile Doctor Matt Lovett. This is one of the benefits of using Tile Doctor as we can combine our skills and equipment to ensure that a job is carried out effectively and efficiently.

This job had the potential to become very messy so our first job on arrival to start work was to protect the kitchen units and adjacent carpets with protective coverings. We then applied a coating of Tile Doctor Remove & Go to small sections of the floor and left it to soak in for fifteen minutes at a time. The tiles were then scrubbed, and the resultant residue removed with a wet vacuum. The varnish proved particularly stubborn in places, so further applications of Remove & Go were scrubbed in using wire brushes to remove it layer by layer. The sealants and varnish turned to a muddy gloop that we continued to scrape up and remove with the wet vac.

Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor During Cleaning Cragg Vale

At the end of the first day we had removed about 80% of the coatings but knew that we still had long day ahead of us tomorrow.

The next day we reviewed our progress and decided to work in one metre square areas to remove the remaining coatings. This was a time consuming but necessary way to ensure that by the end of the day we had got the floor clean.

Before leaving the floor was rinsed again and dried as much as possible using the wet vacuum. After a final inspection we were happy the floor was ready for sealing and left it to dry off overnight.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

First job on day three was to check that the floor was dry enough to begin sealing. This is a very important part of the process because if the floor is damp then the sealers won’t take properly. The floor was fine, so I started with the application of a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a breathable, colour enhancing sealer that penetrates the pores of the stone protecting it from within. Colour grow also enhances the natural colours in the stone thus highlighting its natural beauty.

Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Cragg Vale

After 30 minutes, the floor was dry enough to start applying the first coat of Tile Doctor High Shine sealer. This is an acrylic sealant which as the name suggests, gives the floor a glossy shine. This was the effect that the Customer had requested at the beginning of the process.
A further four coats of High Shine were applied before a water test was conducted to ensure that the floor was completely sealed.

The Customer was very pleased and as you can see from the photos, it’s easy to see why.

Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Cragg Vale

 

Sealing a Slate Tiled Kitchen in West Yorkshire

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Floor Damaged Quarry Tiled Floor Restoration Bearwood

My client contacted me regarding their quarry tiled floor which hadn’t been in a good condition for some time. A recent flood in the house, caused by a ruptured pipe in an upstairs boiler had only added to the problem. As you can see from the before pictures, the floor was in a sorry state. On the plus side the flood had led to an insurance claim which would cover the cost of the restoration.

I visited the property and did a test clean on a section of Quarry tiles which came up well. The client was happy the result and agreed to go ahead, my quote was agreed, and the job booked in. The property was in Bearwood which is in the southern part of the Birmingham suburb of Smethwick.

Flood Damaged Quarry Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Bearwood

Cleaning and Repairing a Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor

The client also needed some Quarry tiles replacing due to them being broken and damaged. So before returning my first task was to source some replacement quarry tiles that would be a good match for the existing. Fortunately Quarry tiles are still popular and I was able to find a set of reclaimed tiles that would make good replacements.

I was able to get the replacements delivered in time for the job starting which was just as well as my first task would be to repair the floor. Fitting the replacements was tricky work as some of the tiles were up to two inches thick and came in various sizes and so had to be cut to size with a wet tile cutter. The tiles were a good match though and they were set in place. Later that day I was able to grout them in using a matching grout along with some other areas that needed re-grouting. By the end of the first day the floor was already looking much improved.

Flood Damaged Quarry Tiled Floor During Repair Bearwood Flood Damaged Quarry Tiled Floor During Repair Bearwood

The next day the floor was cleaned with a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. The solution is left on the tiles to dwell for about ten minutes so it can start to soak into the deep-seated dirt and break it down. The tiles were then scrubbed with a black pad fitted to a weighted rotary machine. The grout was also cleaned at this point using more Pro-Clean and a hand-help scrubbing brush.

There was also a fireplace hearth that needed cleaned, this also had to be cleaned by hand as the machine was too large. The floor was then rinsed with water and the resultant slurry extracted with a wet vacuum.

Flood Damaged Quarry Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Bearwood

The last part of the cleaning process was to give the tiles and acid-wash using a dilution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up. This is an acidic product that can remove mineral staining and will also counter any alkaline salt deposits in the pores of the tile that could surface as the floor dries later. The floor was rinsed again and allowed to dry out for two days before I returned.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor

On the final day I first confirmed the Quarry tiles had dried out were ready for sealing. I then sealed the tiles using Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a fully breathable sealer that would protect whilst allowing moisture in the floor to rise through the tile. This sealer will also enhance the strong natural colour of the quarry tiles. The tiles were quite porous so four coats of sealer were needed, then after drying the floor was buffed with a white pad.

Flood Damaged Quarry Tiled Floor After Restoration Bearwood

The work transformed the floor and my customer was over the moon with the end result.

Flood Damaged Quarry Tiled Floor After Restoration Bearwood

For after-care I left the customer with a complimentary bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner. This is a pH neutral product that is safe to use on sealed surfaces and won’t prematurely erode the sealer.

 

Professional Restoration of a Quarry Tiled Floor in Birmingham

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