Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor, Old Marston

I received a call from this client in Old Marston around two miles north east of the centre of Oxford. They had lifted a lino floor in their kitchen and found an old Quarry Tiled floor underneath and decided to see if they could have it restored.

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Restoration Old Marston

I went over to survey the floor and could see that the tiles had been covered with a thin layer of levelling screed to ensure the lino didn’t sink into the recesses. I ran some tests to demonstrate how the screed could be removed which worked well and it was apparent that the tiles underneath were intact and could be renovated. I submitted a quotation for removing all the screed, deep cleaning the Quarry tiles and then sealing the tiles to protect them. The client was really pleased that we could restore the floor and the quote was accepted, with a date booked to do the work.

Removing Screed and Cleaning Kitchen Quarry Tiles

To start the work, I applied undiluted Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up worked in with a small carbide brush attached to a hand-held rotary buffer. The combination of the acid in the Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up combined with the scrubbing action of the brush were effective at removing most of the screed. The small bits of remaining screed were carefully removed by hand, using a floor scraper. The floor was then rinsed with water and the soil removed with a wet vacuum.

For the second phase of the cleaning process I applied Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel which was scrubbed into the floor with a stiff brush rinsing after with water and the soil extracted again using the wet vacuum. After cleaning the floor to remove the dirt I could still see some evidence of the screed on the tiles, so I decided to give the floor an Acid Wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel which was scrubbed into the floor and rinsed off as before. Tile Doctor Acid Gel is of course an acidic product so once it was removed, I decided to rinse the floor with Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner to neutralise the pH levels in the floor. The wet vacuum was used again to remove as much moisture from the Quarry tiles as possible before leaving the now clean floor to dry off fully overnight.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor

I returned to seal this floor the next day. First, I checked the floor was fully dry with the damp meter, it was within the recommended range, so I was ready to complete the sealing process.

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor After Restoration Matt Sealer Old Marston

The client was not too sure if they wanted a matt or sheen finish, so I first put a coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow on the floor to show them the matt finish. Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer that enhances natural colour and protects from within by occupying the pores in the tile. After reviewing the floor, they decided it was not for them, so I followed up by applying several coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go which adds a nice sheen finish and is compatible with Colour Grow.

The combination of sealers worked very well together, and they were very satisfied with the final result and of course that we had been able to restore the Quarry tiles.

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor After Restoration Gloss Sealer Old Marston

 

Professional Restoration of a Quarry Tiled Kitchen in Oxfordshire

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Screed and Bitumen Covered Victorian Tiled Floor Caversham

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Details below of a floor I recently worked on where my client had removed the linoleum that covered the hallway floor and discovered an original Victorian Tiled floor buried underneath bitumen which had been used an adhesive, there was also some leveling screed that would need removing. The house was situated in Caversham Reading, Berkshire which lies on the north bank of the River Thames, opposite the rest of Reading.

Bitumen Covered Victorian Floor Before Restoration Caversham Reading

She had been renovating the whole house when she came across it and realising the value an original feature like this could add to the property was keen to restore it. Having tried several methods to remove the bitumen herself she realised it was too difficult and messy to do and decided to call in some help.

Bitumen Covered Victorian Floor Before Restoration Caversham Reading

Tile Doctor have successfully restored bitumen covered Victorian floors before and being their local agent, I was asked to look at the floor. I went round to take a look and ran a number of tests primarily to demonstrate it could be done and also, so I could work out the best method to clean the floor and therefore provide the customer with an accurate quote.

Bitumen Covered Victorian Floor Before Restoration Caversham Reading

Victorian tiles are very durable and having worked on similar floors before I was confident the tiles could be restored to a satisfactory state and be returned to its former glory. We discussed the process and a price and then scheduled the work to be done.

Removing Screed and Bitumen from Victorian Hallway Tiles

The first job was to apply protective tape around surrounding area to protect the wooden skirting etc. from splashing. Then I took a scraper and mallet to carefully chip away at the screed parts of the floor and remove it to expose the tiles underneath. Once this was done I could start with the more difficult task of dealing with the thick build-up of bitumen.

Bitumen is a horrible sticky black substance that required a fair bit of time and different methods to remove. My first method was to apply a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go, leaving it to dwell and work on breaking down the bitumen before scrubbing it in. This product is particularly good at breaking down old sealers and paint and although it made an impact I could see that I would need something with a bit more punch to finish the job, so I decided to try Tile Doctor Nanotech HBU remover.

The Nanotech HBU (Heavy Build Up) Remover was generously applied in small sections adding more as the product began to dry. After about twenty minutes I could see the HBU had weakened the bitumen making it soft enough that it could be worked off the tile using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine running at slow speed. With the bitumen now turned to a messy slurry I removed the substance with a wet vacuum. I then gave the floor a thorough rinse using a hot water extraction machine operating at low pressure that runs from a compressor in my van. This machine was an expensive investment however it makes light work of rinsing floors.

The tiles looked great after the initial rinse, but I could see the black dye from the bitumen had bled into the surface of the tile. However, us Tile Doctors are well trained and have a solution for every problem and I was able to remove these spots using a 100-grit followed by a 200-grit milling pad fitted to the rotary machine. After yet another rinse the tiles were looking fantastic and I left the floor to dry out.

Bitumen Covered Victorian Floor After Cleaning Caversham Reading

Sealing a Restored Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Originally the plan was to return five days later to seal but with other works going on in the house and the hallway being in constant use I decided to wait until that had completed requesting that the floor was covered up in order to protect it.

Bitumen Covered Victorian Floor After Restoration Caversham Reading

Two weeks later I returned to the house and gave the floor a quick inspection to make sure all was well before sealing. All was well, the floor just need a quick vacuum to remove dust and was able to proceed with the sealing. The customer wanted a matt finish, so I opted to use Tile Doctor Colour Grow, a colour intensive impregnating sealer that works by occupying the pores in the tile preventing dirt from becoming ingrained there. Three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow left the tiles looking rich and vibrant. Both the porch and the hallway now look inviting.

Bitumen Covered Victorian Floor After Restoration Caversham Reading

Overall the customer was over the moon with the final result and was glad she decided to have it restored rather than replaced.

Bitumen Covered Victorian Floor After Restoration Caversham Reading

 

Professional Restoration of Bitumen Stained Victorian Tiled Hallway in Berkshire

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