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.
These photographs are of a Flagstone floor tiled floor installed at a house in Glasgow. They were well worn, looking washed out and overdue a deep clean and re-seal, there was also remnants of adhesive and paint and I suspect the floor had been covered in carpet at some point in the past.
Cleaning Flagstone Floor Tiles
Working in sections the tiles were covered in Tile Doctor Remove and Go which as the name suggests is designed to safely remove coatings from tiles, this was left to soak in for a while before scrapping off the glue and paint from the stone surface using a wire brush and paint scrapers.
The second step was to scrub the floor using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean worked in using a rotary bonnet machine fitted with a hard nylon brush attachment. The floor was then then rinsed down with clean water and the soiled solution extracted using and industrial wet vacuum. This process was completed three to four times to ensure all the dirt was removed.
The floor was then left to dry assisted by a turbo air mover and damaged pointing and cracks between the stone was patched up using a sand/cement mortar. The cleaning and repairing process took most of the day so once complete we left for the day leaving the turbo air mover switched on to ensure the floor would be nice and dry of the next day.
We returned the next day and once we had checked the stone had dried we proceed to seal it using five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which will protect the floor and also adds a nice sheen to the tile.
This was a straight forward request to clean and re-seal a Victorian Minton tiled floor in Coventry. The tiles were in good condition but there were a few stubborn stains that needed dealing with.
Cleaning Victorian Tiles
I used a concentrated dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to clean and strip the old sealer from the floor. It was first left to soak into the tiles for around 15 minutes before being scrubbed into the Victorian tile and grout using a slow speed rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. The dirty solution was removed and the process repeated and grout lines scrubbed until I was happy the tiles were clean; this was then followed with a thorough rinse with water and a wet vacuum was used to remove the fluids and get the tile and grout as dry as possible. This process took most of the day so once the floor was clean I left for the day leaving it to dry overnight.
Sealing Victorian floor tiles
I came back the next day and after confirming the tiles had dried I began sealing them using six coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go sealer which will provide stain protection as well as adding a nice shine to the floor. The interesting thing about Seal and Go is that’s it’s a water based sealer so you don’t get a smell as it dries.
This Terrazzo tiled vestibule in Glasgow was completely dull and lacking colour when we arrived, this area probably see’s the most foot traffic in the house so it must of seen a fair amount of wear and abuse over the years.
Cleaning Terrazzo Tiles
Terrazzo is a very hard surface and needs to be burnished in the same way as you would treat Marble or Travertine, before we could do that thought we needed to remove any loose debris etc. that could scratch the surface during the burnishing process to the first job was to sweep out the area with a brush and vacuum up any loose debris etc.
It was a very tight area so use of our large Bonnet machine was ruled out and we opted instead for a small handheld rotary machine fitted with the diamond encrusted burnishing pads. The burnishing pads come in a set of four and you start with a coarse pad with a little water and work your way through the set moving from a the coarse pads through to the less abrasive pads; this process polishes the stone more and more until you get a smooth finish. After each pad was used the area was thoroughly rinsed with clean water to remove any excess polish before moving onto the next, once we had gone through all four pads the floor was left clean ,smooth, and shiny.
Sealing Terrazzo Tile
Once the burnishing process was completed we proceeded to seal the stone with two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing sealer designed to protect the stone whilst lifting the natural colours.
Although quite intensive due to the space restriction it was quite a small area so it took just less than a day to complete.