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It’s often quite surprising what condition we find some tiles in when were asked to come out and survey the floor. Case in point being this Quarry tiled kitchen floor I was asked to look at by a customer in Cheltenham, which as you may know is particularly famous for its racecourse and the top-secret GCHQ.

Upon arrival at the property, I found that the floor was not in great condition. For some reason, it had been painted over with red tile paint and then covered with a wax coating which was easily scratched. To Make the situation worse, there were around 20 tiles in the floor with holes in them that had simply been filled with concrete.

Quarry Tiled Floor Cheltenham Before Removing Paint Quarry Tiled Floor Cheltenham Before Removing Paint

Clearly, the tiles had not been maintained properly in the past but fortunately the current owner of the property who was keen to have them restored had called in Tile Doctor and after a demonstration clean I was booked to come back and correct the numerous issues.

Cleaning a Damaged Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor

On the first day of the restoration, I started by applying a solution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go across the entire floor and leaving the product to dwell for around 30 minutes. Remove and Go is a powerful stripper designed to loosen paint splashes, adhesive stains and many types of urethane and wax coatings so that they can be easily removed.

After leaving the product to dwell, I could use a handheld scrapper to simply remove the wax coating and layer of paint on the floor. This process took about half a day; during the second half of the day, I spent my time removing the damaged tiles and replacing them with new Quarry tiles that had been sourced to match nicely with the existing floor.

Quarry Tiled Floor Cheltenham During

On the second day, any stubborn paint splashes remaining were re-treated and I subsequently deep cleaned the floor using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. This strong alkaline cleaning product was worked into the tiles using a 17-inch scrubbing pad fitted to a specialised rotary machine. The resultant soil was extracted off the floor using a wet vacuum and given a rinse with water to neutralise the floor. The wet vacuum was used again to remove the water and extract as much moisture from the tiles as possible to improve the drying time.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor

Once the deep clean had been completed, I left the floor dry for two days to allow sufficient time for it to dry thoroughly. Upon returning to the property, I ran a damp test to see if the tiles were dry enough to be sealed. To my surprise, the floor recorded only around 4% moisture even though the property is relatively old and is unlikely to have a damp proof membrane installed.

Nonetheless, this meant I could seal the floor. I did this by using a single coat of our impregnating, colour-intensifying sealer known as Tile Doctor Colour Grow, followed by three coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, a water based sealer which provides a high-quality satin finish.

Quarry Tiled Floor Cheltenham After Cleaning and Sealing Quarry Tiled Floor Cheltenham After Cleaning and Sealing

The deep clean, combined with the application of two different sealers, really helped to give these Quarry tiles a new lease of life. The customer was very happy indeed – in fact, had this been an exam, I’m certain I would’ve received top marks and it was certainly a major improvement on how they were before.
 
 
Source: Quarry Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Gloucestershire

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As the West Surrey Tile Doctor I cover quite a large area including Haslemere which is a town on the South-Western edge of the county in the borough of Waverley. I was down there to visit a customer who had recently bought an old property there and during the renovations uncovered six foot of quarry tiles by the front door. There was a patch of concrete that also needed investigating.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Haslemere Quarry Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Haslemere

Cleaning Hallway Quarry Tiles

I began by carefully removing the layer of concrete with a scraper and a covering of Tile Doctor Acid-Gel hoping it would expose more quarry tiles underneath. Sadly, this wasn’t the case and all I exposed was an area of ruined quarry tiles and four buried bricks. These would have to be removed then filled to bring them to the same level as the remaining tile so I could lay new tiles their place. A couple of noisy hours later following drilling and violent chisel work I’d removed enough to lay flat tiles.

I spent the next hour cleaning and preparing the remaining good tiles. After years of being covered by carpet there was a fair amount of adhesive to remove. This was loosened with Tile Doctor Remove and Go and small abrasive hand-held Diamond blocks to get into the corners.

The Remove and Go was applied to the tiles, left to soak in for ten minutes and then worked into the tile and grout with a stiff brush. The then the soiled solution was rinsed off and extracted using a wet vacuum. Following this work the tiles looked clean but worn out and colourless which is not unusual for this stage of the process and would be resolved once a sealer had been applied.

Tiles were then cut to measure then fixed in place with a rapid adhesive in line with the originals. Once they had set they were grouted in with a grout that closely matched the original. The rest of the floor was inspected at this point and any holes filled with more grout until flat. The grout and tiles were left to dry which was a good opportunity for me to eat lunch.

Sealing Original Quarry Tiles

It was only a small area so later that afternoon the tile and grout and I was able to finish the restoration with the application of two coats of sealer. On this occasion I chose to use Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that soaks into the pores of the clay Quarry tiles protecting them from within and also enhancing the red colours in the tile.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Haslemere

The result was a significant improvement and the customer was very happy, leaving the following testimonial on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

“Rupert was absolutely brilliant. Very friendly and professional, worked cleanly and totally rejuvenated our quarry tile entryway. Would definitely call him again and recommend to friends.”
 
 
Source: Quarry Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Surrey

This ground floor flat in the City of Oxford had been converted from a shop which as you can imagine, was quite complex. One significant element involved in the conversation was the restoration of an old Quarry tiled floor which ran through the main hallway and had for many years been covered in a commercial linoleum covering.

When the linoleum covering was removed, the sheer amount of glue which had been used to affix it had completely ruined the appearance and condition of the Quarry tiles. There was also a lot of concrete in the bathroom, and our client was keen to have this removed in the hope that the tiles beneath were salvageable.

Quarry Tiled Floor Oxford Before Restoration Quarry Tiled Floor Oxford Before Restoration

Removing Concrete and Glue Stains from a Quarry Tiled Floor

My first task at the property was to deal with the adhesive. I covered the entire floor area with Tile Doctor Remove and Go and then covered it with a plastic sheet and leaving it to soak into the glue and break it down overnight. Remove and Go is powerful stripper with a long-dwell time, formulated to break down adhesives and paint stains, amongst other coatings.

I returned the next day and, removing the plastic sheeting, I scrubbed the floor with a carbon brush attached to a rotary floor scrubber to remove the huge glue deposits. I worked in sections, rinsing each area of the floor with water after it had been scrubbed. Once I had finished the entire floor there was still some glue remaining, so I covered it again with a solution of Remove and Go combined with Tile Doctor HBU Nanotech, which utilises nano-sized particles to get underneath tough stains, dissolve them, and lift them out. I left this solution on the floor for about two hours to dwell and scrubbed it again.

During the next day of work, I used a very coarse 100 grit diamond burnishing pad to manually grind away the remaining stubborn bits of glue. Paying attention to the bathroom, I used a 50-grit coarse milling pad followed up with a 100-grit diamond burnishing pad to do the same to the area of concrete.

The next part of the process was to use Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up to acid wash the floor. This was successful in removing the last bits of cement and the remaining residue of the glue. To complete the cleaning process, I then rinsed the floor with plenty of water and vacuumed up any soiled solution.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Floor

I opted to leave the floor alone for a couple of days to fully dry off so that it could be sealed upon my return. This is crucial as any moisture or damp issues can damage the performance of the sealer and expose the floor to further ingrained dirt and staining.

To seal the floor, I used Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This is an impregnating sealer that also enhances the natural reddish shades in the Quarry. I applied two coats of the sealer, giving the floor the natural look matte finish the customer desired.

Quarry Tiled Floor Oxford After Restoration Quarry Tiled Floor Oxford After Restoration

The customer was very impressed with the results of this thorough restoration. She even left the following feedback:

“I cannot recommend this service enough. The Oxford Tile Doctor (Barry) was a superstar: he cleaned up the tiles in my hallway, which were covered in a very thick layer of glue, and removed concrete from the tiles. They now look superb and I’m really happy with the outcome. Barry was always on time, considerate, and kept me up to date. The quote for the job was exactly right. I would not hesitate to recommend him.”
 
 
Source: Quarry Tile Cleaning and Restoration in Oxfordshire

The restoration of this old Quarry tiled porch floor was carried out at a house in the west end of Edinburgh famous for its historic buildings and cobbled streets. The tiles were very old (possibly Victorian) and a number had patterns painted on with a stencil at some time in the past and these had now worn away leaving mainly white paint, I’m sure the patterns looked great initially but years of wear and tear had certainly taken their toll on them.

Quarry Tiled Porch Before Cleaning Edinburgh

Cleaning Quarry Tile and Grout

First the floor was covered with a Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel which is a new product based on the popular Pro-Clean product but in a more manageable gel form. We left the Oxy-Gel to soak into the pores of the tile for ten to fifteen minutes, we were working in a tight space so the gel ensured the product remained in position. The tiles were then scrubbed by hand and then rinsed which removed most of the hard ground in dirt.

To remove what was left of the paint stencils the tiles were individually treated with Tile Doctor Remove and go which is a powerful coatings remover, its was worked into the tile as before and the paint came away.

Last step before sealing was to give the floor a final clean with another solution of Oxy-Gel and then rinsed with neutral tile cleaner and water to remove any trace of cleaning product and then left to dry off overnight.

Sealing Quarry Tiles

We came back the next day and checked a few areas to make sure the floor was dry before sealing. The tiles were dry so the sealing process was started using Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is an ideal sealer for Quarry tiles as it affords good stain protection whilst adding a nice subtle sheen to the floor, five coats were required before the tiles had become fully sealed.

The porch tiles now look much fresher and with the new sealer should keep looking that way for some time in the future.

Quarry Tiled Porch After Sealing with Seal and Go
 
 
Source: Quarry Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Edinburgh

There are numerous factors that can contribute to a Quarry tiled floor looking worse for wear, including lack of sealer, dampness issues, and the wrong type of cleaning products. Unfortunately, this black and red Quarry tiled floor was suffering from a combination of all three: there was no sealer evident to protect against dirt and stains, and dampness in the sub-floor had caused the tiles to fade in colour and shine. The red tiles especially had faded so much that they appeared almost white.

Black and Red Quarry Tiles Welton Before Cleaning

The property owner, who lives in the town of Welton, near Daventry in Northamptonshire, was desperate to have the floor professionally restored as her efforts to clean the tiles with run-of-the-mill household products had gone unrewarded. To ensure the appearance of Quarry tiles in this high traffic area of the house, I would need to provide a deep clean and a robust, impregnating seal to prevent future damage.

Cleaning a Dirty Black and Red Quarry Tiled Floor

As is the case with most types of tiled floor in this condition, I deep cleaned this floor using our powerful alkaline cleaner, stripper, degreaser, Tile Doctor Pro Clean. The cleaning method involved spreading strong dilution of Pro Clean evenly across the floor and leaving it to dwell for a short period. This allows it to seep into the tile to help lift out and dissolve ingrained dirt.

I then agitated the solution with a scrubbing pad fitted to my rotary machine to ensure all layers of muck were removed, and then thoroughly rinsed the floor to remove the excess cleaning chemicals.

Sealing a Black and Red Quarry Tiled a Floor

Since the floor was suffering from particularly prevalent damp issues, I left it to dry for ten days (usually 24 hours will suffice) before I returned to the property to commence the sealing process. Arriving back at the property a week and a half later, I immediately took several damp meter readings to ensure the floor was dry enough for a sealant to be applied. This is incredibly important: the slightest quantity of outstanding moisture can cloud the sealant and damage its performance.

Thankfully the ten days had given the floor ample time to dry fully, and I went ahead with applying two coats of Tile Doctor’s impregnating, colour enhancing sealant called Colour Grow. As you can see from the second photo, the sealant really bought the depth of colour back to the floor, making it look very pleasing to the eye. The customer was especially pleased that the red tiles actually look red again!

Black and Red Quarry Tiles Welton After Cleaning
 
 
Source: Quarry Tile Cleaning and Maintenance Service in Northamptonshire

When the sealer wears down on sealed tiled floor dirt will become ingrained in the pores of the tile and floor becomes more and more difficult to clean effectively. Even hard wearing tiles like Quarry tiles will experience this problem over time more so if you use acidic floor cleaning products to regularly clean your floor as they slowly eat away at the sealer.

This is a problem we come across relatively often and was the case this customer, living in the town of Salisbury contacted Tile Doctor for assistance. I paid them a visit to survey the floor and arranged a date to come back a give these brown Quarry kitchen tiles a thorough clean and fresh seal to provide durable protection against future soil build up.

Quarry Tiles Before Cleaning Salisbury

Cleaning a Dirty Quarry Tiled Floor

Taking a close look at the tiles, it was clear that they would need to be cleaned using a strong solution of the high alkaline Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, with special attention to be paid to the grout and to deal with some spots of grout haze.

To begin, Pro-Clean was applied across the floor and left it to dwell for 15 minutes to eat through any old sealer and dirt. A black pad was then to a rotary machine, and this was used to scrub the area throughly, lifting the muck away. Following this, a wet vacuum was used to remove the dirty cleaning slurry.

Next, I tackled the grout haze around the edges, by applying Tile Doctor Acid Gel to the affected areas, which is a mixture of Phosphoric and Hydrochloric acids in a handy gel form. This was scrubbed again with a black pad and rinsed with cold water to neutralise the area. Having successfully eliminated the dirt and grout haze, I left the floor to dry for a couple of days.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Floor

Upon my return I tested the area for damp using a damp tester; this should always be carried out before sealing as excess moisture can negatively affect the performance of the sealer.

When satisfied with the results of the damp test, I proceeded to seal the floor with five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, which is a topical sealer suitable for sealing internal, unsealed porous surfaces. It works by building up a durable surface seal, preventing any dirt from becoming ingrained in the stone. Additionally, Seal and Go provides a subtle, but pleasant looking, low sheen finish and being water based no smell is given off as it dries.

Quarry Tiles After Cleaning Salisbury

The customer was very pleased with the results. Since she had struggled to keep the floor clean, I made sure before leaving the property to give the customer some maintenance tips to help her maintain the appearance of the Quarry tiles. I also assured her that Tile Doctor are always on hand to assist if any new problems occur.
 
 
Source: Quarry Tile and Stone Cleaning and Sealing Service in Wiltshire

This was an unusual request in that this customer, in the small Bedfordshire village of Cople, had her Kitchen Quarry tiled floor cleaned and sealed six months earlier by another company. The sealer had come off and it soon became evident that after the work had been carried out the client was ill advised as to the correct maintenance of her floor. The cleaning product left by the previous company was totally unsuitable and over the course of six months she had managed in fact to slowly strip the sealer off of the tiles.

I soon realised the problem and advised that the only solution would be to strip any remaining sealer off the floor and re-seal, it’s generally not good practice to apply a different sealer on top of an existing sealer as there can be compatibility issues and the floor may look different in places where there are more layers of seal.

Quarry tiles in Cople Before Cleaning Quarry tiles in Cople Before Cleaning

Cleaning and Stripping Quarry Tiles

I used a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to strip any remaining sealer off the tiles and clean them in the process, this involves spreading the solution over the tiles, allow it to dwell and soak in and then scrubbing the solution into the floor using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The floor was then rinsed with water applied with a mop and bucket and the soiled water extracted using a wet vacuum. One the floor was clean I noticed there was evidence of concrete dust and grout haze on the surface of the tiles from when they were installed so I applied a another Tile Doctor product called Grout Clean-up to remove it, again the floor was thoroughly rinsed with water which was extracted the floor dried using air movers.

Sealing Quarry Tiles

Tiled floors need to be dry before sealing and so I left this floor for four days to allow enough time for it to thoroughly dry out before returning to seal it. Choice of sealer for this floor was four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water based sealer so it doesn’t leave a smell and additionally adds a nice subtle shine to the floor. The difference was transformational as the sealer really does bring out the best in the quarry tiles.

Before leaving we have provided the customer a bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which is the correct cleaning agent to maintain a sealed floor. It has a neutral PH formula so it won’t erode the sealer like many of the acidic floor cleaning products you find in the supermarket which are really only meant for use on Vinyl or Ceramic tiles.

Quarry tiles in Cople After Cleaning Quarry tiles in Cople After Cleaning

 
 
Source: Tiled Floor Cleaning and Sealing Service in Bedfordshire