Quarry Tile Cleaning

Deep Cleaning and Sealing a Grubby Quarry Tiled Lobby in Kenton, Devon

This client called us out to look at their grubby Quarry tiled lobby at the front of their property in Kenton near Exeter. Being the main entrance to the property it saw a lot of foot traffic so once the sealer had worn down it wasn’t long before the dirt started penetrating the pores of the tile and became difficult to keep clean.

Quarry Tiled Lobby Kenton Before Renovation

The property was originally a school and dated back over 200 years. The Quarry tiles in the entrance lobby were probably as old as the building and as mentioned earlier were looking worse for wear having been partially covered for years. They weren’t sure how old the tiled floor was, but they were keen to see it restored. They were therefore desperate to get the floor deep cleaned and a fresh seal applied. They agreed to my quotation, and we arranged a convenient date to carry out the work.

Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor

I started by taping up the skirting to protect it from the cleaning products we would be using. I then applied Tile Doctor Remove & Go to the floor and covered the area with plastic sheets to stop the evaporation of the products so that I could achieve a longer dwell time. This would really get to the deep-seated dirt and loosen it so it can be lifted from the pores of the tiles.

I then worked the floor with 200-grit carbide brush fitted to a rotary machine to remove the dirt ingrained in the clay pores of the tile. Some of the grout was loose and dislodged in the process, however my client was expecting this and had already arranged for his tiler to complete a full re-grout once we had finished cleaning. The soiling released by the cleaning process was rinsed off the floor with water and extracted with a wet vacuum.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Lobby Floor

I wanted to seal the floor the next day so I left a couple of driers in place overnight to speed up the drying process. The next morning when I returned, I first checked the floor to make sure it was dry with a moisture meter.

The dryers had worked their magic so I was able to begin sealing the floor with Tile Doctor X-Tra Seal which is an effective interior and exterior sealer. With the lobby being a high traffic area, I applied four coats to ensure a durable seal. The benefit of this sealer is it gave the floor a nice sheen really bringing out the depth of colour in the tiles, and with the newly applied grout the floor looked great.

Quarry Tiled Lobby Kenton After Renovation

For aftercare I recommended the use of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner. This is a pH neutral product which is gentle enough for daily use. It won’t compromise the newly applied sealer which can be a problem with the stronger bleach-based products you find in supermarket products.

The work completely transformed the Quarry tiles and my client was very happy with the completed job and told me they wished they had tackled it sooner.


Professional Restoration of a Quarry Tiled Lobby in Devon

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Deep Cleaned in South Molton Georgian Townhouse

This story follows on from a previous post on the renovation of a Victorian Tiled Reception Area at a listed Georgian Townhouse in the middle of the small market town of South Moulton in North Devon. You may recall he was struggling to clean the floor in the reception area and I was called in to sort it out. Whilst I was there he also asked me to deep clean and seal the Kitchen Quarry Tiles.

Kitchens as you can imagine are one of the busiest areas in any house and as a result the floors do see a fair amount of wear; in this case the Quarry tiles were dull and lifeless and I suspect any previous sealer had long since worn off.

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning South Molton

Cleaning Kitchen Quarry Tiles

The Quarry tiles were in a better state than the Victorian tiles I discussed in the previous post so a less aggressive course of action was required. In this case I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and left it to soak in. Pro-Clean is an effective tile cleaner which will clean and strip off old sealers in a strong dilution. This was important as I wanted to be sure any remaining sealer would be removed, typically sealers wear off in the high use floor areas first so it was quite possible some sealer would still be present on the less used parts of the floor.

After ten minutes I agitated the solution with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary scrubbing machine to really get the floor clean and then rinsed off the soiled cleaning solution with water and a wet and dry vacuum before leaving it overnight to dry off fully.

Sealing Kitchen Quarry Tiles

The following day I returned and after rechecking the moisture levels to ensure that they had adequately dried out I started to seal the Quarry tiles in the Kitchen using Six coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which leaves a satin finish once dried and gives the tiles a freshly mopped or slightly glazed look.

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor After Cleaning South Molton
The customer was thrilled and left the following feedback on the Tile Doctor feedback system:

“The work was carried out in a professional manner, with excellent results.”

For aftercare I left the customer with some guidance on care and maintenance of the floor as well as a suitable bottle of tile cleaner.

Professional Renovation of a Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor in Devon

Dirty and Damaged Quarry Tiled Farmhouse Kitchen Tiles Rejuvenated in Rackenford

Rackenford is a tiny village in North Devon, with a population of approximately 400 people, and is surrounded by many farms as agriculture is the main source of employment in the area.

I recently visited one of the farmhouses in the area at the request of the property owner who needed help restoring an area of Victorian quarry tiles which were around one hundred and twenty years old. The floor had been extended with a new batch of tiles which ran into a later extension about ten years prior. Both areas were dirty and attracting grime and the older tiles had some heavy damage to some tiles and had lost the colour which was indicative of being covered by carpet for a long period and salts had dried in to the tiles, damaging them and creating an orange peel type of surface.

In the past, the floor had been sealed with a topical sealer i.e. one that sits on top of the tile rather than being absorbed into it. In most areas, the sealer had long since worn off but in a few areas that it remained it had been scratched by the chairs near the large inglenook fire at one end of the room.

The customer was looking to clean and re-seal the whole floor to try to improve the look of the damaged tiles but also to make the floor easier to keep clean and maintain and were hoping that the divide between old and new tiles was less striking.

Old Quarry Tiled Farmhouse Floor Rackenford Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Dirty Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor

When it comes to cleaning natural stone tiles, our go-to cleaning product is Tile Doctor Pro Clean. Pro Clean is a multi-purpose, high alkaline cleaner that serves to both strip away any old and ineffectual sealer, and clean heavily soiled stone. The product is suitable for use on all types of natural stone and tiled floors.

I mixed a strong dilution of Pro Clean and water before spreading it liberally across the whole floor. I then left it to dwell for roughly 10 minutes before proceeding to agitate it with a scrubbing brush fitted to a heavy rotary machine. This helped to eradicate the soil build-up. Any resulting cleaning slurry was promptly removed using a wet vacuum, before the floor was left to dry completely overnight.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor

Returning to the property the next day, I immediately ran some damp tests to see if there was any excess moisture present on the floor. Knowing that this was an old property, I expected that there would be no damp proof membrane installed and this would increase the chances of damp issues.

Thankfully, the floor proved to be completely dry and I was able to seal the floor using eight coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go. Seal and Go is a water-based acrylic polymer sealer that provides both a stain resistant surface seal and a durable, aesthetically pleasing low-sheen finish that helped to return the natural reddish colours to the Quarry tiles. Although the top layer of the damaged tiles had been lost the colour had returned and were now looking much healthier.

With a fresh seal in place, the floor will now be much easier to clean and maintain. The customer was really pleased with the outcome of the restoration, which you can see in the photos below. Another satisfied customer!

Old Quarry Tiled Farmhouse Floor Rackenford After Cleaning
Although nothing can really replicate a hundred years of patina, the difference between the old and new tiles was reduced with a good clean and a consistent finish throughout. Certainly, the customer was happy and left the following feedback:

We are very pleased with this refurbishment of old quarry tiles, which have regained colour and texture. The overall slight gloss added to both these and the newer tiles next to them makes a huge difference to the whole picture. The cleaning and maintenance guide is also very useful. The bill was also very reasonable for two intensive days work – many thanks

Old Quarry Tiled Farmhouse Floor Rackenford After Cleaning Panorama

Professional Restoration of a Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor in Devon


Devon Tile Doctor

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