Restoring a Salt Satined Quarry Tiled Floor in Gamlingay

This quarry tiled floor in the village of Gamlingay had been subject to efflorescence salt staining over many years. This problem typically occurs in older houses where the floor has been laid without a damp-proof membrane allowing moisture to rise through the tile bringing with it salts from the sub floor. Gamlingay is located in South Cambridgeshire, near the border with Bedfordshire, is an ancient village which features in the Domesday Book. Not surprisingly a lot of the property here is quite old and includes sixty listed buildings.

Salt Stained Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor Before Cleaning Salt Stained Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor Before Cleaning

Before the current owner moved in the property had been left dormant and empty with no heating which hadn’t helped the condition of the floor amongst other things. The white efflorescent salt staining was now very evident on the Quarry tiles and had caused a lot of damage to the surface of the floor. I discussed with the client how we could help and carried out a test clean. They were happy with the result and we agreed our quote to renovate the floor. We arranged to return later in the month.

Renovating a Salt Damaged Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor

The cleaning began with the application of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which was sprayed onto the tile and left to soak in for about ten minutes. The tiles were then scrubbed with a very coarse 200-grit diamond pad fitted to a rotary machine. The soil was then extracted using our van mounted hot water extraction system which makes light work of rinsing the floor and keeps the mess to a minimum. The combination of Tile Doctor Remove and Go and the coarse pad cleaned and resurfaced the tile improving the appearance of the floor and once the soil was removed you could really see the transformation.

We finished the cleaning process by giving the whole floor an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel. The acid dissolves the alkaline salt still present in the floor and removes any grout haze still present on the tile. Once this had been scrubbed in it was rinse off and extracted using the hot water extraction system as before. The floor was then left to dry out which due to the lack of damp-proof membrane was expected to lake longer than usual, so we decided to leave the floor a few days.

Sealing an Old Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor

We returned on a nice sunny day and first tested the floor with our damp-proof meter. This just tests the moisture levels in the floor to check they are to an acceptable level. If the floor is not dry the seal will not cure properly, and the process would be a waste. In this case the readings were fine, and I was happy the floor was dry enough to be sealed.

The client had requested the floor have a low sheen appearance and they didn’t want it to look too shiny. Given the floors history with Efflorescence however I needed to choose a sealer that would give the desired appearance but was also breathable to allow for moisture to rise through the tile. Trapping moisture under the tile with a non-breathable sealer can result in moisture spreading to the walls leading to rising damp.

On this occasion I opted to go with the application of Seal and Go extra which is breathable and leaves a subtle sheen appearance. The acid wash we gave the tiles should neutralise the alkaline salts and now the house was occupied the damp issues which had led to them occurring in the first place are less likely. I applied six coats of sealer, allowing each one to dry before applying the next.

Salt Stained Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor After Cleaning Salt Stained Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor After Cleaning

As you can see from the pictures, the work made a dramatic difference to the floor and my client was delighted with the transformation.

Salt Stained Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor After Cleaning
 

Professional Restoration of a Quarry Tiled Hallway in Cambridgeshire

Salt Stained Quarry Tiled Floor Renovated Wicken

We were called out to quote for restoring this Quarry tiled living room & hallway for a building contractor in the local area of Wicken. This is a small village on the edge of The Fens near Soham in East Cambridgeshire.

The works needed to be completed at short notice as the property was due to be put up for rent, so I agreed to work over two evenings to make sure it was ready for the first tenant. We discussed the cost and the process, and the contractor was happy to go ahead. We can always be flexible with our diary to help out our clients.

Quarry Tiled Floor With Salt Staining Wicken Before Cleaning Quarry Tiled Floor With Salt Staining Wicken Before Cleaning

The floor had signs of alkaline salt efflorescence which had left white patches on the tiles, this problem is usually indicative of a damp issue but when I went over to survey the floor, I checked with a damp meter and couldn’t find any evidence of dampness. Clearly something had happened in the past and as the floor dried out it left these white salt deposits on the surface.

Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Living Room and Hallway Floor

To remove the salt stains the floor was given an Acid Wash several times with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up worked in with a stiff brush pad fitted to a rotary machine. The acid in the product counters and removes the alkaline salts, it also cleans up the tiles of any other mineral deposits such as old grout smears. The floor was then rinsed with water to remove the now soiled solution and then extracted using a wet vacuum.

Once I was happy that the salts had been removed, we applied Tile Doctor Remove and Go to strip the quarry tiles of old sealers. This is a non-flammable, multi-purpose stripper which is safe to use on tiles and works best when left to soak into the tile for ten minutes first. This product also draws out ingrained stains and removes heavy grease build-up and any ingrained dirt. We used the rotary machine again fitted with the stiff brush as before to get the floor nice and clean. As before the floor was rinsed with water and the soils extracted using the wet vacuum.

The floor was then left to dry overnight in preparation for the sealant to be applied.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Living Room and Hallway Floor

Upon arriving the following evening, the floor was checked again with the damp meter to make sure it was dry, all was well, so it was then sealed with multiple coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go. This provides both a stain resistant surface seal and a durable low-sheen. The sealer brought back the deep colour in the tile and made a huge difference to the look of the floor. It would also make the floor much easier for the new tenant to maintain going forward.

You can see from the pictures the transformation that was achieved. The client was very happy with the completed work and was satisfied he would now be able to rent the property out to his next tenant.

Quarry Tiled Floor Wicken After Cleaning Quarry Tiled Floor Wicken After Cleaning

 

Professional Quarry Tiled Floor Restoration in Cambridgeshire

Full restoration of a Lino Covered Quarry Tiled Kitchen floor in Cambridge

This job was for a lovely old lady in Cambridge, her kitchen floor had been covered with a wood effect Lino thirty years earlier and she felt it was time to have it removed and have the original Kitchen Quarry tiles underneath restored.

Kitchen Quarry Tiled Floor Covered with Lino Cambridge Kitchen Quarry Tiled Floor Covered with Lino Cambridge

The lino was good quality having stood the test of time however to ensure the lino didn’t sink into the grout lines the whole floor had been levelled with some sort of screed which would need to be carefully removed.

Kitchen Quarry Tiled Floor with Lino Removed Cambridge Kitchen Quarry Tiled Floor with Lino Removed Cambridge

Removing the Linoleum covering and cleaning the floor

My first task was to carefully scrape off as much of the linoleum covering as possible without damaging the floor beneath. I managed toe remove most of the screed by lightly chipping away with a chisel and hammer followed by a blade to scrape as much screed as possible off the tile and grout.

To deal with the remaining screed I used a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up which is an acidic product and needs to be applied with care. It was scrubbed in using a rotary machine running on slow speed and fitted with a black scrubbing pad. To remove the soil I used our truck mounted hot water extraction machine which applies hot water under pressure with a special lance that simultaneously extracts the waste back to a tank on the van.

The last stage of cleaning was to apply a coat of Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel to remove any previous sealer that may still be present on the tile. As well as using the scrubbing machine I also used a stiff brush along the grout lines as well. Final step was another rinse with the truck mounted extraction machine before leaving the floor to dry off fully overnight.

Kitchen Quarry Tiled Floor Before Restoration Cambridge Kitchen Quarry Tiled Floor Before Restoration Cambridge

Sealing Kitchen Quarry Tiles

When I returned to the property I used a damp meter to test the floor, making sure that the surface was dry enough to commence sealing (as any excess solution can affect the performance of the sealer). My sealer of choice was Tile Doctor Seal & Go Extra, a topical sealer which works well on Quarry tiles restoring appearance and providing a nice finish along with durable protection. This particular sealer is also suitable for floors where damp maybe an issue and with an old floor like this installed before the invention of Damp Proof Membranes choosing the right sealer is very important to avoid issues with efflorescence.

Kitchen Quarry Tiled Floor After Restoration Cambridge Kitchen Quarry Tiled Floor After Restoration Cambridge

The floor was completely transformed and the client was extremely happy with the out come and even left the following lengthy testimonial on the Tile Doctor Feedback system which is always appreciated.

“Tom did excellent work on quite a tricky job. Our kitchen tiles are over sixty years old. Tom took up and disposed of our old kitchen Lino, removed the layers of concrete screed, then buffed, glossed and sealed the original tiles until they shone like new! The natural salts worked their way to the surface of the tiles just like Tom said would happen, and a fortnight later Tom returned to re-surface and re-gloss the tiles. The floor now looks great. Tom was very professional throughout and the work was no easy job to accomplish, so he has done a great job. We are very pleased with our kitchen floor, which now has a new lease of life. I would recommend the Tile Doctor if you need a floor restored at any time.
Miss Webber, Cambridge 02 August 2017”

Restoring a Quarry Tiled Floor Hidden under Vinyl in Cambridge

Cleaning Quarry Tiles around an Indoor Residential Swimming Pool

Photographs below of a job we did cleaning and sealing the Quarry Tiles surrounding a residential indoor swimming pool floor tiles at a grand residence in Cambridge. As you can see from the photograph below the Quarry tiles and Grout was looking rather washed out and given their proximity to the pool extra care was needed to be ensure we didn’t contaminate the pool with dirty water from the cleaning process or chemicals, fortunately all our equipment is electrically isolated so that was not a problem.

Quarry Tiled Pool Surround Cambridge Before Cleaning Quarry Tiled Pool Surround Cambridge Before Cleaning

Swimming Pool Tile Cleaning

Fortunately the pool was fitted with a cover so we made a start cleaning the tiles using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed 50/50 with NanoTech Ultra Clean which add tiny abrasive particles into the cleaning solution making it more effective. Working in sections the solution was left to soak into the tile and grout before being worked into the floor using a rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad running at slow speed to reduce splashing. This process removed any remaining sealer and cleaned the tile and grout up nicely, we used clean water to rinse the floor and a wet vacuum to remove the soiled solution making sure not to drain any solutions into the pool and re-treating any stubborn areas. This process was fairly tedious and took up much of the day but the results were well worth the effort.

Quarry Tiled Pool Surround Cambridge After Cleaning Quarry Tiled Pool Surround Cambridge After Cleaning

Sealing Quarry Tiles around a Pool

The tiles were left to dry off overnight and we came back the next day to seal the floor using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that fills up the pores in a tile to protect it from stains whilst enhancing its natural colours.

Quarry Tiled Pool Surround Cambridge During Sealing

The process worked well and you can see the difference in the photographs above however the tricky nature of the environment meant it took longer than usual to complete but the main thing was the customer was happy with the result.

Quarry Tiled Pool Surround Cambridge After Sealing Quarry Tiled Pool Surround Cambridge After Sealing

 
 

Quarry Tiled Pool Surround Cleaned and Sealed in Cambridge

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Cambridge

These photographs are from a Quarry Tile Cleaning job we did for a house owner in Cambridge, I’m afraid my photographs are not the best but I think you can see how the Quarry tiles were looking discoloured and worn.

Quarry Tiled Floor Cambridge Before

Cleaning Kitchen Quarry Tiles

Working in sections the floor was wetted with a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean combined 50/50 with Nanotech UltraClean, these two products combine to make a powerful and effective cleaning solution that’s safe to use on tile and stone. The solution was left to soak into the tile for twenty minutes whilst we got our machinery ready.

It helps if you have the right tools for the job and in this case we fitted a scrubbing pad to a rotary buffing machine and working the cleaning solution into the floor to scrub away the ingrained dirt. The machine can struggle to get into the grout lines so these need to be scrubbed by hand using a stiff brush and more cleaning solution. Once the floor was clean the soiled solution was picked up using a wet and dry vacuum and then washed down with clean water to remove any trace of chemical. This revealed a few stubborn areas that needed further work so these were re-treated and the floor washed down again and then left to dry overnight.

Sealing Kitchen Quarry Tiles

We came back the next day to seal the floor and after checking the tiles had indeed dried we proceeded to apply Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water based sealer (no smell) that really brings out the shine and colour in Quarry tiles. Around five coats were sufficient and once it had dried the floor was transformed.

Quarry Tiled Floor Cambridge After

 
 

Quarry Tile Renovation in Cambridge