Edwardian Quarry Tiled Hallway Restored in Market Harbourough

Details below of a restorative clean and seal we completed of an Edwardian Quarry Tiled Floor and Edwardian Geometric Floor at a house in the town of Market Harborough, Leicestershire. Market Harborough is a very old town that dates back to Saxon times, as a result it has some very old buildings including the church that was built in the 1300’s.

Both floors had been hidden underneath carpets for many Years. They were exposed by our customer thirteen years ago, who had painstakingly removed the cement-based levelling screed from the Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Restoration Market Harbourough Quarry Tiled Floor Before Restoration Market Harbourough

The floors were moisture damaged from years of inherent damp build-up and didn’t look their best with ingrained historic soiling and damage to the hall tiles.

We were asked to quote for a restorative cleaning, sealing and repairs by our customer. After inspecting the floor, we quoted for the work and advised how long it would take to complete. We also guided our customer where to purchase period reproduction tile replacements from. In this instance our customer purchased made to order tiles from world renowned tile manufacturer Craven Dunnill in Bridnorth, Shropshire.

Cleaning Edwardian Quarry Tiles

We carried out repairs first carefully removing the damaged tiles and fixing in place the replacements purchased by the customer. Some of the original tiles were also loose but in good physical condition so these were re-fixed in place and grouted in.

Quarry Tiled Floor During Restoration Market Harbourough Quarry Tiled Floor During Restoration Market Harbourough

Once the grout had set we started the cleaning process with the application of Tile Doctor Remove & Go ready to use heavy duty cleaning solution and coatings remover to the tiles. Working in small sections we allowed the product to soak into the tile for thirty minutes and then agitated the solution, with both an abrasive brush and a coarse 200 grit pad. This process quickly broke down the years of soiling and surface contamination. We extracted the resulting slurry and followed up with the application of Tile Doctor Acid Gel to treat inherent cement contamination and historic efflorescence salt staining. This was again worked into the tiles and the floor rinsed using low moisture methods.

We had arranged to seal the floor the next day, so air movers and a fan heater were left in place to help dry the floor overnight.

Sealing Edwardian Quarry Tiles

On the second day after confirming the tiles were dry we sealed the tiles with four coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing sealer that soaks into the pores of the tile protecting it from within. The floor was then buffed by hand to remove excess sealer and was ready for use within the hour. We advised the customer that whilst the floor could be walked on quite quickly, that the sealer would take up to 48 hours to fully cure.

Quarry Tiled Floor After Restoration Market Harbourough Quarry Tiled Floor After Restoration Market Harbourough

Before leaving we advised the customer that the sealer can be prematurely worn down by the use of strong cleaning products and so recommended the they use Tile Doctors pH Neutral Floor Cleaning concentrate. This should always be diluted correctly, and the water changed frequently, to avoid suspended soils from being deposited back onto the surface of the floor. If properly maintained, then the sealer should last a minimum of 5 years.
 
 

Cleaning an Edwardian Quarry Tiled Floor in Leicestershire

Restoring an Edwardian Quarry Tiled Bathroom Floor in Braunstone

This is a job I recently completed in the small town of Braunstone, which lies just outside the city boundaries of Leicester, Leicestershire. My client wanted a restorative cleaning and sealing service for their very old Quarry tiled bathroom floor, which dates back to the Edwardian period. The floor was suffering from paint and adhesive staining, and was now in dire need of a thorough clean more generally along with a fresh seal to protect it from further damage.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Restorative Cleaning and Sealing Braunstone

Cleaning an Edwardian Quarry tiled floor

I treated the floor in the first instance Tile Doctor Remove & Go which is a powerful stripper that breaks down old sealers remaining on the floor, as well as inherent paint and adhesive contamination. Remove & Go also contains cleaning properties which allows it to draw out ingrained dirt from the stone, lifting it to the surface. The product was applied to the floor and allowed to dwell for approximately thirty minutes prior to agitation with a hand-held rotary polisher fitted with a small black stripping pad.

The resulting slurry was promptly removed using a wet vacuum machine and our specialist Tile Doctor Acid Gel was then applied to the floor. Acid Gel is a blend of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids in gel form, and is specially formulated to treat grout haze and efflorescence on both wall and floor tiles.

Readers should be aware that this product is not suitable for use on acid-sensitive stone tiles such as Marble, Limestone and Travertine as it can potentially cause severe etching. In this case Acid Gel was left to dwell for ten minutes prior to agitation. This was effective in removing the white efflorescence salt staining that was present in several concentrated areas. Once again, the resulting slurry was vacuumed away, and the entire floor was rinsed with clean water.

Sealing an Edwardian Quarry tiled floor

The floor was left to dry for roughly twenty four hours before I returned to seal the floor. My choice of sealer in this case was Tile Doctor Colour Grow, a colour enhancing, impregnating sealer. The sealer will help to protect the tiles from soil ingress, and both water and oil based spills.

Quarry Tiled Floor After Restorative Cleaning and Sealing Braunstone

As you can see from the ‘Before’ and ‘After’ photographs, a marked difference was made to the appearance of this Quarry tiled floor. A professional and carefully thought out approach was taken to tackling the innate problems, particularly relating to efflorescence and paint and adhesive staining, and my client was extremely pleased with the results.
 
 

Restoring the appearance of Edwardian Quarry tiled bathroom floor in Leicestershire

Efflorescence Removed From Old Quarry Tiles in Leicester

Efflorescence occurs when water rises up through the floor leaving salt deposits on the surface of the tile as it evaporates and can be a problem on old floors where there is no damp proof course. The photographs below of an old Quarry tiled floor at a house in Leicester are a great example of this, fortunately there is a solution and I’ll walk you through this in the story below.

Efflorescence on old Quarry tiles in Leicester

Removing Efflorescence from Quarry Tiles

The first step was to give the tiles and grout a good clean and then strip the floor of any remaining sealer for which I used a dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which was applied to the floor and left to soak in for ten minutes before being scrubbed in with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The now soiled solution was then removed using a wet vacuum and the floor rinsed with water.

To remove the efflorescence you need to acid wash the floor for which we use Grout Clean-Up which as its name suggests is normally reserved for removing grout smears from tiles however it’s also useful for removing mineral deposits such as the salts from efflorescence and even rust stains. The acid is scrubbed onto the floor just long enough for it to do its job and then quickly removed and the floor given a thorough wash with water, acids can damage a tiled floor if left on for too long so you do need to be careful.

Efflorescence removed from old Quarry tiles in Leicester

Sealing Quarry Tiles

Given there was no DPC the floor was left to dry off for a few days and when we returned it was sealed with several coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which gives the matt finish the customer wanted. Colour Grow is a penetrating sealer that provides stain protection by soaking deep into the pores of the Quarry tile and preventing dirt from becoming ingrained there, it also does a good job of enhancing the natural colour of the tile.