Quarry Tile Cleaning

Full Restoration of a 150-Year-old Clay Quarry Tiled Floor in Askern

The owner of this house in Askern north of Doncaster was unhappy with the state of its Quarry Tiled Kitchen floor and was contemplating having it ripped up. The house was around 150-years old so this would have been a real shame and after a long conversation I managed to persuade the owner into letting us restore it. Restoring the floor is not only a much cheaper option than having a new floor installed, but it is also much better for the environment. On top of that original features like these original clay Quarry tiles are much sought after and add character to the property which otherwise would have been lost.

A previous owner of this property had taken out some of the old thick clay Quarry tiles and replaced them with some modern Quarry tiles that looked very out of place, they ruined the look of the floor and the current owner wanted them replacing as well as numerous tile which were damaged. In addition, there were two areas where renovations had taken place which had exposed concreted sections of floor which needed to be tiled too. All in all, about 150 tiles were to be installed, fortunately I managed to source a batch of suitable reclaimed tiles which would match well with originals.

Clay Quarry Tiled Floor Before Restoration Askern

Askern is right on the edge of the Borough of Doncaster and is only a stone’s throw away from the North Yorkshire border. The history of Askern can be traced back to the 14th century. It really started to grow however in the 19th century when this property was built, due to the local mineral water which made it famous as a Spa town.

Repairing a Clay Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor

The restoration began with the removal of the poorly matched red Quarry tiles and the cracked tiles. Another factor I had to contend with here was the difference in the thickness of the more recent tiles compared with that of the original tiles which were much thicker.

Clay Quarry Tiled Floor Tile Thickness

The concreted areas were also carefully dug out so they would be deep enough for a new level subfloor to be poured giving the replacement tiles a good bed to lay on.

Clay Quarry Tiled Floor During Tile Removal Askern Clay Quarry Tiled Floor Installing New Subfloor Askern

As I mentioned earlier there were roughly 150 tiles in different parts of the Kitchen to be installed, grouted, and finally left to set so it took some time to complete.

Clay Quarry Tiled Floor Fitting Replacement Tiles Askern

Cleaning and repairing a Clay Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor

We returned a few days later to start cleaning the floor. My process for this was to apply a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to the floor and then leave it to soak in for about ten minutes. Then I followed up by scrubbing the floor with a rotary floor buffer fitted with a black stripping pad.

After scrubbing each tile several times, the slurry generated was rinsed off with water and then extracted with an industrial wet vacuum. For the more stubborn areas this process was repeated until I was satisfied the floor was as clean as it could be and that all the decades of muck and grime stuck to the old tiles had been removed.

Sealing a Clay Tiled Kitchen Floor

Once I was happy with the floor it was left to dry over a week, this is important as clay tiles can take a long time to dry and the floor needed to be bone dry to achieve the best results when sealing. When I eventually returned six coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go Extra were applied to the floor giving the floor a beautifully satin look and protecting the floor for years to come.

Clay Quarry Tiled Floor After Restoration Askern

The client was very happy with the work we had carried out and is looking forward to continuing the renovation of the property including the installation of a new kitchen. For after care I recommended Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner. This is an effective cleaner that has a neutral pH formula that will not prematurely erode the newly applied sealer like many stronger supermarket products.

 

Professional Restoration of Old Clay Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor in South Yorkshire

Deep Cleaning Kitchen Quarry Tile and Grout in Royston

We were contacted about this modern quarry tile floor in the kitchen of a farmhouse in Royston, Barnsley. They were fed up of the grout making the floor look grotty and whatever they tried they couldn’t get the grout to look any better. They explained they had used lots of different cleaning products on the market, and had spent a fortune, but the floor still looked the same. Royston is a village right on the border of Barnsley and Wakefield, it’s situated in South Yorkshire but is historically a part of the West Riding of Yorkshire.

The trouble with Grout is its cementitious texture which traps dirt and I suspect that they were using a single bucket to apply and rinse their mop during cleaning. This results in the mop being rinsed in increasingly dirty water which is put back on the floor where it is brushed into the grout where it gets trapped. Ideally you should use two buckets, one containing the cleaning fluid and the second containing water where you rinse your mop afterwards.

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning

There are several solutions ranging from continual grout cleaning through to replacing the grout which is expensive. In this case the Quarry tiles were the small 6in x 6in format which covered the entire ground floor of this old farmhouse and with the grout lines being 10mm wide replacing the grout would have been a mammoth effort.

My recommendation was to deep clean the Quarry tiles and grout, removing any sealer from the tiles in the process and then reseal the tiles and the grout to protect both from ingrained dirt. I demonstrated the process on a small test area to see how the floor would respond and much to the client’s surprise there was an immediately and dramatic improvement. They were more than happy to go ahead with my quote and get the floor sorted.

Deep Cleaning Quarry Tiled Kitchen Tiles and Grout Floor

We started by soaking manageable areas of the floor in a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, it was left to work its magic for ten minutes before a rotary machine fitted with a rotary brush was used to scrub the floor. The slurry was then extracted using a wet vac before the floor was thoroughly rinsed with clean water then extracted with the wet vac again.

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor During Cleaning

The floor was quite large, so it took most of the day to repeat this process across the entire area scrubbing by hand where necessary to remove stubborn staining. By the end of the day the Quarry tile and grout was looking much cleaner and brighter and I had now doubt that once the floor had been sealed the customer would be really pleased with the result. The floor was left overnight so it would be ready for sealing the next day.

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor During Cleaning

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor

I returned the following morning and started by testing the floor was dry using a moisture meter. Applying a sealer to a damp floor would be counter productive as the seal would not cure. The floor was dry, so we applied an impregnating sealer to the Quarry tile and Grout called Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal. This is a penetrating sealer which doesn’t affect the look of the tile or darken the grout. It’s a natural look sealer which won’t make the floor shiny but is formulated to provide maximum stain protection. It is also an excellent grout sealer so will help keep the grout lines looking great.

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor After Cleaning

They were over the moon with the new look floor!

For after I recommended the use of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which will keep the floor in the best condition. It is pH balanced so will won’t prematurely erode the sealer like the stronger products you find in supermarkets which can break down sealers with constant use.

 

Professional Restoration of a Quarry Tiled Kitchen in South Yorkshire

Victorian Quarry Tiled Floor Fully Restored in Nether Edge, Sheffield

We were called to this beautiful Victorian house in Nether Edge, Sheffield. The house sits on a tree lined street full of big Victorian homes and dates back to 1898. The current owners were keen to preserve the properties old charm and character and had made quite a few improvements sympathetic to the age of the property. They had begun by removing some tasteless ceramic tiles that had been installed sometime in the 1990’s and were shocked when the original quarry tiled floor was uncovered buried beneath two layers of tile adhesive and a layer of bitumen! They gave us a call and asked us to come and have a look and see if we could restore the floor.

Quarry Tiled Floor Sheffield Before Restoration

I went to the property and as they had described the floor was in need of some help.
After several test cleans we came to the conclusion that all the damage was repairable, and the floor was able to be rescued. I offered them a quote to complete this restoration work which they gladly accepted. Due to the nature of the work involved the job would take four days to complete.

Quarry Tiled Floor Sheffield Before Restoration

The client was also having their kitchen re fitted, so we discussed that we could use some of the original tiles that were going to be covered by a new island by lifting them up and storing them until we needed them to patch the holes up and replace the cracked tiles. The owners also managed to source some reclaimed tiles which were also a perfect match.

Quarry Tiled Floor Sheffield Before Restoration

Cleaning and Restoring a Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor

We began by removing the old adhesives and bitumen with a combination of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up with Pro-Clean and assisted with steam, a heat gun and good old-fashioned elbow grease. It was painstaking work but after 2 days we had uncovered the floor.

Quarry Tiled Floor Sheffield During Restoration Day 2 After Steam Cleaning

There were areas of damage, areas with no tiles, patches of loose tiles and areas where tiles had never been, like the two doorways which weren’t original, so tiles were never placed there. We used the rescued tiles and the reclaimed tiles to repair these areas, once the tiles were in you wouldn’t have known any damage had existed. There were many areas of missing grout, so we installed new grout and gave the floor one last wash. As you can see from all the pictures there was a lot to do.

Quarry Tiled Floor Sheffield During Restoration Day 3 Removing More Damaged Tiles

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor

Once the floor had dried completely we returned to seal the floor, we applied one coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, a colour enhancing impregnating sealer which we left to soak in and cure. Then we applied 5 coats of a satin breathable sealer Tile Doctor Seal & Go Extra leaving the floor with a beautiful natural finish.

Quarry Tiled Floor Sheffield During Restoration Day 4 Applying Colour Grow

It was a long job that took four days to completed but the transformation we achieved was well worth the effort. Our clients certainly thought so and were over the moon that an original and unknown part of their house was now restored back to its’ former glory and will hopefully last another 120 years. They even left the following comment on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

”We found a layer of quarry tiles under our kitchen floor – covered in bitumen and tile adhesive. After four days of cleaning, patching gaps & replacing cracked quarry tiles we have a shiny, characterful and ‘new Victorian floor!”

Quarry Tiled Floor Sheffield During Restoration Day 4 After Sealing

 

Professional Restoration of a Quarry Tiled Kitchen in South Yorkshire

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South Yorkshire Tile Doctor

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