I was contacted by a young couple who had just bought a charming old house with a Quarry Tiled floor nestled on a hill side in the Peak District close to Sheffield. The Peak District is a national park at the southern end of the Pennines surrounded by the cities of Manchester, Derby, Stoke and Sheffield. It’s hugely popular with tourists and attracts millions of visitors every year.
The building dated to the 1700’s, in 1870 a big renovation took place on the house and it is thought this floor was laid then, before 1870 the hallway where the tiled floor is was actually a gap between two buildings but when the buildings were renovated in 1870 the two houses were converted into one.
After peeling back, a smelly old red carpet our customers discovered the original hallway tiled floor, but as they started taking the carpet up they realised it was very badly damaged. A few decades ago the house was converted into a Bed & Breakfast and extra bathrooms were put in, a lot of the tiles had been ripped up to run a soil pipe the length of the house.
The new owners were desperate to have the floor put back to its original state, on our first inspection we asked them if we couldn’t fix the floor what would they do, they simply replied ‘We have no plan B’.
We did some moisture readings, inspected the tiles, looked closely at the damage, and came up with a plan to save the floor. Some reclaimed tiles were sourced from the local reclamation yard, they were almost a perfect match.
Restoring a Quarry Tiled Floor
On the first day we cleaned the undamaged areas, this way we could see exactly how much damage there was and see how many tiles we had to replace. We used a combination of the strong alkaline stripper and degreaser Pro-Clean to remove any dirt, grime, and old floor coatings. This is worked into the floor using a black scrubbing pad and then the soiling rinsed off with water and extracted with a wet vacuum.
The floor was then given an acid rinse using Tile Doctor Acid Gel to help fight any salt issues, old floors in old properties aren’t protected from damp by a Damp Proof Membrane so any moisture coming up through the floor can leave salt deposits on the tiles which over time which can damage the clay. This is a much bigger problem with floors that have been covered up for a long time like this one.
The next two days were spent repairing the areas of missing tiles, we had to dig out the concrete and install new sub floors to lay the reclaimed tiles on. Most of the damage was down to a soil pipe that had been dug through the floor and two areas where the central heating system had been installed and pipes laid.
Sealing a Quarry Tiled Floor
Once I was happy with the floor it was left to dry out for a few days to ensure it was dry before sealing, 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 tiles a lovely satin finish which will protect the floor for years to come.
The young couple were totally over the moon with the floor and for aftercare I recommended Tile Doctor Neutral Clean which is a gentle but effective tile cleaning product that is fine for use of sealed surfaces.