Quarry and Victorian Tiles Repaired, Cleaned and Sealed in Swansea

The owner of this property in Swansea contacted me recently about a two-part job that would involve the restoration of both a Quarry tiled hallway and a Victorian tiled lobby. The property itself dates back to 1918 – making it nearly a century old – and its safe to assume that both sets of tiles are of a similar age. As you can see from the photographs, they had certainly had absorbed a lot of wear and tear over the years, and as these tiles get older it becomes in increasingly difficult to maintain their appearance.

Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Hallway

A number of the Quarry tiles had at some point in the past been removed to allow the installation of electrical cables below ground, with an unsightly layer of cement left in their place. At a later point I would need to replace these tiles, but initially I needed to remove the old cement, along with any old sealer remaining on the floor by applying and scrubbing in Tile Doctor Remove & Go.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Restoration Swansea

Next, I applied an undiluted solution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean, our effective alkaline tile cleaner, to break down and remove the ingrained dirt. I then rinsed with clean water, and removed the resulting slurry with a wet vacuum. With the floor freshly cleaned, I proceeded to retile the area where tiles were missing.

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Lobby

The Victorian tiles in the porch/lobby room area were adjoined to the Quarry tiles. In this area there were several loose tiles, and I opted to recement and regrout them before beginning a clean.

Following this the tiles were treated to a thorough clean in a similar fashion to that provided to the Quarry tiles, however, in this case I mixed Remove and Go and Pro Clean to form a powerful cleaning solution. This was applied to the floor, left to dwell for a short period, and then scrubbed into the tiles, quickly bringing them back to life. I then lightly steamed cleaned the floor with a Karcher tool to eliminate or neutralise any chemicals that remained.

Victorian-Tiled-Lobby-Floor-During-Restoration-Swansea-114646

Sealing Quarry and Victorian Tiles

I left the two sets of tiles to dry out fully overnight. Upon my return to the property, I ran damp tests to confirm that the floors were ready to be sealed. The customer had asked for a satin finish on both floors, so I decided to use Tile Doctor Seal and Go. This topical sealer provides a durable sheen seal, and is a cost-effective option for Quarry and Victorian tiles. I applied seven coats of Seal and Go in total across both sets of tiles.

Quarry-Tiled-Floor-After-Restoration-Swansea-112352 Victorian-Tiled-Lobby-Floor-After-Restoration-Swansea-112433

The customer and myself were delighted with the results. In the space of just a couple of days these classic tiles have been brought been completely revitalised, and thanks to the application of a fresh sealer will be easier for the customer to keep clean going forward.
 
 

Restoration of an Old Quarry Tiled Hallway and Victorian Tiled Lobby in South Wales

110 Year Old Quarry Tiled Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Merthyr Tydfil

The pictures below were taken at a house in the town of Merthyr Tydfil, which is located not too far north of Cardiff. My client was keen to keep her very old Quarry tiled floor – which dated back to 1905 – intact. The floor had understandably seen a large amount of traffic in its lifetime, and was now in dire need of a professional restoration, including a thorough clean and seal.

Quarry tile floor Merthyr Tydfil before cleaning Quarry tile floor Merthyr Tydfil before cleaning

First, I completed a survey of the area and provided my client with a quote. After completing many similar jobs in the past, I generally have a good idea of what the final result will look like. I passed on some images of a final result to my client, who was happy for me to begin my work.

Cleaning a Quarry tiled floor

On the first day, my first task was to take run some damp tests which were fine; it’s always good to know up front if there are likely to be any damp issues. Next I covered the floor with water to take the surface suction out and waited fifteen minutes before applying a cocktail of Tile Doctor NanoTech Heavy Build-Up cleaner mixed with Pro-Clean and Grout clean-up covering the whole floor. I then immediately starting to work the solution into the floor with a rotary machine fitted with a coarse black pad. The solution was then rinsed off with water which was then extracted with a wet vacuum as I worked. For stubborn areas I applied more of the previously mixed solution scrubbed into the floor with coarse wire wool by hand followed by further rinsing with water.

Quarry tile floor Merthyr Tydfil after cleaning Quarry tile floor Merthyr Tydfil after cleaning

Each of the products used serves a particular purpose. Pro-Clean is a strong high-alkaline cleaner for natural stone, while NanoTech HBU is a particularly powerful cleaner that uses nano-sized particles to penetrate deep into the stone to get underneath and lift out ingrained dirt and stains. Grout Clean-Up, as the name implies, is a product for resolving grout related problems such as removing grout smears from tile surfaces aka grout haze.

Sealing a Quarry tiled floor

After completing the clean I left the house for 48 hours, to leave enough time for the floor to dry completely in preparation for sealing. Upon my arrival back at the house I conducted some more damp tests to check that the floor was dry enough to seal using the previous readings as a benchmark. The results indicated that I was fine to proceed with the seal, so I applied a total of eight coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go for durable protection. This was the product I recommended to my client as she wanted a nice, soft shine for her surface seal.

Quarry tile floor Merthyr Tydfil after sealing Quarry tile floor Merthyr Tydfil after sealing

As you can see from the photos, the desired result was achieved to a high standard and needless to say my client was delighted with the transformation.
 
 

Very old Quarry tiled floor restored and transformed in South Wales

Quarry and Terrazzo floors restored near Caerphilly Castle

The owner of this residence near Caerphilly Castle had discovered a 150x150mm red Quarry tiled floor in the kitchen which dated back to before 1900 and had unfortunately been tiled over by a previous owner. Keen on restoring such an original feature the owner set about removing the tiles on top using a chisel and scraping off the adhesive, it was at this point we got the call to assist.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Restoration near Caerphilly Castle

Restoring a Quarry Tiled Floor

Before proceeding my first job is to always check the moisture levels, many of these old floors have no damp proof membrane so without taking a base reading it’s tricky to know if the floor has thoroughly dried later. The kitchen was being replaced and the old kitchen had been removed so I was able to work on the restoration before the new one had been installed making the task easier.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Restoration near Caerphilly Castle

To clean the floor I realised I would need a strong cleaning solution to get these old Quarry tiles clean so I diluted Tile Doctor Pro-Clean 50:50 with Heavy Build-up Remover or Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU as we like to call it. This was applied to a wet floor and scrubbed in using a scrubbing machine fitted with a coarse back pad running on slow speed. I rinsed the floor every so often so I could see the difference and discovered my choice of cleaning product has proved to be effective and fast. Before long I was happy to rinse away the now soiled cleaning solution satisfied that I could not improve the tiles any further with more cleaning.

Quarry Tiled Floor During Restoration near Caerphilly Castle

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Floor

I left the floor to dry for 24h hours before returning to seal the tiles. On my return I checked the moisture levels and there were some high readings so using a heat gun I applied some gentle heat to the tiles allowing them to cool before checking again. This did the trick and the second reading was much better so I proceeded to seal the tiles using Tile Doctor Seal and Go which I find works well on quarry tiles. The quarry tiles were quite worn and very porous and as result needed at nine coats of sealer before they were fully sealed. I do find multiple of coats of sealer works well on floors of this condition as it helped to hide the imperfections and marks caused by the chisel and scrapper.

Quarry Tiled Floor After Restoration near Caerphilly Castle

The owners were delighted with the results and asked me to come back and restore their terrazzo hallway floor which will be subject to another post.
 
 

Quarry Tiled floor restored in South Wales

Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor Restored in Cardiff

This Red and Black Quarry tiled floor was discovered underneath a laminate floor in the hallway of a house built in Cardiff around 1910. The customer was keen to restore it as an original feature and I was confident that despite the damaged tiles, cement and paint we would be able to do so.

Quarry Tiles Before Restoration in Cardiff

Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Floor

The area around the doorway was in the worst condition and unfortunately those tiles were beyond rescue and needed to be replaced which wasn’t a problem as with a bit of research you can usually find what you need.

The next step was to carefully scrape as much cement and old paint off the tile surface as possible by hand and remove the waste; I also tested the floor at this point for dampness at the doorways as its good to know if there are any damp problems that may require additional attention. I then applied undiluted Tile Doctor Remove and Go to the whole floor with a brush agitating as I went, it was left it on for about an hour to break down any old sealers and coatings before being rinsed off with clean water twice which was then hovered up with a wet vacuum.

The next stage was to remove the cement using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which being an acid based products starts to work as soon as it’s applied to the tile, this was worked in using a small hand held scrubbing brush before being given a good rinse down with clean water.

The last step of the cleaning process was to steam clean the tiles to open up the pores and ensure that no trace of cleaning agents was left behind that could upset the sealer.

Quarry Tiles After Restoration in Cardiff

Sealing a Quarry Floor Sealing

The floor was left to dry for two days before and I came back the next day to seal it. Before sealing however I wanted to be use it had dried out sufficiently so I tested it again use a Stanley hand held meter, the previous reading I took proved to be a useful benchmark. Sealing was done using two coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which really brought the floor back to life and lifted the lovely colours in the tile. Needless to say the customer was delighted with the restoration of the floor.
 
 

Quarry Tiled floor restored in South Wales