Restoration of a Quarry Tiled Floor Ruined with Cement in Swansea

The owner of this Quarry tiles floor at a house in Swansea had expended much effort in its restoration and feeling exhausted decided to call in their local Tile Doctor to finish it off.

Quarry Tiles in Swansea Covered in Cement Compound Quarry Tiles in Swansea Covered in Cement Compound

I never saw the original flooring but I could see it had been covered by some sort of cement screed which had probably been used, judging by the imprints, to support large carpet tiles. I’ve come across a few floors like this, you can’t simply put carpet over a tiled surface as tiles can be slightly convex in shape and the grout lines result in dips forming in the carpet so as a result a floor levelling compound is usually applied beforehand.

After doing a cleaning sample and a test to see how stubborn the cement compound was to remove I agreed with the customer that it was possible and showing her the test results, she was happy to proceed with the work.

Quarry Tiles in Swansea Covered in Cement Compound Showing Test Clean

Removing Cement from a Quarry Tiled Floor

Before starting I took a few moisture readings with a handheld damp meter, I always recommend doing this at the start as it gives you a baseline reading that can be used to determine the floor has dried and ready for sealing later. Most old floors don’t have a damp proof membrane installed and so if the moisture readings were high I would recommend coming back to seal the floor at a warmer part of the year.

The first step was to remove all the cement compound from the surface of the tiles and then scrape as much paint and plaster off the tiles before cleaning with an undiluted mixture of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and Remove and Go. This combination of two different products make a great team; Pro-Clean is a versatile, high alkaline cleaner that is used to deal with reasonably heavy soil build-up on natural stone and Tile. Remove and Go, also safe to use on natural stone and tile is specially formulated to remove old coatings including paint and old sealers.

Quarry Tiles in Swansea Removing Cement Compound

This solution was applied to the floor and, working in small sections, I scrubbed it into the tiles using a rotating scrubbing machine fitted with a nylon brush attachment; it was also scrubbed into the grout using a stiff brush. The floor was then rinsed, and the resulting cleaning slurry was vacuumed away using a wet-vax machine.

The final stage of the cleaning process was to run over the tiles with a coarse 200 grit diamond pad together with Grout Clean-up which is another Tile Doctor product that removes mineral deposits such as old grout and cement smears. After a final rinse I could see the all the cement had been removed and the Quarry tiles were looking much healthier and ready for sealing.

Quarry Tiles in Swansea With Cement Compound Removed

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Floor

I left the floor to dry out overnight with the aid of heater fans and all doors closed to keep it warm. When I returned the next day, I retested the floor for moisture and compared the initial readings to confirm the floor was ready for sealing.

The Quarry tiles were quite porous so to seal the Quarry tiles, I eventually used eight coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go which not only provides a protective covering but also enhances the colours of tiles especially old red quarry floor tiles.

Quarry Tiles in Swansea After Restoration

The customer was thrilled with the results of the floor and was so impressed told me she was going to recommend Tile Doctor to her friends.
 
 

Professional Restoration of a Cement Covered Quarry Tiled Floor in South Wales

100+ Year Old Victorian Tiled Hallway Restored to New in Blackwood

This Victorian tiled hallway floor, located in a property in Blackwood, South Wales, was in a bad way. It was suffering from several broken and missing tiles, and the entire floor looked like it had not experienced a good clean and fresh seal in several years. The property itself dated back to 1905, and it’s very likely that the Victorian tiles are original.

However, the property owner was very hopeful that the hallway could be rejuvenated, so he contacted me to carry out the work. Upon my first inspection of the floor, I could immediately see that a lot of tile replacements would need to be carried out.

I suggested to the customer that I repurpose the tiles that surrounded the matt well at the front of the door to use as replacements for the tiles that were broken and damaged. I would then create a new, larger matt well while using original tiles to fix the damaged areas. It’s a technique I’ve used before so I was confident it would work.

He was happy with this suggestion so I agreed to return later that week to complete the restoration.

Victorian Hallway Floor Blackwood Before Repair

Repairing and Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway

My first task was to carefully remove the tiles around the exiting matt well, clean off the cement, and, in some cases, skim the thickness off some tiles so that they would position flat against the adjacent tile. Next, I proceeded to fix these replacement tiles in the areas required.

After completing these repairs, I moved on to cleaning the entire hallway. First, I manually scraped off as much of the paint and cement deposits from the surface of the tiles as possible, before cleaning the floor thoroughly with a mixed solution of three products: Tile Doctor Pro Clean, Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU Remover, and Tile Doctor Remove and Go.

Each of these products serves a different purpose. Pro Clean is reliable and powerful alkaline tile cleaner, while NanoTech HBU is a powerful cleaner which uses nano-sized particles to penetrate the pores of the tile and dissolve ingrained dirt and stains. Remove and Go strips away any old sealers, along with any of the stubborn paint and cement deposits.

The solution was left to dwell on the floor for about half an hour, before I scrubbed it into the stone by hand using a coarse black scrubbing pad. The floor was then rinsed thoroughly, before Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up was applied using a wire wool pad remove light grout smears (grout haze) and signs of efflorescence.

I then completed the grouting of the floor left it to dry for half an hour before giving it a final wipe with a sponge.

Victorian Hallway Floor Blackwood During Restoration

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway

After leaving the floor to dry out overnight, I returned to the property the following morning. I ran some quick checks for moisture to see if the tiles were ready to be sealed.

Thankfully, the floor proved dry and I could proceed the applying Tile Doctor Seal and Go. This sealer works really well on Victorian tiles and provides a nice subtle sheen finish whilst providing stain resistance.

The customer had initially thought the floor could not be salvaged, but now he will be able to enjoy this fantastic original feature from years to come. It just goes to show that a bit of creativity and hard work really can make a difference.

Victorian Hallway Floor Blackwood After Restoration

 
 

Professional Victorian Tiled Hallway Restoration in South Wales

Badly Stained Quarry Tiles Deep Cleaned and Sealed in Splott

These Quarry tiles at a house in Splott, a small town not too far from the city of Cardiff, had certainly endured a hammering after what appeared to be recent decoration in the room. The tiles were heavily soiled, with sand and cement mixed up and splattered across the floor, along with deep paint and plaster stains.

Quarry Tiles Before Restoration in Splott Cardiff

Quarry Tiles Before Restoration in Splott Cardiff

The customer had already scraped off as much of the cement and other stubborn stains off – as much as they could, at least. Quarry may be typically hard wearing, but this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s any easier to clean when it gets into a bad way. Eager to find a solution to the problem, the customer found Tile Doctor via the Internet, and not long after we arranged for me to come down to the property to see what could be done.

Quarry Tiles Before Restoration in Splott Cardiff Quarry Tiles Before Restoration in Splott Cardiff
Quarry Tiles Before Restoration in Splott Cardiff

Upon arriving at the property and giving the tiles an initial inspection, I explained that not all stains and marks will come off or out of the tiles, as some staining is simply permanent. Nonetheless, the customer indicated they would be satisfied with any improvement made to the condition of the floor. Having restored tiles similar to these before, I knew that the results could still come off very well using the right methods and products.

Cleaning a Stained Quarry Tiled Floor

To begin I mixed a strong solution of Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU and Pro Clean, a combination of two different cleaners. Pro Clean is a versatile, high alkaline cleaner that is used to deal with reasonably heavy soil build-up on natural stone floors. It also contains stripping properties that allow it to start breaking down any old sealers when left to dwell on the tiles. NanoTech HBU takes the cleaning process a step further: it is specially formulated to use nano-sized cleaning particles to reach dirt and stains deeply ingrained in the stone, before dissolving and lifting them out.

This solution was applied to the floor and, working in small sections, I scrubbed it into the tiles using a rotating scrubbing machine fitted with a nylon brush attachment. The floor was then rinsed, and the resulting cleaning slurry was vacuumed away using a wet-vax machine.

My next concern was the grout, which was afflicted by stubborn cement marks. I opted to remove these firstly by carefully applying Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up, an acid-based cleaner. Some cement marks remained despite the application, and so I attempted to manually scrape and chisel them away. While I had some good success, as mentioned not all cement stains can be removed, especially if they have been there for a long time. Some old cement mixture is as hard as flint!

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Floor

I left the floor to dry following the clean and came back two days later to seal the tiles, checking first that they were dry by taking multiple readings with the damp meter, and comparing them with earlier results.

The test results came back fine, so I started with the lengthy task of applying eight coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go sealer. Having sealed similar floors with Seal and Go before I knew the results would be very desirable, with the deep natural colours in the stone being enhanced by the product. Seal and Go is my preferred sealer for Quarry tiles as it helps disguise some permanent marks and adds a durable satin shine finish.

Quarry Tiles After Restoration in Splott Cardiff

Quarry Tiles After Restoration in Splott Cardiff

While unfortunately a stained floor like this will never be able to look good as new, the results I managed to achieve were very pleasing. Certainly there was no evidence left of recent decoration, with the vast majority of the stains and marks no longer damaging the appearance of the tiles. The fresh seal has really brought out the red and black checked pattern in the floor. Needless to say the customer’s expectations were exceeded!

Quarry Tiles After Restoration in Splott Cardiff Quarry Tiles After Restoration in Splott Cardiff
Quarry Tiles After Restoration in Splott Cardiff

Professional Tile Cleaning and Sealing for a Badly Stained and Soiled Quarry Tiled Floor Restoration in South Wales