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

Uneven Travertine Tiled Floor Levelled and Polished in Swansea

The customer, who lives in Swansea, the second largest city in Wales after Cardiff, had been searching for a company to rectify the problems with his Travertine tiled floor for a few months with no luck. Fortunately, he discovered Tile Doctor online and as their local agent I was asked to assess the problems first hand.

Uneven Travertine Floor Before Levelling and Polishing in Swansea

Upon my inspection, I was quite astounded by the way the Travertine floor had been installed. It covered an around 60 square metres and suffering severe lipping of 2-3 mm in some areas between tiles. Lipping occurs when you have variation in the height of adjoining tiles, and it can be quite a trip hazard.

Uneven Travertine Floor Before Levelling and Polishing in Swansea

The floor was laid in September 2016 on a new screed, so I knew there would be no damp issues. I checked the spare tiles the customer had in surplus and determined they were 13mm thick so the solution I proposed was to grind down the tiles by 2-3mm using coarse diamond encrusted milling pads and then restore the polish with a set of fine burnishing pads. You can only do this with natural stone and given the tiles were 13mm thick it shouldn’t present a problem.

Levelling an Uneven Travertine Tiled Floor

I used a set of Tile Doctor milling pads, starting with the 50 grit Extra Coarse pad to remove the lippage throughout the whole floor. It was a large area and with 2-3mm to grind off the tile it took four days nearly three pads to complete.

Uneven Travertine Floor During Levelling and Polishing in Swansea

I then used the 100-grit coarse pad to further smooth the surface the 50-grit pad had etched, followed by the 200-grit pad to refine the finish even further. After every pad application, I rinsed and vacuumed and the area to remove the slurry.

Uneven Travertine Floor During Levelling and Polishing in Swansea

Restoring the Polish on a Travertine Tiled Floor

After removing the tile lippage, I knew that the floor would be a lot easier to polish using our set of four Tile Doctor burnishing pads, which would do the job of restoring the desired polish. I started with the Coarse 400 grit pad and worked my way through the system of burnishing pads using a little water to help lubricate and rinsing away the slurry between each pad. The pads were applied in sequence from Medium, Fine and then Very Fine pads to achieve a fantastic polished finish.

Next, I needed to fill a lot of cavities remaining in the stone. I did this filling after the burnishing to avoid the filler coming loose during the work in progress.

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Floor

The final step in the restoration process was to seal the floor using our impregnating sealer, known as Tile Doctor Colour Grow. I highly recommend this product for stone as it not only does add durable protection by occupying the pores in the stone it also enhances it’s natural colours.

Finally, I removed any surplus sealer with a cloth and left the floor to dry for another hour, before using the Very Fine pad to refine the polish and ensure that no smears were present.

Uneven Travertine Floor After Levelling and Polishing in Swansea

The work took eight days to complete and both myself and the customer were delighted with the results of the restoration of the floor which was a total disaster to look at when I first inspected it. The customer thought it was beyond repair – until he found Tile Doctor.

Uneven Travertine Floor After Levelling and Polishing in Swansea

 
 

Professional Tile Milling, Burnishing and Sealing for a Travertine Tiled Floor with Lipping Issues in Swansea

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