Quarry Tiled Basement Floor Renovated at old Bank in Llangollen

This Quarry Tiled floor was discovered in the basement of the old HSBC Bank building in Llangollen which is a small market town in Denbighshire, Wales. Close to my county of Shropshire, Llangollen is located on edge of the Berwyn mountains on the nestled on the River Dee in an area of outstanding natural beauty and so a lovely place to work.

Basement Quarry Tiled Floor Before restoration Llangollen

After HSBC moved out the property was bought by Whitewater Active who are an outdoor pursuits company that will be using the building as their local base of operations. The company offers a mix of outdoor activities and the property has been converted into accommodation, offices for the business and a cafe.

The area we were interested in was at the basement which they were planning to use as a team meeting room and the owner was keen to have it restored and looking its best for his staff. The floor was tiled with 9″ x 9″ Red and Black quarry tiles which as you can see from the photographs were in a sorry state. The room had a massive fireplace which unfortunately none of my pictures show but the tiles were damaged in front of it as someone at some point had likely used it for chopping firewood. The repair was quoted for, but as neither I nor him were able to source 9″ x 9″ black quarry tiles that were 1 1/2 ” thick, we decided to leave it as it was for now. They were happy with the quote I gave them, and we agreed a date to go ahead.

Basement Quarry Tiled Floor Before restoration Llangollen

Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Basement Floor

I gave the floor an initial clean with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was diluted and then sprayed onto the tiles, it was left for ten minutes and then scrubbed in with a black pad fitted to a rotary floor buffer. The resultant slurry was then rinsed off with water and extracted with a wet vacuum.

With the surface dirt removed it was clear that more work was going to be required to remove the plaster dust and concrete residue that marked the tiles. To tackle that I used Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up which is an acidic product that we normally use to remove excess grout. Using the same process as for the Tile Doctor Pro-Clean I had to go over the worst areas three times before I was satisfied the floor was clear and as clean as it could be.

After rinsing and extracting one last time I dried the floor as much as possible with the wet vacuum and left it to completely dry off overnight.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Basement Floor

The next day I returned, checked the floor was dry with the moisture meter and then sealed the floor with a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This is a lovely sealer that enhances the colour, allows the floor to breathe and will also ensures that the floor is well protected. Using a breathable sealer on old floor likes these where no damp proof membrane is installed as it allows moisture from the sub floor to pass through the tile and evaporate. Without the ability to evaporate moisture can build-up and spread to the walls where it can cause rising damp.

Basement Quarry Tiled Floor After restoration Llangollen

As you can see from the after photographs the renovation went very well and the colour change was pretty dramatic. The client was very happy with the transformation and couldn’t wait to get the furniture in and hold his first team meeting.

Basement Quarry Tiled Floor After restoration Llangollen

 

Professional Restoration of a Quarry Tiled Basement Floor in Shropshire

Victorian Tiled Hallway Repaired and Restored in Oswestry

A home owner who lives in the old market town of Oswestry in Shropshire called me in recently to work some Tile Doctor magic on their Victorian Tiled Hallway. They had been refurbishing the house room by room and had left the hallway floor until last. The previous owner of the house had repaired part of the floor at the far end of the hallway with an odd selection of unmatched tiles. The result was a bit of any eyesore and I’m surprised it hadn’t been covered over with carpet which is what most would do, the only good thing about the repair was that it had been laid level.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Oswestry Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Oswestry

There were several other areas were tiles were loose and would need relaying and a section where holes had been drilled into a couple of tiles damaging them in the process. In total I estimated there was about two square meters of tiles that would need relaying; I would be able to use some of the original tiles that had become loose, but it was clear I would need to track down some replacements either from a reclamation yard or from a retailer if I could find a match.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Oswestry

Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

As it turned out I managed to source the replacements without too much trouble, Victorian Tiles are still very popular today and there are a number of UK companies that still sell them.

My first task was to remove all the loose tiles and carefully remove what I’m going to call the eyesore. I have a handheld power tool that makes light work of removing grout which came in very hand and then once the grout was removed the tiles were prised out. The old grout and adhesive were then scraped off the sub floor, so the replacements could be fitted.

Victorian Tiled Floor During Repair Oswestry Victorian Tiled Floor During Repair Oswestry

With the loose, damaged and eyesore removed it was now a question of cutting replacement tiles to match the existing pattern and then fix them into place with fresh adhesive. This activity took up much of the first day and before leaving the tiles were grouted in, so they would be secure for cleaning the next day.

Deep Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Day two was all about deep cleaning the entire floor to remove any old coatings and ingrained dirt in the tiles. I did this using a strong dilution of Remove and Go which was left to soak into the tiles for a while before being scrubbed in using a rotary machine fitted with a black pad; the resultant slurry was then rinsed away with water and extracted off the floor using a wet vacuum.

There were some stubborn paint splashes from decorating that needed dealing with, so I gave these a spot clean using more Remove and Go and plenty of elbow grease. The floor was then given a final rinse to remove any trace of cleaning product and then dried as much as possible with a wet vacuum before being left to dry off fully overnight.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The tiles must be dry before sealing and after testing the floor with a damp meter I confirmed that the floor was indeed dry. I had previously discussed sealers with the owner he had opted for a matt finish. I decided that Tile Doctor Colour Grow would be the best choice of sealer to apply, it’s an impregnating sealer that leaves a matt finish and works by occupying the pores in the tile protecting it from staining from within. It also enhances the natural colours in the tile, only two coats of sealer were needed.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning Oswestry Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning Oswestry

The floor now looks fantastic and most crucially the eyesore has gone.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning Oswestry

 
 

Victorian and Victorian Floor Tile restoration in Shropshire

Modern Quarry Tiles Uncovered and Restored in Nesscliffe

This customer had just bought a house in the small Shropshire village of Nesscliffe. Like many new property owners, she was keen to make some changes to the interior decoration, deciding to pull up the carpet they she didn’t like that covered almost the entire ground floor of the house. Upon doing so she and her partner discovered a large area of original Quarry tiles.

Modern quarry tiled floor in Nesscliffe before cleaning

They decided that instead of replacing the carpet with a new one, they would keep the original floor and attempt to restore its condition. However, their efforts to restore the tiles by themselves proved ineffective – many of the cheaper, supermarket cleaning products were not suited for the job of removing years’ worth of dirt and stains.

Modern quarry tiled floor in Nesscliffe before cleaning

At that point they decided to call me. I visited the property and ran a test clean to see what could be achieved. The customer was more than happy with the initial results and booked me in to undertake the full restoration.

Cleaning Dirty and Stained Quarry Tiles

The most noticeable problem with the tiles was a series of paint splashes and plaster deposits covering almost the entirety of the floor, the result of previous decoration work and the installation of carpet.

I removed these by applying a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean and working it into the tiles using a scrubbing brush fitted to a rotary machine, with the alkaline cleaner reliably breaking down the stubborn paint splashes.

I then worked the product into the grout lines too using a grout brush. To tackle the plaster and cement-based residue I used Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up, a phosphoric acid cleaner which removes heavy stains.

Following the cleaning, I left the floor to dry for a week to allow for any excess moisture to evaporate.

Sealing Quarry Tiles

On my return to the property I immediately checked whether the floor was dry enough to be sealed. We always do this as excess moisture can very easily effect the performance of the sealer.

Thankfully the floor was completely dry and I was able to seal the tiles using five coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go. Seal & Go is a topical sealer, meaning it builds up a layer of protection again dirt and stains on the surface of the stone. We recommend it for tiles such as Quarry, Victorian and Slate. While offering surface protection it also provides a pleasing low-sheen finish.

Modern quarry tiled floor in Nesscliffe after cleaning

The customer was really pleased with the result. Within a week the newly discovered Quarry tiled floor had been transformed from an apparent lost cause to a real asset to the home of the new property owners.

Modern quarry tiled floor in Nesscliffe after cleaning

 
 

Professional Quarry Tiled Floor Restoration in Shropshire

Limestone Tiled Floor Cleaned and Polished in Owestry

These Limestone tiles, installed in a lovely residence in the ancient market town of Oswestry close to the English/Welsh border, had become dull and dirty over the years and I was asked to get them looking their best again. When I arrived to do the quotation the customer’s main concern was that the grout lines had become dirty, but when I completed a test clean on one tile and the grout around it they realised the tiles themselves were dirty and had lost their shine to become a mat finish.

Limestone Floor Before Cleaning and Polishing Oswestry Limestone Floor Before Cleaning and Polishing Oswestry

Cleaning Limestone Tiles

It was a large floor so working in sections I gave the floor a general clean using a mild dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was spread over the floor with particular attention paid to getting the solution into the grout lines. The solution was left to soak in and eat through any dirt and a stiff grout brush was run along each grout line giving it a good scrub along the way. Next we removed any trace of product by using a wet vacuum to extract the now dirty cleaning solution and rinsed thoroughly with clean water.

There were a couple of holes in the Limestone that needed attention so these were filled with a matching colour. The next step was to use a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pads which attach to a rotary machine and burnish the floor with four different grits from coarse to super fine. To remove any remaining sealer and dirt the floor is burnished using a course pad and a little water to help lubricate passing over each tile around four times in the process. The resultant soiled water is rinsed away with clean water which in turn is removed using a wet vacuum. This process is then repeated with the remaining pads, rinsing between each pad until a nice polish is built up on the tile. I managed to finish with the 2nd and 3rd pads but it was getting late to completely finish the polishing so called it a day.

Sealing Limestone Tiles

When I arrived on the second day to finish the polishing process with the fourth super fine polishing pad and seal the floor the customer thought I had already finished polishing and was already happy with the shine we had achieved so far, so you can imagine how happy she when I told her there was more to do. Once I had finished polishing I applied a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which impregnates the pores in the stone to prevent other contaminates getting in there; Colour Grow also does a great job of bringing out the natural colours in the stone.

Limestone Floor After Cleaning and Polishing Oswestry Limestone Floor After Cleaning and Polishing Oswestry

The customer was very happy with the end result and

Red and Black Victorian Quarry Tiled Floor Restored in Oswestry

Details below of a Victorian Quarry tiled floor belonging to a customer in Oswestry who had recently moved back to the area and wanted to restore the original features of the house including the Quarry tiles floor which had several coats of red floor paint and was later was covered with carpet for a number of years. The customer described the floor as:

“I have 2 areas of quarry tiles that need a serious make over, in the hall and the back room. There are patches of red paint and areas of mineral deposit and lots of ingrained filth!””

Red Black Quarry Tiles Oswestry Before Red Black Quarry Tiles Oswestry Before

Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Floor

I managed to clean the floor with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which was left to soak into the tiles for a while before being scrubbed in using a rotary machine fitted with a black pad; the resultant slurry was washed away using more water and a wet vacuum. The whole process was repeated several times as the paint was really stubborn and in places I had to remove the paint removal with a scraper. Once I was happy with the condition it was given a final rinse to remove any cleaning products and then left to dry for five days leaving an air mover with the customer to accelerate drying.

Red Black Quarry Tiles Oswestry After Cleaning Red Black Quarry Tiles Oswestry After Cleaning

Sealing a Quarry Floor Sealing

The tiles have to be dry before sealing and even though I returned five days later the damp meter still indicated that there was moisture in the tiles which I suspect was due to there being no membrane in place under the old Victorian tiles. I agreed with the customer to come back a further week later which proved sufficient and the floor was dry enough to take the sealer.

The customer wanted a matt finish so I sealed the floor with two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that occupies the pores in the tile and also enhances the colour of the tile.

Red Black Quarry Tiles Oswestry After Sealing Red Black Quarry Tiles Oswestry After Sealing

The customer was out when I applied the sealer but when the she got home she sent me the following message:

“The floor looks brilliant. So much better than I had ever hoped. Thank you.”
 
 

Victorian Quarry tiles restoration in Shropshire