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.
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.
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.
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.