Quarry Tile Cleaning

Welcome to my Work History archive where you will find detailed examples of the cleaning and renovation of Quarry tiles carried out in East Yorkshire

Cleaning and Renovating Quarry Tiles

Quarry tiles are a classic hard wearing tile often utilised in high traffic areas such as reception areas, toilets and outdoor patio areas and porches. Although hard wearing Quarry tiles are often neglected and end up hidden under years of grime. If the tiles are structurally sound then often it’s just a question of deep cleaning to extract the dirt and then applying a sealer to enhance their appearance and protect them going forward.

For sealing we usually recommend Tile Doctor Seal and Go which works well on clay tiles such as Quarry and is also water based so doesn’t give off a smell as it dries. When applying a sealer always make sure the floors are dry first as applying a sealer to a damp floor can lead to inconsistent results. Because of this we usually clean and seal floors of this type over two days.

Other problems we face when restoring Quarry tiles usually relate to the removal of surface such as Tile Paint and Carpet Adhesive, for this we have a number of products and methods we can apply to remove coatings and restore the tile to its original appearance.

Below you will find detailed examples of work we have carried out in the past, it should give you some idea of what’s involved and what can be achieved with the right techniques and products.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before After Cleaning in Hessle Hull

Flood Damaged Quarry Tiles Restored in Hessle

Flooding in the UK seems to have become more frequent and devastating in recent years, with areas such as Cumbria and Yorkshire being among those that have been particularly badly affected. Of course, flooding hits many homes directly, causing often irreparable damage and problems that can last for years following the incident.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Cleaning in Hessle Hull Quarry Tiled Floor Before Cleaning in Hessle Hull

This property in Hessle had been damaged by the terrible flood that hit Hull in 2007. Nearly a decade on from the incident, the property’s Quarry tiled conservatory was still in a bad way, with what I believe to be salt deposits having built up on the surface of the floor. All in all, the floor had not fully recovered from the flooding, and was in need of a deep clean – both for the tile and the grout – and a fresh seal in order to be restored to its former glory.

The property owner called me to the property to conduct some spot tests to determine the results that could be achieved. The results were very promising so we booked in the job and got to work on the restoration.

Cleaning Flood Damaged Quarry Tiles

To begin the restoration, the floor was covered with Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU, a penetrating cleaner that utilise nano-sized cleaning particles, along with a small amount of Tile Doctor Remove and Go, a heavy duty remover used to break down old sealers, adhesives and paints. This solution was them scrubbed into the tiles using a 17” rotary machine and a black pad.

Quarry Tiled Floor During Cleaning in Hessle Hull
It was left to dwell for around 15 – 20 mins to work its way into the pores of the stone, before being scrubbed again. Given that the floor had not been treated to a proper clean in a long time, I repeated the process three times until happy that the tiles were in the best possible condition.

Quarry Tiled Floor During Cleaning in Hessle Hull

Dealing with Efflorescence

The second main part of the cleaning process involved rinsing the floor using Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up, which is an acid based product used to remove mineral deposits such as salt (also known as efflorescence) and grout smears. The floor was then given a thorough rinse to remove any trace of products and neutralise the floor before sealing, the floor was then dried as much as possible using a wet vacuum.

Sealing Quarry Tiles

Following this very through clean, the floor was ready for sealing. However, I did have to leave the floor for a few days to dry fully, as any excess moisture can upset the sealer.

Upon my return I checked for dampness before proceeding to see the tiles using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is a penetrating, colour enhancing sealer. The sealer penetrates into the pores of the stone to fill them and protect it against ingrained dirt.

Quarry Tiled Floor After Cleaning in Hessle Hull Quarry Tiled Floor After Cleaning in Hessle Hull

The results were truly fantastic. The combination of a deep clean and colour enhancing sealer left the floor looking brilliant. You wouldn’t have been able to tell that the floor had once suffered from severe flooding. Needless to say the customer was very satisfied.

Professional Restoration of a Flood Damaged Quarry Tiled Floors in Yorkshire

Old Quarry Tiled Floor Before After Cleaning and Sealing in Market Weighton

100+ Year Old Quarry Tiles Revitalised in Market Weighton

When you have a Quarry tiled floor like this one that is well over a century old, it’s inevitably going to have developed a number of problems over the years and be in need of some TLC. The floor, located at a property in the East Yorkshire town of Market Weighton, had been laid on a bed of sand and had no damp proof membrane which isn’t surprising for a floor of this age as a DPM didn’t really become standard until the 1960’s.

The customer was primarily interested in getting the tiles as clean as possible however I knew from past experience that floors in these circumstances can be particularly difficult to restore. Adding to this was the fact that the floor itself wasn’t in great shape to begin with, with numerous cracks and missing parts across the entire area.

I ran a test clean on a small area of the floor to show the customer the potential results and, while I explained to her that this would be a very testing job, she said she would be happy with whatever improvements could be made.

Old Quarry Tiled Floor Before Cleaning in Market Weighton

Cleaning a Very Old Quarry Tiled Floor

To clean this floor, I needed to use a strong cleaning solution consisting of half Tile Doctor Remove and Go and half Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU. Remove and Go works to break down any existing sealer and heavy soil buildup on the surface of the floor. NanoTech HBU takes the cleaning process a step further, utilising nano-sized particles to penetrate into the stone and dissolve difficult-to-reach ingrained dirt.

Once applied for the floor the solution was left to dwell for 10-20 minutes before I scrubbed it into tiles using a scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. The resulting cleaning slurry was promptly removed with a wet-vax machine. Since the old floor was in a particularly bad state I resolved to repeat the cleaning process three times, followed by further spot cleaning for particularly stubborn areas. As the tiles were very uneven in parts I found a lot of easily missable areas that needed special cleaning attention by hand.

When I was satisfied with the results of the clean I neutralised the leftover chemicals using Tile a Doctor pH Neutral Tile Cleaner. The floor was then left to dry for two weeks. Under normal circumstances the floor wouldn’t take so long to dry, but here it was understandable due to the lack of a damp proof membrane.

Old Quarry Tiled Floor After Cleaning in Market Weighton

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Floor

Returning to the property after two weeks to seal the floor I soon discovered efflorescence coming through the surface which are salts rising up through the tile as it dries leaving a white bloom. I quickly neutralised this using Tile Doctor Acid Gel, which is a blend of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids in gel form. The floor was then rinsed once again and left to dry before a short while.

Finally, I was ready to seal the tiles, and do so with two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow and one coat of Tile Doctor Seal and Go. Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer that stops dirt from becoming trapped in the pores of the stone, while also enhancing natural colour. Seal and Go is a topical sealer that forms a layer of protection on the surface, providing an aesthetically pleasing and durable sheen finish.

Old Quarry Tiled Floor After Cleaning and Sealing in Market Weighton
Considering how poor of a condition this Quarry was in when I first arrived at the property, I was very pleased with the results achieved. My customer was both very surprised and happy at the sizeable improvements to the condition of the tiles. Tiles of this age will require more frequent maintenance, and we recommend seeking professional assistance if you are the owner of a similar floor to this one.

Old Quarry Tiled Floor Restored in East Yorkshire


East Yorkshire Tile Doctor

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