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.
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.
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.