I recently completed a floor in the town of Radcliffe-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire where the owner of an old cottage which dated back to 1875 had lifted up a carpet to discover an original Quarry tiled floor from when the property was first constructed.
The underlay had been stuck down with adhesive, and grippers fitted at the wall edges secured with both tacks and resin glue. This had caused a small amount of damage to the tiles and since the floor had been hidden away for so many years there was evidence of efflorescence salt staining present in some parts which is not uncommon for floors of this age where no damp proof course would of been installed.
Cleaning an old Quarry tiled floor
My client had, thankfully, done a good job to remove as much of the underlay as possible. However, I still needed to deal with the inert carpet grippers, along with the adhesive contamination which covered more than 80 per cent of the floor.
The first task was to remove the carpet grippers and resin adhesive from the edge of the floor tiles. I then applied a liberal amount of Tile Doctor Remove & Go, a multi-purpose stripper, to the floor, and left it to dwell for an hour. Following the dwelling period, I fitted a special, abrasive scarifying brush to a weighted, low-speed rotary floor machine, and then used it to scrub the tiles, thereby breaking down the adhesive contamination. This time-consuming process was repeated for a second time to ensure a thorough clean.
The resulting slurry was vacuumed away using a wet-vac machine, and the inherent efflorescence contamination was treated with a solution of one part Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up to five parts clean water. The solution was then scrubbed into the floor using the same scarifying brush. I then rinsed the entire area with clean water to remove any remaining product and soiled residue.
The cleaning process took two days of work to complete; once both my client and I were satisfied with the results, I left the floor to dry for a week before sealing. A whole room dryer was also installed before I left to speed up moisture removal.
Sealing a Quarry tiled floor
Upon my return, I sealed the Quarry tiled floor using four coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, an impregnating and colour-enhancing sealer. This product was the best fit for the worn and uneven surface of the tiles, and will also help to tackle the floor’s inherent moisture issues; Colour Grow allows the floor to breathe and also protects it against soiling, as well as both water and oil-based spills.
My client was very pleased with the result and before leaving the cottage, I made sure to give her some advice as to how to maintain her floor. I recommended that she use Tile Doctor pH Neutral Tile Cleaner, being pH neutral is will not damage the integrity of the sealer, whereas many acidic or strong alkaline everyday household cleaning products will erode the sealer over time.