The Red Quarry tiled floor shown below are from the hallway of a house in the village of Barlaston that dates to the early 1900’s. Hallways get a lot of use and over the years the tiles had seen a lot of wear and were now looking patchy with various levels of staining and dirty grout.
After surveying the floor and running a few tests I was able to give the homeowner a quote for the work which would take two days, the first to clean and the second to apply a sealer that would protect the tiles from staining going forward. Happy with the quote we scheduled a date for the work to commence.
Deep Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Hallway in Barlaston
To clean up the tiles I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is our go to tile and grout cleaning product. Its best to leave it on the tile and grout for ten minutes or sometimes longer to give it time to break down the dirt and coatings. The floor was then scrubbed with a rotary machine fitted with a poly brush attachment and a stiff grout brush along the grout lines.
The combination of the cleaning agent and mechanical scrubbing releases the dirt from the tile to the surface where its removed with a wet vacuum. Once the floor was clear the tiles were then inspected and the process repeated where needed.
Last step of the cleaning process was to treat the tiles to an acid wash with grout clean-up. I highly recommend this for old floors like this one which were installed before the invention of the damp proof membrane. The problem is without a DPM moisture can rise through the tiles and deposit salts on the surface of the tile as it evaporates, a process known as efflorescence. If you look closely at the photos above you can spot white staining as a result. As well as countering the alkaline salts the acid will also remove old grout smears and neutralise the use of the alkaline Pro-Clean used earlier.
After a final rinse and vacuum the Quarry tiles were left to dry off overnight.
Sealing a Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor in Barlaston
Applying sealer to a damp floor can result in a patchy appearance so on my return I first tested the floor with a damp meter to ensure it was dry. All was well so I able to move onto applying the sealer and for this floor I chose to use Tile Doctor Seal and Go.
Seal and Go works very well on Quarry Tiles improving their appearance and adding an appealing satin finish. The tiles really soaked up the sealer and I had to apply four coats before I was satisfied it was fully sealed.
Once done the tiles were transformed and my client was very pleased with their new hallway floor. Before leaving I took time to discuss aftercare cleaning for which I recommend Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner which is a gentle but effective product that won’t harm the sealer.