The Quarry Tiled Floor pictured below was located in a wood on the outskirts of the pretty coastal village of Levington, just East of Ipswich. The client had recently purchased this old Gamekeepers cottage and they were looking to redecorate and refurbish the property including the floors.
The floors in the house were all very dirty and the new owners wanted them cleaned in time for Christmas. I visited site and conducted a demonstration on a small section of Quarry tiles which covered the whole of the ground floor. The demonstration went well, and the client was very pleased to see the kind of result they could expect. We agreed a price for the work and arranged a suitable time to return.
Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Floor
I knew from the age of the cottage it very unlikely to have a damp-proof membrane present under the floor so I had to consider damp and efflorescence issues could become factors during cleaning. Efflorescence occurs when salts trapped in water from the ground rise through the porous Quarry tiles and are left on the surface of the tile as white deposits when the moisture evaporates.
Before starting with the cleaning process, we set about taping up the wooden skirting and doorways to protect them. Then because of the lack of a DPM I decided to clean the floor with Tile Doctor Acid Gel which would require less water and counter any alkaline salts trapped in the floor. It was applied to the floor and then worked in using a rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. The grout was then scrubbed by hand using a wire brush and the resultant slurry vacuumed using our wet vacuum.
Once I was satisfied the floor was as clean as possible the floor was rinsed with warm water using the least amount of water possible. This removed any trace of cleaning product and the floor then dried using the wet vacuum and microfibre cloths. The floor was then inspected, and any stubborn areas were spot treated before leaving the floor to dry off fully overnight.
Sealing a Quarry Tiled Floor
The following morning, I conducted a damp test with a moisture meter to ensure the floor was dry enough to take a sealer. Sure enough, due to the cleaning method used, the floor was dry, and I was able to move on to applying the sealer which for this floor I used Tile Doctor Seal & Go Extra.
I selected Seal & Go Extra as it has a special acrylic-based formula which allows moisture vapour transmission making it partially breathable and well suited for floors without a damp-proof membrane. This is important as to use non-breathable sealer can result in damp building up in the tiles and under the floor where it can cause damage and spread out to the walls resulting in rising damp. Six coats of sealer were applied to the Quarry tiles to ensure the floor was fully sealed and this left a nice low sheen finish.
The clients were extremely happy with the result, as you can see from the the pictures the floor looked in much better condition.
For aftercare I recommended the use of the Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner to keep the floor in the best condition and make maintenance easy for them. This would ensure the newly applied seal stayed put.