Quarry Tile Cleaning

Heavily Soiled Quarry Tiles Deep Cleaned and Sealed in Bedford

What causes a tiled floor to become dull and discoloured? Typically, it’s a combination of heavy soil build-up and an ineffective approach to cleaning and maintenance. Such was the case with this heavily soiled Quarry tiled hallway floor in Bedford.

A further problem was that the tiles were very pitted and at some point, in the past they had been filled with grout, additionally, when I took a closer inspection of tiles, I established that there was a wax sealer present on the floor that has bend topped up from time to time – without the tiles being deep cleaned. This has caused an accumulation of soil trapped between multiple layers of wax. The result? Extremely dull and unattractive Quarry tiles that the customer was desperate to get back to looking their best.

Quarry tiles before cleaning Bedford

Cleaning a Very Dull and Dirty Quarry Tiled Hallway

My first course of action was to vacuum the floor thoroughly to remove any small quantities of grit or loose debris. I then masked up the carpet and radiator to protect them before mixing up a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean mixed with hot water. This was then applied to the surface of the floor in small areas of three square metres each. The high alkaline cleaning product was left to dwell for a short period before I agitated the tiles with a black stripping pad to remove the heavy soil. The resulting cleaning slurry was extracted with a wet vax machine.

This cleaning process was repeated throughout the entire area. Inaccessible places, such as under the radiator and stairs, were manually cleaned using hand brushes. I then dried the floor with a fan for 30 minutes, before mopping on a solution of the acid-based Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up to neutralise the Pro Clean and removing the dirt on the grout lines with the hand brushes.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Hallway

The area was allowed to dry completely overnight. I returned the following day and applied two different types of sealer in two separate test areas so the customer could get a better idea of the final effect that would be achieved.

The customer could’ve opted for Tile Doctor Seal and Go, which is a topical sealer that provides a high quality, durable low-sheen finish. However, after further discussion, it was decided that the best product would be Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is an impregnating sealer that penetrates the tiles and provides a more natural finish, emphasising the colours in the stone.

Quarry tiles after cleaning and sealing Bedford
As you can see from the photos above, a deep clean and fresh seal truly worked wonders for these Quarry tiles. Both myself and the customer were very happy with the outcome of the work.

Deep Cleaning of Dirty and Dull Quarry Tiled Hallway in Bedfordshire

Very Old Quarry Fireplace Deep Cleaned and Sealed in Bedford

The oldest properties often have the most interesting tiled features and this Quarry Tiled Fireplace was a fine example. The customer lived in a quaint old cottage just outside the main town centre of Bedford and contacted us about restoring their fantastic Quarry tiled fireplace. While the customer knew that the cottage itself was over 200 years old, they had no idea whether or not the fireplace is an original feature.

However, it’s safe to say that the fireplace is very old in its own right, and that it had been a long time since it had experienced any kind of professional maintenance. It goes without saying that as any kind of tiles get older they will need more frequent care to keep them looking at their best. Here, the Quarry tiles desperately needed cleaning up as they were covered in old candle wax and what looked to be several years’ worth of general dirt. This had significant dulled the natural shades in the stone, leaving it looking lifeless and unappealing. The tiles would also require a fresh seal to ensure protection against muck in the future, and to help restore the colour to the stone.

Quarry Tiled Fireplace before cleaning and sealing Bedford

Cleaning an Old Quarry Tiled Fireplace

Firstly, I applied Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel tile cleaner, which is particularly effective on tricky areas as being in a gel form it adheres better to non-horizontal areas. It was left it to dwell on the tiles for around twenty minutes so it could penetrate into the pores and get to work lifting out and dissolving the dirt that had been trapped in there over the years . Oxy-Gel is suitable for use on a wide range of natural stone tiles, including Quarry, Travertine and Slate. In this situation it cut through and removed most of the candlewax quite easily, and softened the stubborn residue to a point where I could easily remove the rest manually with handheld scrappers.

I then left area it to dry, with an air mover installed to reduce drying time. The advantage of using a gel product is that uses a smaller amount of moisture than a standard liquid cleaner, and therefore allows the tile to dry – and to be sealed – quicker; and in this case we were able to seal the same day where-as normally we would have to wait until the next day.

Sealing an Old Quarry Tiled Fireplace

Once the tiles were completely dry, I sealed the fireplace with Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that fills the pores of the stone to prevent dirt and general muck from becoming ingrained, making the tiles much easier to keep clean in the long-term.

The added benefit of Colour Grow is that – as its name suggests – it emphasises the natural colours in the stone. This was something that the Quarry fireplace was desperately in need of, and the Colour a Grow quickly got the job done!

Quarry Tiled Fireplace after cleaning and sealing Bedford
The customer was very pleased with the finished results. The clean removed years’ worth of muck, while the fresh seal brought out the natural beauty in the Quarry tiles and, at the same time, will protect the tiles on future candle-lit evenings.

Professional Restoration of an old and Dirty Quarry Tiled Fireplace in Bedford

Newly Laid Quarry Tiled Terrace Treated for Grout Haze in Dunstable

This customer had a fantastic rough heather set Quarry tiled terrace laid on the exterior of their property in Dunstable. While from a distance the tiles appeared to be in quite good condition, there was one very obvious problem. The customer, following the advice of the retailer – but against best practice and the advice of the installers – opted to use a polymer-based white grout. To worsen the problem, the tiles were also not sealed before grouting, resulting in a blotchy white appearance once dried.

Removing Grout Haze from Quarry Tiles Dunstable
This was a big problem, and needless to say the customer was eager to set the situation right. The customer contacted me and I travelled to the property to see what could be done. Although it was virtually impossible to remove the problem entirely, I was able to eliminate most of it and significantly improve the condition of the tiles. Here’s how I did it:

Removing Grout Haze from Quarry Tiles Dunstable

Cleaning Badly Stained Quarry Tiles

Removing the blotchy white stains required the use of a number of different cleaning products, combined with lots of rinsing with clean water.

My initial attempts involved firstly the application of Tile Doctor Remove and Go, before scrubbing it into the tiles. Remove and Go is a multi-purpose product that is often used to break down old sealers, adhesives and synthetic finishes, however, in this case it served to draw out the ingrained white stains.

I followed this up with an application of Tile Doctor Acid Gel, which is a blend of Phosphoric and Hydrochloric acids in gel form used to treat grout smears and efflorescence. It is not recommended for use on acid sensitive stone such as Limestone and Marble as it can cause etching, but here it helped make some good progress with cleaning the Quarry tiles.

Removing Grout Haze from Quarry Tiles Dunstable
Even after a long period of cleaning, some of the particularly ingrained polymer refused to budge. My best option was to use Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU, which utilises nano-sized cleaning particles to penetrate deep into the stone to eliminate stubborn marks. The product was brushed into the Quarry tiles in combination with a steamer, achieving some good results. We then brought in a spinning tool fitted to our truck-mounted cleaning machine to thoroughly rinse the tiles, leaving them much improved.

Removing Grout Haze from Quarry Tiles Dunstable
We used air movers to dry the terrace off quickly in order to see the final
result, which the customer was very pleased with, especially considering the extent of the staining. We then advised the client to wait until June or July to give the terrace another clean, along with a fresh seal using Tile Doctor Colour Grow, a colour enhancing, impregnating sealer which will improve the appearance even further.

Dealing with Grout Haze on a Quarry Tiled Terrace in Bedfordshire

Black and Red Quarry Tiled Ffloor Restored in Riseley

Details below of a restorative clean and seal that I recently completed on a Quarry tiled hallway at a house in the small village of Riseley, North Bedfordshire.

The floor was a mix of fantastic black and red tiles; however, it had lost its character after a long period without professional maintenance. My client commissioned me to strip off the old sealer from the floor and replace it, but not before providing a thorough clean, including tackling some adhesive staining and inherent grout haze.

Red and Black Quarry Tiles Riseley before cleaning

Cleaning a Quarry tiled floor

The first task involved mixing our high alkaline cleaner, known as Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, with water to form a strong solution. The solution was applied to the tiled floor and left to dwell for a short period. This dwelling time allows for the Pro-Clean to seep into the stone to get underneath the ingrained dirt and lift it out. Pro-Clean also contains stripping properties, and thus helped to break down the old (and now ineffectual) sealer.

After completing this initial clean I rinsed the floor using a standard mop and bucket method. With the old sealer removed, it became evident that there was also plaster residue marking the tiles, as well as inherent grout haze on the surface of the tile probably from the original installation. To tack these problems I used Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up, which is an acid-based cleaner that dissolves the adhesive and the grout. Being an acid you have to be careful and ensure the floor is rinsed thoroughly after use and if you’re considering using this product yourself read the label and make sure you use the right protective equipment.

Sealing a Quarry tiled floor

After the floor was thoroughly rinsed with water it was dried as much as possible using a wet vacuum which literally sucks the water off the floor. The floor was then left to dry for four days, with the help of several air movers. By the time I returned to the house, the floor was completely dry and ready to take the seal.

I opted to use a combination of sealers, including one coat of our colour enhancing, impregnating sealer, known as Colour Grow, followed by three coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go to provide a truly robust and aesthetically pleasing surface seal.

Red and Black Quarry Tiles Riseley after cleaning
The photographs demonstrate the finished results better than words can and I think you will agree the floor is quite transformed.

Resolving Quarry Tiled Flooring issues in Bedfordshire

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Resealed in Cople

This was an unusual request in that this customer, in the small Bedfordshire village of Cople, had her Kitchen Quarry tiled floor cleaned and sealed six months earlier by another company. The sealer had come off and it soon became evident that after the work had been carried out the client was ill advised as to the correct maintenance of her floor. The cleaning product left by the previous company was totally unsuitable and over the course of six months she had managed in fact to slowly strip the sealer off of the tiles.

I soon realised the problem and advised that the only solution would be to strip any remaining sealer off the floor and re-seal, it’s generally not good practice to apply a different sealer on top of an existing sealer as there can be compatibility issues and the floor may look different in places where there are more layers of seal.

Quarry tiles in Cople Before Cleaning Quarry tiles in Cople Before Cleaning

Cleaning and Stripping Quarry Tiles

I used a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to strip any remaining sealer off the tiles and clean them in the process, this involves spreading the solution over the tiles, allow it to dwell and soak in and then scrubbing the solution into the floor using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The floor was then rinsed with water applied with a mop and bucket and the soiled water extracted using a wet vacuum. One the floor was clean I noticed there was evidence of concrete dust and grout haze on the surface of the tiles from when they were installed so I applied a another Tile Doctor product called Grout Clean-up to remove it, again the floor was thoroughly rinsed with water which was extracted the floor dried using air movers.

Sealing Quarry Tiles

Tiled floors need to be dry before sealing and so I left this floor for four days to allow enough time for it to thoroughly dry out before returning to seal it. Choice of sealer for this floor was four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water based sealer so it doesn’t leave a smell and additionally adds a nice subtle shine to the floor. The difference was transformational as the sealer really does bring out the best in the quarry tiles.

Before leaving we have provided the customer a bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which is the correct cleaning agent to maintain a sealed floor. It has a neutral PH formula so it won’t erode the sealer like many of the acidic floor cleaning products you find in the supermarket which are really only meant for use on Vinyl or Ceramic tiles.

Quarry tiles in Cople After Cleaning Quarry tiles in Cople After Cleaning


Resealing Quarry Tiles in a Bedfordshire Kitchen

Neglected Quarry Tiled Floor Restoration in Langford

This was a very interesting job at a house in the town of Langford in Bedfordshire which used to be an old butchers shop which had been converted for residential use. One aspect of the butcher’s shop that my client wanted to keep for the new house was an extremely worn and dirty Quarry tiled floor. The floor had experienced a high amount of traffic in the past, evidenced by the fact that in some areas the top layer of the tiles had been lost and to make matters worse the floor had been covered in a layer of concrete paint which would need removing.

Although the floor had fallen into a serious state of neglect, I was confident that with the right products and techniques I would be able to restore the appearance of the tiles.

Quarry Tiles Before Restoration in Langford

Cleaning Old Quarry tiles

My first step in the restoration was to apply a solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, a high alkaline cleaner, to the floor, leaving it to dwell for roughly twenty minutes. I then agitated the solution into the tile using a combination of scrubbing pads and brushes, in an attempt to remove as much of the dirt and muck as possible. This served more as an initial rinse to prepare the floor for a much deeper clean later on in the process.

Having rinsed the tiles, I installed air movers to help the floor dry quickly. This allowed me to see which areas of the floor required some more specific cleaning attention. The next step was to give the floor an acid rinse using Tile Doctor Tile and Grout Clean-Up. This step was necessary to tackle the salt deposits which were coming up through the tile and grout; this process is more commonly known as efflorescence and is usually due to a lack of damp proofing under the floor which is not surprising given the age of the floor.

Quarry Tiles Before Restoration in Langford
I soon realised that the tiles were still partly shielded by a plastic covering which had been in place for upwards of forty years. I used a steamer to loosen the covering to the point that I could then remove it by hand. Once all of the Quarry tiles were finally exposed I came across a lot of stubborn marks along and, unsurprisingly, decade’s worth of dirt. To give the tiles a thorough clean I used Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU which stands for Heavy Build-Up cleaner. As the name suggests, this is a product which uses tiny abrasive particles to penetrate deep into the pores of the tile to lift out the dirt normal cleaning products simply can’t reach, enabling the removal of tough dirt and stains.

Sealing Quarry tiles

After completing the clean I left the house for several days to allow the floor to dry assisted by a number of air movers and dehumidifiers that I left at the property to speed up the drying process. When I returned to the house, I ran damp tests to double check that the tiles were completely dry. This was important as any excess moisture has the potential to damage the performance of the sealer.

To seal the floor I used a combination of Tile Doctor Colour Grow (one coat) and Seal & Go (six coats). This provided a robust surface seal and also accentuated the natural shades in the Quarry tiles.

Quarry Tiles After Restoration in Langford Quarry Tiles After Restoration in Langford

As you can see from the photographs, although not perfect due to its history, this was quite a transformation and I was happy to bring yet another old floor full of character back into daily use; original features are also very popular these days so I’m sure this has added a lot of value to the property.

Old Butchers Shop Quarry Tiles Restored in Bedfordshire

Deeping Cleaning Quarry Tiles Floor in Bedford

This floor was another case of builders failing to protect the Quarry Tiled Floor when they were working at this house in Bedford, this is certainly not un-typical of plasters considering the number of messy floors we have had to clean up previously. I guess in some ways we shouldn’t complain as they are keeping us busy but it was my floor I would be quite upset.

Deep Cleaning Quarry Tiles

To get rid of the plaster I applied a solution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up which is an acid based product designed to remove grout from the surface of tiles but works equally well on cement, plaster and other mineral deposits such as effloresce and rust. Working in sections the Grout Clean-up was applied, scrubbed in and then washed off, being an acid it’s not advised to leave it on the tile for too long.

Once the plaster was dealt with the whole floor including the tiles and grout was given a good clean using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a strong alkaline product that’s safe to use on Tile, Stone and Grout. For best results leave it to soak into the tile for twenty minutes before giving the tiles a good scrub.

Once the tiles were clean the floor was given a good rinse with clean water to remove any remaining chemical and neutralise the floor before sealing; a wet vacuum was used to remove as much water from the floor as possible so it could dry faster.

Deep Cleaning Quarry Tiles in Bedford Before Deep Cleaning Quarry Tiles in Bedford After

Sealing Quarry Tiles

We left the floor to dry overnight and came back the next day to seal it using four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go sealer which adds a nice sheen to the floor as well as providing long term stain protection. The photographs above show the transformation of the floor and certainly the customer was very happy with the result.

Removing Plaster from Quarry Tiles in Bedfordshire

Victorian Quarry Tiled Floor Refreshed in Bedford

This was a very straightforward request to clean and seal an old Quarry tiled floor that dated back to the Victorian era. The tiles didn’t appear to have any sealer or other treatment applied, it could be if there was anything it had worn off a long time before.

Cleaning Old Quarry Tiles

A strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean was applied to the floor and left to soak into the tile for around twenty minutes before being worked into the floor using a rotary floor scrubber fitted with a black pad. Pro-Clean is a strong alkaline product so unlike acid based cleaners it’s safe to use on any tile and stone which given the age of these tiles was quite an important consideration.

Pro-Clean was also used along the grout lines which were scrubbed by hand using a stiff brush. The floor was then rinsed with clean water which was removed using a wet vacuum and the whole process repeated until we were happy that the tile and grout was clean.

This process took most of the day and before we left the floor was given a thorough rinse with clean water to remove any trace of Pro-Clean as this can upset sealing later on.

Victorian Quarry Tiles Bedford before cleaning Victorian Quarry Tiles Bedford after cleaning and sealing

Sealing Quarry Tiles

The floor was left to dry overnight and when we came back the next day we were able to start the sealing process. For sealing a combination of sealers was used starting with a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow; Colour Grow is a impregnating sealer that fills the pores in the tile in order to repel any contaminates that can stain the floor, it also as its name suggests brings out the colour in the tile. Once this had dried a coat of Tile Doctor Seal and Go was applied which is a topical sealer that adds a nice sheen to the floor. This proved to be a great combination and the quarry tiles looked really nice when they were finished in fact the customer was so surprised by the result we had managed to achieve.

Cleaning old Victorian Quarry Tiles in Bedford

Dirty Quarry Tiled Floor in Hitchin

We were asked to work our magic on these dirty Quarry tiles at a residence in the historic town of Hitchin. The tiles had been sealed on a number of occasions but had not been deep cleaned beforehand which effectively trapped the dirt under the sealer making it difficult to get clean.

Quarry Tiles in Hitchen Before Cleaning

Stripping Quarry Tiles

To get them clean the coatings on the surface of the Quarry tile had to be stripped off back to the original surface. To do this we mixed a dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go 50/50 with NanoTech UltraClean and applied it to the floor leaving it to soak in to the tile for around 20 minutes before scrubbing it in with a wire brush. Remove and Go is as its name suggests is a coatings remover which is safe to use on Tile and Stone and is designed to remove most products from, this is assisted by the addition of NanoTech UltraClean which adds tiny abrasive particles into the solution making it more effective. The floor was then scrubbed using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad and the grout lines scrubbed by hand using a stiff brush. The floor was then rinsed with water which was removed using a wet vacuum. The process was then repeated until we were happy that the tile and grout was clean and that the old sealer had been removed, again the floor down and being the last time washed down thoroughly as traces of cleaning products can upset sealers later on.

Sealing Quarry Tiles

Once happy with the floor and it had time to dry off it was sealed with four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go sealer adds a nice sheen to the floor as well as adding long term stain protection; needless to say the customer was very happy with the results.

Quarry Tiles in Hitchen After Cleaning and Sealing

Resolving Quarry Tile Cleaning problems in Hitchin

Takeaway Kitchen Quarry Tiles Cleaned Near Hockliffe

The Quarry tiles shown below were installed in the kitchen of a take away restaurant near Hockliffe, as you can see they were quite tarnished and not looking their best due to general wear and tear and the use of strong cleaning products; an inspection was also due and the proprietor was concerned it would be an issue.

Cleaning Quarry Tiles at Hockliffe Takeaway Before

Cleaning Quarry Tiles

To clean the floor tile and grout I decided to apply a strong combination of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed 50/50 with NanoTech Ultra Clean and then diluted with water. This combination creates a powerful cleaning product containing nano sized abrasive particles that can penetrate deep into the dirt. The cleaning solution was left to dwell on the surface of the tile for twenty minutes before scrubbing with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad and then washed off with a Rotovac machine which applies and removes hot water at high pressure effectively cleaning the tile and grout and rinsing then removing the water at the same time.

Cleaning Quarry Tiles at Hockliffe Takeaway After

Sealing Quarry Tiles

Once we were happy with the Quarry tile and grout was clean we left the floor to dry assisted with air blowers to speed up the process. It wasn’t long before it had dried and we were then able to the Tile and Grout using Tile Doctor High Shine sealer which should protect the floor for at least three years given the high traffic, this is of course as long as they use the correct cleaning products as acidic products will reduce the life of a sealer. The kitchen was now ready for inspection where it should pass with flying colours.

Quarry Tiled Take Away Kitchen Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Hockliffe.

Tired Quarry Tiled Floor in Dunstable School Refurbished

Before and after photograph below of a Quarry Tiled floor at a school in Dunstable that was in such a bad state we had to apply grout colourant to the floor. Quarry tiles are fairly indestructible so ideal for use in schools etc. where they will see a lot of foot traffic and abuse, having said that they will fade with wear over time and naturally the grout can become ingrained with dirt if not protected.

Cleaning Quarry Tiles

It had been a while since the Quarry Tiles and Grout had been given a really deep clean to so we mixed a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean 50/50 with NanoTech UltraClean and applied it to the floor and left to soak in for around 10 minutes; Pro-Clean is a multipurpose alkaline cleaning product designed specifically for cleaning tile and stone and NanoTech UltraClean adds tiny abrasive particles into the solution to make a more effective cleaner. The floor was then scrubbed using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad and the grout lines scrubbed by hand using a stiff brush. The floor was then rinsed thoroughly with water which was removed using a wet vacuum, once the Quarry tiles were dry it was possible to spot the areas in need of further attention and these were scrubbed by hand together with more of the Pro-Clean/UltraClean mix and a steamer. At this stage it became apparent that that although the grout had improved it was too far gone and never going to make the grade and either needed to re-done or as per our suggestion re-coloured.

Grout Colouring

For floor grout we always recommend the use of an epoxy grout colouring product which not only completely covers the grout making it look new again but also provides a permanent barrier that prevents the grout from staining in future. They can be quite time consuming to apply however especially if you have a small format Quarry tile with lots of grouting.

Sealing Quarry Tiles

Once happy with the floor and it had time to dry off it was sealed with six coats of Tile Doctor High Shine Sealer which will provide future surface stain protection and also leaves a nice deep shine on the floor. It took a long time but I think you will agree from the before and after photograph below we managed quite a transformation.


Restoring Quarry Tiles at a School in Dunstable

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