This picture below is of an old Quarry Tiled floor at a pub in Chiselhampton called the Coach and Horses Inn which dates to the late 1600’s. The building is listed and has undergone a restoration work by the new owners who called me to look at the Quarry tiled floor.
I paid a visit to the site to survey the tiles and provide a quote, it was immediately clear the floor was in a very bad state, in fact the site foreman said to me “I don’t suppose you can do anything with this, we’re gonna cover it up”. I love a challenge and I carried out a test and found under the rubble, bitumen, plaster and paint was a lovely red floor. Well, they were a little surprised I took it on but I was delighted and got the job!
Restoring and Replacing Old Quarry Tiles
First, I went around with a floor scraper to remove as much of the dusty surface as I could.
I then covered the floor in Tile Doctor Acid Gel and scrubbed it with a 100-grit diamond pad, this revealed that patches of the floor had missing tiles and had been back filled with concrete. I managed to source some replacement tiles from a reclamation yard and replaced the concrete with the tiles. The floor was starting to look great again.
I then covered the floor with Tile Doctor Acid Gel for a second time, but this time scrubbed with a 200-grit diamond pad. The floor was then rinsed with water and a sponge so as not to get the floor too wet. Old floors like these don’t have a damp proof membrane so can take a long time to dry and excess moisture in the floor can increase problems such as efflorescence leaving salty deposits on the tiles. Using gel cleaning products and a minimal amount of water gets around this problem. The floor was then left to dry overnight.
Sealing Old Quarry Tiles
The next day I returned to seal the floor and started by confirming the tiles were dry by taking several moisture readings with a damp meter. All was well and I was able to move onto the next step.
To seal the floor, I used two coats of Tile Doctor X-Tra Seal which brought out the red colour. This is a breathable impregnating sealer; it has an oil-based resin formula so it provides great water repellence and stain protection properties. It’s perfect for internal areas which have moisture issues and can also be used externally.
The first coat revived the colour of the red quarry tiles and the second coat, added a nice subtle sheen. To finish I buffed the floor with a 1500-grit burnishing pad attached to a high-speed buffing machine which produced a natural looking sheen.
By the time I had finished the floor was completely transformed and looked great much to the surprise of the foreman. For aftercare I recommended the use of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner to ensure the floor remained in this condition for the long term. The product is pH neutral so mild enough to use daily without compromising the newly applied seal.