This client in Ruislip had discovered a Quarry tiled floor hidden under two layers of old (and now horrible) lino. Unhappy with the Lino she decided the best thing to do would be to investigate having the Quarry tiles restored. It is amazing how tastes change over the years and classic period floors are definitely making a comeback. Period features like these are quite sought after and can add a lot of value to a property, so restoring it was a wise decision and worth investigating.
On inspection the lino was well stuck to the tiles, it was clear it would take some time to lift and we wouldn’t know what to fully expect beneath until we started work. Non the less I gave her a quote for the work which she was happy to go ahead with and a date was booked in the diary.
Cleaning a Lino Covered Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor
We started by removing the lino using various methods such as scraping, cutting, and pulling always mindful not to cause any damage to the tiles underneath. Unfortunately, the lino had been secured in place with strong adhesive so once we had removed the lino we were left with a thick layer of glue and a thin concrete screed that had been used to level the floor.
To deal with this the floor was soaked in a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which was left to dwell for some time before being scrubbed in. We find doing this gives the product time to soften the compounds making it easier to remove. Hands scrapers were employed to scrape off the glue and again care was taken not to damage the tile. The process had to be repeated to get the glue off but overall, it did a good job dealing with the glue and cement.
Once the Quarry tiles had been exposed however it was clear more work was needed to clean them up. The main problem was cement residue, so I used a combination of Tile Doctor Acid Gel, steam and a needle gun to remove the rest of the screed from the floor.
Once all of the cement was removed the floor was given a thorough rinse with water, the soil was then extracted with a wet vacuum and once I was satisfied it was as clean as it could be the floor was left to dry out overnight.
Sealing a Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor
On the second day the floor was first checked for moisture using a damp meter, its not a good idea to add sealer to damp tiles as it will effect the result. I was satisfied the floor was dry and began the process of applying a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow tile sealer. This is a colour intensifying sealer that will protect the Quarry tiles by soaking into the pores and occupying the space thereby preventing contaminates becoming ingrained in the tile. Additionally, Colour Grow is a fully breathable sealer which is an important consideration when sealing old floor like these which need to breath. Being covered in Vinyl for many years many also have trapped moisture under the floor.
The newly revealed quarry tiled floor responded amazingly well to the restoration and once the sealer had drier the Quarry tiles had a nice sheen appearance without looking too shiny. It was a lot of work but well worth the effort and my customer was delighted. For aftercare I recommended cleaning the floor with Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner, this is pH balanced and will ensure the newly applied seal lasts and is not compromised.