Restoration

Original Quarry Tiled Floor Renovation at Lock Keepers Cottage in Northwich

The client from Northwich got in touch regarding their Quarry tiled floor which ran throughout the ground floor and was in a bit of a sorry mess after renovations. Clearly in need of some attention it required a deep clean and new sealer to restore the colour and its general appearance.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Renovation Northwich Quarry Tiled Floor Before Renovation Northwich

I went over to do a site visit and discovered that although the location was rather idyllic it was going to present a challenge due to its location; this former lock-keepers cottage on the River Weaver had no vehicle access to it. The nearest road was a quarter of a mile away across two narrow footbridges and then a towpath. In the end I worked out the best way to get our equipment to the cottage would be in two wheelbarrows!

None the less, were always up for a challenge so after survey the floor I worked out a price for the work which would take two days. Happy with my quote we agreed a date for the work to commence and I organised the wheelbarrows.

Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Ground Floor

We loaded up the wheelbarrows on the first day and set off across the footbridges to the cottage. We must have looked a little odd doing this as we got a few funny looks on the way. I guess with Tile Doctor you never know what the next job will be, but the effort was appreciated by the owner who had a nice coffee waiting when we arrived at the front door.

Quarry Tiled Floor Lock Keepers Cottage Northwich Quarry Tiled Floor Lock Keepers Cottage Northwich

We gave the floors a good brush removing the builders rubbish and plaster and then working in sections sprayed the Quarry tiles with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go. This product is a multipurpose alkaline stripper/cleaner specifically designed for use on tile and stone. It was left to dwell and soak into the dirt for twenty minutes before being mechanically scrubbed into the the tiles using a buffing machine fitted with a black stripping pad running at slow speed. This removed the dirt, plaster dust and traces of old red tile paint from the tiles. The slurry generated was then removed using an industrial wet vacuum.

After the initial clean the floor was inspected and any stubborn areas were retreated using a repeat of the cleaning process, hand scrubbing where needed. Finally, the floor was given an acid wash with a dilution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up to help further clean-up the tiles and neutralise any salts in tile which can be a problem on old floors like this that do not have a damp proof membrane. The floor was then left to dry over night before returning the next morning.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Ground Floor

The next day we returned and started by testing the floors with a damp meter to make sure the floor was dry and ready to seal; if the floor is damp the sealer will not cure properly and can result and in a patchy appearance.

The sealer which we selected to use on this floor was Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra which is a breathable low sheen sealer which will allow any moisture in the sub floor to rise unimpeded up through the tile and not become trapped underneath where it can spread to the walls and lead to rising damp.

After a few coats, the floor looked transformed, and our client was over the moon with their restored original floor which was a great period feature. Cleaning up took a short while as we had to transport all our equipment back in the wheelbarrows, but we took a moment to admire the lovely view on the way out.

 

Professional Restoration of a Quarry Tiled Ground Floor in West Cheshire

Renovating an Encaustic Tiled Hallway in Padgate near Warrington

This floor may look like it’s made from Victorian tiles but if you look closely you will see the floor is actually made of 72 Encaustic tiles each one containing a regular pattern. Encaustic tiles have more in common with Ceramic tiles than Victorian and are actually made using layers of cement where are often hand painted with patterns which and hydraulically pressed into the surface.

Encaustic Tiled Hallway Padgate Before Cleaning Encaustic Tiled Hallway Padgate Before Cleaning

The tiled floor was actually floor found hiding under the hallway carpet by the new owners of the house which is in Padgate near Warrington. Were not sure of the age of the tiles but suspect they may be 100 years old. Certainly, Padgate has many older houses so they could be although it’s mainly known for its large RAF base during the 2nd world war.

Encaustic tiles are porous and so need to be sealed to protect them from dirt becoming ingrained in the floor. However, hallway floors get a lot of foot traffic which over time wears down the sealer until it becomes so thin and patchy it’s no longer effective. As a result, you need to regularly top up the sealer or every three to four years it will need to be stripped off and reapplied.

Deep Cleaning the Encaustic Tiled Floor

You can see from the pictures that the tiles were in good physical shape but had accumulated a lot of dirt which was especially visible near the front door. As I mentioned earlier Encaustic tiles being made from cement and need to be sealed in order to protect them from dirt becoming in trapped in the pores of the tile.

Encaustic Tiled Hallway Padgate Before Cleaning

These tiles would need a deep penetrative clean to extract the dirt, so my first course of action was to apply a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean across the floor and left it to soak into the tiles for ten minutes. Pro-Clean is a very effective alkaline product that’s safe to use on tile, stone and grout and is designed for tile cleaning. It was then worked into the tile using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a floor buffing machine and the soiled cleaning solution extracted off the floor with a wet vacuum.

I then used a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pads to restore the surface or the encaustic tiles starting with the 400 and 800 grit pads and lubricated with a little water. This also dealt with other deposits on the floor left behind from the carpet. I rinsed the floor with water to remove the slurry and then finished the burnishing process by applying the 1500 and 3000 grit pads to really restore the shine to the tiles.

Sealing the Encaustic Tiled Hallway Floor

To seal the floor and grout I applied Tile Doctor colour grow which is an impregnating sealer that enhances colour and soaks into the pores of the encaustic tile to protect it from dirt becoming ingrained into the tile in future. Any sealer not taken up by the pores of the tile is rubbed off afterwards.

Encaustic Tiled Hallway Padgate After Cleaning Encaustic Tiled Hallway Padgate After Cleaning

The transformation was quite remarkable and as you can imagine my customer was over the moon when he returned from work.
 
 

Restoring Encaustic Hallway Floor Tiles in Cheshire

Renovating a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Grappenhall near Warrington

The village of Grappenhall has a long history that goes all the way back to the bronze age and as a result has all periods of architecture including quite a lot of houses with Victorian tiled hallways . This particular floor at a house in the village had been well looked after well by the owner but had now lost its vibrancy, was looking dull and now needed a deep clean and reseal.

Victorian tiles are porous and so need to be sealed to protect them from dirt becoming ingrained in the floor. However, hallway floors get a lot of foot traffic which over time wears down the sealer until it becomes so thin and patchy it’s no longer effective. As a result, you need to regularly top up the sealer or every three to four years it will need to be stripped off and reapplied.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Grapenhall Before Cleaning Victorian Tiled Hallway Grapenhall Before Cleaning

Deep Cleaning the Victorian Tiled Floor

I used clear plastic to protect the wood skirting boards from splashing and then gave the tiles a good scrub with a mixture of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and Remove and Go to deep clean and strip off any remaining sealers. The cleaning solution was left to soak in for ten minutes before scrubbing it in with a black pad fitted to a heavy buffing machine.

Once the whole area had been scrubbed I rinsed off with water which was then extracted using a wet vacuum. With the floor now clear I was able to inspect it to ensure all the previous sealer and ingrained dirt had been removed. Any areas with stubborn stains were spot treated by reapplying the cleaning concoction I used earlier before leaving the floor to dry off fully overnight.

Sealing the Victorian Tiled Floor

When I returned the next morning my first job was to test the tiles for damp using a damp meter. This is important as damp tiles won’t take the sealer as well as dry tiles, however this time everything was fine.

I then proceeded to seal the Victorian tiles with a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow to enhance the natural colours in the tile before applying a further seven coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which leaves a sheen finish and is ideal for Victorian tiles.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Grapenhall After Cleaning Victorian Tiled Hallway Grapenhall After Cleaning

The hallway now looks fantastic and vibrant and then new sealer will protect them from ingrained dirt making them easier to clean and keep them looking good for some time to come.
 
 

Restoring Victorian Hallway Floor Tiles in Cheshire

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