Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Hidden Under Screed Restored in Mobberley

We were asked to take a look at restoring a Red and Black Quarry tiled kitchen floor that at some time in the past had been covered in a floor levelling screed. The house was in the old village of Mobberly on the East side of Cheshire and was undergoing significant renovation works. The compound was up to one inch thick in places and underneath the screen was a lovely red and black quarry tiled floor that was just about visible in the thinner parts of the screed. The owner was keen to understand if they could be restored.

After inspecting the floor, I offered to do a test clean and given the state of the floor decided to tackle it with a strong batch of tile doctor remove and go mixed 50/50 with Tile Doctor HBU Remover. This was applied to the floor, left to soak for ten minutes and then scrubbed in. The process was successful and demonstrated the screed could be removed and tiles cleaned and so we were booked into to do the job a couple of weeks later.

Red and Black Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Covered in Screed Test Clean in Mobberly

Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Floor Hidden Under Screed

On our return to the property I took a couple of photographs before we began removing the screed.

Red and Black Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Covered in Screed Before Cleaning in Mobberly Red and Black Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Covered in Screed Before Cleaning in Mobberly

I then setup about removing the screed starting with the application of a fresh batch of Tile Doctor Remove and Go mixed 50:50 with HBU Remover. HBU stands for Heavy Build-Up and therefore just the thing for this floor. The solution was applied to the floor and left to soak in for some time. This had the action of softening the floor levelling screed and we were able to remove it using a combination of wallpaper steamer and scrapers taking care not to scratch the quarry tiles. In some of the more stubborn areas the floor was covered in a plastic sheet and the solution left to sweat into the screed overnight to soften it further.

Red and Black Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Covered in Screed During Cleaning in Mobberly Red and Black Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Covered in Screed During Cleaning in Mobberly

When all the screed was removed we washed the tile and grout down with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean worked in with a rotary buffing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. This brought out the ingrained dirt which was rinsed away with water and then extracted off the floor using a wet vacuum.

With the screed removed it revealed a couple of areas where the floor tiles had become lose and would need rebuilding, both areas were near doorways so I suspect past home improvement work had cause the tiles to lift.

Red and Black Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Showing Damaged Tile Section in Mobberly Red and Black Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Showing Damaged Tile Section in Mobberly

We were able to re-use all of the tiles and after rebuilding the subfloor they were laid and grouted in.

Red and Black Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Showing Repaired Tile Section in Mobberly Red and Black Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Showing Repaired Tile Section in Mobberly

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Floor

With the floor now clean and lose tiles re-laid the next day we moved onto to the final job of sealing the Quarry tiles. First checking to ensure the floor was dry we then proceeded to apply three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that leaves a matt effect and brings out the colour in the tile.

Red and Black Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor After Cleaning and Sealing in Mobberly

It was a long job spread over quite a few days but it was well worth the effort. The costumer couldn’t believe the transformation that had taken place to the floor.

Red and Black Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor After Cleaning and Sealing in Mobberly

 
 

Professional Quarry Tiled Floor Restoration in Mobberley

Dull Sandstone Kitchen Tiles Revitalised in Bramhall

Bramhall is an affluent area of East Cheshire and home to some truly fantastic properties with equally impressive floors. I recently had the pleasure of visiting one of these properties to attend to a Sandstone tiled kitchen that was looking past its best.

Sandstone has been used as a building material since ancient times, with some famous examples of Sandstone architecture being the Strasbourg Cathedral in Strasbourg, France, and Angkor Wat in Cambodia.

Of course, Sandstone is also commonly used for paving and tiled floors. It is typically very porous, meaning that dirt and stains can easily become ingrained if the stone is not taken care of correctly. The wonderful natural shades in the Sandstone quickly lose their character and, as was the case with this floor, the tiles become dull and unappealing.

Sandstone Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Bramhall Sandstone Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Bramhall

Cleaning Dirty and Dull Sandstone Kitchen Tiles

To clean this floor, I first mixed a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go, which is multi-purpose stripper and cleaner. The product strips away any old sealer on the tiles and draws out ingrained dirt, stains and heavy grease build-up. It always provides consistent results and it can be used it on all kinds of tile, stone and grout to great effect.

I applied the product and left it to soak for roughly 20 minutes to allow time to penetrate the pores of the stone and reach the deeply embedded dirt. Next, I scrubbed the floor using a specialised buffing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad to get the stone clean. The resulting dirty cleaning slurry was quickly soaked up using a wet vacuum and after rinsing with water I used the wet vacuum again to get the floor as dry as possible before leaving for the day and allowing the floor to dry off fully overnight.

Sandstone Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Bramhall

Sealing Sandstone Kitchen Tiles

Upon returning to the property the following day, I tested the floor with a damp meter, checking for any excess moisture that could prevent me from sealing the stone.

Thankfully the floor proved dry and I could seal the floor using two different types of sealer. First, I applied a coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is an impregnating sealer designed to fill the pores of the tiles to block ingrained dirt, as well as to enhance the natural colours in the stone.

By itself, Colour Grow provides a natural-looking matte finish, but in this instance the customer had requested a low-sheen finish, so I also applied Tile Doctor Seal and Go. Seal and Go is a water-based acrylic sealer which provides both a stain resistant surface seal and a durable low-sheen finish.

Sandstone Kitchen Floor After Sealing Bramhall Sandstone Kitchen Floor After Sealing Bramhall

Looking at the before and after photos, you can see the floor underwent a real transformation. The deep clean really restored the condition of the Sandstone, while the addition of robust sealers will ensure that it is easy for the customer to keep clean in the long term. Needless to say, the customer was really pleased with the result!
 
 

Professional Restoration of a Sandstone Tiled Floor in Cheshire

Colourful Terrazzo Tiles Cleaned and Sealed in Bosley

This post is from the small Cheshire village of Bosley where I had received an enquiry from the owner of the old station master’s house. The house was quite old and the owner had been modernising it whilst keeping many of the original features. This includes some fantastic Terrazzo kitchen tiles which unfortunately were not looking their best due to an abundance of ingrained dirt. The floor was well overdue to be restored by a professional, so we were called in to get the job done.

Terrazzo Kitchen Tiles Before Cleaning in Bosley Cheshire

Terrazzo is a very hard wearing and affordable material that was quite common in many public buildings so I suspect this floor was original.

Terrazzo Kitchen Tiles Before Cleaning in Bosley Cheshire

Burnishing a Terrazzo Tiled Floor

Terrazzo is very hard wearing so we find the best method to clean them is to treat them like a Marble or Travertine and use a process we have developed called ‘burnishing’. This process cleans and polishes the tiles using a system of four 17″ diamond-encrusted burnishing pads of varying grits in conjunction with a little water as lubrication.

We started by applying the Coarse 400 grit pad to grind away the stubborn ingrained dirt, a little water is used to lubricate and then the floor is rinsed to remove the slurry that is generated. We then worked our way through the system to a Medium 800 grit pad, Fine 1500 grit pad and finally a Very Fine 3000 grit pad each one applied in the same way.

This process carefully refines the polish of the surface of the tiles, restoring shine and lustre while ridding the stone of ingrained dirt. Once the burnishing had been completed, we gave the floor a thorough rinse to remove dirty water and soil residue the floor. It was then left to dry overnight.

Sealing a Terrazzo Tiled Floor

The floor had dried by the next day, so the tiles were ready to receive a fresh seal to protect against ingrained dirt and make them easier to keep clean in the future.

Our choice of sealer for this floor was Tile Doctor Colour Grow, it’s an impregnating sealer that’s specially formulated to enhance the natural colours in the tiles. As an impregnating sealer, Colour Grow fills the pores in the stone to act as a barrier against muck.

Terrazzo Kitchen Tiles After Cleaning in Bosley Cheshire

Before we left the customer to enjoy their newly restored Terrazzo tiles, I made sure to use a rotary machine fitted with a white pad to gently buff the floor and make sure the finish was pristine.

Terrazzo Kitchen Tiles After Cleaning in Bosley Cheshire

 
 

Polishing Terrazzo Kitchen Floor Tiles in East Cheshire

Grubby, Unsealed Slate Tiles Revitalised in Lymm

One of the worst examples of bad tiling practice is to leave a newly installed floor unsealed and therefore unprotected. This is exactly the problem that had occurred at this property in Lymm, West Cheshire. A builder has installed a new Slate tiled floor in the kitchen of this property, but had neglected to seal it, leaning the tiles exposed to dirt, stains, and other general muck so they quickly lost their appearance. To be fair I could not fault the installation but the floor now looked terrible.

Slate Floor Before Clean and seal grout recolour in Lymm Cheshire

The property owner was keen to have the grubby Slate tiles refreshed and sealed, so she gave me a call. I agreed to complete the work and travelled to the property in Lymm – which incidentally means “place of running water” in Celtic – and was named after an ancient stream that ran through the village centre.

Cleaning a Grubby Slate Tiled Floor

Upon my arrival at the property I got straight to work, cleaning the tiles with our heavy duty remover/cleaner, Tile Doctor Remove and Go. This was applied to the floor, left to soak in and then scrubbed into the tile using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad to break down the layers of muck. Normally I would use Remove and Go to strip away old coatings and sealers, but here of course there was no sealer to begin with just a lot of ingrained dirt.

I also carefully scrubbed the grout lines with a special grout brush as I went along. The grout lines are often where dirt can be come easily ingrained, and it was no different here. The floor was then rinsed off with clean water, and any resulting could residue was quickly removed using a wet vac machine. Finally, the floor was left to dry off overnight.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Floor

The next day I returned to the property and started by checking that the floor was completely dry and ready to be sealed. This involved running damp tests to check for excess moisture. When satisfied, I proceeded to seal the floor with a single coat of our impregnating, colour enhancing sealer, Tile Doctor Colour Grow followed by two coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra, which gives the tiles a fantastic sheen finish.

Refreshing Grout with a Grout Colourant

The customer requested for the grout lines to be recoloured, but first I had to leave the property overnight to allow the sealer to dry. The next morning, I coloured the grout lines with white Tile Doctor Grout Colourant which is just a question of applying the colourant with a small brush and then wiping the excess off the tiles. It’s not a tough job but it can be quite fiddley and it does make a real difference to the appearance of the grout.

Slate Floor After Clean and seal grout recolour in Lymm Cheshire

As you can see from the After photograph the white Grout Colourant contrasted very nicely against the naturally dark Slate. The absence of a sealer had left the floor looking very dull but now, with a fresh, robust seal, it has been completely revitalised. My customer was exceptionally pleased with her hugely improved kitchen floor.
 
 

Post Installation Treatment of a Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor in Cheshire