Renovating a Quarry Tiled Hearth in Lindow End

We received an inquiry from a client in Lindow End near Wilmslow Golf Club in the Cheshire stockbroker belt. They were restoring their home and were unhappy with the state of the Quarry tiled hearth under their log burning stove. We arranged a site visit to survey the tile and grout and provide a quote for restoring the appearance. The village is situated in what’s known as the ‘Cheshire Golden Triangle’ which is one of the most sought-after places to live in the UK after London. As a result, we often find ourselves in this area working on some very nice properties, so it wasn’t long before we were able to call in and survey the tiles.

Quarry Tiled Hearth Before Grout Colouring Lindow End

As you can see from the pictures the hearth was quite dirty and the grouting had discoloured from years of use of the wood burner. The work here was a minor part of their restoration which had included significant building work. We agreed a price to carry out the work, which should only take a day and were able to return the following week.

Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Hearth

Our first job was to cover the newly sanded and sealed wooden floors with dust sheets, so we didn’t mark them as we came in the front door to the lounge. We always try and make as little mess as possible and we are always as careful as possible.

We then sprayed Tile Doctor Pro-Clean on the fire hearth tiles. This is a multi-purpose tile and grout cleaner which would make light work of the dirty tiles. The product was left to soak into the Quarry tile and grout for about twenty minutes before being scrubbed in. The hearth was a small area, so this was done by hand and then washed down with clean water.

The dirty residue was removed using a wet vacuum then the tiles where wiped down with a clean micro fibre cloth. We then dried off the tiles using a little encouragement with a heat gun to speed up the drying process. Speed drying the tile and grout in this manor would allow us to complete the work in one visit.

Applying Sandstone Grout Colourant

Once the tiles and grout lines were dry it was clear that years of dirt and soiling had stained the grout, so although no much cleaner it was clear more work would be needed to give the grout a fresh and consistent appearance.

To address this issue with the grout we selected to apply a Sandstone Tile Doctor Grout Colourant. This is applied with a small brush and brushed it into the grout lines. It is quite a precise job but any colourant that goes onto the tiles is removed with a baby wipe before it dries. This process really transformed the look of the grout, the colourant also forms a barrier over the grout which will protect it going forward and make it easier to clean.

Sealing Quarry Tiles

The Quarry tiles were then given a coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating colour enhancing sealer. This brings out the best in the quarry tiles and adds protection against future staining which will be needed given its location.

Quarry Tiled Hearth After Grout Colouring Lindow End

The client was very happy with the finish, in fact the hearth looked like it had been newly tiled, the impact of the recoloured grout was that striking. Sometimes the smallest jobs can be the most rewarding.

 

Professional Restoration of a Quarry Tiled Hearth in Cheshire

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Deep Cleaned in Goostrey

Pictured below is an old Quarry tiled floor in the Kitchen of a house in the small farming village of Goostrey. I went over to survey the floor at the request of the owner who felt it was overdue a deep clean and seal.

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Goostrey

It was a classic floor that suited the kitchen and its Aga well however I’m sure it could tell a story. There were patches of white efflorescent salts in front of the Aga itself and another section of floor where the tiles were a slightly darker shade. I assume some replacements were made in this section at some point in the past. Efflorescence occurs when damp in the subfloor rises through the tiles depositing white alkaline salts on the surface of the tile as the moisture evaporates. This is quite a common problem in older properties where no damp proof membrane is present under the floor and more so where you have a warm Aga heating the space and encouraging evaporation.

As per usual the floor was survey noting all the points above and then I carried out a test clean on a small part of the floor. This helps me understand what products and process I need to follow in order to renovate the floor and thereby product an accurate quote for the work. This went well and the owner was happy for us to process so we agreed a date to start the work which would take two days.

Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Floor

To clean the floor and strip off any remaining sealer I first created a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which was sprayed onto the tiles and then left to soak in. Remove and go is a powerful stripper and cleaner that is safe to use on tile and stone. The product is designed to loosen paint stains, adhesives and many types of urethane and wax coatings so they can be easily removed.

After thirty minutes the solution was scrubbed into the tile and grout using a weighted rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad and running at a slow speed. The resulting cleaning slurry was rinsed off with water and then extracted from the floor using a wet vacuum. I repeated this process until I was confident the tiles were clean and free of old sealer.

The next step was to neutralise the alkaline salts in the floor which could later lead to efflorescence by treating it to an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel. The gel was left to soak in for five minutes before washing it off using the wet vacuum to get the floor as dry as possible.

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor During Cleaning Goostrey

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Floor

The floor was left to dry out overnight and the next morning I returned to the property and took some readings from the floor with a damp meter. It’s important to check the floor is dry before sealing because any excess moisture can cloud the sealer and prevent it from doing its job properly.

Once satisfied that the floor was dry, I applied a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a breathable impregnating sealer that enhances colour and protects from within. I left the floor to dry for one hour and then followed up with four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which provides both a robust surface seal and a long-lasting low sheen finish. The new sealer transformed the tiles and gave the whole floor a uniform appearance

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Goostrey

The customer was very impressed with our work and asked if we can come back later to remove the white tiles in front of the Aga and replace with Quarry tiles to match the rest of the floor.

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Goostrey

 

Professional Quarry Tiled Floor Restoration in East Cheshire