Quarry Tile Cleaning

Cleaning Candle Wax Staining from Fireplace Quarry Tiles

A lady from Rochdale contacted us with what she had thought was irreparable damage to the Quarry tiles surrounding her brick fireplace. They used to have a lovely glossy finish but due to small accident with candle wax that happened whilst removing the candle the were now dull and patchy. The fireplace and tiles were 17 years old and as far as the customer was aware, they had never been sealed in the past.

Wax Damaged Quarry Tiled Fireplace Surround Before Cleaning Rochdale

Unsure of how to resolve the problem they decided to give Tile Doctor a call. As it turns out they had also called their insurance company and were considering replacing the whole fireplace if no one could help resolve it! But the brick fireplace suited the design of the house which also had lovely wooden beams in the same room so that was not their first choice. They certainly did not want the disruption of replacing it.

Wax Damaged Quarry Tiled Fireplace Surround During Cleaning Rochdale

I went over to survey the tiles and carried out a small patch test, the test went well, and I was confident that the tiles could be restored to their former glory! Happy and relieved with the results the customer booked me in to complete the work.

Cleaning Candle Wax from a Quarry Tiled Fireplace

First, we ensured the area around the fireplace was covered and taped up, to ensure no spills onto the nearby carpet and surrounding area. To clean the quarry tiles and remove the candle wax I applied undiluted Tile Doctor Remove and Go which was left to dwell for fifteen minutes before being scrubbed in.

The space around the fireplace was tight so to scrub the product into the tile I used a small six-inch black scrubbing pad fitted to a hand buffer. The soil was extracted with our wet vacuum and then the tiles rinsed with water to ensure the mess was kept to a minimum.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Fireplace

Normally I would wait for the tiles to dry naturally overnight before sealing, however given the small size of the area involved I was able to dry it using some gentle warmth from a heat gun. This meant I would be able to complete the job in the same day thus saving time and expense for the customer.

To seal the Quarry tiles, I applied a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, which gives a nice durable low sheen that works well on Quarry tiles. Seal and Go is also water based so it doesn’t give off a smell as it dries.

My customer was very happy with the results which were astonishing! “It’s like having a whole new brick installation ” they explained after we finished! Further they left the following comment on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

“After trying to claim on my “accidental” house insurance with an extortionate policy excess, I contacted the Tile Doctor. My tiles were renovated to an excellent standard. The lady who renovated the tiles represented the company in a professional way and was very respectful of my home and the work carried out far exceeded my expectations. My fireplace tiles look brand new. I would definitely recommend this company. Donna B, Rochdale”

Wax Damaged Quarry Tiled Fireplace Surround After Cleaning Rochdale

 

Professional Restoration of a Quarry Tiled Fireplace in South Lancashire

Lime Mortar Grout Renovated in 300 Year-Old Cottage Bury

We received an unusual request from the owner of an old cottage in Bury who was unhappy with the state of the grouting in their Kitchen. The customer advised us that the floor was very old and originally grouted with a lime mortar also that they had been in touch with several companies before contacting us including tilers and masons and none of them was interested.

Intrigued I paid the customer a visit to survey the floor and work out the best way to renovate the grout. The cottage turned out to be three hundred years old and the owner wanted to keep the Quarry tiled floor which was laid in a Herringbone pattern and still in good condition as a period feature as it complemented the rustic look of the cottage.

Lime Mortar Grout Before Restoration Bury Cottage

After testing the floor, I was able to confirm it was indeed Lime Mortar which was historically used on walls and natural stone floors until the 19th century when it was replaced by cement. The mortar was now grubby and had shrunk in places where it had then been topped up with conventual grout resulting in a patchy appearance.

Lime Mortar Grout Before Restoration Bury Cottage

I felt simply cleaning the grout wouldn’t resolve the irregular look so my suggestion was to use a grout colourant that would sit on the surface of the grout and provide a uniform appearance. I must point out that the Grout Colourants used by Tile Doctor are not like grout pens you see on home make over shows, they are much more effective.

Applying a Grout Colourant to Lime Mortar

Happy to go with my recommendation I set about preparing and cleaning the Quarry tile and mortar with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. This is sprayed onto the floor and then scrubbed in with a buffing machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. This action turns the cleaning solution into a slurry as the dirt is lifted out of the floor which is then rinsed off with water and extracted with a wet vacuum. Tile Doctor do sell a Grout Colourant Pre-Treater product that has been especially designed for this purpose however it’s slightly acidic and so not something I would recommend for use on lime mortar.

Lime Mortar Grout During Cleaning Bury Cottage

Once the floor had dried, I started with the grout colouring which is painted onto the surface with a small brush. Two thin coats of natural grey colourant were applied and any excess that came into contact with the quarry tile was quickly wiped off with a cloth. The product dries within two hours but takes twenty-four hours to fully harden.

Lime Mortar Grout After Restoration Bury Cottage

I think you will agree the results speak for themselves and made the area look nearly new! My client was certainly impressed and left the following feedback which says it all:

Kamila was professional, courteous and very hard working. I am delighted by the job done on a very old difficult tiled floor. I would not hesitate to use Tile Doctor again or in recommending them to a friend. – Mrs Law, Bury

 

Lime Mortar Floor Grout Renovated in Greater Manchester

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South Lancashire Tile Doctor

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