Removing Paint Spots from Black and Red Quarry Tiles in Knaresborough

This is an original Chequered Black and Red Quarry Tiled floor at a house in the historic town of Knaresborough. The town expanded rapidly during Victorian times and this floor dates to when the house was built over 100 years ago. The properties in the road are all a similar style and age so it’s likely that there are others with original Quarry tiled floors too.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Knaresbrorough

Before contacting us, the customer had already spent a week trying to clean the floor and was not happy with the result. He emailed over some pictures to highlight the problems which mainly related to paint splashing from decorating. I reviewed the pictures and subsequently made a site visit to survey the floor. It was clear that he had managed to make the floor cleaner, but more work was required. Confident l could improve upon his efforts we set a date for my return.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Knaresbrorough

Removing Paint Spots from a Quarry Tiled Floor

I spent the first morning carefully scraping off spots of plaster and candle wax that l knew my machine wouldn’t remove. Once that was done, I gave it a good scrub using a black pad fitted to a rotary buffer and using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean diluted with three parts water. The resulting slurry was then rinsed off the floor with water and extracted using a wet vacuum.

This was an old floor with no damp proof membrane, and I was concerned white efflorescence salts would appear as the floor dried out. To counter this I gave the floor an acid rinse with Tile Doctor Acid Gel to help neutralise and inhibit any alkaline salts. After scrubbing it into the floor with a deck brush I rinsed the acid off the floor and again extracted the waste using the wet vacuum. I took some damp meter readings at that point and found that surprisingly the floor was only showing a 20% moisture reading. I left the floor to dry out fully overnight and would check the damp readings again the next day before sealing.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Floor

I had the option of sealing it the next day or the day after, so I decided to leave my damp meter with the customer, so he could take the readings himself and let me know when the floor was dry. He took some more readings four hours later which were lower and after discussing it with me on the phone later that evening I agreed to return the following day. I took some more readings the next morning and most of the floor was reading less than 10% which was an improvement but not as good as I had hoped for. I decided to spend some time speed drying the tiles with a heat gun to be sure.

Once I was happy, I applied two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow to enhance the colour and protect the tiles from staining. This gave the floors a lovely sheen and the deep colour looked great. Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer that works by occupying the pores in the tile thereby preventing dirt from becoming ingrained there. This sealer is also fully breathable which means it will allow moisture to rise through the floor which is important on these old floors with no DPM.

Quarry Tiled Floor After Cleaning Knaresborough

The full renovation process dealt with all the issues my customer has raised and the new sealer gave the floor a very consistent appearance. I’m happy to confirm that my customer was pleased with results and is now content that his floor is in the best condition it could be considering its age.

Quarry Tiled Floor After Cleaning Knaresborough


Professional Restoration of a Quarry Tiled Floor in North West Yorkshire

100 Year Old Victorian Tiled Hallway Restored back to Life in Knaresborough

The photographs below are of a Victorian Tiled Hallway at a house in the historic market and spa town of Knaresborough. The tiles were actually over a hundred years old and as you can see in a terrible state. As well as looking dull and unloved they were traces of plaster, oil based paint and even chewing gum.

Old Victorian Tiled Floor Before Restoration in Knaresborough Old Victorian Tiled Floor Before Restoration in Knaresborough

Restoring a Victorian Tiled Hallway

The first job was to tackle the chewing gum with a sharp flat metal scraper taking to keep the blade level with the tile and not to scratch the tile. Once this was done the next task was to remove the paint by treating the affected areas with a product called Remove and Go which basically does what it says on the bottle. I find it works best by allowing it to soak into the affected area for about ten minutes before scrubbing it in and then rinsing it off with water.

The next step was to give the whole floor a good deep clean with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-clean, which deep cleans the tiles without damaging them. Again, you leave the product to soak into the tile before scrubbing it in and then rinsing it off and extracting the now soiled solution with a wet vacuum.

After that we gave the floor an acid rinse using Tile Doctor Acid Gel which removed the plaster and also adds a slight acid tint into the base of tile which helps to eliminate a problem we sometimes get with these old tiles called efflorescence which is where mineral salts rise up through the floor leaving white marks on the surface.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway

Once cleaned and fully dried a damp test was conducted to confirm the floor was dry before sealing. The customer has requested a satin finish, however we only apply this if there is no immediate damp issues or mineral salts present, if so we use a sealer called Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is fully breathable and soaks into the pores of the tile leaving a matt finish. On this occasion, everything was in normal state so we applied four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which provided the satin finish the customer wanted.

Old Victorian Tiled Floor Atfer Restoration in Knaresborough Old Victorian Tiled Floor Atfer Restoration in Knaresborough

We pretty much through the book at this floor to restore it and I’m sure you will agree the effort was well worth it as the floor now looks brand new.

Last thing to do before leaving the customer was to provide them with some advice on how to clean the floor going forward. On this occasion, I explained that the floor will maintain its appearance as long as the sealer remains intact; now sealers will wear down over time however you can maximise their life by using a PH neutral cleaning product as anything stronger will cause premature erosion. To get them off on the right track I left them with a free 500ml bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral cleaner which is PH neutral and will not damage the sealer.

Professional Victorian Tiled Hallway Restoration in North Yorkshire

Dirty White Limestone Tiles Restored Through Burnishing in Knaresborough

Knaresborough is a historic town in North Yorkshire, popular amongst holiday goers for its numerous attractions. I travelled to the area not to visit the attractions, however, but to visit a customer, whose fantastic white Limestone tiled floor was in need of a deep clean.

White Limestone Floor Before Cleaning in Knaresborough
Limestone is a porous material, meaning that without a sealer dirt can become easily trapped in the pores of the stone, as well as the grout. With this Limestone being naturally white, the dirt was particularly visible, making the tiles look very unsightly. Once deep cleaned the floor would also require a fresh seal to provide long-term protection against muck and stains.

White Limestone Floor Before Cleaning in Knaresborough

Burnishing a Dirty White Limestone Floor

To treat high end, polished stone floors such as Limestone and Marble, we recommend using the process of burnishing. Simply put, burnishing involves the application of diamond encrusted pads of varying grits, which serve to break down dirt and then polish the stone.

Typically, we use a set of four pads in gradual succession; here, I used the first three pads on the first day. Starting with the Coarse grit pad, along with a little water as lubrication, I polished the Limestone, before repeating the process with Medium and Fine pads to refine the polish.

On the same day, I also cleaned the grout using a solution of one part Tile Doctor Pro-Clean (a high alkaline cleaner) and three parts water. On Limestone floors you should take care to avoid even mildly acidic cleaning products as sensitive stones like Limestone and Travertine can be damaged over time. After successfully cleaning the dirt grout lines, I rinsed the floor before using a wet-vac machine to soak up the residue. The floor was then left to fully dry overnight.

Sealing a White Limestone Floor

The next day, I returned to the property to complete the restoration. Before sealing the tiles, I applied the fourth and final of the burnishing pads to achieve a Very Fine polish.

White Limestone Floor After Cleaning in Knaresborough
To seal the tiles, I used Tile Doctor Ultra Seal, the customer didn’t want to darken the stone in the way that a colour enhancing sealer might. Additionally, the customer required a more natural finish, which this product provides.

Then, I polished the excess sealer off with a white buffing pad and left it to dry for an hour, before polishing a final time with the Very Fine grit burnishing pad. With this method, the floor was perfectly dry and the customer could walk on the tiles as soon as I left.

White Limestone Floor After Cleaning in Knaresborough
Before leaving my very satisfied customer to enjoy their newly restored Limestone floor, I made sure to impart some aftercare advice. I recommend Tile Doctor Stone Soap for the Limestone (and other polished stone) as its helps to retain the sheen whilst also acting as a general cleaning agent.

Polishing White Limestone Floor Tiles in North Yorkshire

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