View Full Version : Does anyone know anything about floor tiles?

24th Sep 2008, 08:27
They're looking a bit drab.

Should I replace them,or is there anyway of buffing them up.

(The damps sorted)


24th Sep 2008, 08:29
They look alright Ginge. I would maybe dig out the grout, redo it & slap down something from here Floor Tile Sealer, Travertine - Marble Tile Sealers, Natural Stone & Porcelain Tiles Care Products | FLOORELL (http://www.floorell.co.uk/tile-sealer-maintenance.html)

Pal of mine has similar terracotta type floor tiles in his kitchen & since they get heavy footfall over them every day, he uses a seal as opposed to a sealant on them twice a year. They come up like a mirror after it goes on, so I'm sure you could do the same.:ok:

24th Sep 2008, 08:41
You could try brick acid- I think it's about the strongest stuff you can get. Wear heavily waterproofed gloves! Also worth trying is some scale remover.

24th Sep 2008, 08:47
As ever with acids on flooring materials, you must try a little on an inconspicuous area first. Most of the powerful acidic treatments will kill off the pointing/grouting too, so clean first, grout second.

Scumbag O'Riley
24th Sep 2008, 08:48
Leave it as is, just need a tap on wall so you can hose a dog down. Seems like enough holes in floor to let water drain away.

24th Sep 2008, 08:51
Yeah looks to be just in need of a bit of refreshment! Having recently laid my (now ex!) gf's floor tiled with frikkin small tiles like yours, I can say whole heartedly avoid relaying at all costs!!

24th Sep 2008, 09:23
I would concur with the advice of cleaning out the grout, re-grouting and then using a sealant, which should last a year. I had the same tiles in an apartment before, although not in such a location where mud etc would get on them.

BTW, it looks like you might need to get weeding instead of pprune-ing :E



24th Sep 2008, 10:33
cheers chaps :ok:

Beatriz Fontana
24th Sep 2008, 11:40
Forgive me for thread hijacking, but I'm seriously contemplating ripping up the vinyl in the kitchen and the carpet in the hallway to properly tile it. Probably a total area of about 5 square metres. Nice square corners and straight walls (the house is less than 15 years old) and no underfloor piping to worry about. Madness or a good idea?

24th Sep 2008, 11:53
Pro's: Looks good, contemporary feel & easy to keep clean.

Cons: No such thing as a straight wall or level floor, so careful planning required. They need maintaining regularly, can crack and chip depending on what you go for. Expect to have to cut tiles for at least one edge & be ready to move the furniture out once a year for a good clean up.

Windy Militant
24th Sep 2008, 12:13
If they're genuine Dennis Ruabon tiles nothing short of a WE 177 will shift them! As suggested regrout and reseal there are a number of products available. Do Not be tempted to use the paint resurfacer it scuffs up in no time and looks really naff.

24th Sep 2008, 12:15
Probably a total area of about 5 square metres.

That's a really small kitchen! Or did you mean 5 Metres square. :) You'd be amazed at the difference it makes.

24th Sep 2008, 12:38
5 square meters isn't that small! Especially if it's the floor area he's going to re-tile, not the area covered by appliances and storage. A floor space 1.5 x 3 1/3rd is actually a decent sized kitchen for a small house

24th Sep 2008, 12:39
My parents laid quarry tiles on their kitchen floor on their new-build house in 1955. They are unbeatable for durability, though yours may need 'deep-cleaning'. They used Bourne Seal (which I see is still available).

Whiskey Oscar Golf
24th Sep 2008, 12:52
No offense here gents but I'm very certain an Italian didn't lay those tiles. You can tell from where the cuts are and the half tiles on the edge. My advice if you're keen, would be to rip them up and start again. They will be hard to rip up depending on when they were laid given the old boy use of cement with the sucker effect. If they are 20 - 30 years old they won't be too much of a drama but any newer and they will have the modern rubber based glues which are a nightmare to get up and clean.

Make sure you screet well and have a good fall. Use a good glue with the right trowel for depth I always check the bag and tile box. In oz we have something called resaflex which is very good and has exceptional waterproofing.

Any of the spray on sealer types will work for a while but will need the yearly top up. They have problems with wear and at best are a temporary solution. Same with the wall type waterproofers. If you're doing a 45 remember the magic stick!

Good luck and sorry if I'm telling you to suck eggs It's cultural with me.

cockney steve
24th Sep 2008, 12:58
Brick-cleaner = 5% Hydrochloric acid....wear the LONG rubber/vinyl industrial gloves and Wellies....fierce stuff and really gives that "new" look.

Re- tiling on a new floor.....If you are fixing ceramic tiles to a suspended floor, BEWARE ! I had a premises with a complete new floor laid on 100-year old beams.....no problems with the new joists or the well-screwed-down flooring of 8' x 4' x 3/4" ply.....until a long,hot, dry period., I kept hearing loud bangs......eventually I traced it to the ceramic tiles splitting as the ply sheets shrunk. -literally ripped in two ,tensile failure.
So, unless your tile-joints fall EXACTLY on your floor joints OR you like your floors neatly cracked into 8 x4 chunks, a flexible adhesive would appear to be a must. (grouting can be redone, but consider also, long-term water penetration from washing.

24th Sep 2008, 14:20
This tiled area was formerly external and exposed. Try some neat Viakal scale remover, then brick acid before regrouting. Good few hours labour there!

24th Sep 2008, 16:35
Pavingexpert - Paving maintenance and cleaning (http://www.pavingexpert.com/maintain_02.htm)

Be careful with acid!

24th Sep 2008, 16:44
That f****ng table has to go. Tiles? Ermmmm.


24th Sep 2008, 18:07
Oiii! The Mrs Chose that table.:}

24th Sep 2008, 18:19
I spent the last few years renovating property so have tiled dozens of bathroom and kitchen walls, floors, porches, conservatories etc, if you need any tips just shout.

Looks like this is not a period house ( upvc windows) so keeping old features may not be important to you in which case I would just level the floor ( self levelling compound) and start again.

Assuming you have the height available just go straight over the existing tiles if not take them up first!

If you go down the 'dig out the grout' option when you start again get the proper grout from a specialist tile shop and make sure it is waterproof. Never use the B&Q, Homebase etc products. The professsional approach is better and usually cheaper too!

24th Sep 2008, 18:34
Be Fo. It ain't just a matter of slapping down tiles. If you put ceramic tiles on a chipboard base it is highly likely they will crack along the joint lines of the chipboard. They need to be laid on a thin sheet of "soft" chipboard which is slightly flexible, using "flexible" adhesive and grout to finish. The name of this material will come to me dreckly and I'll p*st it later. HTH.
The Ancient Mariner

24th Sep 2008, 19:11
Thats one hell of a fall on that floor!obviously this used to be exposed to the elements.Under the plastic door are the round edge tiles,and thats why they are set out the way they are.As a tiler i often get called to restore victorian floors.I never use acid unless there is cement or grout on the tiles.Just use a very good strong commercial cleaner then regrout with what looks like a sand cement mix in your case ginge and then you can use a colur enhancer and polish.Go to tops tiles and have a look at the range of floor care products.5 meters big! Ive just done 45 meters on my own for a customer on the isle of man.I have the sore knees to prove it.One last point for anyone thinking about the electricaly heated floor systems DONT DO IT!!!

24th Sep 2008, 19:24
Gingernut, Them tiles is 'orrid!

I'd rip them up and start again. How about some like these? The dog likes them - it's her bedroom.



24th Sep 2008, 19:47
Those tiles aren't very attractive! Aren't they showing ground-in footmarks by the doorways? Ned to get some 'ground-in dirt' dirt-coloured ones- ie fawn colour!

Yes, agree, those old tiles are beyond saving. They don't look nice. Need a proper flat floor and good tiles with a skirting line of tiles to hopefully hide that bloody airbrick!

24th Sep 2008, 19:55
Rainboe, you obviously know nothing about floor tiles :p .You don't get ground in footmarks on granite tiles laid only last week. Folks aren't even allowed to walk on them with shoes. :rolleyes:

24th Sep 2008, 20:01
ST, I think Rainboe was referring to Gingernut's tiles!

Of course, I could be wrong.

24th Sep 2008, 20:07
chipboard + floor = :=

24th Sep 2008, 20:20
ST, I think Rainboe was referring to Gingernut's tiles!
Of course, I could be wrong.

I hope so, the dog's reading this.

24th Sep 2008, 20:44
I don't agree with those that criticise the tiles - IMO opinion they are just fine (provided they 'sound' solid and the underlayer isn't separating - tap them with a mallet (gently of course) and make sure there's no 'hollow' sound). If it ain't broke don't fix it . . .
I'd hesitate to use any acid cleaner (as this might destroy the tile surface finish). You need to get rid of grime, though, and IMO the best initial substance to use would be sugar soap. After that you might decide to seal them using Bourne Seal or just apply Mansion polish (I'd prefer not) or maybe a good quality wax polish such as Johnson's or Antiquax or even just good beeswax if you want a shine. A floor polisher will keep the shine if you can't be bothered to get down on your hands and knees.
If you do apply wax polish and it gets grubby and ingrained with dirt, use white spirit to remove before re-applying polish (or give-in and apply Bourne Seal).

It seems to be a relatively small area, so maintenance shouldn't be too tedious (my parents had a 20ft square kitchen floored with quarry tiles - they really are excellent and durable and will outlive any other tiles or floor-covering).

Pontius Navigator
24th Sep 2008, 21:29
We have had tiles laid on tongue and groove flooring and also across a T&G to chipboard. Both have been down 5 years and no problems at all. The secret as the flexible mastic. No grout crack either.

As for heating, my son in law has extensive UFH in his bathrooms. We didn't bother. The rooms are hot enough and the floors never icey cold.

25th Sep 2008, 02:06
Cork tiles in kitchen for last 20 years laid over T&G floor after masonite sheets tacked down
Sanded and Estapol finish,great yer dishes bounce.

25th Sep 2008, 02:24
Woman say Men are like floor tiles..

Lay em right the first time and you can walk all over em forever..:E

25th Sep 2008, 06:44
Probably true, but I think I need re-grouting.

Loose rivets
25th Sep 2008, 06:53
They look a bit like the tiles I had at home. They were very 60s, and very hard wearing. BUT, they were deadly in the wet. If water ever splashes into the porch, I'd want to be sure they were anti-slip.

Last year, I did the first floor tiling ever. I'd done a lot of wall tiling, but never floor. I was a bit flash and mixed my plop on a pillar drill having been warned by my son that modern 1/2" drills burn out if you use them with even medium size paddles. It made a huge difference.

Y'know, if I was doing a kitchen, I'd think seriously about a really good vinyl. We had 300 square feet of it at home and nothing ever broke when you dropped it. It looked rather drab, but some of the modern stuff is fantastic...and bouncy.

If I ever do some...that's funny. I've about 400 square feet of Saltilla SP? Tiles here. Crappy [email protected]$^dy things. Like mountaineering getting across the room. They want $750 just to get them up, but I have a cunning plan.

My big Kango is back in the UK, so I'm going to have to do it the hard way. For twenty bucks, I can get what I call a giant's pin. A five foot long bar with a chisel at one end and a point at the other. Once the first ones are up, one can use the inertia of the bar to do the work and they practically explode off the floor.

I've never been very good at getting the plop level...so I'm intending to get the floor right first, then use a raised holder on the work table, and meter the plop onto the tile while it's held above the residue. The holder will also allow the grabbing of the tile after the surplus is simply wiped off the edge. I also got a heavy circular spirit level. Placing down, it just gives that final check to the level...sort of confidence booster.

I thought the first go wasn't too bad..one raised edge under the bed, so I left it. But when we came to put the furniture back in last week...(that's how long things take these days) some of their legs had altered their length. Must have done, I'm sure my floor is flat.

25th Sep 2008, 08:16
thanks rotaryman,thats going on the side of my van :*

25th Sep 2008, 08:31
Re-grouting is slow and messy and is usually noticable and doesn't last, it's best to rip them up and start again.

Floor sealers make the tiles look unnaturaly shiny, the high traffic areas show up quickly and it looks worse in the long run.

I find cleaning the grout lines with an old fashioned scrubbing brush, cream cleaner with bleach and lots of elbow grease as good as anything.

25th Sep 2008, 08:39
Au contraire! Grouting is the best part of the job! After all the hard work, grouting is the pay off, the instant gratification that ties the thing together. As others have said, high quality materials used correctly give a high quality finish.:ok:

25th Sep 2008, 09:08
absolutely, grouting does transform the tiling. Chipping/Raking it out and reapplying it is very noticable though to anyone who knows what they are looking for and it often doesn't take as well as the original, resulting in cracking and flaking in a few years. Not worth the effort.

As I said, imo either clean up the stuff that's there or just start from scratch. Quarry tiles are very cheap these days.

25th Sep 2008, 12:29
Cautionary tale regarding cleaning tiles:

The father of a friend of mine is in the process of selling his house. Wife orders floor tiles to be cleaned, so down on hands and knees for hours scrubbing away.

I arrive and have a joke about the man being on his knees all day.

Half and hour later father walks into lounge in underpants - we are all taken aback!!!

Complains of pain in his knees.

I ask what he used to clean the tiles? Answer 'oh the stuff in that tin over there'.

'Stuff in the tin over there' was caustic soda!!!

Advised him to go IMMEDIATELY to A&E. He thinks about it.

I offer to drive him to A&E IMMEDIATELY!!!

He goes to A&E.

Knees suffer chemical burns to the bone.

Skin dies and falls off - holes where the skin covering the knees used to be.

Prognosis - he can't bend down and will never clean floors again.

BE VERY CAREFUL! - DIY can be dangerous and hazardous to health.

Health and safety just isn't applied 'in the home' as it is (and has to be) in industry.

As for the tiles - leave them alone, with a gentle clean, or rip them out and replace with new.

That brickwork could do with some attention - may be damp just above the tiles, but would need further investigation.

ShyTorque: Is there some kind of divider between those two types of finish? May be a source of problems if there is not.

FOK :)

25th Sep 2008, 14:58
ShyTorque: Is there some kind of divider between those two types of finish? May be a source of problems if there is not.

FOK, do you mean between the wooden planking and the tiles? No problem, the tiles are laid underneath a rebated edge on the last wooden plank and I've left a half inch expansion gap.