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How-to Guides

How to seal quarry tiles

how to seal quarry tiles

How to seal quarry tiles

If you wish to seal an interior quarry tiled floor and are unsure which products to use, please read on!

Sealing quarry tiles is relatively straightforward, whether they are new or older Victorian tiles.

Prior to sealing your quarry tiles, they will need to be clean and clear of other sealers.

The cleaning of new tiles and older Victorian tiles is slightly different. Information regarding the cleaning of quarry tiled floors is covered in a separate article. A link to this article is at the foot of the page.

Links to the specific products mentioned in this guide are highlighted in blue.

The importance of quarry tiles being totally dry before sealing

Your tiles need to be totally dry before sealing with any form of sealer. Totally dry tiles will be highly absorbent allowing the sealer to penetrate the pores and therefore adhere to the tile.

Damp tiles can lead to issues with sealers such as white patchy marks and lack of adhesion. Make sure your tiles are dry before sealing! Neutralise strong cleaning agents by rinsing the tiles with plenty of clean water.

New quarry tiles (usually manufactured after 1940) usually dry within 24-48 hours of cleaning.

Older Victorian tiles are much softer, they can take 5 days to become totally dry. This is because of the fact they are very porous and because deep cleaning processes use more water than general cleaning.

Always allow plenty of time for your tiles to dry before sealing.

how to seal quarry tiles

How to seal quarry tiled floors

We recommend sealing with Floorseal Terracotta & Quarry Tile Sealer. This sealing product should be applied in 2 to 3 coats to totally dry tiles.

This sealer is a water-based sealer, free from solvents & VOCs, low odour and rapid drying.

Terracotta & Quarry Tile Sealer will produce a low sheen and can slightly deepen surface colours. This enriches the earthy tones associated with clay-based tiles like quarry tiles.

How to apply Terracotta & Quarry Tile Sealer

When applying the sealer to modern harder/dense quarry tiles we recommend applying the product using a folded microfibre cloth. This will ensure thin & even coats are applied to both the grout line and the face of the tile.

You can apply the product by pouring the sealer into a small paint tray and soaking the cloth in the sealer. Wring the cloth out and fold it down into quarters. Apply the sealer by spreading it over the tiles and the grout line in thin coats.

Once the process has begun you can apply small amounts of sealer directly to the floor, spread evenly over the tiles and grout with the same cloth.

Build up the coats in 2 -3 applications with approximately 1 hour of drying time between each coat.

When sealing old Victorian tiles applying the first coat with a small roller with an emulsion style head can be beneficial. The tiles will be more porous and require more sealer during this first coat. Once the first coat has been applied, we then recommend using a microfibre cloth to apply further coats.

how to seal and restore older victorian quarry tiles

Problems associated with older Victorian quarry tiles

Victorian tiles tend to look faded and a little pastel-coloured after cleaning. Floorseal Terracotta & Quarry Tile Cleaner can revive the appearance of older tiles for two reasons.

Firstly, a low sheen finish can make the tiles appear to be enriched, removing the lifeless dull very ‘matt’ appearance which is often present prior to sealing.

Secondly, a low sheen finish deepens the colour of the tile invigorating the tiles. Black or red tiles which look faded can appear to deepen in colour again. Thus, the sealer can revive the colour and general appearance of the floor.

How many coats do I need to apply to seal my quarry tiled floor?

Typically, you will require 2 – 3 coats to seal modern or older tiled floors. Wait approximately an hour between each coat.

The sealer dries rapidly but we recommend an hour so all the carrying agent has adequate time to evaporate.

Terracotta & Quarry Tile Sealer will cure over 24 hours but will accept light foot traffic as soon as the sealer is dry.

Do not allow the sealer to become wet during the curing time.

how to care for quarry tiled floors

What kind of sealer should I use in a wet area like bathrooms?

You should use an impregnating sealer like Floorseal Premium Impregnating Sealer. This sealer does not create a sheen. It will leave the tile with an unaltered matt appearance.

Premium Impregnating Sealer can be applied by roller, brush, or paint pad. Remove all excess product with microfibre cloths within 20 minutes of application.

Apply the product twice, approximately 40 minutes apart. This product will retain the slip resistance of your quarry tiles even in a wet area.

In conclusion

Floorseal Terracotta & Quarry Tile Sealer – for sealing old and new quarry tiles with a satin finish. This sealer can enrich colours, particularly in older faded tiles.

Floorseal Premium Impregnating Sealer – for sealing quarry tiles in wet areas such as bathrooms or wet rooms. This product does not alter the colour of the tile. It is simply a waterproofing agent i.e. no sheen.

Please click here to view our associated how-to guide for cleaning modern quarry tiles and older Victorian quarry tiles.

This article cannot possibly cover all aspects of cleaning and renovating quarry tiles. For this reason, the information contained within this article is not exhaustive. If you need further information please contact Floorseal on (01484) 861461 or email us our web address is