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user1007 06-29-2012 05:04 AM

Restore Antique Oyster Cracker Floor
I have been asked to bid, for a friend, on restoring a white antique oyster cracker tile floor and it reminds me I promised a friend who owns an art gallery with one I would get around to this ages ago. In the case of the gallery, the name of the original movie theater is in black tiles. You can see how the floor has grayed the photo:

In both cases the tile is over a century old and is just dull and dirty looking. Of course most of the surface in places is eroded but still nice. There are some cracks but the mortar is still holding. I took some oxyclean to tile and mortar in some areas and it worked amazingly well. I am not sure that is the way to go though so am seeking wisdom from those who refinish antique tile floors. I know wood floor guys but not many that take on old tile, marble and so forth.

Who should I call to clean, polish and seal it? It is important in both cases the floor stays as original if possible.

oh'mike 06-29-2012 06:34 AM

O.K.----What is an 'oyster cracker' floor---Google did not help---Mike---

bbo 06-29-2012 07:13 AM

i'm guessing OP is referring to the shape of the tile

oh'mike 06-29-2012 07:26 AM

Ah----Unglazed porcelain--- Strong soap--scrub brush---

Some times they were waxed--so ammonia might be needed-

Some times a mild acid cleaner will help--

Go armed with every sort of cleaner you can think of--and try different areas---

user1007 06-29-2012 11:06 AM

Yes, that is the type floor I was posting about.

I am not anxious to use an acid but may have too. I want to keep the integrity of the grout.

Once clean, what should I spec for sealing the tile and grout? What kind of maintenance schedule would you recommend? It strikes me that anything waxy would create an ice rink.

oh'mike 06-30-2012 05:44 PM

Once you get the tile clean no sealing should be needed--it's porcelain and will not absorb dirt--

However--if the tile is a mat finish it may show scuffs--If you wish to wax it--there are non slip waxes available at any janitorial supply house---

Trouble with wax--it discolors with time and grabs dirt--so doing without is preferred if the tiles surface isn't to rough.

Bruntson 12-09-2012 09:35 AM

Those hexagon shaped tiles came in a varity of colors including various shades of white, cream, and grey. I'm thinking that those greying tile you want to restore are actually made in a light shade of grey.

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