How to Fix Severely Damaged Quarry Tile Floors In Production Areas

“Our entire production area is covered with red quarry tile, and the grout lines between the tiles have failed. The tile is mostly intact, except for some heavy use areas, where the tile is totally cracked apart. Is there a product I can apply over the tile to fix these problems?”

Yes. In that type of environment, we would recommend a cementitious urethane solution. The process would be to sound the floor with a chain and to check for hollow sounding tiles. Break out the defective tiles, and then pre-patch that with cementitious urethane patching material.

The floor must then be prepared. The grout lines need to be cleaned well. A cementitious urethane slurry is used to fill in the grout lines or other small defects in the tile. After that dries, the cementitious urethane, either trowel-down or self-leveling broadcast system, is applied depending on time.

The reason the grout lines are filled with the self-leveling cementitious urethane is because cementitious urethanes do contain Portland cement and even though there’s no VOC’s, (volatile organic compounds), they do shrink as they cure.

Obviously, the Portland cement needs water to cure and the grout lines could show through the new coating. So doing that after the preparation is extremely important for the overall look and the performance of the job.

The other main reason for cementitious urethane in that environment is that all epoxies and methyl methacrylates are hydrophobic. They cannot be subject to any kind of moisture. And in that environment a cementitious urethane, because it does contain Portland cement, tolerates moisture.

So you can actually steam clean, power wash, and degrease the floor. The covered grout lines have been eaten away for a number of years so there’s really no way to quantify how much moisture has gotten down underneath the quarry tile.

If you did do it with an epoxy, or a methyl methacrylate, or other resin systems, you have the possibility of a failure, due to moisture that’s latent underneath the quarry tile. And that’s not an issue with the urethane cements.