Can You Paint Quarry Floor Tiles?

painting quarry floor tiles

Quarry tile is a dense, natural coarse mineral tile that is handmade and fired at high temperatures.

Quarry tile comes in a variety of colors and can be found in both glazed and unglazed varieties. They are often used in high-traffic areas such as kitchens, bathrooms, and entryways.

The reason these tiles are getting so popular is they are extremely durable and are resistant to scratches, staining, and fading.

Also, because the tile is so dense, it does not need to be sealed, making it easy to care for.

With that said, quarry tiles can also be quite boring. So, if you’re looking for a way to add some personality to your quarry tile floors, you can consider painting them.

To get the right finish, however, you’ll need to use high-quality tile paint, and you may need to apply multiple coats to get good coverage.

Painted Quarry Tiles – Process I followed

Have you ever seen a quarry and wondered what it would be like to paint the floor tiles? I have.

And, let me tell you, it’s not as easy as it looks. In fact, it’s downright tricky.

But that didn’t stop me from trying. Here’s how my attempt turned out.

Step 1. First, I gathered my supplies – high-quality epoxy-based tile paint, a paintbrush, a roller, a drop cloth, and some soap-based cleaning solutions.

Step 2. Next, I prepped the area by covering the floor with a drop cloth and washed my tiles with soap and water by rubbing them with a plastic brush.

Removed all the dirt, rinsed them well using a mop, and let them dry for a couple of hours.

Step 3. Then, I started priming the tiles with a masonry primer. It was manufactured to adhere to nonporous surfaces.

I used a roller with a 3/8-inch nap and a brush to get into the grout lines.

Step 4. Next, it was time for me to paint the tiles with epoxy paint.

I did my best to get even coverage, but some of the tiles were more absorbent than others, and I ended up with more paint on them.

Step 5. Once I had finished painting all of the tiles, I let them dry overnight.

But, Alas! The next day, I was disappointed to see that the paint had already started to chip in some places.

Step 6. I touched up the areas that were chipping using the same paint and then stepped back to admire my work.

Once the paint was dry and already cured (in around 2-3 days), I sealed it with a clear sealer to protect it from scratches and stains.

Overall, I was happy with how the floor turned out. The paint added a nice pop of color to the room, and it was fun to experiment with something new.

If you’re thinking about painting your quarry tile floors, I say go for it; just be prepared for a bit of a challenge.

A Few Tips to Follow

  • Do not use latex primer or paint over your quarry tiles, as it won’t hold up well.
  • If you do not like epoxy, you can use acrylic floor paint, provided the surface is properly primed.
  • If your tiles are too glossy or glazed, use a power sander to roughen the surface, or else the paint primer will not adhere properly.
  • If you are a bit creative, you can use a stencil to add design to your newly painted quarry tiles.
  • Remember to clean the tiles at last before you go and enjoy your new makeover.
cleaning and painting quarry tiles

Can You Tile Over Old Quarry Tiles?

If you’re considering painting your quarry tile floors, you might wonder if you can tile over them.

The short answer is yes, you can tile over old quarry tiles. If you want, you can even lay Karndean or a carpet over it, which will be OK.

However, there are a few things you need to keep in mind before starting the project.

First, you need to make sure the surface is clean and free of any dirt, grease, or grime.

You can do this by washing the tiles with soap and water and then scrubbing them with a plastic brush. Once they’re clean, rinse them well with a mop.

Next, you’ll need to sand the surface of the tiles to roughen them up. This will help the new tile adhesive to adhere properly.

If you’re using a power sander, be sure to wear a dust mask to avoid inhaling any of the particles.

Once you’ve sanded the tiles, vacuum up the debris and wipe them down with a damp cloth.

Now, you’re ready to start tiling. Be sure to use a tile adhesive specifically designed for quarry tiles. And follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results.

Related FAQs

Are quarry tiles slippery?

Quarry tiles come with a high degree of slip resistance which is why it works well for any area where people need to walk–without slipping.

Also, if your quarry tiles are properly sealed, they should not be slippery. However, if they are unsealed or have become worn, they can become slippery. In this case, it is best to have them resealed.

How easy is it to cut quarry tiles?

Quarry tiles are quite easy to cut. You can use a wet saw or a tile nipper for the job. Just make sure to wear safety goggles and gloves to protect your hands and eyes.

When cutting quarry tiles, it is best to score the tile first and then snap it along the scored line.

If you’re using a wet saw, be sure to use a blade that is specifically designed for cutting ceramic tile. This will help prevent the tile from chipping.

Are quarry tiles the same as terracotta tiles?

No, quarry tiles and terracotta tiles are not the same. Quarry tiles are made of brick-like coarse materials that are fired at a high temperature. They are dense and durable.

Terracotta tiles, on the other hand, are made of fired potters’ clay that is not as dense. They are more porous smoother, and not as durable as quarry tiles.

The Bottom Line

Quarry tile is a type of unglazed red clay tile that has a slightly rough surface.

It is usually used for flooring but can also be used for walls and countertops as well because it comes in a variety of colors, including red, brown, and gray.

The added advantage is with a little bit of creativity; you can transform your ordinary quarry tile floors into something truly unique by adding a fresh color.

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