Quarry tile is a mineral-based, handmade tile that is very strong and ideal for areas with a lot of foot traffic, like kitchens, bathrooms, and entryways. It’s available in various colors and can be glazed or unglazed.
The primary advantage of using quarry tiles for floors is its naturally dense and don’t need to be sealed. They are also scratch, stain, and fade-resistant, making them very low-maintenance compared to other tiles.
That said, quarry floor tiles can also be quite dull. So, if you want to add some personality, consider painting them using high-quality tile paint. Just ensure to apply multiple coats to get good coverage and finish.
Painted Quarry Tiles – Process I Followed
Have you ever seen your old and boring quarry floor tiles and wondered what it would be like if you could paint them? Well, I have. And let me tell you, it was harder than I anticipated.
In fact, it’s downright tricky. But that didn’t stop me from trying, and here’s how my attempt turned out.
Step 1. First, I gathered my supplies – high-quality epoxy-based tile paint, primer, a paintbrush, a roller, and a soap-based cleaning solution.
Step 2. I prepped the area by washing the tiles with soap and water by rubbing them with a soft plastic brush. I removed all the dirt from the floor, rinsed it well using a mop, and dried it for several hours.
Step 3. Then, I used painter’s tape to protect the baseboards in my room. And using a roller with a 3/8-inch nap and a brush (to get into the grout lines), I primed the tiles evenly with a masonry primer. It’s a product manufactured to adhere to nonporous surfaces.
Step 4. Next, I painted the tiles with epoxy paint. I did my best to get even coverage, but some tiles were more absorbent than others, so I ended up using more paint on them than I expected.
Step 5. Once I had finished painting all the tiles, I allowed them to dry overnight. But the next day, I was disappointed to see that the paint had flaked off in some spots.
Step 6. I touched up the chipping areas using the same paint, and once it had dried, I sealed it with a clear sealer to protect it from chipping, scratches, and stains.
Step 7. Lastly, I allowed the paint and the sealer to cure for 48 hours before we walked on the newly painted flooring.
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 also thinking about painting your old quarry tile floors, I would say go for it; just be prepared for a bit of a challenge. If you address the issues in a well-planned manner and use high-quality products, your floor will look great for years to come.
Which is the Best Paint to Use On Quarry Tiles?
Epoxy paint is the most suitable option to use on properly prepped quarry-tiled floors. If you do not have epoxy, you can use acrylic floor paint, provided the surface is properly primed. Do not use latex primer or paint over them, as it won’t hold up well.
Before applying the paint, remember that if your tiles are too glossy or glazed, you should use a power sander to roughen the surface, or the paint primer will not adhere properly.
In case you are a bit creative, you can also use a stencil to add various designs or patterns to your newly painted quarry tiles. Do not forget to clean the tiles at last before you go and enjoy your new makeover.
Can You Tile Over Old Quarry Tiled Floor – Is it Safe?
From traditional country homes to old-themed rustic homes and even contemporary living spaces, quarry-tiled flooring has a unique charm that is often hard to ignore. But what happens when the floor begins to age and wear down?
Of course, it would be ideal if you could just replace it with something new like marble or wood – but is tile over old quarry tiling really an option worth considering?
Fortunately, the answer is yes. If needed, you can even lay Karndean or a carpet over it, which will be OK. But, it’s important to note that the process of tiling over an existing floor will require some preparation, such as cleaning and patching up any cracks or holes.
- First and foremost, ensure the surface is clean and free of any dirt, grease, or grime. Wash the surface thoroughly with soap and water, and scrub with a plastic brush. Once clean, rinse the floor well with clean water and a mop.
- To prepare for the new tile adhesive, roughen up the surface of the tiles by sanding them. If using a power sander, wear a dust mask to prevent inhaling the particles. After sanding, clean up the debris with a vacuum and wipe the tiles with a damp cloth.
- Check for any cracks or holes in the floor and patch them up with a repair compound. Allow it to dry completely for half an hour before you start tiling.
- When tiling, be sure to use a tile adhesive designed explicitly for quarry tiles and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results.
Are quarry tiles slippery?
Although quarry tiles come with a high degree of slip resistance, it depends on factors such as the texture of the tile, the sealer used, and the amount of moisture present in your old worn-out tiles.
This also means some quarry tiles have a rougher texture that provides better traction, while others may be smoother and a bit slippery. But rest assured that with proper care and installation, quarry tiles can be a safe and functional option for your home or business.
How easy is it to cut quarry tiles?
Quarry tiles are quite easy to cut using a wet saw or a tile nipper. Make sure to wear safety goggles and gloves to protect your hands and eyes during the job.
When cutting quarry tiles, scoring the tile first and then snapping it along the scored line is best. If using a wet saw, use a blade specifically designed for cutting ceramic tiles. 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 an unglazed red clay tile with a slightly rough surface. It is commonly used for flooring but can also be used for walls and countertops. It comes in different colors, including red, brown, and gray.
If you ever want, you can give your plain quarry tile floors a unique look by adding fresh color with some creativity. Hopefully, the steps detailed above will help you get the job done. Just be sure to use high-quality epoxy paint, sealer, and other products for the best outcome.
Jack Luis is a semi-retired painter who loved painting his clients’ ideas on their walls.
He had worked as a painter for over a decade serving customers in areas such as Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Beaufort, and Georgetown, SC (South Carolina). Today in his free time, he likes to read and write about the newer techniques implemented in his profession. You may read more about him here or get in touch with him here.