Like brick, quarry tile looks durable, but this unglazed clay tile is very porous and readily soaks up stains.
Quarry-tile floors have to be sealed with as many as three coats of sealer and further protected by wax.
Seal a quarry-tile floor with a commercial sealer for terrazzo and slate. After the sealer dries, apply two thin coats of an acrylic floor finish. Use a wax applicator fitted with a lamb's wool pad or apply paste wax with a floor-polishing machine. To do this, use a spatula to spread a small amount of paste wax directly on the brushes of the polisher. Slowly operate the polisher back and forth to apply an even, thin coat of wax. When the wax is dry, buff the floor.
To keep your sealed and waxed quarry-tile floor looking new, all you have to do is damp-mop it occasionally after you vacuum. If the mopped floor dries with a luster-dulling film, restore the shine by mopping it again with water containing a cup of white vinegar.
Apply a commercial wax-stripping product with a floor-scrubbing machine that has a brush attachment. After applying the stripper according to the manufacturer's directions, rinse the floor thoroughly with clear water. Use a nonabrasive powder and a synthetic scouring pad for stubborn spots.
If you use a paste wax, you will never have to strip the floor. Test the wax in a corner first to see if it will discolor the tile.
Now we'll move onto rubber tile, a useful type of flooring but also one that needs to be cleaned carefully.