An Alternative Way Dealing With Missing Victorian

Here’s a job I completed just before Christmas last year, at a house in Northampton which has a rich history and mix of architectural styles. The run up to Christmas is always popular as people try to get their household projects finished off in time for celebrating the festive season with family so this is always a busy time for Tile Doctor.

The photos below show a neglected Victorian Quarry tiled floor in need of repair, with cracked tiles along the edges. These were caused by somebody in the past using brute force to remove carpet gripper rods which had been glued to the tiles. These cracks were present around the edges of the entire hallway, however; this particular type of tile is very hard to get hold of. Furthermore, it is a costly process to replace the tiles as the skirting boards would have had to have been removed.

Victorian Tiles Before Cleaning Northampton

As well as the physical issues the floor had a dull appearance due to the build-up of builder’s dust and the general wearing down of the paintwork over time. I agreed with the client that the best course of action would be to fill the tiles, and paint the damaged tiles using a colour that matched as close as possible. Many of my Tile Doctor colleagues would disagree with this approach opting to source the correct tile and rebuild the damaged section however unfortunately in this case we didn’t have the time or the budget.

Victorian Tiles Before Cleaning Northampton

Cleaning and Repairing a Victorian Quarry tiled floor

My first action was to use a brush and vacuum to remove as much loose debris and dust as possible. I followed this by agitating the tiles with a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean which is a strong alkaline product and safe to use on tile and stone. I use a combination of a coarse burnishing pad fitted to a rotary machine and hand held brushes, in order to get the floor clean. The resulting slurry was then rinsed and removed using a wet vacuum. This process was repeated twice followed by a thorough rinse to ensure any trace of cleaning agent had been removed and the floor neutralised.

Victorian Tiles During Cleaning Northampton

As this was such an old property, I then used a steamer to heat up the tiles in order to draw out any contaminants and assist with the drying process. I installed a fan to dry the floor before starting repairs, mixing up some coloured grout and filling all holes and cracks along the edges, including the doormat area.

Victorian Tiles During Repair Northampton Victorian Tiles During Repair Northampton

I allowed the coloured grout to dry overnight, before hand painting the black and Terracotta tiles. These were then given time to dry (about a couple of hours). Following this, I carefully painted in the other colours: brown and cream. The overall effect was quite convincing and you had to look very closely to notice.

Victorian Tiles Before Painting Northampton Victorian Tiles After Painting Northampton

Sealing a Victorian Quarry tiled floor

Due to the fact that there were other tradesmen working in the house at the time, the floors were sheeted up to protect from additional dust and muck. I then left the house for a week, allowing the floor ample time to dry completely in preparation for sealing.

Upon my return, I took damp meter readings, and once satisfied with the dryness of the tiles, I began the sealing process with the impregnating, colour-enhancing sealer Tile Doctor Colour Grow. The sealer provides both durable surface protection and an aesthetically pleasing matte finish.

The below photos show how the product has enriched the colours with the two coats applied.

Victorian Tiles After Restoration Northampton Victorian Tiles After Restoration Northampton

The process of restoring this wonderful Victorian Quarry tiled floor was certainly time consuming, but very rewarding. I am exceptionally pleased with the results myself, and my client couldn’t have been happier and I’m sure the newly revitalised hallway will have been a talking point for all their visitors during the Christmas break.
 
 
Source: Tile, Stone and Grout Restoration Service in Northamptonshire

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