Removing Bitumen from Victorian Tiles

Let me start this story by telling you this was the most challenging floor that I have come across so far. It all started with a request to visit a property in Oxford where they had discovered an original Victorian tiled floor under a parquet floor in the hall.

When I arrived the customer had taken up a small area in the corner and had already tried to remove the black bitumen that the parquet floor was stuck down with, he had made some progress but realized it would be a massive project without the right tools. After I had showed him how much cleaner I could take his patch he booked me to restore the floor, the customer said he would remove the parquet floor himself.

Victorian Floor Oxford Before Cleaning

Removing Bitumen from Victorian Tiles

When I arrived the parquet had been taken up to reveal a completely bitumen covered tiled floor that was very sticky. My first task was to put protection around the doors and skirting before moving on to removing the bitumen which was done by covering the half the floor in a mixture of Tile Doctor Remove and Go combined with Nano Tech UltraClean which was left to soak in for about an hour.

Victorian Floor Oxford Before Cleaning Victorian Floor Oxford Before Cleaning

After this I scrubbed the solution into the floor using a black scrubbing pad on my Rocky floor scrubbing machine, this loosened the bitumen from the floor which was then washed off with water and removed using a numatic wet vacuum. The same process was repeated on the other half of the floor and then the whole process was repeated again on both parts of the floor until it was clear of bitumen. This was arduous work and took a whole day to complete.

Cleaning Victorian Tiles

When I returned the next day I gave the floor a deep clean using a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean, like the Remove and Go this was spread over the floor leaving it to dwell for 10 minutes before being scrubbed in using the scrubbing machine fitted with a black pad; again the floor was rinsed clean with water which was removed using the wet vacuum.

After this I applied Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up which is an acidic product that is great at removing grout smears and mineral deposits from tiles, being an acid you can only leave it on the tile for a short while so I worked in 1m square sections at a time on my knees spraying and scrubbing with a deck brush and then rinsing.

When I had finished this process the whole floor was thoroughly rinsed with clean water to ensure there were no cleaning products left on the floor. I then left the floor to dry promising to return a few days later when it had dried.

Sealing Victorian Quarry Tiles

I returned as agreed a few days later to seal the floor with five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a great for Victorian tiles as it leaves a nice shine to the floor which is exactly how the customer wanted it. This process does take time however as you have to let the first coat dry before moving onto the next.

Victorian Floor Oxford After Cleaning Victorian Floor Oxford After Cleaning

From start to finish the transformation of the floor was amazing and the customer was very impressed with the results. Although the area was not large this was a very testing floor as bitumen stays sticky and was very difficult to remove even with the correct machines and products.
Source: Victorian Tile Restoration Service in Oxford

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