Here’s a really interesting commercial job for you, which I recently completed in the town of Hinckley, Leicestershire. I was asked to take a look at a Victorian Geometric and Encaustic tiled floor in the historic Queen’s Head pub.
This floor is over a century old and although in good condition for its age had suffered significant wear over the years, along with some cracked tiles and slight inherent moisture issues. What the pub landlord requested was a restorative clean to alleviate the aesthetically damaging effect of the wear, and to enhance the natural colours of the stone. I was also asked to seal the floor following the clean to achieve a semi-gloss finish.
Cleaning an old Victorian tiled floor
The first step in the cleaning process was to mix a strong solution of one part Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to four parts clean water. Pro-Clean is a high alkaline cleaner which also contains stripping properties, allowing it to break down old sealer and tackle heavy soil build-up. The solution was applied to the floor and left to dwell for 15 minutes, giving it times to seep into the stone, get underneath the dirt and lift it to the surface.
I addressed several paint spots and areas suffering from glue contamination by using Tile Doctor Remove & Go, which is specially formulated to break down paint and adhesives on unpolished natural stone floors, amongst others. The entire floor was then scrubbed using a special floor cleaning pad, and the resulting slurry was vacuumed away using a wet-vac machine.
The final issue to deal with was the inherent efflorescence staining. This was treated using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up, an acid-based product which removes not just efflorescence but also grout haze, mineral deposits, and rust stains. The solution here was one part Grout Clean-Up diluted with four parts water.
After completing the clean, I thoroughly rinsed the floor with clean water to remove any trace of cleaning product and dried the floor as much as possible with a wet vacuum, then before leaving for the day i installed a couple of air movers to assist with drying overnight.
Sealing an old Victorian tiled floor
Upon my return the following day, I checked the floor for any excess moisture before sealing it with our topical, semi-gloss finish sealer, known as Seal & Go Extra which due to its formula is ideal for external or old internal floors where there is unlikely to be damp from membrane.
This unique product provides excellent protection, and allows the tiles to breath where floors are suffering from inherent moisture issues. It is suitable for both internal and external use, on Victorian floor tiles, Sandstone, Flagstones, Terracotta, and rough Slate.
As you can see from the photo, I was able to fulfil my client’s request to a high standard, bringing the pub’s old yet characterful Victorian tiled floor back to life again.
Source: Tile and Stone Restoration Service in Leicestershire