Complete Rebuild of a Victorian Tiled Path in Cardiff

This Victorian tiled path leading up to a lovely period house in Cardiff was in a really bad state of repair with many damaged and cracked tiles. I had already been working on their hallway tiles and the customer was hoping I would be able to salvage the original tiles in the front path. I was confident something could be done but when I started to remove a few I soon found out that would be unlikely. I made a few calls and fortunately I was able to find replacement tiles in a local salvage yard that were a perfect match.

Victorian Tiled Pathway Before Rebuild Cardiff

The border tiles were a different matter though, so I had to buy new tiles that could be mixed with old for the border which I purchased from original style. I’ve used Original Style tiles on a few occasions in the past, they have a section dedicated to Victorian Tiles and stock quite a few of the popular patterns and decorative border designs.

Rebuilding a Victorian Tiled Path

The foundation of the path was cracked and crumbling so after carefully removing as many tiles that were worth saving I rebuilt the base with a new layer of cement.

Victorian Tiled Pathway During Rebuild Cardiff Victorian Tiled Pathway During Rebuild Cardiff

Once the new base was dry I was able to start Tiling as normal, I had taken photographs of the original pattern, so I was able progress quite quickly.

Victorian Tiled Pathway During Rebuild Cardiff Victorian Tiled Pathway During Rebuild Cardiff

Once the central pattern had been laid I progressed onto the edges which took longer to lay due to the complex pattern. Once all the tiles were laid and the adhesive had set I was able to move onto Grouting.

Victorian Tiled Pathway During Rebuild Cardiff

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Path

Once the tiles were laid and grout had set I was able to move onto cleaning the whole path starting with an acid wash using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up to remove any grout smears left over from the grouting and also to counter act any salts within the tile which could cause problems later.

After a rinse with water the path was then give a good scrub with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a heavy-duty Tile and Grout cleaner that worked well to brings out ingrained dirt.

Sealing a Victorian Floor Sealing

The path was left to dry off overnight and I came back the next day to seal them, I left protection over the path each night after leaving and fortunately we experienced a rare spell of decent weather that week.

The sealer I chose was Tile Doctor Colour Grow, it’s fully breathable, which is important when sealing tiles exposed to damp conditions and it’s a colour enhancing sealer which brought out the best in the red quarry tiles as well as giving good protection to the tile surface.

Victorian Tiled Pathway After Rebuild Cardiff Victorian Tiled Pathway After Rebuild Cardiff

My customer was most impressed with the transformation and left the following glowing testimonial on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

“Julian was quick to respond to emails. He arrived on the date we arranged and was finished promptly. We had our hall tiles re-surfaced and the path completely relayed. Where possible outside Julian re-used the old tiles and when not then used new. The final finish is amazing and definitely gives a wow factor to the entrance to the property. Julian is trustworthy and I would highly recommend him and his work. Thanks for the hard work!
Nigel J, Cardiff 15 Jan 2018″

Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Tiling Service in Cardiff, Wales

Renovating a Victorian Tiled Hallway in South Wales

Many property owners who are lucky enough to have an original Victorian tiled floor in their homes face the same conundrum: can an old and potentially very damaged floor be salvaged and restored to peak condition or should I replace it?

Some people would instinctively tell you that the answer is no – even trained professionals! In fact, a leading tile restoration company (which shall remain unnamed) based in Cardiff told a recent customer of mine that her original Victorian tiled floor, dating back to 1905, was beyond repair. The company recommended that she not waste any money on having it restored and instead that she should have it ripped up and replaced.

Victorian Tiled Hallway in Cardiff Before Restoration

It was in a bad state, however replacing the floor would incur a significant cost and the original characteristics of the period floor would be lost. The customer was feeling rather deflated and was left undecided on what to do. Fortunately after browsing the web for a solution, she came across Tile Doctor and I was asked to pop over and take a look.

I visited the customer at her home and removed parts of her hallway carpet to get a better look at the Victorian tiles beneath. The floor was certainly in a very poor state, there were many old paint splash marks covering the tiles and the surface of the floor was deeply darkened after many years’ worth of wear and tear. In my opinion however, it was still salvageable, and the customer was happy to see what could be done.

Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

A week before I was due to start the restoration, I asked the customer to remove the foam-backed carpet to let the floor breathe a bit.

Before beginning the work, I ran a few damp tests and the floor proved surprisingly dry considering how old it is and the very probable lack of a damp proof membrane. I started by manually scraping as much of the old paint staining off the stone as possible and cleared other debris from the surface.

Knowing that clay based Victorian tiles like these easily soak up paint splashes, I knew it would take a thorough clean to remove them completely. I firstly soaked the floor with water and left it to dry slightly before mixing a concoction of Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU, Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, and Tile Doctor Remove and Go.

NanoTech HBU is a particularly powerful cleaner which uses nano-sized particles to penetrate the pores of the stone, while Pro-Clean is an alkaline-based cleaner that tackles heavy soil build-up. Remove and Go is a multi-purpose product which both cleans and strips away any old sealer.

I left this mixture to dwell on the floor for around half an hour, scrubbed it in firstly using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine and then a wire wool pad. I followed by rinsing the products off with water and extracted up the excess with a wet vacuum machine.

This technique was repeated until I was satisfied with the condition of the floor.

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

After leaving the floor to dry off completely overnight, I returned to the property the next day to carry out the sealing process. I applied seven coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, which not only adds a protective covering to the tile, but also enhances its appearance.

The customer was absolutely thrilled with the results of the restoration, especially considering that she was told the floor was ruined by a leading company and not worth saving.

Victorian Tiled Hallway in Cardiff After Restoration

I think you will agree that its always worth trying to restore a period floor and my customer deserves praise for sticking to their guns.
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Maintenance Service in South Wales

Deep Cleaning Old And Dirty Victorian Hallway Tiles

Sometimes you survey a job and you know that if you get the chance to restore it the results will be totally fantastic! This was the case with this Victorian black & white chequer tiled floor in the hallway of a large terraced Victorian house in Cardiff which dated back to around 1900 and was now looking well past its best, I know this because my family used to live in the house opposite. It was a well laid floor with no readings of dampness; I believe it’s imperative you check a floor for dampness before starting so you know what the baseline damp level is and which sealers will work with the floor.

Black and white chequer Victorian Tiles Cardiff Before Black and white chequer Victorian Tiles Cardiff Before

Deep Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Floor

My first action was to hoover the floor and then scrape as much debris off the surface as possible, and then as always I mixed 50/50 Tile Doctor HBU (Heavy Build-Up) remover with Pro-Clean and on this occasion because I wanted the white tiles to become really white I added the same amount of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up. This special recipe created a very formidable and strong cleaning solution which is what the job called for. I swept it over the whole floor letting it soak in for about ten minutes and then worked it into the floor using a scrubbing machine fitted with a coarse black pad adding more of the solution to the floor where it was drying out as I went.

Black and white chequer Victorian Tiles Cardiff During Cleaning Black and white chequer Victorian Tiles Cardiff During Cleaning

The next step was to rinse the floor twice with water and extract the now filthy cleaning solution using a wet vacuum. At this point I inspected the tiles and I could see there were still a few stubborn areas with spots of paint and glue which I addressed with a decorators steam plate together with a scraper and hand held scrubbing pad.

I was now happy that the floor was clean and ready to be sealed, before sealing though it’s important to remove any trace of cleaning solution as it may contaminate the sealer so I gave the floor a thorough rinse and extracted as much of the water as possible to reduce drying times.

Sealing a Victorian Floor Sealing

I left the floor to dry for 48hrs before coming back to seal the tiles taking a reader on my damp meter first to establish they had indeed dried out. To seal the floor I used eight coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go which really works well on Victorian tiles and in this case made the whites really stand out.

Black and white chequer Victorian Tiles Cardiff After Black and white chequer Victorian Tiles Cardiff After

The customer wanted this floor to look good because they were selling the property and were due to have an open day. The clean tiles really gave the house the wow factor and period features are so desirable these days so I don’t think it will take long to sell.
Source: Professional Tile, Stone and Grout Cleaning service in South Wales

Restoring a Victorian Floor hidden under ceramic tiles

Never give up is how I would describe this job!!! I initially surveyed the floor in this Cardiff kitchen in November 2014 and finally completed it and the end of February 2015 working on it off and on as I searched for right tiles to match the existing.

On my survey the Victorian tiled floor which the customer was hoping to restore was covered over by ceramic tiles which the customer agreed to remove before my next visit so I could carry out a cleaning sample. Additionally there was an area of flooring which needed to blend in with kitchen as the pantry wall that previously separated it had been knocked down.

The ceramic tiles were removed and I came round to carry out a cleaning sample in what I thought was one of the more heavily soiled areas; I used Tile Doctor Remove & Go combined with another Tile Doctor product called NanoTech HBU which stands for Heavy Build-up Remover. The results were successful and it was decided to go ahead with the restoration.

Full Victorian Floor Restoration Cardiff Exposing the tiles Full Victorian Floor Restoration Cardiff Exposing the tiles

During my visit I tested for moisture and in general the readings were good with the highest reading of 12 in different parts of the floor.

Fully Restoring a Victorian Tiled Floor

To restore the tiles I set about cleaning adhesive and grime off using a combination of Tile Doctor Nanotech HBU and Pro Clean which was left to dwell and soak in for two hours before scrubbing with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. I tried this for a while and found it was not removing the dirt as expected and on inspection I discovered that the inner body of the ceramic tile was still stuck to the floor. It seems the when the customer removed the ceramic tiles they had only managed to remove the top layer of the tile and had left the lower part stuck to the floor. This Job was now becoming a nightmare as the solution would be to chip and scrape away tiny pieces of the remaining tile away so I could reach and clean the original Victorian floor.

Full Victorian Floor Restoration Cardiff Scraping Off Adhesive Full Victorian Floor Restoration Cardiff Scraping Off Adhesive

I had suggested to the customer that it might be cheaper to replace the whole floor but he was adamant that we should continue with our original plan and try to do the best job possible so never giving up I was happy to oblige.

In between cleaning the floor I prepared the base adjacent to the original floor with levelling compound. Also with the cleaning in progress I was getting a better look at the Victorian tiles which were now starting to appear and I could see how badly damaged which would have to be replaced.

Full Victorian Floor Restoration Cardiff Levelling Compound Full Victorian Floor Restoration Cardiff laying replacement tiles

The hallway floor had to be cut at the kitchen doorway as it protruded into the kitchen which when the door was closed looked odd so the customer was happy with my suggestion. I made different suggestions for the new floor layout, and colours which we felt complimented each floor pattern , the new tiles were purchased from original style and the local reclamation yard but I did have to cut the back off a few because of different thickness.

Full Victorian Floor Restoration Cardiff Trimming reclaimed tiles Full Victorian Floor Restoration Cardiff Laying new tiles

I finished fixing the replacement tiles and laying the new tiles in a pattern that we had agreed and in a style that best matched the original floor.

Full Victorian Floor Restoration Ready for sealing

Sealing a Victorian Floor Sealing

After all the work undertaken including the tilling of the area attached to the original I gave the whole floor a final and thorough steam clean which I did on a the Friday leaving it to thoroughly dry out over the weekend so I could move onto sealing early the following week.

Unfortunately when I arrived on Monday I discovered patches of efflorescence had appeared on certain tiles and I was still unable to finish the job. To resolve this the tiles needed to be given an wash down with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up diluted 50/50 with water; this did the trick so I gave the floor another rinse with water and left to dry overnight.

When I returned the next day I checked for moisture which was a borderline reading of 15-16 so using a heat gun applied some warmth to the whole floor making sure to let it cool down before sealing with a coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that occupies the pores in the tile to prevent dirt from becoming ingrained there. Next I applied three coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which added a nice sheen to the floor and really brought out the vibrant reds in the tile. The following day I returned to do some tiling on wall above the cooker so applied a further three coats of Seal and Go to the floor to ensure it was fully sealed.

Full Victorian Floor Restoration Cardiff Finished Full Victorian Floor Restoration Cardiff Finished

If you have read this story through to the end you will appreciate that this was a mammoth job however it was satisfying to do and the final result looks fantastic, needless to say both myself and the customer were very happy with the end result.
Source: Tile, Stone and Grout Maintenance and Restoration in South Wales

Victorian Tile Restoration Tips

This owner of this house built around 1900 in Cardiff had asked me if I could make their look any better following their attempt at renovating their original Victorian Tiled floor. I examined the floor and established that they had sealed the floor without testing for moisture also it seemed it had been sealed but not correctly cleaned and more importantly not rinsed thoroughly to eradicate any cleaning solutions first; the results as you can see has caused a terrible patchy mess .

Victorian Floor Before Cleaning in Cardiff Victorian Floor Before Cleaning in Cardiff

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Floor

The floor was tested for moisture first which established it was dry and also established a baseline as to what to look for later. The next step was to remove any sealers present which proved very difficult because the sealer had only been applied 6 months earlier and applied thickly with a roller. I used three litres of Tile Doctor Remove and Go in total to strip 6 m2 applying it, letting it soak in and then scrubbing it in to get the sealer off. It took multiple rounds of scrubbing but once the sealer was removed I then went over the floor with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up to remove any grout smears and mineral deposits and then gave the floor a thorough rinse with plenty of clean water. To make sure I had given the floor a thorough clean the floor was then finished off more Remove and Go mixed with Tile Doctor NanoTech Ultra-Clean to make it more effective and then steam cleaned. The floor was then rinsed again with another two rinses with fresh cold clean water which was then removed with a wet vacuum I worked.

Victorian Floor After Cleaning in Cardiff Victorian Floor After Cleaning in Cardiff

Sealing a Victorian Floor Sealing

The floor was left to dry out and I came back on two occasions to check if it was dry enough to seal. The first time I visited was three days later and the floor had a high moisture level, I tested again after five days and the readings were ok to carry on with the sealing stage. The customer wanted a satin finish so I went ahead and sealed the floor with several coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go with great results as you can see.

Victorian Floor After Cleaning in Cardiff

Source: Residential and Commercial Tile, Stone and Grout Cleaning in South East Wales