Restoring a Classic Victorian Tiled Hallway in Rugby

I was very pleased to be contacted by this client, they lived on a lovely residential road near the centre of Rugby in Warwickshire and the house featured a beautiful Victorian tiled hallway floor. As you will see from the pictures the patterns are stunning.

Victorian Hallway Floor Before Restoration Rugby

Over the years it had been badly damaged along the edges and a few tiles were cracked. It’s difficult to know the cause of the damage but we normally find problems like these can be caused by settlement in the floor and if heavy objects are dropped on the tiles. High traffic areas such as the hallway do get a lot of general wear and tear which takes its toll on the floor. The owner of the house felt embarrassed with the condition of the floor and had decided it was time to have it restored.

Victorian Hallway Floor Before Restoration Rugby

Cleaning and Restoring a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I identified the colours used in the floor, so I could source replacements and went through the floor with the client to mark the tiles that needed changing. We left a few tiles with minor damage so that the new tiles did not stand out and kept the floor authentic.

I managed to source some replacement tiles and started the job by removing and replacing all the damaged and loose tiles. Many of the replacements had to be hand cut to size, especially in the corners. It took some time but eventually, all the damaged tiles were removed and replaced, and the loose tiles refitted. The floor was then left for a few days to set.

On my return, I started by giving the floor a deep clean by spraying the tiles with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go. This was left on the tiles to soak in and break up the bonding agent in the old coatings. After ten minutes I worked the solution into the tiles with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor buffer and then rinsed the resulting soil off the floor with water and extracted it using a wet vacuum.

Victorian Hallway Floor During Cleaning Rugby

The next step was to give the floor an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel, we don’t normally use acidic products on tile or stone however they are particularly good at dealing with alkaline mineral salts and removing grout smears. Old floors like these are particularly vulnerable to a natural process called efflorescence which results in white mineral salt deposits being left on the surface of the tile as the floor fully dries out and can interfere with the sealer. To counter this, the floor was given an Acid Wash with Tile Doctor Acid Gel which being in Gel form makes it particularly easy to control. The acid in the gel works by neutralising the alkalinity in the floor. The solution was scrubbed into the floor using a coarse diamond encrusted burnishing pad to improve the finish of the tiles and then thoroughly rinsed with water and extracted with a wet vacuum to remove any trace of cleaning product.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

After leaving the floor to thoroughly dry out over a few days I returned to complete the sealing process. On my return, the floor was sealed with few coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra which leaves a nice satin finish and being a fully breathable sealer is ideal for old floors that have no damp proof membrane and needs moisture to rise through the tile, so it can evaporate.

Victorian Hallway Floor After Restoration Rugby

The vibrant colours of the tiles were brought back to life and the floor was transformed. The client was delighted and wondered why they had not called upon us sooner!

Victorian Hallway Floor After Restoration Rugby

 

Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Rugby, Warwickshire

Classic Edwardian Tiled Hallway Floor Restored in Muswell Hill, London

It must seem to he reader of this site that the only we get in North London relates to Victorian and Edwardian tiled floors. They are certainly popular, and we do get our fair share, but I can assure we also work on all types of tile, stone and grout however at the moment there appears to be a huge demand for our services in restoring Victorian and Edwardian tiled floors.

This post which comes from a property in the London suburb of Muswell Hill which is well known for Victorian and Edwardian houses. The owners had decided to improve the look of their hallway and uncovered an original Edwardian tiled floor after pulling up the carpet. Realising it was an original feature of their period property they decided to get it cleaned, repaired and restored back to its rightful splendour.

Edwardian Hallway Before Restoration Muswell Hill Edwardian Hallway Before Restoration Muswell Hill

Deep Cleaning an Edwardian Tiled Floor

Our first task was to protect the area surrounding the tiles from splashing by applying a protective polythene tape to the thresholds and door fronts etc. We then started preparing the floor for cleaning by removing the glue that was used to hold the carpet gripper to the tiles. A sharp blade was used to carefully scrape the adhesive off the tile and then the area was spot treated using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove & Go which was left to soak into the tile for ten minutes before being scrubbed by hand.

With the adhesive removed the whole floor was given a thorough clean using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean. The cleaning solution was left to soak in for ten minutes and then they were scrubbed with floor pads fitted to a rotary buffer machine and then by hand with stiff brushes. The floor was then rinsed, and steam cleaned with the soiled extracted off the floor using a wet vacuum.

We managed to take a photo as seen below showing the floor half way through the cleaning stages.

Edwardian Hallway During Cleaning Muswell Hill

Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Whist carrying out the repairs to inside the front door we uncovered a distressed surface underneath the tiles, probably from all the foot traffic walking over it for so many years which required some much-needed attention. After carefully taking out the required number of tiles and setting those aside we had to lay a new covering of cement and insert stainless steel mesh plates to level the floor.

Edwardian Hallway Before Restoration Muswell Hill Edwardian Hallway After Cleaning and Repair Muswell Hill

After the installation of the tiles, the floor was re grouted and thoroughly cleaned and left to dry off overnight.

Sealing Edwardian Style Tiles

We returned the next day to seal the floor, first checking to ensure the tiles had dried out overnight. To start the sealing, we applied a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow with leaves a matt finish and left it to dry. Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer that provides stain protection whilst enriching the colour of the tiles in the process.

Edwardian Hallway After Sealing Muswell Hill

Once the first coat was dry it was followed by the application of six coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go which adds further layers of protection but leaves a satin finish that gives a rich, natural appearance and works really well on Victorian and Edwardian tiles.

Edwardian Hallway After Sealing Muswell Hill

 
 
Source: Edwardian Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Muswell Hill, London

Relaying 450 Edwardian Hallway Tiles in a Crouch-End

Pictures below of an original Edwardian Tiled Hallway at a house in Crouch End, North London. Victorian and Edwardian properties are quite common in the area which actually dates to the 13th Century and is often used in the filming of East Enders.

We were called in to look at restoring the floor back to its former glory and when inspecting and surveying the floor we found large sections of tiles that were loose and three doorway thresholds that required rebuilding and re-tiling. If you have been following our website posts, you will know this is something we specialise in, so we were more than happy to help.

Edwardian Hallway Threshold Before Restoration Crouch End

Restoring an Edwardian Tiled Floor

Before cleaning the floor our first task was to remove the loose, damaged, cracked and broken tiles. These were set aside and those that could be re-used were cleaned prior to re-laying. The remaining tiles were then cleaned using Tile Doctor Remove & Go to remove the old waxes and seals.

Edwardian Hallway Floor Before Restoration Crouch End

Over the course of three days we worked in small areas of about a metre square at a time. After cleaning the tiles were then fully rinsed and steam cleaned and left to dry. In the meantime, we began the repairs to the thresholds and central part of the floor.

After the installation of the new and reclaimed tiles the floor was re grouted using Mapei grey grout and thoroughly cleaned and left to dry overnight.

Sealing Edwardian Style Tiles

We returned the next day to seal the floor, first checking to ensure the tiles had dried out overnight. To start the sealing we applied a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow and left it to dry. Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer that provides stain protection whilst enriching the colour of the tiles in the process.

Edwardian Hallway Threshold During Sealing Crouch End

Once the first coat was dry it was followed by the application of six coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go which is a protective Satin Seal that gives a rich, natural appearance and works really well on Victorian and Edwardian tiles.

Edwardian Hallway Threshold After Restoration Crouch End

In total the work took four days to complete and we relayed around 450 tiles in the process. Before leaving we advised our customer on how best to maintain the appearance and increase longevity of the sealer.

Edwardian Hallway Floor After Restoration Crouch End

 
 
Source: Edwardian Tile Cleaning and Maintenance Service in Crouch End, North London

Victorian Tiled Hallway Restoration in North London

This lovely Victorian Tiled Hallway was discovered by a couple during the renovation of their home in Woodford Green which is a suburb of Woodford in North East London. The tiles were covered by a hallway carpet and much of it was obscured by concrete floor leveller. Fortunately just enough of the tile was exposed to give an indication of the Black and White Victorian floor underneath.

After initial investigation and discussion on what was possible, we were invited to quote to restore the floor which I’m pleased to say was accepted. The following pictures show an indication of the process we followed to restore the hallway to its former Victorian glory.

Cleaning Victorian Hallway Tiles

The first step was to remove the concrete floor levelling compound which was done very carefully using small hand tools, detail blades and scrapers. This took a lot of work as we did not want to damage the tiles underneath. You can get a feeling for this from the photographs below where we slowly remove the concrete layer over the floor to reveal the Victorian floor underneath.

Removing Concrete Leveller From Victorian Floor Tiles in Woodford Green Removing Concrete Leveller From Victorian Floor Tiles in Woodford Green

Once the Victorian tiles were all uncovered and the cement had been removed we got a good idea of the condition of the tiles and began a deep clean restorative process. The process began by giving the floor an acid wash with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which was left to dwell on the tile for ten minutes before being scrubbed in to release remaining smears of concrete and grout residue on the tiles.

The resultant soil was then removed with a wet vacuum and the floor then cleaned with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean using a similar technique of leaving it to dwell and then scrubbing it in.

Cleaning Victorian Hallway Floor Tiles in Woodford Green

Once cleaned the soiled cleaning product was removed with a wet vacuum and the floor give an thorough rinse with fresh water which was followed by a steam clean to finalised the process.

Cleaning Victorian Hallway Floor Tiles in Woodford Green

With the floor now deep cleaned we moved on to addressing the three door thresholds which needed to be rebuilt to fix loose and replace broken tiles.

Victorian Hallway Floor Tile Threshold After Cleaning in Woodford Green

Sealing Victorian Hallway Tiles

The tiles were left to dry and set overnight and we returned later to seal them with an initial coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, an impregnating seal as a primer before re-grouting. Colour Grow is an impregnator that seeps into the pores of the tile protecting it from within and also enhancing the colours in the tile.

Victorian Hallway Floor Tiles Regrouting in Woodford Green

Once the sealer had dried we moved on to grouting those areas which were repaired the previous day with a matching grout colour and then this was left to set

When the grout was set it was time to finish off the sealing this time using five applications of Tile Doctor Seal & Go to provide a natural sheen finish.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Full Restoration in Woodford Green

As you can see from the picture, the floor has been fully restored to its original condition and with the correct maintenance; it should last for years to come.
 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in London

Repairing and Restoring an Edwardian Tiled Hallway in North London

This customer from Islington in North London had an Edwardian Black and White tiled hallway in need of repair and restoring.

Edwardian Hallway Floor Before Tile Cleaning Islington

To restore the lustre of the Edwardian floor tiles the floor would need what was left of the old sealer stripped off, tiles deep cleaned, the replacing of missing and broken tiles and finally applying an impregnating colour restoring products and a protective sealer. You will full details of how this was done below.

Edwardian Hallway Floor Before Tile Cleaning Islington

Cleaning Edwardian Style Tiles

Before starting we covered the skirting, doors and threshold areas with protective tape. Then to remove what was left of the old sealer and clean the floor the area was left to soak in a strong solution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go for about ten minutes. It was then scrubbed into the tile using a slow speed orbital floor machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad and also hand held brushes to get into the corners and other tricky areas.

The now soiled cleaning solution did a good job removing the dirt and old sealer and was rinsed away using water and then extracted with a wet vacuum. The tile and grout was inspected and the process repeated where required before giving the floor a final rinse to remove any trace of cleaning product. It was getting late at this point so the floor was left to dry off thoroughly overnight.

Sealing Edwardian Style Tiles

On our return we first carried out a number of restorative tile repairs using matching Edwardian reclaimed tile replacements primarily to the door thresholds and skirting board edges. Before grouting we applied a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer to the whole floor as this would make any excess grout easier to remove. Colour Grow is also a breathable sealer that impregnates into the pores of the tile protecting it from within and also enhancing the colours in the tile.

We had to leave the floor for another day primarily to allow the grout to dry before returning the next day to complete the sealing process this time using six coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which adds a lovely sheen and works really well on Edwardian floor tiles.

Edwardian Hallway Floor After Tile Cleaning Islington

As you can see from the picture, the floor has been restored to its original condition and with the correct maintenance; it should last for years to come.

Edwardian Hallway Floor After Tile Cleaning Islington

 
 
Source: Edwardian Tile Cleaning and Maintenance Service in North London

Removing bitumen covering from Victorian tiles

I was asked to take a look at restoring a Victorian Tiled Floor in the Cumbrian town of Barrow in Furness where the floor had been covered in black bitumen; the bitumen was so thick it was difficult to gauge the condition of the floor underneath. I did a test clean which came out well but I had to explain there could be tile damage and other hidden problems so very difficult to quote for however we agreed a date and price and I came back a couple of weeks later to do the job.

Victorian Tiles Covered in Bitumen Barrow in Furness

Removing Bitumen form Victorian Tiles

Removing the bitumen from the floor without damaging the tiles underneath was a slow process involving spraying on a strong solution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go, letting it soak in, applying steam and then carefully scraping off the bitumen. The floor was treated in this manner a small area at a time and a wet vacuum was used to rinse and remove the resulting slurry. This process took up the whole day and was completely successful at removing the bitumen, before finishing I gave the floor a thorough rinse with clean water and used the wet vacuum to dry the floor was much as possible before leaving.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

I had used a lot of water cleaning the floor so I agreed with the owner to leave the floor for a few days before sealing it so it could thoroughly dry out. When I did return I used Tile Doctor Colour Grow to seal the tiles, the customer had wanted a satin finish but having weighed up the options including the fact that there was a damp problem in the house I felt Colour Grow which is a penetrating and breathable sealer would have the best longevity.

Bitumen Cleaned from Victorian Tiles in Barrow in Furness

The customers were very happy with the results and before leaving we discussed aftercare cleaning, with sealed surfaces you have to be careful not to use acidic products as this can reduce the life of the sealer.
 
 
Source: Professional Tile, Stone and Grout maintenance service in Cumbria

Matching old and new Victorian tiles

This particular Victorian tiled floor had been installed in the hallway of a house in Stow Park, Gwent around 130 years ago. Despite its age it was in a good condition and the detailed pattern although dirty was still very distinctive, the customer felt however that the floor was spoilt by the total erosion of the stone step at the front door which had suffered from the 130 years of footfall that had occurred across the threshold.

Victorian Tile Issue Resolved in Gwent Before

They asked me for any suggestions to make it more pleasing on the eye so I chose various colours from the main floor area and created a new entrance step leading to the main hallway comprising of 150 mm x 150 mm original style red and black floor tiles and 150 mm x 75 mm original style black round edge tiles.

Victorian Tile Issue Resolved in Gwent After

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Floor

The difference between the old and new was fairly obvious so once the tiles had been laid and the grout had gone off I returned to give the original Victorian tiles a thorough clean. There were some stubborn stains on the floor so I decided to scrub in a couple of strong products called Tile Doctor Remove and Go followed by Tile doctor Grout Clean-up rinsing in between the stages.

Remove and Go is a sealer and coatings remover that as well as cleaning will remove old coatings such as sealers from the tile, this is important if you wish to re-seal the floor as you can get unexpected results if you add one sealer on top of another. Grout Clean-up removes mineral deposits such as the white salts from effloresce, rust and grout smears. The floor was given a thorough rinse following the cleaning process to ensure no product was left on the floor that could upset a sealer.

Sealing a Victorian Floor Sealing

Aided by the warm weather it wasn’t long before the tiles were dry enough to be sealed and so I applied two coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which adds a nice subtle sheen to the floor as well as providing on-going stain protection.

Victorian Tile Issue Resolved in Gwent After Sealing

I think you would have to agree my solution worked out well and the new tiles look part of the original floor.
 
 
Source: Residential and Commercial Stone and Tile Restoration in Gwent

Victorian Tile Cleaning in Hampton Court Village

This was a straight forward strip and re-seal of a Victorian tiled hallway floor at a residence near the historic Hampton. The floor I suspect was an original feature of the house and the owners had maintained it well but like any Victorian floor they will show the effects of wear especially in high traffic areas like a hallway and benefit from a good deep clean and reseal every few years.

Victorian Hallway Hampton Court Before

Cleaning Victorian Tiles

The floor was washed down in a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a multi-purpose alkaline cleaner/stripper which is safe to use on tile, stone and grout. This was left to soak into the floor tile for about twenty minutes before scrubbing it deep into the tile using a rotary floor machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. This did a great job of cleaning up the floor and removing what was left of the previous sealer. The soiled solution was removed with a wet vacuum and then washed down with clean water to remove any remaining product and neutralise the floor before sealing. There were a few stubborn areas that needed further attention and so I treated them with neat Pro-Clean and a steamer until I was satisfied it was a good I could get it, again once I had finished I gave the floor a good rinse with clean water.

Victorian Hallway Hampton Court After Cleaning

Sealing Victorian Tiles

I left the floor to dry overnight and came back the next day to seal the tiles which for Victorian tiles I usually use Tile Doctor Seal and Go. It’s a water based sealer so it leaves no smell add a nice shiny finish to the floor, six coats were require in the end which is not unusual for Terracotta due to the porosity of the tiles.

Victorian Hallway Hampton Court After Sealing

 
 
Source: Rejuvinating Victorian Tiles in Middlesex

Restoring Victorian Tiles in Historic Stratford

I made another visit back to the historic and famous town of Stratford-upon-Avon recently this time to restore a Victorian Tiled Hallway which had been covered In self levelling cement (don’t ask) which was proving very difficult to remove and I doubt William Shakespeare would of approved.

Victorian Floor Tiles Before Restoration in Stratford upon Avon Victorian Floor Tiles Before Restoration in Stratford upon Avon

Removing Cement from Victorian Tiles

None of the usual methods for removing cement from tile was proving to be effective against this stuff, it was simply too thick so it was necessary to resort to a set off milling disks which grind the surface, I could only go so close to the tile with these however and had to resort to a hand scrapper to remove much of the rest and as you can imagine this took a long time to complete and was quite exhausting work.

Victorian Floor Tiles During Restoration in Stratford upon Avon

The resultant powder was swept and vacuumed from the tile before applying Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which we normally use for removing grout smears, it’s an acidic product that you allow to dwell on the tile for a few minutes and then agitate with a scrubbing pad and then remove shortly afterwards using a wet vacuum and then quickly washing the floor down quickly to ensure the acid is removed.

The next job was to give the floor a deep clean using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed 50/50 with NanoTech UltraClean which was worked into the pores of the Victorian tile and grout using a slow speed rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. The dirty solution was removed and the floor rinsed thoroughly with water, again we used the wet vacuum to remove the water and get the tile as dry as possible.

Sealing Victorian floor tiles

I left the floor overnight to dry overnight leaving an air blower to accelerate the drying time and then came back next day to seal the floor; I used a damp test meter first to verify the floor was dry and ready for sealing. Once happy I proceed to apply four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is an ideal sealer for Victorian Tiles as it leaves a nice shine on the floor as well as providing great stain protection.

Victorian Floor Tiles After Restoration in Stratford upon Avon Victorian Floor Tiles After Restoration in Stratford upon Avon


It was an exhausting job and quite a transformation, unfortunately there were a few area’s I could do nothing about but it all adds to the character of the floor.
 
 
Source: Victorian tiled floor restored in Warwickshire