Rebuilding a Damaged Victorian Tiled Hallway in Epsom

A customer from Epsom called me regarding the restoration of her Victorian tiled hallway which was previously covered in carpet and in a poor state of health. Intrigued and having spoken on the phone I agreed a time to call in and survey the floor and work out a way forward. I visited the property and could immediately see considerable repair work including resolving problems with the sub floor and tile replacement would be required and all this before cleaning and sealing.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Before Rebuild in Epsom

This house had undergone some serious renovations recently and the floor was left till last. I’m not a structural engineer so was unable to advise what had happened to the floor, but all the faults appeared to run in a line from the kitchen to the front door. It was an old house so who knows what might have caused it, it might even have been bomb damage from the 2nd world war.

There were three main problem areas. The worst was by the front door where an area of about a metre square was just loose tiles and laid on rubble. The family had got used to jumping across the threshold so as not to make the problem worse. Next was a strip through the middle that was totally exposed and a massive trip hazard. The floor boards were visible as was the floor base. There was another area by the front room entrance that had some loose pattern tiles that clunked every time someone entered the room. Finally, there was a small area to the entrance to the basement that had been patched in with cement.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Before Rebuild in Epsom Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Before Rebuild in Epsom

It was clearly going to be a challenging restoration for several reasons. Had the customer kept all the loose tiles? If not, could I source matching replacements? Would it be possible to level the floor that appeared to be sloping towards the front door? Could I remove loose and broken tiles without disturbing others? Could I manage the customers high expectations?

Having worked on numerous Victorian floor restorations in the past I knew where I could potentially source replacement tiles. I also had the full backing of the Tile Doctor network so knew I could always reach out to other Tile Doctors should I face any major problems. Undaunted we agreed a date for me to return and start the work and in the mean time I would talk to several specialist tile suppliers about replacements.

Rebuilding a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Before starting any tiling work, I photographed the whole floor extensively from different angles so I would have something to refer to later. Then I removed all the loose tiles placing them in buckets for further cleaning. I now had three areas that I could see beneath the floor boards and another area of cement that I broke up using a chisel drill. In total I filled six buckets with rubble and broken tiles, all of which were taken off site and disposed of at a local recycling centre.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor During Rebuild in Epsom Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor During Rebuild in Epsom

The next step was to ensure I had a level and flat base in the newly exposed areas on which to lay the tiles. I managed this by laying down a self-levelling compound. The compound is mixed in a bucket and poured into the holes up to the required level allowing gravity to do the levelling work for you. It is then left to dry and harden overnight.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor During Rebuild in Epsom Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor During Rebuild in Epsom

The next day I started by re-fixing the loose tiles in areas where the subfloor was still solid. Close packed Victorian tiles are very tough but can be brittle, often removing a single tile can cause chips or break surrounding tiles. I always buy more replicas than the job requires for this very reason. This can be very frustrating work, so I find its best approach is to remove as few tiles as possible. I explained to the customer that the floor is over 100 years old and some chips and scratches give the floor character. Perfection is an unrealistic expectation where some marks are permanent.

Part of the other renovations included the removal of two antique radiators leaving some strips of carpet and adhesive attached to the floor. I removed this using a strong mixture of tile doctor remove and go and a little encouragement from a 50-grit diamond block.

The preparation continued with the cleaning up of the three buckets of tiles recovered at the beginning of the restoration. Old adhesive and cement must be removed before refitting to ensure they can be laid flush to the adjacent tiles. Luckily for me the weather was warm and sunny, so I sat on the garden wall for the afternoon using a combination of a wet tile cutter, Fein tool and diamond blocks to get them clean while I took in the sun.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor During Rebuild in Epsom

The next day was spent re-laying the tiles. The tiles are in an intricate pattern and in various shapes and sizes. The main area by the front door took all day. The difference in thickness between the original and replacement tiles made the work particularly difficult. Interested neighbours came and went commenting on my progress throughout.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor During Rebuild in Epsom

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The next day I soaked all the tiles with tile doctor Acid Gel and left to dwell for 30 minutes. This was to work into the porous areas and to break down years of dirt. Then attaching a very coarse 100-grit diamond encrusted pad attached to a rotary floor machine I cleaned the tiles with a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. This process skims away a small layer of the tiles thus the dirt too. All the soil was extracted from the floor using a wet vacuum. I repeated this process twice for maximum effect. The customer was amazed at the result and I wasn’t finished yet. When wet the contrast between the white tiles and dark were astonishing, however this was temporary so I made sure the customer aware that without a sealer they would look washed out and colourless. I left the scene overnight with a couple of warm air movers in place to fully dry out the tiles.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

The tiles need to be dry before sealing so the next day my first action was to test the floor for moisture using a damp meter. They passed and were ready to take a sealer, so I discussed the different options and finishes with the customer. It was a very interesting house, full of retro artefacts so we needed something that would blend in, more importantly she had four children and a husband who bought a cycle through the house twice a day. I recommended Tile doctor seal and Go Extra. It’s super tough, offering great protection and gives a subtle sheen that I felt would suit the house. Three coats later and I was done, closing the door behind me as everyone was at school and work

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Rebuild in Epsom Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Rebuild in Epsom

I popped back later that evening to discuss the job. The newly applied sealer had intensified the depth of colour in the Victorian tiles and returned the brightness to the floor. She was very pleased and even gave me a carrot cake to take home with me.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Rebuild in Epsom

 

Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Epsom Surrey

Deep an Cleaning Edwardian Mosaic Floor in Abington Park, Northamptonshire

My customer recently got in touch and requested a site visit to look at her hallway floor.
The Edwardian property was situated in the Abington Park part of Northampton which is an area is steeped in history, with the nearby Manor House said to have been the home of William Shakespeare’s daughter Elizabeth Bernard. The house has since been turned into a museum.

As you can see from the photos, the floor which was laid when the house was built over 100 years ago using small square brown and beige mosaic tiles in a repeating. Although in good physical condition for its age the floor was looking a little tired and had lost its lustre and vibrant colour. The hallway also had stained wood panelling on one side which was another original feature and the owner of the property was keen to maintain the period feel.

Edwardian Mosaic Tiled Hallway Floor Before Cleaning Abington Park

I discussed with the customer what we could do to restore the floor, explaining the process, timescale and of course the cost. She was happy to go ahead so we scheduled the work in without delay.

Edwardian Mosaic Tiled Hallway Floor Before Cleaning Abington Park

Cleaning an Edwardian Mosaic Tiled Hallway Floor

In order to protect the wall panels and keep the moisture in the floor to a minimum I decided to keep the use of cleaning products to a minimum. This is always a concern with these old floors which have no damp proof membrane as the use of too much water can lead to efflorescence salts appearing later. With this in mid I decided to clean the floor using Tile Doctor burnishing pads as these pads only require a small amount of water and no products, this would also have the benefit of slightly levelling out the surface of the tiles.

My first course of action was to vacuum the floor to ensure there was no loose debris followed by masking up the bottom of the stairs carpet to protect it. I then started the restoration process by using a coarse 100-grit Tile Doctor burnishing pad attached to a 17” industrial rotary machine and a small amount of water to lubricate the process. The 100-grit pad is quite an aggressive pad which removes deeply imbedded stains and as mentioned before a small amount of unevenness. To remove the resultant slurry the floor was rinsed with a small amount of water which was then extracted using a wet pick up machine. This process was then repeated with a 200-grit burnishing pad to smooth out any scratches and polish the tile ready for sealing.

Although it was a relatively small area, 12 square metres this process took the whole day as we work in small sections at a time. Moving the machine slowly with multiple passes over each area.

Sealing an Edwardian Tiled Hallway Floor

I returned the following day and assessed the floor to ensure we were happy with the result from the previous days cleaning. I also took damp meter readings and was pleased to see they were within normal expectations for a floor of this age. Next, I applied Tile Doctor Colour Grow Sealant which is a breathable sealant that will allow any moisture in the sub floor to rise though the tile. This particular sealer is a colour enhancing sealer that protects and improves the natural colours in the tile and leaves a lovely natural finish. The floor now has a much more even finish and will be much easier for the client to maintain in the future.

Edwardian Mosaic Tiled Hallway Floor After Cleaning Abington Park

The customer was very happy with the results and left the following feedback on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

“Great communication about the work planned and quotation. A super job in bringing my Edwardian mosaic tiled floor back to life. Would highly recommend this service”
Karen M”

Edwardian Mosaic Tiled Hallway Floor After Cleaning Abington Park

 

Source: Mosaic Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Abington Park, Northamptonshire

Stripping Wax off Scratched Victorian Tiles in Rushden

This customer called me as she was concerned about the scratches on her hallway tiles, they were not only unsightly but were also starting to trap dirt. The Victorian property in Rushden which lies between Bedford and Kettering on the east side of Northamptonshire.

We always offer a site visit to take a look at the job before doing any work, that way we can discuss what the cleaning options are, and it also demonstrates to the customer that we know what we’re talking about.

The hallway floor was a lovely and intricate example of Victorian tile installation and I could see that overall it was in good condition for its age. On closer inspection the customer was relieved to find out that it was the old wax sealant breaking down and not actually scratches on the tiles. I carried out a test on a small area to ascertain how difficult it would be to remove this wax. I realised I would be able to use Tile Doctors new product for the removal of the wax sealant, Tile Doctor Wax Away which is a fast and effective formula that is designed just for this type of job, it offers safe removal of wax and polish from tile and natural stone. We agreed the quote and the work was booked in for the following month.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Before Wax Removal Rushden

Cleaning/Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

On our return we started to remove the wax coating using the Tile Doctor Wax Away product. It was applied neat and left to dwell for ten to fifteen minutes before working it into the floor with a small amount of water and a black stripping pad attached to a rotary machine. The resulting slurry was then removed using a wet vacuum. The floor was then inspected, and I decided to repeat this process with a hand brush in a couple of small areas and around the edges to ensure the old wax sealant was fully removed in these stubborn areas. The floor was then rinsed with water to remove any remaining slurry and trace of cleaning product and the wet vacuum was used to dry the floor again.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor During Wax Removal Rushden

My next course of action was to run over the floor with a 400-grit burnishing pad to remove imbedded dirt and stains from the tiles, this was followed by a second rinse with water. After removing the water with wet vacuum, the floor was then left to dry out fully for a few days aided by a large fan that I left on site. It’s important that the tiles are fully dry before applying a sealer and this is even more important on older floors where no damp proof membrane has been installed.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I returned three days later and started by giving the floor a light vacuum and clean. I also took damp meter readings to check the floor was fully dry. Once I was satisfied I started to apply 2 coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow Sealant, this is a breathable sealant which will allow the tiles to breath and allow moisture vapour from the sub floor to rise through the tiles which is important in these old houses where no damp proof membrane exists. Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer that works by occupying the pores in the tile thus preventing dirt from becoming ingrained there, the sealant enhances the natural colours in the tile and dries to a lovely natural matt finish.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Cleaning Rushden

Once finished the floor looked great and the customer was hugely relieved that the tiles could be restored easily and cost effectively, she had thought the damage may have been irreversible. Moving forward it will now be easier for her to maintain and keep clean. The floor is now back to its’ true self and properly in keeping with the rest of the period features in the house.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Cleaning Rushden

 

Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Rushden, Northamptonshire

Renovating and Fixing Loose Tiles in a Victorian Hallway in Mill Hill, North London

This 1930’s North London property in Mill Hill had a classic tiled hallway floor laid with black and white tiles in a diamond pattern and reminiscent of the Victorian era some thirty years earlier but still popular at the time the house was built. Mill Hill was first recorded as Myllehill in 1547 and appears to be named after a “hill with a windmill”. Over the years it’s merged with the surrounding towns and is now a desirable suburb in the North London Borough of Barnet.

I first spoke to the owner of the property over the phone to get an idea of what was required and work out a convenient time to take a look at the floor; we often get customers looking for a quote over the phone but this is not always easy to do as you never know what problems you might find with an older floor until you get there.

On inspection I could see there were in fact a large number of loose tiles in the central part of the floor which would need to be reset and grouted, the floor would also need to be deep cleaned and re-sealed with a suitable sealer to get it back to its former glory. I was confident we could soon get the floor looking how it should and after discussing the process, agreed a price and a timescale for the project. The owner was keen to get the job completed as soon as possible.

Cleaning/Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Firstly, we prepared the area with protective polythene tapes to thresholds, carpets, and door fronts to ensure the surrounding areas were protected. To clean the floor a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean was applied, this is a concentrated, multi-purpose high-alkaline cleaner, stripper and degreaser and is highly recommended for use on natural stone, tile and grout. The tiles were scrubbed with both floor pads and brushes, it is easier to use brushes in the more intricate areas.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Restoration During Cleaning Mill Hill

After the scrubbing we rinsed, and steam cleaned the floor, removing the slurry generated during the cleaning process with a wet vacuum. It was now nicely prepared ready for carrying out the repairs and the cleaning process was useful in identifying those tiles which needed extra attention.

The repairs involved resetting 50 to 60 loose tiles, the process requires carefully removing the tile, scraping out the old adhesive and grout and then replacing with new. The area is cleaned and then when the adhesive has set the tiles are re grouted in a grout chosen to best match the original. Luckily there were no damaged tiles on this floor which made the job easier. Although, we can usually track down replacements when they are needed!

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

We then left the hallway to dry off overnight, returning the next day we used a moisture meter to check the floor was dry and suitable for sealing. Old floors like these have no damp proof membrane fitted under the floor so can take time to dry out, fortunately we completed this work during warm weather, so all the readings were good.

Victorian style tiles are quite porous, so we found we need to apply give coats of sealer before they were fully sealed. We selected Tile Doctor Seal & Go to seal the tiles, it’s a specially formulated water-based blend of acrylic polymers that adds a durable stain resistant surface and leaves an appealing low-sheen finish. Being water based it doesn’t leave a smell as it dries, and it also a breathable sealer that can cope with the lack of a damp proof membrane ensuring moisture doesn’t become trapped under the floor.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Restoration After Cleaning Mill Hill

The client was very happy with the completed job, the work took a day and half to complete. Considering how many tiles had been loose the job had turned out very well. The floor is now much more manageable for her and the hallway tiles life has now been prolonged.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Restoration After Cleaning Mill Hill

 

Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in Mill Hill, London

Removing Cement Screed from Victorian Tiles in Bearwood, Birmingham

This customer got in touch with me to see if there was anything I could do to restore a Victorian tiled floor they had discovered under carpet in their hallway. Interestingly they had been told previously that the floor was beyond repair and had been quoted thousands of pounds to have it completely ripped up and replaced.

Victorian Hallway Before Restoration Bearwood Victorian Hallway Before Restoration Bearwood

I visited the property in Bearwood near Smethwick, to take a look and could see that there was a section under a cement screed. The floor was in a truly sorry state, so I could see why the other company were not keen on restoring it. Undeterred I did a test clean to see if I could remove the screed which was encouraging however without removing all the screed it would not be possible to see what condition the tiles underneath were in. I agreed with the customer to order some replacement tiles which were needed along with extra ones just in case. The job would take a few days to allow for cleaning, repairing, drying out and sealing. The client wasn’t too optimistic, but I reassured them we could definitely get a good result.

Victorian Hallway Before Restoration Bearwood

Cleaning and Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway

The first day was spent removing the cement screed which was quite thick in parts, so I went down the route of steaming it first to help soften the covering and then carefully scraping it off. This was quite labour intensive, but it did the job. Once the cement was removed I was left with some tiles that were ok but quite a few needed to be replaced.

Victorian Hallway During Restoration Bearwood Victorian Hallway During Restoration Bearwood

There were also two doorways, one that needed completely relaying and one needed part relaying. Some of the tiles needed to be cut to size, there were many tiles that needed resetting and re-grouting along with grout being applied to the new tiles.

Victorian Hallway During Restoration Bearwood

The next day the tiles were deep cleaned with a 50:50 combination of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed with Nanotech HBU which stands for Heavy Build-Up Remover, which was quite appropriate in this case. This cocktail of tile cleaning products was left to dwell on the tiles for a while then worked in with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a weighted rotary machine. The floor was then rinsed off with water and then the soil extracted with a wet vacuum.

My next step was to give the floor and acid wash to remove any old grout smears and neutralise other mineral contaminates such as salts that can get deposited on the surface of the tiles as moisture evaporates as the floor dries. This is always a risk with old floors where no damp proof membrane exists. To do this I applied a dilution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which is scrubbed into the tiles with a deck brush and then rinsed off the floor with water and a wet vacuum. The floor was then left to dry out for a couple of days.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I returned to seal the floor and after check it had dried sufficiently applied three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer. This sealer seeps into the pores of the tile enhancing the colours and leaves a matt finish which the customer had previously specified. The floor was then buffed with a white pad and the customer left with a bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner to clean the floor with moving forward.

Victorian Hallway After Restoration Bearwood Victorian Hallway After Restoration Bearwood

The customer was delighted with the results and left the following feedback on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

“Kieron has done a fantastic job of our Victorian hallway tiles. We had been quoted several really high prices by other companies, but Kieron’s quote was a fraction of these. I initially wondered whether this meant the job wouldn’t be as good but after 3 days of solid work the results are fantastic! He managed to transform it to its former glory, a hallway that was partly cemented over, had missing and loose tiles all over the place and was filthy. He definitely does a lot more than just cleaning! We couldn’t be happier with the results!”

Victorian Hallway After Restoration Bearwood

 

Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Bearwood, Birmingham

Renovating a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Gloucester, Gloucestershire

My customer was renovating their house in Gloucester and discovered this lovely vibrant Victorian tiled floor with blue accents under the carpet and were keen to get it restored and back to its’ former self. Gloucester lies close to the Welsh border, on the River Severn, between the Cotswolds to the east and the Forest of Dean to the southwest.

Victorian Hallway Before Renovation Gloucester

They were delighted to uncover the original floor but unsure if it could be restored asked me to come over and take a look. The tiles were in good physical condition for their age but were ingrained with dirt and had paint splashes, cement and carpet glue on the surface. The property had lots of period features, but this was by far the nicest. Luckily there was very little damage to the floor, so there was no need to source any extra tiles. We discussed what needed to be done and how the process would work, agreed a price and a timescale for the project which was accepted.

Victorian Hallway Before Renovation Gloucester

Deep Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The first process was to cover walls and skirting boards with plastic sheeting, I usually do this as a rule but in this case the hallway had just been decorated so we wanted to avoid any dirty splashes from the cleaning process.

Next a solution of tile doctor Tile Doctor Remove and Go was applied to the floor and left to dwell for 20 minutes and then with a buffing machine and black scrubbing pad I set about deep cleaning the floor. Tile Doctor Remove and Go is a strong coatings remover that can deal with old sealers, paint and glue, it’s also safe to use on tile, grout and stone. The floor was then rinsed with water and the now soiled cleaning solution was extracted from the floor with a wet vacuum.

Stubborn stains were spot treated using the same process and once satisfied with the results I gave the floor an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel. This neutralises any potential salt staining issues that could appear later as the floor dries. This process is known as efflorescence and can be very troublesome on old floors like these which don’t have a damp proof membrane installed. We often find covering old floors like these in a rubber underlay also prevents the floor from breathing which can lead to damp being trapped in the floor.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

We left the floor to dry off overnight and then the next day checked for moisture. It’s been a long hot summer, so the tiles had soon dried out. Happy with the results we started sealing the tiles with five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go. This is a specially formulated water-based blend of acrylic polymers that provides both a stain resistant surface seal and a durable low-sheen finish that works really well on Victorian tiled floors like this. Additionally, the product allows moisture vapour transmission so will be able to cope with the fact that this floor has not damp-proof membrane.

Victorian Hallway After Renovation Gloucester

As you can see from the photos the sealant left a lovely finish and the customer was very pleased with outcome. The floor is now restored and offers a lovely traditional entrance to their property.

Victorian Hallway After Renovation Gloucester

 

Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in Gloucester, Gloucestershire

Small Original Victorian Tiled Hallway Restored in Exeter

I was contacted by the owners of a Victorian terraced house in Exeter who had been lovingly restoring the property over the last couple of years and during the work they uncovered this section of tiled flooring and had decided to bring me in to make it look its best. It’s possible that this section of floor was all that was left from when the house was built over 100 years ago and at some point, in the past the rest of the floor was removed and replaced with something more modern.

Exeter has an abundance of character properties and there seems to be a bit of a trend to restore period features such as fireplaces and old floors at present. It’s always worth looking under old carpets and vinyl in the search of classic floors such as this, particularly if your neighbours have them, after all it will add value!

I visited the property to take a closer look and to take some moisture readings because these old floors were laid without a damp proof membrane and high moisture levels can restrict when this type of work can be carried out due to the sealer needing the floor to be dry(ish) in order to cure. I also did a test clean on one section of the floor to show the customer what level of cleaning could be achieved and inspected the floor for loose tiles to see if any replacement tiles would need to be sourced.

Small Victorian Tiled Hallway Entrance Exeter Before Cleaning

Cleaning Victorian Tiled Reception Area

With the customers happy with the quote I returned to complete the work starting by protecting the skirting and bottom of the stair carpet. Once done I began the cleaning process by applying a strong stripper/degreaser called Tile Doctor Pro-Clean on to the floor. For best results you need to achieve an even coverage and keeping and check it regularly to ensure it doesn’t dry out. After a short dwell time I set to work scrubbing the floor with a 400-grit diamond burnishing pad fitted to a rotary buffing machine. This really works the cleaning product into the pores of the tiles releasing the dirt and removes any sealers or other old coatings in the process. These large 17” pads do struggle to reach into the corners and edges of the floor however, so I always finish off with a hand-held diamond block. Once I was satisfied that the tiles were as good as they could be I rinsed the floor of the alkaline cleaner and dirty water and extracted the soil using a wet vacuum.

Next step was to give the floor what we like to call and Acid Rinse or Acid Wash as some of my colleagues refer to it. We don’t normally use acidic products on tile or stone however they are particularly good at dealing with mineral sales 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 is cleaned with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up, which is an acid-based product that will neutralise the alkalinity in the floor. The solution is quickly scrubbed into the floor and then rinsed off with water.

Before I left for the day I fixed any loose tiles back into place, re-grouted where needed and left an air mover on the floor to aid in the drying of the tiles. If there are radiators in the area I also suggest that they are turned on overnight to further aid the drying process. Occasionally these types of floors need to be left for several days to dry but it is worth the wait and the floors can be used in the meantime provided indoor shoes and socks only are used and care is taken not to get the floor dirty.

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway and Entrance Lobby

Upon returning the next day I tested the moisture content of the floor and was pleased to find that it was well within acceptable levels for the application of the sealer that I was planning to use.

I quickly checked the floor for areas that I felt may be able to be improved and once satisfied I started the sealing process by applying a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that soaks into the pores of the tile protecting it from within and improving the colours in the tile beforehand. This was following with two coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go that will add further protection and give the floor a subtle satin finish.

Small Victorian Tiled Hallway Entrance Exeter After Cleaning

The customers were thrilled and said that they wished they had brought me in sooner! For aftercare I left the customer with some guidance on care and maintenance of the floor as well as a suitable bottle of neutral tile cleaner.

 

Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Repair Service in Exeter, Devon

Victorian Tessellated Tiled Hallway Restored in Bounds Green

Bounds Green in North London has more than its fair share of Victorian terraced houses packed with desirable original features. When the owners of this house pulled up their hallway carpet they were excited to discover a beautiful and original black and white Tessellated tiled floor.

Victorian Hallway Before Restoration and Repair Bounds Green Lifting Carpet Victorian Hallway Before Restoration and Repair Bounds Green

Tessellated tiled floors became fashionable from the 1860s and usually featured striking geometric patterns. By the end of the century they had become an essential feature in the most ordinary Victorian terraced houses from Dover to Aberdeen. They fell out of fashion in the 1960s and 70s and were usually covered over with carpet or linoleum, but period house owners today understand their value and are restoring them back their former glory. A well-restored tessellated tiled floor not only looks incredibly attractive but is durable and hard wearing. They were originally laid by highly skilled tillers and most have already survived 100 years of family wear and tear. With the right care they will probably be good for another 100 years.

Restoring a Victorian Tessellated Tiled Floor

The first thing we did was cut away the rest of the carpet to expose the whole hallway. The floor looked in a relatively stable condition, but it was clear the floor needed a deep clean and some minor repairs.

Victorian Hallway Before Restoration and Repair Bounds Green Victorian Hallway During Restoration and Repair Bounds Green

We started off by cleaning off each individual tile with Tile Doctor Remove and Go, a multi-purpose stripper that also draws out ingrained stains and removes old sealers and coatings; this took away all the glue and dirt from the carpet. We then applied Tile Doctor Nanotech HBU which is specially designed to penetrate below tough stains, dissolve and lift them out. We left that for twenty minutes for maximum effect before lightly scrubbing. Each tile was then individually scrapped with polypropylene pads.

The next step was to remove the resultant soil by rinsing with water and extracting with a wet vacuum. We steamed cleaned each tile and carried out a second clean with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a strong cleaner and degreaser for heavily soiled and neglected tile, stone and grout that has been neglected or subjected to heavy use.

By now the floor was looking pretty good. The beautiful black and white design of the floor was once again in evidence after decades of being hidden under carpet. There were just a few more steps to complete the job and restore this floor to its original glory. We carried out the minor repairs needed, carefully re-grouted the very fine gaps between the tiles and left the floor overnight for the grout to thoroughly dry.

Sealing a Victorian Tessellated Tiled Hallway Floor

The next day we sealed the tiles with five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go to give a beautiful and natural low-sheen satin finish. This specially formulated solution also provides a stain resistant surface seal and being water based it doesn’t leave a smell as it dries.

Victorian Hallway After Restoration and Repair Bounds Green

We managed to complete the whole job in just under two days with two of our skilfully-trained technicians. Our customer was delighted with the outcome and left the following message for us on the Tile Doctor feedback system:

“The team worked hard at what seemed a fiddly job and we are very pleased with the outcome. I would recommend.” Natalie G, Bounds Green, London”

Victorian Hallway After Restoration and Repair Bounds Green

 
 
Source: Tessellated Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in North London

Old Victorian Hallway Renovated at Torver Near Coniston Water

We were recently asked to restore an old tiled floor that had been laid in a Basket Weave Pattern in the hallway of a property in Torver which is a small hamlet on the outskirts of Coniston Water in the Lake District. Torver has a long history however it really took off with the arrival of the Coniston to Broughton-in-Furness railway line in 1859 which was used to transport stone and Slate from the local mines. Many of the properties in the Coniston and Torver areas date from the Victorian period and contain original stone and tiled floors.

This tiled floor had been revealed when the existing carpet was removed by the new owners. It proved to be in quite good condition despite being covered for a long period, but it nevertheless suffered from the usual age-related issues. It needed an intense clean and a fresh seal, including the removal of deeply ingrained dirt, paint stains, glue deposits and bitumen.

After inspecting the situation, the quote we offered the customer was accepted and a date was arranged for us to return to complete the work.

Deep Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

Our first course of action was to clean the edges of the floor, to remove the glue deposits and carpet underlay residue. This was achieved using the careful application of a sharp scraping tool and handheld burnishing blocks combined with a couple of Tile Doctor cleaning products.

Victorian Floor Tiles During Renovation Torver

The first product applied was Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU (Heavy Build-up Remover) which is a strong alkaline product specially formulated with nano-sized cleaning particles to penetrated deep into the stone and dissolve deeply ingrained dirt and stains. The second product was Tile Doctor Remove and Go, a heavy-duty coatings remover which works well particularly well at removing glue deposits, paint, and synthetic coatings.

We then addressed the rest of the floor using a coarse 200-grit burnishing pad attached to a slow speed rotary cleaning machine, applied with water as the lubricant. We used this in small areas to intensely clean the surface of the floor. The resultant slurry was then extracted from the floor a powerful wet vacuum.

The floor was then rinsed again with water and the moisture was wet vacuumed before we moved onto the next area. Once the floor was completely scrubbed and rinsed, and any remaining glue and paint issues were retreated using the same methods we used on the floor edges, we then moved onto the final phase of the clean.

The last step in the cleaning process involved giving the floor an acid wash to deal with any potential salt issues (efflorescence) which can result in white salt deposits appearing on the surface of the tiles as they dry. Damp proof membranes that can prevent this problem are a relatively modern invention, so this can be a real issue for old floors from the Victorian era, particularly if the floor has had damp issues in the past. The floor was washed with a 1:3 dilution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which being acidic effectively counteracts the alkaline salts. The floor was then given another rinse to remove any trace of cleaning products and then left to dry off.

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

We actually left the floor to dry out for three full days and upon our returning to the property several moisture readings were taken to ensure the floor was dry enough to take a fresh seal.

Victorian Basket Weave Lay During Sealing in Torver

The customer had requested a natural-looking matte finish to the floor. We have the perfect product to provide this type of finish, so we proceeded to apply three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, an impregnating sealer which naturally enhances the colours in the tile, additionally it’s a fully breathable sealer so moisture can easily rise through the floor.

Victorian Basket Weave Lay After Renovation Torver

As you can see from the photographs taken during the various stages of the restoration, the intense clean and fresh seal greatly enhanced the appearance of the floor – much more so than could have been achieved with everyday products and methods. The customer was very pleased indeed.

Victorian Basket Weave Lay After Renovation Torver

 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Cumbria

Restoring an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor in Leighton Buzzard

A homeowner in the Leighton Buzzard was having some renovation work done to their property and during the course of the work discovered an original Victorian tiled floor underneath the hallway carpet. The town dates all the way back to the 12th century so period features like this are quite common.

Keen to have the floor restored the owner got in touch to ask if I could survey the floor and quote for restoring it, so my colleague Phillip popped round to see what needed to be done. Surprisingly the tiles were generally in quite good condition for their age with just a few cracks and chips here and there. There were some missing tiles that needed replacing but I was able to help them source replacements which were fitted before the cleaning work commenced.

Victorian Tiled Floor Leighton Buzzard Before Cleaning Victorian Tiled Floor Leighton Buzzard Before Cleaning

Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

I started the cleaning process by giving the tiles a deep machine clean with Pro-Clean which is a strong tile and grout cleaning product produced by Tile Doctor. A strong dilution was left to soak into the tiles before scrubbed in with a tile brush fitted to a rotary machine. This action lifted the surface soil and bits of plaster and paint which was then rinsed off and extracted using a wet vacuum.

With the soil and cleaning solution removed I then carried out a full inspection of the tiles in their natural state to see what other work would be required. As there was no apparent sealer present, I decided that the next step in the cleaning process would be to use a coarse 200 grit burnishing pad to clean and resurface the tiles, this was followed by a second rinse and wet vacuum. I then went around on hands and knees using Tile Doctor 100 grit diamond hand blocks to remove stubborn staining around the edges close to the newly painted skirting boards.

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

The floor was allowed to fully dry for 2 days before I returned to apply Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealant which is an impregnating sealer that improves colour and is fully breathable, so it allows any damp from the sub floor to dissipate. Choosing a breathable sealer is important for these old floors which have no damp proof course and Colour Grow is normally my sealer of choice for Victorian floor tiles.

However Colour Grow dries to a matt finish and on this occasion the customer felt the finish still looked quite dull, although she was very happy with the results of the cleaning she asked if there was anything else I could do to brighten the finish, it was agreed that I would return a week later to carry out a damp test and if the results of this were favourable I would go ahead and apply several coats and apply Tile Doctor Seal & Go topical sealant which is water based and dries to a silk finish.

When I returned moisture, readings were taken which were acceptable, so as agreed I applied several coats of Seal and Go to give the tiles the desired appearance. With the work completed the customer was happy with the final results and even left the following feedback via the Tile Doctor feedback system.

Phillip arrived on time, worked very hard to prepare the floor- about 6 hours. Returned after floor was properly dry- 2 days. Applied a mat finish – 2-3 coats. I was disappointed with this finish, the floor which looked very flat and washed out. Each floor has its own characteristic and absorbs the products used differently. Phillip didn’t disagree, so applied two coats of a glossy finish which has brought out the beautiful colours of my Victorian floor. All of this was done without a quibble. Happy with the finish now. My advice is to discuss fully the finish you require and get a patch test done before so everyone is clear about the job in hand. Would use again. Ms. A Binger , Leighton Buzzard

Victorian Tiled Floor Leighton Buzzard After Cleaning Victorian Tiled Floor Leighton Buzzard After Cleaning

 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Bedfordshire

Carper Stained Victorian Hallway Restoration in Streatham, South London

If you like in an older property in the UK and never looked under the carpets you might want to take a minute and have a look. I still find it surprising how many of my customers had no idea they lived in a house with a classic tiled hallway.

We were recently asked to restore a fantastic geometric-patterned Victorian tiled floor which had been found underneath carpet during decoration work in the hallway of a property in Streatham.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Streatham Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Streatham

The once black and white tiles were now absolutely caked in dirt, glue deposits, cement, paint stains and plaster. It would be no small feat to get the tiles back to looking their best again. Fortunately, Victorian tiles are very resilient and we have a lot of experience in their restoration so I was confident that with the right products and techniques we could get the job done to a high standard.

Cleaning Dirty and Stained Victorian Hallway Tiles

The tiled hallway was quite long, yet only around a metre wide, so I felt the best approach would be to work in small sections at a time. Our method was to soak the tiles with Tile Doctor Remove and Go and leave the product to work its magic for roughly ten minutes, before scrubbing the surface to remove the muck. Some of the more viscous and stubborn stains were scrapped away carefully by hand within the assistance of a steam cleaning machine. The resulting residue was extracted using a wet vacuum. Remove and Go is a particularly effective cleaner in scenarios like this, as it is specially formulated to strip away old sealers, adhesives and even paint without harming the tile itself.

The next step was to run a rotary machine fitted with a Coarse 200 grit burnishing pad lubricated with water over the floor to achieve a consistent finish. The floor was then rinsed to remove the soil generated in the process.

Old floors like these laid before the invention of damp proof membranes can be a concern as damp rising up through the tile as it dries can leads to efflorescence salt deposits appearing on the tile surface. So, to avoid potential issues Tile Doctor Acid Gel was applied to the floor to neutralise any salt deposits and the floor given a final rinse to remove any trace of cleaning products.

Sealing Victorian Hallway Tiles

After finishing the clean, we left the floor to dry out over the weekend. With old floors like this one, we tend to recommend allowing a drying period of at least 48 hours to ensure the floor is completely dry before applying a sealer.

Upon arriving back at the property, we ran a few quick damp tests and once satisfied the floor was dry proceeded to seal the tiles using Tile Doctor Colour Grow. Colour Grow is a colour-intensifying, impregnating sealant that leaves a natural-look matte finish. It works by occupying the pores in the clay and it’s also a fully breathable sealer which is important for these old floors where damp may be any issue.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Streatham Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Streatham

The customer was absolutely thrilled with the results. She even went as far as to leave a review expressing how pleased she was during the weekend before we had chance to seal the tiles.

Bill and Wayne were brilliant! On time, got to work straight away, lovely and friendly and very professional. They have done a lovely job and I’m looking forward to them coming to seal the tiles to finish it o f tomorrow afternoon. Wouldn’t hesitate to recommend. Thanks guys!
 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in South London

Deep Cleaning a Dirty Victorian Tiled Hallway in a Devon Farmhouse

I was contacted by the owners of an old Farmhouse in the East Devon village of Broadclyst to look at their Victorian Tiled Hallway floor which as you can see from the photograph below was heavily stained and had also been splashed with paint from decorating. Victorian tiles are very robust and can take a lot of punishment which you certainly get in a farmhouse, however once the sealer wears off dirt gets into the pores of the tile making it very difficult to clean.

I visited the property to take a closer look and to take some moisture readings because these old floors don’t have a Damp Proof Course and moisture levels too high can restrict when this type of work can be done due to the sealers needing the floor to be dry in order to cure. I also did a test piece to show the customers what level of cleaning could be achieved.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Broadclyst Farmhouse before cleaning

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway

With the customers happy with the quote I returned to complete the work starting by covered the skirting and bottom of the stairs to protect the paintwork and carpet. I then put a strong stripper/degreaser called Pro Clean on to the floor, ensuring even coverage and keeping and eye on the floor to make sure that it didn’t dry out.

After a short dwell time I set to work scrubbing the floor with a 400 grit diamond burnishing pad and using small hand blocks to get into the corners and any edges not reached by my machine. Once I was satisfied that the tiles were as good as they could be I rinsed the floor to remove the alkaline cleaner and soiled water.

This was followed by giving the floor an Acid rinse using Tile Doctor’s Acid Gel, this process counteracts any alkaline salts that can rise up through the tile as it dries out, a process which is more commonly known as efflorescence. This can be quite a problem on floors like this that don’t have a damp proof course (floors generally didn’t pre-1950s). I had to be careful not to leave the acid down for too long because these tiles are susceptible to acid damage.

Dealing with salt issues on these old floors (efflorescence) is essential because they can damage the sealer or become trapped under it, detracting from the beauty of the floor. Given the age of the farmhouse it’s difficult to know what the floor had been laid onto. Often it was compacted rubble and building works from the erection of the adjoining buildings; additionally some of the later Victorian floors were laid on a wet limecrete scree which contain a high salt-content.

Before I left for the day I left an air mover on the floor to aid in the drying of the tiles. If there are radiators in the area I also suggest that they are turned on overnight to further aid the drying process. Occasionally these types of floors need to be left for several days to dry but it is worth the wait and the floors can be used in the meantime provided indoor shoes and socks only are used and care is taken not to get the floor dirty.

Sealing an Old Victorian Tiled Hallway

Upon returning the next day I tested the moisture content of the floor and was pleased to find that it was well within acceptable levels for the application of the sealer that I was planning to use. I quickly checked the floor for areas that I felt may be able to be improved and once satisfied a single coat of matt-finish, colour-enhancing sealer called Colour Grow was applied before two coats of a Seal and Go sealer was used to give the floor a satin finish, which I think gives it a slight glaze and freshly mopped appearance.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Broadclyst Farmhouse before cleaning

The customers were thrilled and said that they wished they had brought me in sooner!
 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Broadclyst, Devon

Classic but Neglected Victorian Tiled Hallway Restored in Norwich Norfolk

There are thousands of Victorian tiled hallways in and around Norwich and I often get called to work on them, however this was a particularly abused and neglected example I thought you might find interesting. The surface had clearly been both painted red at some point (possibly with an old lead-based paint) and then completely covered with rubber-backed underlay and carpeted, a thick layer of double-sided carpet tape remaining firmly stuck in patches around all the edges of the floor area.

Victorian Hallway Floor Tiles Before Cleaning Norwich

Cleaning a Victorian tiled floor

Firstly, we cleaned the whole area using a strong solution (1:3) of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a high alkaline stripper and cleaner, agitated with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. All products and slurry were then power rinsed and vacuumed away to reveal the improved floor.

There were still a significant number of glue patches and paint spots around the edges of the floor, so these were tackled using Tile Doctor Remove & Go, which softened them enough to enable us to remove them with a sharp-bladed scraper.

Unfortunately, the decaying rubber underlay had left a pattern on the tile surface which was most obvious at the doorway into the terracotta tiled kitchen. We almost completely removed this using Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel which being in gel form allows it work on the problem area longer. It was painted on a brush and kept moist for two hours under a layer of cling film which drew out virtually all the contaminant from the tile.

The next concern was that an original Victorian floor of this age would almost certainly have no damp proof membrane and an area near the front door which showed evidence of efflorescence salts was treated with Tile Doctor Acid Gel in order to remove the white deposits and further inhibit the production of more in the future.

The whole area was then lightly buffed using the rotary machine and a 1500 grit diamond pad with water in order to remove any remaining fine paint spots and restore a silky feel to the surface of the tiles before leaving the floor to dry overnight with assistance from our dehumidifier.

Sealing a Victorian tiled floor

When we returned the following morning, our damp meter showed us that the moisture content in the substrate was probably going to be too high to allow us to use an acrylic sealer to provide the sheen which the client had requested; so we decided to spray-buff the floor using a 3000 grit diamond pad on the rotary machine followed by the application of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, a colour enhancing penetrating sealer which sits just below the surface of the tile and leaves no visible finish. Finally, the whole floor was spray buffed to a low sheen with a white maintenance pad on the rotary machine and any resulting dust vacuumed away.

Victorian Hallway Floor Tiles After Cleaning Norwich

The Victorian tiles now look fantastic and have become a great asset to the property as original features like these are very sought after.
 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Norwich, Norfolk

Renovating Victorian Hallway Tiles in Surrey

This customer who owned a lovely period residence in Leatherhead had pulled up an old hallway carpet to discover this gem of Victorian Tiled floor. The tiles were covered in carpet adhesive, paint splashes and what looked like a hundred years of dirt. I suspect the previous owners felt it was easier to cover the hallway in carpet rather than have it cleaned properly or perhaps it was just the trend at the time.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration in Leatherhead

Given the obvious amount of work that would be needed to restore it we got a call to pop round and provide an estimate. We do a lot of Victorian floor restorations and across the Tile Doctor network I’m confident in saying there is a Tile Doctor working on a Victorian Tiled floor every day of the week.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration in Leatherhead

The owner was happy with the quote and we agreed a date to return and restore the floor.

Cleaning a Heavily Soiled Victorian Tiled Floor

Working in a metre square area at a time, I first applied a solution of Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel and left it to dwell for twenty minutes. Oxy-Gel is a relatively new product that being in Gel form is easy to control and stays in place allowing it to dissolve dirt and in this case loosen the adhesive.

After leaving it to dwell for 20 minutes I attacked it with a very coarse 100 grit diamond pad attached to a buffer machine. This removed a minuscule layer from the surface of the tile and with it the muck. I vacuumed up the excess with a wet vacuum then rubbed down the stubborn areas with a 50 grit hand block. This removed a lot of dirt and drastically lightened the whites and blues. Finally I neutralised the floor with two rinses of clean, warm water again using the wet vacuum to remove as much moisture as possible from the floor.

I repeated this process along the length of the hallway and then inspected the floor retreating any areas containing stubborn marks.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

The hallway wasn’t that big an area so I had agreed to do the whole floor in one day. As a result I needed to force dry the floor so I could seal the tiles in the same day. I have a number of tools to do this including an industrial air mover and a heat gun which were applied for about an hour before it was dry.

To seal the tiles I applied two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which as its name suggests is a colour enhancing sealer that works by impregnating the pores of the tile protecting it from within and enriching the colours in the process. This gave a lovely contrast in colour whilst providing a matt finish; another advantage of Colour Grow is it’s a fully breathable sealer which won’t trap moisture under the tile which is important for these old floors where no damp proof membrane is installed.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration in Leatherhead

The Victorian tiled hallway floor now looks amazing.
 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in West Surrey

Restoring an Old Victorian Hallway Floor in Monmouth

This beautiful black & white Victorian tiled hallway was recently discovered hidden under carpet at a house near Monmouth. As well as the years of grime that had become ingrained in the tile, the carpet had been secured with carpet grippers which had been fixed on top of the tiles and the owner was keen to recruit my help in its restoration.

It’s a lovely drive up through the Wye Valley from my base in Caldicot to the town of Monmouth which has a long history that goes back to the Roman times. In fact it’s famous for its “Monnow Bridge” which dates back to medieval times and is the only remaining stone gated bridge of its type left in Britain. Needles to say it has a strong mixture of architecture with many old houses built during Victorian times.

Victorian Floor Before Renovation in Monmouth

Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The first step in cleaning the floor was to prepare it for cleaning by carefully removing the old carpet grippers and adhesive deposits using a handheld scraper. This was followed by creating a mixture of two powerful cleaning products namely Tile Doctor Remove and Go and NanoTech HBU remover. Remove and Go is a coatings remover designed to strip off old sealers whilst NanoTech HBU is a powerful Heavy Build-Up Remover that uses tiny abrasive particles to clean up tile and stone.

The floor was smothered in the cleaning solution and it was allowed to soak into the tile for about twenty minutes before scrubbing it in. It was not an exceptionally large hallway so a lot of hand scrubbing was required to get the floor as clean as possible. The cleaning solution was rinsed off with water and then extracted using a wet vacuum or wet vac as my colleagues often refer to it.

To finish off the cleaning process I scrubbed a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean into the grout lines to get them as clean as possible and then gave the floor a final rinse. I need the floor to be dry before sealing so using the wet vac I extracted as much moisture from the floor as possible.

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I left the floor to dry completely overnight and returned the next day to finish the floor off with a few coats of sealer. On my arrival I started by taking a few reading with a damp meter to ensure the floor was ready to be sealed. Fortunately by efforts with the Wet Vac the night before had paid off and it confirmed the tiles were dry and ready to be sealed.

To do this, I used multiple coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which works really well on Victorian Tiles and adds a nice low sheen that brings them up nicely. Naturally the sealer not only improves the way they look it also makes them much easier to clean and will protect them against ingrained dirt and staining.

Victorian Floor After Renovation in Monmouth

I think you will agree this old floor has been transformed and now has a new lease of life.
 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in Monmouthshire

Cleaning a Victorian Reception at a Listed Building in Devon

I was approached by the owner of a listed Georgian Townhouse right in the middle of the small market town of South Moulton in North Devon who was struggling to have any impact on the appearance of his Victorian tiled reception area, despite hours of back-breaking scrubbing and had become disheartened by it.

Georgian Reception Floor Tiles Before Cleaning South Molton

Upon arrival a survey on the floor was conducted where I tested the moisture level of the tiles because floors of this age and construction didn’t have a Damp Proof Course and as such were just tiled onto whatever subsurface was already there, which quite often contained rubble and other guiding materials such as lime from the construction of neighbouring properties!

Georgian Reception Floor Tiles Before Cleaning South Molton

Whilst talking to the customer he mentioned that he had some old quarry tiles in his kitchen that he also wanted cleaning, however I’ll cover that in another post. To continue I produced a quote for the work which was accepted and a date was agreed for me to return with all the equipment and products required.

Cleaning Victorian Tiled Reception Area

To clean the Victorian tiles in the reception area I applied a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and left it to soak in for ten minutes. I then set about scrubbing the solution into the tiles using a series of Diamond impregnated burnishing pads ranging from 100-400 grit.

Once the whole floor had been treated in this manner it was thoroughly rinsed with water using a wet and dry vacuum to extract the now soiled cleaning solution and I was able to see that the process had really brought the tiles up a treat.

Concerned about the damp readings I had experienced earlier I decided it would be prudent to give the floor an Acid Rinse with Grout Clean-up to counteract any potential salt issues (efflorescence) that can be a real problem on these old floors which have no Damp Proof Course. I highly recommend this step on old floors as salts can over time permeate through the tiles and the cleaning process draws them to the surface. Left unaddressed the salts can damage the sealer and leave the floor looking far from its best.

Once the tiles had been cleaned, I rinsed the entire floor thoroughly using fresh water to remove any trace of cleaning products, before leaving it to dry off completely overnight.

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway and Entrance Lobby

The following day I returned and after rechecking the moisture levels to ensure that they had adequately dried out I started to seal the Victorian tiles in the reception area. To improve colour, I first applied a coat of Tile Doctor’s Colour Grow, a solvent based impregnating sealer which picks out and enhances the natural colour of the tiles, not only bringing the whole floor to life but helping to disguise any damage the floor has suffered over the years. After this coat had dried sufficiency four coats of Seal and Go were applied to finish off the floor and give it that ‘wow factor’.

Georgian Reception Floor Tiles After Cleaning South Molton Georgian Reception Floor Tiles After Cleaning South Molton

The customer was thrilled and left the following feedback on the Tile Doctor feedback system:

“The work was carried out in a professional manner, with excellent results.”

For aftercare I left the customer with some guidance on care and maintenance of the floor as well as a suitable bottle of tile cleaner.
 
 
Source: Victorian Floor Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Devon

Putting new life into a Victorian Hallway floor in Cheshire

The village of Grappenhall has a long history that goes all the way back to the bronze age and as a result has all periods of architecture including quite a lot of houses with Victorian tiled hallways . This particular floor at a house in the village had been well looked after well by the owner but had now lost its vibrancy, was looking dull and now needed a deep clean and reseal.

Victorian tiles are porous and so need to be sealed to protect them from dirt becoming ingrained in the floor. However, hallway floors get a lot of foot traffic which over time wears down the sealer until it becomes so thin and patchy it’s no longer effective. As a result, you need to regularly top up the sealer or every three to four years it will need to be stripped off and reapplied.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Grapenhall Before Cleaning Victorian Tiled Hallway Grapenhall Before Cleaning

Deep Cleaning the Victorian Tiled Floor

I used clear plastic to protect the wood skirting boards from splashing and then gave the tiles a good scrub with a mixture of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and Remove and Go to deep clean and strip off any remaining sealers. The cleaning solution was left to soak in for ten minutes before scrubbing it in with a black pad fitted to a heavy buffing machine.

Once the whole area had been scrubbed I rinsed off with water which was then extracted using a wet vacuum. With the floor now clear I was able to inspect it to ensure all the previous sealer and ingrained dirt had been removed. Any areas with stubborn stains were spot treated by reapplying the cleaning concoction I used earlier before leaving the floor to dry off fully overnight.

Sealing the Victorian Tiled Floor

When I returned the next morning my first job was to test the tiles for damp using a damp meter. This is important as damp tiles won’t take the sealer as well as dry tiles, however this time everything was fine.

I then proceeded to seal the Victorian tiles with a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow to enhance the natural colours in the tile before applying a further seven coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which leaves a sheen finish and is ideal for Victorian tiles.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Grapenhall After Cleaning Victorian Tiled Hallway Grapenhall After Cleaning

The hallway now looks fantastic and vibrant and then new sealer will protect them from ingrained dirt making them easier to clean and keep them looking good for some time to come.
 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Cheshire

Challenging Bitumen Stained Victorian Floor Restored in Lancashire

This old Victorian tiled Hallway floor, laid in a geometric pattern, at a house in Barrow in Furness was a challenging project. The tiles were extremely dirty and also stained with Black Bitumen which has been used as an adhesive, however we have come across these sorts of problems before and so I was confident it could be resolved.

Geometric floor before Restoration Barrow in Furness Geometric floor before Restoration Barrow in Furness

Deep Cleaning an Old Victorian Tiled Floor

I roped in Heidi and my son Lewis who spent a whole day cleaning with chemicals, steam, buffing pads and unfortunately the results were far from satisfactory; the customer wasn’t happy and Heidi wasn’t happy with it either. It was clear that the black bitumen had penetrated deep into the pores of the clay and becoming so embedded that no chemical or technique we were using would shift it fully.

Geometric floor before Restoration Barrow in Furness

To top it off I had gone out earlier to tile the old mat well with matching tiles before we started the cleaning but due to the depth of the floor matt. The matt well was at least 35mm so it was clear I couldn’t use standard floor adhesive. I opted instead for a sand cement mix, similar to what the Victorians would have used originally. This filled up the depth and allowed me to tile and grout the same day, however overnight there was a bit of shrinkage and some of the new tiles settled unevenly.

Geometric floor before Milling Barrow in Furness

I racked my head for a solution to both issues and decided the best course of action would be to Mill the clay tiles to remove the Bitumen and smooth down the uneven effect of my tiling. This is not something we would normally do on a clay tile as this system can leave scratches which potentially would look worse that the dirt. After I had milled the Tiles down with a course pad fitted to a heavy buffing machine and removed all the issues I then counteracted any scratches left over using a higher grit milling pad. This solution fully resolved both issues leaving it ready for the final step of sealing.

Geometric floor After Milling Barrow in Furness

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

The floor was left to dry off overnight and we returned the next day to seal the tiles using Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is a matt finish, fully breathable and colour enhancing sealer which really lifts the colour of the stone or in this case clay tile. Colour Grow is impregnating – meaning that it penetrates the pores of the stone to fill them and prevent trapped dirt and stains. We recommend Colour Grow for both internal and external applications and especially for areas where no damp proof membrane is evident, since the sealer allows for the floor to breathe moisture.

Geometric floor After Restoration Barrow in Furness Geometric floor After Restoration Barrow in Furness

There were plenty of problems to overcome and It took a lot of work but I’m pleased to say the floor was transformed by our efforts and now looks fantastic and I’m sure has added a lot of value to this period property.
 
 
Source: Victorian Cleaning and Renovation Service in Lancashire

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

Renovating an unusual Victorian Tiled Hallway in Cheshire

Impressed with the details of a similar floor published on our website the owner of this Victorian tiled hallway floor at a house in the village of Grappenhall asked if we could pay her a visit.

The floor was in relatively good physical condition, although there were a few tiles that needed replacing and really just needed cleaning and resealing however I thought it would be worth a mention on my blog due to it being so unusual. There seamed no set pattern to the tiles and it was as if they had some tiles left over and just laid them as they came.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning in Grappenhall

Deep Cleaning the Victorian Tiled Floor

After protecting the skirting boards I gave the floor a deep clean using Tile Doctor Remove and Go to strip off any remaining sealers. This was left to soak in for twenty minutes then scrubbed in using a rotary machine fitted with a black pad then rinsed off with clean water which was then extracted using a wet vacuum. I was careful not to use too much water as the owner had just converted the cellar below into a games room and was worried it may cause damp in the ceiling. There were a few tiles that needed replacing so we fixed and grouted them in before leaving the floor to fully dry off overnight

Sealing the Victorian Tiled Floor

We returned next morning and tested for damp with a damp meter to make sure the floor was ready to seal. Everything was fine so we proceeded to seal the Victorian tiles with a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow to enhance the colour of the floor before applying a further six coats of Seal and Go which is ideal for these type of tile.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning in Grappenhall

The customer was made up with the result we had made to her hallway, I only wish I had managed to take better pictures of the floor so you could appreciate it as much as she did.
 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Maintenance Service in Cheshire