Restorative Cleaning of an Edwardian Tiled Hallway in Nottingham

The pictures below detail the restorative clean and seal of a Black & White Edwardian Geometric Tiled Hallway at a residence in West Bridgford near Nottingham. The tiles had previously been covered in carpet trapping years of dirt and soiling into the pores of the tile which were also stained with paint spots and traces of carpet adhesive.

These floors are amazing to look at, and it’s a shame that due to changing fashion trends over the decades, that many became covered with other inappropriate floor coverings. At least in the case the carpet was fixed with glue, I have worked on others before were tiles were smashed in order to secure gripper rods.

Edwardian Black and White Geometric Hall Floor Before Restorative Clean and Seal

I could see a lot of work would be needed to bring it back, however having restored countless number of Victorian and Edwardian tiled floors before I was confident we could achieve a good result and was pleased to get the go ahead to complete the work.

Restoring an Edwardian Tiled Hallway Floor

The first part of the cleaning process was to apply a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove & Go coatings remover allowing it to dwell and soak into the tiles and break down the adhesive and paint stains. The solution was then agitated using a black scrubbing pad to help break down the historic-soiling and soften the glue and paint so they could be carefully scraped off. This process generated a lot of soil which was rinsed off and extracted using a wet vacuum.

Old tile installations such as these were never designed to be covered as damp proof membranes were unheard of at the time. Instead the tilers of the day used a breathable lime screed to allow moisture to pass freely from the sub floor. This combined with coal fires of the day, and air movement kept a controlled temperature to ensure moisture didn’t build-up.

Covering these floors stops them from breathing and moisture inevitably can build-up and potentially lead to white salts to be deposited on the surface of the tile as it dries. To avoid this problem, which is known as Efflorescence, the salts need to be counteracted with the application of an acid. To this end my next step was to liberally apply Tile Doctor Acid Gel to the tiles and leave it to dwell for time. This process dissolves the efflorescence salts and also removes any other unwanted deposits such as grout smears from the tile.

The last phase of the cleaning process was to remove the Acid Gel and then rinse with water again to remove any trace of product. The floor was then dried as much as possible with a wet vacuum to remove moisture and then left for a few days to fully dry out.

Sealing an Edwardian Tiled Floor

On our return the floor was checked for dampness using a damp meter in a number of different places. All was well so the floor was then sealed in two stages, starting with an application of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that improves colour. Once the sealer had dried it was followed with a number of coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra which works really well on Victorian and Edwardian tiles adding a lovely subtle shine. Both these products are fully breathable which is vitally important where efflorescence is a concern. Otherwise, moisture will build up and causing staining and direct moisture into the supporting walls.

Edwardian Black and White Geometric Hall Floor After Restorative Clean and Seal

Once our Restorative Cleaning & Sealing process is complete you should avoid the use of steam cleaners and strong cleaning products as they can prematurely erode the sealer. Ideally we recommend you maintain the floor with Tile Doctors Neutral Tile Cleaning Solution which is pH neutral once it has been correctly diluted.
 
 
Source: Edwardian Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in West Bridgford, Nottinghamshire

Restoring an Original Geometric Tiled Floor

This original Victorian Geometric tiled floor was recently uncovered in the hallway of a house in Mapperley near Nottingham. These beautiful old floors built by Victorian Craftsmen are often neglected and sometimes hidden by other floor coverings. In this case we had to remove carpet, carpet grippers and underlay which had been stuck down and often we find vinyl tiles glued to the tile surface etc. This takes its toll on the floor causing it to lose its vitality however help is at and in the form of the specialist Tile Doctor Restorative Cleaning and Sealing Treatment.

Victorian Geometric Tiled Hallway Floor Mapperley Before Cleaning

Cleaning the Victorian Tiled Floor

The first job was to protect the adjacent carpets and wood flooring, before starting the cleaning process. Then I applied a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a heavy duty cleaning solution mixed with Remove and Go which is a coating remover. This helps to remove old and worn coatings along, with the many years of soiling which was hiding the vibrant colours of the Victorian tiles beneath.

This unique cleaning solution along with a combination of dwell time and mechanical agitation breaks down the many years of contamination on the tiles. During this stage of the cleaning process, we also sometimes have to remove paint and adhesive residues. The cleaning process is intensive to ensure maximum soil removal and is achieved as above by using a weighted rotary floor cleaning machine, along with Tile Doctors restoration floor pads.

The resulting slurry created by the cleaning process above is vacuumed away with a wet vacuum and the floor was then rinsed with a dilution of Tile Doctors Grout Clean-Up product which removes any inherent efflorescence contamination that is common on old floors without damp proof membranes.

The floor is then given a thorough rinse with clean water to neutralise the floor and removing any trace of cleaning solution from the previous treatments which could affect the sealer, again a wet vacuum was used to get the floor as dry as possible.

The cleaning was completed in a day and to ensure the floor would be dry for sealing the next day I installed a couple of air movers and left it to dry out overnight.

Sealing the Victorian Tiled Floor

The following day I sealed the tiles to saturation point with Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a ‘Colour Enhancing’ Impregnating Sealer. It’s an advanced sealer that allows the floor to breath, and also protects from both water and oil based spills and if maintained correctly will act as a long lasting treatment that will last many years!

With regards to maintenance I recommend that customers use a damp mop with a neutral PH cleaning product such as Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner. This is highly effective on soiling but most importantly it’s not acidic and so will not damage the integrity of the sealer. Many household cleaning products, and also high-street branded cleaning products, can quickly damage floor coatings; they can also leave residues on floors that contribute to rapid re-soiling.

Victorian Geometric Tiled Hallway Floor Mapperley After Cleaning

 
 
Source: Tile, Stone and Grout Problems resolved in Nottinghamshire