Paint and Glue Removed from a Chequered Victorian Tiled Floor in Oxford

You may recognise this Chequered Victorian tiled floor from other restorations that I’ve detailed on my website. This in fact is the third house I’ve worked on in the same small road in Oxford where hallway floors like these are a very common feature. In fact, I seem to get a lot of referrals from this area, which is always a pleasure, so I suspect word has got around the neighbourhood. The property sits close to the city centre, of course is famous for the University of Oxford, the oldest in the English-speaking world.

Chequered Victorian tiled hallway Floor Oxford Before Restoration

I visited the property to survey the floor and work out the best method and products to restore the Victorian tiles. The tiles were dotted in paint splashes from decorating and had previously been covered in carpet so there were gripper strips glued around the edges. All of which would need to be removed and then the floor would need a deep clean to remove the years of dirt and then finally it would need to be sealed to protect it going forward. After discussing the work in detail with the owner he was happy to accept my quote and we worked out a convenient date to do the work.

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

On my return I carefully prised off the carpet gripper so not to damage the tile. Then I applied a 50:50 mixture of Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel and Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU to the tiles. This creates a strong cleaning/coatings remover that would soften the paint and glue making it easier to remove. I left this to dwell on the floor for about an hour so it could break down the pint and adhesive. I then fitted a coarse 100-grit diamond pad to a rotary floor buffer and scrubbed the floor vacuuming up the resulting residue as I went along. I then repeated the process using a 200-grit pad and repeated the process.

I then spray buffed the floor using water and a 400-Grit burnishing pad followed by a 800-grit pad, rinsing and extracting afterwards with water to remove the fine slurry this process generates.

Old floors like these were laid before the invention of the damp proof membrane which can result in moisture rising through the floor as it evaporates potentially leaving alkaline salt deposits on the surface. This process is known as Efflorescence and although I minimised the use of water during the cleaning process, I was concerned that this may still present a problem later. To neutralise any alkaline salts in the floor that could cause this problem my last action for the day was give the floor an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel. Once this was done and extracted from the floor, I followed up with a further clean using Tile Doctor pH Neutral Tile Cleaner which was applied with a microfibre cloth. I left the floor to dry off overnight so it could be sealed the next day.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

On day two I checked the moisture level in the floor to ensure it had dried overnight. The results were good, so I set about applying the sealer. For this floor I decided to go with three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that as well as protecting the Victorian tiles form staining also enhances the black and white colours in the tile increasing the apparent contrast. This sealer is also fully breathable so any moisture will be able to evaporate up through the tile and not get trapped under the floor where it could eventually lead to rising damp in the walls.

Chequered Victorian tiled hallway Floor Oxford After Restoration

Before leaving I also discussed maintenance cleaning with the customer and left them a bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which is safe to use on sealed floors and will help keep the tiles looking at their best. It’s supplied in concentrated form so it should last them some time before they run out. The customer was very happy with the end result, she suggested I would be hearing from more neighbours very soon!

 

Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Oxford

Restoring a Black and White Chequered Victorian Tiled Hallway in Oxford

Our client got in touch to see if we could restore the appearance of her Victorian tiled hallway floor. The property was located on the outskirts of Oxford which as I’m sure your aware is a city that is steeped in history and most famous for its’ University, which is the oldest in the English-speaking world. The architecture in the city is magnificent, much of it dating back to Saxon times.

Chequered Victorian Hallway Floor Tile Before Restoration Oxford

When we arrived as you can see from the first picture, this floor had some missing tiles along the righthand edge which had been back filled with some sort of filler. Fortunately, I’ve done a quite few of these restorations before and knew where to source replacements that would match perfectly. It would be great to restore the floor and get the black and white chequers looking as they should. I discussed a plan to fully restore the floor with the client and agreed a price for the work to be done.

Cleaning/Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Our first step in the restoration of the floor was to cut out the filler from the floor and clean out the resulting hole so the replacement tiles could be inserted. We then carefully measured the holes and cut the replacement tiles to match. We then laid the tiles with fast curing tile adhesive, this completed the repair part of the restoration and we left the floor for the day, so the adhesive could set overnight.

Day two was phase two of the restoration plan which involved deep cleaning the floor using abrasive burnishing pads. We started with the application of a 100-grit diamond encrusted burnishing pad which was attached to a rotary floor machine and run over the floor with a small amount water to lubricate. The resulting soil was then rinsed off with water and then removed with a wet vacuum. We repeated the process with a whole series of burnishing pads with increasingly finer grades, they included 200, 400, 800 and 1500 grit pads to fully renovate and restore the surface. This process took the whole day and we finished with a 3000-grit pad which gave the floor a slight sheen, this last pad is applied dry with only a little water sprayed onto the tile.

This process deep cleans and refines the Victorian tiles to fully restore their appearance. It also has the benefit of using less water than a chemical cleaning process which is a big advantage on these old floors which were laid before the invention of damp proof membranes and excess moisture can result in the appearance of efflorescence salts as the floor dries.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The floor was again left overnight to dry out and we returned on the third day to seal the floor. The moisture level of the floor was tested first with a damp meter to ensure it was dry, adding sealer to a damp floor is not recommended as it can result in a patchy finish. All was so the Victorian tiles were sealed with a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This is a colour enhancing sealer that will enhance the contrast of the black and white chequered effect, it’s also fully breathable so will cope well with any moisture. Colour Grow leaves a matt effect to once it had fully dried the floor was buffed with a 3000-grit diamond pad to add a slight sheen to its appearance as requested by the client.

Chequered Victorian Hallway Floor Tile Before Restoration Oxford

The client was over the moon with the result and really pleased with the repair we had done, the floor looked as it should and they were now able to keep it nice and clean. A warm welcoming hallway now awaited their visitors.

 

Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Oxford

Victorian Tiled Hallway Renovated in Oxford

The Victorian tiled hallway shown below had until recently been covered by carpet and was in surprisingly good condition for its age which is a testament to the durability of these floors. My client who lives in Oxford had managed to remove most of the glue that had been used to secure the carpet to the tile but found it had left an imprint on the floor. Unable to take the restoration any further we were asked to remove the ground in grime and seal the floor.

Carpet Covered Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Oxford

Restoring Victorian Quarry Tiles

My first task was to remove what was left of the carpet adhesive primarily with the aid of scraper which was used carefully along the edges. This removed the thicker parts of the glue but needed more work to remove all the traces; so a 50 grit disc fitted to a handheld machine was run around the edges of the whole floor to complete the job removing the residue and dirt in the process.

I then used a 50 grit milling pad attached to a rotary floor machine to remove the ground in grime and clean the whole floor. The floor was then rinsed with water to remove the soil that was generated afterwards and then the process repeated this with a 100 grit and 200 grit milling pad to fully restore the appearance of the tile.

This process took up most of the day so before leaving I gave the floor an acid wash using a mild dilution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up and then followed this with a good rinse and final clean with Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner.

Sealing Victorian Tiles

Having finished cleaning the floor I left it to dry off completely for three days to ensure it was bone dry before returning to seal it.

To seal I applied Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that protects the tile from within by occupying the pores in the clay, it also enhances the natural colours in the tile in the process and leaves a matt finish.

Carpet Covered Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning Oxford

The finished floor looks a lot brighter now it’s now free of all the dirt and glue marks, the new sealer will also ensure it’s easy to clean and keeps its appearance for some time to come.
 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Oxfordshire

Removing Paint from a Victorian Hallway Tiles in Oxfordshire

When you decide to undertake a complete renovation of a property, it’s inevitable that floors will be in some way affected by the decorating. At this property in Oxford a renovation had just recently taken place, leaving the black and white patterned Victorian tiled floor covered in concrete residue, plaster and paint.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Oxford

Naturally, the property owner was keen to have the appearance of the tiled restored, to match in with the completely rejuvenated house. I was called in to see what could be done to resolve the problems.

Cleaning a Dirty and Stained Victorian Tiled Floor

I started the restoration by rinsing the floor thoroughly using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which is a concentrated phosphoric acid cleaner used to remove the plaster, concrete, paint and adhesive residue. I then rinsed the floor with fresh water to neutralise the chemicals and extracted all the fluids using a wet vacuum.

Following this, I opted to apply a series of diamond burnishing pads to grind off any particularly stubborn instances of residue, rinsing the tiles with water after each.
Unlike the pads, we use to burnish the shine back onto high end polished stone such as Limestone, Marble, and Travertine these pads were very coarse 100 and 200 grit milling pads rinsing with water after each pad and finishing with a 400 grit burnishing pad. This process thoroughly cleaned the floor and removed all the paint.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

After leaving the floor to dry completely for a couple of days, I returned to the property to seal the tiles. Once satisfied that the floor was damp-free and ready to be sealed, I chose to apply a combination of two products.

Firstly, I applied a coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is an impregnating sealer designed to enhance the natural colours and shades in the stone, but with a matte finish. Secondly, I applied a few coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go, which provides the high quality, durable sheen finish that the customer had requested.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning Oxford

Having the best of both worlds with these sealers really worked wonders for the appearance of the tiles and would highly recommend this combination of sealers for Victorian tiles. The customer was very pleased with the result of the restoration and can now enjoy her fully renovated house – complete with a fantastic looking Victorian tiled floor.
 
 
Source: Victorian Tile and Grout Cleaning and Restoration Service in Oxfordshire

Repairing A Gas Trench In A Victorian Floor

This house in the historic university city of Oxford had a gas fire installed in the living room and unfortunately the only route to the gas supply in the under stairs cupboard was via to go under the Victorian tiled floor in the hallway. Unfortunately this was a bit of a butcher’s job and a trench was dug into the floor which the current owner however was very keen on restoring back to its original condition.

I visited the client just before the Christmas break last year, and agreed that I would firstly replace the missing tiles and then return after Christmas to give the floor a deep clean and seal.

Victorian Floor Gas Pipe trench in Oxford

Repairing a Victorian tiled floor

In order to properly repair this Victorian tiled floor, I firstly had to source tiles that would be consistent with the colour and pattern of the original design. Since Victorian tiles are known for their intricate and varied designs, this isn’t always an easy task. However, I was able to find the right tiles in good time, although naturally being new they were brighter than the existing which had seem some wear but they should blend in over time. I proceeded to fill the deep part of the hole with concrete, before carefully laying down the tiles in line with the specific pattern on the rest of the floor. I then grouted the new tiles in to finish the repair.

Victorian Floor- Gas Pipe Repaired in Oxford

Cleaning a Victorian tiled floor

After the Christmas break, I returned to the house to commence the cleaning and sealing processes. My first task was to mix a solution of the two cleaning products, Tile Doctor Nanotech HBU and Pro Clean and let this soak into the tiles.

Nanotech is a particularly powerful cleaner which uses nano-sized particles to penetrate deep beneath the surface of the stone to lift out ingrained dirt. Pro Clean is a high alkaline cleaner that also contains stripping properties to break down any old sealer and mixed together the two products make a very powerful tile cleaning product.

I applied the solution to the floor and left it to dwell for a full hour before agitating with a scrubbing brush to remove any dirt. Following this I used my wet vacuum to soak up the soiled solution, before thoroughly rinsing the floor with clean water extracting again using the wet vacuum.

Sealing a Victorian tiled floor

I left the floor for 24 hours in order to let it dry completely following the clean. Upon my return I sealed the tiles using Tile Doctor Seal & Go, which adds a stain resistant and robust surface seal, along with a nice low sheen finish.

Victorian Floor Gas Pipe Repaired and cleaned in Oxford

It took some work but I think your will agree the floor now looks fantastic and the sealer should keep it looking that way for some time to come.
 
 
Source: Cleaning and Maintaining Victorian Flooring in Oxfordshire

Hallway Maintenance Clean in Oxford

This fantastic Victorian tiled hallway floor in Oxford was in good physical condition for its age; however like any sealed floor the sealer had worn down with use and with dirt becoming trapped in the pores of the tile it was now becoming difficult to clean effectively and had become dull and un-inviting. It was now due a really good deep clean and re-seal. Oxford as I’m sure your aware has a rich history and is home to one of the world’s best universities, so not surprisingly many houses here have interesting floors such as this one.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Oxford Before Cleaning

Cleaning a dirty Victorian tiled floor

Upon my arrival at the house, my first task was to protect the skirting boards, as well as the wooden floors leading into the other rooms. I then mixed a solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, a versatile, high alkaline cleaner combined 50:50 with Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU, a particularly strong cleaner that utilises nano-sized particles to penetrate into areas of the stone that standard products simply cannot reach.

I applied the solution to the surface and allowed it to soak for thirty minutes, allowing it to get to work on the ingrained dirt so it could be easily removed. Following this, I agitated the solution with a soft brush attached to a rotary scrubbing machine. I then applied more solution and left it for a further thirty minutes, before scrubbing this into the tiles using a black pad fitted to the rotary machine.

After the clean had been completed, I rinsed the entire floor multiple times and vacuumed up the resulting slurry using a wet-vac machine.

Sealing a Victorian tiled floor

I left the floor overnight, allowing the surface enough time to dry and returned then next day to seal the floor, checking first to ensure the tiles had dried. To seal the floor I used several coatings of Tile Doctor Seal & Go. Seal & Go which is a water-based, topical sealer that is suitable for use on unsealed, porous surfaces such as Victorian tile, textured Quarry, Slate, and Sandstone; being water based you don’t get the smell so it’s much more pleasant to work with.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Oxford After Cleaning

As you can see from the before and after photos, the result was an aesthetically pleasing and – most importantly – clean, Victorian tiled floor. Needless to say, my client was extremely pleased with my work.
 
 
Source: Victorian Tile and Grout cleaning and maintenance services in Oxfordshire

Restoring a Victorian Floor Hidden Under Lino

I was recently called to a property in the historic city of Oxford, perhaps most famous for being the site of the oldest University in the English-speaking world. The property owner asked me to take a look at a linoleum floor, which was partially revealing a black and white patterned, Victorian tiled floor underneath, to see what I could do with it. Although it would be a challenging and lengthy job, I assured my client that I would be able to restore the hidden Victorian tiled floor to its original condition.

Victorian Floor Restoration Oxford Before Victorian Floor Restoration Oxford Before

Removing the linoleum covering and cleaning the floor

My first task was to carefully scrape off as much of the linoleum covering as possible without damaging the floor beneath.

Victorian Floor Restoration Oxford Lino Removed

Once the linoleum had been removed, my next step was an initial clean of the floor.
Firstly, I applied a layer of Tile Doctor Remove and Go, which would help to draw out the ingrained dirt and stains. I left the product to dwell for only a short time as I did not want it to dry on the surface of the floor. Following this, I scrubbed the floor with a medium brush attached to a Rocky floor cleaning machine, before rinsing the area with clean water and then repeating the process again.

Victorian Floor Restoration Oxford Cleaning

To take the cleaning process a step further, I mixed a solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and NanoTech HBU, which uses nano-sized particles to penetrate below particularly tough stains and lift them out. This solution was applied to the floor and left to dwell for roughly two hours. I then used my floor machine (which weighs 57kg when full) with a medium brush and scrubbed the surface once again. After completing the cleaning process, I made sure to rinse the floor multiple times in order to ensure all the products had been rinsed away.

Victorian Floor Restoration Oxford Repair

Floor repair, tile replacement and sealing

I then set about digging out the concrete lines that were in the floor; these were likely the reason for having the floor covered in linoleum in the first place. One area under the concrete lines contained a gas pipe, which I found to be obsolete, and another contained an electrical wire, which I had to test in order to ensure it too was no longer functioning. I dug out the concrete, and removed all the tiles around the edge of the room, where carpet grippers had been put down, effectively smashing nails into the floor.

Victorian Floor Restoration Oxford Repair

Once I had sourced a total of 268 replacement tiles, I set about careful laying them down in a pattern that was consistent with the floor’s original appearance, once the tile adhesive was dry they were then grouted and the floor was then left for a week so they could set properly.

Victorian Floor Restoration Oxford Tile Repair Victorian Floor Restoration Oxford Tile Repair

When I returned after this period, I mixed a solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and water, and applied it to the floor. I left it to dwell for about 30 minutes, periodically stubbing with a deck brush. I then once again utilised my floor cleaning machine with a medium brush to scrub the floor, rinsed the area with more clean water, and then vacuumed up the excess liquid. The floor was let again to dry, this time for a period of a few days.

Victorian Floor Restoration Oxford Pre-Sealing

When I returned to the property after a few days, I used a damp meter to test the floor, making sure that the surface was dry enough to commence sealing (as any excess solution might have affected the performance of the sealer). My sealer of choice was Tile Doctor Seal & Go, a topical sealer which provides a sheen finish (as requested by my client) along with durable protection.

Victorian Floor Restoration Oxford After Sealing

Overall, the job took more than three weeks to complete, but it was extremely satisfying to see the restored Victorian tiled floor, back to looking great again. My client was also very satisfied with my work, saying:

“We are delighted with the work Barry carried out for us. He had restored our floors with care and attention to detail, and we are really pleased with the final result!”

Victorian Floor Restoration Oxford After Sealing

 
 
Source: Professional Tile, Stone and Grout Restoration service in Oxfordshire

Refreshing a Victorian Tiled Floor

The Victorian tiled floor shown below comprised of a complex square and diamond pattern contained with a parallel border and must of take a lot of work when it was first installed. It had been a while since it was last given a deep clean and was now looking rather dull and lifeless; we come across a lot of these floors at Tile Doctor and the remedy is a straight forward deep clean and reseal.

Victorian Tiled Floor Oxford Before Cleaning

Restoring Victorian Quarry Tiles

The first task was to clean the floor with a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was left to dwell on the tiles for a short while before being scrubbed in washing the floor down afterwards and extracting it with a wet vacuum to remove the soiled cleaning solution.

This did a reasonable job of cleaning up the tiles but there were some stubborn areas that would need further attention and what I suspected to be remnants of an old sealer. A stronger product was required and so the next step was to cover half the floor with Tile Doctor Remove & Go leave it to dwell for a time and then scrub the floor again with a rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. Again the tiles were rinsed and the dirty cleaning solution removed using a wet vacuum. Once done the process was repeated on the other half of the floor. Working in sections like this allows more room in what was a tight hallway and also ensures the cleaning products don’t dry out.

This process removed all the old seal and drew out the ingrained dirt. I them rinsed the floor with a dilution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up to deal with a few stains and grout problems before removing it with the wet vacuum and giving the entire floor a thorough rinse with water which was repeated a couple of times; again the wet vacuum was used to extract the water from the tiles and get them as dry as possible.

Sealing Victorian Tiles

I had finished cleaning the floor and so left for the evening returning four days later to seal the floor. Fortunately the customer had planned a short break away so the tiles were nice and dry and still clean on my return.

To seal I applied a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer to give a good base followed by three coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go which is a topical sealer that added the shine the customer required.

Victorian Tiled Floor Oxford After Cleaning

 
 
Source: Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Oxfordshire

Removing Bitumen from Victorian Tiles

Let me start this story by telling you this was the most challenging floor that I have come across so far. It all started with a request to visit a property in Oxford where they had discovered an original Victorian tiled floor under a parquet floor in the hall.

When I arrived the customer had taken up a small area in the corner and had already tried to remove the black bitumen that the parquet floor was stuck down with, he had made some progress but realized it would be a massive project without the right tools. After I had showed him how much cleaner I could take his patch he booked me to restore the floor, the customer said he would remove the parquet floor himself.

Victorian Floor Oxford Before Cleaning

Removing Bitumen from Victorian Tiles

When I arrived the parquet had been taken up to reveal a completely bitumen covered tiled floor that was very sticky. My first task was to put protection around the doors and skirting before moving on to removing the bitumen which was done by covering the half the floor in a mixture of Tile Doctor Remove and Go combined with Nano Tech UltraClean which was left to soak in for about an hour.

Victorian Floor Oxford Before Cleaning Victorian Floor Oxford Before Cleaning

After this I scrubbed the solution into the floor using a black scrubbing pad on my Rocky floor scrubbing machine, this loosened the bitumen from the floor which was then washed off with water and removed using a numatic wet vacuum. The same process was repeated on the other half of the floor and then the whole process was repeated again on both parts of the floor until it was clear of bitumen. This was arduous work and took a whole day to complete.

Cleaning Victorian Tiles

When I returned the next day I gave the floor a deep clean using a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean, like the Remove and Go this was spread over the floor leaving it to dwell for 10 minutes before being scrubbed in using the scrubbing machine fitted with a black pad; again the floor was rinsed clean with water which was removed using the wet vacuum.

After this I applied Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up which is an acidic product that is great at removing grout smears and mineral deposits from tiles, being an acid you can only leave it on the tile for a short while so I worked in 1m square sections at a time on my knees spraying and scrubbing with a deck brush and then rinsing.

When I had finished this process the whole floor was thoroughly rinsed with clean water to ensure there were no cleaning products left on the floor. I then left the floor to dry promising to return a few days later when it had dried.

Sealing Victorian Quarry Tiles

I returned as agreed a few days later to seal the floor with five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a great for Victorian tiles as it leaves a nice shine to the floor which is exactly how the customer wanted it. This process does take time however as you have to let the first coat dry before moving onto the next.

Victorian Floor Oxford After Cleaning Victorian Floor Oxford After Cleaning

From start to finish the transformation of the floor was amazing and the customer was very impressed with the results. Although the area was not large this was a very testing floor as bitumen stays sticky and was very difficult to remove even with the correct machines and products.
 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Restoration Service in Oxford

Victorian Tile Restoration in Oxfordshire

This old Victorian Quarry Tiled Floor was discovered in the basement of a large house in Oxford where they had been covered up for years. There were a couple of dead tiles that have had the tops taken of for some reason but the rest were in a reasonable condition given their age.

Victorian Quarry Tiled Floor before Restoration in Oxford

Restoring Victorian Quarry Tiles

On the first day I used a mixture of Tile Doctor Remove and Go combined with Nanotech UltraClean which adds an abrasive element to a powerful coatings remover. I spread this on the Quarry tiled floor and left it for about an hour so it could soak into the tile and breakdown old sealers and soil etc.; I then used a commercial steamer on the floor to aid the cleaning process and bring the dirt and old sealant to the surface. When that was done I rinsed the floor with clean water which was then removed along with the soil using a wet vacuum. The next step was to give the floor a mild acid rinse using Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up to remove any mineral deposits from the surface of the tile and then rinse down again with clean water so all the chemicals were removed. The floor was quite damp at this stage and need to be dry so it could be sealed so I left a dehumidifier there and a damp meter so the customer could test the floor.

Sealing Victorian Quarry Tiles

After a couple of days I got the call from the customer that the floor was now dry so I went round to seal it with five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a recommended sealer for Quarry tiles providing good stain protection whilst adding a nice sheen.

Victorian Quarry Tiled Floor after Restoration in Oxford

This floor was 120 years old and the customer had no expectation of any significant improvement and had even considered covering it with wood before giving us a call; I was pleased therefore that we managed to exceed their expectations and breathe new life into this old floor.
 
 
Source: Restoring a 120 year old Victorian Tiled floor in Oxfordshire