Restoring a Classic Victorian Tiled Hallway in Rugby

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

Victorian Hallway Floor Before Restoration Rugby

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

Victorian Hallway Floor Before Restoration Rugby

Cleaning and Restoring a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

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

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

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

Victorian Hallway Floor During Cleaning Rugby

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

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

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

Victorian Hallway Floor After Restoration Rugby

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

Victorian Hallway Floor After Restoration Rugby

 

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

Eyesore Tiles Replaced in a Victorian Hallway in Oswestry, Shropshire

A home owner who lives in the old market town of Oswestry in Shropshire called me in recently to work some Tile Doctor magic on their Victorian Tiled Hallway. They had been refurbishing the house room by room and had left the hallway floor until last. The previous owner of the house had repaired part of the floor at the far end of the hallway with an odd selection of unmatched tiles. The result was a bit of any eyesore and I’m surprised it hadn’t been covered over with carpet which is what most would do, the only good thing about the repair was that it had been laid level.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Oswestry Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Oswestry

There were several other areas were tiles were loose and would need relaying and a section where holes had been drilled into a couple of tiles damaging them in the process. In total I estimated there was about two square meters of tiles that would need relaying; I would be able to use some of the original tiles that had become loose, but it was clear I would need to track down some replacements either from a reclamation yard or from a retailer if I could find a match.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Oswestry

Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

As it turned out I managed to source the replacements without too much trouble, Victorian Tiles are still very popular today and there are a number of UK companies that still sell them.

My first task was to remove all the loose tiles and carefully remove what I’m going to call the eyesore. I have a handheld power tool that makes light work of removing grout which came in very hand and then once the grout was removed the tiles were prised out. The old grout and adhesive were then scraped off the sub floor, so the replacements could be fitted.

Victorian Tiled Floor During Repair Oswestry Victorian Tiled Floor During Repair Oswestry

With the loose, damaged and eyesore removed it was now a question of cutting replacement tiles to match the existing pattern and then fix them into place with fresh adhesive. This activity took up much of the first day and before leaving the tiles were grouted in, so they would be secure for cleaning the next day.

Deep Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Day two was all about deep cleaning the entire floor to remove any old coatings and ingrained dirt in the tiles. I did this using a strong dilution of Remove and Go which was left to soak into the tiles for a while before being scrubbed in using a rotary machine fitted with a black pad; the resultant slurry was then rinsed away with water and extracted off the floor using a wet vacuum.

There were some stubborn paint splashes from decorating that needed dealing with, so I gave these a spot clean using more Remove and Go and plenty of elbow grease. The floor was then given a final rinse to remove any trace of cleaning product and then dried as much as possible with a wet vacuum before being left to dry off fully overnight.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The tiles must be dry before sealing and after testing the floor with a damp meter I confirmed that the floor was indeed dry. I had previously discussed sealers with the owner he had opted for a matt finish. I decided that Tile Doctor Colour Grow would be the best choice of sealer to apply, it’s an impregnating sealer that leaves a matt finish and works by occupying the pores in the tile protecting it from staining from within. It also enhances the natural colours in the tile, only two coats of sealer were needed.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning Oswestry Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning Oswestry

The floor now looks fantastic and most crucially the eyesore has gone.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning Oswestry

 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Oswestry, Shropshire

Victorian Tiled Hallway Repaired and Restored following Central Heating Installation in North London

The owners of this property in Palmers Green, North London had uncovered an original Victorian hallway floor during renovation work. However, the priority was to have a new central heating system installed so they had to make a decision to allow the heating engineer to rip up part of the floor in order to lay new pipes.

With the floor now missing a large section most customers would agree to have the hole back-filled with concrete and then have lino installed on top, however keen to have the floor restored as an original feature they reached out to Tile Doctor who have a lot of experience in this field.

Our brief was to infill the excavated section and reinstate the floor with new original style Victorian tiles to match the existing ones.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Palmers Green

Deep Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway

The existing floor had been covered in Carpet which had been secured using carpet gripper fixed to the floor using adhesive, there were also old paint splashes from decorating that would need to be removed. Our first job therefore was to remove the glue and paint by applying a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove & Go which is a coatings remover especially designed for use on tile and stone. The product was applied, left to dwell for about twenty minutes and then scrubbed into the floor, this softened the paint and glue which could then be carefully scrapped off tile tiles.

The next step was to give the floor a deep clean with a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to strip off what remained of old sealers and extract any ground-in dirt from the pores of the tile. Naturally this work had to be done in two sections due to the missing tiled section and then once complete each part of the floor was given a good rinse and the slurry extracted using a wet vacuum.

The floor was then inspected and a second clean was carried out to remove any stubborn staining or residue followed by a steam clean.

Rebuilding a Victorian Tiled Hallway

Following the two stages of cleaning we checked the existing floor pattern and prepared the hallway by levelling the floor in preparation for inlaying the new tiles which were chosen to offer the best possible match. We were able to source reclaimed tiles that would match up to the pattern and during this phase of the restoration work we carried out any loose tile and grout repairs and re-grouted the newly laid tiles.

Sealing Victorian Hallway Tiles

With the original tiles clean and the hallway rebuilt we left the floor to dry off fully overnight.

On our return we first checked the tiled were dry and that the grout in the new section was clear of any grout smears from the tiling work. Happy with the condition of the hallway we first applied a coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that will protect the tiles from within by occupying the pores within the tile, it also enhanced the colours in the clay tile.

Once the first coat of sealer was dry it was followed by five coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go which adds further layers of protection and adds a nice subtle satin finish that works really well on Victorian tiles.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Palmers Green

The work went very well, and the sealer consolidated the new and old tiled sections to form a seamless floor.
 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Palmers Green, London