I’ve seen a few Victorian Tiled floors in my time and I can tell you the condition of this particular floor was one of the worst I’ve seen in a while. The tiles had been covered up with carpet tiles which had been stuck down with a strong adhesive and there was still a fair amount of carpet tile backing that needed removing, grout was also missing in places and I could see a fair amount of work would need to be done to get this floor restored.
Cleaning Victorian Floor Tiles
The first job was to clean what I could of the floor and remove the remaining carpet tile so working in sections I applied Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and scrubbed it into the tiles carefully scraping off the tile backing as I went. There were a lot of tiles to cover so as you can imagine this was quite a painstaking process and I was literally working on one time at a time to get the job done. Once complete the floor was given a thorough rinse to remove any cleaning products and soiled cleaning solution which was then removed using a wet vacuum.
Once the floor was clean it was evident that some tiles were loose and needed resetting and others would need grouting so I set about doing this making sure to use a matching grout.
Sealing Victorian floor Tiles
I left the floor to dry overnight and came back the next day to seal the tiles. Fortunately they had dried overnight so I applied four coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go. This is an ideal sealer for Victorian tiles as it adds a classic shine to the floor and will provide good protection from stains going forward. I think you will agree the floor has been transformed and now loos amazing, certainly the customer was very happy.
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.
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.
This dull and un-inviting Victorian tiled entrance hall was located at a house in the small town of Whitburn in West Lothian which is half between Glasgow and Edinburgh. The tiles were in need of a deep clean and seal and we do see our fair share of Victorian tiled floors in this area and so have become quite experienced in their maintenance.
Cleaning Victorian Tile and Grout
To clean the floor and remove any remaining sealer a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean was applied to the floor and left to soak into the tiles for around fifteen minutes before being worked into the tile and grout using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary bonnet machine. Pro-Clean is a heavy duty alkaline cleaning product that un-like acid based cleaners are safe to use on Tile, Stone and Grout.
The soiled cleaning solution was then rinsed off using water and then the whole process repeated; three times to ensure any remaining sealer was removed and the floor was clean. The final step was to neutralise the floor before sealing which we did by giving it a final wash with Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner, this time we extracted as much water as possible using a wet vacuum and then left the tile to dry off overnight.
Sealing Victorian Tiles
We came back the next day and after checking the floor was clean and dry proceeded to seal the tiles using five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go. Seal and Go is a water based sealer so it doesn’t leave a smell as its drying, it also offers good stain protection and adds a nice sheen to the floor.
The entrance tiles now look new again and the sealer should keep it that way for a long time to come.
The pictures below are from a Victorian tiled floor installed in a period house in the coastal town Eastbourne. The tiles had been covered lino and carpet for years which the owner had only recently removed during renovation work, as it turns out this was unfortunate as they then became covered in plaster and paint from the decorators. Although the floor did look to be in a very sorry state I was very confident that I could breathe new life into it given enough time so I allowed four days to complete the task.
Cleaning a Victorian Floor Tiles
Some type of adhesive had been used to stick down the Lino and Carpet so the first step was to remove all the stubborn glue build up which I did using Tile Doctor Remove and Go, then once the bad areas had been targeted I concentrated on the plaster and paint build up which I treated using a 3-1 mix of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean in warm water worked in with a buffing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The soiled water was rinsed away using a wet vacuum so the floor could be checked to see if more work was required which it was so stubborn areas that had resisted the initial cleaning onslaught were spot cleaned by using a diluted mix of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up which is a very strong acidic product for removing grout and other mineral based substances from tiles. Before finishing the entire floor was given a thorough rinse to remove any trace of cleaning product, again a wet vacuum was used to remove the water and this time get the floor as dry as possible.
Sealing the Victorian Tiled Floor
The cleaning took place over two days and then the floor was given a further two days to allow it to dry fully after which I went back and sealed it with four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is an ideal sealer for Victorian tiles as it combines stain protection whilst giving the floor a subtle sheen appearance.
Looking at the floor when the last coat went on it was hard to believe the state it was in when I first arrived. Incidentally the owner who had inherited the house told me that he had not seen the floor look that good when his parents were alive as he remembered it from his childhood. It always makes the job more worthwhile when you hear stories like that.