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

Sealing Victorian Hallway Tiles with No DPC in Bedford

The following photos show a lovely traditional Victorian hallway floor in a period property close to the Great Ouse river in the city of Bedford, a city with a rich history that dates back to medieval times.

The floor was in very good physical condition for its age but was very dirty due to not being sealed for many years allowing a build-up of soil to embed in the surface of the tiles. When this happens, we find general cleaning is no longer effective at thoroughly removing all the dirt and the result is a dull tiled floor that never looks its best.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning The Embankment Bedford

To restore the tiles to their former glory the floor would need to be stripped back, deep cleaned and then resealed.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning The Embankment Bedford

Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

My first course of action was to vacuum the floor to remove light dust and debris, this was then followed by applying a Tile Doctor Pro-Clean diluted with warm water. Pro-Clean is a strong alkaline tile and grout cleaning product that is safe to use on all types of tile and stone. The solution was decanted into a spray bottle and then sprayed onto the tiles working in sections of several metres at a time.

The Pro-Clean was left to soak into the tile and grout for about ten minutes before being agitated with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The soiled solution was then rinsed off with water and extracted from the floor with a wet vax. The process was then repeated through the entire area.

Once the whole floor was treated in this manner I then switched to a new cleaning process for Victorian tiles that is now being taught at Tile Doctor. The process resurfaces the tile by applying a special diamond impregnated pad fitted to a rotary machine and lubricated with water. The pad is worked over the tiles in sections as before rinsing each section with water after the application of the pad. Once the last section was treated in this manner and rinsed I moved onto the last step in the cleaning process by giving the floor an acid wash which helps neutralise the tile and helps to combat salts rising through the stone.

To do this I applied Tile Doctor Acid Gel to the entire area, leaving it to dwell for a short period before rinsing off with water, extracting again with the wet vax and then leaving the floor to dry off overnight.

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

I returned the following day to carry out minor repairs to small chips in the tile and also to replace missing and loose grout. This needed to set before I could seal the floor so once complete I left for the day which had the added benefit of allowing the floor to dry for another day. I also left a dehumidifier running on site to assist with the drying process.

On the third day, I returned to seal the floor with three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is a matt finish impregnating sealer that occupies the pores in the tile protecting it from within. Colour Grow also has other advantages, it enhances the colours in the tile and it’s a breathable sealer which will allow any dampness in the subfloor to evaporate which is important for older floors that have no damp proof course.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning The Embankment Bedford

I also left the client a free sample of our cleaning solution Tile Doctor Neutral Clean which is recommended for the regular cleaning of sealed tiles. I also left them with written maintenance instructions which will help them to keep their floor looking at it’s best for years to come.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning The Embankment Bedford

 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Restoration in Bedfordshire