Rebuilding a Damaged Victorian Tiled Hallway in Epsom

A customer from Epsom called me regarding the restoration of her Victorian tiled hallway which was previously covered in carpet and in a poor state of health. Intrigued and having spoken on the phone I agreed a time to call in and survey the floor and work out a way forward. I visited the property and could immediately see considerable repair work including resolving problems with the sub floor and tile replacement would be required and all this before cleaning and sealing.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Before Rebuild in Epsom

This house had undergone some serious renovations recently and the floor was left till last. I’m not a structural engineer so was unable to advise what had happened to the floor, but all the faults appeared to run in a line from the kitchen to the front door. It was an old house so who knows what might have caused it, it might even have been bomb damage from the 2nd world war.

There were three main problem areas. The worst was by the front door where an area of about a metre square was just loose tiles and laid on rubble. The family had got used to jumping across the threshold so as not to make the problem worse. Next was a strip through the middle that was totally exposed and a massive trip hazard. The floor boards were visible as was the floor base. There was another area by the front room entrance that had some loose pattern tiles that clunked every time someone entered the room. Finally, there was a small area to the entrance to the basement that had been patched in with cement.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Before Rebuild in Epsom Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Before Rebuild in Epsom

It was clearly going to be a challenging restoration for several reasons. Had the customer kept all the loose tiles? If not, could I source matching replacements? Would it be possible to level the floor that appeared to be sloping towards the front door? Could I remove loose and broken tiles without disturbing others? Could I manage the customers high expectations?

Having worked on numerous Victorian floor restorations in the past I knew where I could potentially source replacement tiles. I also had the full backing of the Tile Doctor network so knew I could always reach out to other Tile Doctors should I face any major problems. Undaunted we agreed a date for me to return and start the work and in the mean time I would talk to several specialist tile suppliers about replacements.

Rebuilding a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Before starting any tiling work, I photographed the whole floor extensively from different angles so I would have something to refer to later. Then I removed all the loose tiles placing them in buckets for further cleaning. I now had three areas that I could see beneath the floor boards and another area of cement that I broke up using a chisel drill. In total I filled six buckets with rubble and broken tiles, all of which were taken off site and disposed of at a local recycling centre.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor During Rebuild in Epsom Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor During Rebuild in Epsom

The next step was to ensure I had a level and flat base in the newly exposed areas on which to lay the tiles. I managed this by laying down a self-levelling compound. The compound is mixed in a bucket and poured into the holes up to the required level allowing gravity to do the levelling work for you. It is then left to dry and harden overnight.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor During Rebuild in Epsom Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor During Rebuild in Epsom

The next day I started by re-fixing the loose tiles in areas where the subfloor was still solid. Close packed Victorian tiles are very tough but can be brittle, often removing a single tile can cause chips or break surrounding tiles. I always buy more replicas than the job requires for this very reason. This can be very frustrating work, so I find its best approach is to remove as few tiles as possible. I explained to the customer that the floor is over 100 years old and some chips and scratches give the floor character. Perfection is an unrealistic expectation where some marks are permanent.

Part of the other renovations included the removal of two antique radiators leaving some strips of carpet and adhesive attached to the floor. I removed this using a strong mixture of tile doctor remove and go and a little encouragement from a 50-grit diamond block.

The preparation continued with the cleaning up of the three buckets of tiles recovered at the beginning of the restoration. Old adhesive and cement must be removed before refitting to ensure they can be laid flush to the adjacent tiles. Luckily for me the weather was warm and sunny, so I sat on the garden wall for the afternoon using a combination of a wet tile cutter, Fein tool and diamond blocks to get them clean while I took in the sun.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor During Rebuild in Epsom

The next day was spent re-laying the tiles. The tiles are in an intricate pattern and in various shapes and sizes. The main area by the front door took all day. The difference in thickness between the original and replacement tiles made the work particularly difficult. Interested neighbours came and went commenting on my progress throughout.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor During Rebuild in Epsom

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The next day I soaked all the tiles with tile doctor Acid Gel and left to dwell for 30 minutes. This was to work into the porous areas and to break down years of dirt. Then attaching a very coarse 100-grit diamond encrusted pad attached to a rotary floor machine I cleaned the tiles with a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. This process skims away a small layer of the tiles thus the dirt too. All the soil was extracted from the floor using a wet vacuum. I repeated this process twice for maximum effect. The customer was amazed at the result and I wasn’t finished yet. When wet the contrast between the white tiles and dark were astonishing, however this was temporary so I made sure the customer aware that without a sealer they would look washed out and colourless. I left the scene overnight with a couple of warm air movers in place to fully dry out the tiles.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

The tiles need to be dry before sealing so the next day my first action was to test the floor for moisture using a damp meter. They passed and were ready to take a sealer, so I discussed the different options and finishes with the customer. It was a very interesting house, full of retro artefacts so we needed something that would blend in, more importantly she had four children and a husband who bought a cycle through the house twice a day. I recommended Tile doctor seal and Go Extra. It’s super tough, offering great protection and gives a subtle sheen that I felt would suit the house. Three coats later and I was done, closing the door behind me as everyone was at school and work

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Rebuild in Epsom Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Rebuild in Epsom

I popped back later that evening to discuss the job. The newly applied sealer had intensified the depth of colour in the Victorian tiles and returned the brightness to the floor. She was very pleased and even gave me a carrot cake to take home with me.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Rebuild in Epsom

 

Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Epsom Surrey

Removing Plaster, Paint and Glue from a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Kings Lynn

As is often the case in years past and for whatever reason many homeowners covered their decorative Victorian hallway tiles in a variety of products from carpet to laminate flooring. These days the trend has reversed and quite rightly many homeowners now realise the value a tiled floor can bring to a property and look to us to have it restored.

Our client had purchased a property in Norfolk seaport of Kings Lynn and, on lifting the dirty old carpet and decaying underlay in the hallway, discovered a beautiful tiled entrance hall. It was obvious that a previous owner had decided to lay carpet over the tiles as an easy way of hiding the result of careless renovation and decorating which had resulted in a thick coating of plaster, paint, carpet tape glue and various other contaminants which had become firmly stuck to the surface. There were also two small rectangular black and brown tiles missing behind the front door which had been damaged during the removal of some old lead pipes.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Kings Lynn

This was clearly a job which would need somewhat more than a scrubbing brush and a bottle of Flash!

Cleaning a Victorian tiled floor

Our first job was to remove as much of the solid contaminants as possible by hand with floor scrapers and a steamer which softened the more stubborn lumps. We then applied Tile Doctor Remove & Go which is a powerful alkaline stripper to the whole area, left it to dwell on the surface for twenty minutes and then scrubbed it in using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The resulting slurry was then power rinsed and extracted away using our Ninja machine which is a high-power industrial vacuum. Any remaining patches where the carpet tape had been stuck down were spot treated using Tile Doctor Nanotech HBU which made short work of the hardened glue.

The result was a clean floor, but the surface still felt slightly rough and pitted, a problem which we resolved using the rotary machine fitted with a 200-grit diamond burnishing pad followed by a 400-grit pad with a little 400 grit honing powder which left the surface smooth, silky and ready for the application of a sealer.

Finally, we acid washed the whole area using Tile Doctor Acid Gel, a slow release product which would neutralise any remaining chemicals, improve new sealer adhesion and inhibit the future production of any efflorescence salts. We had used a fair amount of water during the cleaning process, so we left the floor to dry off thoroughly overnight with assistance from our commercial dehumidifier.

Sealing a Victorian tiled floor

On our return the following day, we discussed the sealer options with the client and recommended using microporous Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that seeps into the pores of the stone protecting it from within. It will provide an excellent fluid resistant seal whilst enhancing the natural colours in the stone, additionally it’s fully breathable thereby enabling any moisture trapped under the floor to rise through the floor and evaporate. This is important on old floors like this where no damp-proof membrane was installed. The sealer was applied with a paint pad in tow coats and allowed to dry for an hour before buffing the floor with a hog’s hair pad to give a rich natural-look sheen finish.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Kings Lynn

The Victorian tiles responded well to the treatments which were completed in two consecutive days. My client was extremely pleased with the results and left the following comment:

“My floor was in poor condition after being buried under carpet as well as many, many years of paint and muck. I enjoyed the time they spent at my home and wouldn’t hesitate to use (or recommend) the Tile Doctor service in the future.”

 

Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Kings Lynn

Removing Old Paint from a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Kettering, Northamptonshire

The customer called me after she had removed the lino in her hallway to discover a traditional Victorian tiled floor hidden underneath. Unfortunately, at some time in the past this floor hadn’t been protected whilst decoration was carried out and had been heavily stained with splashes of paint. Although the customer had tried her best to clean the paint off the floor, she had found it was impossible to remove. She was really keen to restore the floor back to its’ former glory and see the back of the nasty looking lino!

I visited the property in Kettering which is a lovely town in Northamptonshire, approx. 15 miles from Northampton itself. The area is now very popular with commuters with regular trains heading to London St Pancras taking just one hour. As the pictures she had sent me showed the floor needed professional cleaning as no amount of household products would be able to remove the problem areas. I discussed with the customer what we could do to get the floor restored and we agreed a price for the work, scheduling it in for a few weeks later.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Kettering Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Kettering

Deep Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

To clean the floor, it was first sprayed with a solution of Tile Doctor Remove & Go which was left to dwell for fifteen minutes to help soften the paint. We then used our heavy-duty scrubbing machine with the appropriate attachments to scrub the floor. A little warm water was added to the solution on the floor to help remove the paint as the scrubbing was underway. Once done a wet vacuum was used to remove the slurry generated by the scrubbing process.

This process was repeated several times in the most stubborn areas to ensure the floor was as clean as possible. This action removed around 90% of the paint which was a huge improvement, but more work was required before it would meet my standards.

To further improve the condition of the tiles my next course of action was to apply Tile Doctors 100 and 200-grit burnishing pads to the floor with water to help lubricate. After each pad the find slurry that was generated was extracted off the floor using the wet vacuum. This process reconditions the surface of the Victorian tile and removed the remainder of the paint, it also cleaned the remaining areas that needed further attention leaving the floor spotless. I left the floor to dry overnight and arranged to return the following morning to complete the restoration with the application of a sealer.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The customer wanted the floor to look natural so requested a matt finish sealer, also being an old floor without a damp proof membrane I specified the sealer should be fully breathable so moisture can pass up from the sub floor and not become trapped under the tile where it could cause problems. With these factors in mind we agreed on Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which ticks all these boxes.

As you can see from the after pictures, the restorative cleaning process really did the trick. The colours in the floor were now nice and clear and the floor looked as it should.
The customer was over the moon with the outcome, she had not expected the finish achieved to be as good.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Kettering Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Kettering

No matter how bad you think the floor is with the use of professional machinery and Tile Doctor products we can restore most floors to a high standard, which certainly in this case exceeded the customers’ expectations.

 

Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Kettering, Northamptonshire

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

Removing Carpet Glue from an Old Victorian Tiled Hallway in Sheffield

Detailed below is the restoration of a beautiful Victorian tiled hallway that we completed for a ‘co-housing’ community who had purchased a large house in Nether Edge. Situated three miles south if Sheffield, Brincliffe House was built in 1850 and had been used as NHS offices since the end of the Second World War but had been empty since 2012. Built originally for Herbert Unwin who was the owner of Pond Street Brewery it was now subject to a three-million-pound conversion into fifteen apartments.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Brincliffe House Nether Edge

When we first visited the property to survey the floor, we were shown around the ground floor where they had discovered magnificent Victorian tiled floor. The new owners had no idea the floor was there as the NHS had covered it up decades earlier and glued carpet on top. Being a co-housing community, they were keen to do the restoration themselves however after several unsuccessful attempts to remove the strong carpet adhesive they thought better of it and called us in. We ran several tests and worked out the best way to remove the glue. The floor covered about 70 sqm in total so we knew we had our hands full.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Brincliffe House Nether Edge

Removing Carpet Glue from an Old Victorian Tiled Floor

I’d worked out that the best way to remove the carpet adhesive was a combination of coating remover products and abrasive burnishing pads, these are industrial diamond encrusted pads that are usually used to resurface stone however we find they work equally well on Victorian tiles as well.

Working in small sections the floor was treated with a Tile Doctor 200-grit 17 inch Diamond pad fitted to a rotary floor buffer using water as a lubricant. This stripped off a lot of surface dirt and glue which was then rinsed off with water and extracted with a wet vacuum. Next the floor was coated with a mixture of Tile Doctor Remove & Go and Wax Away, two powerful coating removers that are safe to use on Tile and Stone. The mixture was left to soak into the tiles for about twenty minutes before being scrubbed in with a black scrubbing pad which slowly released the glue and dirt from the pores of the tile. In some areas the glue was so thick we found it necessary to use hand scrapers as well. As before the soil was rinsed off with water and then extracted using a wet vacuum.

Victorian Tiled Hallway During Restoration Brincliffe House Nether Edge

Each section of flooring was inspected and retreated where necessary, then once happy with the result it was given a final rinse with water to remove any trace of cleaning product. After two days of hard work the results were truly amazing, and it was very satisfying to see the floor come back to life section by section.

Victorian Tiled Hallway During Restoration Brincliffe House Nether Edge

Sealing Victorian Hallway Tiles

The community were very happy with the results and thankful I had managed to achieve such an amazing transformation. They were however keen to do as much of the project as they could by themselves, so I advised them on the importance of protecting the tiles with a sealer and left that bit tot the community.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Brincliffe House Nether Edge

With regards to sealing my recommendation was to apply a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow as it would enhance the red and blue colours in the tiles even further. Also, being fully breathable it would be able to cope with any moisture issues which is important on these old floors which were laid without a damp proof membrane.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Brincliffe House Nether Edge

 

Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Sheffield, South-Yorkshire

Restoring a Victorian Tiled Hallway Covered with Self Levelling Compound in Yorkshire

Our client in Rotherham had decided to install a new floor in their hallway and after removing many layers of old floor coverings discovered a layer of self-levelling compound underneath. After deciding to chip some of this away they discovered what appeared to be an original Victorian tiled floor. Realising that original features like these are very desirable they decided to call in Tile Doctor to see if it could be restored.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Covered in Self-Leveller Before Restoration Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Rotherham

Being the local agent for Tile Doctor I was asked to look at the floor and quote for doing the work. I could see this was going to take some time to do properly, the floor was quite seriously damaged, a big area of tiles were missing, the tiles around each doorway were heavily damaged and there were quite a few loose and cracked tiles around the edges of the floor. But we were confident this floor could be made to look amazing once again and add the original charm of this hallway back to how it was intended to be.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Repair and Restoration Rotherham

Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The first course of action was to make the tile repairs which included digging out and rebuilding the sub floor in some areas.

Victorian Tiled Hallway During Subfloor Repair Rotherham Victorian Tiled Hallway During Restoration Rotherham

Fortunately, these black and white Victorian Tiles are fairly common, so I was able to source replacements quite easily. There was a lot of areas to cover so this step took a couple of days to complete.

Deep Cleaning a Victorian tiled floor

To get the floor clean we used a slow speed floor polisher fitted with a 200-grit diamond pad. Aided with Tile Doctor Remove and Go it proved to be an effective combination that cut through and removed the self-levelling compound, it also worked a treat at removing paint stains too.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Rotherham Victorian Tiled Hallway During Restoration Rotherham

The next step was to give the floor an acid wash to remove any remaining grime and dirt. To do this we applied Tile Doctor Acid Gel which being in gel form is quite easy to control. After being scrubbed into the floor it was extracted using a wet vacuum and then the floor given a thorough rinse with water to remove any traces of product.

Victorian Tiled Hallway During Acid Washing Rotherham Victorian Tiled Hallway During Acid Washing Rotherham

The wet vacuum was employed again to extract as much moisture from the floor as possible and then left to dry off fully overnight.

Sealing an Old Victorian Hallway Tiles

The next day I returned to seal the floors checking first that the tiles were dry. All was well so I began applying the sealer which in this case was Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that works by soaking into the pores of the tile to prevent dirt from becoming ingrained there.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Rotherham Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Rotherham

The floor was completely transformed over the course of five days and our customer was over the moon with the results calling it her ‘forever floor’.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Repair Rotherham

 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in South Yorkshire

Victorian Hallway Floor Renovated at Old Sheffield Vicarage

Our client had recently moved into this beautiful former vicarage in Sheffield, the hallway had a stunning Victorian tiled floor and there were quarry tiles in two adjoining rooms. The floors hadn’t been maintained properly in quite some time and due to building work in the house they had become very dirty; the Victorian floor also needed some repairs doing as there were areas of loose tiles.

Victorian Hallway Before Cleaning Sheffield

The new owner wanted the floors restoring which in this case meant making some repairs, deep cleaning the tiles and then sealing to protect them from further staining. I quoted for doing the work which was accepted and agreed a date to return and complete the work.

Repairing a Victorian tiled floor

It made sense to start with the tile repairs first, so I inspected the whole floor for loose tiles and carefully removed them. The tiles and floor were then cleaned up to remove the old adhesive and grout.

Victorian Hallway During Tile Repair Sheffield

The tiles were fixed into place using a quick setting adhesive and whilst that was setting I started cleaning the floor, returning to grout the tiles later with a matching grout once the adhesive had set firm.

Victorian Hallway During Tile Repair Sheffield

Deep Cleaning a Victorian tiled floor

To deep clean the floor and remove any old sealers present on the tiles I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go. This product works best if you leave it to dwell and soak into the tile for about ten minutes before scrubbing it in. There was a large area to cover so I worked in sections and used a floor polishing machine fitted with a coarse 200 grit burnishing pad to grind off surface dirt and work the product into the tile to release the ingrained dirt. I ran the machine on a slow setting which helps reduce splashing and once the section had been cleaned I rinsed off the soiled cleaning solution with water which was then extracted using a wet vacuum.

Victorian Hallway During Cleaning Sheffield

Once the whole floor was clean I followed up with an Acid Wash which removes old grout smears from the tile and neutralises any efflorescence salts inherent in the tile. Efflorescence is a common problem with old floors where no damp proof membrane has been installed and can result in white salt deposits appearing on the surface on the floor. I used Tile Doctor Acid Gel for this step, being in gel form its easier to manage than other products and used the 200-grit burnishing pad to scrub it in. The slurry was then removed with a wet vacuum and the floor dried as much as possible with air movers leaving it to fully dry off overnight.

Victorian Hallway During Cleaning Sheffield Victorian Hallway During Cleaning Sheffield

Sealing an Old Victorian Hallway Tiles

The next day I returned to seal the floors checking first that the tiles were dry. There are a number of sealers I could have used on the floor, but the owner preferred a matt appearance and I wanted to use a fully breathable sealer to ensure it could cope with moisture rising up through the floor due to the lack of the damp proof membrane.

Victorian Hallway After Cleaning Sheffield Victorian Hallway After Cleaning Sheffield

With these considerations in mind I choose Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that protects the tiles from within by occupying the pores in the clay thereby preventing anything else from becoming ingrained there. The other advantage of Colour Grow is it’s a colour intensifying sealer that improves the colours in the tile.

Victorian Hallway After Cleaning Sheffield

Only two coats of Colour Grow were needed, and I think you will agree the floor now looks very clean and so much more vibrant.

Victorian Hallway After Cleaning Sheffield

 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Sheffield, South Yorkshire

Rebuilding and Restoring a Victorian Hallway in Shipley

Shipley is a town in West Yorkshire that was heavily shaped by the Industrial Revolution and the Victorian period. It became particularly well-known for its textile industry and some of the original mills in which textiles were manufactured still survive in the town today. Being in West Yorkshire, Shipley is also part of what is commonly known as ‘Brontë country’ – once home to the famous Brontë sisters.

Many Victorian era properties still survive in the area too and all too often the original Victorian tiled floors contained within are not well maintained. I recently visited a customer in Shipley who had a Victorian tiled hallway that was in need of a deep clean and seal. What’s more, the customer told me that there were around 20 loose tiles in the hallway that would need to be reinstalled.

Victorian Hallway Shipley Before Cleaning Victorian Hallway Shipley Before Cleaning

On the first day, I started by refitting the 20 loose tiles in the hallway. The problem however was a lot worse than originally thought and, in the end, I had to take up 108 tiles, so I could rebuild the base of the floor, and then relay them. This process took up most of the day but at least the adhesive and grout would be set in time for cleaning the next day.

Cleaning a Dirty Victorian Tiled Hallway

On day two I focused on deep cleaning the tiles and removing any remaining sealer by applying a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. Pro-Clean is a strong alkaline heavy-duty tile and grout cleaner that serves the purpose of both cleaning the stone and when used in a strong dilution will strip off sealers.

I applied the Pro Clean liberally across the length of the hallway and left it to soak into the tiles for about twenty minutes. This allows the product time to breakdown the sealer and dirt before being scrubbed in with a black scrubbing pad.

Special attention had to be paid to parts of the floor which had suffered paint splashes from previous decoration. I was also surprised to find that there were even some chewing gum stains marking the tiles. These were removed using the combination of a steam cleaner, more Pro-Clean and the careful use of a handheld scraper.

The floor was then given a thorough rinse with fresh water and then dried as much as possible with a wet vacuum. It was then also left to dry off overnight.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway

Upon returning to the property the next day I checked for any moisture issues with a damp tester. Thankfully, the floor proved dry and I could proceed with sealing the tiles which was done using four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go that leaves a deep satin finish that the customer had requested.

Victorian Hallway Shipley After Cleaning Victorian Hallway Shipley After Cleaning

 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Shipley, Yorkshire

Old Victorian Hallway Renovated at Torver Near Coniston Water

We were recently asked to restore an old tiled floor that had been laid in a Basket Weave Pattern in the hallway of a property in Torver which is a small hamlet on the outskirts of Coniston Water in the Lake District. Torver has a long history however it really took off with the arrival of the Coniston to Broughton-in-Furness railway line in 1859 which was used to transport stone and Slate from the local mines. Many of the properties in the Coniston and Torver areas date from the Victorian period and contain original stone and tiled floors.

This tiled floor had been revealed when the existing carpet was removed by the new owners. It proved to be in quite good condition despite being covered for a long period, but it nevertheless suffered from the usual age-related issues. It needed an intense clean and a fresh seal, including the removal of deeply ingrained dirt, paint stains, glue deposits and bitumen.

After inspecting the situation, the quote we offered the customer was accepted and a date was arranged for us to return to complete the work.

Deep Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

Our first course of action was to clean the edges of the floor, to remove the glue deposits and carpet underlay residue. This was achieved using the careful application of a sharp scraping tool and handheld burnishing blocks combined with a couple of Tile Doctor cleaning products.

Victorian Floor Tiles During Renovation Torver

The first product applied was Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU (Heavy Build-up Remover) which is a strong alkaline product specially formulated with nano-sized cleaning particles to penetrated deep into the stone and dissolve deeply ingrained dirt and stains. The second product was Tile Doctor Remove and Go, a heavy-duty coatings remover which works well particularly well at removing glue deposits, paint, and synthetic coatings.

We then addressed the rest of the floor using a coarse 200-grit burnishing pad attached to a slow speed rotary cleaning machine, applied with water as the lubricant. We used this in small areas to intensely clean the surface of the floor. The resultant slurry was then extracted from the floor a powerful wet vacuum.

The floor was then rinsed again with water and the moisture was wet vacuumed before we moved onto the next area. Once the floor was completely scrubbed and rinsed, and any remaining glue and paint issues were retreated using the same methods we used on the floor edges, we then moved onto the final phase of the clean.

The last step in the cleaning process involved giving the floor an acid wash to deal with any potential salt issues (efflorescence) which can result in white salt deposits appearing on the surface of the tiles as they dry. Damp proof membranes that can prevent this problem are a relatively modern invention, so this can be a real issue for old floors from the Victorian era, particularly if the floor has had damp issues in the past. The floor was washed with a 1:3 dilution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which being acidic effectively counteracts the alkaline salts. The floor was then given another rinse to remove any trace of cleaning products and then left to dry off.

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

We actually left the floor to dry out for three full days and upon our returning to the property several moisture readings were taken to ensure the floor was dry enough to take a fresh seal.

Victorian Basket Weave Lay During Sealing in Torver

The customer had requested a natural-looking matte finish to the floor. We have the perfect product to provide this type of finish, so we proceeded to apply three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, an impregnating sealer which naturally enhances the colours in the tile, additionally it’s a fully breathable sealer so moisture can easily rise through the floor.

Victorian Basket Weave Lay After Renovation Torver

As you can see from the photographs taken during the various stages of the restoration, the intense clean and fresh seal greatly enhanced the appearance of the floor – much more so than could have been achieved with everyday products and methods. The customer was very pleased indeed.

Victorian Basket Weave Lay After Renovation Torver

 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Cumbria

Carper Stained Victorian Hallway Restoration in Streatham, South London

If you like in an older property in the UK and never looked under the carpets you might want to take a minute and have a look. I still find it surprising how many of my customers had no idea they lived in a house with a classic tiled hallway.

We were recently asked to restore a fantastic geometric-patterned Victorian tiled floor which had been found underneath carpet during decoration work in the hallway of a property in Streatham.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Streatham Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Streatham

The once black and white tiles were now absolutely caked in dirt, glue deposits, cement, paint stains and plaster. It would be no small feat to get the tiles back to looking their best again. Fortunately, Victorian tiles are very resilient and we have a lot of experience in their restoration so I was confident that with the right products and techniques we could get the job done to a high standard.

Cleaning Dirty and Stained Victorian Hallway Tiles

The tiled hallway was quite long, yet only around a metre wide, so I felt the best approach would be to work in small sections at a time. Our method was to soak the tiles with Tile Doctor Remove and Go and leave the product to work its magic for roughly ten minutes, before scrubbing the surface to remove the muck. Some of the more viscous and stubborn stains were scrapped away carefully by hand within the assistance of a steam cleaning machine. The resulting residue was extracted using a wet vacuum. Remove and Go is a particularly effective cleaner in scenarios like this, as it is specially formulated to strip away old sealers, adhesives and even paint without harming the tile itself.

The next step was to run a rotary machine fitted with a Coarse 200 grit burnishing pad lubricated with water over the floor to achieve a consistent finish. The floor was then rinsed to remove the soil generated in the process.

Old floors like these laid before the invention of damp proof membranes can be a concern as damp rising up through the tile as it dries can leads to efflorescence salt deposits appearing on the tile surface. So, to avoid potential issues Tile Doctor Acid Gel was applied to the floor to neutralise any salt deposits and the floor given a final rinse to remove any trace of cleaning products.

Sealing Victorian Hallway Tiles

After finishing the clean, we left the floor to dry out over the weekend. With old floors like this one, we tend to recommend allowing a drying period of at least 48 hours to ensure the floor is completely dry before applying a sealer.

Upon arriving back at the property, we ran a few quick damp tests and once satisfied the floor was dry proceeded to seal the tiles using Tile Doctor Colour Grow. Colour Grow is a colour-intensifying, impregnating sealant that leaves a natural-look matte finish. It works by occupying the pores in the clay and it’s also a fully breathable sealer which is important for these old floors where damp may be any issue.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Streatham Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Streatham

The customer was absolutely thrilled with the results. She even went as far as to leave a review expressing how pleased she was during the weekend before we had chance to seal the tiles.

Bill and Wayne were brilliant! On time, got to work straight away, lovely and friendly and very professional. They have done a lovely job and I’m looking forward to them coming to seal the tiles to finish it o f tomorrow afternoon. Wouldn’t hesitate to recommend. Thanks guys!
 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in South London

Renovating a Dull Victorian Entrance in Edinburgh

If you visit Victorian era houses throughout the UK, you will find that many them have colourful tiled entranceways (also sometimes known as vestibules). The tiles are commonly made from encaustic cement, stylised with distinct geometric patterns that really help to add character to the property.

The reign of Queen Victoria was a prosperous and confident time for Scotland – and many new houses and buildings were built in the well-known ‘Victorian’ style during the period. One of the best-known buildings to be built was Balmoral Castle, which is still in use by the Royal Family as a holiday home.

Homeowners who are fortunate enough to be in possession of original Victorian tiles will find that they are not easy to keep clean without the right products and methods. The entrance to any house of course is subject to high amounts of foot traffic, which means the tiles can become dirt and discoloured very quickly indeed.

Here is an example that we cleaned and sealed recently in Edinburgh, although in good physical condition for its age the sealer on the floor had worn off and dirt had become ingrained in the tile reducing its overall appearance.

Small Victorian Porch Before Cleaning Edinburgh

Cleaning Dirty and Discoloured Victorian Tiles

Having restored hundreds of Victorian tiled floors in the past, Tile Doctor has developed tried and tested methods for cleaning all types of tiled floors so tackling this small floor would not be a problem.

To begin, we gave the floor a deep clean to break down any old sealants and to cut through thick layers of dirt and grime. The cleaning solution we employed consisted of two products: Tile Doctor Pro Clean (which is a strong alkaline cleaner) and Tile Doctor Remove and Go (which is a stripping agent formulated for the removal of old sealants, synthetic coatings, glues, and paints). The solution is applied and left to soak into the tile for ten to twenty minutes before being scrubbed in, which for a small area such as this needs to be done by hand. The soiled solution is then rinsed off with water and this is then extracted using a wet vacuum. This deep cleaning process was repeated several times to make sure the tiles were as clean as possible.

Once we were happy that all the dirt and grime had been removed, we gave the floor a quick acid wash using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up to remove any old grout smears and to neutralise any potential salt efflorescence issues. The floor was then given a final rinse before leaving it to dry off fully overnight and a turbo air mover was left running to help speed up the process and ensure the floor was completely dry to be sealed the following day.

We are very conscious of the fact that many of these old Victorian tiled floors to have damp-proof membranes installed beneath them, so we wanted to guarantee there would be no damp issues that would prevent us from applying a fresh sealant. This is because even a small amount of excess moisture can potentially damage the performance of the sealant.

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Entrance

Returning to the property on the second day, we proceed to seal the tiles with three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This sealant soaks into the pores of the tile protecting it from within and providing long term protection, it also enhances the colours in the tile in the process.

The difference made by this two-day restoration is shown below. It is quite amazing how quickly these results can be achieved considering the age and previous condition of the tiles. Our customer was absolutely thrilled.

Small Victorian Porch After Cleaning Edinburgh

 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Edinburgh

Renovating a Small Victorian Tiled Entrance in Glasgow’s West End

Vestibules (aka entranceways) are not that commonly found in new build houses, but they certainly were a popular architectural feature back in the Victorian period. Many of the Victorian properties which are still in use today still contain their original geometric patterned encaustic cement tiles. These tiles can be very beautiful and colourful – that is if they’re kept looking that way with routine cleaning and maintenance.

I recently visited a Victorian property in Glasgow’s West End to carry out the restoration of one of these tiled floor vestibules. This Victorian tiled vestibule was in truly awful condition. Not only were the tiles caked in years’ worth of muck and paint stains – some of the tiles were completely missing or, at the very least, loose and damaged.

Small Victorian Vestibule Before Restoration

I could see that restoring these tiles back to their peak condition would require several days of work however the owner has keen to get the work done so we set a date for my return to complete the work.

Cleaning and Rebuilding Damaged Victorian Entranceway Tiles

On the first day of work, our priority was to undertake a much needed deep clean of the tiles. This was done using Tile Doctor Pro Clean combined with Tile Doctor Remove and Go. Pro Clean is an alkaline-based cleaner specialised for heavy soil removal, while Remove and Go is formulated to strip away any old sealers, as well as the paint splashes that were very prominent on these tiles.

Small Victorian Vestibule During Restoration

Th combined cleaning solution was left to dwell for a short period of time on the surface of the floor before being scrubbed into the tiles to cut through the thick muck. A steaming machine was used to ensure the products penetrated deep into the pores of the stone to extract ingrained dirt.

During the cleaning process, we could identify which tiles were loose, damaged and missing. These tiles were carefully removed and put to one side. Once the clean was completed the tiles were left to dry off overnight.

The next the floor had dried, and we started to rebuild the floor. This involved installing and grouting new tiles that we had previously sourced for the job to match as closely possible with the original pattern of the floor.

Next, the newly installed tiles were left to set, before we gave the floor an acid rinse using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up. This product removed any grout haze from the tiles and will neutralise any efflorescence salts that may rise up through the tiles as they dry. This issue can be quite a problem with older properties which don’t have a damp proof course installed.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Vestibule

Once again, we left the floor to dry out completely overnight, this is especially important when applying a sealer to a tile as sealing damp tiles will lead to issues. We recommend the use of a damp meter at this point to ensure the tiles are indeed dry before sealing.

To seal the floor, we used three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is ideal for these uniquely patterned Victorian tiles as it intensifies the different colours in the stone, while also offering a natural-look matte finish. Of course, the sealer will also provide the tiles with lasting protection again dirt and muck and is also breathable so any damp rising up through from the sub floor will be able to evaporate.

Photos really do speak louder than words in this case, as the restoration achieve some fantastic results. Take a look at the photo below – I’m sure you’ll agree the difference is incredible. Certainly, our very happy customer seemed to think so!

Small Victorian Vestibule After Restoration

 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Glasgow

Maintaining Victorian Tiled Enterance in Yorkshire Spa-Town

Most stone and tile benefit from the protection that a sealer provides to stop dirt becoming ingrained into its pores. However, the act of walking on the tile causes wear and this over time will lead to the sealer wearing off and dirt reaching the pores; the worse thing is you rarely notice it happening because it takes a long time to wear down a sealer.

Most of my customers have this problem and call on me to clean and reseal the floors every few years when it becomes difficult to clean effectively. The alternative which I do for a number of my clients is to have the floor lightly cleaned and a new layer of sealer added every six to twelve months.

This Victorian tiled entrance at a period house in Ilkley was not in too bad a shape just a little dirty and dull and the owner was keen to have is renovated in the run up to the Christmas holidays. Ilkley is a lovely town in West Yorkshire which became very fashionable in the Victorian era due to the health benefits of the local water, this led to a lot of Victorian architecture and tiled entrance floors like this one are very typical in the area.

Victorian Tiled Entrance Ilkley Before Cleaning Victorian Tiled Entrance Ilkley Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Entranceway

To get the dirt out of the tile and grout I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to the tiles and left it to soak in for fifteen minutes. Pro-Clean is a very reliable cleaner for all types of tile and grout including natural stone, Limestone, Slate and Travertine, amongst others; additionally, when used in a strong dilution it will strip off old sealers. The solution was then worked into the tile using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine and the soil extracted using a wet vacuum.

I gave the floor a light rinse with water to remove any trace of cleaning products and then inspected the floor to ensure it was up to standard. At this point I could see there were flecks of paint on the tile around the edges of the floor from previous decorating work and, so I removed carefully removed these with a scrapper and a hand-held diamond block.

The floor was given a final rinse and the wet vacuum used to extract as much moisture from the floor as possible before leaving it to dry for the evening.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Entrance with a Matt Finish

I returned the next day to seal the floor first discussing the finish that the customer wanted for the tiles. Typically, I recommend using a satin sealer for Victorian tiles as it adds a nice sheen to the tile however surprisingly the owner wanted a matt finish.

Tile Doctor has a full range of sealers available to cater for all requirements so for this floor I applied three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which leaves a matt finish whilst enriching the colours in the tile.

Victorian Tiled Entrance Ilkley After Cleaning

The tiles are now full of life and with the paint specs removed there is now a crisp black edge between the floor and the skirting which the customer also picked up on.

Victorian Tiled Entrance Ilkley Before Cleaning

 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in West Yorkshire

Renovating Victorian Hallway Tiles in Surrey

This customer who owned a lovely period residence in Leatherhead had pulled up an old hallway carpet to discover this gem of Victorian Tiled floor. The tiles were covered in carpet adhesive, paint splashes and what looked like a hundred years of dirt. I suspect the previous owners felt it was easier to cover the hallway in carpet rather than have it cleaned properly or perhaps it was just the trend at the time.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration in Leatherhead

Given the obvious amount of work that would be needed to restore it we got a call to pop round and provide an estimate. We do a lot of Victorian floor restorations and across the Tile Doctor network I’m confident in saying there is a Tile Doctor working on a Victorian Tiled floor every day of the week.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration in Leatherhead

The owner was happy with the quote and we agreed a date to return and restore the floor.

Cleaning a Heavily Soiled Victorian Tiled Floor

Working in a metre square area at a time, I first applied a solution of Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel and left it to dwell for twenty minutes. Oxy-Gel is a relatively new product that being in Gel form is easy to control and stays in place allowing it to dissolve dirt and in this case loosen the adhesive.

After leaving it to dwell for 20 minutes I attacked it with a very coarse 100 grit diamond pad attached to a buffer machine. This removed a minuscule layer from the surface of the tile and with it the muck. I vacuumed up the excess with a wet vacuum then rubbed down the stubborn areas with a 50 grit hand block. This removed a lot of dirt and drastically lightened the whites and blues. Finally I neutralised the floor with two rinses of clean, warm water again using the wet vacuum to remove as much moisture as possible from the floor.

I repeated this process along the length of the hallway and then inspected the floor retreating any areas containing stubborn marks.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

The hallway wasn’t that big an area so I had agreed to do the whole floor in one day. As a result I needed to force dry the floor so I could seal the tiles in the same day. I have a number of tools to do this including an industrial air mover and a heat gun which were applied for about an hour before it was dry.

To seal the tiles I applied two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which as its name suggests is a colour enhancing sealer that works by impregnating the pores of the tile protecting it from within and enriching the colours in the process. This gave a lovely contrast in colour whilst providing a matt finish; another advantage of Colour Grow is it’s a fully breathable sealer which won’t trap moisture under the tile which is important for these old floors where no damp proof membrane is installed.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration in Leatherhead

The Victorian tiled hallway floor now looks amazing.
 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in West Surrey

Old Victorian Hallway Restored in the Black Country

Sandwell forms part of an area in the West Midlands which is popularly referred to as the ‘Black Country’. This area industrialised rapidly during the Victorian period and, with the building of many new factories came the building of many new houses for workers.

A good number of these Victorian properties survive, complete with original Victorian tiled floors. However, homeowners aren’t always aware that these tiled floors exist, since they have often been covered up by carpet or linoleum. We find that when new homeowners discover these original tiles, they are usually keen to restore them to their best possible appearance. This requires professional assistance.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Renovation Warley

A customer who lives in the Warley district of Sandwell recently contacted me about the restoration of a 120-year old Victorian tiled hallway that they had discovered underneath an existing carpet. As expected, the tiles were caked in deposits of adhesive, cement and paint which had accumulated over several years. Making matters worse, the customer had also spilt more paint on the tiles during decoration work.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Renovation Warley

Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway

I began the restoration by cleaning the tiles with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, a strong alkaline cleaner which is perfect for removing grime from heavily soiled and neglected natural stone. The product was applied liberally across the area and left to dwell for a short period. It was then worked into the tiles using a specialised rotary cleaning machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad.

The now soiled cleaning solution was subsequently rinsed away and the floor then rinsed with clean water. Stubborn paint marks and cement were carefully scraped off the tiles by hand. A solution which combined more Pro-Clean and Tile Doctor Remove and Go (a stripping agent) was applied to the tiles to help remove any old and now ineffectual sealer, as well to fully remove any of the particularly stubborn marks.

After being worked in again with a scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine, the excess cleaning product was rinsed away using water and the floor was dried off with a wet vacuum.

As tiles of this age were usually laid without a damp membrane in place underneath them, they can be especially prone to efflorescence (salt) deposits. To help prevent this, Tile Doctor Acid Gel, which is a combination of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids, was applied. This will help to neutralise any alkaline salts that might threaten to penetrate up through the tiles to leave unsightly white marks.

After the floor was rinsed once again, I proceeded to re-grout a few areas of the floor where the grout had worn away over the years. Once I was happy with the clean tiles and fresh grout, I left the floor to dry off overnight.

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway

The next day the tiles had thankfully dried completely and were ready to be sealed. Since the customer had requested a sheen finish, as opposed to be a natural matte finish, I opted to use a combination of two different sealants.

The first to be applied – to bring out the colour in the tiles – was Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This product impregnates the tiles to protect them against ingrained dirt, but it leaves a matte finish. Therefore, I added five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go to provide not only extra protection, but also a high-quality sheen finish.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Renovation Warley Victorian Tiled Floor After Renovation Warley

I left the customer, who was delighted with the results, with a bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner. This product will serve as a reliable cleaning product for the routine maintenance of the tiles, ensuring they continue to look fantastic.
 
 
Source: Victorian Tiled Floor Cleaning and Sealing Service in Birmingham

Dirty and Paint Marked Victorian Tiled Lobby Deep Cleaned Near Leeds

Roundhay is an affluent area of North Leeds which is well-known for the fantastic Roundhay Park. The park is large enough to contain two lakes, extensive woodland, formal gardens and even golf courses! It’s the premier attraction for anyone fortunate enough to live in the area, or anyone visiting from nearby.

I recently visited a customer who lives in Roundhay and was looking for help in restoring the small Victorian tiled entranceway at the front of her house. The tiles were in a shocking state, but it’s not hard to imagine why – the entrance to a house receives a lot of foot traffic and is not typically taken care of regularly. These tiles were also marked with paint splashes left over from decoration work, making them look even worse.

Small Victorian Entrance Before Cleaning Roundhay

The appearance of the entranceway did not set the right standard for the rest of the house, so the property owner was keen to have it restored professionally.

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Entranceway

I informed the customer that I could have the tiles rejuvenated within a day’s work. To begin, I used a scrapper and wire wool brush to manually remove some of the most stubborn paint marks.

Following this, I applied a strong solution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go, before leaving the product to dwell for about an hour. Remove and Go is multi-purpose stripping agent that can remove any adhesive and paint deposits, as well as many types of old coatings and sealers.

To work the product deep into the tiles, I agitated with an abrasive cleaning pad and then rinsed the area with fresh water. This had the desired affect and all the unsightly paint marks were removed.

Next, I gave the floor another thorough clean to remove any general muck and ingrained dirt. This was done using our high-alkaline cleaner, which we typically use on Victorian tiles, known as Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. In fact, Pro-Clean is a very reliable cleaner for all types of tile and grout including natural stone, Limestone, Slate and Travertine, amongst others.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Entranceway

Since I told the customer I would able to finish the job within a day, I dried the floor quickly using a heat gun so it could be sealed there and then. To seal the floor, I applied four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, which is a topical sealer formulated to provide maximum protection along with a high-quality, low sheen finish.

Small Victorian Entrance After Cleaning Roundhay

As you can see from the photos above, the entranceway was absolutely transformed. These tiles are now a true asset to the rest of the property, rather than looking out of place! I’m please to say my customer was amazed by how quickly such a big difference could be made and left the following glowing feedback.

I can’t believe the before and after pictures. The restoration of the tiles is top quality, they are so much brighter and richer in colour – especially without the garage paint hiding the detail! Nigel did an amazing job, even better than I could have hoped for, and is a lovely guy as well. Would definitely recommend.
 
 
Source: Victorian Tiled Floor Cleaning and Sealing Service in North Yorkshire

Investing in Property with a Period Victorian Floor Restoration in Lancashire

A property investor contacted Tile Doctor to see if we could help renovate a property that was to be sold in few weeks’ time. To get maximum value from the investment she wanted to preserve the character and period features of the house including the Victorian Tiled Hallway floor, which as you can see from the photograph below was in need a bit of TLC!.

Victorian tiled floors and other period features have become very popular in recent years and are often discovered under hallway carpets covered in years of dirt. Fortunately, they are very resilient and with the right techniques and products can be restored back to their former glory.

Victorian Tiles Before Renovation Burnley

On our initial visit I conducted a survey of the floor to check its condition and work out the most suitable products and methods to employ to restore it. One of the main concerns we have with these old floors is damp as damp-proof membranes were not invented until relatively recently. I have a damp meter to check for this and it did indicate high moisture levels which isn’t really an issue for cleaning the floor but would restrict our choice of sealer to those which are fully breathable and allow moisture to rise-up through the tile. We agreed a price and schedule with the customer and within two weeks we were able to start the work.

Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The floor was in quite a state, made worse I suspect by recent restoration work by other contractors who unfortunately didn’t take as much care with the floor as the could have done.

After protecting the skirting boards and carpets with film work got underway starting by applying a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go to the floor to strip away old sealers and other coatings. This product also helps to break down the paint stains on the surface of the tile, though I also used a handheld scraper, as well as a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad, to speed up the process. The resultant slurry was rinsed off the floor with water and extracted using a wet vacuum.

With the floor clean of coatings, the next step was to deep clean the tiles with a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is an effective Tile and Grout cleaning product that deeply cleans away ingrained stains. Again, we used a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine to make the job easier. Corners were tough to tackle with a machine, so we had to do them by hand.
The floor was given a final rinse to remove any soil and trace of cleaning product and the wet vacuum was used a final time to extract as much moisture out of the floor as possible. Upon finishing the cleaning, we left the floor for a few days, so it could dry out fully.

Dealing with Efflorescence

When we came back to seal the floor we noticed problems with white salt deposits coming to the surface of the tile a problem known as efflorescence. I had suspected this might become an issue but there was no indication of it happening before so was not overly concerned at the time. However, it meant I could not seal the floor as planned until the efflorescence had been dealt with. Fortunately salts like these can be treated and to resolve the problem I gave the floor a wipe with a solution of Tile Doctor Acid Gel which is a blend of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids in a gel form, formulated to remove grout haze (grout smears) and treat efflorescence. Once this was done the floor was given a light rinse and dried again.

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I left the floor to dry again for a few more days and on my return, I was pleased to see the problem had not resurfaced and I was able to complete the restoration with the application of a sealer.

To seal the tiles, I used a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is a penetrating sealer designed to soak into the pores of the clay thus preventing dirt from becoming ingrained whilst additionally enhancing the colours in the tile. The sealer really deepened the colours in the tile bringing them to life and with Colour Grow being fully breathable there shouldn’t be any issues with damp becoming trapped under the tile and causing issues later.

The customer was delighted with the results (see feedback below) and the work we did should more than pay for itself when the house goes on the market.

“Thoroughly impressed with Kamila, she was so lovely, professional and thorough! Our tiles look amazing and I was especially happy with how quick she sorted that floor out from the first email I sent. Janice M., Burnley”

Victorian Tiled After Renovation Burnley

 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in South Lancashire

Brown and Cream Victorian Tiled Hallway Refreshed in Derbyshire

When we encounter original Victorian tiles we can be assured of one thing – and that is that they are very likely be at least 100 years old. However, what we can’t typically be assured of is the maintenance history of these tiles. Over the course of a century, these tiles can be exposed to a variety of cleaning and sealing methods, repairs and modifications, and very often coverings such as carpet and linoleum. Fortunately, Victorian Tiles are very robust which is just as well as many customers of ours want their Victorian tiles to be restored their former glory despite years of neglect and poor maintenance.

This example is of an unusual Brown and Cream Victorian Tiled hallway I restored recently in Buxton, a wonderful area which is sometimes referred to as “The Gateway to the Peak District”.

Victorian Tiles Before Cleaning Buxton Victorian Tiles Before Cleaning Buxton

Cleaning Original Victorian Hallway Tiles

To begin the restoration, I applied Tile Doctor Remove and Go liberally across the floor and worked it into the tiles using a black buffing pad fitted to a rotary machine. Remove and Go is a multi-functional product which both strips old sealers and coatings as well as drawing out ingrained dirt and stains.

Victorian Tiles During Cleaning Buxton

Next, I treated the area with Tile Doctor Acid Gel, which is a blend of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids in gel form, and is used to eliminate efflorescence and mineral deposits. These problems are commonly caused by damp issues which affect old Victorian floors that lack a damp-proof membrane.

I rinsed off the acid gel with water to remove any trace of cleaning product. The floor in question was only around 2m2 and since it was a very warm and sunny day the tiles quickly dried out (assisted with a little help from a heat gun). It’s important the tiles are dry before sealing so later that afternoon I was able to confirm this with the aid of a damp meter.

Sealing Original Victorian Hallway Tiles

To seal the tiles, I used Tile Doctor Seal and Go, which is a topical sealer which provides both robust protection and leaves a smooth, glossy finish on the floor. Some customers choose to opt for a sealer which provides a natural-look, matte finish, but in this case the customer really wanted the floor to shine.

Since the floor is so old it’s hard to achieve a ‘perfect’ outcome, but the improvements we can make are still hugely significant. Happily, the customer was very pleased with the result and left the following testimonial on the Tile Doctor feedback system:

”Very well mannered, polite and genuine young man. The finished work is good, although only time will tell how long it lasts and continues to shine. Ask me again for feedback in 3 months’ time.”

I’m confident she will not be disappointed.

Victorian Tiles After Cleaning Buxton Victorian Tiles After Cleaning Buxton

 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Derbyshire

Putting New Life into a Large Victorian Tiled Porch in Edinburgh

Edinburgh became an increasingly important city in the UK during the Victorian period. Although overtaken by Glasgow as Scotland’s largest city in the early 19th century, Edinburgh experienced expansion and industrialisation, and many areas which had been populated by Georgian architecture were rebuilt with Victorian buildings.

Of course, this included many Victorian residential properties, many of which are still inhabited, and still have original Victorian tiled flooring. A lot of property owners choose to keep the original tiles rather than strip them out, and we specialise in restoring and maintaining them.

I recently visited a property in Edinburgh to provide a deep clean and fresh seal for some Victorian porch tiles that were looking a bit worse for wear. The job was carried out over the space of two days.

Victorian Porch Entrance Before Cleaning Edinburgh

Cleaning Original Victorian Tiles

On the first day of work, I arrived at the property and immediately began by stripping the floor of any old sealant. Sealers don’t last forever and are worn away over time requiring them to be routinely topped up with a fresh application, however in this case the sealer had worn off completely in most places allowing dirt to become ingrained in the pores of the tile, so the only course of action would be to strip off what was left, clean the floor and reseal.

The old sealant was removed using a strong solution of our natural stone cleaner and stripper, known as Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, and our heavy-duty sealer and coating remover, known as Tile Doctor Remove and Go. This combination of products was applied and scrubbed into the stone using a black buffing pad fitted to a rotary machine. The floor was then rinsed to remove any excess chemical residue and the moisture was soaked up.

Next, the floor was then burnished using a coarse diamond-encrusted burnishing pad to grind off tough stains and rinsed again with fresh water. Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner, which is an excellent pH-neutral cleaner for routine maintenance, was then used to complete the cleaning process and the tiles were left to dry completely overnight.

Sealing Original Victorian Tiles

On the second day of work, the tiles had dried off nicely overnight and I was able to return to the property to seal the tiles using five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go. This is a topical sealer which provides a high-quality low-sheen finish and protection against ingrained dirt and stains. In this case, the customer had opted for a sheen finish as opposed to a natural-look, matte finish.

Comparing the before and after photos, it’s clear how significant a difference routine maintenance can make to the appearance and condition of these original Victorian tiles. The customer was very pleased with the outcome and I recommended the use of our Neutral Tile Cleaner for frequent cleaning in the future. Being PH neutral it won’t prematurely erode the sealer like many acidic supermarket products.

Victorian Porch Entrance After Cleaning Edinburgh

 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Edinburgh

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