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

Restoring an Old Victorian Hallway Floor in Monmouth

This beautiful black & white Victorian tiled hallway was recently discovered hidden under carpet at a house near Monmouth. As well as the years of grime that had become ingrained in the tile, the carpet had been secured with carpet grippers which had been fixed on top of the tiles and the owner was keen to recruit my help in its restoration.

It’s a lovely drive up through the Wye Valley from my base in Caldicot to the town of Monmouth which has a long history that goes back to the Roman times. In fact it’s famous for its “Monnow Bridge” which dates back to medieval times and is the only remaining stone gated bridge of its type left in Britain. Needles to say it has a strong mixture of architecture with many old houses built during Victorian times.

Victorian Floor Before Renovation in Monmouth

Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The first step in cleaning the floor was to prepare it for cleaning by carefully removing the old carpet grippers and adhesive deposits using a handheld scraper. This was followed by creating a mixture of two powerful cleaning products namely Tile Doctor Remove and Go and NanoTech HBU remover. Remove and Go is a coatings remover designed to strip off old sealers whilst NanoTech HBU is a powerful Heavy Build-Up Remover that uses tiny abrasive particles to clean up tile and stone.

The floor was smothered in the cleaning solution and it was allowed to soak into the tile for about twenty minutes before scrubbing it in. It was not an exceptionally large hallway so a lot of hand scrubbing was required to get the floor as clean as possible. The cleaning solution was rinsed off with water and then extracted using a wet vacuum or wet vac as my colleagues often refer to it.

To finish off the cleaning process I scrubbed a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean into the grout lines to get them as clean as possible and then gave the floor a final rinse. I need the floor to be dry before sealing so using the wet vac I extracted as much moisture from the floor as possible.

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I left the floor to dry completely overnight and returned the next day to finish the floor off with a few coats of sealer. On my arrival I started by taking a few reading with a damp meter to ensure the floor was ready to be sealed. Fortunately by efforts with the Wet Vac the night before had paid off and it confirmed the tiles were dry and ready to be sealed.

To do this, I used multiple coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which works really well on Victorian Tiles and adds a nice low sheen that brings them up nicely. Naturally the sealer not only improves the way they look it also makes them much easier to clean and will protect them against ingrained dirt and staining.

Victorian Floor After Renovation in Monmouth

I think you will agree this old floor has been transformed and now has a new lease of life.
 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in Monmouthshire

Putting new life into a Victorian Hallway floor in Cheshire

The village of Grappenhall has a long history that goes all the way back to the bronze age and as a result has all periods of architecture including quite a lot of houses with Victorian tiled hallways . This particular floor at a house in the village had been well looked after well by the owner but had now lost its vibrancy, was looking dull and now needed a deep clean and reseal.

Victorian tiles are porous and so need to be sealed to protect them from dirt becoming ingrained in the floor. However, hallway floors get a lot of foot traffic which over time wears down the sealer until it becomes so thin and patchy it’s no longer effective. As a result, you need to regularly top up the sealer or every three to four years it will need to be stripped off and reapplied.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Grapenhall Before Cleaning Victorian Tiled Hallway Grapenhall Before Cleaning

Deep Cleaning the Victorian Tiled Floor

I used clear plastic to protect the wood skirting boards from splashing and then gave the tiles a good scrub with a mixture of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and Remove and Go to deep clean and strip off any remaining sealers. The cleaning solution was left to soak in for ten minutes before scrubbing it in with a black pad fitted to a heavy buffing machine.

Once the whole area had been scrubbed I rinsed off with water which was then extracted using a wet vacuum. With the floor now clear I was able to inspect it to ensure all the previous sealer and ingrained dirt had been removed. Any areas with stubborn stains were spot treated by reapplying the cleaning concoction I used earlier before leaving the floor to dry off fully overnight.

Sealing the Victorian Tiled Floor

When I returned the next morning my first job was to test the tiles for damp using a damp meter. This is important as damp tiles won’t take the sealer as well as dry tiles, however this time everything was fine.

I then proceeded to seal the Victorian tiles with a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow to enhance the natural colours in the tile before applying a further seven coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which leaves a sheen finish and is ideal for Victorian tiles.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Grapenhall After Cleaning Victorian Tiled Hallway Grapenhall After Cleaning

The hallway now looks fantastic and vibrant and then new sealer will protect them from ingrained dirt making them easier to clean and keep them looking good for some time to come.
 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Cheshire

Challenging Bitumen Stained Victorian Floor Restored in Lancashire

This old Victorian tiled Hallway floor, laid in a geometric pattern, at a house in Barrow in Furness was a challenging project. The tiles were extremely dirty and also stained with Black Bitumen which has been used as an adhesive, however we have come across these sorts of problems before and so I was confident it could be resolved.

Geometric floor before Restoration Barrow in Furness Geometric floor before Restoration Barrow in Furness

Deep Cleaning an Old Victorian Tiled Floor

I roped in Heidi and my son Lewis who spent a whole day cleaning with chemicals, steam, buffing pads and unfortunately the results were far from satisfactory; the customer wasn’t happy and Heidi wasn’t happy with it either. It was clear that the black bitumen had penetrated deep into the pores of the clay and becoming so embedded that no chemical or technique we were using would shift it fully.

Geometric floor before Restoration Barrow in Furness

To top it off I had gone out earlier to tile the old mat well with matching tiles before we started the cleaning but due to the depth of the floor matt. The matt well was at least 35mm so it was clear I couldn’t use standard floor adhesive. I opted instead for a sand cement mix, similar to what the Victorians would have used originally. This filled up the depth and allowed me to tile and grout the same day, however overnight there was a bit of shrinkage and some of the new tiles settled unevenly.

Geometric floor before Milling Barrow in Furness

I racked my head for a solution to both issues and decided the best course of action would be to Mill the clay tiles to remove the Bitumen and smooth down the uneven effect of my tiling. This is not something we would normally do on a clay tile as this system can leave scratches which potentially would look worse that the dirt. After I had milled the Tiles down with a course pad fitted to a heavy buffing machine and removed all the issues I then counteracted any scratches left over using a higher grit milling pad. This solution fully resolved both issues leaving it ready for the final step of sealing.

Geometric floor After Milling Barrow in Furness

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

The floor was left to dry off overnight and we returned the next day to seal the tiles using Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is a matt finish, fully breathable and colour enhancing sealer which really lifts the colour of the stone or in this case clay tile. Colour Grow is impregnating – meaning that it penetrates the pores of the stone to fill them and prevent trapped dirt and stains. We recommend Colour Grow for both internal and external applications and especially for areas where no damp proof membrane is evident, since the sealer allows for the floor to breathe moisture.

Geometric floor After Restoration Barrow in Furness Geometric floor After Restoration Barrow in Furness

There were plenty of problems to overcome and It took a lot of work but I’m pleased to say the floor was transformed by our efforts and now looks fantastic and I’m sure has added a lot of value to this period property.
 
 
Source: Victorian Cleaning and Renovation Service in Lancashire

Deep Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Floor in Lancashire

We often get asked to do a combination of jobs at Tile Doctor so we have to be prepared for the unexpected, like getting asked to clean an old Sandstone fireplace whilst your cleaning a Victorian tiled floor at a house in Preston. We normally charge extra for these types of jobs but it depends how much cleaning is required.

Red and Black Victorian Tiles Preston Before Cleaning

This Fireplace had been in use for a number of years and due to its grainy texture was hard to keep clean, dirt and soot had built up on its surface and there was no sealer visible, either that or it had worn off with the heat.

Sandstone Fireplace Preston Before Cleaning

Cleaning and Sealing a Sandstone Fireplace

To clean the uprights and Hearth I applied Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel which being in Gel form and not a liquid, stays in place increasing dwell times and doesn’t drip where it shouldn’t. In this case I let it soak into the stone for about forty minutes before scrubbing it in with a stiff hand brush and steam. Some marks were still visible after this process so we opted for using handheld Diamond blocks in 50.100.200 and then 400 grit to grind off the staining and restore the surface finish. Using these small handheld blocks takes off some of the heavier texture as well as cleaning the stone at the same time, but is really useful to use where chemicals alone struggle to get the results required. Once fully clean the fireplace was rinsed with water a couple of times and the slurry removed using a wet vacuum. After speed drying the stone with a heat gun it was ready for a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, even we were impressed with the results.

Sandstone Fireplace Preston After Cleaning

Cleaning and Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

The Red and Black Victorian Tiles were cleaned with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is very similar to Oxy-Gel only in a liquid form. The product was left to soak into the tiles for about ten minutes before being scrubbed in with a black buffing pad attached to a slow speed buffing machine. I used the wet vacuum again to soak up the residue and stubborn stains were retreated until I was satisfied.

Old Victorian floors rarely have a damp proof membrane installed and so it’s not uncommon for damp to rise-up through the ground and tile resulting in white salt deposits being left on the surface. To prevent this process, which is commonly referred to as Efflorescence, Tile Doctor Acid Gel was applied. The solution is scrubbed into the tiles and then rinsed off with clean water and removed with a wet vacuum ready for sealing.

Victorian Tiles can take a while to dry and in this case I left it two days before returning to apply a breathable sealer to protect the tiles from ingrained dirt and staining. In this case a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow were applied. If you recall this was the same sealer we used on the fireplace as the customer wished to bring out the colour and have a Matt finish.

Red and Black Victorian Tiles Preston After Cleaning

 
 
Source: Victorian Floor Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in Lancashire

Renovating an unusual Victorian Tiled Hallway in Cheshire

Impressed with the details of a similar floor published on our website the owner of this Victorian tiled hallway floor at a house in the village of Grappenhall asked if we could pay her a visit.

The floor was in relatively good physical condition, although there were a few tiles that needed replacing and really just needed cleaning and resealing however I thought it would be worth a mention on my blog due to it being so unusual. There seamed no set pattern to the tiles and it was as if they had some tiles left over and just laid them as they came.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning in Grappenhall

Deep Cleaning the Victorian Tiled Floor

After protecting the skirting boards I gave the floor a deep clean using Tile Doctor Remove and Go to strip off any remaining sealers. This was left to soak in for twenty minutes then scrubbed in using a rotary machine fitted with a black pad then rinsed off with clean water which was then extracted using a wet vacuum. I was careful not to use too much water as the owner had just converted the cellar below into a games room and was worried it may cause damp in the ceiling. There were a few tiles that needed replacing so we fixed and grouted them in before leaving the floor to fully dry off overnight

Sealing the Victorian Tiled Floor

We returned next morning and tested for damp with a damp meter to make sure the floor was ready to seal. Everything was fine so we proceeded to seal the Victorian tiles with a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow to enhance the colour of the floor before applying a further six coats of Seal and Go which is ideal for these type of tile.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning in Grappenhall

The customer was made up with the result we had made to her hallway, I only wish I had managed to take better pictures of the floor so you could appreciate it as much as she did.
 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Maintenance Service in Cheshire

Restoring Victorian Floor Tiles Hidden Under Lino in Berkshire

Pangbourne is a large village situated on the River Thames, about 4 miles west of Reading. The village has a long, rich history – dating back to at least the 9th century. There are still quite a number of Victorian-style houses located in the village, including one that I visited recently to carry out a Victorian tiled floor restoration.

Victorian floor Covered in Lino Pangboune Before Cleaning

This floor had been hidden, unbeknownst to the property owner, under a linoleum covering for many years. Once the owner realised there was an original Victorian floor under the linoleum they were very keen to restore it as an original feature and stripped it off to expose the tiles, however, they were heavily covered in dirty, adhesive stains and other contaminants and we were asked to complete the job. You can see this in the photos below.

Victorian floor Covered in Lino Pangboune Before Cleaning

At Tile Doctor, we are very experienced in restoring original Victorian tiles, so I was more than happy to help this customer transform her floor.

Cleaning a Dirty and Stained Victorian Tiled Floor

As I’ve mentioned, the top layer of this original Victorian tiled floor was marked with all manner of staining, so I decided that it would be suitable to use a set of 100 and 200 grit coarse Diamond pads fitted to a weighted machine and lubricated with a little water to grind away the damaged surface and restore the surface of the tiles.

I then cleaned the tiles using Tile Doctor Pro Clean, which is our reliable alkaline-based cleaner for natural stone. This product really helped to break down and release the soils. Next, I rinsed the floor with hot water under low pressure to remove any remaining debris, dirt and contamination.

With the cleaning process completed, the floor was allowed to dry for a full 48 hours. In older properties like these dampness can be an issue as damp-proof membranes are a relatively modern invention and I didn’t want to take any chances.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

Returning to the property two days later, I ran some moisture tests to ensure the stone was completely dry and could be sealed. It’s always important to run damp tests on any tiled floor before sealing, since a small amount of excess moisture can undermine the performance of the sealer, and thus expose the floor to ingrained dirt and stains.

Thankfully, the floor proved dry and I could seal it using Tile Doctor Seal and Go which, as a topical sealer, offers a robust surface seal and an aesthetically pleasing low-sheen finish. It’s also water based so it doesn’t give off a smell as it dries.

Victorian floor Covered in Lino Pangboune After Cleaning

As you can see from the after photos, the restoration returned the life and colour to this fantastic original Victorian tiled floor. The customer was absolutely thrilled with the result.

Victorian floor Covered in Lino Pangboune After Cleaning

 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in Berkshire

Removing Carpet Imprint from Victorian Floor Tiles in Yorkshire

Details below of a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor that I deep cleaned and sealed at a house in Leeds. It has previously been covered in carpet which had been removed before I got there.

The tiles were in good physical condition, just looking dull and there were traces of paint spots and glue residue from double sided tape that had held down the carpet. Worse of all there an imprint had bleed into the tiles from under lay that must have been damp. Dampness can be a problem for these old floors which were laid before the invention of damp proof membranes.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Before Cleaning Leeds Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Before Cleaning Leeds

Restoring a Victorian Tiled Hallway

Normally I use a series of Tile Doctor chemical products to deep clean Victorian tiles however I felt this would not deal with the imprint. Therefore on this occasion I started with the application of a coarse 200 grit diamond pad fitted to a weighted rotary machine and lubricated with a little water. The pads can struggle to reach into the edges and corners so to get those clean I used a 200 grit hand held block.

This removed the imprint, paint spots and glue residue and I was then able to lift the ingrained dirt out of the floor by applying a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. The Pro-Clean was left to soak into the floor for a good ten minutes before working it in with a black scrubbing pad.

I extracted the soiled cleaning solution using a wet vacuum and then gave the floor a rinse with water, again using the wet vacuum to remove as much moisture as possible. The result of my cleaning efforts was excellent with 95% of the marks now removed and just a faint imprint left on a few tiles.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway

I left the floor to dry overnight and was able to return the next day, checked the moisture levels using a damp meter and then proceeded to seal the floor.

To seal I applied four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which adds a lovely satin finish that really lifted the look of the Victorian floor tiles.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Cleaning Leeds Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Cleaning Leeds

Needless to say the customer was delighted with the finish and difference.
 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in West Yorkshire

Restoring Geometric Victorian Hallway Tiles Hidden under Carpet in North Devon

Barnstaple in North Devon is known to be one of, if not the oldest boroughs in the whole of the United Kingdom. The area certainly has a rich history and many of the properties built in the 19th century still exist and are in use.

It’s not uncommon for the owners of houses built in this era to discover original Victorian tiled floors and hallways. They’ve usually been covered up at some point in the past, either by carpet or linoleum, but if maintained correctly they can be a real asset to any property.

I recently visited one such customer, who lives in Barnstaple, to restore a recently uncovered Victorian tiled hallway that had been tiled in a geometric pattern. This hallway had been neglected and covered for some time by carpet so the colours had faded and there were patches of carpet underlay firmly embedded in some of the tiles.

The property owner uncovered the floor after seeing a similar one in the entrance hallway of a neighbour and was thrilled with her find. After a bit of scrubbing and cleaning the customer decided to call in professional help after a recommendation for the Tile Doctor Devon from a friend. A home visit was conducted and a test patch was done to show what was possible and to talk through options. A quote was then produced which the customer was happy with and the work was arranged for the following week.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Barnstaple before restoration

Cleaning a Neglected Victorian Tiled Hallway

As the floor was really in quite a bad state, I opted to use Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU as my main cleaning product. HBU stands for ‘Heavy Build-Up’ – and that’s exactly what the product is formulated to tackle: heavy build-up of ingrained dirt and soil. It used nano-sized cleaning particles to penetrate deep into the pores of the stone and get underneath stains to lift them to the surface.

I applied NanoTech HBU to the entire hallway and left it to dwell for several hours, before scrubbing it as thoroughly as possible with a brush fitted to a rotary cleaning machine. The soil that was brought to the surface was subsequently rinsed away with fresh water and the resulting slurry was extracted using a wet vacuum.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway

Once finished with the cleaning process, I left the floor to dry out completely. This was important as older floors which lack a damp proof membrane can suffer from moisture issues, and these issues can damage the performance of the sealer.

Thankfully there were no problems with drying the floor. I was able to seal the tiles using a colour-enhancing impregnating sealer from our range, known as Tile Doctor Colour Grow. For extra protection – and to provide the finish the customer had requested – I also applied a topical sealer called Tile Doctor Seal and Go. This left the floor with a high-quality, long-lasting satin finish.

A properly sealed floor will be much more resistant to stain as well as easier to clean. As with every job a cleaning and maintenance guide was provided which gives handy tips and do’s and don’ts for the floor and that particular sealer.

The restoration reinstated this great Victorian tiled hallway as the showpiece upon entering the property and the customer was absolutely thrilled. You can see the final result below.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Barnstaple after restoration

The customer was thrilled with the floor and was very surprised at just how well the colour came back to the tiles and provided the following feedback:

“I am so pleased with the service Stuart provided. After the initial quote and patch test I felt under no pressure to ask him to proceed, but I was happy with the quote and he arranged a date convenient to me. I am chuffed with my floor, it looks great. The after care has been great also. Thank you Stuart.”
 
 
Source: Victorian Floor Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Devon

Original Victorian Tiled Hallway Rebuilt in South Wales

This Victorian tiled hallway floor, located in a property in Blackwood, South Wales, was in a bad way. It was suffering from several broken and missing tiles, and the entire floor looked like it had not experienced a good clean and fresh seal in several years. The property itself dated back to 1905, and it’s very likely that the Victorian tiles are original.

However, the property owner was very hopeful that the hallway could be rejuvenated, so he contacted me to carry out the work. Upon my first inspection of the floor, I could immediately see that a lot of tile replacements would need to be carried out.

I suggested to the customer that I repurpose the tiles that surrounded the matt well at the front of the door to use as replacements for the tiles that were broken and damaged. I would then create a new, larger matt well while using original tiles to fix the damaged areas. It’s a technique I’ve used before so I was confident it would work.

He was happy with this suggestion so I agreed to return later that week to complete the restoration.

Victorian Hallway Floor Blackwood Before Repair

Repairing and Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway

My first task was to carefully remove the tiles around the exiting matt well, clean off the cement, and, in some cases, skim the thickness off some tiles so that they would position flat against the adjacent tile. Next, I proceeded to fix these replacement tiles in the areas required.

After completing these repairs, I moved on to cleaning the entire hallway. First, I manually scraped off as much of the paint and cement deposits from the surface of the tiles as possible, before cleaning the floor thoroughly with a mixed solution of three products: Tile Doctor Pro Clean, Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU Remover, and Tile Doctor Remove and Go.

Each of these products serves a different purpose. Pro Clean is reliable and powerful alkaline tile cleaner, while NanoTech HBU is a powerful cleaner which uses nano-sized particles to penetrate the pores of the tile and dissolve ingrained dirt and stains. Remove and Go strips away any old sealers, along with any of the stubborn paint and cement deposits.

The solution was left to dwell on the floor for about half an hour, before I scrubbed it into the stone by hand using a coarse black scrubbing pad. The floor was then rinsed thoroughly, before Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up was applied using a wire wool pad remove light grout smears (grout haze) and signs of efflorescence.

I then completed the grouting of the floor left it to dry for half an hour before giving it a final wipe with a sponge.

Victorian Hallway Floor Blackwood During Restoration

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway

After leaving the floor to dry out overnight, I returned to the property the following morning. I ran some quick checks for moisture to see if the tiles were ready to be sealed.

Thankfully, the floor proved dry and I could proceed the applying Tile Doctor Seal and Go. This sealer works really well on Victorian tiles and provides a nice subtle sheen finish whilst providing stain resistance.

The customer had initially thought the floor could not be salvaged, but now he will be able to enjoy this fantastic original feature from years to come. It just goes to show that a bit of creativity and hard work really can make a difference.

Victorian Hallway Floor Blackwood After Restoration

 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Restoration in South Wales

Victorian Hallway Tile Clean and Repair in Prestbury

This fantastic chequered black and white Victorian Tiled Hallway was located at a house in the village of Prestbury north of Macclesfield in Cheshire. According to Wikipedia Presbury is part of the “Cheshire Golden Triangle” villages which include Wilmslow and Alderley Edge which are the most sought after and expensive places to live outside of London.

It was a lovely building however a new stair case had been fitted which didn’t quite match the foot print of the original staircase leaving a gap in the hallway tiling. The owner of the property wanted matching tiles fitted and also to give the floor and good clean and seal so they would blend in.

Chequered Victorian Floor Prestbury Before Repair and Clean

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Floor

To clean the floor and strip off any remaining sealer I first created a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean cleaning solution which is a versatile alkaline cleaner that’s designed for use on tile, stone and grout. reliably eradicates dirt on a wide variety of natural stone floors.

The solution was applied liberally across the floor, and left to dwell for about ten minutes to allow time for it to soak into the Victorian tiles. It was then scrubbed into the tiles using a scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary cleaning machine. The resulting cleaning slurry was rinsed off with water and then extracted from the floor using a wet vacuum. I repeated this process until I was confident the tiles were clean and free of old sealer.

The next step was to treat the floor to an acid wash using Acid Gel, this is especially important on old floors where there is no damp proof course to prevent damp rising through the tile leaving salt deposits on the surface. This problem is known as efflorescence and is neutralised by the acid. The gel was then removed and the floor given another rinse using the wet vacuum to get the floor as dry as possible.

The last task of the day was to fix replacement tiles in the gap left by the original staircase. Fortunately, Tile Doctor keep a range of replacement tiles so I was able to source some that matched without too much problem. After grouting the hallway was left to dry off fully overnight so it could be ready for sealing the next day.

Chequered Victorian Floor Prestbury After Repair and Clean

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

The next morning, I returned to the property and ran some damp tests. This is incredibly important to do before sealing any tiled floor because any excess moisture can cloud the sealer and prevent it from doing its job properly.

Once satisfied that the floor was dry, I applied a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a breathable impregnating sealer that enhances colour and protects from within. I dusted off any excess sealer and then followed up with the application of four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which provides both a robust surface seal and a long-lasting low sheen finish. I waited two hours for the sealer to dry and then the rotary machine fitted with a white buffing pad over the floor to makes sure everything was nice and tight.

Chequered Victorian Floor Prestbury After Repair and Clean Chequered Victorian Floor Prestbury After Repair and Clean

 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Restoration in Prestbury, Cheshire

Restoring Victorian Mosaic Hallway Tiles near Blackpool

Victorian tiled floors are well-known for their colourful and unique patterns which never fail to impress and are a very sought after period feature. Recently I was very impressed with the work that had gone into this hallway floor that I came across at a property in the seaside resort of Lytham St Annes south of Blackpool on the Flyde coast. I was there to restore what I originally believed to be a stone Tesserae Mosaic floor, but after some chemical testing it was revealed to be a traditional Victorian tiled floor which are made of clay.

Original Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Lytham St Annes

In the case of this floor, each tile was approximately 1cm squared and they had been painstakingly installed throughout a 15m squared area by hand in the 1880s. I can only imagine the time and effort it must have taken to do this, and it is a testament to the Victorian craftsmen of the day that despite having many loose, missing, broken, and dirty tiles, the floor was still in a reasonable condition and could be restored back to its former condition.

Original Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Lytham St Annes

Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

Now, if this had in fact been a stone Tesserae Mosaic floor, I would have cleaned the tiles using different methods. However, since it was a clay Victorian tiled floor, I decided – after conducting some product testing – to clean the whole floor with a black buffing pad in combination with Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel. Oxy-Gel is a powerful high-alkaline formula designed to tackle dirt and stains on Tile, Stone and Grout.

I followed this by steam cleaning the tiles and then gave the floor an acid rinse using Tile Doctor Acid Gel, which is a blend of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids in gel form. This was needed to keep efflorescent salt issues at bay which are a problem with these old floors with no damp proof membrane has been installed.

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

My choice of sealer was Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is a fully breathable and colour enhancing product. The sealer is impregnating – meaning that it penetrates the pores of the stone to fill them and prevent trapped dirt and stains. We recommend Colour Grow for both internal and external applications and especially for areas where no damp proof membrane is evident, since the sealer allows for the floor to breathe moisture.

Original Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning Lytham St Annes

Despite the floor being well over a century old it came up really well and the sealer will now add a layer of protection that will keep it that way for some time to come.

Original Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning Lytham St Annes

 
 
Source: Victorian Tile and Grout Cleaning and Restoration in Lancashire

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

Victorian Porch Tiles hidden under Lino Restored

Some Floor Tiles can be too damaged to be able to do anything with, but Victorian Tiles are nearly indestructible and we often find we can restore them to like new condition. Additionally, period features are very much sought after by potential buyers and add a lot of value to a house so well worth taking the effort to restore.

This small Victorian Tiled porch at the entrance to a house in Lytham near Blackpool is a good example of just how resilient these floors can be. There was some damage to it and I suspect at some time in the past a previous owner had decided to cover it up with Linoleum rather than face the expense of repairing it, fortunately for the floor the current owner was keen to restore it.

Victorian Porch Before Restoration Lytham Victorian Porch Before Restoration Lytham

Cleaning a Dirty Victorian Tiled Doorway

The first job was to strip off the old Vinyl covering which had been glued down with some strong adhesive. We carefully scraped off as much as possible by hand and then soaked the floor in Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel which is a strong tile cleaning product which being in a gel doesn’t run off and for stays in position. We left it to dwell on the tiles in order to break down the glue and then scrubbed it in and followed up with a steamer and a rinse with water to remove the soil.

Victorian Porch Before Restoration Lytham

To finish off he cleaning the tiles were treated to an acid rinse by applying Acid Gel which will remove any grout smears and treat any mineral salt issues rising through the floor overnight as the floor dries.

Once the floor was clean and free of all the glue etc. it was time to repair the corner of the floor where several tiles were missing. Before started work I had managed to source replacements from Original Style Tiles who offer a wide range of colours and styles to suit the original floor. I set the replacement tiles in place and then grouted them in.

Victorian Porch Before Restoration Lytham

After the tile adhesive and grout had set I gave the floor a light clean with a damp sponge and then covered the floor with a clean dust sheet before leaving it to fully dry overnight.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Porch

The next day the floor was checked for any issues and also dampness before moving onto seal the tiles. To seal the tiles, we then applied two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a fully breathable sealer that is suitable for internal and external use, it also lifts the colour of the tiles and will prevent them from ingrained dirt in the future making the tiles easy to clean.

Victorian Porch After Restoration Lytham

 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Restoration in Lancashire

Removing Chewing Gum from old Victorian Hallway in Knaresborough

The photographs below are of a Victorian Tiled Hallway at a house in the historic market and spa town of Knaresborough. The tiles were actually over a hundred years old and as you can see in a terrible state. As well as looking dull and unloved they were traces of plaster, oil based paint and even chewing gum.

Old Victorian Tiled Floor Before Restoration in Knaresborough Old Victorian Tiled Floor Before Restoration in Knaresborough

Restoring a Victorian Tiled Hallway

The first job was to tackle the chewing gum with a sharp flat metal scraper taking to keep the blade level with the tile and not to scratch the tile. Once this was done the next task was to remove the paint by treating the affected areas with a product called Remove and Go which basically does what it says on the bottle. I find it works best by allowing it to soak into the affected area for about ten minutes before scrubbing it in and then rinsing it off with water.

The next step was to give the whole floor a good deep clean with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-clean, which deep cleans the tiles without damaging them. Again, you leave the product to soak into the tile before scrubbing it in and then rinsing it off and extracting the now soiled solution with a wet vacuum.

After that we gave the floor an acid rinse using Tile Doctor Acid Gel which removed the plaster and also adds a slight acid tint into the base of tile which helps to eliminate a problem we sometimes get with these old tiles called efflorescence which is where mineral salts rise up through the floor leaving white marks on the surface.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway

Once cleaned and fully dried a damp test was conducted to confirm the floor was dry before sealing. The customer has requested a satin finish, however we only apply this if there is no immediate damp issues or mineral salts present, if so we use a sealer called Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is fully breathable and soaks into the pores of the tile leaving a matt finish. On this occasion, everything was in normal state so we applied four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which provided the satin finish the customer wanted.

Old Victorian Tiled Floor Atfer Restoration in Knaresborough Old Victorian Tiled Floor Atfer Restoration in Knaresborough

We pretty much through the book at this floor to restore it and I’m sure you will agree the effort was well worth it as the floor now looks brand new.

Last thing to do before leaving the customer was to provide them with some advice on how to clean the floor going forward. On this occasion, I explained that the floor will maintain its appearance as long as the sealer remains intact; now sealers will wear down over time however you can maximise their life by using a PH neutral cleaning product as anything stronger will cause premature erosion. To get them off on the right track I left them with a free 500ml bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral cleaner which is PH neutral and will not damage the sealer.
 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Restoration in North West Yorkshire

Victorian Hallway Tile Maintenance in Surrey

Details below of a tired and lifeless looking Victorian tiled hallway that I was asked to deep clean and seal at a house in the suburban town of Weybridge. The tiles were laid in a chequer pattern of Red, Yellow and Black tiles and if you look closely at the photographs you can cleanly see the ingrained dirt on the yellow tiles.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Before Cleaning Weybridge Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Before Cleaning Weybridge

Cleaning a Heavily Soiled Victorian Tiled Floor

I started the process straight away with an aggressive diamond encrusted coarse 200 grit burnishing pad fitted to a buffing machine and lubricated with water. The diamond encrusted pads really gets into the most deeply encrusted areas to remove the dirt.

Once the previous sealer and grime was removed I vacuumed up the soil using a wet vax and then gave the floor a quick blow dry with an industrial fan. For the next couple of hours, I got down to the corners to clean areas not touched by the pad. To finish I took a wire brush to any paint splash left over from recent decorating.

After further drying I was able to assess the yellow coloured tiles that would benefit from further attention. Several tiles near the heavy footfall areas benefited from a twenty-minute application of Tile Doctor Acid Gel. The gel removes mineral salt deposits and grout smears as well as breaking down deeply ingrained, long standing dirt. Once washed away and extracted using the wet vacuum I was done for the day. I warned the customer at this point that it’s common for the tiles to appear washed out in-between cleaning and sealing.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

I left the floor to dry naturally through evaporation for two days before returning to seal the floor. It’s important to ensure that the floor is bone dry before sealing as dampness can affect the sealer.

To seal the floor, I used Tile Doctor Seal and Go which gives a long lasting, tough, gloss look seal, it’s also water based so it doesn’t give off a smell as it dries like some products. Victorian tiles are quite porous so nine coats were applied, a process that took around four hours to complete.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Cleaning Weybridge

When the customer returned home from work she said the tiles looked brand new.
 
 
Source: Tile Cleaning and Restoration in Surrey

Large Victorian Hallway Deep Cleaned and Sealed near Daventy

The pictures below were taken of a Victorian tiled hallway floor in a large property in the old village of West Haddon. The tiles were in good physical condition for its age but required attention as it was looking very dull and dirty due to not being sealed for many years allowing a build-up of soil to embed in the surface of the tiles making cleaning very difficult.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning West Haddon Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning West Haddon

Deep Cleaning a Victorian tiled hallway floor

My first course of action was to vacuum the floor to remove light dust and debris, this was followed by applying Tile Doctor Pro-Clean diluted with warm water spraying several metres at a time. The solution was allowed to soak in for a short while before being agitated with a rotary machine fitted to a rotary machine and a stiff grout brush which was run along the grout lines. The section of floor was then rinsed with water and then this was extracted with a wet pick up machine. This process was then repeated through the entire area.

I then switched to a new cleaning process for Victorian tiles that was taught on a recent Tile Doctor training course. Basically it involves using a special diamond impregnated burnishing pad fitted to a rotary machine to resurface the tiles using just water. Again I worked in small sections until I had covered the entire area.

A common issue with these old Victorian floors is they were usually laid without a damp proof course; as a result it’s not uncommon for white salt deposits (efflorescence) to appear a few days after cleaning. To counteract this I gave the floor an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel, leaving it to dwell before rinsing. This helps neutralise the tile and will combat any salts rising up through the floor later.

Sealing a Victorian tiled hallway floor

I returned the following day to carry out repairs and to re set a couple of loose tiles which is not unusual for a floor of this age. The floor was then left to dry for a further day with a dehumidifier on site before returning to seal the floor with a breathable sealer for which we used two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow.

Colour Grow does a really good job protecting tiles as it soaks into the pores of the tile enhancing its colours whilst protecting from within however it leaves a matt finish and the customer wanted a sheen finish. This would not be a problem to achieve however it would require the application of another product and I was still concerned about potential efflorescence issues which would be more difficult to resolve with the application of a further sealer so I agreed to return several weeks later to finish the job.

As agreed I returned a few weeks later which allowed the floor to dry and guard against any damp issues and on my return I was happy to confirm the floor had fully dried using my damp meter and further there were no signs of efflorescence. I then applied 5 coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go to give the customer the required finish she was after.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning West Haddon

I also left the client a free sample of our cleaning solution Tile Doctor Neutral Clean together with written maintenance instructions to help keep the floor looking its best for years to come.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning West Haddon

 
 
Source: Tile Cleaning and Restoration in Northamptonshire

Deep Cleaning Victorian Hallway Tiles in Middlesex

Apologies in advance but I forgot to take the usual before photograph of this Victorian tiled hallway in Twickenham that I worked on recently. It’s a shame really as it was certainly in need of a good clean and re-seal after years of inadequate maintenance and I’m sure a photo would have helped.

Victorian tiles are porous and do need a sealer to stop dirt becoming ingrained, as once that happens they can be difficult to clean and a Hallway is an especially high traffic area that will see a lot of dirt being tramped in. That activity also wears down the sealer over time so it’s important to keep it topped up.

Cleaning Victorian Tiles

On these tiles, we used a 50:50 combination of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed with Tile Doctor Remove and Go. This combination of products works very well to break down old sealers and also to clean the general soil away from the tile. As usual it was left to soak into the tiles for ten minutes before using a heavy duty scrubbing machine to scrub the floor clean. This achieved a good result and the soil and products were then flushed away using our special flushing tool which fires a jet of water onto the tile whilst vacuuming at the same time (no mess!) to an external tank.

Sealing Victorian Tiles

After allowing the tiles to dry off overnight with some heating on, the floor was ready to accept a new seal the next day. Our customer decided to have a sheen finish so we opted to apply Tile Doctor Seal and Go. These tiles are very porous and so need seven coats to be applied to the floor before it was completely sealed.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning in Twickenham

Apologies again for not taking a before photo so you can compare the difference however hopefully you can see how health the floor looks following the deep cleaning and application of a fresh sealer which will ensure future maintenance is a lot easier for the customer.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning in Twickenham

 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Sealing in Middlesex

Deep Cleaning, Sealing a Victorian floor

This Edwardian style floor had been installed in a house in Twickenham around five years prior. The floor had a number of damaged tiles which needed replacing and that it had not been professionally cleaned since being installed and the original sealer had either worn off or turned yellow.

Edwardian style tiled floor twickenham before cleaning

Cleaning Edwardian Style Tiles

Before cleaning the broken tiles, adjacent grout and tile adhesive was carefully chipped out of the floor using a hammer and chisel. Once this was done the floor was soaked with a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was applied with a mop and left it to dwell before being scrubbed into the tile using a rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. The machine saves a lot of time however it struggles to get into the edges and corners and so it was necessary scrub those area by hand. The now soiled cleaning solution did a good job removing the dirt and old sealer and was washed away using fresh water and a wet vacuum. The tile and grout was inspected and the process repeated where required before giving the floor a final rinse to remove any trace of cleaning product. At this point the broken tiles were replaced with spares and grouted into place; the floor was then left for 48 hours so it could dry out thoroughly before sealing.

Edwardian style tiled floor twickenham after cleaning

Sealing Edwardian Style Tiles

On our return the floor was checked and then sealed with five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a topical high sheen sealer highly recommended for these types of tiles that will enhances the look of the tile and creates a barrier against dirt and spillages.

Edwardian style tiled floor twickenham after sealing

As you can see from the picture, the floor has been restored to its original condition and with the correct maintenance; it should last for years to come.
 
 
Source: Professional Tile, Stone and Grout Cleaning service in South Middlesex