Restoring a Classic Victorian Tiled Hallway in Rugby

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

Victorian Hallway Floor Before Restoration Rugby

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

Victorian Hallway Floor Before Restoration Rugby

Cleaning and Restoring a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

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

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

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

Victorian Hallway Floor During Cleaning Rugby

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

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

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

Victorian Hallway Floor After Restoration Rugby

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

Victorian Hallway Floor After Restoration Rugby

 

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

Removing Tar from Edwardian Hallway Tiles in Warwickshire

The owner of this house in Chaplefields near Coventry had bought this property as an investment and was keen to improve its appearance. As part of this work he had lifted the vinyl tiles in the hallway and discovered a lovely Edwardian tiled floor. Unfortunately, whoever had laid the Vinyl tiles had decided to use Tar as an adhesive and this had left a black mess all over the floor.

Edwardian Tiled Floor Covered In Tar Chaplefields Coventry Before Restoration

Realising the potential value an original feature such as this could add to the property he was keen to restore the tiles but not so keen to deal with the Tar, so we were asked to deal with the problem and restore the floor as close to its original condition as possible.

Repairing and Cleaning a Dirty Edwardian Tiled Floor

To get the tiles clean and remove the horrible tar I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go, which as its name suggest is great for removing coverings from tiles. I applied the Remove and Go with a mop, left it to soak in for a few minutes and then worked it in using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The soil was extracted off the floor using a wet and dry vacuum and then the process repeated until I was happy all the tar was gone.

I then gave the tiles an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel; this serves to break down alkaline mineral deposits such as cement and grout smears, it also counters any efflorescence problems which can be an issue with these old floors where no damp proof membrane has been installed.

Finally, the floor was given a rinse with clean water and a steam clean to remove any trace of cleaning products and to neutralise the tiles in preparation for sealing.

Sealing a Edwardian Tiled Floor

I left the floor to dry off overnight and returned to the property to seal the tiles the next day. To seal the tiles, I used three coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water based sealer that leaves a subtle sheen finish and being water based doesn’t leave a smell as it dries. The sealer will provide durable protection going forward preventing dirt from becoming ingrained into the pores of the tile and ensuring it remains easy to clean and keeping its appearance for some time to come.

Edwardian Tiled Floor Covered In Tar Chaplefields Coventry After Restoration

The floor now looks fantastic and gives a great impression when you come into the property which is exactly what the owner wanted.
 
 
Source: Edwardian Floor Tile Cleaning and Restoration in Warwickshire

Bomb Damaged Victorian Floor Rebuilt in Coventry

The Warwickshire team recently visited a customer in Earlsdon, a village near Coventry, who wanted a Victorian tiled floor rebuilt before being cleaned and sealed. Sometimes our work goes well beyond simple cleaning and sealing services, especially when tiles are damaged, broken or completely missing however we have done several rebuilds before and always welcome a new challenge.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Rebuild Earlsdon

Upon closer inspection, I could see that up to 70% of the tiles were damaged in some way, and the screed was cracked from movement which given how old the house was may have been caused by the Blitz of Coventry during World War II, more than 70 years prior.

Repairing and Rebuilding a Damaged Victorian Tiled Floor

To begin the restoration, we had to remove all the tiles, determining in the process what could be salvaged and discarding any that were beyond repair. I happened to have a set of replacement Victorian tiles reclaimed from the floor of a local house and thankfully they matched perfectly.

After stripping the floor of tiles the holes and cracks had to be filled and a new screed was laid to ensure the base would be level and stable.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Rebuild Earlsdon Victorian Tiled Floor Before Rebuild Earlsdon

Once the screed had set we started fixing the tiles to the floor using a mixture of the original and reclaimed tiles.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Rebuild Earlsdon Victorian Tiled Floor During Rebuild Earlsdon

Once laid the tiles were grouted and by the end of the fifth day the floor was rebuilt.

Victorian Tiled Floor During Rebuild Earlsdon Victorian Tiled Floor During Rebuild Earlsdon

Cleaning and Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

The next task was to give the new floor a deep clean which we did using Tile Doctor Remove and Go. This product is a heavy-duty stripper and coatings remover designed to tackle heavy soil build-up and remove old sealers in the process. The product was left to soak into the tiles and then scrubbed in using a black buffing pad fitted to a rotary machine. The soiled cleaning solution was rinsed off with water and extracted using a wet vacuum.

The floor was then given a thorough acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel, which is a blend of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids in an easy-to-use gel form. This helped to remove grout smears, efflorescence and mineral salts.

Once clean, the floor was rinsed thoroughly with water to neutralise the chemicals, before being speed dried. Finally, we sealed the tiles using four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra. This sealer is a special acrylic based formula which allows moisture vapour transmission and is ideal for old floors which do not have a damp proof membrane installed.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Rebuild Earlsdon

We were really pleased with the outcome and it felt rewarding to salvage this fantastic Victorian floor and give it a new lease on life after suffering significant damage. The customer was overjoyed with the fully restored original feature.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Rebuild Earlsdon

 
 
Source: Victorian Tile and Cleaning and Sealing Service in Warwickshire

Restoring and Repairing a Victorian Hallway Hidden Under Carpet for 15 years

It’s a wonder why any property owner would want to cover an original Victorian tiled floor but I guess it was the fashion at the time. Fortunately, times have changed and home owners are now looking to restore original features back to their property as they bring a real sense of character and personality, especially if the tiles laid are colourful and have interesting design patterns.

In this case the former owner of this house in Coundon near Coventry had opted to hide the fantastic hallway and doorway Victorian tiles with carpet some 15 years earlier. Now, the new owner was keen to restore the floor as an original feature.

victorian tiled floor before refurbishment in coundon

The tiles weren’t in great shape to begin with. In several areas there was a need to reaffix or entirely replace some loose and damaged tiles. Needless to say, the tiles which has been hidden by carpet for many years were in dire need of a thorough clean and fresh seal, and there were areas where mineral salt deposits had emerged over time. A full restoration would require me to address all of these issues – here’s how I did it.

Cleaning and Repairing a Dirty and Damaged Victorian Tiled Floor

Prior to starting a deep cleaning process, I ensured the damaged and loose tiles were carefully replaced and re-grouted. Fortunately, over the years I have built up a nice collection of spare Victorian tiles so sourcing replacements for the broken ones was not a big problem.

victorian tiled floor refurbishment tiles in coundon victorian tiled floor before refurbishment in coundon

Then, to clean the tiles, I applied a strong cleaning solution consisting of Tile Doctor Remove and Go, which helps to remove any old sealers, and Tile Doctor Pro Clean, which deals with any ingrained dirt and general muck afflicting the tiles.

To help with the cleaning – especially in regards to the aforementioned minerals salts issue – I applied Tile Doctor Acid Gel, which is a blend of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids in a handy and easy-to-apply gel form. When worked into the tile using a black scrubbing pad, the Acid Gel successfully neutralised the alkaline-based salts. To finish off the cleaning process, I steam cleaned the floor, soaked up any excess moisture with a wet vacuum, and installed fans to speed up the drying process.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

The next day the tiles were dry and ready to be sealed so I wasted no time and started the application of several coats of our impregnating sealer Tile Doctor Colour Grow. As an impregnating sealer, Colour Grow penetrates and fills the pores of the stone to prevent dirt from becoming trapped. This makes it easier for the property owner to keep the tiles clean in future.

victorian tiled floor after refurbishment in coundon

Colour Grow also provides the added benefit of enhancing the colours in the tile, making them more vibrant and characterful. The natural matte finish left by Colour Grow was exactly as the customer requested. At the end of two days work I left the house with some revitalised Victorian tiles and a very happy customer.

victorian tiled floor after refurbishment in coundon

 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Restoration Service in Warwickshire

Beautiful Victorian Hallway Restored in Warwickshire

This Victorian tiled hallway was one of the most beautiful Victorian floors I have ever had the pleasure to work on. With the wide range of patterns and colours they are available in, it seems no two Victorian tiled floors are exactly the same, and this uniqueness is part of what makes them so appealing to property owners.

Unfortunately, this floor had been poorly maintained over the years, even suffering from a few loose and missing tiles. There was a thick coating of dust and dirt soiling its appearance, and the property owner was understandably keen to remedy the situation. Having realised that everyday household cleaners are not likely to achieve great results, she asked me to carry out a full professional restoration, including making some repairs where necessary. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that this property was situated in the town of Wyken, which is a few miles outside of Coventry city centre and in fact just down the road from where I live myself!

Beautiful Victorian Floor Before Cleaning in Wyken

Repairing and Cleaning a Dirty Victorian Tiled Floor

Before making a start on the cleaning process, it was first necessary to re-fix the small number of loose tiles and replace a single missing tile by the radiator. Fortunately, I’ve been working on these types of floors for some time and have built up a good collection of replacement Victorian tiles so I was able to find one that matched in nicely with the rest of the floor without too much problem.

Beautiful Victorian Floor During Cleaning in Wyken

To clean the tiles, I began by applying a layer of Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel directly into the floor with a small brush. This product is very similar to the popular Tile Doctor Pro Clean: both are strong alkaline cleaners, strippers and degreasers, with the main difference being that Oxy-Clean comes in a gel form, making it easier to control and therefore ideal for precise cleaning, or for application to vertical surfaces. Like Pro Clean and being an alkaline base it is suitable for use on all types of natural stone and tile. The Oxy-Gel was left to soak into the tiles for around ten minutes before being scrubbed in and then rinsed off carefully with water, I then used a wet vacuum to extract the now soiled cleaning solution off the floor.

Beautiful Victorian Floor During Cleaning with Oxy Gel in Wyken

The next step was to acid wash the floor using Tile Doctor Acid Gel; this served to break down alkaline mineral deposits inherent in the grout along with some excess grout that had been left on the untidily left on tile from installation. It is recommended not to use this product on acid-sensitive soon such as Marble and Limestone as it can cause irreparable etching but its fine on Victorian tiles as long as you don’t leave it on too long.

Finally, the floor was given a rinse with clean water to remove any trace of chemicals from the cleaning and to neutralise the area in preparation for sealing.

Beautiful Victorian Floor Cleaning Tools in Wyken

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

I left the floor for 48 hours to dry before returning to the property to seal the tiles. This allowed plenty of time for the floor to dry completely, which is important as any excess moisture can damage the ability of the sealer to protect against dirt and stains.

Beautiful Victorian Floor After Cleaning in Wyken

My choice of sealer for this floor was Tile Doctor High Shine; three coats in total were applied, providing – as the product name suggests – the high shine finish that the customer had requested. The sealer will provide durable surface protection going forward preventing dirt from becoming ingrained into the pores of the tile and ensuring it remains easy to clean and keeping its appearance for some time to come.

Beautiful Victorian Floor After Cleaning in Wyken

As a big fan of Victorian tiles, it was a great pleasure to restore this floor, and my customer was certainly pleased too. It’s amazing how far a little professional maintenance can go to improving the appearance of these fantastic types of floor.
 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Warwickshire

Rebuilding and Restoring a Victorian Tiled Hallway

As you can see from the photographs below this Victorian tiled hallway was in quite a state and not only needed a thorough clean and fresh seal but needed to be rebuilt in parts.

Victorian Tiled Floor During Rebuild Leamington Spa

Leamington Spa or Royal Leamington Spa to give its full name is one of the original UK Spa towns where people would visit to bathe the waters which are supposed to have medicinal properties, the town has many regency period properties and so Victorian floors

Rebuilding and Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway

A good 30% of the floor tiles were lose and it took three days to rebuild the screed levelling compound before refitting loose tiles and new ones had to be cut to size, fixed in place and then re-grouted.

Victorian Tiled Floor During Rebuild Leamington Spa

On day 4 a 400 grit coarse burnishing pad was applied to clean up the whole floor.
This was followed by scrubbing the tile and grout with Tile Doctor Pro-clean mixed 50/50 with NanoTech HBU remover followed by Remove and Go and finally treated with Acid Gel to remove the grout haze. After that the White tiles were steam cleaned to get them as clean and white as possible.

Victorian Tiled Floor During Rebuild Leamington Spa

The floor was thoroughly rinsed after each treatment and the slurry extracted using a wet vacuum.

Victorian Tiled Floor During Rebuild Leamington Spa

Sealing Victorian floor tiles

I left the floor for 5 days so it could thoroughly dry out and settle following the numerous treatments and then came back to seal the tiles, I used a damp test meter first to verify the floor was dry and ready for sealing. Once happy I proceed to apply a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing sealer that soaks into the tile protecting it from within and leaves a matt finish.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Rebuild Leamington Spa

A lot of work went into restoring this floor but I’m really pleased with the way it came out and as you can imagine the owner was really happy with the transformation that had taken place in their house.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Rebuild Leamington Spa

 
 
Source: Victorian Tile and Stone Maintenance Service in Warwickshire

Victorian Tiled Hallway Repaired and Restored

This Victorian tiled hallway at a house in Earlsdon near Coventry was not only in dire need of a good clean and seal, but also required some repairs to areas where the tiles were cracked or missing. The job took three days in total to complete, with one day spent on the necessary repairs, and two on the cleaning and sealing process.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Restoration Earlsdon Coventry

Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway

Repairing Victorian Tiles is generally a straightforward tiling job, complications that can arise are usually related to making sure the floor substrate is solid and sourcing matching tiles. In this case the foundation was fine so it was just a case of scraping off the old adhesive and then re-fixing the tiles and re-grouting with a matching grout. It’s best to do any repairs before cleaning and sealing as the new tiles will blend into the floor better.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Restoration Earlsdon Coventry Victorian Tiled Floor Before Restoration Earlsdon Coventry

Cleaning a Victorian tiled hallway

I left the floor to set overnight and then came back to clean the floor first applying a layer of Tile Doctor Remove & Go to floor in order to breakdown any old sealers, dirt and other contaminates such as paint and plaster from decorating.

The product was left to dwell for ten minutes before being worked into the tile and grout using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a heavy rotary machine. This made a marked difference in the appearance of the tiles and the resultant slurry was rinsed off the floor using water and a wet vacuum.

Now the dirt was removed I could see there were some white salt deposits of the tile surface as well as smears of grout that were probably there since its installation. The mineral salt deposits often known as efflorescence are usually due to dampness rising up though the floor and these old Victorian floors rarely have a damp proof membrane which is a relatively new advancement. To resolve both these problems I applied Tile Doctor Acid Gel which is a blend of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids in a gel form so it doesn’t move around like a liquid. This product was especially effective on Victorian floor tiles, but should not be used on any tiles made of acid-sensitive stone, such as Marble or Limestone as it can damage them. Being an acid product it’s best not to leave it on too long either, so once I had managed to scrub off the efflorescence and grout smears I removed it and then gave the floor a good rinse to remove any trace and neutralise the floor prior to sealing.

Sealing a Victorian tiled hallway

After completing the cleaning process, I left the floor to dry completely overnight and came back to the house the next day to finish off with a sealer. I usually seal Victorian and Quarry tiles with Tile Doctor Seal and Go however given the previous evidence of efflorescence I need to choose a sealer that was highly breathable. Fortunately Tile Doctor recognises this issue and has such a product called Seal & Go Extra. Not only does this sealer provides a stain resistant surface seal and a durable low-sheen finish it also has excellent moisture vapour transmission properties and can even be used externally.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Restoration Earlsdon Coventry Victorian Tiled Floor After Restoration Earlsdon Coventry

The before and after photos above really demonstrate the difference made to the appearance of this Victorian tiled hallway.
 
 
Source: Repairing and Restoring Victorian Tiles in Warwickshire

Removing Glue From Victorian Floor Tiles

This Victorian Tiled Hallway at a house in Radford near Coventry had been well preserved under a carpet for many years and the owners of the house now wanted it brought back to life. Physically the tiles were in good condition however they did suffer from the usual issues of paint splashes and adhesive stuck to the surface.

Victorian Tiled Floor Refresh Radford Before Victorian Tiled Floor Refresh Radford Before

Cleaning Victorian Tiles

To clean up the tiles and remove the paint and glue I used a dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go. The edges of the floor was done first as this was where the most pain splashes were to be found due to the skirting being painted at some point in the past. The usual procedure still applied allowing the product to soak in and soften the paint before being scrubbed off by hand. Once the edges were done I moved onto the main part of the floor using the same process however this time I had the advantage of being able to use a rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. The dirty solution was rinsed away with water and removed with a wet vacuum.

To finish off and remove some signs of efflorescence (white salt stains) the tiles were then scrubbed in a dilution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up. This did the trick but you can’t leave this product on the tiles for too long as its an acid so as soon as it had done its job it was washed off and then the tiles were then given a thorough wash down with clean water.

My work was done for the day so I left a fan running to help speed dry the floor overnight and left for the day.

Sealing Victorian floor tiles

I came back the next day to seal the floor using Tile Doctor Seal and Go sealer which provides stain protection as well giving a nice sheen to the tile, the tiles were quite porous and needed six coats before they were fully sealed.

Victorian Tiled Floor Refresh Radford After

 
 
Source: Residential and Commercial Tiled Floor Cleaning in Warwickshire

Maintaining Victorian Tiles

Details below of a bread and butter job recently completed in Coundon near Coventry to Clean, repair and seal Victorian floor tiles. I call it a bread butter job as this is something we do a lot off and have therefore become quite proficient including colour matched repairs to grout and tile replacement.

Victorian Tiles in Coundon before cleaning

Cleaning Victorian Tiles

The tiles were quite dirty and in need of a deep clean so a 50/50 mix of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and NanoTech UltraClean was diluted with water and left to soak into the tiles for around 15 minutes before being scrubbed into the Victorian tile and grout using a slow speed rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. The dirty solution was removed and the process repeated and grout lines scrubbed until I was happy the tiles were clean; this was then followed with a thorough rinse with water and a wet vacuum was used to remove the fluids and get the tile and grout as dry as possible. We have a special fan to accelerate the drying process so this switched on and moved around the floor until it was dry.

Victorian Tiles in Coundon cleaned and drying

Sealing Victorian floor tiles

Once the floor was dry we started to seal it using Tile Doctor High Shine sealer which provides stain protection as well as a very shiny finish, hopefully you can appreciate the difference in the photographs on this page.

Victorian Tiles in Coundon Cleaned and Sealed

 
 
Source: Cleaning Victorian tiles in Warwickshire

Restoring Victorian Tiles in Historic Stratford

I made another visit back to the historic and famous town of Stratford-upon-Avon recently this time to restore a Victorian Tiled Hallway which had been covered In self levelling cement (don’t ask) which was proving very difficult to remove and I doubt William Shakespeare would of approved.

Victorian Floor Tiles Before Restoration in Stratford upon Avon Victorian Floor Tiles Before Restoration in Stratford upon Avon

Removing Cement from Victorian Tiles

None of the usual methods for removing cement from tile was proving to be effective against this stuff, it was simply too thick so it was necessary to resort to a set off milling disks which grind the surface, I could only go so close to the tile with these however and had to resort to a hand scrapper to remove much of the rest and as you can imagine this took a long time to complete and was quite exhausting work.

Victorian Floor Tiles During Restoration in Stratford upon Avon

The resultant powder was swept and vacuumed from the tile before applying Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which we normally use for removing grout smears, it’s an acidic product that you allow to dwell on the tile for a few minutes and then agitate with a scrubbing pad and then remove shortly afterwards using a wet vacuum and then quickly washing the floor down quickly to ensure the acid is removed.

The next job was to give the floor a deep clean using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed 50/50 with NanoTech UltraClean which was worked into the pores of the Victorian tile and grout using a slow speed rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. The dirty solution was removed and the floor rinsed thoroughly with water, again we used the wet vacuum to remove the water and get the tile as dry as possible.

Sealing Victorian floor tiles

I left the floor overnight to dry overnight leaving an air blower to accelerate the drying time and then came back next day to seal the floor; I used a damp test meter first to verify the floor was dry and ready for sealing. Once happy I proceed to apply four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is an ideal sealer for Victorian Tiles as it leaves a nice shine on the floor as well as providing great stain protection.

Victorian Floor Tiles After Restoration in Stratford upon Avon Victorian Floor Tiles After Restoration in Stratford upon Avon


It was an exhausting job and quite a transformation, unfortunately there were a few area’s I could do nothing about but it all adds to the character of the floor.
 
 
Source: Victorian tiled floor restored in Warwickshire