Making Repairs to Victorian Hallway Tiles in South Wales

Newport is the third largest city in Wales with a long history that goes back to the Roman times so un-surprisingly it has many period buildings and problematic tiled floors. I was recently asked by a Tile Doctor colleague of mine to assist him with the restoration of an original Victorian tiled hallway at a property in the city.

You will see from my website that I have a lot of experience in rebuilding Victorian tiled floors and on this occasion my colleague required me to perform some specialist tile repairs before he could carry out the business of cleaning and sealing the floor.

The property owner had previously asked a different company in to carry out the floor restoration but the tile repairs made were disastrous. The repair attempts were never going to be successful as this was a particularly difficult situation and required real specialism in dealing with Victorian tiles.

Victorian Hallway Tiles Before Repair in Newport

The previous company had used dry plaster to bed the tiles in the hope of being able to achieve some sort of flatness to dry cut the pieces in place. This had also been done without consideration for matching the colours of the tiles. You can see the result of this in the photo below.

Victorian Hallway Tiles During Removal Showing Plaster Base in Newport

Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway

The first stage of the repairs was to remove all the plaster powder and cut out the very damaged tiles as far back as possible, being very careful not to cause any further damage to the existing tiles. Next, I cemented the base level to the desired thickness and left it to dry out, before dry cutting all the tiles (150 x 150) I had sourced to colour match with the original tiles.

Victorian Hallway Tiles During Base Rebuild with Cement Newport Victorian Hallway Tiles Cutting Replacements in Newport

Once all the tiles were cut, I moved them to the area to be tiled and proceeded to spread adhesive and install the tiles. Following this, I left the floor to dry out overnight. The next day, I returned to the property and grouted the tiles.

Victorian Hallway Tiles During Replacement in Newport Victorian Hallway Tiles During Replacement in Newport

Now that the repairs have been completed to the required standards, this Victorian tiled hallway is now ready to be cleaned and sealed by my colleague.

Victorian Hallway Tiles Grouting in Replacement Tiles in Newport Victorian Hallway Tiles During Replacement in Newport

 
 
Source: Victorian Tiled Floor Repairs and Restoration in South Wales

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

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

Renovating Old Edwardian Hallway Tiles in Devon

Colyton is a small village in the Coly Valley, which itself is part of Devon’s Area of Outstanding Beauty. As you can imagine, it was very nice to drive through the countryside to reach the village to visit a customer. The customer was keen to restore her Edwardian tiled entranceway and hallway in a classic herringbone pattern, which consists of an arrangement of rectangles.

Parts of the floor had been under carpet for a long time and other areas were covered in at least three layers of thick masonry paint. There was some damage to the floor at thresholds where the carpet grips had been hammered into the floor and a few holes with rawl plugs in scattered the area. This had left the floor looking worse for wear and all in all, there was a lot to be done to restore the tiles back to their original condition – just take a look at the photos below.

Edwardian Hallway Tiles Herringbone Pattern Colyton Before Edwardian Hallway Tiles Herringbone Pattern Colyton Before

Several methods were tried on each area during the initial visit to determine the best way forward including chemicals, diamond pads and heat plus a razor scraper. It was clear a mixture of these methods would be needed to get the best results.

Cleaning an Edwardian Tiled Entranceway and Hallway

On my return, I removed the rawl plugs filled the holes with an epoxy resin in a matching colour. Next I started on giving the tiles a deep and thorough clean to remove not just the copious ingrained dirt, but also the unappealing paint smears.

I did this by applying Tile Doctor Remove and Go, which not only cleans the stone, but also strips away any old sealer. Remove and Go is particularly good for removing most artificial coatings and finishes, adhesives, and paints – and can be used on most unpolished natural stone.

Next, I give the tile and grout an acid rinse with Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up, which is a concentrated phosphoric acid product, to negate any underlying efflorescence and alkaline salt deposits. Efflorescence and salt deposits can be common problems for older, original tiled floors because they often lack a damp proof course.

Having finished cleaning the floor, I gave it a thorough rinse using fresh water to remove any traces of chemicals, before leaving it to dry overnight.

Sealing an Edwardian Tiled Entranceway and Hallway

Returning to the property next day, I ran some quick damp tests to check the floor was ready to be sealed.

To seal the floor, I used a single coat of an impregnating sealer called Colour Grow and followed this up with five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go. Both sealers will allow for vapour to rise up through the floor ensuring any damp can rise up through the floor in future which is essential for an old floor like this one which has no damp proof membrane.
The also combine to provide stain resistance surface and a robust, low-sheen finish.

And, with that, the job was done. Two days of work later and the floor is back to looking it best, as you can see in the photos below. Another satisfied client for the Devon Tile Doctor who left the following feedback.

“Very good work,we are very pleased with the result.
Stuart was a very professional hard worker and gave us clear advice on taking care of the floor.“

Edwardian Hallway Tiles Herringbone Pattern Colyton After Edwardian Hallway Tiles Herringbone Pattern Colyton After

 
 
Source: Edwardian Floor Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in Devon

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

Geometric Edwardian Tiled Floor Restoration in Leicestershire

Our customers typically ask us a lot of questions about their tiled floors with the most common being “Can it be restored?” This reflects the UK trend to restore period features in older properties including original tiled floors dating back several decades and sometimes over a century. These floors are, as you might expect, usually worse for wear but – importantly to know – they can in most circumstances be salvaged and even restored to look even better than when they were first installed.

Here’s a good example of this at a property in Quorn (not to be confused with meat substitute product), a town in Leicestershire situated near to the university town of Loughborough. Over three days we restored a beautiful black and white geometric Edwardian tiled hallway floor back to its former glory. Our customer had discovered the badly damaged and dirty floor after lifting the laminate wood flooring in the hallway, and we were called in to provide repairs and restorative cleaning and sealing.

Black White Edwardian Geometric Floor Before Restoration Quorn

A number of matching tiles would be required for this job so before beginning the work, we advised the customer as to where suitable replacements could be sourced.

Repairing and Cleaning a Damaged Edwardian Tiled Floor

To begin, we carefully removed the cracked concrete fill, before cleaning up the substrate and using a self-levelling compound to restore the surface to the point that new tiles could be installed. The damaged tiles along the edge of the recess were carefully cut out and removed. Using the modern reproduction tiles, we patched the area to complete the repairs to the floor. We also had to cut many tiles to size to achieve the best fit.

Next, we set about cleaning the tiles to restore a pre-soiled appearance to the floor. This was done using Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel, a strong alkaline-based gel cleaner that is used to break down dirt and grime. We chose to use this product over the similar alkaline-based cleaner Tile Doctor Pro-Clean because Oxy-Gel is gel based and therefore contains less moisture and therefore would exacerbate inherent damp issues in the old floor. The cleaner was left to dwell for a short period before being agitated with a scrubbing pad, and the resulting soiled cleaning solution was then soaked up using a wet vacuum.

Black White Edwardian Geometric Floor During Restoration Quorn

The floor was then allowed to dry off overnight, ready for sealing the following day.

Sealing an Edwardian Tiled Floor

Upon returning the next day, we checked for any excess moisture that may have delayed us from sealing the floor. Thankfully the tiles were dry and could be sealed with Tile Doctor Colour Grow, our colour intensifying, solvent-based impregnating sealer which is highly durable and provides an aesthetically pleasing natural matte finish. Three coats were applied to offer maximum protection.

Black White Edwardian Geometric Floor After Restoration Quorn

As you can see from the photographs, the restoration was a fantastic success. We left the ecstatic customer with a Tile Doctor maintenance guide, as well as with a litre of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner for regular cleaning. Correctly diluted, this product effectively cleans without effecting the integrity of the sealer.
 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Restoration in Leicestershire

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

Large Victorian Hallway Restored in Gloucestershire

Victorian tiles are very hard-wearing and historically a popular choice for heavy traffic areas such as hallways. Still popular today they are nonetheless like most tiles and can become ingrained with dirt over time.
This particular floor, located in a property in the old market town of Tewkesbury is a good example of a floor that was in good physical condition, but heavily ingrained with dirt due to a lack of regular maintenance. At a loss for how to remedy the situation by themselves, the property owner asked me to pay a visit to restore the tiles back to their best possible condition.

Large Victorian Hallway Tewkesbury Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Dirty Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

In this particular scenario, I opted to mix and apply a solution of different cleaning products from our professional range, each serving a different purpose. These products were Tile Doctor Pro Clean, Tile Doctor Remove and Go, and Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU. Remove and Go serves the purpose of stripping away any old sealer on the tiles, while Pro Clean is an alkaline cleaner that reliably removes dirt and staining. NanoTech HBU is a particularly powerful cleaner which utilises nano-sized particles to penetrate deep into the pores of the stone, get underneath difficult stains and lift them out.

I spread this potent solution across the length and width of the tiled hallway and left it to soak for approximately 10 minutes, before using a black scrubbing pad fitted to my buffing machine to give the tiles a deep scrub. Next, I rinsed the soiled solution away and neutralised the chemicals with plain water, before extracting any residue using a wet vacuum. I repeated the cleaning process several times to achieve the best results possible, and I also employed the aid of a steam cleaner to spot clean any particularly stubborn marks.

Sealing a Dirty Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Cleaning the floor took two days in total. At the end of the second day, I gave the floor a thorough and final rinse before leaving it to dry completely overnight. The next day, I returned to the property to seal the floor after checking the floor was dry. Ensuring before sealing that the floor is completely dry is crucial – even the smallest quantity of moisture remaining can potentially cloud the sealer and damage its performance.

My choice of sealer was Tile Doctor Colour Grow, an impregnating sealer that penetrates and fills the pores of the tile to prevent trapped dirt and makes regular cleaning much easier. Colour Grow is a great choice of sealer for Victorian tiles because it really enhances the colourful patterns which are characteristic of this type of tile.
My customer was very impressed with the service and remarked on the huge improvement to the appearance of the floor. You can see this for yourself – just take a look at the before and after photos!

Large Victorian Hallway Tewkesbury After Clean and Seal

 
 
Source: Victorian Tile and Grout Cleaning Service in Gloucestershire

Restoring Victorian Hallway Tiles after Building Works

These photographs are of a Victorian tiled hallway at a house in Hampton, Middlesex which is South West suburb of London. The tiles had suffered during the completion of extensive building works and as you can see from the picture below, the tiles were looking dull and had lost their vibrancy.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Hampton

On top of that the floor was heavily soiled with plaster dust as well as general soiling from wear and it had not been cleaned or sealed for nearly eight years. Victorian tiles are very hard wearing however and I knew I could put new life into the floor by giving them a good deep clean and re-seal.

Cleaning Victorian Hallway Tiles

To get the tiles clean and remove unwanted coatings we applied a 50/50 combination of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and Tile Doctor Remove and Go.
This combination of products is effective at breaking down old sealers and coatings as well as cleaning the soil away from the tile.
The products were left to soak in for ten minutes before using a heavy-duty machine fitted with a scrubbing pad to work the solution into the pores of the tile. This did the trick and the soil and products were then flushed away using our special flushing tool which fires a jet of water onto the tile whilst extracting it at the same time with a vacuum (so no mess!)

Sealing Victorian Tiles

After allowing the tiles to dry overnight with some heating on, the floor was ready the next morning to accept a fresh sealer. Our customer wanted to have a sheen finish so we opted for Tile Doctor Seal and Go which works really well on Victorian tiles. Seven coats were applied to the floor before it was completely sealed and protected.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Hampton

As well as improving the appearance of the tiles new sealer will also make cleaning much easier for the customer.
 
 
Source: Victorian Tile and Grout Cleaning Service in Middlesex

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Cafe floor

At Tile Doctor, we don’t just offer our tile cleaning and sealing services to residential properties, such as flats and houses we also cover tile installations in commercial properties, such as hotels and restaurants as well as

In fact, commercial properties tend to experience much higher daily foot traffic than residential floors resulting in much more strain on the sealer. This of course wears down the sealer more quickly and once the sealer had worn away the tiles are vulnerable to dirt becoming ingrained which makes the floor difficult to clean.

This Cafe in Chertsey is very popular with staff from the nearby hospital, as well as residents in the local area. Naturally, the cafe gets very busy and the Victorian tiled floor had experienced heavy traffic and was marked by footprints from hundreds of hungry customers.

Cafe Floor Chertsey Before Cleaning

I was called in to help the cafe owner restore this original feature back to its best possible condition and then seal again to protect it.

Cleaning a Heavily Soiled Victorian Tiled Floor

Once the cafe staff had left for the evening, I moved the tables aside to avoid damaging them and laid down a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean across the floor. This is our reliable alkaline cleaner which is designed to loosen the dirt on tiles and grout.

As the dirt was deeply ingrained in the stone, I scrubbed the floor using an abrasive 200 grit pad fitted to on rotary buffer. Within seconds the pad had worked its magic and I had a trail of filthy water to suck up using a wet vacuum machine.

Once the majority of the floor had been cleaned, I took to my knees to closely inspect the stone for dirt. Any particularly stubborn areas were tackled using a wire brush in combination with Tile Doctor Remove and Go, which is a heavy-duty cleaner/coatings remover which works well on removing any old sealers, paints and adhesives.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

Once the floor was clean, I washed and neutralised the surface with plain water. While I was packing up for the day I also installed my air-blower to aid the drying process overnight.

Two nights later I returned to the cafe to seal the tiles with Tile Doctor Colour Grow. Colour Grow is a colour enhancing sealer that impregnates into the pores of the tile to bring out the natural colours whilst adding a durable matte finish that acts as a barrier to dirt.

Cafe Floor Chertsey After Cleaning

As you can see from the photo above, the result was fantastic. In fact, the customer loved her newly restored floor so much that she even told me to help myself to any cake of choice, I do like a bonus!
 
 
Source: Victorian Tile and Grout Cleaning Service in Surrey

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