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

Victorian Hallway Tiles Repaired and Restored in Northampton

The photographs below are from a Victorian tiled hallway floor at a house in Northampton where I was called in by the owner to inspect the floor for restoration, deep cleaning and re-setting of all loose tiles covering around 3sq metres.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Northampton Before Repair and Cleaning Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Northampton Before Showing Loose Tiles

Cleaning Victorian Tiles

The initial process was to vacuum and remove any loose debris before applying Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel to the entire area. Oxy-Gel is a strong alkaline based gel cleaner/stripper which is safe to use on tile and grout and being gel based it’s very easy to control. The gel was left to get to work on the dirt for ten minutes before being scrubbed into the tile with a black stripping pad fixed to a rotary floor machine. The resultant slurry and dirt was then rinsed with water and removed using a wet vacuum. The floor now free of dirt and old sealers was now prepared ready for repairs and re-grouting.

Grouting Victorian Tiles

The next step was to remove small sections of loose tiles and then re-fixing and re-grouting as required. We took care to replace tiles into their original position to ensure they sat together correctly. Once the section was replaced I removed the tiles in the next section and repeated this process until the 3sq metres of loose tiles were all reinstalled.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Northampton During Repair Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Northampton During Repair

I allowed the grout to dry for a few hours before polishing off excess grout with a cloth and removing difficult grout smears with a weak solution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up. The floor was then rinsed again using water to remove any trace of products and then dried using the wet vacuum.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Northampton After Repair Closeup Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Northampton After Repair Closeup

Sealing Victorian Tiles

I returned a few days later to ensure the floor was completely dry as dampness can be issue with this type of tile, I then vacuumed the floor and gave it a light clean with Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner to make sure it was spotless before sealing.

Once the floor had dried I took damp readings and when satisfied the floor was dry again I applied three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow Sealant for a light sheen finish and to enhance the natural colour of the floor. Colour grow is a penetrating sealer that protects from within by soaking into the pores of the tile stopping dirt from becoming ingrained there, it also enhances colour.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Northampton After Repair and Cleaning Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Northampton After Repair and Cleaning

 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Repair and Restoration Service in Northamptonshire

Edwardian Hallway Rebuild in Worcestershire

Named after the monarch of the time Edwardian tiles are very similar to Victorian tiles in both their colourful nature and geometric design. Both types of tiled floor are commonly found in older properties, but they aren’t always immediately visible because unfortunately many people opt to cover them up with carpet or linoleum.

This customer had just moved into a house in Bewdley, a town in Worcestershire and the home of Severn Valley railway, and after lifting the carpet to replace it found a lovely Edwardian tiled hallway. She decided immediately the floor should be restored to its original condition and so contacted me to see what could be done.

Edwardian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration in Bewdley

Repairing an Edwardian Tiled Floor

At some point in the past, the house had been extended, and the builders had damaged the tiles towards the rear of the hallway to install a gas pipe.

Edwardian Tiled Hallway During Restoration in Bewdley

This meant my first task was to carefully remove the concrete without damaging the gas pipe, before rebuilding the floor to the level where I could relay new tiles and replace damaged ones.

Edwardian Tiled Hallway During Restoration in Bewdley

It took two days to repair the floor, but with the hallway successfully rebuilt I could then move onto the task of cleaning and sealing the tiles.

Edwardian Tiled Hallway During Restoration in Bewdley

Cleaning an Edwardian Tiled Floor

It took me another full day to clean, speed dry and seal the floor.

I started by applying Tile Doctor Remove and Go around the edges of the Edwardian hallway tiles to eliminate any paint splashes and glue stains from previous decoration work and the carpet that had been secured to the tiles by adhesive.

This was then followed by treating the floor with an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel with a buffing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad to clean off any old grout smears and other residues. The floor was then carefully rinsed down with water applied using micro fibre cloths so it wouldn’t get too damp and then speed dried with air blowers.

Edwardian Tiled Hallway During Restoration in Bewdley

Sealing an Edwardian Tiled Floor

Once satisfied that the floor was as clean as possible and bone dry from the speed driers I moved swiftly on to sealing them.

My choice of sealer was Tile Doctor Colour Grow, since the customer requested a natural finish. I applied three heavy coats of the sealer to lift the colours in the tiles and provide a long-lasting impregnating sealer to protect them against dirt and make them easy to keep clean in future.

Edwardian Tiled Hallway After Restoration in Bewdley

The transformation was remarkable and the customer was so happy with the result they left the following feedback:

“Mick and his tiler Dean were friendly, courteous, professional and trustworthy throughout the service given. An excellent job was made of restoring my original Victorian tiled floor – the reproduction tiles look like they’ve been there forever. Mick was extremely helpful to me when I had a crisis with a leaking roof while he was at my home. Would highly recommend him.”

Edwardian Tiled Hallway After Restoration in Bewdley

 
 
Source: Edwardian Tile Cleaning & Restoration Service in Worcestershire

Victorian Tile Repair in South Cumbria

Ulverston is one of several historic market towns in Cumbria which has some excellent views of Morecambe Bay and the Southern Lake District. It is also home to some lovely old properties, including one that I visited recently to provide some repairs, cleaning and sealing for a Victorian tiled floor.

Although the floor was in good condition overall, the tiles were starting to loosen in some areas because the grout had come adrift and needed to be replaced.In fact, several tiles had broken as a result of this and so they would need to replaced too.

Victorian Hallway Before Cleaning in Ulverston Victorian Hallway Before Cleaning in Ulverston

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Floor

As I’ve mentioned, the floor had been well maintained, but I opted in any case to give the tiles a routine clean with our reliable high alkaline product, Tile Doctor Pro Clean, scrubbed in using a pad fitted to a rotary machine. This helped to remove any debris and dirt left over on the tiles.

After the initial clean I proceeded to replace the broken tiles with matching reproduction Victorian tiles, as well as the grout in the areas where the tiles had loosened.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

After finishing the cleaning and repair processes, it was time to seal the floor with a combination of sealers.

To do this I firstly applied one coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is an impregnating, colour intensifying sealer. We find that by applying a base coat of Colour Grow we can lock out the damp that can come through from underneath as many old floors don’t have damp proof membranes fitted, unlike many modern floors. What’s more, acrylic polymer sealers such as Tile Doctor Seal and Go do not respond well to a damp environment.

Once the Colour Grow had been applied and had dried completely, I applied five thin coats of Seal and Go to add further protection and a quality sheen finish. This sealer is also fully breathable and allows Vapour Moisture Transmission (VMT).

Victorian Hallway After Cleaning and Sealing in Ulverston Victorian Hallway After Cleaning and Sealing in Ulverston

The finish was exactly what the customer was looking for and they were very happy with the overall restoration of the floor. Another satisfied customer!
 
 
Source: Victorian Cleaning & Repair Service in South Cumbria

Restoring Old Victorian Hallway Tiles

Finedon is a small civil parish in Northamptonshire with a big history. At the time the Domesday Book was complete in the late 11th century, the town was, in fact, a large royal manor held by the wife of Edward the Confessor.

In subsequent centuries the town has experienced a rich history and many of the current houses were built during the Victorian period (1837-1901). It came as little surprise to me, then, to get a call from a customer in the town who had recently found an original Victorian tiled floor underneath the carpet in her house.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning in Finedon

The tiles were well over a century old. They had been covered by carpet for several years at least, and once unearthed they are clearly covered in paint and other debris from renovation work that had been carried out. Naturally, the customer was keen to restore the appearance of the tiles and so she called me, the local Tile Doctor, to get the job done.

Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

You can see from the photos above that the floor was in quite a state – it took a whole day to clean. The floor area was only around eight metres squared, but it took two litres of Tile Doctor Remove and Go and three litres of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to get it clean. Remove and Go is a very strong stripper that will just about shift any type of dirt or stain, while Tile Doctor Pro-Clean is a reliable high alkaline cleaner both products are designed for use on natural stone.

Once all the dirt, stains and paint splashes were removed, I washed down the floor with fresh water to neutralise the chemicals. I then installed some equipment to assist the drying process overnight, allowing the tiles to be sealed the next day.

There were also some cracks and missing grout that I replaced, along with some several loose tiles that I refitted.

Victorian Tiled Floor During Cleaning in Finedon

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

I returned to the property the next day to seal the floor. To do this I used two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which provides robust protection and the quality matte finish the customer had requested.

As the name suggests, it also enhances the natural colours in the tiles, restoring character to this original feature. For a more traditional look, one litre of sealer was sufficient.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning in Finedon

Looking at the photos, you can see the huge improvement made over two days of work. One hundred years of wear and tear alleviated in 48 hours! The customer was thrilled.
 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Northamptonshire

Deep Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Garage Floor

We don’t get many requests to clean garage floors but this particular floor was quite old and tiled in black and red Victorian tiles. Many would have just washed it down with a hose pipe however this garage in the city of Lancaster housed a classic British built AC sports car which doesn’t like getting dust in its Carburettor’s and as a result the owner was keen to have the floor restored.

Lancaster Garage AC Sports Car

You can see from the photograph below the floor was in quite a state and as such the whole floor needed a thorough deep clean to remove the ingrained dirt and grease and then sealing to protect it.

Lancaster Garage Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Garage Floor

With the exception of moving the vehicle little preparation was required and we soon got on with the job starting with the application of a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-clean which is a great product for deep cleaning tile and grout. The solution was left to soak into the tile for ten or so minutes before being worked in with a buffing machine fitted with a black buffing pad. This soon lifted the dirt from the tile turning the cleaning solution into a dark fluid that was rinsed from the floor with water and extracted using a wet vacuum.

With old floors like these where no damp proof course has been installed it’s not unusual to get white salt marks appearing which leave a white bloom on the surface of the tile. This problem is known as efflorescence however it can be treated early on by giving the floor a wash with a strong acid which removes the salts. So the next step was to apply a Tile Doctor Acid Gel which being in gel form makes it easy to control once it’s on the floor, naturally acids are not good in general for any floor so it was not left on the tiles for too long before being extracted.

Last step was to give the floor a good rinse with water to remove any remaining trace of cleaning products before sealing, once this was done we used the wet vacuum to suck up as much moisture from the floor as possible.

Because of the water that was used, we had to let the floor dry out for several days before the sealer could be applied, this is especially relevant in the winter months when the water tables are high and thus a longer time is required for drying. Modern floors have a damp proof membrane so drying out can take twelve hours or less.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Garage Floor

When we returned to seal the floor we first checked the floor was suitably dry by checking for dampness using a damp meter. The readings were good so several coats of a breathable sealer called Tile Doctor Colour Grow which has a matt finish was applied. I should mention that Colour Grow has good VMT (Vapour Moisture Transmission) properties that will ensure any trapped moisture can rise up through the tile and sealer, it also lifts the colours of the clay and gives its a deeper hue, in fact its one of our most popular sealers for these tiles. Having good VMT properties also means that is , Also if efflorescence do come back, the sealer allows the substance to breathe through and you can just wash off the crystals with a wetted mop.

Lancaster Garage Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning

Last photo is of the car being parked in the garage by the owner, happy in the knowledge his prized possession is now living in a clean environment.

Lancaster Garage Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning

 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Lancashire

Removing Carpet Glue From An Old Victorian Tiled Hallway

This customer from Bedford, the county town of one of England’s smallest counties Bedfordshire, called me out because they have bought a house and, upon lifting the glued down carpet, had discovered a beautiful Victorian tiled floor. They decided to call me in to see if this original feature could be restored to its former glory having already tried household products to remove the glue and clean the tiles with limited success.

We often find customers who discover old tiles under carpet or linoleum struggle with the standard cleaning products available in supermarket which are only designed for everyday cleaning. The products Tile Doctor sells are far stronger; naturally however to achieve the best results it also helps if you have the right equipment, knowledge and experience and that where we come in.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Bedford

I popped round to take a look at the floor and having tackled quite a few of these restorations before was confident we could restore the floor so a quote was given and the work was booked in for the next week.

Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

My first course of action was to vacuum the floor to remove any loose debris. This gave me a better picture of the condition of the floor overall, and so I could assess how best to proceed. I opted for our tried and trusted method of applying a diluted solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a very reliable high alkaline cleaner suitable for all types of natural stone and tile. The solution was applied with a pump-up sprayer and left to dwell for 20 minutes to seep into the pores of the tile.

Victorian Tiled Floor During Cleaning Bedford

Next, I worked the solution into the tiles using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine and hand brushes. The resulting cleaning slurry was then rinsed off – and I found that this had removed most of the glue and surface dirt. There were a few stubborn deposits of glue remaining, but I was able to remove them by using hand brushes and scrapers in combination with Tile Doctor Remove and Go, which is as its name suggest can remove most things including old sealers, epoxy grout haze, urethane coatings, synthetic finishes, adhesives and event paint.

Even after this there were still some patches of glue, so I decided to spray the whole floor with Remove and Go and worked it into the stubborn areas with brushes. I left it to dwell for 15 minutes and then rinsed the floor with a wet pick-up extraction machine. This did the job and the floor was left fresh and clean, ready to be sealed once it had dried.

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

The floor was left to dry for several days, which is typically necessary for old tiled floors that don’t have a damp proof membrane installed. The customer wanted the floor to look traditional and therefore requested a matt finish. This was achieved by applying two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is also breathable thereby allowing any damp to evaporate as gases through the sealer, without affecting the finish.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning Bedford

As I previously mentioned, floors of this age can sometimes have damp issues, so this sealer is ideal for these older floors. Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer, meaning it penetrates the pores of the stone to fill them and prevent trapped dirt. It also intensifies the colours in the tiles to really bring them to life.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning Bedford

The customer was shocked and amazed by the great results as she thought nothing could be done to restore such an old floor. Before leaving the property, I gave her some maintenance instructions to help her keep the floor looking its best in the future. Another satisfied customer!

Source: Victorian Tile Renovation and Restoration Service in Bedfordshire

Neglected Victorian Hallway Tiles Restored in Gloucester

If you’ve even undertaken a property renovation, you’ll know that building works can take a very heavy toll on your floors if not properly protected. Not too long ago I was called to a house in Gloucester to see what could be done to restore the appearance of the tiles after the Victorian tiled hallway had been left in a sorry state following renovation work.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning and Repair in Gloucester

Upon arriving at the property, I also discovered that there was a row of tiles missing under one doorway. These would need to be replaced before any cleaning could take place. The renovation work had left very dirty and riddled with minerals salts and old grout smears.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning in Gloucester

If you have never been Gloucester it’s well worth a visit, dating back to the roman times it is in fact the country’s most inland port boasting some fantastic architecture include the historic docks and many period buildings.

Cleaning a Dirty Victorian Tiled Floor

Fortunately, I was quickly able to source matching replacements for the missing tiles to not disturb the original character of the floor. I took it upon myself to install these, fixing them in place and then grouting them.

While the grout on the new tiles was drying, I began the cleaning process using a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. This is a high alkaline cleaner which we use reliably on most types of natural stone, including Victorian, Quarry, Slate, and Sandstone. The product was mixed with a small amount of water, and the solution was worked into the tiles using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a heavy weight rotary machine. This dealt with most of the thick dirt and staining that had been left over by the builders.

The soiled cleaning solution was then rinsed away with water and extracted using a wet vacuum. After the first stage of cleaning, I washed the floor down with Tile Doctor Acid Gel, which is a blend of phosphoric and hydrochloric acid in gel form designed to remove any mineral salts and old grout smears.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

Once the cleaning process had been completed, I left the floor to dry overnight. Typically, it’s good to give a tiled floor at least 24 hours to dry in order to ensure no moisture was left over, because even the slightest quantity of moisture can cloud the sealer and damage its performance.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning and Repair in Gloucester

Once satisfied that the floor was completely dry I applied one coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is an impregnating sealer designed to enhance the natural colours in the stone. I then waited an hour this sealer to cure before applying four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which added the satin finish the customer had asked for.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning and Repair in Gloucester

The combination of sealers will provide the protection the floor needs and the customer will find it much easier to keep it clean in the future. The result was great and the customer was very happy indeed.
 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Renovation and Restoration Service in Gloucestershire

Victorian Tiles Found Under Hallway Carpet Refurbished in Bedford

When you discover an old Victorian tiled floor underneath carpet, the first question that will probably pop into your mind is: can it be restored?

The answer, in the majority of cases, is yes. In fact, Tile Doctor has completed hundreds of Victorian tiled floor restorations. Victorian tiles have a timeless quality about them and are still popular for residential use even in the twenty first century.

What you can usually expect upon lifting your carpet is for the tiles to be covered in carpet adhesives and grippers, as was the case with this particular example of a Victorian Tiles hallway floor at a property in Bedford. Sometimes you might also find paint splashes or other staining left over from decoration work. And, of course, the tiles will be dirty and in much need of a deep clean. These issues spoil the original appearance of the tiles, but with the right methods and products, a complete restoration can be achieved quickly and cost-effectively.

Victorian tiled floor Before Cleaning Bedford

My first task upon arriving at the proper was to carry out a site survey to address the condition of the tiles, before running a quick test clean on a small area of the floor. The result was good and so I was confident that I could achieve a high-quality restoration for the client.

Victorian tiled floor Before Cleaning Bedford

Cleaning Original Victorian Tiles

A quote was issued and accepted, and the work was booked in at a date that was convenient for the customer.

Returning to the property, my first course of action was to mix a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean, which is a powerful alkaline cleaner safe to use on natural stone, with hot water. This cleaning solution was sprayed along all edges of the floor loosen the glue securing the carpet grippers. I then successfully removed the adhesive carefully using handheld tools to avoid damaging any tiles.

Victorian tiled floor Before Cleaning Bedford

Once this was done, I applied Tile Doctor Remove and Go, scrubbing it into the tiles with a rotary machine. This product is designed to remove heavy soiling, paint splashes and old waxes and sealers. The soiled solution was then extracted using a wet vacuum and stubborn areas re-treated until I was satisfied the floor was clean.

The entire floor was then given a thorough rinse with water to remove any trace of cleaning products and extracted using a wet vax machine.

Sealing Original Victorian Tiles

The floor was allowed to dry for several days before I was able to return to seal the tiles. It’s always important to leave significant time for the floor to dry because any moisture left over can impact the performance of the sealer.

The choice of sealer was Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra, which provides robust protection against dirt and stains, with a light sheen finish. I chose this sealer not only because the customer wanted a light sheen finish, but also because this particular sealer is fully breathable. Dampness can sometimes be an issue with old Victorian and Quarry tiles which were installed before damp proof membranes became standard.

Victorian tiled floor After Cleaning Bedford Victorian tiled floor After Cleaning Bedford

The transformation achieved within the space of a week was quite incredible and the colours in the tile have really come through.
Another satisfied customer!

Victorian tiled floor After Cleaning Bedford

 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Renovation and Restoration Service in Bedfordshire

Old Victorian Hallway Tiles Refurbished in Cheshire

Victorian tiles are a product of the gothic revival that occurred during the reign of Queen Victoria, these tiles are typically colourful and patterned, taking influence from medieval designs. Many property owners in the 21st century understand the value original features such as these floors can have and have chosen to maintain these original tiles.

Restoring them however isn’t always an easy process and we often get asked to deep clean and seal these floors including the example below of a Victorian tiled hallway in the hallway of a grand house in Warrington where the old sealer had gradually worn off allowing the tiles beneath to become dirty and discoloured.

Warrington is an area in Cheshire that expanded and urbanised during the Industrial Revolution period of the 18th and 19th centuries, with its major industries including steel and textiles. This coincided with the growing prosperity of the town, and as people grew wealthier they were able to build fantastic houses with equally fantastic Victorian tiled floors.

Cleaning a Dirty Victorian Tiled Hallway

To begin the restoration, I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a high alkaline product, to both remove ingrained dirt and strip away any remaining old sealer that was still present on the tiles. It’s important to strip the floor of all old coatings and sealers to ensure optimum performance by the new sealer and also to avoid patchy results. The product was left to dwell on the floor for twenty minutes to break down the sealer and seep into the pores of the stone. I then scrubbed the tiles with a black pad and rotary machine to work the Pro-Clean deep into the tile.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Warrington

The resulting soiled cleaning solution was then removed using a wet vacuum machine and the floor was rinsed with water. There were a few stubborn areas that needed further work so these were spot treated using the same process and then followed this by neutralising anytrace of cleaning product on the tiles with a thorough rinse of water. I dried the tiles with the wet-vacuum once more before leaving them to dry out over the course of two days.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Warrington

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway

Upon my return to the property I sealed the Victorian tiles using a combination of sealers which we have found is the most effective method of sealing Victorian tiles. Firstly, I applied a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is a colour intensifying impregnating sealer that soaks into the tile and really lifts the colourful the Victorian designs. Secondly, I applied four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, which provides a durable low-sheen finish (as requested by the customer) and will protect against dirt and stains.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning Warrington

The customer was over the moon with the finished result. We love restoring these
original Victorian tiles because the transformations are truly in incredible. It’s easy to see why so many people want to have them maintained because they really add character to any property.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning Warrington

 
 
Source: Victorian Tile and Grout Cleaning and Restoration Service in Cheshire