Repair and Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Edgbaston, Birmingham

This homeowner in Edgbaston contacted me about a Victorian tiled floor they had found under the hallway carpet since moving into the property a couple of months ago. The floor was stained with paint splatters, adhesive and had loose and missing tiles. Original features such as Victorian floors can add a lot of value to a property so they wondered if it could look a lot better than its present state.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Edgbaston

I visited the property in Edgbaston which is a suburb of south Birmingham and best known for its Cricket ground which is home to the Warwickshire Cricket Club. I surveyed the floor and run a test clean on part of the floor to work out how best to clean it. The old Victorian tiles responded well to the treatment which impressed the homeowner and so the job was booked in.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Edgbaston

Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway

On the first day I cut and laid replacement tiles around the door threshold that I had sourced before starting the job. Then I reset some loose tiles and added some replacements on another threshold.

Victorian Tiled Hallway During Repair Edgbaston

The front door had been replaced in the last couple of years, but it had been moved outwards which exposed part of the inner doorstep at the end of the hallway. I suggested that it would look better with tiles running right up to the door, so I removed part of the concrete with an SDS drill and cold chisel to allow space for new tiles to be laid level with the existing floor. The tiles were set in place using a quick setting adhesive which allows for grouting after only a few hours.

Victorian Tiled Hallway During Repair Edgbaston

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway

The next day I returned to deep clean the floor first checking the repairs I had made the day before were now secure and had dried nicely. My next job was to remove the paint splashes which I did by carefully scraping the paint off the tiles along with any old adhesive.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Edgbaston Victorian Tiled Hallway During Restoration Edgbaston

Next, I covered the floor with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and allowed it to dwell on the floor for ten minutes. Then ran a 200-grit diamond pad over it which gets into the tiles pores and cleans them. The floor was then rinsed the floor with water and extracted the dirty slurry with a wet vacuum.

Final stage of the cleaning process was to give the floor an acid rinse using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which helps neutralise the floor after using Pro-Clean which is alkaline. It also dissolves any unwanted salts trapped in the tile that might rise to the surface later, a process commonly known as efflorescence. I then rinsed and extracted the floor again before leaving for the day.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The cleaning process had been quite intensive so I left the floor for a couple of days before returning so it could dry out completely. The floor had dried well so I set about applying a sealer to the floor.

I sealed the floor with six coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go extra which is a low sheen sealer which will protect the floor going forward. Seal and Go Extra also enhances the appearance of the tile adding colour and is also breathable so moisture can rise through the tile and not become trapped under the floor where it could cause problems. Using a breathable sealer is important for these old floors where no damp proof membrane exists under the floor.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Edgbaston Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Edgbaston

The floor now looked fantastic and the customer had said originally that she wasn’t keen on the floor, but by the end she said she loved it. Before leaving I left the customer a bottle of Neutral Tile Cleaner to help maintain the tiles appearance without affecting the sealer.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Edgbaston

 

Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Birmingham

Removing Staining from Small Victorian Floor in Ramsbottom

A customer from Ramsbottom contacted us to see if we were able to help with the renovation of a small section of Victorian tiling in their hallway. Another company had already tried to treat them chemically but without making any progress in removing the stains.

Stained Victorian Tiles Before Cleaning Ramsbottom

I visited the property to survey the problem tiles and recommend a way forward. In most cases we like to carry out a site visit to get an accurate idea of the problems before quoting for the work. Whilst there I ran a test clean on part of the tiles and slowly but surely, they responded to the treatment and they condition visibly improved. Impressed with the initial results I was asked to continue, fortunately my schedule was light that day, so I was able to work though without too much impact to my schedule.

Stained Victorian Tiles Before Cleaning Ramsbottom

Cleaning/Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

My initial thought for cleaning was to try using Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a cleaner and stripper which is safe to use on tiles and stone. The previous company had used a chemical product, but it wasn’t clear what they had used. Tile Doctor Remove and Go usually works well in these situations but it was clear my result would not have been enough of an improvement so a different solution would be needed.

Stained Victorian Tiles During Cleaning Ramsbottom Stained Victorian Tiles During Cleaning Ramsbottom

To resolve this, I tried hand-held abrasive diamond blocks, first 400-grit without improvement, then 200-grit without improvement, 100-grit no improvement and then eventually 50-grit and I started to see a result. It was clear only a very abrasive 50-grit pad would improve these tiles. It was a small area, so I set about using a combination of small coarse 50-grit pads and followed up with 100, 200 and 400-grit pads and blocks to remove scratches and renovate the tiles following the use of the very abrasive grits. The tiles were also rinsed repeatedly during this process to remove the slurry generated. The waste was extracted using the wet vacuum. It took forever to get the tiles clean, but the results were brilliant.

Stained Victorian Tiles During Cleaning Ramsbottom

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Once I was happy all the Victorian tiles were as clean as they could I gently speed dried them using a heat gun. The last step in restoring the tiles would be to apply a sealer and so it was important the tiles were dry first. Once I was happy the tiles were dry, they were sealed them with a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This is an impregnating sealer that protects from within by occupying the pores in the tile where dirt can become ingrained. The sealer gave the tiles a nice sheen without being too shiny, this product also allows the floor to breath, which is vital on a floor of this age where no damp proof membrane will have been installed. Whilst I was there I also did some work re-grouting the adjacent York Stone floor which was of a similar age and needed some TLC.

Stained Victorian Tiles After Cleaning Ramsbottom

The pictures really speak for themselves. The customer was beginning to think it couldn’t be done so I was glad to be able to get them in such a nice state, especially considering the previous company could not lift their appearance.

Stained Victorian Tiles After Cleaning Ramsbottom

The customer was very happy and left the following feedback.

“Kamila was a very professional and friendly person who has done an amazing job on my floor! Both cleaning and grouting! They look amazing!! I still have no idea how she managed it with little mess leaving the rooms clean and tidy! Thank you Kamila! I have already recommended her to friends!!”

 

Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning, Restoration and Sealing Service in Ramsbottom, South Lancashire

Black and Cream Victorian Tiled Hallway Repaired and Restored in Cumbria

This property located near the pretty market town of Ulverston was built in 1874 as inscribed on the front of the building. The Victorian Tiled floor comprised of Cream and Black tiles was original from when the house was built so that made the tiles at least 145 years old, in fact this was one of the oldest Victorian tiled floors I have ever worked on.

Cream Black Victorian Hallway Floor Tiles Before Restoration Ulverston

The floor was in good condition for its age but had experienced problems with broken and loose tiles around two of the door thresholds which is a common problem with floors of this age. Unfortunately, those tiles had been lost over the years and now the customer wanted this part of the floor rebuilding as part of the restoration. Fortunately, these tiles are still popular so finding suitable replacements wasn’t a big of a challenge as you might think.

Cream Black Victorian Hallway Floor Tiles Before Restoration Ulverston

I discussed with the client what needed to be done and after finding a suitable supplier for the replacement tiles was able to produce a quote which was accepted, and we agreed a price for the work.

Repairing a Cream and Black Victorian Hallway Floor

My first task was to rebuild the areas of broken and missing tiles. For the larger areas I mapped out a suitable pattern and set about cutting the replacement tiles to fit. A thick bed of flexible rapid set floor adhesive was applied to the floor and the replacement tiles bedded into the old cement base. Once the adhesive had hardened the tiles were grouted, cleaned-up and left to dry.

Cream Black Victorian Hallway Floor Tiles Before Restoration Ulverston

There were several areas that needed this treatment, so the work took some time to complete.

Cream Black Victorian Hallway Floor Tiles Before Restoration Ulverston

Cleaning/Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Returning the next day, I first checked that the replacement tiles had set and that there were no further problems that needed addressing. All was well so I began cleaning the floor using a 200-grit followed by a 400-grit Diamond pad fitted to a weighted buffing machine running at slow speed and lubricated with water. The floor was rinsed with water after each pad and then the soil extracted using a wet vacuum.

The floor was then given an acid wash using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up, which at this stage acts in two ways for these old floors:

1. The Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up product is made from Phosphoric Acid (not a brick Acid, which is a lot cheaper, more widely available but too strong for use on tile.) The acid we use works with us not against us and gives us time to change the pH of the floor to a slightly acidic pH. This is important on old floors like these where no damp proof membrane has been installed and it’s important to counter any alkaline salts in the floor which could lead to efflorescence later.
2. The sealer will bond to the surface a lot better when it has had this treatment and as a result you get a sharper cleaner finish.

Cream Black Victorian Hallway Floor Tiles Before Restoration Ulverston

Once done the floor was given another rinse and extraction with water and the wet vacuum and then left to dry out for a few days,

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

We returned as promised to seal the whole floor using a couple of coats of a breathable colour enhancing sealer called Tile Doctor Colour Grow. As you can see form the pictures this really brought the hallway floor to life. Colour Grow works from the inside by occupying the pores in the tile and will protect it from ingrained dirt staining going forward.

Cream Black Victorian Hallway Floor Tiles After Restoration Ulverston

It’s very important for a customer to use the correct cleaner after having there tiles cleaned and sealed professionally as using the wrong product can prematurely degrade the sealer. As a result, we recommend Tile Doctor Concentrated Neutral Tile Cleaner, its pH balanced and will not upset the sealer, thus getting maximum longevity out of the whole process.

Cream Black Victorian Hallway Floor Tiles After Restoration Ulverston

Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning, Restoration and Sealing Service in Ulverston, Cumbria

Classic Victorian Tiled Hallway Restoration in Coventry

This Victorian hallway floor laid with a Geometric pattern was discovered under Lino at a property in the Stoke area of Coventry. At some point in the past the tiled floor had been covered over with a self-levelling screed and then Karndean Vinyl which had since been removed. The floor was now looking a mess and the client wanted the Victorian floor restored and the hallway to look a lot more inviting!

Victorian Geometric Floor Stoke Coventry During Cleaning

The Stoke area of Coventry includes Stoke Park, Stoke Aldermoor, Stoke Heath, Copeswood, and Charterhouse. It has a long history and is well known for its contribution to the UK car manufacturing industry. I visited the property to survey the floor and run a small test clean to ensure we could get the residue from the floor. I was satisfied it could be successfully completed and we agreed a price for the work, they were happy to go ahead as soon as possible.

Cleaning a Victorian Geometric Tiled Hallway Floor

On day one I set about removing the screed which took two days using various coarse pads fitted to a buffing machine and then by hand with a scraper. It was exhausting work, some of the screed had bonded to the surface of the tiles and I had to hand grind it off.

Victorian Geometric Floor Stoke Coventry During Cleaning Victorian Geometric Floor Stoke Coventry During Cleaning

The floor was then deep cleaned with Tile Doctor Remove and Go which was scrubbed in with a very coarse 100-grit pad. The floor was rinsed and extracted several times to remove all the soil. Old floors like these don’t have a damp-proof membrane fitted so I was concerned about the possibility of efflorescent salts rising through the tiles once I had left. To counter this I gave the floor an acid rinse using Tile Doctor Acid Gel which was scrubbed into the floor and then rinsed off with water. I then left the floor for a few weeks to dry out and settle before returning to carry out the sealing process.

Sealing a Victorian Geometric Tiled Hallway Floor

When I returned the floor had dried out and the sealing could be carried out. I selected to use Tile Doctor Colour Grow which copes well with damp conditions which are a problem with old floors like these. The floor as you can see from the pictures was totally transformed. The colour really shone through, but the Tile Doctor Colour Grow had given it a lovely finish without being too shiny.

Victorian Geometric Floor Stoke Coventry After Cleaning

The client was over the moon with the finish, it was much better than they had expected. I arranged to return a few months later to check on the floor and I’m pleased to say it had responded well to the treatment. I was happy no damp issues had surfaced so I then added a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra.

Victorian Geometric Floor Stoke Coventry After Cleaning

 

Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning, Restoration and Sealing Service in Coventry, Warwickshire

Classic Victorian Tiled Hallway Restoration in Wellingborough

I recently visited a property in Wellingborough to survey their Victorian Hallway floor and work out the best method and products to restore it. The tiles were extremely dirty as the sealant had worn off allowing dirt to become ingrained. They had not been maintained for many years and there was evidence of adhesive which was due to a carpet being stuck down at some point in the past.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Wellingborough Before Restoration

To restore the Victorian floor, I would need to remove the glue and give the tiles a professional deep clean to extract the years of ground-in dirt and staining. Following this the tiles would need sealing in order to protect them going forward. After discussing the work in detail with the owner I sent over a quotation by email which was accepted, and a date arranged for work to commence.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Wellingborough Before Restoration

Restorative Cleaning of Victorian Hallway Tiles

On my return I applied a cocktail of Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel and Tile Doctor Nano-Tech HBU to the tiles. This creates a strong cleaning/coatings remover that would soften the embedded soiling and glue making it easier to remove. I left this to dwell on the floor for about an hour so it could break down the soil and adhesive. I then fitted a coarse 100-grit diamond pad to a rotary floor buffer and scrubbed the floor vacuuming up the resulting residue as I went along working in small sections of 2/3 metres at a time. I then repeated the process using a 200-grit pad, rinsing and extracting afterwards with water to remove the fine slurry this process generates.

Old floors like these were laid before the invention of the damp proof membrane which can result in moisture rising through the floor as it evaporates potentially leaving alkaline salt deposits on the surface. This process is known as Efflorescence and although I minimised the use of water during the cleaning process, I was concerned that this may still present a problem later. To neutralise any alkaline salts in the floor that could cause this problem my last action for the day was give the floor an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel.

Once this was done and extracted from the floor, I followed up with a further clean using Tile Doctor pH Neutral Tile Cleaner which was applied with a microfibre cloth. I left the floor to dry off overnight so it could be sealed the next day.

Sealing Restored Victorian Hallway Tiles

On day two I used a damp meter to check the moisture levels in the floor to ensure it had dried overnight. The results were good, so I set about applying the sealer. For this floor I decided to go with three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that as well as protecting the Victorian tiles form staining also enhances the colours in the tile. This sealer is also fully breathable so any moisture will be able to evaporate up through the tile and not get trapped under the floor where it could cause problems.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Wellingborough After Restoration

Before leaving I also discussed maintenance cleaning with the customer and left them a bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which is safe to use on sealed floors and will help keep the tiles looking at their best. It’s supplied in concentrated form so it should last them some time before they run out. The customer was very happy with the end results and has left positive comments on our website.

Very happy with the restoration of my Victorian tiled floor, cleaned, sealed and polished bringing it back to life. Phil was prompt to get back to me with any aftercare questions/queries/visits. Paula B, Wellingborough

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Wellingborough After Restoration

 

Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning, Restoration and Sealing Service in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire

Renovating Edwardian Hallway Tiles in Worcester

This customer bought an Edwardian property in Worcester and discovered a stained yet beautiful tiled period floor when removing the hallway carpet. They were delighted to find the tiles were in good physical condition but as you would expect the floor needed a thorough clean and then sealing to protect the tiles and improve the finish.

Edwardian Hallway Tiled Floor Before Clean and Seal
The property was well located, close to the city centre, River Severn and the stunning historic 12th century Worcester Cathedral. Neighbouring houses were of a similar age and it was lovely to see so many of them had retained their Edwardian tiled porchways. Naturally the new owners were keen to retain as many of the period features of the property as possible, and so over the moon to discover the original hallway.

Edwardian Hallway Tiled Floor Before Clean and Seal Edwardian Hallway Tiled Floor Before Clean and Seal

After popping round to survey the floor I discussed my plan for restoring the hallway and submitted a quote based on two days’ work. The quote was accepted, and the work was scheduled for later in the month.

Cleaning an Edwardian Tiled Hallway Floor

The first day was spent cleaning the floor, firstly removing the carpet glue which was quite heavy on the edges of the floor. I used Tile Doctor Remove and Go for this and ceramic hob scraper, sometimes the oddest tools are the best! I then sprayed more Tile Doctor Remove and Go on to the remaining tiles leaving it to dwell for ten minutes. Then working the solution into the tiles with a 200-grit diamond pad fitted to my rotary scrubber, I really started to make some progress.

The soil generated was extracted with a wet vacuum and I made a start on giving the floor an acid wash. For this I applied Tile Doctor Acid Gel and pasted it onto the floor again working the gel into the tiles. Tile Doctor Acid Gel is particularly useful for removing cement and grout smears. Also, there was some evidence of salt stains (Efflorescence), old floors like these don’t have a damp-proof membrane so it’s quite normal for moisture to rise through the tile.

I removed the slurry with a heavy duty wet and dry vacuum cleaner. Then as a final measure I used micro fibre cloths and some Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up to remove any remaining smears once the floor was clean. I left for the day allowing the floor to dry overnight and would return the following day to seal.

Sealing a Edwardian Tiled Hallway Floor

Returning the following morning, I first checked the floor with a moisture meter to ensure it had dried off fully overnight. The sealer I would use as agreed with the customer would be Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra. This is a topical fully breathable semi-gloss sealer and would give a nice light sheen and allow the colours in the tile to shine through. This sealer is fully breathable and would cope well with the light efflorescence issues the floor had experienced in the past.

Edwardian Hallway Tiled Floor After Clean and Seal Edwardian Hallway Tiled Floor After Clean and Seal

The moisture readings were fine, so I started to apply the first coat of sealer using micro fibre cloths. After allowing the required drying time between coats I started on the second coat. Leaving the right amount of time between coats is especially important in winter when drying takes longer. The floor was treated to five coats of sealer in total and the customer was very satisfied with the finish.

Edwardian Hallway Tiled Floor After Clean and Seal
 

Source: Edwardian Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Worcester, Worcestershire

Cleaning and Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Girton, Cambridge

The owner of this Victorian tiled hallway floor at a house in the village of Girton was unhappy with its condition and asked if we could call round and quote for having it deep cleaned and resealed. Girton is just north of Cambridge and only about six miles from our base so it wasn’t long before I was able to call in and survey the floor.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Girton

The floor was comprised of a combination of Red, Black and Cream tiles laid in a diamond pattern. The tiles were in good physical condition and I understand from the owner that it had been last cleaned and sealed about two years prior. Unfortunately, the sealer had now faded and had allowed dirt to become trapped in the pores of the tile giving it a grubby appearance that was difficult to clean effectively. The owner had two large dogs which I suspect contributed to the premature degradation of the sealer.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Girton Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Girton

I surveyed the floor, created a quote which was accepted and then agreed a date to return and renovate the floor.

Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

On my return I started by taping up the skirting boards and other woodwork with protective tape. Once that was done, I gave the tiles a soak in a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which was allowed to dwell for ten minutes before being scrubbed in using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor buffer. Remove and Go is a coatings remover which cleans the tiles and removes any remaining sealer.

The soil generated was extracted off the floor using a wet vacuum and the tiles inspected. The tiles had responded well to the cleaning process and after spot treating a few areas with a repeat of the previous process it was ready for the next stage which was to give the floor an acid wash.

I had noticed there was a slight build-up of efflorescence along one of the walls which isn’t unusual on these old floors where no damp proof membrane has been installed under the floor. It’s caused by moisture rising through the tile and depositing white salt staining on the surface as it evaporates. To resolve this, we neutralise the salts by giving the floor a quick rinse in a dilution of Grout Clean-up.

The Grout Clean-Up rinsed off the floor with water and extracted with the wet vacuum which was employed to get the floor as dry as possible before leaving for the evening.

Sealing Victorian Hallway Tiles

The floor was left to dry off fully overnight and I returned the next day, unfortunately after checking the moisture levels I found it needed more drying time, so I agreed to come back the next day.

The moisture levels were fine on day three, so I applied multiple coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go. Seal and Go is a water-based product so you don’t get left with a smell as it dries. As well as protecting the tiles the sealer also adds a nice subtle sheen that works well on Victorian Tiles and has put new life into the tiled hallway.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Girton Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Girton

Seal and Go is a breathable sealer so it will allow moisture to rise up through the tiles however had the efflorescence problem had been worse I would have used a different sealer. On this occasion however the problem appeared to be historical rather than recent.

My client was very happy with the transformation and left the following feedback.

“We are delighted with our Victorian tiled hall floor after treatment by Tom from Tile Doctor. A very professional service. Good communication throughout, and dedication to ensuring our full satisfaction; not a ways obvious when dealing with old tiles with different levels of porosity! Thank You!”

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Girton

 

Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Girton, Cambridge

Rebuilding a Damaged Victorian Tiled Hallway in Epsom

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

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Before Rebuild in Epsom

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

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

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

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

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

Rebuilding a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor During Rebuild in Epsom

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

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor During Rebuild in Epsom

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

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

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

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

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

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

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Rebuild in Epsom

 

Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Epsom Surrey

Repair and Renovation of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Doncaster

This beautiful Victorian tiled hallway was in desperate need of some TLC. The house had recently changed hands and the new owners of the house were having the entire property renovated. The last part of the renovation plan was to have the Victorian hallway tiles restoring back to their former glory. Floors are always best left until last, especially hallways as last as workmen don’t usually take a lot of care in my experience.

The house was built in the early 1900’s and was situated close to Doncaster town centre a couple of streets away in fact from the famous Doncaster Racecourse which dates to the late 1500’s.

Victorian Hallway Tiles Before Renovation Doncaster

Cleaning/Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

There were a few areas of damage to the floor that would need dealing with first. This is not surprising given the age of the floor which must have seen a lot of comings and goings over the years. Our first task therefore was to repair the damage using replica tiles sourced to be as close a match to the originals as possible. We usually find any slight differences disappear once the floor has been deep cleaned and sealed. Once removing the damaged tile and cleaning the base we use a fast setting adhesive to fix the replacement tiles in place so we can get on with the cleaning as soon as possible.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Repair Doncaster

Once the replacement tiles had set, we unloaded our slow speed rotary floor machine and large wet vacuum which would be used during the cleaning. To start the cleaning the floor was sprayed with Tile Doctor Remove & Go and this was left to dwell on the tiles for twenty minutes. This gives time for the product to break down old floor coatings and grime, this was followed by scrubbing the tiles with a 200-grit diamond pad fitted to the floor machine and assisted with the addition of more water to help lubricate the process. This process generates a lot of slurry as the dirt and old sealers etc are released from the tiles and this is extracted from the surface of the floor using the wet vacuum.

The next step was to give the floor an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel which is applied to the tiles and left to dwell for fifteen minutes and scrubbed in again with the floor buffer and 200-grit diamond pad. Once done the floor was rinsed with water and then dried using the wet vacuum to extract as much moisture as possible. This last process is designed to counter any alkaline salts that may be present in the floor which may cause efflorescence to appear later. It also removes old mineral deposits and generally get the tiles looking much brighter. Once complete the floor was left to dry off naturally overnight.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I came back the next day to seal the tiles first checking the floor was dry using a moisture meter. Satisfied that the floor was ready for sealing I started to seal the tiles using multiple coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra which is a fully breathable sealer which is important for old floors like this. Seal and Go Extra also leaves a lovely satin finish which works well on Victorian tiles and brings the floor alive.

Victorian Hallway Tiles After Renovation Doncaster

This was the last step in this properties renovation, and I think you will agree that the floor responded really well to the restoration process and the colours in the tiles are now very vibrant.

 

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

Full Restoration of a Victorian Manor House Floor in Lancashire

Earlier this year we had the privilege to be involved in the restoration of a large Victorian tiled hall at Stone Cross Manor in Ulverston which is being sympathetically redeveloped into nineteen apartments by Persimmon Homes at a reported cost of £4 million. The magnificent Grade II-listed stately home was built in 1874 for Myles Kennedy who was a Limestone Quarry owner and chairman of an Ironworks.

The property continued to be occupied by the Kennedy family until 1943 when it was requisitioned by the military who then sold it to Lancashire County Council in 1946. The council used it as a boarding school for some decades and allegedly had the central oak staircase removed so the hall could be used to play indoor football. Since that time, it has had different owners and states of disrepair until finally being acquired by Persimmon who contacted us to quote for restoring the floor to its former glory. This would be no easy task and would require plenty of help. However, we are a resourceful bunch and being part of a large network of Tile Doctors means we were able to draft in other Tile Doctors to assist.

Stone Cross Manor Ulverston

Before we took the job on, I went over to survey the floor and was immediately taken aback by the sheer size and scale of the project. The impressive Victorian hall has now had its large wooden staircase rebuilt and this sits in the centre of a series of architectural stone columns.

The floor was in a sorry state though and it certainly had a story to tell. At some point in its long history sections of the beautiful Victorian tiles had been cut out for the installation of central heating and then back filled with cement. There were also other areas that had been given the same treatment for some inexplicable reason. I suspect that the floor must have been covered in carpet during its later life to hide the mess.

Victorian Tiled Stone Cross Manor Hall Before Restoration Victorian Tiled Stone Cross Manor Hall Before Restoration

The biggest problem was the realisation that with so many tiles missing the only way we could get exact duplicates would be to have them made by a company such as Craven and Dunhill. They are specialist tile manufacturer who date back to 1872 and can reproduce old tiles using the same tones and colours to match the originals. This was a high spec job, so this was the right approach however the price for the moulds and the time needed to manufacture threatened to push the cost of renovating the floor off the scale.

Victorian Tiled Stone Cross Manor Hall Before Restoration

We discussed this with the developer and manged to come to a compromise by reusing tiles from another room in the property. Many of the tiles in that room had been damaged and were beyond restoration however there were enough tiles in good condition to fulfil our requirements in the main hall. They would have to be carefully lifted and cleaned but the tiles matched the colour and tone, size and texture to the main hallway perfectly. When you look at the before and after pictures on this page you will really struggle to see any difference and this is rare on old floor like this, the only exception being the black tiles underneath the radiators where a matching tone wasn’t available.

Rebuilding a Large Victorian Tiled Floor

The first week was spent lifting and replacing broken tiles, it was a large floor area of about 120m2 which was set to be the main showpiece of the building, so it had to be right. As part of the floor prep it was also necessary to level parts of the floor with the application of a a self-levelling compound. We brought in Cardiff Tile Doctor Julian Iaconno to run this part of the job, he is an absolute master tiler and one of the best Victorian Tile installers in the country. At one point there was three of us working on the floor in order to keep to schedule.

Victorian Tiled Stone Cross Manor Hall During Restoration Victorian Tiled Stone Cross Manor Hall During Restoration

Deep Cleaning a Large Victorian Tiled Floor

The second week was spent cleaning the floor various Diamond burnishing pads, moving though increasingly finer girts until we achieved the desired finish. We also used a lot of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up and Pro-clean to remove the old grout and dirt from the recycled tiles. As is always the case on a building site you get a lot of tradesmen who like to have a look at what we have done and walk all over our nice clean tiles, thus leaving dusty footprints everywhere. I must give credit to the Site Foreman for keeping these guys out although best intentioned they weren’t helping with the cleaning process, so all doors were locked off and access was limited to the site foreman and Tile Doctor only.

Victorian Tiled Stone Cross Manor Hall During Restoration Victorian Tiled Stone Cross Manor Hall During Restoration

Sealing a Large Victorian Tiled Floor

Victorian Tiled Floor Stone Cross Manor Hall After Restoration Victorian Tiled Floor Stone Cross Manor Hall After Restoration

We applied a Matt finish sealer called Colour Grow, which copes very well with potential damp issues that can cause problems with old floors with no damp proof course, it’s also excellent at bringing out the colour of Tiles whether Clay or Stone. Four coats of Colour Grow were applied to the Victorian tiles and being such a large floor area, it took a few days to fully seal the floor.

Victorian Tiled Floor Stone Cross Manor Hall After Restoration Victorian Tiled Stone Cross Manor Hall After Restoration

We cannot praise Persimmon enough for the dedication they have shown in the restoration of this historic property which has had a chequered past and will now have a long future.

 

Source: Victorian Listed Building Floor Restoration Service in Lancashire

Deep Cleaning Dull Victorian Hallway Tiles in Newport

I was contacted by a professional couple who were despairing over the state of their Victorian tiled hallway floor which was dull and uninviting. The property was in Newport which is on the south east side of Wales around twelve miles east of the bustling city of Cardiff.

I went over to visit the property which was a beautiful Victorian period terrace house nestled amongst other properties of a similar age properties. The couple wanted their Victorian hallway floor to be brought back to life, so I demonstrated the cleaning process I intended to use on a small part of the floor. Immediately it had the desired effect and the floor looked much cleaner. I could see that there were no structural issues with the floor and the test clean proved it was just ingrained dirt that was the problem. The clients were happy with the result of the demonstration and subsequent quote, so we arranged a suitable date to come back and complete the work.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Newport Gwent

Cleaning/Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

When I arrived, I started by protecting the skirting boards with tape and then set about giving the Victorian tiles a deep clean. I applied a combination of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and Remove and Go leaving it to dwell for a short time to allow the products to soak into the pores of the tiles and start breaking down the ingrained dirt. After about ten minutes I scrubbed the floor with black scrubbing pad attached to a rotary floor buffer which released the years of grime and dirt. The floor was then rinsed with water and the soil removed using a wet vacuum. I repeated the process to ensure the floor was as clean as possible.

A further inspection of the Victorian tiles revealed a few stubborn marks which were dealt with using handheld diamond burnishing blocks. These are also handy for getting into the corners of the floor which were difficult to reach with the rotary machine. The floor was then left overnight to dry out.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The following day I returned, and I checked the floor was dry using a moisture meter to ensure it was dry. Once I was happy, I started to seal the floor with Tile Doctor Seal & Go which is a water-based sealer that works well on Victorian tiles. Several coats were applied building up layers to produce a stunning satin finish.

Once I had finished the floor was looking so much cleaner and brighter and the addition of the sealer will protect the floor from dirt and keep it looking good for some time to come. My clients were over the moon with the floor!

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning and Sealing Newport Gwent

For aftercare I recommend Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner, which unlike the stronger products you find in supermarkets is ideal for cleaning sealed floors and will ensure the sealer stays in good condition.

 

Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in Newport, Monmouthshire

Damaged Victorian Tiled Hallway Repaired and Restored in Edinburgh

These are a few photos from a Victorian tiled hallway we restored in Edinburgh. The property is close to the beautiful city centre and is in a road with other Victorian properties. The floor was once stunning but was now overdue some love and care to restore it back to its’ former self.

Victorian Tiled Entrance Edinburgh Before Restoration

We went over to the property first to survey the floor and see for ourselves the extent of the work required before quoting for the restoration. The floor was incredibly dirty and there were a number of broken tiles that would need to be replaced or repaired. There are handful of companies where you can source matching tiles but with a floor of this age its not always possible. We discussed with the client the process we would follow to restore the floor which would take three days and agreed a price and date for the work. We also took away with us some of the broken tiles to assist in tracking down matching replacements.

Victorian Tiled Entrance Edinburgh Before Restoration

Restoring a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

We arrived on the first day and started by taping up the adjacent woodwork to protect it. The next step was to ensure the floor was completely sound before starting the cleaning process which meant dealing with the loose and broken tiles. The loose and broken tiles were removed and then replaced with new reproduction Victorian tiles that we had managed to source from Original Style. The tiles were cut to fit and then set into the floor with tile adhesive. Unfortunately, we were unable to source a replacement for a broken center pattern tile which had an intricate pattern, so we had to secure this back in place using the two broken pieces. With the tiling work completed there was nothing else we could do so we left to allow the adhesive to set.

Victorian Tiled Entrance Edinburgh Before Restoration

Returning the following day, we began the cleaning process using a set of coarse burnishing pads fitted to a rotary machine. 100, 200 and then a 400-grit burnishing pad was applied in sequence. Then after going over the floor a few times with the pads the floor was rinsed with water which was then extracted with a vet vacuum to remove the fine slurry that was generated. This process ground off the dirt and refined the surface of the tile ensuring the old and new tiles made a perfect match.

The next step was to give the floor an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel which is scrubbed into the tiles and then rinsed off and extracted as before. This allowed us to get the tiles as clean as possible without the need of any alkaline cleaning products which can cause efflorescence issues later when the floor dries. Efflorescence is a common problem on floors of this age where a damp-proof membrane has not been fitted; moisture rises through the sub floor and tile carrying salts which then get deposited on the surface of the tile as the moisture evaporates. Once complete the floor was left to dry off overnight in readiness for sealing process the next day.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

On the final third day we returned to seal the floor testing the moisture level first with a damp meter to ensure the floor was dry. The results were positive, and I was happy that it was within the correct tolerance for the sealer to be effective. To seal the floor, we used Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra, applying 5 coats and letting each coat dry before applying the next.

Victorian Tiled Entrance Edinburgh After Restoration

The sealer gave enhanced the look of the floor leaving a hardwearing sheen surface which will protect the tiles will also make them easy to clean going forward. This sealer is also fully breathable which is perfect for a floor with no damp-proof membrane in that it won’t trap moisture under the tiles where is could eventually spread to the walls and lead to rising damp.

The client was very happy with the restored floor, the colours were now very vibrant, and the dull entrance hall had been transformed to an inviting space.

Victorian Tiled Entrance Edinburgh After Restoration

 

Source: Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Edinburgh

Old Victorian Floor Tiles Renovated at Listed Church in Rushock, Worcestershire

I recently completed a Victorian floor restoration at St Michaels Church in Rushock which is a very small village in Worcestershire in the Wyre Forest District. The church is a listed building that dates to 1758 however I suspect the floor was installed in 1872 when the building was subject to a major restoration. Interestingly its most famous as the resting place of Jon Bonham from Led Zeppelin who is regarded as one of most influential rock drummers in history.

I was contacted by the church as the floor had become dull and the floor was experiencing efflorescent salt issues. The chairman of Rushock church was unhappy with its appearance and was keen to have it restored to ensure the church looked it’s best for the residents and the churches parishioner’s.

I completed the inspection of this beautiful church and as you can see from the pictures why the chairman was so keen to have the floor renovated. Confident we could significantly improve the floors appearance and restore the feature aisle for them I costed out a plan for the work.

Victorian Floor Before Cleaning St Michaels Church Rushock Victorian Floor Before Cleaning St Michaels Church Rushock

The quote was accepted, and we arranged a mutually convenient date to fit round their service schedule. An extra pair of hands would be required to meet their schedule, so I arranged to work on this floor with the Warwickshire Tile Doctor Mick Gayton. Mick has a wealth of knowledge and experience and we often team up on bigger projects. With over sixty Tile Doctors in the UK it’s hugely helpful to have a network of Tile Doctors you can call upon when you need extra help.

Cleaning and Restoring a Church Tiled Floor

The first day was spent cleaning the floor both by hand and with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad paying particular attention to the salt issues. Tile Doctor Remove and Go was applied first to tackle the dirt and remove what remained of the previous sealer. This was then rinsed off the floor and the soil extracted using a wet vacuum.

We then treated the floor to an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel, this was applied to the floor and left to dwell for a short time before more scrubbing in with the rotary machine. This made short work of cleaning the salt minerals and grout haze, it would also neutralise any alkaline salts inherent in the tile that could cause problems later. The wet vacuum was employed again to remove the resultant slurry.

We also used a steam cleaner on some of the stubborn areas where the dirt had been ingrained for some time! Once we were happy the floor was clean, we left the floor to dry off overnight.

Sealing a Church Tiled Floor

We returned the next day and got to work on some areas where the grout had perished, replacing as needed with a matching flexible grout. Once the grout had dries and any haze polished off the tiles the floor was ready for the application of a protective sealer.

The sealer chosen was Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating colour enhancing product that works by occupying the pores in the tile preventing dirt from becoming lodges in there. This sealer is also fully breathable which is an essential feature for old floors that were laid without a damp proof membrane. Using a non-breathable sealer would trap moisture under the floor where it can spread to the walls resulting in rising damp. Four coats of Colour Grow were required in total and the colour enhancing nature of the product really brought out the colours in the tile restoring it to its original condition.

Victorian Floor After Cleaning St Michaels Church Rushock Victorian Floor After Cleaning St Michaels Church Rushock

The chairman was extremely satisfied with the restored floor and he was sure the parishioners would be to.

 

Source: Victorian Floor Cleaning and Sealing Service in Rushock, Worcestershire

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

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

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

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Kings Lynn

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

Cleaning a Victorian tiled floor

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

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

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

Sealing a Victorian tiled floor

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

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Kings Lynn

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

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

 

Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Kings Lynn

Restoring a Carpet Covered Tiled Hallway at a Victorian Property in Glasgow’s West End

I thought you might be interested in these pictures of a tile restoration that we carried out in the hallway of a victorian property in the West End of Glasgow. Glasgow is actually the most populated city in Scotland and the third biggest by population in the whole of the UK so naturally a busy location for us.

The floor had been previously covered in carpet and as a result was stained with adhesive and paint splashes. We popped in to do a site visit, so we could survey the floor and see for ourselves the condition of the floor. Although not in great shape, I was happy that the overall floor was in good physical condition and could be restored with the help the products and methods.

Victorian Hallway Floor Before Cleaning Glasgow West End

I discussed with the client the process involved and the costs to put it right. They were happy to accept my quote and we booked the job in for later in the month. The job would take two days to complete, one day to clean and a further day to seal the floor.

Victorian Hallway Floor Before Cleaning Glasgow West End

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The first job was to clear the floor of the wooden carpet gripper by carefully chipping it off the floor. This took a bit of time and we had to be careful not to damage the floor further.

Next, we started on deep cleaning the floor by applying Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel. This is a strong alkaline based cleaner and degreaser in gel form, its great for when a long dwell time is required to break down dirt, grime, acrylic sealers, stains and oil-based products and waxes.

We left the Oxy-Gel to dwell for twenty to thirty minutes to ensure it got to work on breaking down the layers. It was then worked into the tile using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine with the slurry rinsed off the floor and extracted with a wet vacuum. This process was carried out a few times to get the floor as clean as possible could before we gave a final scrub and rinse with Tile Doctor Acid Gel to combat any efflorescence issues that can occur on these old floors that do not have a damp proof membrane.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I returned the following day to seal the floor checking first that it had dried using a damp meter. Once I was satisfied, four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra were applied to the tiles to give the sheen finish asked for by the client. This process takes longer that you might think as you have to wait for the first coat to dry before applying the next and naturally this can vary depending on the conditions.

I chose Seal and Go Extra as these Victorian properties were built before the invention of damp-proof membranes so you need to use a fully breathable sealer that will allow dampness to rise through the tile and evaporate. Use of a non-breathable sealer can lead to damp becoming trapped under the floor which can spread into the walls leading to rising damp. The sealer will protect the tiles and make it much easier to clean going forward, additionally it enhances the appearance of the tile leaving a sheen finish which allows the vivid colours to shine through.

Victorian Hallway Floor After Sealing Glasgow West End

The client was very happy with the floor and quite amazed with the before and after shots, they had not expected the results to be as good. They would now be able to easily keep the floor clean and looking good for any visitors.

Victorian Hallway Floor After Cleaning Glasgow West End

 

Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Glasgow

Five Year Clean and Seal of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Headingley, Leeds

I recently re-visited a Victorian period property in the Leeds suburb of Headingley which had an unusually large tiled entrance hall which we believe to be as old as the property itself. I say re-visited as I actually gave this floor a deep clean and reseal around five years ago; it’s always nice to be asked to return to a job as it shows the customers was very happy with the work. However, with five years of wear and tear the sealer had worn down and the floor was now starting to trap dirt, also it had lost the attractive shine added by the sealer and the owner felt it was time to have it done again. Additionally, the owner had recently had the whole house decorated and wanted the floor to look its best and match the fresh appearance of the property.

Large Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Sealing Headingley

Sealers do wear off with use and so it is inevitable that the tiles will need to be cleaned and sealed again with time. Given it hadn’t had a professional clean and seal for five years the floor wasn’t looking too bad as you can see from the picture, it was just a bit dull in the high traffic areas such as along the centre. I’ve certainly seen a lot worse.

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Initially I wasn’t 100% sure on which cleaning method l was going to use on this floor. Originally l thought about using a coarse 200-grit burnishing pad to take off a couple of layers of sealer and then re-apply 2 more coats. However, the finish on the floor wasn’t even across the width of the hallway and l felt using that approach wouldn’t resolve that. Additionally, a lot of tiles were pitted and a burnishing pad would struggle to get into the holes. So instead I decided to completely strip the floor and re-seal it which would ensure a uniform finish across the floor.

I used a strong 50:50 dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean on the tiles and scrubbed it in with a black floor pad which removed the old sealer and ingrained dirt. The large floor pads are not very effective in the corners and edges, so I used a 6-inch red buffing pad fitted to a hand buffer for those. The floor was rinsed with water and the soil extracted using a wet vacuum. After inspecting the floor some areas were retreated with a repeat of the same process.
After a final rinse and extraction of the soiled water the floor was left to dry overnight.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The next day after first checking the floor was dry with a damp meter it was sealed with four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go. This is a water based sealer that gives a lovely sheen and allows the colours to shine through as well as letting the floor breath, which is important in properties of this age that usually do not have a damp proof membrane.

I was very pleased with the finished result as the pictures show and glad that l had chosen to do a deep clean and not just apply more coats of sealer. The client was over the moon.

Large Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Sealing Headingley

 

Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Headingley, Leeds

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

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

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

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

Deep Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

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

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

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

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

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

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

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

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

 

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

Paint and Glue Removed from a Chequered Victorian Tiled Floor in Oxford

You may recognise this Chequered Victorian tiled floor from other restorations that I’ve detailed on my website. This in fact is the third house I’ve worked on in the same small road in Oxford where hallway floors like these are a very common feature. In fact, I seem to get a lot of referrals from this area, which is always a pleasure, so I suspect word has got around the neighbourhood. The property sits close to the city centre, of course is famous for the University of Oxford, the oldest in the English-speaking world.

Chequered Victorian tiled hallway Floor Oxford Before Restoration

I visited the property to survey the floor and work out the best method and products to restore the Victorian tiles. The tiles were dotted in paint splashes from decorating and had previously been covered in carpet so there were gripper strips glued around the edges. All of which would need to be removed and then the floor would need a deep clean to remove the years of dirt and then finally it would need to be sealed to protect it going forward. After discussing the work in detail with the owner he was happy to accept my quote and we worked out a convenient date to do the work.

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

On my return I carefully prised off the carpet gripper so not to damage the tile. Then I applied a 50:50 mixture of Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel and Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU to the tiles. This creates a strong cleaning/coatings remover that would soften the paint and glue making it easier to remove. I left this to dwell on the floor for about an hour so it could break down the pint and adhesive. I then fitted a coarse 100-grit diamond pad to a rotary floor buffer and scrubbed the floor vacuuming up the resulting residue as I went along. I then repeated the process using a 200-grit pad and repeated the process.

I then spray buffed the floor using water and a 400-Grit burnishing pad followed by a 800-grit pad, rinsing and extracting afterwards with water to remove the fine slurry this process generates.

Old floors like these were laid before the invention of the damp proof membrane which can result in moisture rising through the floor as it evaporates potentially leaving alkaline salt deposits on the surface. This process is known as Efflorescence and although I minimised the use of water during the cleaning process, I was concerned that this may still present a problem later. To neutralise any alkaline salts in the floor that could cause this problem my last action for the day was give the floor an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel. Once this was done and extracted from the floor, I followed up with a further clean using Tile Doctor pH Neutral Tile Cleaner which was applied with a microfibre cloth. I left the floor to dry off overnight so it could be sealed the next day.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

On day two I checked the moisture level in the floor to ensure it had dried overnight. The results were good, so I set about applying the sealer. For this floor I decided to go with three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that as well as protecting the Victorian tiles form staining also enhances the black and white colours in the tile increasing the apparent contrast. This sealer is also fully breathable so any moisture will be able to evaporate up through the tile and not get trapped under the floor where it could eventually lead to rising damp in the walls.

Chequered Victorian tiled hallway Floor Oxford After Restoration

Before leaving I also discussed maintenance cleaning with the customer and left them a bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which is safe to use on sealed floors and will help keep the tiles looking at their best. It’s supplied in concentrated form so it should last them some time before they run out. The customer was very happy with the end result, she suggested I would be hearing from more neighbours very soon!

 

Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Oxford

Victorian Architect Watson Fothergill Tesserae Mosaic Floor Restored in Nottingham

Late last year we were awarded a contract to Repair and Restore a Tesserae Mosaic floor at prestigious property in the Lace Market area of Nottingham City Centre. The property was once Watson Fothergill’s office who is a famous Victorian architect who ran his business from the site in 1897 until 1912 when he retired. He designed over 100 Victorian & Edwardian buildings from 1864 mainly in Nottinghamshire and some further afield. They were mainly in the Gothic Revival and Old English Vernacular Style.

Tessera Mosaic Floor Restoration Waton Fothergill Building Lace Market Nottingham City Tessera Mosaic Floor Before Repair Lace Market Nottingham City

Inside the property is an Edwardian Tessera Mosaic Clay Floor on three small landing levels in the entrance & stairwell. Through historic building movement, inherent moisture issues, and a lorry crashing into the property a couple of years ago. The floor had developed structural movement cracks. This had resulted in sections of the tiles being raised or lowered and others becoming cracked, damaged and loose. Previous repairs to stabilise the damage had been carried before, but this has mainly involved just filling cracks.

Tessera Mosaic Floor Before Repair Lace Market Nottingham City Tessera Mosaic Floor Before Repair Lace Market Nottingham City

Repairing Edwardian Tesserae Mosaic Flooring

Repairing the damage to the floor was long and painstaking work which took three days. We started by removing the makeshift repairs and meticulously rebuilt the damaged areas replacing the damaged loose tiles, and levelling the floor were possible until it was back to a uniform appearance.

Tessera Mosaic Floor Before Repair Lace Market Nottingham City Tessera Mosaic Floor After Repair Lace Market Nottingham City

Once the repairs were complete, we carried out a low-moisture restorative cleaning process which took a further two days. The process involves using Tile Doctor Remove & Go coating and contamination removal product which is first sprayed onto the floor and left to dwell for ten minutes. The floor is then scrubbed with a set of Tile Doctor abrasive burnishing pads which level off the raised tiles and hone them to remove years of ingrained soiling. The resulting slurry is removed by vacuuming and lightly damp wiping with microfibres cloths to ensure the use of moisture was kept to a minimum. We use a low moisture cleaning system to minimise the risk of efflorescent salts appearing on the floor as it dries out; old floors are prone to this problem as they were installed without a damp proof membrane which is a relatively modern invention.

Sealing an Edwardian Tesserae Mosaic Floor

The building is being converted into accommodation and heating had not yet been installed when we carried out the work in December 2018. As a result, it was necessary to force dry the floor with portable heaters and air movers.

Only when we were happy the floor was dry did we apply a sealer. For this situation I used four coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing impregnating sealer that seeps into the pores of the clay tile protecting it from within. This restored colour to the tiles and being a fully breathable product will allow the floor to breath and pass moisture vapour from the sub floor. Again, this is a very important consideration due to the lack of a damp proof membrane, if moisture was trapped below the tile then it would slowly spread out towards the walls resulting in rising damp.

Tessera Mosaic Floor After Restoration Lace Market Nottingham City Tessera Mosaic Floor After Restoration Lace Market Nottingham City

 

Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire

Relaying and Renovating a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Hale Barns

We were contacted by an architect who was working on the redevelopment of a late Victorian property in Hale Barns, their client wanted to restore the property to its former glory and several internal changes meant reconfiguring the doorways on the ground floor. This in turn would impact the elegant Black and White Victorian tiled hallway floor and the request was for us to lift half the tiled floor and then replace it once the internal changes were complete.

Black White Victorian Hallway Floor Before Cleaning Hale Barns Black White Victorian Hallway Floor Before Restoration Hale Barns

Certainly, an interesting request and one we were happy to quote for. Hale Barns is an effluent part of Cheshire with a mixture of late Victorian and ultra-modern housing popular with footballers, so It’s refreshing to see a period property like this sympathetically restored instead of being demolished.

Lifting and Rebuilding a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The first part of the works involved removing the section of flooring that would be disrupted by the internal changes. Normally we would carefully cut out one tile so we can get a purchase on the remainder from underneath; however the floor had some loose tiles so it simply a question of lifting these then putting a flat plate under the rest and popping them up. I make it sound simple but doing it without damaging a tile takes patience.

Black White Victorian Hallway Floor During Tile Removal Hale Barns Black White Victorian Hallway Floor During Removal Hale Barns

The lifted tiles were stored in buckets containing a 4:1 dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and water. The tiles were left so soak for a couple of days to soften the adhesives, grout and dirt before being cleaned off and left to dry out.

Once the building work was completed, we were called back into rebuilt the Victorian floor taking into account the new door thresholds. The first job was to level the floor with fast drying self-levelling compound to provide a new sub-base for the tiles. This was left to dry overnight and the next day we started laying the floor back down with fast setting tile adhesive. Once the floor was laid, we left for the day, so it could set overnight.

Black White Victorian Hallway Floor During Restoration Hale Barns Black White Victorian Hallway Floor During Restoration Hale Barns

Lifting and Rebuilding a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Next day we checked the tiles were set before starting to clean with a set of abrasive burnishing pads which attach to a slow speed weighted rotary floor machine. We started with a very coarse 100-grit pad and use water to help lubricate the process, the resulting soil is then rinsed off and removed with a wet vacuum. Using exactly the same process we continue to further refine the tiles by working our way through ever finer grades of pads until we get to 1500-grit. The floor was then washed with Tile Doctor Acid Gel and this is left to soak into the tile before being washed off with water. Giving the floor an acid wash in this fashion helps clean the tile of old mineral deposits and also neutralises any alkaline salts in the floor which could cause problems later on, this is a common issue with old floors more commonly known as efflorescence. The floor was dried using the wet vacuum to remove as much moisture as possible before being left to dry off overnight.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

The next morning, I finished off the restoration of the floor with the application of a very fine 3000-grit burnishing pad which gave the floor a light sheen. This final pad is applied dry with only a little water sprayed onto the tile using a method we call a ‘Spray Burnish’.

The floor was then checked for moisture with a damp meter to make sure it was dry before sealing. All was well and two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer were applied to protect the floor going forward. Colour Grow is a fully breathable impregnating sealer that will enhance the colour of the black tiles and being breathable will cope well with any moisture rising through the floor. Once the sealer had dried fully the floor was buffed with the 3000-grit pad leaving a sheen as requested by the client.

Black White Victorian Hallway Floor After Cleaning Hale Barns Black White Victorian Hallway Floor After Sealing Hale Barns

The result was quite a transformation that was well received by the architect and their client.

 

Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Hale Barns, East-Cheshire

Maintenance Clean and Seal of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Evesham

It’s not just major restoration work we do at Tile Doctor, sometimes a simple clean and seal is all that is required and that was the case at this property in Evesham. This medieval market town lies within the Vale of Evesham and is encompassed by the River Avon. It is located between the larger towns of Worcester, Cheltenham and Stratford-upon-Avon.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Evesham

I was contacted by the owner and I arranged a visit to view their Victorian Hallway. The floor was in very good condition, but the previous sealer was now in-effective and the floor was dull and needed a good clean and seal. The colours were starting to fade, and it was due some attention. Sealers do wear off over time so if you have a similar floor to this it’s worth bearing that in mind. We discussed the work required and the cost involved, my quote was accepted, and the work scheduled.

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

On arrival I set up my equipment and covered any areas of carpet to protect from splashing during cleaning. I then used Tile Doctor Remove and Go spraying the product onto the floor allowing it to dwell for 10 minutes thus breaking down any sealers. This product is a non-flammable, multi-purpose stripper which works best when left to soak in for some time before scrubbing. This product is also great for drawing out ingrained stains and removing heavy grease build up.

The floor was then pasted with Tile Doctor Acid Gel which works to neutralise any alkaline salts in the tiles that can cause efflorescence later. This is a common issue with old floors which often do not have a damp proof membrane in place. I then went to work with my scrubbing machine and a black pad and worked the products into the tile. The resulting slurry was then rinsed off with water and removed with a wet vacuum.

I then went over the floor with microfibres and water to remove any remaining marks before leaving it to dry off overnight and ready for sealing.

Victorian Tiled Hallway During Cleaning Evesham

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I returned the following day and started by checking the floor was dry using a moisture meter. To seal the floor, I chose Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra which is a fully breathable semi- gloss sealer which made a huge difference to the floor. Choosing a fully breathable sealer is important for floors that don’t have a damp proof membrane as you want to encourage any dampness to rise through the tile and not get trapped underneath where it might spread into the walls.

The deep clean and new seal brought out the vibrant colours in the tiles which were now shining through enhances by the lovely sheen which customer was very pleased with.

For aftercare I left the customer with a bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which being concentrated goes a long way. Once diluted with water the product becomes completely pH neutral which unlike most household cleaners and washing up liquids which contain bleaches won’t prematurely degrade the sealer with use.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Sealing Evesham

 

Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Evesham, Worcestershire

Removing Carpet Glue from an Old Victorian Tiled Hallway in Sheffield

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

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Brincliffe House Nether Edge

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

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Brincliffe House Nether Edge

Removing Carpet Glue from an Old Victorian Tiled Floor

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

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

Victorian Tiled Hallway During Restoration Brincliffe House Nether Edge

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

Victorian Tiled Hallway During Restoration Brincliffe House Nether Edge

Sealing Victorian Hallway Tiles

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

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Brincliffe House Nether Edge

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

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Brincliffe House Nether Edge

 

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

Restoring a 200 Year Old Victorian Floor at Sutton Coldfield Vicarage, Staffordshire

This property in Sutton Coldfield dates to the early 1800s and was owned by the local church until recently. The property needed a lot of work and the new owners had asked me to restore the beautiful Victorian Tiled Flooring which I suspect was as old as the property itself. The property was in the process of a complete refurb when I first visited to survey the floor and so I recommended that they call me in to work on the floor when all the other work was complete. I find leaving the floor restoration until last is the best approach as tradesmen usually exacerbate the problem.

Old Victorian Tiled Floor Sutton Coldfield Vicarage Before Cleaning Old Victorian Tiled Floor Sutton Coldfield Vicarage Before Cleaning

Although incredibly dirty the Victorian Tiles were in good condition for their age, however there were some areas where tiles were missing or damaged and replacements would need to be sourced and fitted. Sourcing replacements is not usually a problem for Victorian Floors as there are a few companies such as the Vintage Floor Tile Company that still sell them due to their popularity. I also find you can pickup old tiles at restoration yards and eBay.

Old Victorian Tiled Floor Sutton Coldfield Vicarage Before Cleaning Old Victorian Tiled Floor Sutton Coldfield Vicarage Before Cleaning

Day 1 – Replacing Damaged Victorian Floor Tiles

On the first day I set about replacing the missing and broken tiles; I had taken photographs of the floor before hand and had plenty of time to source replacements. This process involves carefully removing the damaged tiles and scrapping out the subfloor to remove old adhesives and grout. This is followed by cutting the replacement tiles to size and fixing them in place using a flexible adhesive. If the subfloor has crumbled away, then this also needs cleaning out and building backup with cement to the right level before fixing the tiles. Needless to say, this is painstaking work and takes time to get right, in this case most of the day.

Day 2 – Deep Cleaning Victorian Floor Tiles

On the second day I set about giving the tiles a good deep clean using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which a very effective alkaline cleaning product that’s safe to use on tile, stone and grout.

The Pro-Clean was applied to the floor and then left to soak into the pores in the tile for about ten minutes before being scrubbed in using a rotary machine. The machine was fitted with a Polyscrub brush and run over the tiles at slow speed. This process worked well, and it wasn’t long before the cleaning solution had turned black with the dirt that had been released from the floor. The soiled solution was then extracted from the floor using a wet vacuum and the process repeated in areas that I felt could do with more work.

Old floors like these don’t have a damp proof membrane installed and can suffer from white alkaline salts being deposited on the surface of the tile and damp evaporates up through the tile as it dries. To counter this problem, I decided to follow up the cleaning by giving the tiles an acid wash using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up, not only does this neutralise the salts it also removes old grout smears and other mineral deposits from tiles making them much cleaner.

Old Victorian Tiled Floor Sutton Coldfield Vicarage During Cleaning

I scrubbed the product into the tiles using a deck brush and then rinsed it off with water and extracted with the wet vacuum. Being an Acid, we don’t recommend you leave it on the floor for too long.

Day 3 – Sealing Victorian floor Tiles

The next day I confirmed the floor had dried and then proceeded to apply five coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go Extra. This product is fully breathable and will cope well with any inherent damp issues that can cause problems in an old floor such as this, it also adds a nice shine to the tile as you can see in the photographs below.

Old Victorian Tiled Floor Sutton Coldfield Vicarage After Sealing

The final result was a huge transformation and my customer was very happy with the outcome and booked me in to seal the new flooring in the kitchen/utility and conservatory areas.

Old Victorian Tiled Floor Sutton Coldfield Vicarage After Sealing Old Victorian Tiled Floor Sutton Coldfield Vicarage After Sealing

 

Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Sutton Coldfield, Staffordshire

Old Tiled Hallway Restored at Victorian House in Erdington, Birmingham

This customer from the Birmingham suburb of Erdington contacted me about an old tiled floor they had discovered in the hallway of their Victorian house whilst doing some renovation work. The tiles were in quite a state with ingrained dirt, adhesive, paint and some tiles were loose and cracked. The floor was so bad they were considering scrapping it and contacted Tile Doctor as a last resort just in case we could do something with it.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Erdington Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Erdington

I went over to take a look and could see that as well as the problems reported to me over the phone that the tiles were also imprinted with what appeared to be the pattern of the underlay that must have covered the floor previously. Curiously there were some tiles by the front door which had what appeared to be holes drilled into them. There was also a porch area in front of the main entrance that needed renovating.

Victorian Tiled Porch Before Restoration Erdington

However, I have in fact seen floors in worse state that this one and was confident I could restore it. I worked out a quote for doing the work which was accepted, and the job was booked in for a future date.

Cleaning Original Victorian Tiles

My first task was to carefully scrape off as much of the paint and adhesive as possible using a sharp knife. Then it was cleaned with a 200-grit diamond pad fitted to a weighted rotary machine, this gets into the pores of the tiles which hang on to the dirt and loosens the grime and dirt, it also helps to grind off the pattern left by the rubber underlay. The pads struggle to get into the edges of the floor so that was cleaned by hand with diamond blocks. Once I was happy the floor the soil was rinsed off with water and then extracted with a wet vacuum.

Victorian Tiled Hallway During Restoration Erdington

Next, I gave the floor an acid rinse with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up scrubbed in with a 200-grit diamond pad again. This helped remove more dirt as well as helping to neutralize salt and mineral issues that may be present in the floor. This can be a big problem with old floors due to the lack of a damp proof membrane.

After rinsing and extracting again, I dried the floor off and went about resetting loose tiles and replacing some with replica tiles. These were grouted in along with other areas where the grout was loose and need of re-grouting.

Sealing Original Victorian Tiles

I left the floor to dry out thorough for a couple of day and then returned to seal the tiles first checking with a moisture meter that the floor was dry. We always ensure that floors are completely dry before sealing them as excess moisture can damage the performance of the sealer.

I found no evidence of dampness in the floor, so it was sealed with multiple coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which will add protection and works really well on old Victorian tiles where it adds a nice subtle sheen appearance. Also, being water based it doesn’t leave a smell as it dries. For the porch area which was partly open to the elements I used Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra which is a fully breathable sealer that will cope well with the damp conditions.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Erdington Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Erdington

The floor was unrecognisable from before and the customer was very happy with the transformation. Before leaving I left the customer with a bottle of Neutral pH tile cleaner that they can use going forward to help maintain the tiles appearance.

Victorian Tiled Porch After Restoration Erdington

 

Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Erdington, Surrey

Restoring a Black and White Chequered Victorian Tiled Hallway in Oxford

Our client got in touch to see if we could restore the appearance of her Victorian tiled hallway floor. The property was located on the outskirts of Oxford which as I’m sure your aware is a city that is steeped in history and most famous for its’ University, which is the oldest in the English-speaking world. The architecture in the city is magnificent, much of it dating back to Saxon times.

Chequered Victorian Hallway Floor Tile Before Restoration Oxford

When we arrived as you can see from the first picture, this floor had some missing tiles along the righthand edge which had been back filled with some sort of filler. Fortunately, I’ve done a quite few of these restorations before and knew where to source replacements that would match perfectly. It would be great to restore the floor and get the black and white chequers looking as they should. I discussed a plan to fully restore the floor with the client and agreed a price for the work to be done.

Cleaning/Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Our first step in the restoration of the floor was to cut out the filler from the floor and clean out the resulting hole so the replacement tiles could be inserted. We then carefully measured the holes and cut the replacement tiles to match. We then laid the tiles with fast curing tile adhesive, this completed the repair part of the restoration and we left the floor for the day, so the adhesive could set overnight.

Day two was phase two of the restoration plan which involved deep cleaning the floor using abrasive burnishing pads. We started with the application of a 100-grit diamond encrusted burnishing pad which was attached to a rotary floor machine and run over the floor with a small amount water to lubricate. The resulting soil was then rinsed off with water and then removed with a wet vacuum. We repeated the process with a whole series of burnishing pads with increasingly finer grades, they included 200, 400, 800 and 1500 grit pads to fully renovate and restore the surface. This process took the whole day and we finished with a 3000-grit pad which gave the floor a slight sheen, this last pad is applied dry with only a little water sprayed onto the tile.

This process deep cleans and refines the Victorian tiles to fully restore their appearance. It also has the benefit of using less water than a chemical cleaning process which is a big advantage on these old floors which were laid before the invention of damp proof membranes and excess moisture can result in the appearance of efflorescence salts as the floor dries.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The floor was again left overnight to dry out and we returned on the third day to seal the floor. The moisture level of the floor was tested first with a damp meter to ensure it was dry, adding sealer to a damp floor is not recommended as it can result in a patchy finish. All was so the Victorian tiles were sealed with a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This is a colour enhancing sealer that will enhance the contrast of the black and white chequered effect, it’s also fully breathable so will cope well with any moisture. Colour Grow leaves a matt effect to once it had fully dried the floor was buffed with a 3000-grit diamond pad to add a slight sheen to its appearance as requested by the client.

Chequered Victorian Hallway Floor Tile Before Restoration Oxford

The client was over the moon with the result and really pleased with the repair we had done, the floor looked as it should and they were now able to keep it nice and clean. A warm welcoming hallway now awaited their visitors.

 

Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Oxford

Original Craven Dunnill Victorian Tiled Hallway Renovated in Worcestershire

I received an enquiry for a clean and seal on this Victorian tiled floor in Worcester, so having spoken to the customer on the phone I arranged a time to make on-site visit to survey the floor and get a good look at the requirements, so I could advise on the cost.

On inspection I could see that not only was the floor pretty dirty, there was also an area of missing tiles. I managed to trace the tiles to Craven Dunnill a high-quality Victorian floor manufacturer based in nearby Bridgnorth that have been in business since 1872. Thankfully I knew I was able to source some more for them which would match nicely. The owner of the property was delighted to hear that not only would we clean the floor, but we could also source, supply and fit replacement tiles thus making the floor complete again.

Victorian Floor Before Restoration Worcester

After visiting the property, I sent the customer an accurate quote for the repairs and to clean and seal the hallway floor. They were happy with the price and my quote was accepted and a date arranged to complete the work.

Cleaning/Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

On arrival the first step was to set up my equipment including a rotary floor scrubber/polisher, a wet and dry vacuum and my tile cutter.

I started with the floor edges first as they are difficult for floor machines to get into effectively. The process involved spraying the edges with Tile Doctor Remove and Go and then scrubbing it in with a a handheld diamond burnishing block. I then sprayed the rest of the floor with more Remove and Go and left it to dwell for ten minutes. I then proceeded to work the product into the floor with the rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor During Cleaning Worcester

The floor was then rinsed with water and the soil extracted using a wet vacuum. My next step was to give the tiles an acid wash by scrubbing Tile Doctor Acid Gel into the floor effectively repeating the previous process. The Tile Doctor Acid Gel is especially effective on Victorian floor tiles to remove mineral salt deposits (efflorescence) and old grout smears. Once I was done the soil was rinsed off as before and extracted with a wet vacuum.

Once I was happy the floor was clean, I moved onto the repairs, carefully measuring and cutting the shapes and fixing the tiles into the gaps with rapid set adhesive. I then grouted the area and left the tiles and floor to dry for the rest of the day and would return the following day to seal.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor During Repair Worcester

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I returned the next day and after checking the floor was dry with a moisture meter, I started with sealing. The product I used was Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra, this is a fully breathable sealer with a semi-gloss finish which is ideal for old floors like these that won’t have a damp proof membrane installed. I worked the product into the floor leaving 30 minutes between coats and treated the floor to four coats before I was happy the floor was completely sealed.

Victorian Floor After Restoration Worcester

The customer was very happy with the finished floor and left some great feedback (see below) and has been asked by family and neighbours for our details.

“Very pleased with the result. Mark arrived on time every day and was sure to tidy away after himself, leaving no mess. Our Victorian tiled hallway now has a new lease of life and people are already asking who did it? I would have no hesitation in Recommending Mark.”

Victorian Floor After Restoration Worcester

 

Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Worcestershire

Restoration and Repair of Old Victorian Hallway Tiled Floor in Sheffield

I received a request to take a look at renovating this old Victorian tiled hallway at a ground floor flat in Sheffield. The home owners had recently bought the property and had uncovered the floor under an old carpet. They wondered if the floor was fixable and worth getting repaired, cleaned and sealed.

Victorian Floor Restoration Sheffield Before

The floor was in quite a serious state with patches of sunken areas which had been covered in a levelling compound. There were many cracked and loose tiles and there were a lot of stains, carpet glue and paint on the tiles. The home owner had done some research into the property and had found out that it was once used as Doctors surgery and the hallway had been the waiting room which would make sense as it had certainly seen a fair amount of wear over the years, especially around the door thresholds.

Victorian Floor Restoration Sheffield Before

Our client wanted the existing floor repairing, cleaning and sealing, ideally without replacing the cracked and sunken tiles. They were very keen to try and restore the floor as an original feature which I’m sure you will appreciate are very sought after. I discussed the work that would be needed and how we would proceed. They accepted the price for the work and worked out a date for the work to start.

Victorian Floor Restoration Sheffield Before

Cleaning/Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

We were able to commence work the following week and started by removing all the self-levelling compound that had been applied to the areas of sunken tiles. The tiles were also removed in these areas and a new sub floor created to lift the floor in-line with the rest of the hallway.

Victorian Floor Restoration Sheffield Chipping Away Self=Leveller Compound

The original tiles were then cleaned up and installed back in place. Nearly all the many loose tiles were removed and re fixed in place, unfortunately a few loose tiles were left as removing these would have caused more damage to the floor.

Victorian Floor Restoration Sheffield During Repair

There were many areas of discoloured and stained tiles so after the fixed areas of damage had been left to set overnight, we returned the next day to start on cleaning the tiles. To get the tiles clean we used a combination of Tile Doctor Remove & Go and Acid Gel agitated with a 17-inch 200 grit diamond burnishing pad fitted to a slow speed rotary floor polisher.

Victorian Floor Restoration Sheffield Cleaning with Acid Gel

Combined this created a powerful cleaner/stripping action that can remove sealers, epoxy grout haze, urethane coatings, synthetic finishes, glue adhesives and paints. The resulting slurry was removed with a wet vacuum and rinsed off thoroughly with water. The immediate result showed a marked improvement and you could now get a real impression of how beautiful the floor actually was.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The floor was left to dry overnight, and we returned the next day to complete the restoration with the application of a sealer. Beforehand he floor was tested with the moisture meter to ensure the it was fully dried. We then sealed the floor with three coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go Extra which is a full breathable sealer and gives the floor a nice satin finish. It’s important to use a breathable sealer on these old floors where no damp proof membrane has been installed otherwise moisture can become trapped under the floor and will find its way up the walls instead.

Victorian Floor Restoration Sheffield After Sealing with Seal and Go Extra

The floor looked fantastic, the client was very pleased, the natural pattern and beauty had been restored to its’ former glory.

Victorian Hallway Floor Sheffield After Restoration

 

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

Servants Entrance Porch Tiles Deep Cleaned in Liverpool

Cressington Parks is a 19th Century gated private estate built for wealthy merchants who needed easy access to the city of Liverpool. Cressington has been designated a conservation area with many examples of period street furniture including gas lamps, gates and railings along with all the period buildings. In fact, the streets have been used for many television and film sets.

As you can see from the picture below this small but impressively intricate Victorian Tiled floor was in need of some love and care after being covered in carpet for many years and we were asked to do the renovation. We have restored several period floors in the conversation area where we find the properties are popular with younger family’s buying the homes for restoration.

Victorian Tiled Porch Floor Before Cleaning Cressington

Cleaning/Repairing a Victorian Tiled Porch Floor

This particular floor was at the servants’ entrance to the main house and required deep cleaning and a few repairs to be carried out. Given the small size of the floor we were aiming to complete the job within a day by using low moisture cleaning techniques.

The first task was to remove as much of the old coatings which included carpet glue, paint and varnish using very sharp scrapers. Once this was done, we covered the floor with Tile Doctor Acid Gel. Being in gel form it’s very easy to control and means it will stay in in place where a liquid treatment would just run away. After leaving the gel to dwell for ten minutes, we used a slow speed buffing machine fitted with extra weight and a black scrubbing pad to work the product into the tiles. This now soiled gel was then rinsed off with a little water and extracted using a wet vacuum. When we use this cleaning method the acid gel cleans the floor and helps counter alkaline salts inherent in the floor.

Whilst the floor was drying, we turned our attention to the damaged tiles which we replaced with matching tiles that we had sourced earlier. It takes some time to do this as you need to scrape out the surrounding grout, lever out the broken tile and then scrape out the adhesive. The new tile is then set in place with rapid set adhesive and matching grout.

Once that had set the rest of the floor was encouraged to dry out faster with the use of heat guns for about twenty minutes before letting the floor cool down. At this stage the floor was looking much improved!

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Porch Floor

After a further twenty minutes we did a damp test using a damp meter to make sure the floor was ready for sealing. The minimal use of liquids and added heat had worked well and we were able to move on and seal the tiles starting with a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating fully breathable sealer that brings out the colour in the tile.

The first coat was left to dry for forty minutes before following with three coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra. This is also a breathable sealer and is ideal for situations where no damp proof membrane. The Sealer left the floor with a lovely sheen and the colourful tiles really shone through. The floor was back to its’ former glory.

Victorian Tiled Porch Floor After Cleaning Cressington

Our customer was over the moon and has asked us if we could return to restore the outside pathways, what better feedback can you get.

 

Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Liverpool

Victorian Tiled Office Hallway Restored in Birmingham

A property company contacted me regarding a large Victorian tiled hallway at their head office which dated from the late 1800’s. The floor had been neglected for some years and recent restoration to the building had taken its toll making the once glorious floor look very tired.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Tipton Before Restoration Victorian Tiled Hallway Tipton Before Restoration

I visited the property in Tipton located about halfway between Birmingham and Wolverhampton. I surveyed the floor and could see that the intricate patterns although dull and uninspiring at present would be truly stunning once restored and would create a real focal point for the building. I discussed with them what could be done to renovate the floor and the process needed.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Tipton Before Restoration

We agreed a price and a timescale, and the job was booked in. The only complication being the employees who I would need to work around so they were not unduly inconvenienced.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Tipton Before Restoration Victorian Tiled Hallway Tipton Before Restoration

Cleaning/Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

When I returned I started by focusing on deep cleaning the tiles. To do this the floor was given a coating of a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was left to dwell for ten minutes. To work the solution into the tiles I used a 200-grit diamond pad which was attached to a weighted rotary machine, this really got into the ingrained dirt in the pores of the tiles.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Tipton During Restoration

The floor was then thoroughly rinsed off with water and the soil extracted with a powerful Airflex wet vacuum. After this I inspected the floor and could see the tiles still needed more work, so the whole process was repeated the process until I was satisfied.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Tipton During Restoration

Given the age of the floor I highly doubted it was unlikely to be protected by a damp proof membrane, so I was concerned about efflorescence salts appearing as the floor dried. To counter this and to further clean the tiles I then applied Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up and again went over with the diamond pad. Being an acid-based product, it will neutralize any alkaline salts present in the floor and in the alkaline cleaning solution used earlier. The floor was rinsed off thoroughly afterwards and died as much as possible with the Airflex.

I then reset some loose tiles, one in particular was right by the front door and had been irritating the staff for years catching the door! They would definitely be pleased to see that problem resolved. Luckily there were no damaged tiles that needed replacing so it was just a repair needed. Some areas were also re-grouted with a matching grout. This immediately improved the look of the floor.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Tipton During Tile Repair Victorian Tiled Hallway Tipton During Tile Repair

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The floor was left to dry for a day, then I returned to apply a sealer which would protect it from dirt becoming ingrained. After checking the moisture levels were acceptable with a moisture meter, I sealed the floor firstly with a coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that enhances the natural colour in the tile. Once this was dry it was followed with multiple coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go, this works really well on Victorian tiles and gives the floor a lovely low sheen finish. Once finished the floor was restored back to its former and has given the building back is wow factor.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Tipton During Sealing

I left my client some Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner to maintain the floor with going forward. This is especially formulated for the regular cleaning of sealed tile and stone and will help maintain its’ delightful finish. The customer was very happy with the results and even called me next day to say that their customers were already making impressive comments about it when entering the building.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Tipton After Restoration Victorian Tiled Hallway Tipton After Restoration

 

Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Tipton, Birmingham

Repair and Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Great Paxton, Cambridgeshire

I was called out to a house in the Village of Great Paxton to quote for deep cleaning a sealing a Victorian tiled hallway floor, there was also a triangular cemented section at the bottom of the stairs that the owner wanted retiling to match.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Great Paxton Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning and Repair Great Paxton

Fortunately, the owner had discovered some spare tiles in the under-stair cupboard that would do the job; were not sure why this triangular section had been cemented in at some point in the past, but I was happy that the spare tiles would be enough to cover. My quote was accepted, and it wasn’t long before I was able to return to carry out the renovation.

Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I started by taping up the skirting boars and other woodwork with protective tape. Once that was done I removed the triangular section of cement at the foot of the stairs. I noticed that the sub floor consisted of rubble and sand so once removed I was able to lay a section of a damp prof membrane and then back filled with self-levelling compound.

Victorian Tiled Hallway During Cleaning and Repair Great Paxton

Once the levelling compound had dried I laid the tiles that the owner had found under the stairs continuing the black and red diamond pattern. I used a quick setting adhesive which enabled me to grout the tiles in before leaving for the day and leave it to set overnight.

Deep Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Day two was begun by inspecting the previous day’s work to make sure all was well with the tiling and then continuing the restoration of the floor. In general, the tiles were dirty and had white paint splashed from decorating and so were now looking dull and faded. To remove the ingrained dirt, I gave the tiles a soak in a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which was scrubbed in using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor buffer. This process did a good job of removing the dirt and softened the paint splashes which I was then able to carefully scrape off.

After rinsing the floor with water and extracting the soil with a wet vacuum I could see the tiles were much cleaner but needed more work to get the replacement section to blend better with the existing. To resolve this, I honed the surface of the tiles with a 100-grit and then 200-grit pad rinsing with water and extracting after each pad.

Sealing Victorian Hallway Tiles

The floor was left to dry off fully overnight and I returned the next day to apply a sealer that would add colour and protect the tiles going forward. Multiple coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go were applied which a water-based product that adds a nice subtle sheen to the floor which works well on Victorian Tiles and put new life into the tiles.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Great Paxton Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning and Repair Great Paxton

My customer was very happy with the transformation and left the following feedback.

“We are very pleased with the restoration of our Victorian tiles in the hallway. We are also very pleased with the service and quality of the works carried out.”

 

Source: Victorian Tile Repair and Restoration Service in Great Paxton, Cambridgeshire

Renovating a Victorian Tiled Hallway Without Water in Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire

I was asked to visit an old house from the Victorian era in Cleckheaton which is part of the West Yorkshire district of Kirklees and only 14 miles from my base in Oxenhope. The owners had bought the house last year and had been renovating it ever since. The last job was to sort out the Victorian tiled hallway that they knew from the previous owners had been covered by carpet for over 50 years.

Leaving the floor restoration until last was a sensible decision as the last thing you need is for a decorator to drip paint over your recently renovated floor. I could see the floor was in good physical condition but had layers of dirt, old sealant and of course paint splashes on it but after doing a test clean I knew that we could bring it back to life and return it to something like its former glory.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Renovation Cleckheaton Kirklees

The test clean is an important part of our survey as it gives the customer confidence we know what we’re talking about and it gives me a chance to work out the best way of cleaning the floor, so I can provide a more accurate quotation (see below). The owner of the property was impressed with the results of the test clean and keen to have the full potential of the Victorian tiled floor revealed booked me in to do a full clean and seal.

Deep Cleaning a Very Dirty Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Normally, we would clean these floors using our rotary machines and chemicals to break down the layers of dirt but in this instance that was not going to be effective. I worked this out during the test clean where I discovered that the tiles were very porous so that any liquid that was put on the floor was immediately absorbed into it. This meant that any chemicals that I applied to the floor did not have time to work before they were absorbed into the floor. When these floors were originally laid there was no damp-proof membrane laid underneath which leaves them very susceptible to damp issues and salting from efflorescence.

After trying a couple of different methods, I decided that the only way to get this floor clean was to use handheld diamond blocks and a small amount of water to clean the floor in very small sections at a time and then immediately remove the residue before it dried back into the floor. This was obviously very time consuming but did remove the dirt very effectively, it also meant that I wouldn’t exacerbate any efflorescence issues which could happen when excessive amounts of water are used.

Victorian Tiled Hallway During Renovation Cleckheaton Kirklees

Once the whole floor was clean it was given an Acid Wash with Tile Doctor Acid Gel to neutralise any potential salting issues. The gel was then rinsed off with water and extracted using a wet vacuum to remove as much moisture as possible from the floor. The now clean floor was then left to dry off thoroughly, so it would be ready for sealing.

Sealing an Old Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor in

A couple of days later I returned and started by checking the moisture levels in a couple of areas to verify that the tiles were dry enough to be sealed. All was well and so I proceeded to seal the floor with a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that seeps into the pores of the tile protecting it from within. Colour Grow is also a colour enhancing sealer that improves the natural colours in the tile and most importantly it’s a breathable sealer that will allows any moisture rising through the tile to evaporate. Using a breathable sealer is highly recommended for floors with no damp-proof membrane as moisture can become trapped under the tile which over time can cause damp to rise through the walls and even tiles to become loose.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Renovation Cleckheaton Kirklees

The Customers were very impressed by the transformation in their floor and hopefully you can see from the photos how much of a difference that has been made to the floor.

 

Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire

Renovating Old Church Tiles in Rugby, Warwickshire

I was called out to repair and clean a lovely Victorian tiled floor at St’ Chads which is a small church in Rugby, a market town in Warwickshire and well known for being the birthplace of Rugby Football. There were two areas requiring attention, both with different patterned tiles.

St Chads Church Rugby Internal

The floor had been patch repaired in the past and the tiles were now lifting and becoming loose due to efflorescent salts getting between the tiles. Damp can be a big problem with these old floors where no damp proof membrane has been fitted and I suspect a non-breathable sealer had been used previously, resulting in moisture being trapped under the tile.

Victorian Church Floor Rugby Before Repair

It’s lovely when I get to work in a property such as this, it makes a change from doing residential properties. I was confident I would be able to resolve the problems, and I was given the keys and time just to get on with it.

St Chads Church Rugby External

Cleaning and Repairing a Victorian Tiled Church Floor

I’m always on the lookout for reclaimed tiles on eBay so I was luckily able to repair the floor using some tiles from my collection which matched the existing and also some of the new ones that were fitted after the floor was repaired. Once the tile adhesive had set the tiles were grouted in using a matching grout. I managed to make the repairs in the morning and moved onto cleaning the floor in the afternoon once I was sure the adhesive and grout had set.

Victorian Church Floor Rugby During Repair

Concerned about adding moisture to the floor I opted to scrub the tiles with Tile Doctor Acid Gel which being an acid would counter any alkaline salts inherent in the floor and also deal with grout smears as well. After scrubbing the tiles with the Tile Doctor Acid Gel the soiled product was extracted using an industrial wet vacuum and then the floor was given a quick rinse with water which again was extracted using the wet vacuum.

To ensure there was no increase in the level of dampness in the floor I took moisture readings before and after the cleaning process. I then left the floor to dry out for a few days.

Victorian Church Floor After Repairs

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Church Floor

When I returned I first checked the tiles were dry using the damp meter and verified that they had returned to the baseline level I took at the start. With all being well I applied several coats of sealer to the floor. Given the issue with the tiles lifting previously I was keen not to repeat the previous issue and used Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra which is a fully breathable sealer ideal for floors where damp can be a problem. This gave the tiles a nice natural sheen and allowed the colours to shine through.

Victorian Church Floor After Restoration Victorian Church Floor Rugby After Restoration

The parishioners were very happy with the repairs to the floor and to see their lovely church restored.

 

Source: Church Tile Repair and Renovation Service in Warwickshire

Deep an Cleaning Edwardian Mosaic Floor in Abington Park, Northamptonshire

My customer recently got in touch and requested a site visit to look at her hallway floor.
The Edwardian property was situated in the Abington Park part of Northampton which is an area is steeped in history, with the nearby Manor House said to have been the home of William Shakespeare’s daughter Elizabeth Bernard. The house has since been turned into a museum.

As you can see from the photos, the floor which was laid when the house was built over 100 years ago using small square brown and beige mosaic tiles in a repeating. Although in good physical condition for its age the floor was looking a little tired and had lost its lustre and vibrant colour. The hallway also had stained wood panelling on one side which was another original feature and the owner of the property was keen to maintain the period feel.

Edwardian Mosaic Tiled Hallway Floor Before Cleaning Abington Park

I discussed with the customer what we could do to restore the floor, explaining the process, timescale and of course the cost. She was happy to go ahead so we scheduled the work in without delay.

Edwardian Mosaic Tiled Hallway Floor Before Cleaning Abington Park

Cleaning an Edwardian Mosaic Tiled Hallway Floor

In order to protect the wall panels and keep the moisture in the floor to a minimum I decided to keep the use of cleaning products to a minimum. This is always a concern with these old floors which have no damp proof membrane as the use of too much water can lead to efflorescence salts appearing later. With this in mid I decided to clean the floor using Tile Doctor burnishing pads as these pads only require a small amount of water and no products, this would also have the benefit of slightly levelling out the surface of the tiles.

My first course of action was to vacuum the floor to ensure there was no loose debris followed by masking up the bottom of the stairs carpet to protect it. I then started the restoration process by using a coarse 100-grit Tile Doctor burnishing pad attached to a 17” industrial rotary machine and a small amount of water to lubricate the process. The 100-grit pad is quite an aggressive pad which removes deeply imbedded stains and as mentioned before a small amount of unevenness. To remove the resultant slurry the floor was rinsed with a small amount of water which was then extracted using a wet pick up machine. This process was then repeated with a 200-grit burnishing pad to smooth out any scratches and polish the tile ready for sealing.

Although it was a relatively small area, 12 square metres this process took the whole day as we work in small sections at a time. Moving the machine slowly with multiple passes over each area.

Sealing an Edwardian Tiled Hallway Floor

I returned the following day and assessed the floor to ensure we were happy with the result from the previous days cleaning. I also took damp meter readings and was pleased to see they were within normal expectations for a floor of this age. Next, I applied Tile Doctor Colour Grow Sealant which is a breathable sealant that will allow any moisture in the sub floor to rise though the tile. This particular sealer is a colour enhancing sealer that protects and improves the natural colours in the tile and leaves a lovely natural finish. The floor now has a much more even finish and will be much easier for the client to maintain in the future.

Edwardian Mosaic Tiled Hallway Floor After Cleaning Abington Park

The customer was very happy with the results and left the following feedback on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

“Great communication about the work planned and quotation. A super job in bringing my Edwardian mosaic tiled floor back to life. Would highly recommend this service”
Karen M”

Edwardian Mosaic Tiled Hallway Floor After Cleaning Abington Park

 

Source: Mosaic Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Abington Park, Northamptonshire

Restoring a Original Edwardian Tiled Hallway in Harpenden, Hertfordshire

The owners of this property in Harpenden asked us to come and clean and reseal their Edwardian Tiled hallway floor and return it to its’ former glory whilst carrying out a few minor repairs to missing, broken and cracked tiles around the edge.

On visiting the property at this popular commuter town within the St Albans district, it was clear the floor was looking a little neglected and in need of some care and attention. They were keen to retain this feature of their Edwardian property. We discussed what could be done to restore the floor and the client was given a quote and a timescale for the work. They were happy to go ahead.

Edwardian Hallway Before Rebuild Harpenden Edwardian Hallway Before Rebuild Harpenden

Cleaning and Repairing an Edwardian Tiled Hallway Floor

The first step was to give the floor a deep clean with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. This product is designed for use on Tile, Stone and Grout and when used in a strong dilution can strip away any old sealers without harming the tile itself. The product is left to dwell on the tiles for short time and then scrubbed in using a rotary brush. We then rinsed with water to remove the slurry produced and using a wet vacuum we removed the residue.

Once this was finished and with the floor looking cleaner the next step was to tackle the cracks in a few of the tiles under the stairs. This is when we discovered that the floor had become loose. When removing some of the broken tiles adjacent to the skirting we discovered a whole section of floor, about 1/3 of sqm had become loose and dropped slightly.

Edwardian Hallway During Rebuild Harpenden Edwardian Hallway During Rebuild Harpenden

The client was concerned with this setback and wasn’t sure what we would be able to do. However, the need not have worried, we have come across this situation before! To tackle the problem, we carefully excavated the area and re built the sub floor below the tiles in concrete. We then levelled the floor in preparation for tiling. Luckily, we were able to salvage the existing tiles and they were individually cleaned using a diamond wet cutter before being re-laid into the original pattern.

Edwardian Hallway During Rebuild Harpenden

Sealing an Edwardian Tiled Hallway Floor

With the original tiles laid back down clean and the flooring rebuilt under the stairs we re-grouted the floor before we were ready to apply a protective sealer. Before doing that however the floor needed to be dry, so we left it to dry off fully overnight.

Returning the following morning, we checked with a moisture meter that the floor was dry, which it was. Firstly, we applied a primer seal using Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer to protect the tiles and enhance their colour. Once the first coat of sealer was dry it was followed by five coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go which adds further protection and leaves a glorious sheen.

Edwardian Hallway After Rebuild Harpenden Edwardian Hallway After Rebuild Harpenden

The floor looks amazing and the client was over the moon with the end result. It far exceeded their expectations particularly after finding an area of the floor had collapsed.

Edwardian Hallway After Rebuild Harpenden

 

Source: Edwardian Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Harpenden, Hertfordshire

Finishing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor in Hebden Bridge Yorkshire

The photographs below are of a lovely Victorian tiled hallway that had been repaired and cleaned by another tradesman a his a few months earlier. The workman had left the customer to seal the floor himself, which he had done but the floor ended up looking patchy and dull and he wasn’t happy with the results which didn’t highlight the beautiful colours in the tile. Realising he needed help to achieve the correct finish I was given a call and asked to finish the floor.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Hebden Bridge

The property was in Hebden Bridge a market town situated between Halifax and Rochdale. After carrying out a survey, I advised that the floor would need re-cleaning to strip off the sealant he had applied and to remove the marks from the floor. We would then be able to re-seal the floor correctly for him. We agreed a price for the job and set a date to carry out the work.

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

On the first day we started preparing the hallway to be cleaned by covering the stair carpet and new and expensive wood panelling and skirting boards to protect them from any possible marking during the cleaning process. I then used a 200-grit Diamond burnishing pad attached to a rotary buffing machine to remove the sealant and dirt from the floor. In this instance the pad was applied just with water which is used to lubricate the pad, the resultant slurry is then removed with a wet vacuum. The advantage of using this process as opposed to a chemical clean is that moisture is kept to a minimum which is important on old floors like this where no damp proof membrane exists.

After making sure that the floor was to a standard that I was happy with, I then repeated the process along the edges with a set of hand-held diamond blocks which makes it easier to get into the corners and edges where the machine struggles to reach effectively.

Still concerned about the moisture levels in the floor I decided to give the floor an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel which will neutralise any alkaline salts in the floor. As I mentioned earlier this is a common problem on floors of this age, they do not usually have a Damp Proof Membrane fitted so moisture is able to rise through the tiles bringing with it salt which gets left on the surface of the tile, this process is more commonly known as Efflorescence. The floor was then rinsed with water and the floor dried as much as possible using the wet vacuum. Finally, I tidied up before leaving for the day and allowing the floor to fully dry out overnight.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Returning the next day, I first took moisture readings to ensure that the floor was dry enough to seal. If a floor is too damp the seal won’t cure properly and therefore won’t be effective. Fortunately, on this occasion the floor was within limits and I could proceed to apply four coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer allowing around thirty minutes between coats for drying.

Colour Grow is a breathable impregnating sealer that allow moisture to evaporate from the floor whilst also protecting it from dirt and stains. This sealer leaves a matt finish which is what the owner wanted but it also enhances the colours in the tile which really being the floor alive.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Hebden Bridge

The customer was very pleased with the results, the floor looked much cleaner and will be easy for them to maintain. I hope that you can see the difference from the before and after pictures.

 

Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire

Stripping Wax off Scratched Victorian Tiles in Rushden

This customer called me as she was concerned about the scratches on her hallway tiles, they were not only unsightly but were also starting to trap dirt. The Victorian property in Rushden which lies between Bedford and Kettering on the east side of Northamptonshire.

We always offer a site visit to take a look at the job before doing any work, that way we can discuss what the cleaning options are, and it also demonstrates to the customer that we know what we’re talking about.

The hallway floor was a lovely and intricate example of Victorian tile installation and I could see that overall it was in good condition for its age. On closer inspection the customer was relieved to find out that it was the old wax sealant breaking down and not actually scratches on the tiles. I carried out a test on a small area to ascertain how difficult it would be to remove this wax. I realised I would be able to use Tile Doctors new product for the removal of the wax sealant, Tile Doctor Wax Away which is a fast and effective formula that is designed just for this type of job, it offers safe removal of wax and polish from tile and natural stone. We agreed the quote and the work was booked in for the following month.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Before Wax Removal Rushden

Cleaning/Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

On our return we started to remove the wax coating using the Tile Doctor Wax Away product. It was applied neat and left to dwell for ten to fifteen minutes before working it into the floor with a small amount of water and a black stripping pad attached to a rotary machine. The resulting slurry was then removed using a wet vacuum. The floor was then inspected, and I decided to repeat this process with a hand brush in a couple of small areas and around the edges to ensure the old wax sealant was fully removed in these stubborn areas. The floor was then rinsed with water to remove any remaining slurry and trace of cleaning product and the wet vacuum was used to dry the floor again.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor During Wax Removal Rushden

My next course of action was to run over the floor with a 400-grit burnishing pad to remove imbedded dirt and stains from the tiles, this was followed by a second rinse with water. After removing the water with wet vacuum, the floor was then left to dry out fully for a few days aided by a large fan that I left on site. It’s important that the tiles are fully dry before applying a sealer and this is even more important on older floors where no damp proof membrane has been installed.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I returned three days later and started by giving the floor a light vacuum and clean. I also took damp meter readings to check the floor was fully dry. Once I was satisfied I started to apply 2 coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow Sealant, this is a breathable sealant which will allow the tiles to breath and allow moisture vapour from the sub floor to rise through the tiles which is important in these old houses where no damp proof membrane exists. Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer that works by occupying the pores in the tile thus preventing dirt from becoming ingrained there, the sealant enhances the natural colours in the tile and dries to a lovely natural matt finish.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Cleaning Rushden

Once finished the floor looked great and the customer was hugely relieved that the tiles could be restored easily and cost effectively, she had thought the damage may have been irreversible. Moving forward it will now be easier for her to maintain and keep clean. The floor is now back to its’ true self and properly in keeping with the rest of the period features in the house.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Cleaning Rushden

 

Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Rushden, Northamptonshire

Classic Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Restored in Lancaster

We often get asked to restore old Victorian tiled floors which are generally over 100 to 150 years old and as I’m sure you can imagine they experience a lot of wear over that length of time.

Victorian floor tiles before restoration Lancaster

We recently visited a property with such a floor in Lancaster after the client got in touch looking to have their hallway floor tiles restored. We arrived to inspect the floor and could see straight away that it was looking a little tired and in need of care and attention. Some tiles had become loose and had broken apart, especially around the doorways. Also, this floor had suffered from subsidence in the past and this had created a crack line near the top end of the hallway which pushed up several of the tiles. We went through what could be done to restore it, the client agreed a price and we arranged a time to come back.

Cleaning and Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

My first task was to take the loose tiles up, grind the concrete screed back so it was as level as we could make it and then we needed to refit the tiles. Once all loose tiles were fixed, we left them to dry and cure.

Victorian floor tiles during restoration Lancaster

We then came back to start the main clean of the floor, we used Tile Doctor Diamond Burnishing pads for this, which bite in deep to the clay face and remove ingrained dirt far better than conventional alkaline cleaners can. We used a series of different grades of these diamond pads to get the finish we required and then rinsed with clean water once were finished, removing the slurry created with a wet vacuum.

Any areas we couldn’t reach with our weighted buffing machines we had to get on our hands and knees and use small handheld Diamond Blocks, using a bit of clean water and elbow grease, this is especially good on intricate edges and around doors and corners.

Victorian floor tiles during restoration Lancaster

The floor was given a quick rinse with water to remove any remaining clay resin and soil generated by the burnishing process. A wet vacuum is then used to extract the soil and remove as much moisture from the floor before being left to dry off fully overnight.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Before we seal the Victorian Tiles, they looked very dull and washed out however this all changes once we apply the sealer. We checked the moisture levels in the floor which were fine. Our favourite sealer for this type of tile is called Tile Doctor Colour Grow, this is a fully breathable sealer which restores the colour lost in the cleaning process and allows for the floor to breathe, which is an absolutely necesity on an old floor without a Damp Proof Membrane where Efflorescence can be an problem.

Tile Doctor Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer that works by occupying the pores in the tile, so dirt cannot become ingrained there. It leaves a matt finish and enhances the colours in the tile bringing them to life, as you will see on the photos.

Victorian floor tiles after restoration Lancaster

For aftercare we always advise our customers to use Tile Doctor pH Neutral tile cleaner as it’s specially designed for cleaning sealed surfaces without damaging the sealer like cheap supermarket cleaners that contain anionic surfactants.

The client was very pleased with the restoration of her floor which is now in good physical condition and looks much brighter.

 

Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Lancaster, Lancashire

Choosing a Sealer for Victorian Tiled Floor near the Swansea Coast

I was called to a property in the Mumbles area of Swansea, one of my favourite places and in fact listed in 2018 Best Places to Live. In the UK report, The Sunday Times listed Mumbles as the best in Wales, so it is always a pleasure to visit this area.

The hallway at the property had a lovely example of a classic Victorian Tiled floor containing a very detailed pattern consisting of expensive blue square and triangular shaped tiles. The tiles were a lovely and unusual pattern and in good physical condition with no cracked or replacement tiles required. It had however, been some time since the floor was last cleaned and sealed and so they contacted me, their local Tile Doctor representative to renovate the floor for them. The owners of the house recognised that it’s well worth preserving original features like Victorian tiled floors as period floors like this are in demand and add value to a property. They were therefore keen to get it back to its’ near original state.

Victorian Hallway Floor Tiles Before Cleaning The Mumbles

Cleaning/Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

To restore the appearance of the tiles I used a 200-Grit diamond encrusted burnishing pad to remove the dirt and restore the condition of the tiles. This is run over the floor using water to lubricate and then rinsed off with water afterwards to remove the soil that is generated. This was then followed up with a 400-Grit pad which cleans and restores the surface which is left roughened after the application of the coarse 200-grit pad. This pad is again applied with water and then the floor rinsed afterwards to remove the soiling and the water is extracted using a wet vacuum.

The next step was to acid rinse the floor using Tile Doctor Acid-Gel, this is an important step for old Victorian tiled floors which have no damp proof membrane. It neutralises any inherent salts in the floor which rise through the tile from evaporation leaving unsightly white deposits on the surface. The acid gel is left to dwell for a short time and then it is scrubbed into the tile with a deck brush and then removed using the wet vacuum, the floor was then given a final rinse to neutralise it before sealing. However, for that to happen I needed the floor to be dry so after cleaning the floor I left it to dry off overnight.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The next day I came back to the house to seal the floor. The floor had dried out nicely due to the fine weather, I quickly did a moisture test to be sure, then I was ready to move on to the sealing process.

The Mumbles area is close to the coast, so for this project I decided to use Tile Doctor Colour Grow which being an impregnating fully breathable sealer would cope better with the salty sea air. Colour Grow is a matt finish sealer that seeps into the tile occupying the small pores and in doing so prevents dirt from becoming ingrained there, it’s also a colour enhancing product that improves the colour in the tile.

After I had finished the floor was left looking restored, fresh and the vibrantly coloured pattern shone through. The client was very happy with the end result.

Victorian Hallway Floor Tiles After Cleaning The Mumbles

 

Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Polishing Service in Mumbles, Swansea

Renovating a Small Victorian Tiled Vestibule Floor in Exmouth, Devon

The owner of this property had been intending to have her Victorian tiled vestibule professionally cleaned and sealed for several years but had always seemed to just ‘make do’ with an occasional clean with a mop and bucket. Having made up her mind to have it professionally cleaned and having seen previous examples of my work online after searching for her local stone and tile cleaning professional she asked me to come and have a look and see what I could do.

Small Victorian Tiled Vestibule Exmouth Before Cleaning

Being the first stop upon entering the house the tiles were heavily soiled after years of not being sealed so after I conducted a moisture check which showed the tiles to be remarkably dry. I cleaned a few tiles using some diamond hand pads to test the area and give the customer an idea of what kind of result to expect. She was really pleased with the initial outcome of the test and booked me in to return shortly after receiving my quote.

Because the area was small I was able to tie it in with another job I had in the Exmouth area and was able to reduce the cost of the quote. This is a great option if you and your neighbour both have small areas to clean because I may be able to work on them concurrently which will save you both money!

Cleaning/Repairing a Victorian Tiled Vestibule Floor

The working area was quite tight, so the tiles were scrubbed using a series of diamond impregnated six-inch burnishing pads fitted to a rotary hand tool. The pads are used in sequence starting with a 100-grit and finishing with a 400-grit pad. The floor was then thoroughly rinsed using a wet vacuum to remove the soil that was generated during the process.

The next step was to give the tiles an acid rinse; now we don’t normally recommend the use of acids on tiles but in this case the product was only on the floor long enough to remove old grout smears and mineral deposits before being rinsed off. I used Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up for this and it has the extra advantage of countering any alkaline salts which can hiding in the pores of the tile, this is very useful on old floors of this type with no damp proof course. If left unaddressed the salts can rise through the tile as moisture evaporates leaving unsightly white salt stains on the floor. This process is known as efflorescence and can be tricky to remove later if not dealt with quickly.

Small Victorian Tiled Vestibule Exmouth During Cleaning

One done the floor was given a final rinse and then dried with the wet vacuum. I then made a few small repairs to some loose tiles and then left for the evening to allow the floor the whole floor to dry off fully overnight.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Vestibule Floor

The following day I returned and after rechecking the moisture levels of both areas to ensure that they had adequately dried out I started work, applying a coat of Tile Doctor’s Colour Grow. This is an impregnating sealer which picks out and enhances the natural colours of the tiles, not only bringing the whole floor to life but helping to disguise any damage the floor has suffered over the years.

Small Victorian Tiled Vestibule Exmouth During Sealing

After this coat had dried sufficiently I applied four coats of Tile Doctor’s Seal and Go to finish off the floor and give it that ‘wow factor’. I left the client with some guidance on care and maintenance of the floor as well as a suitable bottle of cleaner.

Small Victorian Tiled Vestibule Exmouth After Cleaning

The client was very happy with the result and her sealed floor is now easier to maintain and keep clean. The Victorian tiles are now in keeping with the rest of the house.

 

Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Exmouth, Devon

Renovating and Fixing Loose Tiles in a Victorian Hallway in Mill Hill, North London

This 1930’s North London property in Mill Hill had a classic tiled hallway floor laid with black and white tiles in a diamond pattern and reminiscent of the Victorian era some thirty years earlier but still popular at the time the house was built. Mill Hill was first recorded as Myllehill in 1547 and appears to be named after a “hill with a windmill”. Over the years it’s merged with the surrounding towns and is now a desirable suburb in the North London Borough of Barnet.

I first spoke to the owner of the property over the phone to get an idea of what was required and work out a convenient time to take a look at the floor; we often get customers looking for a quote over the phone but this is not always easy to do as you never know what problems you might find with an older floor until you get there.

On inspection I could see there were in fact a large number of loose tiles in the central part of the floor which would need to be reset and grouted, the floor would also need to be deep cleaned and re-sealed with a suitable sealer to get it back to its former glory. I was confident we could soon get the floor looking how it should and after discussing the process, agreed a price and a timescale for the project. The owner was keen to get the job completed as soon as possible.

Cleaning/Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Firstly, we prepared the area with protective polythene tapes to thresholds, carpets, and door fronts to ensure the surrounding areas were protected. To clean the floor a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean was applied, this is a concentrated, multi-purpose high-alkaline cleaner, stripper and degreaser and is highly recommended for use on natural stone, tile and grout. The tiles were scrubbed with both floor pads and brushes, it is easier to use brushes in the more intricate areas.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Restoration During Cleaning Mill Hill

After the scrubbing we rinsed, and steam cleaned the floor, removing the slurry generated during the cleaning process with a wet vacuum. It was now nicely prepared ready for carrying out the repairs and the cleaning process was useful in identifying those tiles which needed extra attention.

The repairs involved resetting 50 to 60 loose tiles, the process requires carefully removing the tile, scraping out the old adhesive and grout and then replacing with new. The area is cleaned and then when the adhesive has set the tiles are re grouted in a grout chosen to best match the original. Luckily there were no damaged tiles on this floor which made the job easier. Although, we can usually track down replacements when they are needed!

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

We then left the hallway to dry off overnight, returning the next day we used a moisture meter to check the floor was dry and suitable for sealing. Old floors like these have no damp proof membrane fitted under the floor so can take time to dry out, fortunately we completed this work during warm weather, so all the readings were good.

Victorian style tiles are quite porous, so we found we need to apply give coats of sealer before they were fully sealed. We selected Tile Doctor Seal & Go to seal the tiles, it’s a specially formulated water-based blend of acrylic polymers that adds a durable stain resistant surface and leaves an appealing low-sheen finish. Being water based it doesn’t leave a smell as it dries, and it also a breathable sealer that can cope with the lack of a damp proof membrane ensuring moisture doesn’t become trapped under the floor.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Restoration After Cleaning Mill Hill

The client was very happy with the completed job, the work took a day and half to complete. Considering how many tiles had been loose the job had turned out very well. The floor is now much more manageable for her and the hallway tiles life has now been prolonged.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Restoration After Cleaning Mill Hill

 

Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in Mill Hill, London

Putting new life into an Old Victorian Tiled Floor in Doncaster, South Yorkshire

Our customer in Doncaster had lived in their house for 7 years. The property had lots of lovely period features along with a beautiful patterned Victorian tiled hallway. Since moving in they had not done anything to restore the appearance of the hallway floor, although they were very aware they wanted to preserve the floor but unsure what could be done to fix it and get it back up to scratch.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Doncaster

Over time the floor had become increasingly ingrained with dirt and very difficult to keep clean, so they decided to do something about it and contacted Tile Doctor. I visited the property, came up with a plan of action, agreed a price and booked the job in for the following week.

Cleaning/Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

First task was to remove any old sealers or waxes that may still be present on the floor. There are several ways to do this but for this job the floor I decided to treat it with Tile Doctor Remove & Go, which was left to dwell for a good ten to fifteen minutes before being agitated with a rotary floor machine fitted with a 400-grit diamond burnishing pad.

Victorian Tiled Hallway During Cleaning Doncaster

Remove and Go is a multi- purpose stripper that breaks down most coatings and sealers. It also has the benefit of drawing out ingrained stains and any heavy grease build up. The resulting slurry was then rinsed off the floor with water and a wet vacuum.

After that the floor was inspected and it was clear more work was required to remove the years of dirt. Given the age of the property I was sure no damp proof membrane would have been installed prior to laying the floor. This can often lead to a build-up of alkaline salts in the floor that might appear as efflorescent white spots as the floor dries after cleaning.

To finish off cleaning the floor and to counter any alkaline salts I gave the tiles a clean with Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel combined with Tile Doctor Acid-Gel. I used the same process as before, allowing the products to soak into the tiles for ten minutes and then scrubbing the hallway floor with the 400-grit diamond burnishing pad fitted to a rotary floor machine. Once again, the solution was rinsed off the floor with water and then extracted with a wet vacuum.
The floor was wiped clean with damp microfibre clothes and left to dry off overnight.

Victorian Tiled Hallway During Cleaning Doncaster

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I came back a few days later to allow for the hallway floor to have fully dried out, I also double checked it was fully dry by using a moisture meter. Satisfied that the floor was ready for the sealing process I started to seal the tiles. For this I used five coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing impregnating sealer that leaves a matt finish and will protect the floor for years to come. This sealer is also fully breathable which makes it ideal for floors such as Victorian tiles where the age of the property means damp can be an issue.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Doncaster

The job was completed, and the floor had been returned to its’ previous vibrant look. The customer was very happy and could see how much easier it would now be to maintain.
The property now looked how you would expect when you opened the front door!

 

Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in Doncaster, South Yorkshire

Removing Cement Screed from Victorian Tiles in Bearwood, Birmingham

This customer got in touch with me to see if there was anything I could do to restore a Victorian tiled floor they had discovered under carpet in their hallway. Interestingly they had been told previously that the floor was beyond repair and had been quoted thousands of pounds to have it completely ripped up and replaced.

Victorian Hallway Before Restoration Bearwood Victorian Hallway Before Restoration Bearwood

I visited the property in Bearwood near Smethwick, to take a look and could see that there was a section under a cement screed. The floor was in a truly sorry state, so I could see why the other company were not keen on restoring it. Undeterred I did a test clean to see if I could remove the screed which was encouraging however without removing all the screed it would not be possible to see what condition the tiles underneath were in. I agreed with the customer to order some replacement tiles which were needed along with extra ones just in case. The job would take a few days to allow for cleaning, repairing, drying out and sealing. The client wasn’t too optimistic, but I reassured them we could definitely get a good result.

Victorian Hallway Before Restoration Bearwood

Cleaning and Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway

The first day was spent removing the cement screed which was quite thick in parts, so I went down the route of steaming it first to help soften the covering and then carefully scraping it off. This was quite labour intensive, but it did the job. Once the cement was removed I was left with some tiles that were ok but quite a few needed to be replaced.

Victorian Hallway During Restoration Bearwood Victorian Hallway During Restoration Bearwood

There were also two doorways, one that needed completely relaying and one needed part relaying. Some of the tiles needed to be cut to size, there were many tiles that needed resetting and re-grouting along with grout being applied to the new tiles.

Victorian Hallway During Restoration Bearwood

The next day the tiles were deep cleaned with a 50:50 combination of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed with Nanotech HBU which stands for Heavy Build-Up Remover, which was quite appropriate in this case. This cocktail of tile cleaning products was left to dwell on the tiles for a while then worked in with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a weighted rotary machine. The floor was then rinsed off with water and then the soil extracted with a wet vacuum.

My next step was to give the floor and acid wash to remove any old grout smears and neutralise other mineral contaminates such as salts that can get deposited on the surface of the tiles as moisture evaporates as the floor dries. This is always a risk with old floors where no damp proof membrane exists. To do this I applied a dilution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which is scrubbed into the tiles with a deck brush and then rinsed off the floor with water and a wet vacuum. The floor was then left to dry out for a couple of days.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I returned to seal the floor and after check it had dried sufficiently applied three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer. This sealer seeps into the pores of the tile enhancing the colours and leaves a matt finish which the customer had previously specified. The floor was then buffed with a white pad and the customer left with a bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner to clean the floor with moving forward.

Victorian Hallway After Restoration Bearwood Victorian Hallway After Restoration Bearwood

The customer was delighted with the results and left the following feedback on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

“Kieron has done a fantastic job of our Victorian hallway tiles. We had been quoted several really high prices by other companies, but Kieron’s quote was a fraction of these. I initially wondered whether this meant the job wouldn’t be as good but after 3 days of solid work the results are fantastic! He managed to transform it to its former glory, a hallway that was partly cemented over, had missing and loose tiles all over the place and was filthy. He definitely does a lot more than just cleaning! We couldn’t be happier with the results!”

Victorian Hallway After Restoration Bearwood

 

Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Bearwood, Birmingham

Soiled Victorian Hallway Tiles Deep Cleaned in Swansea

This is a great example of a classic Victorian Tiled Hallway and shows just how hard wearing and durable these floors are. The floor had been installed at a house in Swansea what must have been well over a hundred years ago and was now very badly soiled however I knew from experience that with the right techniques and products they can be given a new lease of life.

Victorian Tiled hallway floor before cleaning Swansea

We mainly use diamond burnishing pads on original Victorian tiles these days, the alternative is to use cleaning products however that method tends to use a lot of water and can aggravate an issue known as efflorescence whereby salts from the sub floor are carried up through the tile as moisture evaporates leaving white salt stains on the surface of the floor. This is not a problem with modern floors as they are usually have a damp proof membrane installed under the floor which prevents damp.

Deep Cleaning Victorian Hallway Tiles

To restore the appearance of the Victorian tiles I started with the application of a coarse 200-Grit diamond encrusted burnishing pad which cuts through the dirt and removes surface staining. The pad is run over the tiles using water to lubricate and then the floor rinsed afterwards to remove the soil that is generated. The soil is then extracted off the floor with a wet vacuum. This is then followed up with a 400-Grit pad which cleans and restores the surface which is left roughened after the application of the coarse 200-grit pad, again the pad is applied with water and then the flor rinsed afterwards to remove the soiling and the water is extracted using a wet vacuum.

The next step was to give the floor an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel, the acid neutralises the alkaline mineral salts in the floor and reduces the chance of efflorescence occurring, After being scrubbed into the floor the gel is rinsed off the floor using water which is then quickly extracted with the wet vacuum.

The floor was left to dry off overnight and I came back the next day to apply the sealer.

Sealing Victorian Floor Tiles

Before starting the sealing process it’s important to check the floor is dry first for which I use a hand-help damp tester. I find it’s a good idea to take readings from various parts of the floor before I start a job so I can establish a normal background level for the floor.

All was well so the floor was sealed using a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that works by occupying the pores in the clay tile thus preventing dirt from becoming ingrained there. This particular sealer also enhances the natural colours in the tile and is fully breathable which is important in these situations where you need moisture to evaporate through the tile and not become trapped underneath where it could work its way into the walls of the house.

Victorian Tiled hallway floor after cleaning Swansea

It’s worth knowing that if you do experience effluence salts which are more likely in the damp winter weather, then they can be mopped off the floor before they harden without any damage to the sealer itself.

 

Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in Swansea

Renovating a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Gloucester, Gloucestershire

My customer was renovating their house in Gloucester and discovered this lovely vibrant Victorian tiled floor with blue accents under the carpet and were keen to get it restored and back to its’ former self. Gloucester lies close to the Welsh border, on the River Severn, between the Cotswolds to the east and the Forest of Dean to the southwest.

Victorian Hallway Before Renovation Gloucester

They were delighted to uncover the original floor but unsure if it could be restored asked me to come over and take a look. The tiles were in good physical condition for their age but were ingrained with dirt and had paint splashes, cement and carpet glue on the surface. The property had lots of period features, but this was by far the nicest. Luckily there was very little damage to the floor, so there was no need to source any extra tiles. We discussed what needed to be done and how the process would work, agreed a price and a timescale for the project which was accepted.

Victorian Hallway Before Renovation Gloucester

Deep Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The first process was to cover walls and skirting boards with plastic sheeting, I usually do this as a rule but in this case the hallway had just been decorated so we wanted to avoid any dirty splashes from the cleaning process.

Next a solution of tile doctor Tile Doctor Remove and Go was applied to the floor and left to dwell for 20 minutes and then with a buffing machine and black scrubbing pad I set about deep cleaning the floor. Tile Doctor Remove and Go is a strong coatings remover that can deal with old sealers, paint and glue, it’s also safe to use on tile, grout and stone. The floor was then rinsed with water and the now soiled cleaning solution was extracted from the floor with a wet vacuum.

Stubborn stains were spot treated using the same process and once satisfied with the results I gave the floor an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel. This neutralises any potential salt staining issues that could appear later as the floor dries. This process is known as efflorescence and can be very troublesome on old floors like these which don’t have a damp proof membrane installed. We often find covering old floors like these in a rubber underlay also prevents the floor from breathing which can lead to damp being trapped in the floor.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

We left the floor to dry off overnight and then the next day checked for moisture. It’s been a long hot summer, so the tiles had soon dried out. Happy with the results we started sealing the tiles with five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go. This is a specially formulated water-based blend of acrylic polymers that provides both a stain resistant surface seal and a durable low-sheen finish that works really well on Victorian tiled floors like this. Additionally, the product allows moisture vapour transmission so will be able to cope with the fact that this floor has not damp-proof membrane.

Victorian Hallway After Renovation Gloucester

As you can see from the photos the sealant left a lovely finish and the customer was very pleased with outcome. The floor is now restored and offers a lovely traditional entrance to their property.

Victorian Hallway After Renovation Gloucester

 

Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in Gloucester, Gloucestershire

Renovating a Victorian Tiled Farmhouse Hallway in Clyst Hydon, Devon

The owners of this floor in the hallway of their Mid-Victorian farmhouse in Clyde Hydon just outside of Honiton, in Devon asked me to visit shortly after they had moved in. Whilst ripping out the old carpet throughout the house they had come across this stunning Victorian tiled floor. Honiton is a market town, more well known for its lace making. As it is my home town, it was a very short commute to work for me, so I was able to visit the property quickly and take a look.

Mid Victorian Tiled Farmhouse Hallway Clyst Hydon Before Cleaning

During my visit I took some moisture readings because these old floors will not have had a damp proof membrane installed and if the moisture levels are too high it can restrict when this type of work can be done due to the sealers needing the floor to be dry(ish), in order to cure. I also did a test clean to show the customers what level of cleaning could be achieved and looked at areas of loose tiles to see if any replacement tiles would need to be sourced. I always like to do a test clean as it demonstrates what can be achieved and it also allows me to work out which methods and products work best.

Cleaning and Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

With the customers happy with the quote I returned to complete the work starting by covering the wooden skirting and bottom of the stairs to protect the paint and carpet from splashing. I then applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean on to the floor, ensuring even coverage and keeping an eye on the floor to make sure that it didn’t dry out. Pro-Clean is quite a flexible product than can strip off old sealers when applied in a strong dilution.

After a short time, I set to work scrubbing the Pro-Clean into the floor with a 400-grit diamond pad fitted to a rotary floor buffer. I also used 400-grit hand held burnishing block to cover the corners and any edges not reached by my machine. Once I was satisfied that the tiles were as good as they could be I rinsed the floor to remove the now soiled alkaline cleaner before giving the floor an acid wash with Acid Gel to neutralise with any inherent salts in dfdfthe tiles.

Before I left for the day I fixed the loose tiles back in place, re-grouted the areas that I had replaced tiles and left an air mover on the floor to aid in the drying process. I also suggested that the radiators in the hallway were turned on overnight to further aid the drying process. Occasionally these types of floors need to be left for several days to dry but it is worth the wait and the floors can be used in the meantime provided only socks and indoor shoes are used and care is taken not to get the floor dirty.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Upon returning the next day I tested the moisture content of the floor and was pleased to find that it was well within acceptable levels for the application of the sealer that I was planning to use. I quickly checked the floor for areas that I felt may be able to be improved and once satisfied a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer was applied to the floor. Colour Grow is a colour enhancing impregnating sealer that occupies the pores in the tile thus preventing dirt from becoming ingrained there.

Once this was dry it was followed up by applying two further coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra which is a compatible surface sealer that leaves a nice subtle sheen finish. Both sealers are fully breathable and able to cope with any damp issues that may impact the floor over time.

Mid Victorian Tiled Farmhouse Hallway Clyst Hydon After Cleaning

The customers were thrilled and said that they were going to reinstate the hallway as the main entrance to the farmhouse in order to show it off to all their visitors!

 

Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Clyst Hydon, Devon

Repair and Restoration of an Edwardian Tiled Hallway in Wombwell, South Yorkshire

We were contacted by a family in Wombwell, Barnsley, South Yorkshire to come and look at their Edwardian hallway floor that needed a lot of work to restore it. The traditional black and white design had a lot of loose, chipped and broken tiles that needed replacing and repairing. Another company had cleaned the floor previously but there was hardly any sealer still present making the floor an easy target for stains and ingrained dirt.

Edwardian Hallway Floor During Restoration in Wombwell

I drew up a three-day plan to repair, clean and seal the hallway floor, but before work could start I spent time sourcing replacement tiles to perfectly matching the originals. It can be hard to track them down, but we usually can. Once that was done we were all ready to go.

Edwardian Hallway Floor Before Restoration in Wombwell

Repairing an Edwardian Tiled Hallway Floor

The first day was spent repairing the floor, we used a combination of angle grinders, multi tools and chisels to remove all the chipped and broken tiles. The loose tiles were fixed back in place and the replacement replica tiles were fixed in place of the broken tiles. A few of the less damaged tiles were left in place to ensure the floor looked true to the era. The floor was left to set overnight.

Edwardian Hallway Floor During Restoration in Wombwell

Deep Cleaning an Edwardian Tiled Hallway Floor

On the second day I got to work using Tile Doctor Remove & Go. This was applied to the floor and left to dwell for 15 minutes, this breaks down the old sealer and ingrained dirt. We then attached a 200-grit diamond pad to a weighted rotary slow speed floor polisher and went over each area several times. The slurry was extracted using a large wet vacuum.

With damp being a big issue in these big old houses we always need to take efflorescence (salt staining) into consideration, when these types of floors were fitted 100 years ago, Damp Proof Membranes didn’t exist so any moisture below the floor will eventually rise to the surface through the tiles. This can leave white salt deposits on the surface. Knowing this can be an issue I gave the floor an acid wash to neutralise the alkaline salts. This was done by applying Tile Doctor Acid Gel to the floor and leaving it for 10 minutes before the rotary machine fitted with a 200-grit diamond pad was used to work the product into the tile. Once this was done the slurry was extracted again using the wet vacuum and the floor rinsed. Then using damp cloths, we removed all the residue.

Sealing an Edwardian Tiled Hallway Floor

After being left over night to fully dry we returned the next day to seal the floor. We first tested the moisture levels to ensure it was fully dry. All was well so the first of four coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow was applied to the floor. Colour Grow is, a colour enhancing impregnating sealer that helps bring out the natural colours in the tile whilst protecting the tile from within, this sealer is also fully breathable which is important for old tiled floors as it allows the floor to breathe and allows moisture to pass through the tile and evaporate.

Edwardian Hallway Floor During Sealing in Wombwell

You can always tell when you have applied enough sealer by adding a droplet of water to the tile, if it forms a bubble on the surface of the tile as in the photograph below then its fully sealed. Conversely if the floor becomes sticky then you have applied too much sealer.

Edwardian Hallway Floor During Sealing in Wombwell

The customer was highly delighted with the newly restored floor. The hall is now fully restored and looks clean and inviting, it will also be much easier for them to keep clean going forward.

Edwardian Hallway Floor After Sealing in Wombwell

 

Source: Edwardian Tiled Hallway Cleaning and Restoration Service in Wombwell, South Yorkshire

Repair and Restoration of a Geometric Victorian Tiled Hallway in Palmers Green, North London

It is not uncommon for the owners of houses built in this era to discover original Victorian tiled floors and hallways. Sometimes they have been covered up with carpet or linoleum to match the trend of the day and sometimes they get covered up because they have been neglected and though beyond economical repair. Trends have now been reversed and its becoming increasingly popular to restore them and bringing them back to their former glory and who can blame them, period features are in demand and they add value to a property.

This was the case with this floor at a house in Palmers Green, North London, affectionately known by the locals as ‘Little Cyprus or Palmers Greek’. The house is situated in a street with similar properties of the same age, so it’s likely there are a few hidden Victorian tiled floors on this street!

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Palmers Green

The client asked me to visit and survey what could be done to restore the floor. As you can see from the photographs the floor in the hall is a lovely example of geometric black and white tiles. However, it is in quite a state with, cracked and missing tiles and many years of built up dirt. I discussed with the client the options and we agreed a price to carry the work out, over a couple of days.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Palmers Green

Cleaning and Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Our first task was to protect the woodwork with protective tape including the doorway threshold edges, skirting and doors. Next, we began the cleaning the tile and grout including stripping off old coatings including sealers and waxes. To do this we applied a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean mixed 50:50 with Tile Doctor Remove & Go; when you have a combination of unknown contaminates, stubborn stains and dirt, a combination of products can be the best option. The solution was left on the floor around fifteen minutes before being worked into the floor, I find a longer dwell time makes the removal of sealers, adhesives, paints and grime easier. We then agitated the wet area using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor buffer and used detail brushes for the more the intricate areas.

This process turned the cleaning solution in a black slurry which was extracted off the floor using a wet vacuum and the floor then steam cleaned to remove any remaining product residue and believe me there really was a lot of dirt to remove. A thorough rinse followed, and the floor was left for a short while to dry.

Next up we tackled the repairs, starting with the removal loose, cracked and broken tiles. Luckily, I had managed to source some new and reclaimed tiles locally and so we replaced these and then re-grouted. We then left the tiles overnight to dry.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Returning in the morning a consolidator primer seal was then applied using Tile Doctor Colour Grow which improves colour followed by four applications of Tile Doctor Seal & Go this is a specially formulated water-based blend of acrylic polymers that provides both a stain resistant surface and a protective seal as well as a lovely natural satin finish.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Palmers Green Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Palmers Green

The floor looked so much better and the black and white tiles are now very vibrant, the client is pleased they ripped up the carpet and now have a feature hallway which is in keeping with the property.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Palmers Green

 

Source: Victorian Tiled Hallway Cleaning and Restoration Service in Palmers Green, North London

Bitumen Covered Victorian Tiled Hallway Restored in Caversham, Berkshire

Details below of a floor I recently worked on where my client had removed the linoleum that covered the hallway floor and discovered an original Victorian Tiled floor buried underneath bitumen which had been used an adhesive, there was also some leveling screed that would need removing. The house was situated in Caversham Reading, Berkshire which lies on the north bank of the River Thames, opposite the rest of Reading.

Bitumen Covered Victorian Floor Before Restoration Caversham Reading

She had been renovating the whole house when she came across it and realising the value an original feature like this could add to the property was keen to restore it. Having tried several methods to remove the bitumen herself she realised it was too difficult and messy to do and decided to call in some help.

Bitumen Covered Victorian Floor Before Restoration Caversham Reading

Tile Doctor have successfully restored bitumen covered Victorian floors before and being their local agent, I was asked to look at the floor. I went round to take a look and ran a number of tests primarily to demonstrate it could be done and also, so I could work out the best method to clean the floor and therefore provide the customer with an accurate quote.

Bitumen Covered Victorian Floor Before Restoration Caversham Reading

Victorian tiles are very durable and having worked on similar floors before I was confident the tiles could be restored to a satisfactory state and be returned to its former glory. We discussed the process and a price and then scheduled the work to be done.

Removing Screed and Bitumen from Victorian Hallway Tiles

The first job was to apply protective tape around surrounding area to protect the wooden skirting etc. from splashing. Then I took a scraper and mallet to carefully chip away at the screed parts of the floor and remove it to expose the tiles underneath. Once this was done I could start with the more difficult task of dealing with the thick build-up of bitumen.

Bitumen is a horrible sticky black substance that required a fair bit of time and different methods to remove. My first method was to apply a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go, leaving it to dwell and work on breaking down the bitumen before scrubbing it in. This product is particularly good at breaking down old sealers and paint and although it made an impact I could see that I would need something with a bit more punch to finish the job, so I decided to try Tile Doctor Nanotech HBU remover.

The Nanotech HBU (Heavy Build Up) Remover was generously applied in small sections adding more as the product began to dry. After about twenty minutes I could see the HBU had weakened the bitumen making it soft enough that it could be worked off the tile using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine running at slow speed. With the bitumen now turned to a messy slurry I removed the substance with a wet vacuum. I then gave the floor a thorough rinse using a hot water extraction machine operating at low pressure that runs from a compressor in my van. This machine was an expensive investment however it makes light work of rinsing floors.

The tiles looked great after the initial rinse, but I could see the black dye from the bitumen had bled into the surface of the tile. However, us Tile Doctors are well trained and have a solution for every problem and I was able to remove these spots using a 100-grit followed by a 200-grit milling pad fitted to the rotary machine. After yet another rinse the tiles were looking fantastic and I left the floor to dry out.

Bitumen Covered Victorian Floor After Restoration Caversham Reading

Sealing a Restored Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Originally the plan was to return five days later to seal but with other works going on in the house and the hallway being in constant use I decided to wait until that had completed requesting that the floor was covered up in order to protect it.

Bitumen Covered Victorian Floor After Restoration Caversham Reading

Two weeks later I returned to the house and gave the floor a quick inspection to make sure all was well before sealing. All was well, the floor just need a quick vacuum to remove dust and was able to proceed with the sealing. The customer wanted a matt finish, so I opted to use Tile Doctor Colour Grow, a colour intensive impregnating sealer that works by occupying the pores in the tile preventing dirt from becoming ingrained there. Three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow left the tiles looking rich and vibrant. Both the porch and the hallway now look inviting.

Bitumen Covered Victorian Floor After Restoration Caversham Reading

Overall the customer was over the moon with the final result and was glad she decided to have it restored rather than replaced.

Bitumen Covered Victorian Floor After Restoration Caversham Reading

 

Source: Bitumen Removal From Victorian Tile Restoration Service in Caversham, Berkshire

Restoring a Classic Victorian Tiled Hallway in Rugby

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

Victorian Hallway Floor Before Restoration Rugby

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

Victorian Hallway Floor Before Restoration Rugby

Cleaning and Restoring a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

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

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

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

Victorian Hallway Floor During Cleaning Rugby

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

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

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

Victorian Hallway Floor After Restoration Rugby

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

Victorian Hallway Floor After Restoration Rugby

 

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

Small Original Victorian Tiled Hallway Restored in Exeter

I was contacted by the owners of a Victorian terraced house in Exeter who had been lovingly restoring the property over the last couple of years and during the work they uncovered this section of tiled flooring and had decided to bring me in to make it look its best. It’s possible that this section of floor was all that was left from when the house was built over 100 years ago and at some point, in the past the rest of the floor was removed and replaced with something more modern.

Exeter has an abundance of character properties and there seems to be a bit of a trend to restore period features such as fireplaces and old floors at present. It’s always worth looking under old carpets and vinyl in the search of classic floors such as this, particularly if your neighbours have them, after all it will add value!

I visited the property to take a closer look and to take some moisture readings because these old floors were laid without a damp proof membrane and high moisture levels can restrict when this type of work can be carried out due to the sealer needing the floor to be dry(ish) in order to cure. I also did a test clean on one section of the floor to show the customer what level of cleaning could be achieved and inspected the floor for loose tiles to see if any replacement tiles would need to be sourced.

Small Victorian Tiled Hallway Entrance Exeter Before Cleaning

Cleaning Victorian Tiled Reception Area

With the customers happy with the quote I returned to complete the work starting by protecting the skirting and bottom of the stair carpet. Once done I began the cleaning process by applying a strong stripper/degreaser called Tile Doctor Pro-Clean on to the floor. For best results you need to achieve an even coverage and keeping and check it regularly to ensure it doesn’t dry out. After a short dwell time I set to work scrubbing the floor with a 400-grit diamond burnishing pad fitted to a rotary buffing machine. This really works the cleaning product into the pores of the tiles releasing the dirt and removes any sealers or other old coatings in the process. These large 17” pads do struggle to reach into the corners and edges of the floor however, so I always finish off with a hand-held diamond block. Once I was satisfied that the tiles were as good as they could be I rinsed the floor of the alkaline cleaner and dirty water and extracted the soil using a wet vacuum.

Next step was to give the floor what we like to call and Acid Rinse or Acid Wash as some of my colleagues refer to it. We don’t normally use acidic products on tile or stone however they are particularly good at dealing with mineral sales and removing grout smears. Old floors like these are particularly vulnerable to a natural process called efflorescence which results in white mineral salt deposits being left on the surface of the tile as the floor fully dries out and can interfere with the sealer. To counter this, the floor is cleaned with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up, which is an acid-based product that will neutralise the alkalinity in the floor. The solution is quickly scrubbed into the floor and then rinsed off with water.

Before I left for the day I fixed any loose tiles back into place, re-grouted where needed and left an air mover on the floor to aid in the drying of the tiles. If there are radiators in the area I also suggest that they are turned on overnight to further aid the drying process. Occasionally these types of floors need to be left for several days to dry but it is worth the wait and the floors can be used in the meantime provided indoor shoes and socks only are used and care is taken not to get the floor dirty.

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway and Entrance Lobby

Upon returning the next day I tested the moisture content of the floor and was pleased to find that it was well within acceptable levels for the application of the sealer that I was planning to use.

I quickly checked the floor for areas that I felt may be able to be improved and once satisfied I started the sealing process by applying a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that soaks into the pores of the tile protecting it from within and improving the colours in the tile beforehand. This was following with two coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go that will add further protection and give the floor a subtle satin finish.

Small Victorian Tiled Hallway Entrance Exeter After Cleaning

The customers were thrilled and said that they wished they had brought me in sooner! For aftercare I left the customer with some guidance on care and maintenance of the floor as well as a suitable bottle of neutral tile cleaner.

 

Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Repair Service in Exeter, Devon