We were contacted by a customer in West Kirby who needed help renovating a Victorian tiled hallway in a house they had just purchased. Kirby is a desirable seaside location North of Heswall that expanded with the arrival of the railway in 1848. The railway brought a demand for property and so it’s not unusual to find housing stock in this area dating back to the Victorian era.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Renovation West Kirby

The Victorian tiles at this property appear to have been neglected by the previous owner and were now looking very dull and marked by paint from decorating; all the colours looked washed out and the floor was now looking very unappealing.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Renovation West Kirby

The good news however is that this problem is not uncommon and with a deep clean and a fresh sealer applied it can be transformed. I gave the owner a quote which was accepted a date agreed for my return to do the work.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Renovation West Kirby

Deep Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

On the first day the floor was sprayed with a neat solution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a powerful alkaline cleaning and stripping agent used to remove old seals and paint. The solution was left to dwell for about twenty minutes so it could soak in and get to work. It was then scrubbed into the tiles using a coarse 200-grit pad fitted to a heavy buffing machine. Water was then added to the floor for lubrication and the soils released from the pores of the tile during scrubbing was removed by with a wet vacuum.

To treat the stubborn paint stains and remains of what I suspect was carpet adhesive a hand scraper and wire brush was used, this was made easier by the Remove and Go which had softened the paint etc.

The next stage was to give the Victorian tiles a mild acid wash using Acid Gel which is applied to the floor, scrubbed in, and rinsed off with a little water then extracted using the wet vacuum. We always recommend an acid wash for old floors like these as it will counter any efflorescent salts resident in the tiles and helps to remove other mineral contaminates and old grout that can mask the true beauty of the tiles.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I left the tiles to dry out for two days before returning to apply the sealer, first checking it was dry by testing for moisture in various places with an electronic damp tester. It’s not a good idea to apply a sealer to a damp floor so we always check first.
Satisfied the floor was dry, I started applying a coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing impregnating sealer that helps to bring out the true colours in the tile. This was allowed to dry for thirty minutes and then followed up five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra which is a breathable sealer that leaves a lovely satin finish and builds on the protection.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Renovation West Kirby

Once done the Victorian hallway tiles looked so much cleaner and healthier. It was quite a transformation and the new sealer had given the floor a nice low sheen shine which the customer was very happy with.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Renovation West Kirby

For aftercare cleaning I left them with a bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner which is specially formulated for cleaning sealed tiles. We don’t recommend tile cleaning products you find on supermarket shelves as the are usually too strong and can strip a sealer off the floor prematurely. If your choosing another product to clean your floor always read the label to make sure its compatible.


Source: Victorian Floor Renovation Service in West Kirby, Merseyside