This customer from Bedford, the county town of one of England’s smallest counties Bedfordshire, called me out because they have bought a house and, upon lifting the glued down carpet, had discovered a beautiful Victorian tiled floor. They decided to call me in to see if this original feature could be restored to its former glory having already tried household products to remove the glue and clean the tiles with limited success.
We often find customers who discover old tiles under carpet or linoleum struggle with the standard cleaning products available in supermarket which are only designed for everyday cleaning. The products Tile Doctor sells are far stronger; naturally however to achieve the best results it also helps if you have the right equipment, knowledge and experience and that where we come in.
I popped round to take a look at the floor and having tackled quite a few of these restorations before was confident we could restore the floor so a quote was given and the work was booked in for the next week.
Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Floor
My first course of action was to vacuum the floor to remove any loose debris. This gave me a better picture of the condition of the floor overall, and so I could assess how best to proceed. I opted for our tried and trusted method of applying a diluted solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a very reliable high alkaline cleaner suitable for all types of natural stone and tile. The solution was applied with a pump-up sprayer and left to dwell for 20 minutes to seep into the pores of the tile.
Next, I worked the solution into the tiles using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine and hand brushes. The resulting cleaning slurry was then rinsed off – and I found that this had removed most of the glue and surface dirt. There were a few stubborn deposits of glue remaining, but I was able to remove them by using hand brushes and scrapers in combination with Tile Doctor Remove and Go, which is as its name suggest can remove most things including old sealers, epoxy grout haze, urethane coatings, synthetic finishes, adhesives and event paint.
Even after this there were still some patches of glue, so I decided to spray the whole floor with Remove and Go and worked it into the stubborn areas with brushes. I left it to dwell for 15 minutes and then rinsed the floor with a wet pick-up extraction machine. This did the job and the floor was left fresh and clean, ready to be sealed once it had dried.
Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Floor
The floor was left to dry for several days, which is typically necessary for old tiled floors that don’t have a damp proof membrane installed. The customer wanted the floor to look traditional and therefore requested a matt finish. This was achieved by applying two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is also breathable thereby allowing any damp to evaporate as gases through the sealer, without affecting the finish.
As I previously mentioned, floors of this age can sometimes have damp issues, so this sealer is ideal for these older floors. Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer, meaning it penetrates the pores of the stone to fill them and prevent trapped dirt. It also intensifies the colours in the tiles to really bring them to life.
The customer was shocked and amazed by the great results as she thought nothing could be done to restore such an old floor. Before leaving the property, I gave her some maintenance instructions to help her keep the floor looking its best in the future. Another satisfied customer!