This job was carried out in a terraced property in Llanelli which had a Victorian Tiled Hallway laid in a diamond pattern that looking worse for wear and in need of some attention. The clients were a young couple who had moved in two years previously and had only recently decided they wanted the floor renovated. This was earlier in the year, so I was able to pop over to the property and take a detailed look at the floor before recommending a course of action to renovate the tiles.
Upon arrival the first thing we noticed was that the border had been laid with an inconsistent pattern, non- matching tiles had been patched in essentially filling voids as you can see in the images. The floor wasn’t terribly dirty however it wasn’t very clean either.
I discussed with the client replacing the non-matching tiles, so the floor pattern was uniform however they decided against it and were happy to just to have it cleaned and sealed. We can usually source either reclaimed original tiles or some great reproduction ones, so most floors can be restored if needed. I worked out a quote for the work and they were happy to go ahead.
If you have never been you should know that Llanelli is the largest town in the county of Carmarthenshire and famous for Rugby and the production of Tin. It is located on the Loughor Estuary, some 10 miles from Swansea and 12 miles from Carmarthen.
Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor
With no tiling to do the first job was to protect the woodwork such as skirting and staircase with tape. Once done the process of cleaning began with the application of a 400-grit burnishing pad fitted to a buffing machine. The process is lubricated with water and the pad run over the whole floor two to three times to remove dirt and refine the appearance of the tile. Even after the first application of the pad we could see a massive improvement to the appearance of the tiles. To get right into the edges of the tiled floor we use a 400-grit handheld diamond block, this proved especially useful under the stairs where our buffer machine could not reach.
During this process, the water turns into a fine slurry which is rinsed off with more water and extracted with a wet vacuum. On this occasion the floor was not dirty enough to require any chemicals, the use of water and the machine was enough to get the floor cleaned up.
Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor
This job was very straight forward, and we did not run into any problems at all. After allowing the floor to dry out for 24 hours we returned to seal the tiles checking first that the floor was sufficiently dry first using a damp meter. Fortunately, the burnishing method uses a lot less water than a chemical clean, so I was able to get straight on with sealing.
The client wanted a satin sheen finish, so I applied four coats of Tile Doctors Seal and Go which works well on Victorian tiles. The sealer really put the life back into the tiles and will protect them from staining going forward. It will also make the floor much easier to maintain and keep it looking good for much longer.
I’m pleased to say the owners were very happy with the floor and recommended us to one of their friends who we also did some work for. For aftercare I recommended the use of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner. This is an everyday tile cleaning product that is sealer friendly and not prematurely reduce the life of the sealer which can happen with many household cleaning products which are simply too strong.