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

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 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

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