Restoring Victorian tiles in South London

This post is from a house in Balham where the owner was doing some renovation work and after deciding to change the flooring in the hallway they discovered an original Victorian tiled floor. They planned to restore the floor unfortunately however their builders did not listen and didn’t bother to put down any protection when decorating leaving it in a worse condition than when they found it.

Victorian Tiled Floor Balham Before Cleaning Victorian Tiled Floor Balham Before Cleaning

Cleaning the Victorian Tiled Floor

To initially clean the floor I put down a 50/50 mixture of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and Nanotech Ultraclean diluted with four parts water; this creates a powerful alkaline cleaner that is safe to use on tiles and contains tiny abrasive particles to cut through the grime. This solution was left to dwell on the tile for twenty minutes before being agitated using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. This action did well to deep clean the tiles and remove dirt but there was still plenty of other problems to deal with including paint from the decorating and glue from the carpet.

To remove the glue and paint I treated the surface with Tile Doctor Remove and Go which as its name suggest is designed to remove coatings from the surface of tiles without damaging them. Working in sections the product was left to dwell for forty minutes on the surface of the tile before being worked in by hand into the glue and paint. Once it had all been removed I gave the whole floor a scrub with Grout Clean-Up to remove grout from the surface of the tile and this brightened up the colours. Last step was to give the floor a thorough rinse down using clean water, this is quite important and you need to ensure any trace of product has been removed before sealing. The water was removed using a wet vacuum which literally sucks the water off the floor and reduces drying times, the floor was still fairly damp at this stage so we called it a day leaving an air blower in place to help the floor to dry overnight.

Sealing Victorian Tiles

When I came back the next day I decided to seal the tiles using Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that penetrates into the pores of the tile blocking any dirt from getting in and making the tiles easier to clean.

Victorian Tiled Floor Balham After Cleaning Victorian Tiled Floor Balham After Cleaning

Two coats were sufficient and Colour Grow also brings out the colour in the tile improving its look, certainly my customer thought so as all they could say was:

“AMAZING I didn’t think it was possible to get like this.”

Victorian Tiled Floor Balham Before and After

Source: Residential and Commercial Tile Restoration in London and Surrey

Honest Muscle Required to Clean Victorian Tiles

Set of photographs here from a Victorian Tiled floor for a customer in Balham, South London. They had found the floor under an old carpet, and wanted to restore it. Unfortunately their builders did not listen and didn’t bother to put down any protection when they painted, as a result there was paint everywhere, I’ve include a detailed photograph below so you can see for yourself what a state the floor was in.

Victorian Tiled Floor Balham Before Cleaning Victorian Tiled Floor Balham Before Cleaning

Cleaning the Victorian Floor Tiles

Initially the floor was cleaned using a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed 50:50 with NanoTech UltraClean which had been left to dwell for 20 minutes before being agitated using a rotary machine fitted with a buffing pad. I used a wet vacuum to remove the dirty cleaning solution and then realising something more powerful would be required to shift the stubborn stains and paint marks. To rectify this I applied a Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a coatings remover and left it to dwell on the Victorian tile for forty minutes before applying plenty of elbow grease. This did the trick to remove the paint and glue etc. so I worked across the floor in sections applying the same treatment until the floor was completely clean.

Once it had all been removed I gave the whole floor a scrub with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up and this brightened up the colours and finally I gave the floor a very thorough rinse with clean water to remove any remaining cleaning product that might have an adverse effect on the sealer. I left the floor to dry over the weekend and returned on the following Monday to seal it, but first I carried out a couple of repairs because some of the tiles were loose so I reset them in cement.

Sealing Victorian Tiled Floor tiles

On my return I sealed the floor using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a penetrating sealer that provides maximum stain protection whilst bringing out the colour in the stone.

Victorian Tiled Floor Balham After Cleaning Victorian Tiled Floor Balham After Cleaning

All the customer could say was AMAZING I didn’t think it was possible to get like this.
 
 
Source: Cleaning Victorian Floor Tiles in Surrey