Cleaning and Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Girton, Cambridge

The owner of this Victorian tiled hallway floor at a house in the village of Girton was unhappy with its condition and asked if we could call round and quote for having it deep cleaned and resealed. Girton is just north of Cambridge and only about six miles from our base so it wasn’t long before I was able to call in and survey the floor.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Girton

The floor was comprised of a combination of Red, Black and Cream tiles laid in a diamond pattern. The tiles were in good physical condition and I understand from the owner that it had been last cleaned and sealed about two years prior. Unfortunately, the sealer had now faded and had allowed dirt to become trapped in the pores of the tile giving it a grubby appearance that was difficult to clean effectively. The owner had two large dogs which I suspect contributed to the premature degradation of the sealer.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Girton Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Girton

I surveyed the floor, created a quote which was accepted and then agreed a date to return and renovate the floor.

Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

On my return I started by taping up the skirting boards and other woodwork with protective tape. Once that was done, I gave the tiles a soak in a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which was allowed to dwell for ten minutes before being scrubbed in using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor buffer. Remove and Go is a coatings remover which cleans the tiles and removes any remaining sealer.

The soil generated was extracted off the floor using a wet vacuum and the tiles inspected. The tiles had responded well to the cleaning process and after spot treating a few areas with a repeat of the previous process it was ready for the next stage which was to give the floor an acid wash.

I had noticed there was a slight build-up of efflorescence along one of the walls which isn’t unusual on these old floors where no damp proof membrane has been installed under the floor. It’s caused by moisture rising through the tile and depositing white salt staining on the surface as it evaporates. To resolve this, we neutralise the salts by giving the floor a quick rinse in a dilution of Grout Clean-up.

The Grout Clean-Up rinsed off the floor with water and extracted with the wet vacuum which was employed to get the floor as dry as possible before leaving for the evening.

Sealing Victorian Hallway Tiles

The floor was left to dry off fully overnight and I returned the next day, unfortunately after checking the moisture levels I found it needed more drying time, so I agreed to come back the next day.

The moisture levels were fine on day three, so I applied multiple coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go. Seal and Go is a water-based product so you don’t get left with a smell as it dries. As well as protecting the tiles the sealer also adds a nice subtle sheen that works well on Victorian Tiles and has put new life into the tiled hallway.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Girton Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Girton

Seal and Go is a breathable sealer so it will allow moisture to rise up through the tiles however had the efflorescence problem had been worse I would have used a different sealer. On this occasion however the problem appeared to be historical rather than recent.

My client was very happy with the transformation and left the following feedback.

“We are delighted with our Victorian tiled hall floor after treatment by Tom from Tile Doctor. A very professional service. Good communication throughout, and dedication to ensuring our full satisfaction; not a ways obvious when dealing with old tiles with different levels of porosity! Thank You!”

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Girton

 

Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Girton, Cambridge

Repair and Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Great Paxton, Cambridgeshire

I was called out to a house in the Village of Great Paxton to quote for deep cleaning a sealing a Victorian tiled hallway floor, there was also a triangular cemented section at the bottom of the stairs that the owner wanted retiling to match.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Great Paxton Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning and Repair Great Paxton

Fortunately, the owner had discovered some spare tiles in the under-stair cupboard that would do the job; were not sure why this triangular section had been cemented in at some point in the past, but I was happy that the spare tiles would be enough to cover. My quote was accepted, and it wasn’t long before I was able to return to carry out the renovation.

Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I started by taping up the skirting boars and other woodwork with protective tape. Once that was done I removed the triangular section of cement at the foot of the stairs. I noticed that the sub floor consisted of rubble and sand so once removed I was able to lay a section of a damp prof membrane and then back filled with self-levelling compound.

Victorian Tiled Hallway During Cleaning and Repair Great Paxton

Once the levelling compound had dried I laid the tiles that the owner had found under the stairs continuing the black and red diamond pattern. I used a quick setting adhesive which enabled me to grout the tiles in before leaving for the day and leave it to set overnight.

Deep Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Day two was begun by inspecting the previous day’s work to make sure all was well with the tiling and then continuing the restoration of the floor. In general, the tiles were dirty and had white paint splashed from decorating and so were now looking dull and faded. To remove the ingrained dirt, I gave the tiles a soak in a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which was scrubbed in using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor buffer. This process did a good job of removing the dirt and softened the paint splashes which I was then able to carefully scrape off.

After rinsing the floor with water and extracting the soil with a wet vacuum I could see the tiles were much cleaner but needed more work to get the replacement section to blend better with the existing. To resolve this, I honed the surface of the tiles with a 100-grit and then 200-grit pad rinsing with water and extracting after each pad.

Sealing Victorian Hallway Tiles

The floor was left to dry off fully overnight and I returned the next day to apply a sealer that would add colour and protect the tiles going forward. Multiple coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go were applied which a water-based product that adds a nice subtle sheen to the floor which works well on Victorian Tiles and put new life into the tiles.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Great Paxton Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning and Repair Great Paxton

My customer was very happy with the transformation and left the following feedback.

“We are very pleased with the restoration of our Victorian tiles in the hallway. We are also very pleased with the service and quality of the works carried out.”

 

Source: Victorian Tile Repair and Restoration Service in Great Paxton, Cambridgeshire

Restoring an Edwardian Tiled Hallway Hidden Under Carpet

Edwardian-style tiled floors are very much of a likeness with Victorian-style tiled floors, both typically being made of encaustic cement and styled in painted in geometric patterns. The main difference, of course, is that Edwardian tiles are a main feature of Edwardian-era houses (1901-1910), while Victorian tiles are found in slightly older properties.

As with many Victorian tiled floors, we’ve found that Edwardian tiled floors have commonly been hidden away for many years under carpet or some other form of covering. These hallway Edwardian tiles, at a property in Chippenham, had been covered by carpet for 30 years. Upon removing the carpet, we could see why – the hallway was covered in paint splashes, decades’ worth of dirt and, of course, adhesive stains from the underlay.

Edwardian Tiled Hallway Covered in Carpet and Before Restoration in Chippenham Edwardian Tiled Hallway Covered in Carpet and Before Restoration in Chippenham

My task was to restore the hallway floor back to its peak condition, when it was first installed over a century ago.

Edwardian Tiled Hallway UnCovered Before Restoration in Chippenham Edwardian Tiled Hallway UnCovered Before Restoration in Chippenham

Cleaning an Original Edwardian Tiled Hallway Floor

The first step of the restoration was to ensure the walls surrounding the hallway were protected. I did this by applying a protective film around the edges of the room. Next, I removed all the old carpet grippers and adhesive deposits manually using a handheld scraper.

Edwardian Tiled Hallway Prepared for Restoration in Chippenham

Tile Doctor Remove and Go was then applied to the floor to strip away any old sealant, which certainly by now was no longer effectual. This product also helped to break down the paint stains on the surface of the floor, though I also used a handheld scraper, as well as a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad, to speed up the process of removing both the sealant and the paint.

Edwardian Tiled Hallway During Restoration in Chippenham

To complete the cleaning process, I applied Tile Doctor Acid Gel, which is a blend of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids in a gel form, formulated to remove grout haze (grout smears) and treat efflorescence which is the formation of white salts on the surface of the tile.

Sealing an Original Edwardian Tiled Hallway Floor

I left the floor to dry completely overnight after installing air movers to assist with the process. These older properties do not typically have damp-proof membrane installed, which makes damp issues a real possibility. Upon returning to the property the following day, I ran some damp tests, and thankfully the tiles proved dry and ready to be resealed.

To do this, I used one coat of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal, which is a penetrating sealer designed for maximum stain protection. I then also added four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go to provide the customer with the low-sheen, highly quality finish he desired.

He was so impressed with the outcome that he left the following glowing review on the Tile Doctor feedback system:

“Tile Doctor did an excellent job, starting from a very dirty and paint covered surface. The hallway floor now looks fantastic, just like it was a century ago. I’m pleased to recommend Cambridge Tile Doctor.”

Edwardian Tiled Hallway After Sealing in Chippenham

 
 
Source: Edwardian Floor Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in Cambridgeshire