Renovating Old Church Tiles in Rugby, Warwickshire

I was called out to repair and clean a lovely Victorian tiled floor at St’ Chads which is a small church in Rugby, a market town in Warwickshire and well known for being the birthplace of Rugby Football. There were two areas requiring attention, both with different patterned tiles.

St Chads Church Rugby Internal

The floor had been patch repaired in the past and the tiles were now lifting and becoming loose due to efflorescent salts getting between the tiles. Damp can be a big problem with these old floors where no damp proof membrane has been fitted and I suspect a non-breathable sealer had been used previously, resulting in moisture being trapped under the tile.

Victorian Church Floor Rugby Before Repair

It’s lovely when I get to work in a property such as this, it makes a change from doing residential properties. I was confident I would be able to resolve the problems, and I was given the keys and time just to get on with it.

St Chads Church Rugby External

Cleaning and Repairing a Victorian Tiled Church Floor

I’m always on the lookout for reclaimed tiles on eBay so I was luckily able to repair the floor using some tiles from my collection which matched the existing and also some of the new ones that were fitted after the floor was repaired. Once the tile adhesive had set the tiles were grouted in using a matching grout. I managed to make the repairs in the morning and moved onto cleaning the floor in the afternoon once I was sure the adhesive and grout had set.

Victorian Church Floor Rugby During Repair

Concerned about adding moisture to the floor I opted to scrub the tiles with Tile Doctor Acid Gel which being an acid would counter any alkaline salts inherent in the floor and also deal with grout smears as well. After scrubbing the tiles with the Tile Doctor Acid Gel the soiled product was extracted using an industrial wet vacuum and then the floor was given a quick rinse with water which again was extracted using the wet vacuum.

To ensure there was no increase in the level of dampness in the floor I took moisture readings before and after the cleaning process. I then left the floor to dry out for a few days.

Victorian Church Floor After Repairs

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Church Floor

When I returned I first checked the tiles were dry using the damp meter and verified that they had returned to the baseline level I took at the start. With all being well I applied several coats of sealer to the floor. Given the issue with the tiles lifting previously I was keen not to repeat the previous issue and used Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra which is a fully breathable sealer ideal for floors where damp can be a problem. This gave the tiles a nice natural sheen and allowed the colours to shine through.

Victorian Church Floor After Restoration Victorian Church Floor Rugby After Restoration

The parishioners were very happy with the repairs to the floor and to see their lovely church restored.

 

Source: Church Tile Repair and Renovation Service in Warwickshire

Full Renovation of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Kidderminster, Worcestershire

The young couple who owned this house was in Kidderminster were expecting their first baby and wanted the original hallway floor repaired and restored in keeping with the Victorian house. Before contacting us, they had spoken with a builder who had said it was beyond repair and recommended ripping it up and laying a new floor. They were aware of the value that original features like floors can add to a property so undeterred they kept looking for a solution and found Tile Doctor.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Restoration Kidderminster

I am the local agent for Tile Doctor in Worcestershire and specialise in the restoration of old tiled floors so after popping round to take a look I was able to confirm that their builder was wrong and there was no reason why the floor couldn’t be restored. Relieved the floor could be restored they happily asked me to do the work and we arranged a date, it also turned out that he was also a fellow Mod and scooter rider, so we had plenty to talk about.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Restoration Kidderminster Victorian Tiled Floor Before Restoration Kidderminster

Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I returned to the property a few weeks later with my tiler and we began the work of carefully inspecting the floor to identify, remove and refit loose tiles. This was followed by repairs to the screed base and then cutting new matching tiles to replace those that were missing. Having worked on old Victorian and Edwardian tiles for some years now I have built up a collection of re-claimed tiles and often scan eBay for them as I know they will come in handy at some point in the future.

The repair process took three days to complete as naturally each tile needs to set in place and can only be grouted in once the adhesive has gone off. It’s also delicate work as anything out of place in the pattern of the floor would be conspicuous obvious.

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

On the fourth day the tiling work was complete, and I set about giving the floor a thorough clean starting with the application of Tile Doctor Remove and Go to remove any remnants of sealer, paint splashes from decorating and other marks. The solution was left to soak into the tile and grout for ten minutes before being worked in with a scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor buffer running on slow speed. The soiled cleaning solution was rinsed off with water and extracted with a wet vacuum, any stubborn areas were then spot treated until I was happy the floor was clear.

Using the same process, the floor was then treated to an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel. This served two purposes, first and acid wash will remove any fine grout smears and second the acid will neutralise any efflorescent salts that had built up in the tiles and could cause issue later. This is a common problem with old floors as they don’t have the protection of a damp proof membrane. The floor was then carefully rinsed down with water applied using micro fibre cloths, so it wouldn’t get too damp and then left overnight to dry off fully assisted with a couple of air movers I had left in place.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I returned the next day to seal the tiles checking first that the floor was dry by taking a few moisture readings with a damp tester. The air movers had done the job and I was able to crack on applying numerous coats of sealer which will protect the tile going forward and also enhance its appearance.

My choice of sealer was Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra which is a fully breathable sealer that can cope with moisture rising through the tiles, it also adds a nice sheen to the tile and works extremely well on clay-based tiles such as these.

Over the course of the five days the floor was transformed, and my customer was over the moon and I was happy to have saved yet another floor.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Restoration Kidderminster Victorian Tiled Floor After Restoration Kidderminster

 
 
Source: Victorian Hallway Cleaning and Restoration Service in Kidderminster