Maintaining Victorian Floor Tiles

This Victorian tiled floor at a house in Fulham was in an absolutely horrendous state. As you can see from the first photograph, the tiles were caked in layer upon layer of muck, including paint and glue stains. This was due to the floor being unknowingly hidden for many, many years under carpet.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Fulham
Needless to say, the property owner was desperate to remedy get the fantastic pattern floor back into good nick, and so contacted me for assistance. I travelled up to the property in the town of Fulham in South West London, which is famous for its football club, to survey the situation and begin the work. It was immediately clear that the thick layers of dirt and staining would need to be removed, before being treated to a new seal to provide long-lasting protection.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Fulham

Cleaning a Heavily Soiled Victorian Tiled a Floor

My product of choice for removing the extremely heavy soil buildup on the tiles was Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU (formerly UltraClean), a powerful solvent-based cream cleaner. What makes this product different from standard cleaners is its use of nano-sized cleaning particles to penetrate below tough stains, dissolve them, and lift them to the surface. NanoTech HBU is a highly versatile product which can be used on most types of natural stone floor, both polished and unpolished.

I laid down the NanoTech HBU and left it to dwell for a short period on the tiles, allowing it to begin eating through the dirt, before using a scraper in combination with a steamer to manually lift the muck away from the tiles. Next, to tackle the glue and paint marks, I applied Tile Doctor Remove and Go, a stripper specifically designed to break down adhesive and solvent stains, and then used a scraper and a scouring pad to manually remove the glue and paint in the affected areas.

Once this was done, I scrubbed in some more NanoTech HBU to dissolve any remaining muck before rinsing the area thoroughly with clean water. To complete the cleaning process, I laid some down some Tile Doctor Acid Gel, which is a blend of Phosphoric and Hydrochloric acids in gel form, to eliminate inherent grout haze and alkaline mineral deposits in the affected areas. I then left this to dwell for ten minutes before giving the floor a final rinse to remove any chemicals and soiled residue. The floor was left for a week to dry out before I returned to seal it.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

With these fantastic Victorian tiles now muck-free, I proceeded to seal the floor. I initially applied a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is an impregnating, colour-enhancing sealer that really brings out the colourful features of patterned Victorian tiled floors like this one.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Fulham
Once this initial coat of sealant had dried in, I asked the customer which kind of finish she preferred for the floor. She decided on a sheen finish, and so I laid down an extra five layers of Colour Grow to ensure the desired appearance, as well as to guarantee durable surface protection against dirt, stains and spillages.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Fulham
The customer was really pleased with the results of the restoration, and left the following feedback:

“Bill worked extremely hard to clean and seal our hall tiles. Everyone is amazed at how good they look. We are extremely pleased with the results.”

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before and After Restoration Fulham
Another great Victorian tiled floor brought back to life, and and satisfied customer!

Source: Victorian Tile and Stone Cleaning and Sealing Service in South London

Original Victorian Encaustic Tiled Floor Restored

I had an inquiry from a client in Fulham, who was representing the residents of an old building. The building had recently undergone redecoration and in the hallway, they had removed a thirty year old carpet to discover an original encaustic tiled floor underneath which turned out to be 102 years old.

Old Encaustic Floor Fulham Before Cleaning 1 Old Encaustic Floor Fulham Before Cleaning 2

As you can see from the photographs the floor was extremely dirty and covered in lots of glue and paint from the carpet and decorations. Naturally they were keen to have it restored and brought back to life. Given the condition of the tile and the age I to set their expectations and told them that although I was confident of making a big difference to the floor I couldn’t give any guarantees. I gave them my quotation and although it was slighter higher than what they had I mind, it was still less than other quotations that they had received and were also considering the option of replacing the carpet.

After a couple of days I received a call asking me to go ahead with the work and I booked it in.

Encaustic Tiled Floor Cleaning

My approach to the job was to initially spray a mixture of Tile Doctor Remove and Go combined with Tile Doctor NanoTech UltraClean which creates a powerful tile safe coatings remover with tiny abrasive particles that aid the cleaning process.

I left this to dwell on the tile for about fifteen minutes before scrubbing it in using a black scrubbing pad on my rotary machine. This approach removed some glue and a lot of old grime so I then sprayed down more Remove and Go and also used a steamer to loosen the remaining glue and paint. This process was repeated a section at a time until at the end of the day I gave the whole are a thorough rinse before packing away my equipment and leaving it to dry.

Encaustic Tiled Floor Sealing

I returned three days later and carried out a test with my moisture meter to make sure that the floor was dry enough to seal. The meter confirmed it was dry so I then sealed the floor using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that really brings out the colour in the tiles.

Old Encaustic Floor Fulham After Cleaning 3 Old Encaustic Floor Fulham After Cleaning 4

And as you can see the floor is transformed and now I have some happy residents who are really pleased that they opted to have the old floor cleaned instead of replacing the carpet. Not to mention that restoring such an original feature has probably added value to their investment as well.

Old Encaustic Floor Fulham Before and after Restoration 5

Source: Encaustic Tile Restoration Service in Surrey