Classic Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Restored in Lancaster

We often get asked to restore old Victorian tiled floors which are generally over 100 to 150 years old and as I’m sure you can imagine they experience a lot of wear over that length of time.

Victorian floor tiles before restoration Lancaster

We recently visited a property with such a floor in Lancaster after the client got in touch looking to have their hallway floor tiles restored. We arrived to inspect the floor and could see straight away that it was looking a little tired and in need of care and attention. Some tiles had become loose and had broken apart, especially around the doorways. Also, this floor had suffered from subsidence in the past and this had created a crack line near the top end of the hallway which pushed up several of the tiles. We went through what could be done to restore it, the client agreed a price and we arranged a time to come back.

Cleaning and Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

My first task was to take the loose tiles up, grind the concrete screed back so it was as level as we could make it and then we needed to refit the tiles. Once all loose tiles were fixed, we left them to dry and cure.

Victorian floor tiles during restoration Lancaster

We then came back to start the main clean of the floor, we used Tile Doctor Diamond Burnishing pads for this, which bite in deep to the clay face and remove ingrained dirt far better than conventional alkaline cleaners can. We used a series of different grades of these diamond pads to get the finish we required and then rinsed with clean water once were finished, removing the slurry created with a wet vacuum.

Any areas we couldn’t reach with our weighted buffing machines we had to get on our hands and knees and use small handheld Diamond Blocks, using a bit of clean water and elbow grease, this is especially good on intricate edges and around doors and corners.

Victorian floor tiles during restoration Lancaster

The floor was given a quick rinse with water to remove any remaining clay resin and soil generated by the burnishing process. A wet vacuum is then used to extract the soil and remove as much moisture from the floor before being left to dry off fully overnight.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Before we seal the Victorian Tiles, they looked very dull and washed out however this all changes once we apply the sealer. We checked the moisture levels in the floor which were fine. Our favourite sealer for this type of tile is called Tile Doctor Colour Grow, this is a fully breathable sealer which restores the colour lost in the cleaning process and allows for the floor to breathe, which is an absolutely necesity on an old floor without a Damp Proof Membrane where Efflorescence can be an problem.

Tile Doctor Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer that works by occupying the pores in the tile, so dirt cannot become ingrained there. It leaves a matt finish and enhances the colours in the tile bringing them to life, as you will see on the photos.

Victorian floor tiles after restoration Lancaster

For aftercare we always advise our customers to use Tile Doctor pH Neutral tile cleaner as it’s specially designed for cleaning sealed surfaces without damaging the sealer like cheap supermarket cleaners that contain anionic surfactants.

The client was very pleased with the restoration of her floor which is now in good physical condition and looks much brighter.

 

Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Lancaster, Lancashire

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

Replacing Missing Victorian Tiles

This large entrance hall tiled in Victorian black and white floor tiles in London W2 had been quite badly damaged in the past by having a carpet glued and nailed on to it. Many tiles were broken or missing and those missing had been replaced by cement.

Victorian-Tile-Before-Cleaning-in-London.jpg

Cleaning a Victorian Floor

On the first day of this three day job I removed the cement filling and extracted the nails that remained in the floor. I then stabilised the exposed area with a PVA solution before replacing the missing tiles with replica or salvaged ones to match the floor was swept out and vacuumed to remove all loose debris.

On the second day I cleaned the floor, removing the old carpet glue with Tile Doctor “Remove and Go” which was left to dwell onto the tile for a while to allow it to soak into the tile and break down the adhesive; this was then removed with a wet vacuum. The next step was to clean the tiles using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was worked in with a black srubbing pad to scrub the cleaning solution into the tile and finish off the cleaning process, again the soiled solution was removed with a wet vacuum. Normally by now the floor would of have been clean however In this case the levels of soaked-in old glue and ground-in dirt from decades of use were such that the floor also required steaming, scraping and wire brushing with a Spid brass wire brush before a final clean with another round of Pro-Clean and a black buffing pad fitted to a Numatic buffing machine. This had the desired affect and the last step was to wash the floor down with clean water to remove any remaining chemicals etc.

Sealing a Victorian Floor Sealing

After leaving the floor to dry overnight I came back the third day to seal the floor using four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is ideal for Victorian tiled floors as it leaves a low sheen finish whilst providing excellent stain protection.

Victorian-Tile-After-Cleaning-in-London

As you can see from the ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos the results were impressive and the customer described it as, “looking great”.
 
 
Source: Victorian tile restoration in Central London