Rebuilding a Damaged Victorian Tiled Hallway in Epsom

A customer from Epsom called me regarding the restoration of her Victorian tiled hallway which was previously covered in carpet and in a poor state of health. Intrigued and having spoken on the phone I agreed a time to call in and survey the floor and work out a way forward. I visited the property and could immediately see considerable repair work including resolving problems with the sub floor and tile replacement would be required and all this before cleaning and sealing.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Before Rebuild in Epsom

This house had undergone some serious renovations recently and the floor was left till last. I’m not a structural engineer so was unable to advise what had happened to the floor, but all the faults appeared to run in a line from the kitchen to the front door. It was an old house so who knows what might have caused it, it might even have been bomb damage from the 2nd world war.

There were three main problem areas. The worst was by the front door where an area of about a metre square was just loose tiles and laid on rubble. The family had got used to jumping across the threshold so as not to make the problem worse. Next was a strip through the middle that was totally exposed and a massive trip hazard. The floor boards were visible as was the floor base. There was another area by the front room entrance that had some loose pattern tiles that clunked every time someone entered the room. Finally, there was a small area to the entrance to the basement that had been patched in with cement.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Before Rebuild in Epsom Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Before Rebuild in Epsom

It was clearly going to be a challenging restoration for several reasons. Had the customer kept all the loose tiles? If not, could I source matching replacements? Would it be possible to level the floor that appeared to be sloping towards the front door? Could I remove loose and broken tiles without disturbing others? Could I manage the customers high expectations?

Having worked on numerous Victorian floor restorations in the past I knew where I could potentially source replacement tiles. I also had the full backing of the Tile Doctor network so knew I could always reach out to other Tile Doctors should I face any major problems. Undaunted we agreed a date for me to return and start the work and in the mean time I would talk to several specialist tile suppliers about replacements.

Rebuilding a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Before starting any tiling work, I photographed the whole floor extensively from different angles so I would have something to refer to later. Then I removed all the loose tiles placing them in buckets for further cleaning. I now had three areas that I could see beneath the floor boards and another area of cement that I broke up using a chisel drill. In total I filled six buckets with rubble and broken tiles, all of which were taken off site and disposed of at a local recycling centre.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor During Rebuild in Epsom Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor During Rebuild in Epsom

The next step was to ensure I had a level and flat base in the newly exposed areas on which to lay the tiles. I managed this by laying down a self-levelling compound. The compound is mixed in a bucket and poured into the holes up to the required level allowing gravity to do the levelling work for you. It is then left to dry and harden overnight.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor During Rebuild in Epsom Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor During Rebuild in Epsom

The next day I started by re-fixing the loose tiles in areas where the subfloor was still solid. Close packed Victorian tiles are very tough but can be brittle, often removing a single tile can cause chips or break surrounding tiles. I always buy more replicas than the job requires for this very reason. This can be very frustrating work, so I find its best approach is to remove as few tiles as possible. I explained to the customer that the floor is over 100 years old and some chips and scratches give the floor character. Perfection is an unrealistic expectation where some marks are permanent.

Part of the other renovations included the removal of two antique radiators leaving some strips of carpet and adhesive attached to the floor. I removed this using a strong mixture of tile doctor remove and go and a little encouragement from a 50-grit diamond block.

The preparation continued with the cleaning up of the three buckets of tiles recovered at the beginning of the restoration. Old adhesive and cement must be removed before refitting to ensure they can be laid flush to the adjacent tiles. Luckily for me the weather was warm and sunny, so I sat on the garden wall for the afternoon using a combination of a wet tile cutter, Fein tool and diamond blocks to get them clean while I took in the sun.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor During Rebuild in Epsom

The next day was spent re-laying the tiles. The tiles are in an intricate pattern and in various shapes and sizes. The main area by the front door took all day. The difference in thickness between the original and replacement tiles made the work particularly difficult. Interested neighbours came and went commenting on my progress throughout.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor During Rebuild in Epsom

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The next day I soaked all the tiles with tile doctor Acid Gel and left to dwell for 30 minutes. This was to work into the porous areas and to break down years of dirt. Then attaching a very coarse 100-grit diamond encrusted pad attached to a rotary floor machine I cleaned the tiles with a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. This process skims away a small layer of the tiles thus the dirt too. All the soil was extracted from the floor using a wet vacuum. I repeated this process twice for maximum effect. The customer was amazed at the result and I wasn’t finished yet. When wet the contrast between the white tiles and dark were astonishing, however this was temporary so I made sure the customer aware that without a sealer they would look washed out and colourless. I left the scene overnight with a couple of warm air movers in place to fully dry out the tiles.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

The tiles need to be dry before sealing so the next day my first action was to test the floor for moisture using a damp meter. They passed and were ready to take a sealer, so I discussed the different options and finishes with the customer. It was a very interesting house, full of retro artefacts so we needed something that would blend in, more importantly she had four children and a husband who bought a cycle through the house twice a day. I recommended Tile doctor seal and Go Extra. It’s super tough, offering great protection and gives a subtle sheen that I felt would suit the house. Three coats later and I was done, closing the door behind me as everyone was at school and work

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Rebuild in Epsom Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Rebuild in Epsom

I popped back later that evening to discuss the job. The newly applied sealer had intensified the depth of colour in the Victorian tiles and returned the brightness to the floor. She was very pleased and even gave me a carrot cake to take home with me.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Rebuild in Epsom

 

Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Epsom Surrey

Deep an Cleaning Edwardian Mosaic Floor in Abington Park, Northamptonshire

My customer recently got in touch and requested a site visit to look at her hallway floor.
The Edwardian property was situated in the Abington Park part of Northampton which is an area is steeped in history, with the nearby Manor House said to have been the home of William Shakespeare’s daughter Elizabeth Bernard. The house has since been turned into a museum.

As you can see from the photos, the floor which was laid when the house was built over 100 years ago using small square brown and beige mosaic tiles in a repeating. Although in good physical condition for its age the floor was looking a little tired and had lost its lustre and vibrant colour. The hallway also had stained wood panelling on one side which was another original feature and the owner of the property was keen to maintain the period feel.

Edwardian Mosaic Tiled Hallway Floor Before Cleaning Abington Park

I discussed with the customer what we could do to restore the floor, explaining the process, timescale and of course the cost. She was happy to go ahead so we scheduled the work in without delay.

Edwardian Mosaic Tiled Hallway Floor Before Cleaning Abington Park

Cleaning an Edwardian Mosaic Tiled Hallway Floor

In order to protect the wall panels and keep the moisture in the floor to a minimum I decided to keep the use of cleaning products to a minimum. This is always a concern with these old floors which have no damp proof membrane as the use of too much water can lead to efflorescence salts appearing later. With this in mid I decided to clean the floor using Tile Doctor burnishing pads as these pads only require a small amount of water and no products, this would also have the benefit of slightly levelling out the surface of the tiles.

My first course of action was to vacuum the floor to ensure there was no loose debris followed by masking up the bottom of the stairs carpet to protect it. I then started the restoration process by using a coarse 100-grit Tile Doctor burnishing pad attached to a 17” industrial rotary machine and a small amount of water to lubricate the process. The 100-grit pad is quite an aggressive pad which removes deeply imbedded stains and as mentioned before a small amount of unevenness. To remove the resultant slurry the floor was rinsed with a small amount of water which was then extracted using a wet pick up machine. This process was then repeated with a 200-grit burnishing pad to smooth out any scratches and polish the tile ready for sealing.

Although it was a relatively small area, 12 square metres this process took the whole day as we work in small sections at a time. Moving the machine slowly with multiple passes over each area.

Sealing an Edwardian Tiled Hallway Floor

I returned the following day and assessed the floor to ensure we were happy with the result from the previous days cleaning. I also took damp meter readings and was pleased to see they were within normal expectations for a floor of this age. Next, I applied Tile Doctor Colour Grow Sealant which is a breathable sealant that will allow any moisture in the sub floor to rise though the tile. This particular sealer is a colour enhancing sealer that protects and improves the natural colours in the tile and leaves a lovely natural finish. The floor now has a much more even finish and will be much easier for the client to maintain in the future.

Edwardian Mosaic Tiled Hallway Floor After Cleaning Abington Park

The customer was very happy with the results and left the following feedback on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

“Great communication about the work planned and quotation. A super job in bringing my Edwardian mosaic tiled floor back to life. Would highly recommend this service”
Karen M”

Edwardian Mosaic Tiled Hallway Floor After Cleaning Abington Park

 

Source: Mosaic Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Abington Park, Northamptonshire

Stripping Wax off Scratched Victorian Tiles in Rushden

This customer called me as she was concerned about the scratches on her hallway tiles, they were not only unsightly but were also starting to trap dirt. The Victorian property in Rushden which lies between Bedford and Kettering on the east side of Northamptonshire.

We always offer a site visit to take a look at the job before doing any work, that way we can discuss what the cleaning options are, and it also demonstrates to the customer that we know what we’re talking about.

The hallway floor was a lovely and intricate example of Victorian tile installation and I could see that overall it was in good condition for its age. On closer inspection the customer was relieved to find out that it was the old wax sealant breaking down and not actually scratches on the tiles. I carried out a test on a small area to ascertain how difficult it would be to remove this wax. I realised I would be able to use Tile Doctors new product for the removal of the wax sealant, Tile Doctor Wax Away which is a fast and effective formula that is designed just for this type of job, it offers safe removal of wax and polish from tile and natural stone. We agreed the quote and the work was booked in for the following month.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Before Wax Removal Rushden

Cleaning/Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

On our return we started to remove the wax coating using the Tile Doctor Wax Away product. It was applied neat and left to dwell for ten to fifteen minutes before working it into the floor with a small amount of water and a black stripping pad attached to a rotary machine. The resulting slurry was then removed using a wet vacuum. The floor was then inspected, and I decided to repeat this process with a hand brush in a couple of small areas and around the edges to ensure the old wax sealant was fully removed in these stubborn areas. The floor was then rinsed with water to remove any remaining slurry and trace of cleaning product and the wet vacuum was used to dry the floor again.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor During Wax Removal Rushden

My next course of action was to run over the floor with a 400-grit burnishing pad to remove imbedded dirt and stains from the tiles, this was followed by a second rinse with water. After removing the water with wet vacuum, the floor was then left to dry out fully for a few days aided by a large fan that I left on site. It’s important that the tiles are fully dry before applying a sealer and this is even more important on older floors where no damp proof membrane has been installed.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I returned three days later and started by giving the floor a light vacuum and clean. I also took damp meter readings to check the floor was fully dry. Once I was satisfied I started to apply 2 coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow Sealant, this is a breathable sealant which will allow the tiles to breath and allow moisture vapour from the sub floor to rise through the tiles which is important in these old houses where no damp proof membrane exists. Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer that works by occupying the pores in the tile thus preventing dirt from becoming ingrained there, the sealant enhances the natural colours in the tile and dries to a lovely natural matt finish.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Cleaning Rushden

Once finished the floor looked great and the customer was hugely relieved that the tiles could be restored easily and cost effectively, she had thought the damage may have been irreversible. Moving forward it will now be easier for her to maintain and keep clean. The floor is now back to its’ true self and properly in keeping with the rest of the period features in the house.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Cleaning Rushden

 

Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Rushden, Northamptonshire

Renovating and Fixing Loose Tiles in a Victorian Hallway in Mill Hill, North London

This 1930’s North London property in Mill Hill had a classic tiled hallway floor laid with black and white tiles in a diamond pattern and reminiscent of the Victorian era some thirty years earlier but still popular at the time the house was built. Mill Hill was first recorded as Myllehill in 1547 and appears to be named after a “hill with a windmill”. Over the years it’s merged with the surrounding towns and is now a desirable suburb in the North London Borough of Barnet.

I first spoke to the owner of the property over the phone to get an idea of what was required and work out a convenient time to take a look at the floor; we often get customers looking for a quote over the phone but this is not always easy to do as you never know what problems you might find with an older floor until you get there.

On inspection I could see there were in fact a large number of loose tiles in the central part of the floor which would need to be reset and grouted, the floor would also need to be deep cleaned and re-sealed with a suitable sealer to get it back to its former glory. I was confident we could soon get the floor looking how it should and after discussing the process, agreed a price and a timescale for the project. The owner was keen to get the job completed as soon as possible.

Cleaning/Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Firstly, we prepared the area with protective polythene tapes to thresholds, carpets, and door fronts to ensure the surrounding areas were protected. To clean the floor a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean was applied, this is a concentrated, multi-purpose high-alkaline cleaner, stripper and degreaser and is highly recommended for use on natural stone, tile and grout. The tiles were scrubbed with both floor pads and brushes, it is easier to use brushes in the more intricate areas.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Restoration During Cleaning Mill Hill

After the scrubbing we rinsed, and steam cleaned the floor, removing the slurry generated during the cleaning process with a wet vacuum. It was now nicely prepared ready for carrying out the repairs and the cleaning process was useful in identifying those tiles which needed extra attention.

The repairs involved resetting 50 to 60 loose tiles, the process requires carefully removing the tile, scraping out the old adhesive and grout and then replacing with new. The area is cleaned and then when the adhesive has set the tiles are re grouted in a grout chosen to best match the original. Luckily there were no damaged tiles on this floor which made the job easier. Although, we can usually track down replacements when they are needed!

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

We then left the hallway to dry off overnight, returning the next day we used a moisture meter to check the floor was dry and suitable for sealing. Old floors like these have no damp proof membrane fitted under the floor so can take time to dry out, fortunately we completed this work during warm weather, so all the readings were good.

Victorian style tiles are quite porous, so we found we need to apply give coats of sealer before they were fully sealed. We selected Tile Doctor Seal & Go to seal the tiles, it’s a specially formulated water-based blend of acrylic polymers that adds a durable stain resistant surface and leaves an appealing low-sheen finish. Being water based it doesn’t leave a smell as it dries, and it also a breathable sealer that can cope with the lack of a damp proof membrane ensuring moisture doesn’t become trapped under the floor.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Restoration After Cleaning Mill Hill

The client was very happy with the completed job, the work took a day and half to complete. Considering how many tiles had been loose the job had turned out very well. The floor is now much more manageable for her and the hallway tiles life has now been prolonged.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Restoration After Cleaning Mill Hill

 

Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in Mill Hill, London

Removing Cement Screed from Victorian Tiles in Bearwood, Birmingham

This customer got in touch with me to see if there was anything I could do to restore a Victorian tiled floor they had discovered under carpet in their hallway. Interestingly they had been told previously that the floor was beyond repair and had been quoted thousands of pounds to have it completely ripped up and replaced.

Victorian Hallway Before Restoration Bearwood Victorian Hallway Before Restoration Bearwood

I visited the property in Bearwood near Smethwick, to take a look and could see that there was a section under a cement screed. The floor was in a truly sorry state, so I could see why the other company were not keen on restoring it. Undeterred I did a test clean to see if I could remove the screed which was encouraging however without removing all the screed it would not be possible to see what condition the tiles underneath were in. I agreed with the customer to order some replacement tiles which were needed along with extra ones just in case. The job would take a few days to allow for cleaning, repairing, drying out and sealing. The client wasn’t too optimistic, but I reassured them we could definitely get a good result.

Victorian Hallway Before Restoration Bearwood

Cleaning and Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway

The first day was spent removing the cement screed which was quite thick in parts, so I went down the route of steaming it first to help soften the covering and then carefully scraping it off. This was quite labour intensive, but it did the job. Once the cement was removed I was left with some tiles that were ok but quite a few needed to be replaced.

Victorian Hallway During Restoration Bearwood Victorian Hallway During Restoration Bearwood

There were also two doorways, one that needed completely relaying and one needed part relaying. Some of the tiles needed to be cut to size, there were many tiles that needed resetting and re-grouting along with grout being applied to the new tiles.

Victorian Hallway During Restoration Bearwood

The next day the tiles were deep cleaned with a 50:50 combination of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed with Nanotech HBU which stands for Heavy Build-Up Remover, which was quite appropriate in this case. This cocktail of tile cleaning products was left to dwell on the tiles for a while then worked in with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a weighted rotary machine. The floor was then rinsed off with water and then the soil extracted with a wet vacuum.

My next step was to give the floor and acid wash to remove any old grout smears and neutralise other mineral contaminates such as salts that can get deposited on the surface of the tiles as moisture evaporates as the floor dries. This is always a risk with old floors where no damp proof membrane exists. To do this I applied a dilution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which is scrubbed into the tiles with a deck brush and then rinsed off the floor with water and a wet vacuum. The floor was then left to dry out for a couple of days.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I returned to seal the floor and after check it had dried sufficiently applied three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer. This sealer seeps into the pores of the tile enhancing the colours and leaves a matt finish which the customer had previously specified. The floor was then buffed with a white pad and the customer left with a bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner to clean the floor with moving forward.

Victorian Hallway After Restoration Bearwood Victorian Hallway After Restoration Bearwood

The customer was delighted with the results and left the following feedback on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

“Kieron has done a fantastic job of our Victorian hallway tiles. We had been quoted several really high prices by other companies, but Kieron’s quote was a fraction of these. I initially wondered whether this meant the job wouldn’t be as good but after 3 days of solid work the results are fantastic! He managed to transform it to its former glory, a hallway that was partly cemented over, had missing and loose tiles all over the place and was filthy. He definitely does a lot more than just cleaning! We couldn’t be happier with the results!”

Victorian Hallway After Restoration Bearwood

 

Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Bearwood, Birmingham

Renovating a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Gloucester, Gloucestershire

My customer was renovating their house in Gloucester and discovered this lovely vibrant Victorian tiled floor with blue accents under the carpet and were keen to get it restored and back to its’ former self. Gloucester lies close to the Welsh border, on the River Severn, between the Cotswolds to the east and the Forest of Dean to the southwest.

Victorian Hallway Before Renovation Gloucester

They were delighted to uncover the original floor but unsure if it could be restored asked me to come over and take a look. The tiles were in good physical condition for their age but were ingrained with dirt and had paint splashes, cement and carpet glue on the surface. The property had lots of period features, but this was by far the nicest. Luckily there was very little damage to the floor, so there was no need to source any extra tiles. We discussed what needed to be done and how the process would work, agreed a price and a timescale for the project which was accepted.

Victorian Hallway Before Renovation Gloucester

Deep Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The first process was to cover walls and skirting boards with plastic sheeting, I usually do this as a rule but in this case the hallway had just been decorated so we wanted to avoid any dirty splashes from the cleaning process.

Next a solution of tile doctor Tile Doctor Remove and Go was applied to the floor and left to dwell for 20 minutes and then with a buffing machine and black scrubbing pad I set about deep cleaning the floor. Tile Doctor Remove and Go is a strong coatings remover that can deal with old sealers, paint and glue, it’s also safe to use on tile, grout and stone. The floor was then rinsed with water and the now soiled cleaning solution was extracted from the floor with a wet vacuum.

Stubborn stains were spot treated using the same process and once satisfied with the results I gave the floor an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel. This neutralises any potential salt staining issues that could appear later as the floor dries. This process is known as efflorescence and can be very troublesome on old floors like these which don’t have a damp proof membrane installed. We often find covering old floors like these in a rubber underlay also prevents the floor from breathing which can lead to damp being trapped in the floor.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

We left the floor to dry off overnight and then the next day checked for moisture. It’s been a long hot summer, so the tiles had soon dried out. Happy with the results we started sealing the tiles with five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go. This is a specially formulated water-based blend of acrylic polymers that provides both a stain resistant surface seal and a durable low-sheen finish that works really well on Victorian tiled floors like this. Additionally, the product allows moisture vapour transmission so will be able to cope with the fact that this floor has not damp-proof membrane.

Victorian Hallway After Renovation Gloucester

As you can see from the photos the sealant left a lovely finish and the customer was very pleased with outcome. The floor is now restored and offers a lovely traditional entrance to their property.

Victorian Hallway After Renovation Gloucester

 

Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in Gloucester, Gloucestershire

Small Original Victorian Tiled Hallway Restored in Exeter

I was contacted by the owners of a Victorian terraced house in Exeter who had been lovingly restoring the property over the last couple of years and during the work they uncovered this section of tiled flooring and had decided to bring me in to make it look its best. It’s possible that this section of floor was all that was left from when the house was built over 100 years ago and at some point, in the past the rest of the floor was removed and replaced with something more modern.

Exeter has an abundance of character properties and there seems to be a bit of a trend to restore period features such as fireplaces and old floors at present. It’s always worth looking under old carpets and vinyl in the search of classic floors such as this, particularly if your neighbours have them, after all it will add value!

I visited the property to take a closer look and to take some moisture readings because these old floors were laid without a damp proof membrane and high moisture levels can restrict when this type of work can be carried out due to the sealer needing the floor to be dry(ish) in order to cure. I also did a test clean on one section of the floor to show the customer what level of cleaning could be achieved and inspected the floor for loose tiles to see if any replacement tiles would need to be sourced.

Small Victorian Tiled Hallway Entrance Exeter Before Cleaning

Cleaning Victorian Tiled Reception Area

With the customers happy with the quote I returned to complete the work starting by protecting the skirting and bottom of the stair carpet. Once done I began the cleaning process by applying a strong stripper/degreaser called Tile Doctor Pro-Clean on to the floor. For best results you need to achieve an even coverage and keeping and check it regularly to ensure it doesn’t dry out. After a short dwell time I set to work scrubbing the floor with a 400-grit diamond burnishing pad fitted to a rotary buffing machine. This really works the cleaning product into the pores of the tiles releasing the dirt and removes any sealers or other old coatings in the process. These large 17” pads do struggle to reach into the corners and edges of the floor however, so I always finish off with a hand-held diamond block. Once I was satisfied that the tiles were as good as they could be I rinsed the floor of the alkaline cleaner and dirty water and extracted the soil using a wet vacuum.

Next step was to give the floor what we like to call and Acid Rinse or Acid Wash as some of my colleagues refer to it. We don’t normally use acidic products on tile or stone however they are particularly good at dealing with mineral sales and removing grout smears. Old floors like these are particularly vulnerable to a natural process called efflorescence which results in white mineral salt deposits being left on the surface of the tile as the floor fully dries out and can interfere with the sealer. To counter this, the floor is cleaned with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up, which is an acid-based product that will neutralise the alkalinity in the floor. The solution is quickly scrubbed into the floor and then rinsed off with water.

Before I left for the day I fixed any loose tiles back into place, re-grouted where needed and left an air mover on the floor to aid in the drying of the tiles. If there are radiators in the area I also suggest that they are turned on overnight to further aid the drying process. Occasionally these types of floors need to be left for several days to dry but it is worth the wait and the floors can be used in the meantime provided indoor shoes and socks only are used and care is taken not to get the floor dirty.

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway and Entrance Lobby

Upon returning the next day I tested the moisture content of the floor and was pleased to find that it was well within acceptable levels for the application of the sealer that I was planning to use.

I quickly checked the floor for areas that I felt may be able to be improved and once satisfied I started the sealing process by applying a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that soaks into the pores of the tile protecting it from within and improving the colours in the tile beforehand. This was following with two coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go that will add further protection and give the floor a subtle satin finish.

Small Victorian Tiled Hallway Entrance Exeter After Cleaning

The customers were thrilled and said that they wished they had brought me in sooner! For aftercare I left the customer with some guidance on care and maintenance of the floor as well as a suitable bottle of neutral tile cleaner.

 

Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Repair Service in Exeter, Devon

Victorian Tessellated Tiled Hallway Restored in Bounds Green

Bounds Green in North London has more than its fair share of Victorian terraced houses packed with desirable original features. When the owners of this house pulled up their hallway carpet they were excited to discover a beautiful and original black and white Tessellated tiled floor.

Victorian Hallway Before Restoration and Repair Bounds Green Lifting Carpet Victorian Hallway Before Restoration and Repair Bounds Green

Tessellated tiled floors became fashionable from the 1860s and usually featured striking geometric patterns. By the end of the century they had become an essential feature in the most ordinary Victorian terraced houses from Dover to Aberdeen. They fell out of fashion in the 1960s and 70s and were usually covered over with carpet or linoleum, but period house owners today understand their value and are restoring them back their former glory. A well-restored tessellated tiled floor not only looks incredibly attractive but is durable and hard wearing. They were originally laid by highly skilled tillers and most have already survived 100 years of family wear and tear. With the right care they will probably be good for another 100 years.

Restoring a Victorian Tessellated Tiled Floor

The first thing we did was cut away the rest of the carpet to expose the whole hallway. The floor looked in a relatively stable condition, but it was clear the floor needed a deep clean and some minor repairs.

Victorian Hallway Before Restoration and Repair Bounds Green Victorian Hallway During Restoration and Repair Bounds Green

We started off by cleaning off each individual tile with Tile Doctor Remove and Go, a multi-purpose stripper that also draws out ingrained stains and removes old sealers and coatings; this took away all the glue and dirt from the carpet. We then applied Tile Doctor Nanotech HBU which is specially designed to penetrate below tough stains, dissolve and lift them out. We left that for twenty minutes for maximum effect before lightly scrubbing. Each tile was then individually scrapped with polypropylene pads.

The next step was to remove the resultant soil by rinsing with water and extracting with a wet vacuum. We steamed cleaned each tile and carried out a second clean with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a strong cleaner and degreaser for heavily soiled and neglected tile, stone and grout that has been neglected or subjected to heavy use.

By now the floor was looking pretty good. The beautiful black and white design of the floor was once again in evidence after decades of being hidden under carpet. There were just a few more steps to complete the job and restore this floor to its original glory. We carried out the minor repairs needed, carefully re-grouted the very fine gaps between the tiles and left the floor overnight for the grout to thoroughly dry.

Sealing a Victorian Tessellated Tiled Hallway Floor

The next day we sealed the tiles with five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go to give a beautiful and natural low-sheen satin finish. This specially formulated solution also provides a stain resistant surface seal and being water based it doesn’t leave a smell as it dries.

Victorian Hallway After Restoration and Repair Bounds Green

We managed to complete the whole job in just under two days with two of our skilfully-trained technicians. Our customer was delighted with the outcome and left the following message for us on the Tile Doctor feedback system:

“The team worked hard at what seemed a fiddly job and we are very pleased with the outcome. I would recommend.” Natalie G, Bounds Green, London”

Victorian Hallway After Restoration and Repair Bounds Green

 
 
Source: Tessellated Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in North London

Old Victorian Hallway Renovated at Torver Near Coniston Water

We were recently asked to restore an old tiled floor that had been laid in a Basket Weave Pattern in the hallway of a property in Torver which is a small hamlet on the outskirts of Coniston Water in the Lake District. Torver has a long history however it really took off with the arrival of the Coniston to Broughton-in-Furness railway line in 1859 which was used to transport stone and Slate from the local mines. Many of the properties in the Coniston and Torver areas date from the Victorian period and contain original stone and tiled floors.

This tiled floor had been revealed when the existing carpet was removed by the new owners. It proved to be in quite good condition despite being covered for a long period, but it nevertheless suffered from the usual age-related issues. It needed an intense clean and a fresh seal, including the removal of deeply ingrained dirt, paint stains, glue deposits and bitumen.

After inspecting the situation, the quote we offered the customer was accepted and a date was arranged for us to return to complete the work.

Deep Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

Our first course of action was to clean the edges of the floor, to remove the glue deposits and carpet underlay residue. This was achieved using the careful application of a sharp scraping tool and handheld burnishing blocks combined with a couple of Tile Doctor cleaning products.

Victorian Floor Tiles During Renovation Torver

The first product applied was Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU (Heavy Build-up Remover) which is a strong alkaline product specially formulated with nano-sized cleaning particles to penetrated deep into the stone and dissolve deeply ingrained dirt and stains. The second product was Tile Doctor Remove and Go, a heavy-duty coatings remover which works well particularly well at removing glue deposits, paint, and synthetic coatings.

We then addressed the rest of the floor using a coarse 200-grit burnishing pad attached to a slow speed rotary cleaning machine, applied with water as the lubricant. We used this in small areas to intensely clean the surface of the floor. The resultant slurry was then extracted from the floor a powerful wet vacuum.

The floor was then rinsed again with water and the moisture was wet vacuumed before we moved onto the next area. Once the floor was completely scrubbed and rinsed, and any remaining glue and paint issues were retreated using the same methods we used on the floor edges, we then moved onto the final phase of the clean.

The last step in the cleaning process involved giving the floor an acid wash to deal with any potential salt issues (efflorescence) which can result in white salt deposits appearing on the surface of the tiles as they dry. Damp proof membranes that can prevent this problem are a relatively modern invention, so this can be a real issue for old floors from the Victorian era, particularly if the floor has had damp issues in the past. The floor was washed with a 1:3 dilution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which being acidic effectively counteracts the alkaline salts. The floor was then given another rinse to remove any trace of cleaning products and then left to dry off.

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

We actually left the floor to dry out for three full days and upon our returning to the property several moisture readings were taken to ensure the floor was dry enough to take a fresh seal.

Victorian Basket Weave Lay During Sealing in Torver

The customer had requested a natural-looking matte finish to the floor. We have the perfect product to provide this type of finish, so we proceeded to apply three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, an impregnating sealer which naturally enhances the colours in the tile, additionally it’s a fully breathable sealer so moisture can easily rise through the floor.

Victorian Basket Weave Lay After Renovation Torver

As you can see from the photographs taken during the various stages of the restoration, the intense clean and fresh seal greatly enhanced the appearance of the floor – much more so than could have been achieved with everyday products and methods. The customer was very pleased indeed.

Victorian Basket Weave Lay After Renovation Torver

 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Cumbria

Restoring an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor in Leighton Buzzard

A homeowner in the Leighton Buzzard was having some renovation work done to their property and during the course of the work discovered an original Victorian tiled floor underneath the hallway carpet. The town dates all the way back to the 12th century so period features like this are quite common.

Keen to have the floor restored the owner got in touch to ask if I could survey the floor and quote for restoring it, so my colleague Phillip popped round to see what needed to be done. Surprisingly the tiles were generally in quite good condition for their age with just a few cracks and chips here and there. There were some missing tiles that needed replacing but I was able to help them source replacements which were fitted before the cleaning work commenced.

Victorian Tiled Floor Leighton Buzzard Before Cleaning Victorian Tiled Floor Leighton Buzzard Before Cleaning

Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

I started the cleaning process by giving the tiles a deep machine clean with Pro-Clean which is a strong tile and grout cleaning product produced by Tile Doctor. A strong dilution was left to soak into the tiles before scrubbed in with a tile brush fitted to a rotary machine. This action lifted the surface soil and bits of plaster and paint which was then rinsed off and extracted using a wet vacuum.

With the soil and cleaning solution removed I then carried out a full inspection of the tiles in their natural state to see what other work would be required. As there was no apparent sealer present, I decided that the next step in the cleaning process would be to use a coarse 200 grit burnishing pad to clean and resurface the tiles, this was followed by a second rinse and wet vacuum. I then went around on hands and knees using Tile Doctor 100 grit diamond hand blocks to remove stubborn staining around the edges close to the newly painted skirting boards.

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

The floor was allowed to fully dry for 2 days before I returned to apply Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealant which is an impregnating sealer that improves colour and is fully breathable, so it allows any damp from the sub floor to dissipate. Choosing a breathable sealer is important for these old floors which have no damp proof course and Colour Grow is normally my sealer of choice for Victorian floor tiles.

However Colour Grow dries to a matt finish and on this occasion the customer felt the finish still looked quite dull, although she was very happy with the results of the cleaning she asked if there was anything else I could do to brighten the finish, it was agreed that I would return a week later to carry out a damp test and if the results of this were favourable I would go ahead and apply several coats and apply Tile Doctor Seal & Go topical sealant which is water based and dries to a silk finish.

When I returned moisture, readings were taken which were acceptable, so as agreed I applied several coats of Seal and Go to give the tiles the desired appearance. With the work completed the customer was happy with the final results and even left the following feedback via the Tile Doctor feedback system.

Phillip arrived on time, worked very hard to prepare the floor- about 6 hours. Returned after floor was properly dry- 2 days. Applied a mat finish – 2-3 coats. I was disappointed with this finish, the floor which looked very flat and washed out. Each floor has its own characteristic and absorbs the products used differently. Phillip didn’t disagree, so applied two coats of a glossy finish which has brought out the beautiful colours of my Victorian floor. All of this was done without a quibble. Happy with the finish now. My advice is to discuss fully the finish you require and get a patch test done before so everyone is clear about the job in hand. Would use again. Ms. A Binger , Leighton Buzzard

Victorian Tiled Floor Leighton Buzzard After Cleaning Victorian Tiled Floor Leighton Buzzard After Cleaning

 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Bedfordshire

Carper Stained Victorian Hallway Restoration in Streatham, South London

If you like in an older property in the UK and never looked under the carpets you might want to take a minute and have a look. I still find it surprising how many of my customers had no idea they lived in a house with a classic tiled hallway.

We were recently asked to restore a fantastic geometric-patterned Victorian tiled floor which had been found underneath carpet during decoration work in the hallway of a property in Streatham.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Streatham Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Streatham

The once black and white tiles were now absolutely caked in dirt, glue deposits, cement, paint stains and plaster. It would be no small feat to get the tiles back to looking their best again. Fortunately, Victorian tiles are very resilient and we have a lot of experience in their restoration so I was confident that with the right products and techniques we could get the job done to a high standard.

Cleaning Dirty and Stained Victorian Hallway Tiles

The tiled hallway was quite long, yet only around a metre wide, so I felt the best approach would be to work in small sections at a time. Our method was to soak the tiles with Tile Doctor Remove and Go and leave the product to work its magic for roughly ten minutes, before scrubbing the surface to remove the muck. Some of the more viscous and stubborn stains were scrapped away carefully by hand within the assistance of a steam cleaning machine. The resulting residue was extracted using a wet vacuum. Remove and Go is a particularly effective cleaner in scenarios like this, as it is specially formulated to strip away old sealers, adhesives and even paint without harming the tile itself.

The next step was to run a rotary machine fitted with a Coarse 200 grit burnishing pad lubricated with water over the floor to achieve a consistent finish. The floor was then rinsed to remove the soil generated in the process.

Old floors like these laid before the invention of damp proof membranes can be a concern as damp rising up through the tile as it dries can leads to efflorescence salt deposits appearing on the tile surface. So, to avoid potential issues Tile Doctor Acid Gel was applied to the floor to neutralise any salt deposits and the floor given a final rinse to remove any trace of cleaning products.

Sealing Victorian Hallway Tiles

After finishing the clean, we left the floor to dry out over the weekend. With old floors like this one, we tend to recommend allowing a drying period of at least 48 hours to ensure the floor is completely dry before applying a sealer.

Upon arriving back at the property, we ran a few quick damp tests and once satisfied the floor was dry proceeded to seal the tiles using Tile Doctor Colour Grow. Colour Grow is a colour-intensifying, impregnating sealant that leaves a natural-look matte finish. It works by occupying the pores in the clay and it’s also a fully breathable sealer which is important for these old floors where damp may be any issue.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Streatham Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Streatham

The customer was absolutely thrilled with the results. She even went as far as to leave a review expressing how pleased she was during the weekend before we had chance to seal the tiles.

Bill and Wayne were brilliant! On time, got to work straight away, lovely and friendly and very professional. They have done a lovely job and I’m looking forward to them coming to seal the tiles to finish it o f tomorrow afternoon. Wouldn’t hesitate to recommend. Thanks guys!
 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in South London

Deep Cleaning a Dirty Victorian Tiled Hallway in a Devon Farmhouse

I was contacted by the owners of an old Farmhouse in the East Devon village of Broadclyst to look at their Victorian Tiled Hallway floor which as you can see from the photograph below was heavily stained and had also been splashed with paint from decorating. Victorian tiles are very robust and can take a lot of punishment which you certainly get in a farmhouse, however once the sealer wears off dirt gets into the pores of the tile making it very difficult to clean.

I visited the property to take a closer look and to take some moisture readings because these old floors don’t have a Damp Proof Course and moisture levels too high can restrict when this type of work can be done due to the sealers needing the floor to be dry in order to cure. I also did a test piece to show the customers what level of cleaning could be achieved.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Broadclyst Farmhouse before cleaning

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway

With the customers happy with the quote I returned to complete the work starting by covered the skirting and bottom of the stairs to protect the paintwork and carpet. I then put a strong stripper/degreaser called Pro Clean on to the floor, ensuring even coverage and keeping and eye on the floor to make sure that it didn’t dry out.

After a short dwell time I set to work scrubbing the floor with a 400 grit diamond burnishing pad and using small hand blocks to get into the corners and any edges not reached by my machine. Once I was satisfied that the tiles were as good as they could be I rinsed the floor to remove the alkaline cleaner and soiled water.

This was followed by giving the floor an Acid rinse using Tile Doctor’s Acid Gel, this process counteracts any alkaline salts that can rise up through the tile as it dries out, a process which is more commonly known as efflorescence. This can be quite a problem on floors like this that don’t have a damp proof course (floors generally didn’t pre-1950s). I had to be careful not to leave the acid down for too long because these tiles are susceptible to acid damage.

Dealing with salt issues on these old floors (efflorescence) is essential because they can damage the sealer or become trapped under it, detracting from the beauty of the floor. Given the age of the farmhouse it’s difficult to know what the floor had been laid onto. Often it was compacted rubble and building works from the erection of the adjoining buildings; additionally some of the later Victorian floors were laid on a wet limecrete scree which contain a high salt-content.

Before I left for the day I left an air mover on the floor to aid in the drying of the tiles. If there are radiators in the area I also suggest that they are turned on overnight to further aid the drying process. Occasionally these types of floors need to be left for several days to dry but it is worth the wait and the floors can be used in the meantime provided indoor shoes and socks only are used and care is taken not to get the floor dirty.

Sealing an Old Victorian Tiled Hallway

Upon returning the next day I tested the moisture content of the floor and was pleased to find that it was well within acceptable levels for the application of the sealer that I was planning to use. I quickly checked the floor for areas that I felt may be able to be improved and once satisfied a single coat of matt-finish, colour-enhancing sealer called Colour Grow was applied before two coats of a Seal and Go sealer was used to give the floor a satin finish, which I think gives it a slight glaze and freshly mopped appearance.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Broadclyst Farmhouse before cleaning

The customers were thrilled and said that they wished they had brought me in sooner!
 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Broadclyst, Devon

Classic but Neglected Victorian Tiled Hallway Restored in Norwich Norfolk

There are thousands of Victorian tiled hallways in and around Norwich and I often get called to work on them, however this was a particularly abused and neglected example I thought you might find interesting. The surface had clearly been both painted red at some point (possibly with an old lead-based paint) and then completely covered with rubber-backed underlay and carpeted, a thick layer of double-sided carpet tape remaining firmly stuck in patches around all the edges of the floor area.

Victorian Hallway Floor Tiles Before Cleaning Norwich

Cleaning a Victorian tiled floor

Firstly, we cleaned the whole area using a strong solution (1:3) of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a high alkaline stripper and cleaner, agitated with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. All products and slurry were then power rinsed and vacuumed away to reveal the improved floor.

There were still a significant number of glue patches and paint spots around the edges of the floor, so these were tackled using Tile Doctor Remove & Go, which softened them enough to enable us to remove them with a sharp-bladed scraper.

Unfortunately, the decaying rubber underlay had left a pattern on the tile surface which was most obvious at the doorway into the terracotta tiled kitchen. We almost completely removed this using Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel which being in gel form allows it work on the problem area longer. It was painted on a brush and kept moist for two hours under a layer of cling film which drew out virtually all the contaminant from the tile.

The next concern was that an original Victorian floor of this age would almost certainly have no damp proof membrane and an area near the front door which showed evidence of efflorescence salts was treated with Tile Doctor Acid Gel in order to remove the white deposits and further inhibit the production of more in the future.

The whole area was then lightly buffed using the rotary machine and a 1500 grit diamond pad with water in order to remove any remaining fine paint spots and restore a silky feel to the surface of the tiles before leaving the floor to dry overnight with assistance from our dehumidifier.

Sealing a Victorian tiled floor

When we returned the following morning, our damp meter showed us that the moisture content in the substrate was probably going to be too high to allow us to use an acrylic sealer to provide the sheen which the client had requested; so we decided to spray-buff the floor using a 3000 grit diamond pad on the rotary machine followed by the application of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, a colour enhancing penetrating sealer which sits just below the surface of the tile and leaves no visible finish. Finally, the whole floor was spray buffed to a low sheen with a white maintenance pad on the rotary machine and any resulting dust vacuumed away.

Victorian Hallway Floor Tiles After Cleaning Norwich

The Victorian tiles now look fantastic and have become a great asset to the property as original features like these are very sought after.
 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Norwich, Norfolk

Renovating Victorian Hallway Tiles in Surrey

This customer who owned a lovely period residence in Leatherhead had pulled up an old hallway carpet to discover this gem of Victorian Tiled floor. The tiles were covered in carpet adhesive, paint splashes and what looked like a hundred years of dirt. I suspect the previous owners felt it was easier to cover the hallway in carpet rather than have it cleaned properly or perhaps it was just the trend at the time.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration in Leatherhead

Given the obvious amount of work that would be needed to restore it we got a call to pop round and provide an estimate. We do a lot of Victorian floor restorations and across the Tile Doctor network I’m confident in saying there is a Tile Doctor working on a Victorian Tiled floor every day of the week.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration in Leatherhead

The owner was happy with the quote and we agreed a date to return and restore the floor.

Cleaning a Heavily Soiled Victorian Tiled Floor

Working in a metre square area at a time, I first applied a solution of Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel and left it to dwell for twenty minutes. Oxy-Gel is a relatively new product that being in Gel form is easy to control and stays in place allowing it to dissolve dirt and in this case loosen the adhesive.

After leaving it to dwell for 20 minutes I attacked it with a very coarse 100 grit diamond pad attached to a buffer machine. This removed a minuscule layer from the surface of the tile and with it the muck. I vacuumed up the excess with a wet vacuum then rubbed down the stubborn areas with a 50 grit hand block. This removed a lot of dirt and drastically lightened the whites and blues. Finally I neutralised the floor with two rinses of clean, warm water again using the wet vacuum to remove as much moisture as possible from the floor.

I repeated this process along the length of the hallway and then inspected the floor retreating any areas containing stubborn marks.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

The hallway wasn’t that big an area so I had agreed to do the whole floor in one day. As a result I needed to force dry the floor so I could seal the tiles in the same day. I have a number of tools to do this including an industrial air mover and a heat gun which were applied for about an hour before it was dry.

To seal the tiles I applied two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which as its name suggests is a colour enhancing sealer that works by impregnating the pores of the tile protecting it from within and enriching the colours in the process. This gave a lovely contrast in colour whilst providing a matt finish; another advantage of Colour Grow is it’s a fully breathable sealer which won’t trap moisture under the tile which is important for these old floors where no damp proof membrane is installed.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration in Leatherhead

The Victorian tiled hallway floor now looks amazing.
 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in West Surrey

Restoring an Old Victorian Hallway Floor in Monmouth

This beautiful black & white Victorian tiled hallway was recently discovered hidden under carpet at a house near Monmouth. As well as the years of grime that had become ingrained in the tile, the carpet had been secured with carpet grippers which had been fixed on top of the tiles and the owner was keen to recruit my help in its restoration.

It’s a lovely drive up through the Wye Valley from my base in Caldicot to the town of Monmouth which has a long history that goes back to the Roman times. In fact it’s famous for its “Monnow Bridge” which dates back to medieval times and is the only remaining stone gated bridge of its type left in Britain. Needles to say it has a strong mixture of architecture with many old houses built during Victorian times.

Victorian Floor Before Renovation in Monmouth

Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The first step in cleaning the floor was to prepare it for cleaning by carefully removing the old carpet grippers and adhesive deposits using a handheld scraper. This was followed by creating a mixture of two powerful cleaning products namely Tile Doctor Remove and Go and NanoTech HBU remover. Remove and Go is a coatings remover designed to strip off old sealers whilst NanoTech HBU is a powerful Heavy Build-Up Remover that uses tiny abrasive particles to clean up tile and stone.

The floor was smothered in the cleaning solution and it was allowed to soak into the tile for about twenty minutes before scrubbing it in. It was not an exceptionally large hallway so a lot of hand scrubbing was required to get the floor as clean as possible. The cleaning solution was rinsed off with water and then extracted using a wet vacuum or wet vac as my colleagues often refer to it.

To finish off the cleaning process I scrubbed a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean into the grout lines to get them as clean as possible and then gave the floor a final rinse. I need the floor to be dry before sealing so using the wet vac I extracted as much moisture from the floor as possible.

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I left the floor to dry completely overnight and returned the next day to finish the floor off with a few coats of sealer. On my arrival I started by taking a few reading with a damp meter to ensure the floor was ready to be sealed. Fortunately by efforts with the Wet Vac the night before had paid off and it confirmed the tiles were dry and ready to be sealed.

To do this, I used multiple coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which works really well on Victorian Tiles and adds a nice low sheen that brings them up nicely. Naturally the sealer not only improves the way they look it also makes them much easier to clean and will protect them against ingrained dirt and staining.

Victorian Floor After Renovation in Monmouth

I think you will agree this old floor has been transformed and now has a new lease of life.
 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in Monmouthshire

Cleaning a Victorian Reception at a Listed Building in Devon

I was approached by the owner of a listed Georgian Townhouse right in the middle of the small market town of South Moulton in North Devon who was struggling to have any impact on the appearance of his Victorian tiled reception area, despite hours of back-breaking scrubbing and had become disheartened by it.

Georgian Reception Floor Tiles Before Cleaning South Molton

Upon arrival a survey on the floor was conducted where I tested the moisture level of the tiles because floors of this age and construction didn’t have a Damp Proof Course and as such were just tiled onto whatever subsurface was already there, which quite often contained rubble and other guiding materials such as lime from the construction of neighbouring properties!

Georgian Reception Floor Tiles Before Cleaning South Molton

Whilst talking to the customer he mentioned that he had some old quarry tiles in his kitchen that he also wanted cleaning, however I’ll cover that in another post. To continue I produced a quote for the work which was accepted and a date was agreed for me to return with all the equipment and products required.

Cleaning Victorian Tiled Reception Area

To clean the Victorian tiles in the reception area I applied a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and left it to soak in for ten minutes. I then set about scrubbing the solution into the tiles using a series of Diamond impregnated burnishing pads ranging from 100-400 grit.

Once the whole floor had been treated in this manner it was thoroughly rinsed with water using a wet and dry vacuum to extract the now soiled cleaning solution and I was able to see that the process had really brought the tiles up a treat.

Concerned about the damp readings I had experienced earlier I decided it would be prudent to give the floor an Acid Rinse with Grout Clean-up to counteract any potential salt issues (efflorescence) that can be a real problem on these old floors which have no Damp Proof Course. I highly recommend this step on old floors as salts can over time permeate through the tiles and the cleaning process draws them to the surface. Left unaddressed the salts can damage the sealer and leave the floor looking far from its best.

Once the tiles had been cleaned, I rinsed the entire floor thoroughly using fresh water to remove any trace of cleaning products, before leaving it to dry off completely overnight.

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway and Entrance Lobby

The following day I returned and after rechecking the moisture levels to ensure that they had adequately dried out I started to seal the Victorian tiles in the reception area. To improve colour, I first applied a coat of Tile Doctor’s Colour Grow, a solvent based impregnating sealer which picks out and enhances the natural colour of the tiles, not only bringing the whole floor to life but helping to disguise any damage the floor has suffered over the years. After this coat had dried sufficiency four coats of Seal and Go were applied to finish off the floor and give it that ‘wow factor’.

Georgian Reception Floor Tiles After Cleaning South Molton Georgian Reception Floor Tiles After Cleaning South Molton

The customer was thrilled and left the following feedback on the Tile Doctor feedback system:

“The work was carried out in a professional manner, with excellent results.”

For aftercare I left the customer with some guidance on care and maintenance of the floor as well as a suitable bottle of tile cleaner.
 
 
Source: Victorian Floor Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Devon

Putting new life into a Victorian Hallway floor in Cheshire

The village of Grappenhall has a long history that goes all the way back to the bronze age and as a result has all periods of architecture including quite a lot of houses with Victorian tiled hallways . This particular floor at a house in the village had been well looked after well by the owner but had now lost its vibrancy, was looking dull and now needed a deep clean and reseal.

Victorian tiles are porous and so need to be sealed to protect them from dirt becoming ingrained in the floor. However, hallway floors get a lot of foot traffic which over time wears down the sealer until it becomes so thin and patchy it’s no longer effective. As a result, you need to regularly top up the sealer or every three to four years it will need to be stripped off and reapplied.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Grapenhall Before Cleaning Victorian Tiled Hallway Grapenhall Before Cleaning

Deep Cleaning the Victorian Tiled Floor

I used clear plastic to protect the wood skirting boards from splashing and then gave the tiles a good scrub with a mixture of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and Remove and Go to deep clean and strip off any remaining sealers. The cleaning solution was left to soak in for ten minutes before scrubbing it in with a black pad fitted to a heavy buffing machine.

Once the whole area had been scrubbed I rinsed off with water which was then extracted using a wet vacuum. With the floor now clear I was able to inspect it to ensure all the previous sealer and ingrained dirt had been removed. Any areas with stubborn stains were spot treated by reapplying the cleaning concoction I used earlier before leaving the floor to dry off fully overnight.

Sealing the Victorian Tiled Floor

When I returned the next morning my first job was to test the tiles for damp using a damp meter. This is important as damp tiles won’t take the sealer as well as dry tiles, however this time everything was fine.

I then proceeded to seal the Victorian tiles with a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow to enhance the natural colours in the tile before applying a further seven coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which leaves a sheen finish and is ideal for Victorian tiles.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Grapenhall After Cleaning Victorian Tiled Hallway Grapenhall After Cleaning

The hallway now looks fantastic and vibrant and then new sealer will protect them from ingrained dirt making them easier to clean and keep them looking good for some time to come.
 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Cheshire

Challenging Bitumen Stained Victorian Floor Restored in Lancashire

This old Victorian tiled Hallway floor, laid in a geometric pattern, at a house in Barrow in Furness was a challenging project. The tiles were extremely dirty and also stained with Black Bitumen which has been used as an adhesive, however we have come across these sorts of problems before and so I was confident it could be resolved.

Geometric floor before Restoration Barrow in Furness Geometric floor before Restoration Barrow in Furness

Deep Cleaning an Old Victorian Tiled Floor

I roped in Heidi and my son Lewis who spent a whole day cleaning with chemicals, steam, buffing pads and unfortunately the results were far from satisfactory; the customer wasn’t happy and Heidi wasn’t happy with it either. It was clear that the black bitumen had penetrated deep into the pores of the clay and becoming so embedded that no chemical or technique we were using would shift it fully.

Geometric floor before Restoration Barrow in Furness

To top it off I had gone out earlier to tile the old mat well with matching tiles before we started the cleaning but due to the depth of the floor matt. The matt well was at least 35mm so it was clear I couldn’t use standard floor adhesive. I opted instead for a sand cement mix, similar to what the Victorians would have used originally. This filled up the depth and allowed me to tile and grout the same day, however overnight there was a bit of shrinkage and some of the new tiles settled unevenly.

Geometric floor before Milling Barrow in Furness

I racked my head for a solution to both issues and decided the best course of action would be to Mill the clay tiles to remove the Bitumen and smooth down the uneven effect of my tiling. This is not something we would normally do on a clay tile as this system can leave scratches which potentially would look worse that the dirt. After I had milled the Tiles down with a course pad fitted to a heavy buffing machine and removed all the issues I then counteracted any scratches left over using a higher grit milling pad. This solution fully resolved both issues leaving it ready for the final step of sealing.

Geometric floor After Milling Barrow in Furness

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

The floor was left to dry off overnight and we returned the next day to seal the tiles using Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is a matt finish, fully breathable and colour enhancing sealer which really lifts the colour of the stone or in this case clay tile. Colour Grow is impregnating – meaning that it penetrates the pores of the stone to fill them and prevent trapped dirt and stains. We recommend Colour Grow for both internal and external applications and especially for areas where no damp proof membrane is evident, since the sealer allows for the floor to breathe moisture.

Geometric floor After Restoration Barrow in Furness Geometric floor After Restoration Barrow in Furness

There were plenty of problems to overcome and It took a lot of work but I’m pleased to say the floor was transformed by our efforts and now looks fantastic and I’m sure has added a lot of value to this period property.
 
 
Source: Victorian Cleaning and Renovation Service in Lancashire

Renovating a Victorian Tiled Hallway in South Wales

Many property owners who are lucky enough to have an original Victorian tiled floor in their homes face the same conundrum: can an old and potentially very damaged floor be salvaged and restored to peak condition or should I replace it?

Some people would instinctively tell you that the answer is no – even trained professionals! In fact, a leading tile restoration company (which shall remain unnamed) based in Cardiff told a recent customer of mine that her original Victorian tiled floor, dating back to 1905, was beyond repair. The company recommended that she not waste any money on having it restored and instead that she should have it ripped up and replaced.

Victorian Tiled Hallway in Cardiff Before Restoration

It was in a bad state, however replacing the floor would incur a significant cost and the original characteristics of the period floor would be lost. The customer was feeling rather deflated and was left undecided on what to do. Fortunately after browsing the web for a solution, she came across Tile Doctor and I was asked to pop over and take a look.

I visited the customer at her home and removed parts of her hallway carpet to get a better look at the Victorian tiles beneath. The floor was certainly in a very poor state, there were many old paint splash marks covering the tiles and the surface of the floor was deeply darkened after many years’ worth of wear and tear. In my opinion however, it was still salvageable, and the customer was happy to see what could be done.

Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

A week before I was due to start the restoration, I asked the customer to remove the foam-backed carpet to let the floor breathe a bit.

Before beginning the work, I ran a few damp tests and the floor proved surprisingly dry considering how old it is and the very probable lack of a damp proof membrane. I started by manually scraping as much of the old paint staining off the stone as possible and cleared other debris from the surface.

Knowing that clay based Victorian tiles like these easily soak up paint splashes, I knew it would take a thorough clean to remove them completely. I firstly soaked the floor with water and left it to dry slightly before mixing a concoction of Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU, Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, and Tile Doctor Remove and Go.

NanoTech HBU is a particularly powerful cleaner which uses nano-sized particles to penetrate the pores of the stone, while Pro-Clean is an alkaline-based cleaner that tackles heavy soil build-up. Remove and Go is a multi-purpose product which both cleans and strips away any old sealer.

I left this mixture to dwell on the floor for around half an hour, scrubbed it in firstly using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine and then a wire wool pad. I followed by rinsing the products off with water and extracted up the excess with a wet vacuum machine.

This technique was repeated until I was satisfied with the condition of the floor.

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

After leaving the floor to dry off completely overnight, I returned to the property the next day to carry out the sealing process. I applied seven coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, which not only adds a protective covering to the tile, but also enhances its appearance.

The customer was absolutely thrilled with the results of the restoration, especially considering that she was told the floor was ruined by a leading company and not worth saving.

Victorian Tiled Hallway in Cardiff After Restoration

I think you will agree that its always worth trying to restore a period floor and my customer deserves praise for sticking to their guns.
 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Maintenance Service in South Wales

Renovating an unusual Victorian Tiled Hallway in Cheshire

Impressed with the details of a similar floor published on our website the owner of this Victorian tiled hallway floor at a house in the village of Grappenhall asked if we could pay her a visit.

The floor was in relatively good physical condition, although there were a few tiles that needed replacing and really just needed cleaning and resealing however I thought it would be worth a mention on my blog due to it being so unusual. There seamed no set pattern to the tiles and it was as if they had some tiles left over and just laid them as they came.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning in Grappenhall

Deep Cleaning the Victorian Tiled Floor

After protecting the skirting boards I gave the floor a deep clean using Tile Doctor Remove and Go to strip off any remaining sealers. This was left to soak in for twenty minutes then scrubbed in using a rotary machine fitted with a black pad then rinsed off with clean water which was then extracted using a wet vacuum. I was careful not to use too much water as the owner had just converted the cellar below into a games room and was worried it may cause damp in the ceiling. There were a few tiles that needed replacing so we fixed and grouted them in before leaving the floor to fully dry off overnight

Sealing the Victorian Tiled Floor

We returned next morning and tested for damp with a damp meter to make sure the floor was ready to seal. Everything was fine so we proceeded to seal the Victorian tiles with a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow to enhance the colour of the floor before applying a further six coats of Seal and Go which is ideal for these type of tile.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning in Grappenhall

The customer was made up with the result we had made to her hallway, I only wish I had managed to take better pictures of the floor so you could appreciate it as much as she did.
 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Maintenance Service in Cheshire

Victorian Tiled Hallway Discovered at a Bude Bed and Breakfast

Bude is a lovely coastal resort in North Cornwall and is home to several B&Bs for visitors to the area. It became popular during the latter half of Queen Victoria’s reign, as sea bathing became a popular trend amongst the upper and middle classes, and as a result there are plenty of period houses.

In fact, I was recently contacted by a lucky Bed and Breakfast owner who had uncovered this late Victorian tiled hallway and entrance lobby which was around a hundred years old during renovation work. It had been under carpet for at least twenty years and had a variety of stains including paint, tar and glue!

The customer rightly wanted to reinstate it as a showpiece to greet clients upon entering the upmarket guesthouse but had no luck trying to remove stains themselves and had spent many hours on hands and knees but to no avail and were nearly ready to take the builder’s advice and cover it in a self-levelling cement and install a carpet throughout which would have been sacrilege!

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration at Bude Bed and Breakfast

Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway and Entrance Lobby

To begin with diamond-impregnated buffing pads were used with a rotary machine to scrub the floor and open up the pores. Small diamond hand blocks were also used to get into those difficult to reach areas such as corners and under the stairs.

Afterwards the floor was thoroughly rinsed with water which was then extracted using a wet vacuum. This was followed by giving the floor an Acid rinse using Tile Doctor’s Acid Gel. This helped to remove old mineral deposits and residue from carpet underlay. I had to be careful not to leave the acid down for too long because these tiles are susceptible to acid damage. This is also a great product to use as par for the course on floors like this that don’t have a damp proof course (floors generally didn’t pre-1950s) and the acid will neutralise any salts coming rising up through the tile later.

Dealing with salt issues on these old floors (efflorescence) is essential because they can damage the sealer or become trapped under it, detracting from the beauty of the floor. Given the age of the house It’s difficult to know what the floor had been laid onto. Often it was compacted rubble and building works from the erection of the adjoining houses. Terraced and some of the later Victorian floors were laid on a wet limecrete scree which contain a high salt-content.

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway and Entrance Lobby

Once the tiles had been cleaned, I rinsed the entire floor thoroughly using fresh water to remove any traces of chemicals, before leaving it to dry completely overnight.

Upon my return to the B&B the next day, I sealed the tiles using several coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, an impregnating sealer which provides robust protection and intensifies the natural colours in the tile. It does this while leaving a natural-look matte finish which is befitting of a classic Victorian geometric patterned floor like this one.

Now cleaned and freshly sealed, the Victorian tiles will be in a much strong position to cope with the busy B&B season over the Summer. The owner was very pleased and I’m sure visitors to the B&B will be very impressed with this original feature!

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration at Bude Bed and Breakfast

As part of the package a cleaning and maintenance guide is provided once the work has been completed but unfortunately the owner’s uncle didn’t consult this when house-sitting and attempted to clean the floor with white spirit. Fortunately, I was able to return and improve the damage that was caused much to the owner’s relief and just in time for opening!
 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Devon

Removing Carpet Imprint from Victorian Floor Tiles in Yorkshire

Details below of a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor that I deep cleaned and sealed at a house in Leeds. It has previously been covered in carpet which had been removed before I got there.

The tiles were in good physical condition, just looking dull and there were traces of paint spots and glue residue from double sided tape that had held down the carpet. Worse of all there an imprint had bleed into the tiles from under lay that must have been damp. Dampness can be a problem for these old floors which were laid before the invention of damp proof membranes.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Before Cleaning Leeds Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Before Cleaning Leeds

Restoring a Victorian Tiled Hallway

Normally I use a series of Tile Doctor chemical products to deep clean Victorian tiles however I felt this would not deal with the imprint. Therefore on this occasion I started with the application of a coarse 200 grit diamond pad fitted to a weighted rotary machine and lubricated with a little water. The pads can struggle to reach into the edges and corners so to get those clean I used a 200 grit hand held block.

This removed the imprint, paint spots and glue residue and I was then able to lift the ingrained dirt out of the floor by applying a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. The Pro-Clean was left to soak into the floor for a good ten minutes before working it in with a black scrubbing pad.

I extracted the soiled cleaning solution using a wet vacuum and then gave the floor a rinse with water, again using the wet vacuum to remove as much moisture as possible. The result of my cleaning efforts was excellent with 95% of the marks now removed and just a faint imprint left on a few tiles.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway

I left the floor to dry overnight and was able to return the next day, checked the moisture levels using a damp meter and then proceeded to seal the floor.

To seal I applied four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which adds a lovely satin finish that really lifted the look of the Victorian floor tiles.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Cleaning Leeds Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Cleaning Leeds

Needless to say the customer was delighted with the finish and difference.
 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in West Yorkshire

Renovating Old Edwardian Hallway Tiles in Devon

Colyton is a small village in the Coly Valley, which itself is part of Devon’s Area of Outstanding Beauty. As you can imagine, it was very nice to drive through the countryside to reach the village to visit a customer. The customer was keen to restore her Edwardian tiled entranceway and hallway in a classic herringbone pattern, which consists of an arrangement of rectangles.

Parts of the floor had been under carpet for a long time and other areas were covered in at least three layers of thick masonry paint. There was some damage to the floor at thresholds where the carpet grips had been hammered into the floor and a few holes with rawl plugs in scattered the area. This had left the floor looking worse for wear and all in all, there was a lot to be done to restore the tiles back to their original condition – just take a look at the photos below.

Edwardian Hallway Tiles Herringbone Pattern Colyton Before Edwardian Hallway Tiles Herringbone Pattern Colyton Before

Several methods were tried on each area during the initial visit to determine the best way forward including chemicals, diamond pads and heat plus a razor scraper. It was clear a mixture of these methods would be needed to get the best results.

Cleaning an Edwardian Tiled Entranceway and Hallway

On my return, I removed the rawl plugs filled the holes with an epoxy resin in a matching colour. Next I started on giving the tiles a deep and thorough clean to remove not just the copious ingrained dirt, but also the unappealing paint smears.

I did this by applying Tile Doctor Remove and Go, which not only cleans the stone, but also strips away any old sealer. Remove and Go is particularly good for removing most artificial coatings and finishes, adhesives, and paints – and can be used on most unpolished natural stone.

Next, I give the tile and grout an acid rinse with Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up, which is a concentrated phosphoric acid product, to negate any underlying efflorescence and alkaline salt deposits. Efflorescence and salt deposits can be common problems for older, original tiled floors because they often lack a damp proof course.

Having finished cleaning the floor, I gave it a thorough rinse using fresh water to remove any traces of chemicals, before leaving it to dry overnight.

Sealing an Edwardian Tiled Entranceway and Hallway

Returning to the property next day, I ran some quick damp tests to check the floor was ready to be sealed.

To seal the floor, I used a single coat of an impregnating sealer called Colour Grow and followed this up with five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go. Both sealers will allow for vapour to rise up through the floor ensuring any damp can rise up through the floor in future which is essential for an old floor like this one which has no damp proof membrane.
The also combine to provide stain resistance surface and a robust, low-sheen finish.

And, with that, the job was done. Two days of work later and the floor is back to looking it best, as you can see in the photos below. Another satisfied client for the Devon Tile Doctor who left the following feedback.

“Very good work,we are very pleased with the result.
Stuart was a very professional hard worker and gave us clear advice on taking care of the floor.“

Edwardian Hallway Tiles Herringbone Pattern Colyton After Edwardian Hallway Tiles Herringbone Pattern Colyton After

 
 
Source: Edwardian Floor Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in Devon

Restoring Geometric Victorian Hallway Tiles Hidden under Carpet in North Devon

Barnstaple in North Devon is known to be one of, if not the oldest boroughs in the whole of the United Kingdom. The area certainly has a rich history and many of the properties built in the 19th century still exist and are in use.

It’s not uncommon for the owners of houses built in this era to discover original Victorian tiled floors and hallways. They’ve usually been covered up at some point in the past, either by carpet or linoleum, but if maintained correctly they can be a real asset to any property.

I recently visited one such customer, who lives in Barnstaple, to restore a recently uncovered Victorian tiled hallway that had been tiled in a geometric pattern. This hallway had been neglected and covered for some time by carpet so the colours had faded and there were patches of carpet underlay firmly embedded in some of the tiles.

The property owner uncovered the floor after seeing a similar one in the entrance hallway of a neighbour and was thrilled with her find. After a bit of scrubbing and cleaning the customer decided to call in professional help after a recommendation for the Tile Doctor Devon from a friend. A home visit was conducted and a test patch was done to show what was possible and to talk through options. A quote was then produced which the customer was happy with and the work was arranged for the following week.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Barnstaple before restoration

Cleaning a Neglected Victorian Tiled Hallway

As the floor was really in quite a bad state, I opted to use Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU as my main cleaning product. HBU stands for ‘Heavy Build-Up’ – and that’s exactly what the product is formulated to tackle: heavy build-up of ingrained dirt and soil. It used nano-sized cleaning particles to penetrate deep into the pores of the stone and get underneath stains to lift them to the surface.

I applied NanoTech HBU to the entire hallway and left it to dwell for several hours, before scrubbing it as thoroughly as possible with a brush fitted to a rotary cleaning machine. The soil that was brought to the surface was subsequently rinsed away with fresh water and the resulting slurry was extracted using a wet vacuum.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway

Once finished with the cleaning process, I left the floor to dry out completely. This was important as older floors which lack a damp proof membrane can suffer from moisture issues, and these issues can damage the performance of the sealer.

Thankfully there were no problems with drying the floor. I was able to seal the tiles using a colour-enhancing impregnating sealer from our range, known as Tile Doctor Colour Grow. For extra protection – and to provide the finish the customer had requested – I also applied a topical sealer called Tile Doctor Seal and Go. This left the floor with a high-quality, long-lasting satin finish.

A properly sealed floor will be much more resistant to stain as well as easier to clean. As with every job a cleaning and maintenance guide was provided which gives handy tips and do’s and don’ts for the floor and that particular sealer.

The restoration reinstated this great Victorian tiled hallway as the showpiece upon entering the property and the customer was absolutely thrilled. You can see the final result below.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Barnstaple after restoration

The customer was thrilled with the floor and was very surprised at just how well the colour came back to the tiles and provided the following feedback:

“I am so pleased with the service Stuart provided. After the initial quote and patch test I felt under no pressure to ask him to proceed, but I was happy with the quote and he arranged a date convenient to me. I am chuffed with my floor, it looks great. The after care has been great also. Thank you Stuart.”
 
 
Source: Victorian Floor Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Devon

Original Victorian Tiled Hallway Rebuilt in South Wales

This Victorian tiled hallway floor, located in a property in Blackwood, South Wales, was in a bad way. It was suffering from several broken and missing tiles, and the entire floor looked like it had not experienced a good clean and fresh seal in several years. The property itself dated back to 1905, and it’s very likely that the Victorian tiles are original.

However, the property owner was very hopeful that the hallway could be rejuvenated, so he contacted me to carry out the work. Upon my first inspection of the floor, I could immediately see that a lot of tile replacements would need to be carried out.

I suggested to the customer that I repurpose the tiles that surrounded the matt well at the front of the door to use as replacements for the tiles that were broken and damaged. I would then create a new, larger matt well while using original tiles to fix the damaged areas. It’s a technique I’ve used before so I was confident it would work.

He was happy with this suggestion so I agreed to return later that week to complete the restoration.

Victorian Hallway Floor Blackwood Before Repair

Repairing and Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway

My first task was to carefully remove the tiles around the exiting matt well, clean off the cement, and, in some cases, skim the thickness off some tiles so that they would position flat against the adjacent tile. Next, I proceeded to fix these replacement tiles in the areas required.

After completing these repairs, I moved on to cleaning the entire hallway. First, I manually scraped off as much of the paint and cement deposits from the surface of the tiles as possible, before cleaning the floor thoroughly with a mixed solution of three products: Tile Doctor Pro Clean, Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU Remover, and Tile Doctor Remove and Go.

Each of these products serves a different purpose. Pro Clean is reliable and powerful alkaline tile cleaner, while NanoTech HBU is a powerful cleaner which uses nano-sized particles to penetrate the pores of the tile and dissolve ingrained dirt and stains. Remove and Go strips away any old sealers, along with any of the stubborn paint and cement deposits.

The solution was left to dwell on the floor for about half an hour, before I scrubbed it into the stone by hand using a coarse black scrubbing pad. The floor was then rinsed thoroughly, before Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up was applied using a wire wool pad remove light grout smears (grout haze) and signs of efflorescence.

I then completed the grouting of the floor left it to dry for half an hour before giving it a final wipe with a sponge.

Victorian Hallway Floor Blackwood During Restoration

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway

After leaving the floor to dry out overnight, I returned to the property the following morning. I ran some quick checks for moisture to see if the tiles were ready to be sealed.

Thankfully, the floor proved dry and I could proceed the applying Tile Doctor Seal and Go. This sealer works really well on Victorian tiles and provides a nice subtle sheen finish whilst providing stain resistance.

The customer had initially thought the floor could not be salvaged, but now he will be able to enjoy this fantastic original feature from years to come. It just goes to show that a bit of creativity and hard work really can make a difference.

Victorian Hallway Floor Blackwood After Restoration

 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Restoration in South Wales

Victorian Hallway Tile Clean and Repair in Prestbury

This fantastic chequered black and white Victorian Tiled Hallway was located at a house in the village of Prestbury north of Macclesfield in Cheshire. According to Wikipedia Presbury is part of the “Cheshire Golden Triangle” villages which include Wilmslow and Alderley Edge which are the most sought after and expensive places to live outside of London.

It was a lovely building however a new stair case had been fitted which didn’t quite match the foot print of the original staircase leaving a gap in the hallway tiling. The owner of the property wanted matching tiles fitted and also to give the floor and good clean and seal so they would blend in.

Chequered Victorian Floor Prestbury Before Repair and Clean

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Floor

To clean the floor and strip off any remaining sealer I first created a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean cleaning solution which is a versatile alkaline cleaner that’s designed for use on tile, stone and grout. reliably eradicates dirt on a wide variety of natural stone floors.

The solution was applied liberally across the floor, and left to dwell for about ten minutes to allow time for it to soak into the Victorian tiles. It was then scrubbed into the tiles using a scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary cleaning machine. The resulting cleaning slurry was rinsed off with water and then extracted from the floor using a wet vacuum. I repeated this process until I was confident the tiles were clean and free of old sealer.

The next step was to treat the floor to an acid wash using Acid Gel, this is especially important on old floors where there is no damp proof course to prevent damp rising through the tile leaving salt deposits on the surface. This problem is known as efflorescence and is neutralised by the acid. The gel was then removed and the floor given another rinse using the wet vacuum to get the floor as dry as possible.

The last task of the day was to fix replacement tiles in the gap left by the original staircase. Fortunately, Tile Doctor keep a range of replacement tiles so I was able to source some that matched without too much problem. After grouting the hallway was left to dry off fully overnight so it could be ready for sealing the next day.

Chequered Victorian Floor Prestbury After Repair and Clean

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

The next morning, I returned to the property and ran some damp tests. This is incredibly important to do before sealing any tiled floor because any excess moisture can cloud the sealer and prevent it from doing its job properly.

Once satisfied that the floor was dry, I applied a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a breathable impregnating sealer that enhances colour and protects from within. I dusted off any excess sealer and then followed up with the application of four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which provides both a robust surface seal and a long-lasting low sheen finish. I waited two hours for the sealer to dry and then the rotary machine fitted with a white buffing pad over the floor to makes sure everything was nice and tight.

Chequered Victorian Floor Prestbury After Repair and Clean Chequered Victorian Floor Prestbury After Repair and Clean

 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Restoration in Prestbury, Cheshire

Geometric Edwardian Tiled Floor Restoration in Leicestershire

Our customers typically ask us a lot of questions about their tiled floors with the most common being “Can it be restored?” This reflects the UK trend to restore period features in older properties including original tiled floors dating back several decades and sometimes over a century. These floors are, as you might expect, usually worse for wear but – importantly to know – they can in most circumstances be salvaged and even restored to look even better than when they were first installed.

Here’s a good example of this at a property in Quorn (not to be confused with meat substitute product), a town in Leicestershire situated near to the university town of Loughborough. Over three days we restored a beautiful black and white geometric Edwardian tiled hallway floor back to its former glory. Our customer had discovered the badly damaged and dirty floor after lifting the laminate wood flooring in the hallway, and we were called in to provide repairs and restorative cleaning and sealing.

Black White Edwardian Geometric Floor Before Restoration Quorn

A number of matching tiles would be required for this job so before beginning the work, we advised the customer as to where suitable replacements could be sourced.

Repairing and Cleaning a Damaged Edwardian Tiled Floor

To begin, we carefully removed the cracked concrete fill, before cleaning up the substrate and using a self-levelling compound to restore the surface to the point that new tiles could be installed. The damaged tiles along the edge of the recess were carefully cut out and removed. Using the modern reproduction tiles, we patched the area to complete the repairs to the floor. We also had to cut many tiles to size to achieve the best fit.

Next, we set about cleaning the tiles to restore a pre-soiled appearance to the floor. This was done using Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel, a strong alkaline-based gel cleaner that is used to break down dirt and grime. We chose to use this product over the similar alkaline-based cleaner Tile Doctor Pro-Clean because Oxy-Gel is gel based and therefore contains less moisture and therefore would exacerbate inherent damp issues in the old floor. The cleaner was left to dwell for a short period before being agitated with a scrubbing pad, and the resulting soiled cleaning solution was then soaked up using a wet vacuum.

Black White Edwardian Geometric Floor During Restoration Quorn

The floor was then allowed to dry off overnight, ready for sealing the following day.

Sealing an Edwardian Tiled Floor

Upon returning the next day, we checked for any excess moisture that may have delayed us from sealing the floor. Thankfully the tiles were dry and could be sealed with Tile Doctor Colour Grow, our colour intensifying, solvent-based impregnating sealer which is highly durable and provides an aesthetically pleasing natural matte finish. Three coats were applied to offer maximum protection.

Black White Edwardian Geometric Floor After Restoration Quorn

As you can see from the photographs, the restoration was a fantastic success. We left the ecstatic customer with a Tile Doctor maintenance guide, as well as with a litre of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner for regular cleaning. Correctly diluted, this product effectively cleans without effecting the integrity of the sealer.
 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Restoration in Leicestershire

Restoring Victorian Mosaic Hallway Tiles near Blackpool

Victorian tiled floors are well-known for their colourful and unique patterns which never fail to impress and are a very sought after period feature. Recently I was very impressed with the work that had gone into this hallway floor that I came across at a property in the seaside resort of Lytham St Annes south of Blackpool on the Flyde coast. I was there to restore what I originally believed to be a stone Tesserae Mosaic floor, but after some chemical testing it was revealed to be a traditional Victorian tiled floor which are made of clay.

Original Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Lytham St Annes

In the case of this floor, each tile was approximately 1cm squared and they had been painstakingly installed throughout a 15m squared area by hand in the 1880s. I can only imagine the time and effort it must have taken to do this, and it is a testament to the Victorian craftsmen of the day that despite having many loose, missing, broken, and dirty tiles, the floor was still in a reasonable condition and could be restored back to its former condition.

Original Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Lytham St Annes

Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

Now, if this had in fact been a stone Tesserae Mosaic floor, I would have cleaned the tiles using different methods. However, since it was a clay Victorian tiled floor, I decided – after conducting some product testing – to clean the whole floor with a black buffing pad in combination with Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel. Oxy-Gel is a powerful high-alkaline formula designed to tackle dirt and stains on Tile, Stone and Grout.

I followed this by steam cleaning the tiles and then gave the floor an acid rinse using Tile Doctor Acid Gel, which is a blend of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids in gel form. This was needed to keep efflorescent salt issues at bay which are a problem with these old floors with no damp proof membrane has been installed.

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

My choice of sealer was Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is a fully breathable and colour enhancing product. The sealer is impregnating – meaning that it penetrates the pores of the stone to fill them and prevent trapped dirt and stains. We recommend Colour Grow for both internal and external applications and especially for areas where no damp proof membrane is evident, since the sealer allows for the floor to breathe moisture.

Original Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning Lytham St Annes

Despite the floor being well over a century old it came up really well and the sealer will now add a layer of protection that will keep it that way for some time to come.

Original Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning Lytham St Annes

 
 
Source: Victorian Tile and Grout Cleaning and Restoration in Lancashire

Sealing Victorian Hallway Tiles with No DPC in Bedford

The following photos show a lovely traditional Victorian hallway floor in a period property close to the Great Ouse river in the city of Bedford, a city with a rich history that dates back to medieval times.

The floor was in very good physical condition for its age but was very dirty due to not being sealed for many years allowing a build-up of soil to embed in the surface of the tiles. When this happens, we find general cleaning is no longer effective at thoroughly removing all the dirt and the result is a dull tiled floor that never looks its best.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning The Embankment Bedford

To restore the tiles to their former glory the floor would need to be stripped back, deep cleaned and then resealed.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning The Embankment Bedford

Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

My first course of action was to vacuum the floor to remove light dust and debris, this was then followed by applying a Tile Doctor Pro-Clean diluted with warm water. Pro-Clean is a strong alkaline tile and grout cleaning product that is safe to use on all types of tile and stone. The solution was decanted into a spray bottle and then sprayed onto the tiles working in sections of several metres at a time.

The Pro-Clean was left to soak into the tile and grout for about ten minutes before being agitated with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The soiled solution was then rinsed off with water and extracted from the floor with a wet vax. The process was then repeated through the entire area.

Once the whole floor was treated in this manner I then switched to a new cleaning process for Victorian tiles that is now being taught at Tile Doctor. The process resurfaces the tile by applying a special diamond impregnated pad fitted to a rotary machine and lubricated with water. The pad is worked over the tiles in sections as before rinsing each section with water after the application of the pad. Once the last section was treated in this manner and rinsed I moved onto the last step in the cleaning process by giving the floor an acid wash which helps neutralise the tile and helps to combat salts rising through the stone.

To do this I applied Tile Doctor Acid Gel to the entire area, leaving it to dwell for a short period before rinsing off with water, extracting again with the wet vax and then leaving the floor to dry off overnight.

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

I returned the following day to carry out minor repairs to small chips in the tile and also to replace missing and loose grout. This needed to set before I could seal the floor so once complete I left for the day which had the added benefit of allowing the floor to dry for another day. I also left a dehumidifier running on site to assist with the drying process.

On the third day, I returned to seal the floor with three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is a matt finish impregnating sealer that occupies the pores in the tile protecting it from within. Colour Grow also has other advantages, it enhances the colours in the tile and it’s a breathable sealer which will allow any dampness in the subfloor to evaporate which is important for older floors that have no damp proof course.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning The Embankment Bedford

I also left the client a free sample of our cleaning solution Tile Doctor Neutral Clean which is recommended for the regular cleaning of sealed tiles. I also left them with written maintenance instructions which will help them to keep their floor looking at it’s best for years to come.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning The Embankment Bedford

 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Restoration in Bedfordshire

Removing Chewing Gum from old Victorian Hallway in Knaresborough

The photographs below are of a Victorian Tiled Hallway at a house in the historic market and spa town of Knaresborough. The tiles were actually over a hundred years old and as you can see in a terrible state. As well as looking dull and unloved they were traces of plaster, oil based paint and even chewing gum.

Old Victorian Tiled Floor Before Restoration in Knaresborough Old Victorian Tiled Floor Before Restoration in Knaresborough

Restoring a Victorian Tiled Hallway

The first job was to tackle the chewing gum with a sharp flat metal scraper taking to keep the blade level with the tile and not to scratch the tile. Once this was done the next task was to remove the paint by treating the affected areas with a product called Remove and Go which basically does what it says on the bottle. I find it works best by allowing it to soak into the affected area for about ten minutes before scrubbing it in and then rinsing it off with water.

The next step was to give the whole floor a good deep clean with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-clean, which deep cleans the tiles without damaging them. Again, you leave the product to soak into the tile before scrubbing it in and then rinsing it off and extracting the now soiled solution with a wet vacuum.

After that we gave the floor an acid rinse using Tile Doctor Acid Gel which removed the plaster and also adds a slight acid tint into the base of tile which helps to eliminate a problem we sometimes get with these old tiles called efflorescence which is where mineral salts rise up through the floor leaving white marks on the surface.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway

Once cleaned and fully dried a damp test was conducted to confirm the floor was dry before sealing. The customer has requested a satin finish, however we only apply this if there is no immediate damp issues or mineral salts present, if so we use a sealer called Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is fully breathable and soaks into the pores of the tile leaving a matt finish. On this occasion, everything was in normal state so we applied four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which provided the satin finish the customer wanted.

Old Victorian Tiled Floor Atfer Restoration in Knaresborough Old Victorian Tiled Floor Atfer Restoration in Knaresborough

We pretty much through the book at this floor to restore it and I’m sure you will agree the effort was well worth it as the floor now looks brand new.

Last thing to do before leaving the customer was to provide them with some advice on how to clean the floor going forward. On this occasion, I explained that the floor will maintain its appearance as long as the sealer remains intact; now sealers will wear down over time however you can maximise their life by using a PH neutral cleaning product as anything stronger will cause premature erosion. To get them off on the right track I left them with a free 500ml bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral cleaner which is PH neutral and will not damage the sealer.
 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Restoration in North West Yorkshire

Victorian Hallway Tile Maintenance in Surrey

Details below of a tired and lifeless looking Victorian tiled hallway that I was asked to deep clean and seal at a house in the suburban town of Weybridge. The tiles were laid in a chequer pattern of Red, Yellow and Black tiles and if you look closely at the photographs you can cleanly see the ingrained dirt on the yellow tiles.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Before Cleaning Weybridge Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Before Cleaning Weybridge

Cleaning a Heavily Soiled Victorian Tiled Floor

I started the process straight away with an aggressive diamond encrusted coarse 200 grit burnishing pad fitted to a buffing machine and lubricated with water. The diamond encrusted pads really gets into the most deeply encrusted areas to remove the dirt.

Once the previous sealer and grime was removed I vacuumed up the soil using a wet vax and then gave the floor a quick blow dry with an industrial fan. For the next couple of hours, I got down to the corners to clean areas not touched by the pad. To finish I took a wire brush to any paint splash left over from recent decorating.

After further drying I was able to assess the yellow coloured tiles that would benefit from further attention. Several tiles near the heavy footfall areas benefited from a twenty-minute application of Tile Doctor Acid Gel. The gel removes mineral salt deposits and grout smears as well as breaking down deeply ingrained, long standing dirt. Once washed away and extracted using the wet vacuum I was done for the day. I warned the customer at this point that it’s common for the tiles to appear washed out in-between cleaning and sealing.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

I left the floor to dry naturally through evaporation for two days before returning to seal the floor. It’s important to ensure that the floor is bone dry before sealing as dampness can affect the sealer.

To seal the floor, I used Tile Doctor Seal and Go which gives a long lasting, tough, gloss look seal, it’s also water based so it doesn’t give off a smell as it dries like some products. Victorian tiles are quite porous so nine coats were applied, a process that took around four hours to complete.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Cleaning Weybridge

When the customer returned home from work she said the tiles looked brand new.
 
 
Source: Tile Cleaning and Restoration in Surrey

Large Victorian Hallway Deep Cleaned and Sealed near Daventy

The pictures below were taken of a Victorian tiled hallway floor in a large property in the old village of West Haddon. The tiles were in good physical condition for its age but required attention as it was looking very dull and dirty due to not being sealed for many years allowing a build-up of soil to embed in the surface of the tiles making cleaning very difficult.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning West Haddon Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning West Haddon

Deep Cleaning a Victorian tiled hallway floor

My first course of action was to vacuum the floor to remove light dust and debris, this was followed by applying Tile Doctor Pro-Clean diluted with warm water spraying several metres at a time. The solution was allowed to soak in for a short while before being agitated with a rotary machine fitted to a rotary machine and a stiff grout brush which was run along the grout lines. The section of floor was then rinsed with water and then this was extracted with a wet pick up machine. This process was then repeated through the entire area.

I then switched to a new cleaning process for Victorian tiles that was taught on a recent Tile Doctor training course. Basically it involves using a special diamond impregnated burnishing pad fitted to a rotary machine to resurface the tiles using just water. Again I worked in small sections until I had covered the entire area.

A common issue with these old Victorian floors is they were usually laid without a damp proof course; as a result it’s not uncommon for white salt deposits (efflorescence) to appear a few days after cleaning. To counteract this I gave the floor an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel, leaving it to dwell before rinsing. This helps neutralise the tile and will combat any salts rising up through the floor later.

Sealing a Victorian tiled hallway floor

I returned the following day to carry out repairs and to re set a couple of loose tiles which is not unusual for a floor of this age. The floor was then left to dry for a further day with a dehumidifier on site before returning to seal the floor with a breathable sealer for which we used two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow.

Colour Grow does a really good job protecting tiles as it soaks into the pores of the tile enhancing its colours whilst protecting from within however it leaves a matt finish and the customer wanted a sheen finish. This would not be a problem to achieve however it would require the application of another product and I was still concerned about potential efflorescence issues which would be more difficult to resolve with the application of a further sealer so I agreed to return several weeks later to finish the job.

As agreed I returned a few weeks later which allowed the floor to dry and guard against any damp issues and on my return I was happy to confirm the floor had fully dried using my damp meter and further there were no signs of efflorescence. I then applied 5 coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go to give the customer the required finish she was after.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning West Haddon

I also left the client a free sample of our cleaning solution Tile Doctor Neutral Clean together with written maintenance instructions to help keep the floor looking its best for years to come.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning West Haddon

 
 
Source: Tile Cleaning and Restoration in Northamptonshire

Deep Cleaning Victorian Hallway Tiles in Middlesex

Apologies in advance but I forgot to take the usual before photograph of this Victorian tiled hallway in Twickenham that I worked on recently. It’s a shame really as it was certainly in need of a good clean and re-seal after years of inadequate maintenance and I’m sure a photo would have helped.

Victorian tiles are porous and do need a sealer to stop dirt becoming ingrained, as once that happens they can be difficult to clean and a Hallway is an especially high traffic area that will see a lot of dirt being tramped in. That activity also wears down the sealer over time so it’s important to keep it topped up.

Cleaning Victorian Tiles

On these tiles, we used a 50:50 combination of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed with Tile Doctor Remove and Go. This combination of products works very well to break down old sealers and also to clean the general soil away from the tile. As usual it was left to soak into the tiles for ten minutes before using a heavy duty scrubbing machine to scrub the floor clean. This achieved a good result and the soil and products were then flushed away using our special flushing tool which fires a jet of water onto the tile whilst vacuuming at the same time (no mess!) to an external tank.

Sealing Victorian Tiles

After allowing the tiles to dry off overnight with some heating on, the floor was ready to accept a new seal the next day. Our customer decided to have a sheen finish so we opted to apply Tile Doctor Seal and Go. These tiles are very porous and so need seven coats to be applied to the floor before it was completely sealed.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning in Twickenham

Apologies again for not taking a before photo so you can compare the difference however hopefully you can see how health the floor looks following the deep cleaning and application of a fresh sealer which will ensure future maintenance is a lot easier for the customer.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning in Twickenham

 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Sealing in Middlesex

Large Victorian Hallway Restored in Gloucestershire

Victorian tiles are very hard-wearing and historically a popular choice for heavy traffic areas such as hallways. Still popular today they are nonetheless like most tiles and can become ingrained with dirt over time.
This particular floor, located in a property in the old market town of Tewkesbury is a good example of a floor that was in good physical condition, but heavily ingrained with dirt due to a lack of regular maintenance. At a loss for how to remedy the situation by themselves, the property owner asked me to pay a visit to restore the tiles back to their best possible condition.

Large Victorian Hallway Tewkesbury Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Dirty Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

In this particular scenario, I opted to mix and apply a solution of different cleaning products from our professional range, each serving a different purpose. These products were Tile Doctor Pro Clean, Tile Doctor Remove and Go, and Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU. Remove and Go serves the purpose of stripping away any old sealer on the tiles, while Pro Clean is an alkaline cleaner that reliably removes dirt and staining. NanoTech HBU is a particularly powerful cleaner which utilises nano-sized particles to penetrate deep into the pores of the stone, get underneath difficult stains and lift them out.

I spread this potent solution across the length and width of the tiled hallway and left it to soak for approximately 10 minutes, before using a black scrubbing pad fitted to my buffing machine to give the tiles a deep scrub. Next, I rinsed the soiled solution away and neutralised the chemicals with plain water, before extracting any residue using a wet vacuum. I repeated the cleaning process several times to achieve the best results possible, and I also employed the aid of a steam cleaner to spot clean any particularly stubborn marks.

Sealing a Dirty Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Cleaning the floor took two days in total. At the end of the second day, I gave the floor a thorough and final rinse before leaving it to dry completely overnight. The next day, I returned to the property to seal the floor after checking the floor was dry. Ensuring before sealing that the floor is completely dry is crucial – even the smallest quantity of moisture remaining can potentially cloud the sealer and damage its performance.

My choice of sealer was Tile Doctor Colour Grow, an impregnating sealer that penetrates and fills the pores of the tile to prevent trapped dirt and makes regular cleaning much easier. Colour Grow is a great choice of sealer for Victorian tiles because it really enhances the colourful patterns which are characteristic of this type of tile.
My customer was very impressed with the service and remarked on the huge improvement to the appearance of the floor. You can see this for yourself – just take a look at the before and after photos!

Large Victorian Hallway Tewkesbury After Clean and Seal

 
 
Source: Victorian Tile and Grout Cleaning Service in Gloucestershire

Restoring Victorian Hallway Tiles after Building Works

These photographs are of a Victorian tiled hallway at a house in Hampton, Middlesex which is South West suburb of London. The tiles had suffered during the completion of extensive building works and as you can see from the picture below, the tiles were looking dull and had lost their vibrancy.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Hampton

On top of that the floor was heavily soiled with plaster dust as well as general soiling from wear and it had not been cleaned or sealed for nearly eight years. Victorian tiles are very hard wearing however and I knew I could put new life into the floor by giving them a good deep clean and re-seal.

Cleaning Victorian Hallway Tiles

To get the tiles clean and remove unwanted coatings we applied a 50/50 combination of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and Tile Doctor Remove and Go.
This combination of products is effective at breaking down old sealers and coatings as well as cleaning the soil away from the tile.
The products were left to soak in for ten minutes before using a heavy-duty machine fitted with a scrubbing pad to work the solution into the pores of the tile. This did the trick and the soil and products were then flushed away using our special flushing tool which fires a jet of water onto the tile whilst extracting it at the same time with a vacuum (so no mess!)

Sealing Victorian Tiles

After allowing the tiles to dry overnight with some heating on, the floor was ready the next morning to accept a fresh sealer. Our customer wanted to have a sheen finish so we opted for Tile Doctor Seal and Go which works really well on Victorian tiles. Seven coats were applied to the floor before it was completely sealed and protected.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Hampton

As well as improving the appearance of the tiles new sealer will also make cleaning much easier for the customer.
 
 
Source: Victorian Tile and Grout Cleaning Service in Middlesex

Victorian Hallway Tiles Repaired and Restored in Northampton

The photographs below are from a Victorian tiled hallway floor at a house in Northampton where I was called in by the owner to inspect the floor for restoration, deep cleaning and re-setting of all loose tiles covering around 3sq metres.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Northampton Before Repair and Cleaning Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Northampton Before Showing Loose Tiles

Cleaning Victorian Tiles

The initial process was to vacuum and remove any loose debris before applying Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel to the entire area. Oxy-Gel is a strong alkaline based gel cleaner/stripper which is safe to use on tile and grout and being gel based it’s very easy to control. The gel was left to get to work on the dirt for ten minutes before being scrubbed into the tile with a black stripping pad fixed to a rotary floor machine. The resultant slurry and dirt was then rinsed with water and removed using a wet vacuum. The floor now free of dirt and old sealers was now prepared ready for repairs and re-grouting.

Grouting Victorian Tiles

The next step was to remove small sections of loose tiles and then re-fixing and re-grouting as required. We took care to replace tiles into their original position to ensure they sat together correctly. Once the section was replaced I removed the tiles in the next section and repeated this process until the 3sq metres of loose tiles were all reinstalled.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Northampton During Repair Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Northampton During Repair

I allowed the grout to dry for a few hours before polishing off excess grout with a cloth and removing difficult grout smears with a weak solution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up. The floor was then rinsed again using water to remove any trace of products and then dried using the wet vacuum.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Northampton After Repair Closeup Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Northampton After Repair Closeup

Sealing Victorian Tiles

I returned a few days later to ensure the floor was completely dry as dampness can be issue with this type of tile, I then vacuumed the floor and gave it a light clean with Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner to make sure it was spotless before sealing.

Once the floor had dried I took damp readings and when satisfied the floor was dry again I applied three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow Sealant for a light sheen finish and to enhance the natural colour of the floor. Colour grow is a penetrating sealer that protects from within by soaking into the pores of the tile stopping dirt from becoming ingrained there, it also enhances colour.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Northampton After Repair and Cleaning Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Northampton After Repair and Cleaning

 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Repair and Restoration Service in Northamptonshire

Edwardian Hallway Rebuild in Worcestershire

Named after the monarch of the time Edwardian tiles are very similar to Victorian tiles in both their colourful nature and geometric design. Both types of tiled floor are commonly found in older properties, but they aren’t always immediately visible because unfortunately many people opt to cover them up with carpet or linoleum.

This customer had just moved into a house in Bewdley, a town in Worcestershire and the home of Severn Valley railway, and after lifting the carpet to replace it found a lovely Edwardian tiled hallway. She decided immediately the floor should be restored to its original condition and so contacted me to see what could be done.

Edwardian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration in Bewdley

Repairing an Edwardian Tiled Floor

At some point in the past, the house had been extended, and the builders had damaged the tiles towards the rear of the hallway to install a gas pipe.

Edwardian Tiled Hallway During Restoration in Bewdley

This meant my first task was to carefully remove the concrete without damaging the gas pipe, before rebuilding the floor to the level where I could relay new tiles and replace damaged ones.

Edwardian Tiled Hallway During Restoration in Bewdley

It took two days to repair the floor, but with the hallway successfully rebuilt I could then move onto the task of cleaning and sealing the tiles.

Edwardian Tiled Hallway During Restoration in Bewdley

Cleaning an Edwardian Tiled Floor

It took me another full day to clean, speed dry and seal the floor.

I started by applying Tile Doctor Remove and Go around the edges of the Edwardian hallway tiles to eliminate any paint splashes and glue stains from previous decoration work and the carpet that had been secured to the tiles by adhesive.

This was then followed by treating the floor with an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel with a buffing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad to clean off any old grout smears and other residues. The floor was then carefully rinsed down with water applied using micro fibre cloths so it wouldn’t get too damp and then speed dried with air blowers.

Edwardian Tiled Hallway During Restoration in Bewdley

Sealing an Edwardian Tiled Floor

Once satisfied that the floor was as clean as possible and bone dry from the speed driers I moved swiftly on to sealing them.

My choice of sealer was Tile Doctor Colour Grow, since the customer requested a natural finish. I applied three heavy coats of the sealer to lift the colours in the tiles and provide a long-lasting impregnating sealer to protect them against dirt and make them easy to keep clean in future.

Edwardian Tiled Hallway After Restoration in Bewdley

The transformation was remarkable and the customer was so happy with the result they left the following feedback:

“Mick and his tiler Dean were friendly, courteous, professional and trustworthy throughout the service given. An excellent job was made of restoring my original Victorian tiled floor – the reproduction tiles look like they’ve been there forever. Mick was extremely helpful to me when I had a crisis with a leaking roof while he was at my home. Would highly recommend him.”

Edwardian Tiled Hallway After Restoration in Bewdley

 
 
Source: Edwardian Tile Cleaning & Restoration Service in Worcestershire

Victorian Tile Repair in South Cumbria

Ulverston is one of several historic market towns in Cumbria which has some excellent views of Morecambe Bay and the Southern Lake District. It is also home to some lovely old properties, including one that I visited recently to provide some repairs, cleaning and sealing for a Victorian tiled floor.

Although the floor was in good condition overall, the tiles were starting to loosen in some areas because the grout had come adrift and needed to be replaced.In fact, several tiles had broken as a result of this and so they would need to replaced too.

Victorian Hallway Before Cleaning in Ulverston Victorian Hallway Before Cleaning in Ulverston

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Floor

As I’ve mentioned, the floor had been well maintained, but I opted in any case to give the tiles a routine clean with our reliable high alkaline product, Tile Doctor Pro Clean, scrubbed in using a pad fitted to a rotary machine. This helped to remove any debris and dirt left over on the tiles.

After the initial clean I proceeded to replace the broken tiles with matching reproduction Victorian tiles, as well as the grout in the areas where the tiles had loosened.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

After finishing the cleaning and repair processes, it was time to seal the floor with a combination of sealers.

To do this I firstly applied one coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is an impregnating, colour intensifying sealer. We find that by applying a base coat of Colour Grow we can lock out the damp that can come through from underneath as many old floors don’t have damp proof membranes fitted, unlike many modern floors. What’s more, acrylic polymer sealers such as Tile Doctor Seal and Go do not respond well to a damp environment.

Once the Colour Grow had been applied and had dried completely, I applied five thin coats of Seal and Go to add further protection and a quality sheen finish. This sealer is also fully breathable and allows Vapour Moisture Transmission (VMT).

Victorian Hallway After Cleaning and Sealing in Ulverston Victorian Hallway After Cleaning and Sealing in Ulverston

The finish was exactly what the customer was looking for and they were very happy with the overall restoration of the floor. Another satisfied customer!
 
 
Source: Victorian Cleaning & Repair Service in South Cumbria

Restoring Old Victorian Hallway Tiles

Finedon is a small civil parish in Northamptonshire with a big history. At the time the Domesday Book was complete in the late 11th century, the town was, in fact, a large royal manor held by the wife of Edward the Confessor.

In subsequent centuries the town has experienced a rich history and many of the current houses were built during the Victorian period (1837-1901). It came as little surprise to me, then, to get a call from a customer in the town who had recently found an original Victorian tiled floor underneath the carpet in her house.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning in Finedon

The tiles were well over a century old. They had been covered by carpet for several years at least, and once unearthed they are clearly covered in paint and other debris from renovation work that had been carried out. Naturally, the customer was keen to restore the appearance of the tiles and so she called me, the local Tile Doctor, to get the job done.

Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

You can see from the photos above that the floor was in quite a state – it took a whole day to clean. The floor area was only around eight metres squared, but it took two litres of Tile Doctor Remove and Go and three litres of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to get it clean. Remove and Go is a very strong stripper that will just about shift any type of dirt or stain, while Tile Doctor Pro-Clean is a reliable high alkaline cleaner both products are designed for use on natural stone.

Once all the dirt, stains and paint splashes were removed, I washed down the floor with fresh water to neutralise the chemicals. I then installed some equipment to assist the drying process overnight, allowing the tiles to be sealed the next day.

There were also some cracks and missing grout that I replaced, along with some several loose tiles that I refitted.

Victorian Tiled Floor During Cleaning in Finedon

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

I returned to the property the next day to seal the floor. To do this I used two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which provides robust protection and the quality matte finish the customer had requested.

As the name suggests, it also enhances the natural colours in the tiles, restoring character to this original feature. For a more traditional look, one litre of sealer was sufficient.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning in Finedon

Looking at the photos, you can see the huge improvement made over two days of work. One hundred years of wear and tear alleviated in 48 hours! The customer was thrilled.
 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Northamptonshire

Neglected Victorian Hallway Tiles Restored in Gloucester

If you’ve even undertaken a property renovation, you’ll know that building works can take a very heavy toll on your floors if not properly protected. Not too long ago I was called to a house in Gloucester to see what could be done to restore the appearance of the tiles after the Victorian tiled hallway had been left in a sorry state following renovation work.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning and Repair in Gloucester

Upon arriving at the property, I also discovered that there was a row of tiles missing under one doorway. These would need to be replaced before any cleaning could take place. The renovation work had left very dirty and riddled with minerals salts and old grout smears.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning in Gloucester

If you have never been Gloucester it’s well worth a visit, dating back to the roman times it is in fact the country’s most inland port boasting some fantastic architecture include the historic docks and many period buildings.

Cleaning a Dirty Victorian Tiled Floor

Fortunately, I was quickly able to source matching replacements for the missing tiles to not disturb the original character of the floor. I took it upon myself to install these, fixing them in place and then grouting them.

While the grout on the new tiles was drying, I began the cleaning process using a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. This is a high alkaline cleaner which we use reliably on most types of natural stone, including Victorian, Quarry, Slate, and Sandstone. The product was mixed with a small amount of water, and the solution was worked into the tiles using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a heavy weight rotary machine. This dealt with most of the thick dirt and staining that had been left over by the builders.

The soiled cleaning solution was then rinsed away with water and extracted using a wet vacuum. After the first stage of cleaning, I washed the floor down with Tile Doctor Acid Gel, which is a blend of phosphoric and hydrochloric acid in gel form designed to remove any mineral salts and old grout smears.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

Once the cleaning process had been completed, I left the floor to dry overnight. Typically, it’s good to give a tiled floor at least 24 hours to dry in order to ensure no moisture was left over, because even the slightest quantity of moisture can cloud the sealer and damage its performance.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning and Repair in Gloucester

Once satisfied that the floor was completely dry I applied one coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is an impregnating sealer designed to enhance the natural colours in the stone. I then waited an hour this sealer to cure before applying four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which added the satin finish the customer had asked for.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning and Repair in Gloucester

The combination of sealers will provide the protection the floor needs and the customer will find it much easier to keep it clean in the future. The result was great and the customer was very happy indeed.
 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Renovation and Restoration Service in Gloucestershire

Victorian Tiles Found Under Hallway Carpet Refurbished in Bedford

When you discover an old Victorian tiled floor underneath carpet, the first question that will probably pop into your mind is: can it be restored?

The answer, in the majority of cases, is yes. In fact, Tile Doctor has completed hundreds of Victorian tiled floor restorations. Victorian tiles have a timeless quality about them and are still popular for residential use even in the twenty first century.

What you can usually expect upon lifting your carpet is for the tiles to be covered in carpet adhesives and grippers, as was the case with this particular example of a Victorian Tiles hallway floor at a property in Bedford. Sometimes you might also find paint splashes or other staining left over from decoration work. And, of course, the tiles will be dirty and in much need of a deep clean. These issues spoil the original appearance of the tiles, but with the right methods and products, a complete restoration can be achieved quickly and cost-effectively.

Victorian tiled floor Before Cleaning Bedford

My first task upon arriving at the proper was to carry out a site survey to address the condition of the tiles, before running a quick test clean on a small area of the floor. The result was good and so I was confident that I could achieve a high-quality restoration for the client.

Victorian tiled floor Before Cleaning Bedford

Cleaning Original Victorian Tiles

A quote was issued and accepted, and the work was booked in at a date that was convenient for the customer.

Returning to the property, my first course of action was to mix a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean, which is a powerful alkaline cleaner safe to use on natural stone, with hot water. This cleaning solution was sprayed along all edges of the floor loosen the glue securing the carpet grippers. I then successfully removed the adhesive carefully using handheld tools to avoid damaging any tiles.

Victorian tiled floor Before Cleaning Bedford

Once this was done, I applied Tile Doctor Remove and Go, scrubbing it into the tiles with a rotary machine. This product is designed to remove heavy soiling, paint splashes and old waxes and sealers. The soiled solution was then extracted using a wet vacuum and stubborn areas re-treated until I was satisfied the floor was clean.

The entire floor was then given a thorough rinse with water to remove any trace of cleaning products and extracted using a wet vax machine.

Sealing Original Victorian Tiles

The floor was allowed to dry for several days before I was able to return to seal the tiles. It’s always important to leave significant time for the floor to dry because any moisture left over can impact the performance of the sealer.

The choice of sealer was Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra, which provides robust protection against dirt and stains, with a light sheen finish. I chose this sealer not only because the customer wanted a light sheen finish, but also because this particular sealer is fully breathable. Dampness can sometimes be an issue with old Victorian and Quarry tiles which were installed before damp proof membranes became standard.

Victorian tiled floor After Cleaning Bedford Victorian tiled floor After Cleaning Bedford

The transformation achieved within the space of a week was quite incredible and the colours in the tile have really come through.
Another satisfied customer!

Victorian tiled floor After Cleaning Bedford

 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Renovation and Restoration Service in Bedfordshire

Old Victorian Hallway Tiles Refurbished in Cheshire

Victorian tiles are a product of the gothic revival that occurred during the reign of Queen Victoria, these tiles are typically colourful and patterned, taking influence from medieval designs. Many property owners in the 21st century understand the value original features such as these floors can have and have chosen to maintain these original tiles.

Restoring them however isn’t always an easy process and we often get asked to deep clean and seal these floors including the example below of a Victorian tiled hallway in the hallway of a grand house in Warrington where the old sealer had gradually worn off allowing the tiles beneath to become dirty and discoloured.

Warrington is an area in Cheshire that expanded and urbanised during the Industrial Revolution period of the 18th and 19th centuries, with its major industries including steel and textiles. This coincided with the growing prosperity of the town, and as people grew wealthier they were able to build fantastic houses with equally fantastic Victorian tiled floors.

Cleaning a Dirty Victorian Tiled Hallway

To begin the restoration, I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a high alkaline product, to both remove ingrained dirt and strip away any remaining old sealer that was still present on the tiles. It’s important to strip the floor of all old coatings and sealers to ensure optimum performance by the new sealer and also to avoid patchy results. The product was left to dwell on the floor for twenty minutes to break down the sealer and seep into the pores of the stone. I then scrubbed the tiles with a black pad and rotary machine to work the Pro-Clean deep into the tile.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Warrington

The resulting soiled cleaning solution was then removed using a wet vacuum machine and the floor was rinsed with water. There were a few stubborn areas that needed further work so these were spot treated using the same process and then followed this by neutralising anytrace of cleaning product on the tiles with a thorough rinse of water. I dried the tiles with the wet-vacuum once more before leaving them to dry out over the course of two days.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Warrington

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway

Upon my return to the property I sealed the Victorian tiles using a combination of sealers which we have found is the most effective method of sealing Victorian tiles. Firstly, I applied a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is a colour intensifying impregnating sealer that soaks into the tile and really lifts the colourful the Victorian designs. Secondly, I applied four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, which provides a durable low-sheen finish (as requested by the customer) and will protect against dirt and stains.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning Warrington

The customer was over the moon with the finished result. We love restoring these
original Victorian tiles because the transformations are truly in incredible. It’s easy to see why so many people want to have them maintained because they really add character to any property.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning Warrington

 
 
Source: Victorian Tile and Grout Cleaning and Restoration Service in Cheshire

Restoring a Victorian Tiled Hallway in South Wales

This Victorian tiled hallway floor at a house in Penarth needed a deep clean and seal but also there was the added complication of what to do with the under stairs area as you will see in the photographs below. There were many options to consider and after many visits to the property to discuss various options we finally decided on adding new replacement tiles that complimented the main colour in the floor.

Victorian Hallway Penarth Before Restoration

This floor was in quite a bad state covered in paint splashes and cement after new damp proofing also under the staircase there were no tiles just cement which the customer hoped could be tiled. I assured the customer that they made the right choice by contacting Tile Doctor that they would be very happy with the outcome of their project.

Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Using a Kango hammer I first removed all the cement from area under the stairs that was to be retiled to get the main mess out of way then scraped off as much cement and paint off the tiled surface as possible. Once this was done and the area clear I was able to re-cement the area to be tilled to the right level and once dry tile the area with tiles in the chosen colour from a company known as Original Style which produce good tile replicas.

Victorian Hallway Penarth During Restoration Victorian Hallway Penarth During Restoration

Deep Cleaning Victorian Hallway Floor Tiles

The floor was checked for moisture which proved dry and then cleaned with a mixture of Tile Doctor products including NanoTech HBU Remover (HBU stands for Heavy Build-up), Remove and Go to tackle the paint splashes and to ensure any sealers were removed and Pro-Clean which is another powerful cleaning product. All these products are safe to use on tiles floors and were worked into the tile and grout using a scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine.

Once the floor was clean the soiled cleaning solution was extracted from the floor using a wet vacuum and the floor then thoroughly rinsed down with water, again extracted using a wet vacuum. Problem areas were re-treated by hand and scraped using wire wool and Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up which is an acid product designed to remove cement stains and grout smears. The floor was then rinsed again to remove any product traces, dried as much as possible with the wet vacuum and left to dry off overnight.

Sealing a Victorian Floor Sealing

I came back the next day to seal the floor, checking the tiles for moisture first using a damp meter. To seal the tiles, I used Tile Doctor Seal and Go which adds that protective layer and a nice sheen to the floor.

Victorian Hallway Penarth After Restoration Victorian Hallway Penarth After Restoration

The replacement tiles blended in well with the original Victorian floor tiles which now following the deep clean and re-seal looks like a new installation.

Victorian Hallway Penarth Before Restoration

 
 
Source: Victorian Tile and Grout Cleaning and Restoration Service in South Wales

Deep Cleaning Victorian Tiles in Cornwall

This Victorian tiled hallway at a house in the coastal town of Newquay actually dates back to the 1920 as opposed to the Victorian era, however the method of making them didn’t really change until after the 2nd World War, as such Victorian and Edwardian tiles can all be cleaned using the same methods. The tiles had actually been hidden under carpet and you can still see the carpet gripper and adhesive along the perimeter of the floor in the photographs below:

Old victorian tiled floor before cleaning in Newquay Old victorian tiled floor before cleaning in Newquay

Cleaning Victorian Floor Tiles

Before starting the clean I took several readings with a damp meter to understand if there were any underlying damp issues that may have been exacerbated, most of these old floors have no damp proof course so it’s always good to understand the inherent level of dampness in the floor before starting.

Fortunately there was no evidence of major dampness so I proceeded with the cleaning by applying a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is an effective alkaline cleaner that is safe to use on these tiles and left it to dwell on the floor for ten minutes before working it in with a Rotary Machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. It was then time to break out a stiff brush to get into the grout lines where the pads can struggle to reach. The last step was to remove the soiled cleaning solution with a wet vacuum and give the floor a rinse with Acid Gel which keeps the Alkaline salts in the floor at bay and avoids any efflorescence issues that are quite common with these old floors.

Sealing the Victorian Tiled Floor

I came back the following day and damp tested several areas again to make sure the floor was dry; the results confirmed the floor had dried and ready for sealing. I sealed the floor using five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which provides the satin finish the customer wanted whilst offering excellent stain protection. You have to leave each coat to dry before applying the next so this process can take some time.

Old victorian tiled floor after cleaning in Newquay Old victorian tiled floor after cleaning in Newquay

 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Cornwall

Renovating A Dirty Victorian Tiled Hallway

This extremely dirty and dull Victorian tiled hallway floor was at a house in Westcliffe on Sea near Southend. The tiles were well overdue for a deep clean and having worked on many of these types of floors before I was confident we could do the job.

Victorian floor before cleaning Westcliffe on Sea

Deep Cleaning Victorian Floor Tiles

Any sealer that was originally present had worn off years earlier so I went straight in with a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean diluted 1:1 with water. This was applied to the floor and left to soak in for ten minutes before being worked into the tiles with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary buffing machine.

The soiled cleaning solution was then removed using a wet vacuum and the floor was rinsed. The process was then repeated a few times to ensure all the ingrained dirt had been removed and we also tackled a few paint splashes that became evident. The floor was given a final and thorough rinse with water to ensure all trace of cleaning products had been removed and dried as much as possible using a wet vacuum.

Sealing Victorian Floor Tiles

The Victorian tiles were left to dry out for two days before we returned and the floor checked for dampness using a damp meter. Everything checked out OK so we proceeded to seal the tiles using numerous coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is our recommended sealer for Victorian tiles as it gives a nice low sheen effect that enhances their appearance as well as protecting them from future staining.

Victorian floor after cleaning Westcliffe on Sea

 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Essex

Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway in North London

A customer in Islington had part of their Victorian tiled floor damaged due to building work and contacted us to ask if it was possible to restore it back to life as they didn’t want to lose such an original feature from their house. Victorian tiled floors are quite popular in the UK and we regularly complete restoration projects of this type so we were confident it could be restored.

Victorian tiled floor before repair Islington Victorian tiled floor before repair Islington

Laying Victorian Floor Tiles

Finding replacement tiles was the key to restoring this floor however over the years we have built-up a list of UK suppliers who specialise in Victorian tiles so fortunately we were able to source a matching set and completely rebuild the area at the bottom of the stairs with replacement tiles.

Cleaning Victorian Tiles

The next task was to set about cleaning the tiles using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean worked in with black scrubbing pads fitted to a rotary buffer machine. The soiled solution was then extracted using a wet vacuum and the floor rinsed with water. Final step of the cleaning process was to give the tiles an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel which removed old traces of grout and other mineral deposits such as efflorescence from the floor. Once happy that is had done its job is was extracted from the floor and then the tiles were given a thorough rinse and left to dry off overnight.

Sealing Victorian Tiles

Next day we sealed the floor using Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a breathable solvent based sealer, and is also very good at lifting the colours out of the clay tiles as providing a seal that will help protect the tiles from stains going forward.

Victorian tiled floor before repair Islington Victorian tiled floor before repair Islington

Another fantastic restoration completed and well worth the time that went into it, it’s great to see such a lovely feature in a house of this age which I’m sure adds value to the property.
 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in North London

Extending a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Kent

This customer has recently purchased a house in Sevenoaks and was looking to extend and reconfigure the interior layout. As part of this, they had removed a wall, effectively extending the hallway which had been tiled in fantastic original Victorian tiles. Naturally, they felt the extended hallway should look the same and wanted the Victorian tiles extending into this new area with matching tiles.

Victorian floor before cleaning Sevenoaks

Also, the existing tiles had not been cleaned and sealed for some time and were now overdue a deep clean and fresh seal, this however would to work to our advantage as cleaning the existing floor and then sealing the whole floor in one go would help the new tiles blend in with the original.

Victorian floor before cleaning Sevenoaks

Cleaning a Dirty Victorian Tiled Hallway

To clean the floor, I applied several different products. When cleaning Victorian tiles, I usually start by applying our heavy duty cleaner known as Tile Doctor Remove and Go because it is particularly effective at breaking down grime that has been built up on these tiles over many years, and as its name suggests strips away any old sealer. This is left to dwell on the tile for ten to fifteen minutes before being scrubbed in with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor buffer.

Once the cleaning slurry from the Remove and Go had been vacuumed up and cleared completely from the area, I then applied a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean, a high alkaline cleaner which helps to get deep into the stone to eliminate ingrained dir and staining.

I finished the deep cleaning process by applying a solution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up, which is an acid-based cleaner that is good for removing grout haze and other mineral deposits such as effloresce. After diluting it with water, I used it to rinse the floor, neutralising any efflorescence and limescale. It also assisted in opening the pores in the clay based tiles to get them ready for an impregnating sealer.

Laying a Victorian Tiled Hallway

The next step was to extended the hallway using reproduction tiles which I had sourced to match the existing Victorian pattern. There were also a couple of areas where the existing tiles need replacing. Rebuilding Victorian tiled floors is quite a common request for Tile Doctor so over the years we have built up a good list of suppliers and often source tiles from ebay that we keep in stock in case someone needs them.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway

One the new tiles were laid and the grout had gone off I returned to complete the project by sealing the whole floor with a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, a colour-enhancing impregnating sealer that leaves the floor richer in colour while retaining the natural looking matte finish requested by the customer.

Victorian floor after cleaning and rebuilding Sevenoaks

The photos show just how great the results were – the customer was very pleased with their newly extended and refreshed Victorian tiled hallway.

Victorian floor after cleaning and rebuilding Sevenoaks

 
 
Source: Victorian Tiling and Renovation Service in Kent

Deep Cleaning Victorian Floor Tiles in South Essex

These photographs are from a dirty Victorian tiled hallway floor at a house on Mersea Island which is south of Colchester in the Colne Estuary. The tiles were in good physical condition but the sealer had worn down and dirt had become lodged in the pores of the tile causing them to look dull and faded.

Dirty victorian floor before cleaning Mersea Island

Deep Cleaning Victorian Floor Tiles

To strip off any remaining old sealer and to give the tiles a good deep clean I applied a strong 1:3 dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean with water and worked it into the floor using a rotary buffing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad.

The now soiled cleaning solution was rinsed off and extracted using a wet vacuum and I could see there were some stubborn stains that would need extra work. To tackle these I used a solution of Nanotech HBU cleaner which was applied and left to dwell for fifteen minutes before being scrubbed in using the black scrubbing pad as before.

The dirty solution was then removed using a wet vacuum and the floor was rinsed thoroughly with water to ensure all trace of cleaning products was removed.

Sealing Victorian Floor Tiles

The Victorian tiles were left to dry out for a few days before we returned to seal the floor using numerous coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is our recommended sealer for Victorian tiles as it gives a nice low sheen effect that enhances their appearance as well as protecting them from future staining.

Dirty victorian floor after cleaning Mersea Island

 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in Essex

Full Victorian Tiled Hallway Restoration in Warrington

Victorian tiles have a classic aura about them. They have been in use for over 150 years but have never really gone out of style due to their unique style and variety of patterns. As such, we often encounter both Victorian tiles that are very old, and Victorian tiles are quite new. Time, however, can certainly expose the tiles to all manner of wear and tear, and regular professional maintenance will always be necessary to keep them looking good.

As you can see from the photographs below, this particularly old Victorian tiled hallway at a house in Warrington was in pretty bad shape, with missing and cracked tiles. Not to mention that it clearly hadn’t been treated to a deep clean and fresh seal in a very long time. The property owner contacted me to set the situation right.

Victorian tiled hallway before restoration Warrington

Repairing and Cleaning Dirty and Damaged Victorian Tiles

Before I could begin with the restoration, it was necessary to order and reinstall replacements for the missing tiles. Fortunately, Tile Doctor maintains a list of suppliers that we can go to for these. Loose tiles were also refixed and grouted, before being left to dry over night. The result was an almost entirely rebuilt floor of original and replacement Victorian tiles.

Victorian tiled hallway during restoration Warrington

The next day I started the restoration by using a hand help flex machine fitted with three-inch diamond encrusted discs to lightly grind out the scratches in some of the original tiles. This was followed by a deep cleaning of the floor with Tile Doctor Pro Clean in combination with a black buffing pad. I repeated the process multiple times with this reliable alkaline cleaner to ensure all tiles were thoroughly and consistently clean.

The last step in the cleaning process was to rinse the floor thoroughly to remove any trace of chemicals, before soaking up any excess moisture using a wet vacuum. I gave the floor another night to dry fully, as it could only be sealed when I was sure all moisture had disappeared.

Sealing Victorian Tiles

On the third and final day of work, I started by checking the tiles were completely dry. This is essential because even a small amount of moisture can cloud the sealer and prevent it from performing correctly.

When satisfied with the state of the floor, I proceeded to seal it with a combination of six coats Tile Doctor Seal and Go and one coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. Seal and Go is a topical sealer that provides a durable layer of protection on the surface of tiles, plus a high-quality sheen finish. Colour Grow, by comparison, is an impregnating sealer, meaning it penetrates into the pores of the stone to act as a barrier against ingrained dirt and stains. It also enhances the range of different colours in the tiles.

Victorian tiled hallway after restoration Warrington

As you can see from the last photographs, this combination of cleaning and two sets of sealer worked wonders to restore the character to the old tiles. My customer was over the moon.

Victorian tiled hallway after restoration Warrington

 
 
Source: Victorian Tiled Hallway Cleaning and Restoration Service in Cheshire

Restoring Victorian Floor Tiles Hidden under Carpet

The owners of this property in Maesteg, a town in the Llynfi Valley not too far from Port Talbot, had decided after many years to remove the carpet covering the downstairs hallway. Upon doing so they revealed some truly fantastic patterned Victorian tiles, and decided that instead of replacing the old carpet with new carpet, they would restore the condition of the original flooring.

Victorian tiled hallway before cleaning Maesteg Victorian tiled hallway before cleaning Maesteg

Whenever you remove carpet that has been hiding tiled flooring, it’s almost inevitable that you will find traces of rubber underlay, glue and cement deposits, and paint stains – or, in this particular case – a combination of all the above. The best course of action to bring original tiles back to their peak condition is to seek professional restoration. Everyday cleaning products and DIY methods rarely achieve the desired result. As the local Tile Doctor, these property owners contacted me to get the job done efficiently and effectively. Here’s how I did it.

Cleaning an Old Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Upon arriving at the property, I started by checking the floor for any inherent moisture problems. This was important to do considering that the tiles appeared quite old; thankfully there were no major issues that would have affected the restoration.

After checking for moisture, I began the cleaning process by manually scrapping off as much of the heavy glue and cement deposits as possible to clear the area and give the cleaning products an easier time of penetrating deep into the tiles.

I then mixed a strong cleaning solution consisting of three of our products: Tile Doctor Pro Clean, Remove and Go and NanoTech HBU. Pro Clean is a reliable cleaner that cans be used on most natural stone floors, Remove & Go helps with the removal of glues, adhesives, and old sealers, and NanoTech HBU uses nano-sized cleaning particles to penetrate beneath tough stains, dissolve them, and lift them out.

This solution was worked into the tiles using a rotary machine fitted with a coarse black pad, before I rinsed the floor thoroughly. Then, on my hand and knees, I carefully checked every tile for any additional paint splashes or other deposits, using a handheld scraper and wire wool in combination with Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up to remove any I came across. This cleaning method for this type of floor is generally always successful.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

After leaving the floor to dry overnight I returned to the property, once again checking for moisture. Happy that the floor was ready to be sealed, I applied six coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, which not only provides a protective layer but also gives the tiles to a beautiful low sheen finish. Seal and Go is best suited for use on internal, porous surfaces such as Victorian, Quarry, Sandstone and Slate.

The two photos below show the outcome of the restoration. The transformation achieved in the space of one day was exceptional and needless to say the customer was over the moon with their new Victorian tiles.

Victorian tiled hallway after cleaning Maesteg Victorian tiled hallway after cleaning Maesteg

 
 
Source: Victorian Tiled Floor Cleaning and Restoration Service in South Wales