Removing Plaster, Paint and Glue from a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Kings Lynn

As is often the case in years past and for whatever reason many homeowners covered their decorative Victorian hallway tiles in a variety of products from carpet to laminate flooring. These days the trend has reversed and quite rightly many homeowners now realise the value a tiled floor can bring to a property and look to us to have it restored.

Our client had purchased a property in Norfolk seaport of Kings Lynn and, on lifting the dirty old carpet and decaying underlay in the hallway, discovered a beautiful tiled entrance hall. It was obvious that a previous owner had decided to lay carpet over the tiles as an easy way of hiding the result of careless renovation and decorating which had resulted in a thick coating of plaster, paint, carpet tape glue and various other contaminants which had become firmly stuck to the surface. There were also two small rectangular black and brown tiles missing behind the front door which had been damaged during the removal of some old lead pipes.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Kings Lynn

This was clearly a job which would need somewhat more than a scrubbing brush and a bottle of Flash!

Cleaning a Victorian tiled floor

Our first job was to remove as much of the solid contaminants as possible by hand with floor scrapers and a steamer which softened the more stubborn lumps. We then applied Tile Doctor Remove & Go which is a powerful alkaline stripper to the whole area, left it to dwell on the surface for twenty minutes and then scrubbed it in using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The resulting slurry was then power rinsed and extracted away using our Ninja machine which is a high-power industrial vacuum. Any remaining patches where the carpet tape had been stuck down were spot treated using Tile Doctor Nanotech HBU which made short work of the hardened glue.

The result was a clean floor, but the surface still felt slightly rough and pitted, a problem which we resolved using the rotary machine fitted with a 200-grit diamond burnishing pad followed by a 400-grit pad with a little 400 grit honing powder which left the surface smooth, silky and ready for the application of a sealer.

Finally, we acid washed the whole area using Tile Doctor Acid Gel, a slow release product which would neutralise any remaining chemicals, improve new sealer adhesion and inhibit the future production of any efflorescence salts. We had used a fair amount of water during the cleaning process, so we left the floor to dry off thoroughly overnight with assistance from our commercial dehumidifier.

Sealing a Victorian tiled floor

On our return the following day, we discussed the sealer options with the client and recommended using microporous Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that seeps into the pores of the stone protecting it from within. It will provide an excellent fluid resistant seal whilst enhancing the natural colours in the stone, additionally it’s fully breathable thereby enabling any moisture trapped under the floor to rise through the floor and evaporate. This is important on old floors like this where no damp-proof membrane was installed. The sealer was applied with a paint pad in tow coats and allowed to dry for an hour before buffing the floor with a hog’s hair pad to give a rich natural-look sheen finish.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Kings Lynn

The Victorian tiles responded well to the treatments which were completed in two consecutive days. My client was extremely pleased with the results and left the following comment:

“My floor was in poor condition after being buried under carpet as well as many, many years of paint and muck. I enjoyed the time they spent at my home and wouldn’t hesitate to use (or recommend) the Tile Doctor service in the future.”

 

Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Kings Lynn

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