Victorian Tiled Path Renovated in Margate

The picture below is of a Victorian path leading up to a house in Cliftonville which is a popular residential area in the coastal town of Margate. The seaside property was generally in good repair and had retained many of its’ original features. The pathway however had been subjected to the weather, and salty sea air so was looking a little worse for wear.

Victorian Path Before Renovation Cliftonville Margate

It always makes a pleasant change to be asked to carry out work outside and being located a short ten-minute drive away from the property it wasn’t long before I was able to go over and take a look. I inspected the path and discussed with the client the cleaning process that was needed. They were happy to go ahead with my quote and we arranged a time to return later in the month. We kept one eye on the weather as a nice dry day would be needed.

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Pathway

Being outdoors, for a change we didn’t need to tape any surrounding areas to protect them from the clean, so we were able to get straight on with the job. The tiles had some masonry paint staining from the previous redecoration of the rendering, this was softened by spot treating with Tile Doctor Remove and Go which was left to soak in for ten minutes before being scrubbed in with a stiff brush. The paint was then carefully scraped off.

A deep clean was then carried out using a rotary floor cleaning machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad which was used to work in a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. This had an immediate effect and it wasn’t long before the dirt was being lifted out of the pores of the tile. The pathway was then rinsed, and the resulting slurry extracted with a wet vacuum.

The path was looking much improved so once I was happy all the dirt had been removed it was left to dry out. There were a few loose tiles were lifted and secured back in place using a flexible floor tile adhesive rated for external use.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Pathway

The dry weather continued so I was able to return the following day and complete the project. Before sealing I resurfaced some of the tiles using a hand buffer fitted with a 400-grit burnishing pad and a little water to give the surface a consistent finish.

The last step was to apply three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a fully breathable impregnating sealer that will cope with the damp external conditions. It also provides durable protection and has the added benefit of improving the colours in the tile.

Victorian Path After Renovation Cliftonville Margate

The path looked great after completion, the Victorian pattern looked lovely and the new sealer will ensure it is a lot easier to keep clean going forward. I discussed aftercare before leaving and recommended the use the Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner, its concentrated product so a one litre bottle goes a long way and won’t harm the newly applied sealer. Most supermarket tile cleaning products are not pH neutral and too strong to use on a sealed surface.


Source: Victorian Path Cleaning and Restoration Service in Margate, Kent

External Edwardian Pathway Repaired and Restored in North London

As you can see this Clay Tiled Pathway laid during the Edwardian period at the front of a house in Barnet, North London had suffered over the years and now had many broken and cracked tiles along the path. The concrete foundation had seen some movement in the past leading to a crack forming right across which had either cracked the tile or caused them to become loose.

Edwardian Clay Pathway Barnet Before Cleaning Edwardian Clay Pathway Barnet Before Cleaning

To restore the path to its original condition would require removing all the broken and loose tiles and then relaying with matching replacements and grout giving particular attention to the detailed edging pattern. Fortunately, having done a few of these jobs before I have learned where to find replacements and often keep an eye on salvage yards and ebay.

Edwardian Clay Pathway Barnet Before Cleaning Edwardian Clay Pathway Barnet Before Cleaning

Cleaning and Repairing an Edwardian Clay Tiled Pathway

The first job was to remove ingrained dirt and old coatings by applying a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove & Go across the entire length of the pathway. Remove and Go as its name suggests breaks down and strips off the old sealers as well as dislodging ingrained dirt. It was scrubbed in and then rinsed off with water and extracted using a wet vacuum.

Next some of the tiles which had experienced particularly stubborn staining were given an Acid Wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel which removes old grout smears and mineral salts deposits which is often referred to as efflorescence. Acid Gel neutralises the alkaline salts and once scrubbed in it was removed using the wet vacuum.

Once the dirt and efflorescence had been dealt with, I focused my attention towards the tile repairs starting with the removal of the broken and loose tiles so I could get at the cracked sub-base and repair it. Once the repair had hardened I was able to relay the path using a mixture of exiting and replacement tiles taking care to match the original pattern. Before leaving for the day the tile adhesive had gone off and I was able to grout them in using a matching grout. I had also checked the weather forecast to ensure no rain was forecast that evening.

Sealing an Edwardian Clay Tiled Pathway

The weather held and the following day with a freshly cleaned and repaired path I was able to finish the job by applying two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which really brings out the natural colours in the clay tile. Once the sealer had dried I ran a white buffing pad over the path to give it that final finish before showing it to the owner of the property who I’m happy to report was extremely pleased with the result.

Edwardian Clay Pathway Barnet After Cleaning

I should mention that when choosing a Sealer for an external application it’s important to choose one which is fully breathable and can cope with the wet conditions.
Source: Edwardian Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in North London