Black and Cream Victorian Tiled Hallway Repaired and Restored in Cumbria

This property located near the pretty market town of Ulverston was built in 1874 as inscribed on the front of the building. The Victorian Tiled floor comprised of Cream and Black tiles was original from when the house was built so that made the tiles at least 145 years old, in fact this was one of the oldest Victorian tiled floors I have ever worked on.

Cream Black Victorian Hallway Floor Tiles Before Restoration Ulverston

The floor was in good condition for its age but had experienced problems with broken and loose tiles around two of the door thresholds which is a common problem with floors of this age. Unfortunately, those tiles had been lost over the years and now the customer wanted this part of the floor rebuilding as part of the restoration. Fortunately, these tiles are still popular so finding suitable replacements wasn’t a big of a challenge as you might think.

Cream Black Victorian Hallway Floor Tiles Before Restoration Ulverston

I discussed with the client what needed to be done and after finding a suitable supplier for the replacement tiles was able to produce a quote which was accepted, and we agreed a price for the work.

Repairing a Cream and Black Victorian Hallway Floor

My first task was to rebuild the areas of broken and missing tiles. For the larger areas I mapped out a suitable pattern and set about cutting the replacement tiles to fit. A thick bed of flexible rapid set floor adhesive was applied to the floor and the replacement tiles bedded into the old cement base. Once the adhesive had hardened the tiles were grouted, cleaned-up and left to dry.

Cream Black Victorian Hallway Floor Tiles Before Restoration Ulverston

There were several areas that needed this treatment, so the work took some time to complete.

Cream Black Victorian Hallway Floor Tiles Before Restoration Ulverston

Cleaning/Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Returning the next day, I first checked that the replacement tiles had set and that there were no further problems that needed addressing. All was well so I began cleaning the floor using a 200-grit followed by a 400-grit Diamond pad fitted to a weighted buffing machine running at slow speed and lubricated with water. The floor was rinsed with water after each pad and then the soil extracted using a wet vacuum.

The floor was then given an acid wash using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up, which at this stage acts in two ways for these old floors:

1. The Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up product is made from Phosphoric Acid (not a brick Acid, which is a lot cheaper, more widely available but too strong for use on tile.) The acid we use works with us not against us and gives us time to change the pH of the floor to a slightly acidic pH. This is important on old floors like these where no damp proof membrane has been installed and it’s important to counter any alkaline salts in the floor which could lead to efflorescence later.
2. The sealer will bond to the surface a lot better when it has had this treatment and as a result you get a sharper cleaner finish.

Cream Black Victorian Hallway Floor Tiles Before Restoration Ulverston

Once done the floor was given another rinse and extraction with water and the wet vacuum and then left to dry out for a few days,

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

We returned as promised to seal the whole floor using a couple of coats of a breathable colour enhancing sealer called Tile Doctor Colour Grow. As you can see form the pictures this really brought the hallway floor to life. Colour Grow works from the inside by occupying the pores in the tile and will protect it from ingrained dirt staining going forward.

Cream Black Victorian Hallway Floor Tiles After Restoration Ulverston

It’s very important for a customer to use the correct cleaner after having there tiles cleaned and sealed professionally as using the wrong product can prematurely degrade the sealer. As a result, we recommend Tile Doctor Concentrated Neutral Tile Cleaner, its pH balanced and will not upset the sealer, thus getting maximum longevity out of the whole process.

Cream Black Victorian Hallway Floor Tiles After Restoration Ulverston

Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning, Restoration and Sealing Service in Ulverston, Cumbria

Full Restoration of a Victorian Manor House Floor in Lancashire

Earlier this year we had the privilege to be involved in the restoration of a large Victorian tiled hall at Stone Cross Manor in Ulverston which is being sympathetically redeveloped into nineteen apartments by Persimmon Homes at a reported cost of £4 million. The magnificent Grade II-listed stately home was built in 1874 for Myles Kennedy who was a Limestone Quarry owner and chairman of an Ironworks.

The property continued to be occupied by the Kennedy family until 1943 when it was requisitioned by the military who then sold it to Lancashire County Council in 1946. The council used it as a boarding school for some decades and allegedly had the central oak staircase removed so the hall could be used to play indoor football. Since that time, it has had different owners and states of disrepair until finally being acquired by Persimmon who contacted us to quote for restoring the floor to its former glory. This would be no easy task and would require plenty of help. However, we are a resourceful bunch and being part of a large network of Tile Doctors means we were able to draft in other Tile Doctors to assist.

Stone Cross Manor Ulverston

Before we took the job on, I went over to survey the floor and was immediately taken aback by the sheer size and scale of the project. The impressive Victorian hall has now had its large wooden staircase rebuilt and this sits in the centre of a series of architectural stone columns.

The floor was in a sorry state though and it certainly had a story to tell. At some point in its long history sections of the beautiful Victorian tiles had been cut out for the installation of central heating and then back filled with cement. There were also other areas that had been given the same treatment for some inexplicable reason. I suspect that the floor must have been covered in carpet during its later life to hide the mess.

Victorian Tiled Stone Cross Manor Hall Before Restoration Victorian Tiled Stone Cross Manor Hall Before Restoration

The biggest problem was the realisation that with so many tiles missing the only way we could get exact duplicates would be to have them made by a company such as Craven and Dunhill. They are specialist tile manufacturer who date back to 1872 and can reproduce old tiles using the same tones and colours to match the originals. This was a high spec job, so this was the right approach however the price for the moulds and the time needed to manufacture threatened to push the cost of renovating the floor off the scale.

Victorian Tiled Stone Cross Manor Hall Before Restoration

We discussed this with the developer and manged to come to a compromise by reusing tiles from another room in the property. Many of the tiles in that room had been damaged and were beyond restoration however there were enough tiles in good condition to fulfil our requirements in the main hall. They would have to be carefully lifted and cleaned but the tiles matched the colour and tone, size and texture to the main hallway perfectly. When you look at the before and after pictures on this page you will really struggle to see any difference and this is rare on old floor like this, the only exception being the black tiles underneath the radiators where a matching tone wasn’t available.

Rebuilding a Large Victorian Tiled Floor

The first week was spent lifting and replacing broken tiles, it was a large floor area of about 120m2 which was set to be the main showpiece of the building, so it had to be right. As part of the floor prep it was also necessary to level parts of the floor with the application of a a self-levelling compound. We brought in Cardiff Tile Doctor Julian Iaconno to run this part of the job, he is an absolute master tiler and one of the best Victorian Tile installers in the country. At one point there was three of us working on the floor in order to keep to schedule.

Victorian Tiled Stone Cross Manor Hall During Restoration Victorian Tiled Stone Cross Manor Hall During Restoration

Deep Cleaning a Large Victorian Tiled Floor

The second week was spent cleaning the floor various Diamond burnishing pads, moving though increasingly finer girts until we achieved the desired finish. We also used a lot of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up and Pro-clean to remove the old grout and dirt from the recycled tiles. As is always the case on a building site you get a lot of tradesmen who like to have a look at what we have done and walk all over our nice clean tiles, thus leaving dusty footprints everywhere. I must give credit to the Site Foreman for keeping these guys out although best intentioned they weren’t helping with the cleaning process, so all doors were locked off and access was limited to the site foreman and Tile Doctor only.

Victorian Tiled Stone Cross Manor Hall During Restoration Victorian Tiled Stone Cross Manor Hall During Restoration

Sealing a Large Victorian Tiled Floor

Victorian Tiled Floor Stone Cross Manor Hall After Restoration Victorian Tiled Floor Stone Cross Manor Hall After Restoration

We applied a Matt finish sealer called Colour Grow, which copes very well with potential damp issues that can cause problems with old floors with no damp proof course, it’s also excellent at bringing out the colour of Tiles whether Clay or Stone. Four coats of Colour Grow were applied to the Victorian tiles and being such a large floor area, it took a few days to fully seal the floor.

Victorian Tiled Floor Stone Cross Manor Hall After Restoration Victorian Tiled Stone Cross Manor Hall After Restoration

We cannot praise Persimmon enough for the dedication they have shown in the restoration of this historic property which has had a chequered past and will now have a long future.

 

Source: Victorian Listed Building Floor Restoration Service in Lancashire

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