Original Victorian Tiled Hallway Restored in Coundon

It’s a wonder why any property owner would want to cover an original Victorian tiled floor but I guess it was the fashion at the time. Fortunately, times have changed and home owners are now looking to restore original features back to their property as they bring a real sense of character and personality, especially if the tiles laid are colourful and have interesting design patterns.

In this case the former owner of this house in Coundon near Coventry had opted to hide the fantastic hallway and doorway Victorian tiles with carpet some 15 years earlier. Now, the new owner was keen to restore the floor as an original feature.

victorian tiled floor before refurbishment in coundon

The tiles weren’t in great shape to begin with. In several areas there was a need to reaffix or entirely replace some loose and damaged tiles. Needless to say, the tiles which has been hidden by carpet for many years were in dire need of a thorough clean and fresh seal, and there were areas where mineral salt deposits had emerged over time. A full restoration would require me to address all of these issues – here’s how I did it.

Cleaning and Repairing a Dirty and Damaged Victorian Tiled Floor

Prior to starting a deep cleaning process, I ensured the damaged and loose tiles were carefully replaced and re-grouted. Fortunately, over the years I have built up a nice collection of spare Victorian tiles so sourcing replacements for the broken ones was not a big problem.

victorian tiled floor refurbishment tiles in coundon victorian tiled floor before refurbishment in coundon

Then, to clean the tiles, I applied a strong cleaning solution consisting of Tile Doctor Remove and Go, which helps to remove any old sealers, and Tile Doctor Pro Clean, which deals with any ingrained dirt and general muck afflicting the tiles.

To help with the cleaning – especially in regards to the aforementioned minerals salts issue – I applied Tile Doctor Acid Gel, which is a blend of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids in a handy and easy-to-apply gel form. When worked into the tile using a black scrubbing pad, the Acid Gel successfully neutralised the alkaline-based salts. To finish off the cleaning process, I steam cleaned the floor, soaked up any excess moisture with a wet vacuum, and installed fans to speed up the drying process.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

The next day the tiles were dry and ready to be sealed so I wasted no time and started the application of several coats of our impregnating sealer Tile Doctor Colour Grow. As an impregnating sealer, Colour Grow penetrates and fills the pores of the stone to prevent dirt from becoming trapped. This makes it easier for the property owner to keep the tiles clean in future.

victorian tiled floor after refurbishment in coundon

Colour Grow also provides the added benefit of enhancing the colours in the tile, making them more vibrant and characterful. The natural matte finish left by Colour Grow was exactly as the customer requested. At the end of two days work I left the house with some revitalised Victorian tiles and a very happy customer.

victorian tiled floor after refurbishment in coundon

 
 

Professional Restoration of a Dirty Victorian Tiled Floor near Coventry

Beautiful Victorian Tiled Hallway Repaired and Restored in Wyken

This Victorian tiled hallway was one of the most beautiful Victorian floors I have ever had the pleasure to work on. With the wide range of patterns and colours they are available in, it seems no two Victorian tiled floors are exactly the same, and this uniqueness is part of what makes them so appealing to property owners.

Unfortunately, this floor had been poorly maintained over the years, even suffering from a few loose and missing tiles. There was a thick coating of dust and dirt soiling its appearance, and the property owner was understandably keen to remedy the situation. Having realised that everyday household cleaners are not likely to achieve great results, she asked me to carry out a full professional restoration, including making some repairs where necessary. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that this property was situated in the town of Wyken, which is a few miles outside of Coventry city centre and in fact just down the road from where I live myself!

Beautiful Victorian Floor Before Cleaning in Wyken

Repairing and Cleaning a Dirty Victorian Tiled Floor

Before making a start on the cleaning process, it was first necessary to re-fix the small number of loose tiles and replace a single missing tile by the radiator. Fortunately, I’ve been working on these types of floors for some time and have built up a good collection of replacement Victorian tiles so I was able to find one that matched in nicely with the rest of the floor without too much problem.

Beautiful Victorian Floor During Cleaning in Wyken

To clean the tiles, I began by applying a layer of Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel directly into the floor with a small brush. This product is very similar to the popular Tile Doctor Pro Clean: both are strong alkaline cleaners, strippers and degreasers, with the main difference being that Oxy-Clean comes in a gel form, making it easier to control and therefore ideal for precise cleaning, or for application to vertical surfaces. Like Pro Clean and being an alkaline base it is suitable for use on all types of natural stone and tile. The Oxy-Gel was left to soak into the tiles for around ten minutes before being scrubbed in and then rinsed off carefully with water, I then used a wet vacuum to extract the now soiled cleaning solution off the floor.

Beautiful Victorian Floor During Cleaning with Oxy Gel in Wyken

The next step was to acid wash the floor using Tile Doctor Acid Gel; this served to break down alkaline mineral deposits inherent in the grout along with some excess grout that had been left on the untidily left on tile from installation. It is recommended not to use this product on acid-sensitive soon such as Marble and Limestone as it can cause irreparable etching but its fine on Victorian tiles as long as you don’t leave it on too long.

Finally, the floor was given a rinse with clean water to remove any trace of chemicals from the cleaning and to neutralise the area in preparation for sealing.

Beautiful Victorian Floor Cleaning Tools in Wyken

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

I left the floor for 48 hours to dry before returning to the property to seal the tiles. This allowed plenty of time for the floor to dry completely, which is important as any excess moisture can damage the ability of the sealer to protect against dirt and stains.

Beautiful Victorian Floor After Cleaning in Wyken

My choice of sealer for this floor was Tile Doctor High Shine; three coats in total were applied, providing – as the product name suggests – the high shine finish that the customer had requested. The sealer will provide durable surface protection going forward preventing dirt from becoming ingrained into the pores of the tile and ensuring it remains easy to clean and keeping its appearance for some time to come.

Beautiful Victorian Floor After Cleaning in Wyken

As a big fan of Victorian tiles, it was a great pleasure to restore this floor, and my customer was certainly pleased too. It’s amazing how far a little professional maintenance can go to improving the appearance of these fantastic types of floor.
 
 

Professional Maintenance of a Dirty and Damaged Victorian Tiled Floor in Warwickshire

Victorian Hallway Floor Rebuilt and Restored in Leamington Spa

As you can see from the photographs below this Victorian tiled hallway was in quite a state and not only needed a thorough clean and fresh seal but needed to be rebuilt in parts.

Victorian Tiled Floor During Rebuild Leamington Spa

Leamington Spa or Royal Leamington Spa to give its full name is one of the original UK Spa towns where people would visit to bathe the waters which are supposed to have medicinal properties, the town has many regency period properties and so Victorian floors

Rebuilding and Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway

A good 30% of the floor tiles were lose and it took three days to rebuild the screed levelling compound before refitting loose tiles and new ones had to be cut to size, fixed in place and then re-grouted.

Victorian Tiled Floor During Rebuild Leamington Spa

On day 4 a 400 grit coarse burnishing pad was applied to clean up the whole floor.
This was followed by scrubbing the tile and grout with Tile Doctor Pro-clean mixed 50/50 with NanoTech HBU remover followed by Remove and Go and finally treated with Acid Gel to remove the grout haze. After that the White tiles were steam cleaned to get them as clean and white as possible.

Victorian Tiled Floor During Rebuild Leamington Spa

The floor was thoroughly rinsed after each treatment and the slurry extracted using a wet vacuum.

Victorian Tiled Floor During Rebuild Leamington Spa

Sealing Victorian floor tiles

I left the floor for 5 days so it could thoroughly dry out and settle following the numerous treatments and then came back to seal the tiles, I used a damp test meter first to verify the floor was dry and ready for sealing. Once happy I proceed to apply a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing sealer that soaks into the tile protecting it from within and leaves a matt finish.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Rebuild Leamington Spa

A lot of work went into restoring this floor but I’m really pleased with the way it came out and as you can imagine the owner was really happy with the transformation that had taken place in their house.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Rebuild Leamington Spa

 
 

Rebuilding and Restoring a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor in Warwickshire

Victorian Tiled Hallway Repaired and Restored in Earlsdon

This Victorian tiled hallway at a house in Earlsdon near Coventry was not only in dire need of a good clean and seal, but also required some repairs to areas where the tiles were cracked or missing. The job took three days in total to complete, with one day spent on the necessary repairs, and two on the cleaning and sealing process.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Restoration Earlsdon Coventry

Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway

Repairing Victorian Tiles is generally a straightforward tiling job, complications that can arise are usually related to making sure the floor substrate is solid and sourcing matching tiles. In this case the foundation was fine so it was just a case of scraping off the old adhesive and then re-fixing the tiles and re-grouting with a matching grout. It’s best to do any repairs before cleaning and sealing as the new tiles will blend into the floor better.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Restoration Earlsdon Coventry Victorian Tiled Floor Before Restoration Earlsdon Coventry

Cleaning a Victorian tiled hallway

I left the floor to set overnight and then came back to clean the floor first applying a layer of Tile Doctor Remove & Go to floor in order to breakdown any old sealers, dirt and other contaminates such as paint and plaster from decorating.

The product was left to dwell for ten minutes before being worked into the tile and grout using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a heavy rotary machine. This made a marked difference in the appearance of the tiles and the resultant slurry was rinsed off the floor using water and a wet vacuum.

Now the dirt was removed I could see there were some white salt deposits of the tile surface as well as smears of grout that were probably there since its installation. The mineral salt deposits often known as efflorescence are usually due to dampness rising up though the floor and these old Victorian floors rarely have a damp proof membrane which is a relatively new advancement. To resolve both these problems I applied Tile Doctor Acid Gel which is a blend of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids in a gel form so it doesn’t move around like a liquid. This product was especially effective on Victorian floor tiles, but should not be used on any tiles made of acid-sensitive stone, such as Marble or Limestone as it can damage them. Being an acid product it’s best not to leave it on too long either, so once I had managed to scrub off the efflorescence and grout smears I removed it and then gave the floor a good rinse to remove any trace and neutralise the floor prior to sealing.

Sealing a Victorian tiled hallway

After completing the cleaning process, I left the floor to dry completely overnight and came back to the house the next day to finish off with a sealer. I usually seal Victorian and Quarry tiles with Tile Doctor Seal and Go however given the previous evidence of efflorescence I need to choose a sealer that was highly breathable. Fortunately Tile Doctor recognises this issue and has such a product called Seal & Go Extra. Not only does this sealer provides a stain resistant surface seal and a durable low-sheen finish it also has excellent moisture vapour transmission properties and can even be used externally.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Restoration Earlsdon Coventry Victorian Tiled Floor After Restoration Earlsdon Coventry

The before and after photos above really demonstrate the difference made to the appearance of this Victorian tiled hallway.
 
 

Restoration of Victorian Floor in Earlsdon

Quarry Tiled Floor Restored in Stratford upon Avon

Located in the hallway of an old vicarage in the historic town of Stratford upon Avon these Quarry tiles had been hidden under carpet for many years and before that it appears had been painted in red brick paint and splattered with plaster and paint from decorating. I was asked if there was anything we could do to restore them and having done a number of these types of renovations before I was confident that would could and got the go ahead to proceed.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Restoration in Stratford-upon-Avon Quarry Tiled Floor Before Restoration in Stratford-upon-Avon

Restoring a Quarry tiled floor

The first job was to give the floor a really good deep clean and to remove any coatings from the tiles. To do this a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go was left to soak into the floor for about 30 minutes before being scrubbed in using a slow speed rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. I then used a wet vacuum to remove the resultant soiled solution and rinsed the floor down with water. There were quite a few stubborn areas and so the whole process had to be repeated, additionally some of the paint needed to carefully removed using a scraper.

Once the floor was clean I gave it a wash with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up which is an acid based product that will remove light grout smears and mineral deposits from effloresce which can leave to white salt deposits appearing on the tile surface and can be quite common on old tiled floors that have no damp proof course.

The cleaning process took up the whole day and after finishing the whole floor was given a thorough rinse with water to ensure no trace of cleaning product remained on the floor.

Sealing a Quarry tiled floor

I left the floor overnight to dry then came back next day and used a damp test meter to verify the floor was dry and ready for sealing. Once happy I proceed to apply four coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which matched their requirements in a sealer exactly as it provides a matt finish brings out the colour in the stone and offers great stain protection.

Quarry Tiled Floor After Restoration in Stratford-upon-Avon Quarry Tiled Floor After Restoration in Stratford-upon-Avon

 
 

Quarry tiles tiled floor restored in Warwickshire

Restoring a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Kenilworth

We were asked to take a look at this Victorian tiled hallway floor at a house in Kenilworth, the owner was keen to restore it back to its original condition and there were a number of missing tiles that need replacing and there were traces of paint and adhesive along the edges indicating it had been previously covered over, probably by linoleum.

Victorian Tile Cleaning Before

Restoring Victorian Tiles

The first job was to replace the missing tiles, fortunately replacements are still available so it was just a question of making the rest of the floor look as new as the replacements. We set about cleaning off adhesive from the edges of the floor which had to be done by hand using Tile Doctor Remove and Go combined 50/50 with NanoTech Ultra-Clean which creates a powerful stripper and cleaner. The resultant mixture was applied with a brush and left to dwell for fifteen minutes in order to break down the glue and old paint; this was an arduous task involving scrapers, wire wool and a lot of elbow grease, in total it took around five hours to get the edges completely clean.

The next step was to give the rest of the Victorian Tiles a deep clean for which we used a mop to apply Tile Doctor Pro-Clean diluted 1 to 5 with water and left to dwell on the floor for ten minutes. NanoTech Ultra-Clean was then applied over the top of the Pro-Clean and worked in with a buffing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad

Victorian Tile Scrubbing

The soiled water was picked up with a wet and dry vacuum, and then mopped with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which is an acid based product usually used for removing grout from the tile surface but also good for removing salt deposits which can happen on old floors with no damp proof course. The product was left for five minutes and then given a thorough rinse with fresh water to remove any leftover chemical and then left to dry over night

Sealing Victorian Tiles

We came back the next day and started work by replacing the tiles I mentioned earlier. To seal it we applied four coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which provides durable stain protection whilst enhancing colour it also helped to improve the match between the old and new tile.

Victorian Tile Cleaned and Sealed Victorian Tile Cleaned and Sealed

 
 

Victorian Tile Restoration in Warwickshire

Removing Grout Haze from Slate Tile Flooring

You may remember a previous Limestone floor job we did for a Mrs Schwartz from Stourbridge, well true to her word she invited us back to clean and seal the slate tile flooring in her hallway which had been left with grout smears (aka grout haze) on the surface after tiling. Grout smears can be removed however if the floor is sealed it’s necessary to remove the sealer first.

Slate Hallway Before Cleaning

Cleaning Grout Haze off Slate Tile Flooring

To remove the sealer and clean off the grout smears we used a 50/50 mix of Tile Doctor Remove and Go combined with Nanotech Ultra-Clean for added effect, the solution was left to dwell on the surface of the slate for 15 minutes to break down the polymers in the grout. The next step was to turn on a high pressure spinner tool which is a very effective cleaning tool on its own; the water from the spinner tool also washes away any chemicals and neutralises the floor ready for sealing.

Slate Hallway Before Cleaning

Sealing Slate Tiles

We speed dried the slate tile flooring using a number of industrial fans and applied three coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which offers a good combination of stain resistance with a low sheen finish that brings out the natural colours in the slate.

Slate Hallway After Cleaning and Sealing Slate Hallway After Cleaning and Sealing

 

Cleaning and Sealing Slate Tile Flooring in Stourbridge