This 1920s single bay house in Earlsdon had been restored by the builder from top to bottom. The hallway floor had been covered in laminate flooring which had been removed, revealing an Edwardian tiled floor beneath. Unfortunately, the plasterer had not covered the floor when working on the walls, so the tiles were now covered in plaster!
The client was keen to keep as many original features as possible and called me in to see if the original 100-year-old floor could be renovated in keeping with the rest of the house. I visited the property to survey the tiles and explained that it certainly could be and having worked on hundreds of these renovations before I was confident of getting a good result. They were happy to go with my quotation and we arranged a time to carry out the work.
Cleaning an Edwardian Tiled Hallway Floor
The floor tiles themselves were in good condition, but I had to hand carefully scrape the plaster off the tiles before starting on the deep clean. With the plaster removed from the floor I applied Tile Doctor Acid Gel and worked it into the tiles with a coarse 100-grit pad. The floor was then rinsed, and the waste extracted from the floor using a wet vacuum. The process was then repeated with a 200-Grit and then a 400-grit pad until I was happy.
The floor was then speed dried with fans whilst I worked on a repair around the threshold of one of the doors. The repair was relatively straight forward, and I managed to restore the tiling, so the repair was unnoticeable.
The floor was then left overnight to completely dry out. Floors of this age don’t have a damp proof membrane so moisture can build up if they have been covered as in this case. The next stage in the restoration would be to apply a sealer and the floor needs to be dry before you do this otherwise the result can be patchy.
Sealing an Edwardian Tiled Hallway Floor
Returning the following day, I first tested the floor with a damp meter to check the moisture levels in different parts of the floor to ensure it was dry enough to seal. The fans had done a good job and I was pleased to find that the floor was dry.
To seal this floor, I used Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra, it’s a breathable acrylic based sealer that allows for moisture vapour to rise through the tile and evaporate at the surface. This makes it ideal for situations where no damp proof membrane has been installed and there is a low risk of mineral salt deposits being formed (efflorescence).
Once completed the transformation was huge and he Victorian tiles looked well suited to the hallway. Feedback from my client was they were over the moon with the newly restored floor!
For regular cleaning, I recommended Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner, this is a gentle pH neutral cleaner that will ensure the newly applied seal is retained and not eroded prematurely. This can be the problem with most household cleaning products which contain strong chemicals like bleach which can break down the sealer over time. Without a sealer dirt gets back into the pores of the tile which will mean the homeowner will need to get the floor cleaned and sealed again – a vicious circle!
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When cleaning floor tiles with a mop we recommend using two buckets, one containing a neutral pH cleaning fluid such as Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner or Stone Soap and the second where you rinse your mop afterwards, otherwise you will contaminate your cleaning fluid with dirt every time you rinse.
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