Classic 1920’s Edwardian Hallway Floor Restored in Earlsdon Coventry

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!

Edwardian Hallway Floor Before Restoration Earlsdon Coventry

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.

Edwardian Hallway Floor During Restoration Earlsdon Coventry

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.

Edwardian Hallway Floor During Repair Earlsdon Coventry

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!

Edwardian Hallway Floor After Restoration Earlsdon Coventry

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!


Professional Restoration of an Edwardian Tiled Hallway Floor in Coventry

Rebuilding and Restoring a Damaged Victorian Tiled Floor in Earlsdon

The Warwickshire team recently visited a customer in Earlsdon, a village near Coventry, who wanted a Victorian tiled floor rebuilt before being cleaned and sealed. Sometimes our work goes well beyond simple cleaning and sealing services, especially when tiles are damaged, broken or completely missing however we have done several rebuilds before and always welcome a new challenge.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Rebuild Earlsdon
Upon closer inspection, I could see that up to 70% of the tiles were damaged in some way, and the screed was cracked from movement which given how old the house was may have been caused by the Blitz of Coventry during World War II, more than 70 years prior.

Repairing and Rebuilding a Damaged Victorian Tiled Floor

To begin the restoration, we had to remove all the tiles, determining in the process what could be salvaged and discarding any that were beyond repair. I happened to have a set of replacement Victorian tiles reclaimed from the floor of a local house and thankfully they matched perfectly.

After stripping the floor of tiles the holes and cracks had to be filled and a new screed was laid to ensure the base would be level and stable.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Rebuild Earlsdon Victorian Tiled Floor Before Rebuild Earlsdon

Once the screed had set we started fixing the tiles to the floor using a mixture of the original and reclaimed tiles.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Rebuild Earlsdon Victorian Tiled Floor During Rebuild Earlsdon

Once laid the tiles were grouted and by the end of the fifth day the floor was rebuilt.

Victorian Tiled Floor During Rebuild Earlsdon Victorian Tiled Floor During Rebuild Earlsdon

Cleaning and Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

The next task was to give the new floor a deep clean which we did using Tile Doctor Remove and Go. This product is a heavy-duty stripper and coatings remover designed to tackle heavy soil build-up and remove old sealers in the process. The product was left to soak into the tiles and then scrubbed in using a black buffing pad fitted to a rotary machine. The soiled cleaning solution was rinsed off with water and extracted using a wet vacuum.

The floor was then given a thorough acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel, which is a blend of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids in an easy-to-use gel form. This helped to remove grout smears, efflorescence and mineral salts.

Once clean, the floor was rinsed thoroughly with water to neutralise the chemicals, before being speed dried. Finally, we sealed the tiles using four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra. This sealer is a special acrylic based formula which allows moisture vapour transmission and is ideal for old floors which do not have a damp proof membrane installed.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Rebuild Earlsdon
We were really pleased with the outcome and it felt rewarding to salvage this fantastic Victorian floor and give it a new lease on life after suffering significant damage. The customer was overjoyed with the fully restored original feature.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Rebuild Earlsdon

Professional Victorian Floor Rebuild 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

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