efflorescence

Geometric Victorian Tiled Hallway Restored in Bedworth

This customer in Bedworth called me in to remove a matt tray from their Victorian Tied hallway and restore the floor back to its original condition. The house had been in the same family for some generations and at one point the owner’s father had covered the floor with a thin layer of bitumen to secure a carpet. The carpet had since been removed but as a result the floor was very dark from bitumen stains.

Geometric Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Bedworth

Bedworth is actually very close to my base in Coventry, so it wasn’t long before I was able to call round and survey the floor to provide a quote for doing the work. Naturally due to COVID I wear PPE and when working in the property increase ventilation and work out a schedule with the homeowner to maintain distance and minimise contact.

Restoring a Geometric Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

My first job was to remove the matt well and the surrounding tiles so I could fit replacements that match the existing geometric pattern. Finding replacements wasn’t difficult however as I’ve been restoring old floors like this one for many years and have built up a collection of old Victorian tiles from various manufacturers such as Minton.

Matching the original pattern was a bit like building your own jigsaw puzzle as each replacement tile had to be shaped and hand cut until I had the design worked out. Once the replacements were fitted and secured in place with adhesive. Once done I left the property so the floor could set and be ready for deep cleaning the next day.

Geometric Victorian Tiled Hallway During Restoration Bedworth Geometric Victorian Tiled Hallway During Restoration Bedworth Geometric Victorian Tiled Hallway During Restoration Bedworth

To remove the staining and restore the appearance of the original tiles I milled them using very coarse abrasive floor pads fitted to a weighted floor buffer and applied to the floor using water to lubricate. The resulting slurry was removed using a wet vacuum and the floor given a deep clean using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which was scrubbed in using a black pad fitted to the rotary machine. The soil was then rinsed away with water and extracted using a wet vacuum.

These old floors don’t have damp proof membranes fitted and I was concerned that the old Bitumen and Carpet will have prevented moisture from rising through the tile trapping damp underneath the floor. This trapped moisture under the floor had been given chance to evaporate but this takes time, and I was concerned that salts contained within the moisture could rise through the tile later to be deposited on the surface later, a process known as efflorescence.

To counter this, I neutralise the salts by giving the tiles an acid wash with Tile Doctor Acid Gel. As well as neutralising salts it also removes other mineral deposits such as grout haze and prepares the tile to achieve a better bond with the sealer.

Sealing a Victorian Geometric Tiled Hallway Floor

Due to my concerns over moisture, I left the floor two weeks to fully dry out before returning to seal the floor and protect it from dirt and staining going forward. For sealing I applied two coats of Tile Doctor Extra Seal which has a breathable formula which will cope with any moisture rising through the floor. Two coats give the tiles an appealing glossy finish and helped the new and old sections of the floor blend well together so you would never know the difference.

Geometric Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Bedworth

My client was very happy with the transformation of their hallway floor and before finishing up I took time to discuss how to care for the floor going forward. It’s important to use a Neutral Tile Cleaner on sealed floors like this as other products are simply too strong and can actually strip a sealer off the tiles over time.

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Warwickshire

Cleaning and Sealing an Edwardian Hallway Floor in Coundon

This Edwardian tiled hallway floor was a real hidden feature of this 1940s house in Coundon Coventry. I say hidden as it had spent years under the carpet which had protected it but had also left it ingrained with dirt. The owners decided to lift the carpet and had left the floor to dry over a few months, old floors like these do not have a damp proof membrane installed and so moisture in the subfloor was being trapped underneath. Now it was dry they were now keen to get the floor fully restored and late later last year they got in touch to have it renovated.

Edwardian Floor Before Renovation Coundon Coventry Edwardian Floor Before Renovation Coundon Coventry

I popped in to survey the floor and unusually for a floor of its age could find no damage or loose tiles, there was some adhesive tape to deal with along the edges but generally the floor just needed a good clean and seal. I gave them my quote which they readily accepted, and we arranged a date.

Edwardian Floor Before Renovation Coundon Coventry

Cleaning an Edwardian Tiled Hallway Floor

The first part of the clean which involved removing the old adhesive tape and paint on the edges and corners was carefully done by hand with a scraper. The whole floor was then given a deep clean using a 45kg floor buffer fitted with a scrubbing brush to work in different products. First, I applied Tile Doctor Remove and Go to remove the old wax polish. I find it works best if you leave products to soak in for ten minutes before scrubbing it into the tiles, this gives it time to activate and breakdown the coatings. The slurry is then rinsed off with a little water and extracted with a wet vacuum.

I repeated the process, but this time using Tile Doctors Acid Gel using as little water as possible. The Tile Doctor Acid Gel will remove old grout and other mineral deposits from the tiles and it also counters any alkaline salts which can be a problem in floors of this age. This is important as the lack of a damp proof membrane will allow salts to rise through the floor as moisture evaporates on the surface resulting in white deposits, a process known as efflorescence. Again, this was rinsed off with a little water and extracted with the wet vacuum.

This work was carried out over the winter and I was careful not to over wet the tiles as they can take a long time to dry out naturally at this time of year. The moisture levels in the tiles are always a concern as my next task would be to apply a sealer and the tiles would need to be dry for the best result.

Sealing an Edwardian Tiled Hallway Floor

Conscious of the damp issue I arranged to return to seal the floor seven days later, checking the moisture levels of the tiles with a damp meter in numerous places before starting. Fortunately, seven days had been plenty of time and the floor was dry.

The floor was then sealed with five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra which allows for moisture to rise through the tile, again an important feature for a floor with no damp proof membrane. To use a sealer that was not breathable would lead to a build-up of damp under the floor where it can cause damage to the tiles and potentially work its way into the walls causing rising damp.

Edwardian Floor After Renovation Coundon Coventry Edwardian Floor After Renovation Coundon Coventry

The client was very happy with the newly revived floor, it was nice to have an additional period feature revealed. Going forward I suggested the use of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which is ideal for the regular cleaning of sealing floors and will ensure the tiles remain in this lovely condition for a long time.

 

Professional Restoration of an Edwardian Tiled Hallway in Warwickshire

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Restoration Rugby

I was very pleased to be contacted by this client, they lived on a lovely residential road near the centre of Rugby in Warwickshire and the house featured a beautiful Victorian tiled hallway floor. As you will see from the pictures the patterns are stunning.

Victorian Hallway Floor Before Restoration Rugby
Over the years it had been badly damaged along the edges and a few tiles were cracked. It’s difficult to know the cause of the damage but we normally find problems like these can be caused by settlement in the floor and if heavy objects are dropped on the tiles. High traffic areas such as the hallway do get a lot of general wear and tear which takes its toll on the floor. The owner of the house felt embarrassed with the condition of the floor and had decided it was time to have it restored.

Victorian Hallway Floor Before Restoration Rugby

Cleaning and Restoring a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I identified the colours used in the floor, so I could source replacements and went through the floor with the client to mark the tiles that needed changing. We left a few tiles with minor damage so that the new tiles did not stand out and kept the floor authentic.

I managed to source some replacement tiles and started the job by removing and replacing all the damaged and loose tiles. Many of the replacements had to be hand cut to size, especially in the corners. It took some time but eventually, all the damaged tiles were removed and replaced, and the loose tiles refitted. The floor was then left for a few days to set.

On my return, I started by giving the floor a deep clean by spraying the tiles with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go. This was left on the tiles to soak in and break up the bonding agent in the old coatings. After ten minutes I worked the solution into the tiles with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor buffer and then rinsed the resulting soil off the floor with water and extracted it using a wet vacuum.

Victorian Hallway Floor During Cleaning Rugby
The next step was to give the floor an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel, we don’t normally use acidic products on tile or stone however they are particularly good at dealing with alkaline mineral salts and removing grout smears. Old floors like these are particularly vulnerable to a natural process called efflorescence which results in white mineral salt deposits being left on the surface of the tile as the floor fully dries out and can interfere with the sealer. To counter this, the floor was given an Acid Wash with Tile Doctor Acid Gel which being in Gel form makes it particularly easy to control. The acid in the gel works by neutralising the alkalinity in the floor. The solution was scrubbed into the floor using a coarse diamond encrusted burnishing pad to improve the finish of the tiles and then thoroughly rinsed with water and extracted with a wet vacuum to remove any trace of cleaning product.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

After leaving the floor to thoroughly dry out over a few days I returned to complete the sealing process. On my return, the floor was sealed with few coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra which leaves a nice satin finish and being a fully breathable sealer is ideal for old floors that have no damp proof membrane and needs moisture to rise through the tile, so it can evaporate.

Victorian Hallway Floor After Restoration Rugby
The vibrant colours of the tiles were brought back to life and the floor was transformed. The client was delighted and wondered why they had not called upon us sooner!

Victorian Hallway Floor After Restoration Rugby
 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Warwickshire

Ex Pub Quarry Tiled Floor Restored to Fantastic Condition in Newbold-on-Avon, Rugby

Pubs have been though a decline in the last ten years with one in five closing due to increased business rates and some believe the ban on smoking has had a part to play. My client saw this particular pub come up for sale in Newbold-on-Avon near Rugby and snapped it up with the intention of turning the lovely thatched Cottage back into a home. It needed a lot of work though and I was called into to sort out the floor which was a mixture of 6×6 inch and 9×9 inch Quarry tiles. The tiles were in a bit of a state and there were also large sections of concrete in 3 areas that had been painted red to blend in with the tiles.

Quarry Tiled Floor Thatched Cottage in Rugby Before Quarry Tiled Floor Thatched Cottage in Rugby Before

Rebuilding and Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Floor

The customer wanted the Quarry tiled floor restoring and extended throughout the floor which meant a substantial amount of work would be required to remove the concrete, rebuild the foundation and level with screed and then fit around 100 reclaimed tiles not to mention cleaning and sealing.

Quarry Tiled Floor Thatched Cottage in Rugby During Rebuild Quarry Tiled Floor Thatched Cottage in Rugby During Rebuild

The work was hard going at times, especially knocking out the concrete and adding the screed surface to the right level. Once that was done worked moved quickly on to laying the new tiles and grouting them in. Overall it took three days just to rebuild the floor alone.

Quarry Tiled Floor Thatched Cottage in Rugby During Rebuild Quarry Tiled Floor Thatched Cottage in Rugby During Rebuild

The customer did not what the Floor to look too different between the old and new so once the tiling was done the whole floor was treated with Tile Doctor Remove and Go to remove traces of red paint and glue. The solution was scrubbed in using a rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad and then rinsed off with water and then extracted using a wet vacuum.

This improved the look of the tiles but it also revealed some grout haze issues on the original tiles and after digging up the floor earlier I was aware no damp proof course had been installed which is not unusual in these older properties. To counter the grout haze and deal with any potential efflorescence issues I gave the whole floor an acid wash with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up which was scrubbed in and then rinsed off with water and extracted with a the wet vacuum. The tiles need to be dry in order to be sealed so I left the floor for 24 hours with a number of industrial Air Movers in place to aid the drying process.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Floor

Upon my return to the house I checked for any dampness that could have damaged the performance of the sealer, thankfully, the floor was dry and ready to seal, and so I proceeded to apply several coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go Extra.

Seal & Go Extra is a fully breathable sealer that allows for effective moisture transmission, important where no damp proof course is installed. The sealer provides durable surface protection against dirt and stains, and is suitable for most kinds of internal, natural stone tiled floors, including Quarry, Victorian and Flagstone.

Quarry Tiled Floor Thatched Cottage in Rugby After Quarry Tiled Floor Thatched Cottage in Rugby After

The job took a week in total and as you can see from the photographs I successfully managed to restore the old tiles which with the addition of the cleaning and sealing have blended in well with the new tiles.

Quarry Tiled Floor Restoration in Warwickshire

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