victorian floor cleaning

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

Victorian Floor Tile Restoration in Stratford-Upon-Avon

I made another visit back to the historic and famous town of Stratford-upon-Avon recently this time to restore a Victorian Tiled Hallway which had been covered In self levelling cement (don’t ask) which was proving very difficult to remove and I doubt William Shakespeare would of approved.

Victorian Floor Tiles Before Restoration in Stratford upon Avon Victorian Floor Tiles Before Restoration in Stratford upon Avon

Removing Cement from Victorian Tiles

None of the usual methods for removing cement from tile was proving to be effective against this stuff, it was simply too thick so it was necessary to resort to a set off milling disks which grind the surface, I could only go so close to the tile with these however and had to resort to a hand scrapper to remove much of the rest and as you can imagine this took a long time to complete and was quite exhausting work.

Victorian Floor Tiles During Restoration in Stratford upon Avon
The resultant powder was swept and vacuumed from the tile before applying Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which we normally use for removing grout smears, it’s an acidic product that you allow to dwell on the tile for a few minutes and then agitate with a scrubbing pad and then remove shortly afterwards using a wet vacuum and then quickly washing the floor down quickly to ensure the acid is removed.

The next job was to give the floor a deep clean using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed 50/50 with NanoTech UltraClean which was worked into the pores of the Victorian tile and grout using a slow speed rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. The dirty solution was removed and the floor rinsed thoroughly with water, again we used the wet vacuum to remove the water and get the tile as dry as possible.

Sealing Victorian floor tiles

I left the floor overnight to dry overnight leaving an air blower to accelerate the drying time and then came back next day to seal the floor; I used a damp test meter first to verify the floor was dry and ready for sealing. Once happy I proceed to apply four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is an ideal sealer for Victorian Tiles as it leaves a nice shine on the floor as well as providing great stain protection.

Victorian Floor Tiles After Restoration in Stratford upon Avon Victorian Floor Tiles After Restoration in Stratford upon Avon


It was an exhausting job and quite a transformation, unfortunately there were a few area’s I could do nothing about but it all adds to the character of the floor.

Victorian tiled floor restored in Warwickshire

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