Victorian Hallway

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

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