Dull Encaustic Tiled Hallway Floor Renovated in Berkhamsted


I had an enquiry from a client in the London commuter town of Berkhamsted who had a beautiful Encaustic tiled floor in their hallway which was in need of cleaning. Encaustic tiles are made from layers of cement that are hydraulically compressed to make a very hardwearing surface that can then be decorated. The result is an easy to clean hardwearing surface that is ideal for high traffic areas such as hallways.

Encaustic Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Berkhamstead

Encaustic tiles however are micro-porous so do need to be sealed to prevent dirt from becoming ingrained in the tiny holes. The tiles at this property in Berkhamsted had been sealed at some point in the past but over the years the sealer had worn down lettering dirt enter the pores making it difficult to clean effectively. The floor now required a deep clean and seal to bring back the life into this artistic floor pattern.

Encaustic Tiled Floor Cleaning

We first removed what was left of the old sealer and ground in dirt using a coarse 400 grit Red burnishing pad attached to a rotary floor buffer. The burnishing pads we use are encrusted with industrial diamond and are applied using water for lubrication, once the pad has been run over all the tiles the floor is rinsed with more water which is then extracted with a wet vacuum to remove the slurry that is generated.

The coarse pad was the followed by a medium 800 grit burnishing pad which is the first step in restoring the appearance of the tiles and is applied and rinsed off using the same process as the 400 grit. The 800 grit pads is followed by the 1500 grit pad which is the second step In restoring the appearance of the tile. Again, the pad is applied with water to lubricate and the floor given a good rinse afterwards.

The next step was to get the grout clean which was done by applying Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was left for ten minutes before being scrubbed in by hand with a narrow stiff brush. The floor was then given yet another rinse and then dried with the wet vacuum to remove the dirt that was generated from the grout.

The last step in the cleaning process was to run over the floor with a very fine 3000 grit pad, this last pad is the final step in restoring the appearance of the tile and is applied dry with only a little water that is sprayed on using a technique we like to call spray burnishing.

Encaustic Tiled Floor Sealing

Once the floor was dry it was sealed using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that seeps into the pores of the tile protecting it from within. This sealer has the added advantage of enhancing the existing colours in the tile improving its overall appearance. The overall process worked incredibly well and made a huge difference to the floor as you can see in the final photograph.

Encaustic Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Berkhamstead

To keep Encaustic floor tiles in first class condition I recommend the use of the Tile Doctor Neutral Tile cleaner which being pH neutral does not reduce the life of the sealer and is ideal for the cleaning of all types of sealed floors. The product comes in a concentrated form, so I recommend it’s used in a mild 1-30 dilution spray applied and wiped over with a microfibre flat mop, then buffed dry.
 
 

Encaustic Tiled Hallway Floor Renovation in Hertfordshire



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Screed Covered Quarry Tiled Floor Renovated in Coulsdon


Pictures below of a Quarry Tiled floor that a customer had discovered when taking up the lino at her house in Coulsdon. Realising the floor was original and worth saving she contacted Tile Doctor and I popped round to take a look.

A lot of the tiles had been covered in a screed to provide a flat base for the Lino and that would need removing. In order to be sure what treatments would work to remove the screen and successfully restore the Quarry tiles without causing any damage I ran a couple of tests and everything seemed ok.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Renovation Coulsdon Quarry Tiled Floor Before Renovation Coulsdon

We could both see the job wasn’t going to be easy and would take some days to complete so I worked out a price which was accepted and we agreed a date for the work to start.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Renovation Coulsdon Quarry Tiled Floor Before Renovation Coulsdon

Removing Screed from Quarry Tiles

The Quarry tiles in the WC hadn’t been covered in Lino so they would just need a good clean and seal so the main work would be in the Hallway and Kitchen. Fortunately my customer was having a lot of other work done in the house and was in the middle of stripping the walls so I didn’t need to worry too much about protecting the skirting boards etc.

Working in sections I soaked the screed in water and then carefully chipped away at it until it came loose, it was slow work but I could see the process was working as expected and eventually all the Quarry tiles were revealed. There was still a lot of cement from the screed stuck to the surface of the tile so after sweeping up the chippings I set to work applying a strong solution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up to the tiles and leaving it to soak in for a short while. Grout Clean-Up is an acidic product that we normally use for removing grout smears from the surface of tiles. The solution was scrubbed in and then rinsed off with water and extracted with a wet vacuum.

Quarry Tiled Floor During Renovation Coulsdon Quarry Tiled Floor During Renovation Coulsdon

To get the tiles in the toilet clean I gave them a good scrub with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a reliable and effective Tile and Grout cleaner. Once clean they were rinsed with water and dried with the wet vacuum.

Sealing Quarry Tiles

I had timed my visit between working being carried out at the property so I was able to leave the floor for a few days so it could thoroughly dry out. I returned later to check the Quarry tiles were dry and completed the renovation by sealing the floor with Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water based sealer that works really well on Quarry tiles. Five coats of Seal and Go were needed to fully seal the tiles and the floor now looks transformed.

The owner was very satisfied with the improvements and before leaving I advised to cover the floor before starting the decorating work.
 
 

Old Quarry Tiles Restored in Coulsdon, Surrey




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Victorian Basket Weave Tiled Hallway Deep Cleaned and Sealed in Torver


We were recently asked to restore an old tiled floor that had been laid in a Basket Weave Pattern in the hallway of a property in Torver which is a small hamlet on the outskirts of Coniston Water in the Lake District. Torver has a long history however it really took off with the arrival of the Coniston to Broughton-in-Furness railway line in 1859 which was used to transport stone and Slate from the local mines. Many of the properties in the Coniston and Torver areas date from the Victorian period and contain original stone and tiled floors.

This tiled floor had been revealed when the existing carpet was removed by the new owners. It proved to be in quite good condition despite being covered for a long period, but it nevertheless suffered from the usual age-related issues. It needed an intense clean and a fresh seal, including the removal of deeply ingrained dirt, paint stains, glue deposits and bitumen.

After inspecting the situation, the quote we offered the customer was accepted and a date was arranged for us to return to complete the work.

Deep Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

Our first course of action was to clean the edges of the floor, to remove the glue deposits and carpet underlay residue. This was achieved using the careful application of a sharp scraping tool and handheld burnishing blocks combined with a couple of Tile Doctor cleaning products.

Victorian Floor Tiles During Renovation Torver

The first product applied was Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU (Heavy Build-up Remover) which is a strong alkaline product specially formulated with nano-sized cleaning particles to penetrated deep into the stone and dissolve deeply ingrained dirt and stains. The second product was Tile Doctor Remove and Go, a heavy-duty coatings remover which works well particularly well at removing glue deposits, paint, and synthetic coatings.

We then addressed the rest of the floor using a coarse 200-grit burnishing pad attached to a slow speed rotary cleaning machine, applied with water as the lubricant. We used this in small areas to intensely clean the surface of the floor. The resultant slurry was then extracted from the floor a powerful wet vacuum.

The floor was then rinsed again with water and the moisture was wet vacuumed before we moved onto the next area. Once the floor was completely scrubbed and rinsed, and any remaining glue and paint issues were retreated using the same methods we used on the floor edges, we then moved onto the final phase of the clean.

The last step in the cleaning process involved giving the floor an acid wash to deal with any potential salt issues (efflorescence) which can result in white salt deposits appearing on the surface of the tiles as they dry. Damp proof membranes that can prevent this problem are a relatively modern invention, so this can be a real issue for old floors from the Victorian era, particularly if the floor has had damp issues in the past. The floor was washed with a 1:3 dilution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which being acidic effectively counteracts the alkaline salts. The floor was then given another rinse to remove any trace of cleaning products and then left to dry off.

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

We actually left the floor to dry out for three full days and upon our returning to the property several moisture readings were taken to ensure the floor was dry enough to take a fresh seal.

Victorian Basket Weave Lay During Sealing in Torver

The customer had requested a natural-looking matte finish to the floor. We have the perfect product to provide this type of finish, so we proceeded to apply three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, an impregnating sealer which naturally enhances the colours in the tile, additionally it’s a fully breathable sealer so moisture can easily rise through the floor.

Victorian Basket Weave Lay After Renovation Torver

As you can see from the photographs taken during the various stages of the restoration, the intense clean and fresh seal greatly enhanced the appearance of the floor – much more so than could have been achieved with everyday products and methods. The customer was very pleased indeed.

Victorian Basket Weave Lay After Renovation Torver
 
 

Professional Victorian Tiled Floor Renovation in the Lake District



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Victorian Tiled Hallway Deep Cleaned in Leighton Buzzard


A homeowner in the Leighton Buzzard was having some renovation work done to their property and during the course of the work discovered an original Victorian tiled floor underneath the hallway carpet. The town dates all the way back to the 12th century so period features like this are quite common.

Keen to have the floor restored the owner got in touch to ask if I could survey the floor and quote for restoring it, so my colleague Phillip popped round to see what needed to be done. Surprisingly the tiles were generally in quite good condition for their age with just a few cracks and chips here and there. There were some missing tiles that needed replacing but I was able to help them source replacements which were fitted before the cleaning work commenced.

Victorian Tiled Floor Leighton Buzzard Before Cleaning Victorian Tiled Floor Leighton Buzzard Before Cleaning

Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

I started the cleaning process by giving the tiles a deep machine clean with Pro-Clean which is a strong tile and grout cleaning product produced by Tile Doctor. A strong dilution was left to soak into the tiles before scrubbed in with a tile brush fitted to a rotary machine. This action lifted the surface soil and bits of plaster and paint which was then rinsed off and extracted using a wet vacuum.

With the soil and cleaning solution removed I then carried out a full inspection of the tiles in their natural state to see what other work would be required. As there was no apparent sealer present, I decided that the next step in the cleaning process would be to use a coarse 200 grit burnishing pad to clean and resurface the tiles, this was followed by a second rinse and wet vacuum. I then went around on hands and knees using Tile Doctor 100 grit diamond hand blocks to remove stubborn staining around the edges close to the newly painted skirting boards.

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

The floor was allowed to fully dry for 2 days before I returned to apply Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealant which is an impregnating sealer that improves colour and is fully breathable, so it allows any damp from the sub floor to dissipate. Choosing a breathable sealer is important for these old floors which have no damp proof course and Colour Grow is normally my sealer of choice for Victorian floor tiles.

However Colour Grow dries to a matt finish and on this occasion the customer felt the finish still looked quite dull, although she was very happy with the results of the cleaning she asked if there was anything else I could do to brighten the finish, it was agreed that I would return a week later to carry out a damp test and if the results of this were favourable I would go ahead and apply several coats and apply Tile Doctor Seal & Go topical sealant which is water based and dries to a silk finish.

When I returned moisture, readings were taken which were acceptable, so as agreed I applied several coats of Seal and Go to give the tiles the desired appearance. With the work completed the customer was happy with the final results and even left the following feedback via the Tile Doctor feedback system.

Phillip arrived on time, worked very hard to prepare the floor- about 6 hours. Returned after floor was properly dry- 2 days. Applied a mat finish – 2-3 coats. I was disappointed with this finish, the floor which looked very flat and washed out. Each floor has its own characteristic and absorbs the products used differently. Phillip didn’t disagree, so applied two coats of a glossy finish which has brought out the beautiful colours of my Victorian floor. All of this was done without a quibble. Happy with the finish now. My advice is to discuss fully the finish you require and get a patch test done before so everyone is clear about the job in hand. Would use again. Ms. A Binger , Leighton Buzzard

Victorian Tiled Floor Leighton Buzzard After Cleaning Victorian Tiled Floor Leighton Buzzard After Cleaning

 
 

Professional Restoration of Victorian Tiled Hallway in Bedfordshire



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Pitted Travertine Floor Tiles Filled and Polished in Rushden


Not only do we carry out the deep cleaning and restoration of all types of natural stone, we can also carry out repairs such as the filling of holes in stone, whether it be limestone, marble or as in this case Travertine. Travertine in particular is prone to a natural process of erosion know as pitting, this results in holes developing that easily fill up with dirt and muck over time and can be a real problem to maintain.

Pitted Travertine Before Filled Polished Rushden

This customer in Rushden called me in, as he felt the floor hadn’t been properly maintained since it had been installed twelve years prior and he was becoming concerned about the number of holes and pits that were appearing in the high traffic areas. The Travertine tiles had been laid in the hallway, kitchen and upstairs bathroom of the property but the problem was most apparent in the Kitchen.

Pitted Travertine Before Filled Polished Rushden

Burnishing and Cleaning a Travertine Tiled Floor

To get the floors clean and restore the polished appearance of the Travertine I decided to apply a set of Tile Doctor diamond encrusted burnishing pads. The process involves the application of four different pads applied in sequence from coarse to very fine, rinsing in-between each pad to remove dirt. As the floor had been installed in the Kitchen and the Hallway it made sense to split the work into two parts and work on each area separately.

The first pad is a coarse 400 grit pad that is attached to a rotary machine running at slow speed and with only water for lubrication. The pad is applied to the stone to removes minor scratches, sealers and dirt. It’s run over the entire floor and afterwards the floor is rinsed with water which is then extracted with the soil using a wet-vacuum.

I then repeated this same procedure with the second pad, which is a Medium 800 grit pad used to remove dirt from minor scratches and holes in the stone. After rinsing again, I went onto the third burnishing pad in the sequence which is a Fine 1500 grit pad that starts to rebuild the polish on the Travertine. I gave the floor another rinse and used the wet vacuum again to extract the water and soil from the floor. The last 3,000 grit super fine pad was then applied with a small amount of water sprayed onto the floor, this last pad really builds a nice shine on the stone.

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Floor

Once the burnishing process was completed the floor was left to dry off fully overnight and I came back the next day to continue with the work. I took a few moisture readings to confirm the floor was dry and then applied a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow to seal the tiles. Colour Grow is a colour enhancing sealer that impregnates into the pores of the stone protecting it from within and improving the natural colours of the stone in the process. I particularly like to use it on Travertine as it really does bring out the brown shades in the stone.

Filling Holes in a Travertine Tiled Floor

Once the first coat of sealant had dried I started the work to fill the holes throughout the installation using appropriate colours of stone filler resin. I purposely delayed doing this until the first coat of sealer was in place in order to prevent excess resin from being absorbed into the tile and causing unwanted staining. There were quite a few holes to fill so it took a while to complete, the filler also needs several hours to dry and harden even when assisted with a fan. Excess filler is then polished off using a 17” rotary scrubbing machine fitted with a white polishing pad and any dust is carefully vacuumed up before applying a second coat of sealer. The floor was then allowed to dry before a final polish with a new 3000 grit pad to achieve a high sine finish.

Once the cleaning process was complete and the first coat of sealant had dried I then commenced the repair work by filling all holes throughout using appropriate colours of stone filler resin, the first coat of sealant is to stop the excess resin from being absorbed into the tile and causing staining, the filler is allowed to dry and harden for several hours assisted with a fan on site. Excess filler is then polished off using a 17” rotary scrubbing machine and a white buffing pad. Any dust is carefully vacuumed up before applying a second coat of sealant. This is then allowed to dry before a final polish with a new 3000 grit burnishing pad to achieve a deep sine finish.

Pitted Travertine After Filled Polished Rushden

I’m not sure the photographs really show off the transformation that I had managed to achieve, however my customer was certainly happy and left me the following glowing review via the Tile Doctor feedback system.

My hall and kitchen floor has been down for 12 years and has been a high traffic area. The Tile Doctor has literally made it look like new again. Holes filled, smooth, shiny and new again! My fully tiled bathroom has also been rejuvenated, wall tiles, shower tiles and floor tiles. The water now beads on the tiles like a freshly waxed car, and the walk-in shower has been perfectly resealed. Money very well spent.
Thank you so much! Mr.J. White, Rushden

Pitted Travertine After Filled Polished Rushden

It’s always nice to get feedback like that, it really does make your efforts feel appreciated.
 
 

Professional Travertine Tiled Floor Restoration in Northamptonshire



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Restoring a Carpet Covered Sandstone Hallway in Carbrooke


This was perhaps the most challenging restoration we have been presented with to date.
The work involved removing carpet and underlay from a long Yorkstone tiled hallway at a beautiful old Grange in Carbrooke on the outskirts of Watton and restoring the flagstones to their original glory. These pavers are a type of Sandstone, a carboniferous sedimentary rock consisting of quartz, mica, feldspar, clay and iron oxides quarried in Yorkshire and having a rich sandy colour with a slightly sparkling surface.

On lifting the carpet, we found, to our dismay, that the rubber-backed underlay had been firmly stuck down to the surface of the stone with what appeared to be a thick layer of yellowing impact adhesive which covered the entire area right up to the thresholds and skirting boards.

Yorkstone Hallway Restoration Carbrooke Carpet Removed Revealing Underlay Yorkstone Hallway Restoration Carbrooke Underlay Peeled Back Revealing Glue

Stripping Carpet Adhesive off a Sandstone tiled floor

Our first task was to remove as much of the underlay by hand using sharp-bladed scrapers and a heck of a lot of elbow grease. Having done this, the next step was to cover the remaining adhesive layer with a specialist water-based stripper which was applied by brush and allowed to react for an hour. The result was an incredibly sticky substance with the consistency of chewing gum which we had to painstakingly remove inch by inch with paint scrapers. This process had to be repeated twice as even the specialist stripper couldn’t cope with the sheer volume of goo in a single application. The floor was then left overnight to dry out and settle down.

Yorkstone Hallway Restoration Carbrooke Applying Stripper Yorkstone Hallway Restoration Carbrooke Scraping Away Softened Glue

The following day, we deep-cleaned the whole area using very strong mix of Tile Doctor Pro Clean and Remove & Go, scrubbed in with a rotary machine fitted with a black stripping pad. Four pads were used up in this process as they quickly became clogged with the thick slurry which was then power rinsed and vacuumed away from the floor. Any remaining patches of the glue were further softened using Tile Doctor Nanotech HBU Remover and carefully picked off by hand with the bladed scrapers.

Yorkstone Hallway Restoration Carbrooke Deep Cleaning Yorkstone Hallway Restoration Carbrooke Stone Surface After Deep Cleaning

Finally, the slabs were finished using a brush fitted to the rotary machine with 320 grit honing powder to achieve a smooth, silky and very clean surface before being power rinsed with plenty of clean water. Again, the floor was left to dry thoroughly overnight with the assistance of our large capacity dehumidifier and thermostatic hot air blower.

Sealing a Sandstone tiled floor

Returning the following day, we found that the dehumidifier and heater had done their job and the sandstone was ready for sealing, the moisture content having been brought down to an average of 10% overall as shown by our damp meter testing.

The client had requested a light shine on the floor so that it would be easy to maintain on a daily basis. We chose, therefore, to use Tile Doctor Seal & Go, a combination sealer with a mid-sheen topical finish, which we applied using paint pads and microfibre cloths in five thin coats, resulting in an excellent fluid resistant seal with a lustrous shine.

Yorkstone Hallway Restoration Carbrooke Applying Sealer To Edges Yorkstone Hallway Restoration Carbrooke Finished Floor

This was a tough job but a highly satisfying result, further emphasised when the client’s antique furnishings were placed in situ.
 
 

Deep Cleaning and Restoration of a Sandstone Hallway in Norfolk



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Dirty and Stained Victorian Hallway Tiles Rejuvenated in Streatham


If you like in an older property in the UK and never looked under the carpets you might want to take a minute and have a look. I still find it surprising how many of my customers had no idea they lived in a house with a classic tiled hallway.

We were recently asked to restore a fantastic geometric-patterned Victorian tiled floor which had been found underneath carpet during decoration work in the hallway of a property in Streatham.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Streatham Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Streatham

The once black and white tiles were now absolutely caked in dirt, glue deposits, cement, paint stains and plaster. It would be no small feat to get the tiles back to looking their best again. Fortunately, Victorian tiles are very resilient and we have a lot of experience in their restoration so I was confident that with the right products and techniques we could get the job done to a high standard.

Cleaning Dirty and Stained Victorian Hallway Tiles

The tiled hallway was quite long, yet only around a metre wide, so I felt the best approach would be to work in small sections at a time. Our method was to soak the tiles with Tile Doctor Remove and Go and leave the product to work its magic for roughly ten minutes, before scrubbing the surface to remove the muck. Some of the more viscous and stubborn stains were scrapped away carefully by hand within the assistance of a steam cleaning machine. The resulting residue was extracted using a wet vacuum. Remove and Go is a particularly effective cleaner in scenarios like this, as it is specially formulated to strip away old sealers, adhesives and even paint without harming the tile itself.

The next step was to run a rotary machine fitted with a Coarse 200 grit burnishing pad lubricated with water over the floor to achieve a consistent finish. The floor was then rinsed to remove the soil generated in the process.

Old floors like these laid before the invention of damp proof membranes can be a concern as damp rising up through the tile as it dries can leads to efflorescence salt deposits appearing on the tile surface. So, to avoid potential issues Tile Doctor Acid Gel was applied to the floor to neutralise any salt deposits and the floor given a final rinse to remove any trace of cleaning products.

Sealing Victorian Hallway Tiles

After finishing the clean, we left the floor to dry out over the weekend. With old floors like this one, we tend to recommend allowing a drying period of at least 48 hours to ensure the floor is completely dry before applying a sealer.

Upon arriving back at the property, we ran a few quick damp tests and once satisfied the floor was dry proceeded to seal the tiles using Tile Doctor Colour Grow. Colour Grow is a colour-intensifying, impregnating sealant that leaves a natural-look matte finish. It works by occupying the pores in the clay and it’s also a fully breathable sealer which is important for these old floors where damp may be any issue.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Streatham Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Streatham

The customer was absolutely thrilled with the results. She even went as far as to leave a review expressing how pleased she was during the weekend before we had chance to seal the tiles.

Bill and Wayne were brilliant! On time, got to work straight away, lovely and friendly and very professional. They have done a lovely job and I’m looking forward to them coming to seal the tiles to finish it o f tomorrow afternoon. Wouldn’t hesitate to recommend. Thanks guys!
 
 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in South London



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Victorian Tiled Farmhouse Hallway Deep Cleaned in Broadclyst


I was contacted by the owners of an old Farmhouse in the East Devon village of Broadclyst to look at their Victorian Tiled Hallway floor which as you can see from the photograph below was heavily stained and had also been splashed with paint from decorating. Victorian tiles are very robust and can take a lot of punishment which you certainly get in a farmhouse, however once the sealer wears off dirt gets into the pores of the tile making it very difficult to clean.

I visited the property to take a closer look and to take some moisture readings because these old floors don’t have a Damp Proof Course and moisture levels too high can restrict when this type of work can be done due to the sealers needing the floor to be dry in order to cure. I also did a test piece to show the customers what level of cleaning could be achieved.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Broadclyst Farmhouse before cleaning

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway

With the customers happy with the quote I returned to complete the work starting by covered the skirting and bottom of the stairs to protect the paintwork and carpet. I then put a strong stripper/degreaser called Pro Clean on to the floor, ensuring even coverage and keeping and eye on the floor to make sure that it didn’t dry out.

After a short dwell time I set to work scrubbing the floor with a 400 grit diamond burnishing pad and using small hand blocks to get into the corners and any edges not reached by my machine. Once I was satisfied that the tiles were as good as they could be I rinsed the floor to remove the alkaline cleaner and soiled water.

This was followed by giving the floor an Acid rinse using Tile Doctor’s Acid Gel, this process counteracts any alkaline salts that can rise up through the tile as it dries out, a process which is more commonly known as efflorescence. This can be quite a problem on floors like this that don’t have a damp proof course (floors generally didn’t pre-1950s). I had to be careful not to leave the acid down for too long because these tiles are susceptible to acid damage.

Dealing with salt issues on these old floors (efflorescence) is essential because they can damage the sealer or become trapped under it, detracting from the beauty of the floor. Given the age of the farmhouse it’s difficult to know what the floor had been laid onto. Often it was compacted rubble and building works from the erection of the adjoining buildings; additionally some of the later Victorian floors were laid on a wet limecrete scree which contain a high salt-content.

Before I left for the day I left an air mover on the floor to aid in the drying of the tiles. If there are radiators in the area I also suggest that they are turned on overnight to further aid the drying process. Occasionally these types of floors need to be left for several days to dry but it is worth the wait and the floors can be used in the meantime provided indoor shoes and socks only are used and care is taken not to get the floor dirty.

Sealing an Old Victorian Tiled Hallway

Upon returning the next day I tested the moisture content of the floor and was pleased to find that it was well within acceptable levels for the application of the sealer that I was planning to use. I quickly checked the floor for areas that I felt may be able to be improved and once satisfied a single coat of matt-finish, colour-enhancing sealer called Colour Grow was applied before two coats of a Seal and Go sealer was used to give the floor a satin finish, which I think gives it a slight glaze and freshly mopped appearance.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Broadclyst Farmhouse before cleaning

The customers were thrilled and said that they wished they had brought me in sooner!
 
 

Professional Deep Clean and Seal of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in East Devon



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Restoring Neglected Victorian Hallway Tiles in Norwich


There are thousands of Victorian tiled hallways in and around Norwich and I often get called to work on them, however this was a particularly abused and neglected example I thought you might find interesting. The surface had clearly been both painted red at some point (possibly with an old lead-based paint) and then completely covered with rubber-backed underlay and carpeted, a thick layer of double-sided carpet tape remaining firmly stuck in patches around all the edges of the floor area.

Victorian Hallway Floor Tiles Before Cleaning Norwich

Cleaning a Victorian tiled floor

Firstly, we cleaned the whole area using a strong solution (1:3) of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a high alkaline stripper and cleaner, agitated with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. All products and slurry were then power rinsed and vacuumed away to reveal the improved floor.

There were still a significant number of glue patches and paint spots around the edges of the floor, so these were tackled using Tile Doctor Remove & Go, which softened them enough to enable us to remove them with a sharp-bladed scraper.

Unfortunately, the decaying rubber underlay had left a pattern on the tile surface which was most obvious at the doorway into the terracotta tiled kitchen. We almost completely removed this using Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel which being in gel form allows it work on the problem area longer. It was painted on a brush and kept moist for two hours under a layer of cling film which drew out virtually all the contaminant from the tile.

The next concern was that an original Victorian floor of this age would almost certainly have no damp proof membrane and an area near the front door which showed evidence of efflorescence salts was treated with Tile Doctor Acid Gel in order to remove the white deposits and further inhibit the production of more in the future.

The whole area was then lightly buffed using the rotary machine and a 1500 grit diamond pad with water in order to remove any remaining fine paint spots and restore a silky feel to the surface of the tiles before leaving the floor to dry overnight with assistance from our dehumidifier.

Sealing a Victorian tiled floor

When we returned the following morning, our damp meter showed us that the moisture content in the substrate was probably going to be too high to allow us to use an acrylic sealer to provide the sheen which the client had requested; so we decided to spray-buff the floor using a 3000 grit diamond pad on the rotary machine followed by the application of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, a colour enhancing penetrating sealer which sits just below the surface of the tile and leaves no visible finish. Finally, the whole floor was spray buffed to a low sheen with a white maintenance pad on the rotary machine and any resulting dust vacuumed away.

Victorian Hallway Floor Tiles After Cleaning Norwich

The Victorian tiles now look fantastic and have become a great asset to the property as original features like these are very sought after.
 
 

Deep Cleaning and Restoration of Old Victorian Tiles in Norfolk



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Victorian Tiled Hallway Hidden Under Carpet Restored in Leatherhead


This customer who owned a lovely period residence in Leatherhead had pulled up an old hallway carpet to discover this gem of Victorian Tiled floor. The tiles were covered in carpet adhesive, paint splashes and what looked like a hundred years of dirt. I suspect the previous owners felt it was easier to cover the hallway in carpet rather than have it cleaned properly or perhaps it was just the trend at the time.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration in Leatherhead

Given the obvious amount of work that would be needed to restore it we got a call to pop round and provide an estimate. We do a lot of Victorian floor restorations and across the Tile Doctor network I’m confident in saying there is a Tile Doctor working on a Victorian Tiled floor every day of the week.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration in Leatherhead

The owner was happy with the quote and we agreed a date to return and restore the floor.

Cleaning a Heavily Soiled Victorian Tiled Floor

Working in a metre square area at a time, I first applied a solution of Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel and left it to dwell for twenty minutes. Oxy-Gel is a relatively new product that being in Gel form is easy to control and stays in place allowing it to dissolve dirt and in this case loosen the adhesive.

After leaving it to dwell for 20 minutes I attacked it with a very coarse 100 grit diamond pad attached to a buffer machine. This removed a minuscule layer from the surface of the tile and with it the muck. I vacuumed up the excess with a wet vacuum then rubbed down the stubborn areas with a 50 grit hand block. This removed a lot of dirt and drastically lightened the whites and blues. Finally I neutralised the floor with two rinses of clean, warm water again using the wet vacuum to remove as much moisture as possible from the floor.

I repeated this process along the length of the hallway and then inspected the floor retreating any areas containing stubborn marks.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

The hallway wasn’t that big an area so I had agreed to do the whole floor in one day. As a result I needed to force dry the floor so I could seal the tiles in the same day. I have a number of tools to do this including an industrial air mover and a heat gun which were applied for about an hour before it was dry.

To seal the tiles I applied two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which as its name suggests is a colour enhancing sealer that works by impregnating the pores of the tile protecting it from within and enriching the colours in the process. This gave a lovely contrast in colour whilst providing a matt finish; another advantage of Colour Grow is it’s a fully breathable sealer which won’t trap moisture under the tile which is important for these old floors where no damp proof membrane is installed.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration in Leatherhead

The Victorian tiled hallway floor now looks amazing.
 
 

Professional Victorian Tiled Hallway Restoration in West Surrey



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Renovating an Encaustic Tiled Hallway in Padgate near Warrington


This floor may look like it’s made from Victorian tiles but if you look closely you will see the floor is actually made of 72 Encaustic tiles each one containing a regular pattern. Encaustic tiles have more in common with Ceramic tiles than Victorian and are actually made using layers of cement where are often hand painted with patterns which and hydraulically pressed into the surface.

Encaustic Tiled Hallway Padgate Before Cleaning Encaustic Tiled Hallway Padgate Before Cleaning

The tiled floor was actually floor found hiding under the hallway carpet by the new owners of the house which is in Padgate near Warrington. Were not sure of the age of the tiles but suspect they may be 100 years old. Certainly, Padgate has many older houses so they could be although it’s mainly known for its large RAF base during the 2nd world war.

Encaustic tiles are porous and so need to be sealed to protect them from dirt becoming ingrained in the floor. However, hallway floors get a lot of foot traffic which over time wears down the sealer until it becomes so thin and patchy it’s no longer effective. As a result, you need to regularly top up the sealer or every three to four years it will need to be stripped off and reapplied.

Deep Cleaning the Encaustic Tiled Floor

You can see from the pictures that the tiles were in good physical shape but had accumulated a lot of dirt which was especially visible near the front door. As I mentioned earlier Encaustic tiles being made from cement and need to be sealed in order to protect them from dirt becoming in trapped in the pores of the tile.

Encaustic Tiled Hallway Padgate Before Cleaning

These tiles would need a deep penetrative clean to extract the dirt, so my first course of action was to apply a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean across the floor and left it to soak into the tiles for ten minutes. Pro-Clean is a very effective alkaline product that’s safe to use on tile, stone and grout and is designed for tile cleaning. It was then worked into the tile using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a floor buffing machine and the soiled cleaning solution extracted off the floor with a wet vacuum.

I then used a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pads to restore the surface or the encaustic tiles starting with the 400 and 800 grit pads and lubricated with a little water. This also dealt with other deposits on the floor left behind from the carpet. I rinsed the floor with water to remove the slurry and then finished the burnishing process by applying the 1500 and 3000 grit pads to really restore the shine to the tiles.

Sealing the Encaustic Tiled Hallway Floor

To seal the floor and grout I applied Tile Doctor colour grow which is an impregnating sealer that enhances colour and soaks into the pores of the encaustic tile to protect it from dirt becoming ingrained into the tile in future. Any sealer not taken up by the pores of the tile is rubbed off afterwards.

Encaustic Tiled Hallway Padgate After Cleaning Encaustic Tiled Hallway Padgate After Cleaning

The transformation was quite remarkable and as you can imagine my customer was over the moon when he returned from work.
 
 

Restoring Encaustic Hallway Floor Tiles in Cheshire



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Polishing Dull Limestone Floor Tiles to a High Shine in Boxworth


Boxworth is a very small village situated to the north-west of Cambridge. In the Middle Ages, it had a significant population, but in the modern day there are only around 100 houses in the area including one belonging to my customer.

I was there to take a look at a large installation of Polished Limestone floor tiles which had been laid throughout the ground floor including the Kitchen, Dining, Utility room and hallway.

Limestone Tiled Kitchen Before Polishing Boxworth Limestone Tiled Dining Room Before Polishing Boxworth

Many people will already know that Limestone is a premium, yet somewhat sensitive natural stone. It’s also porous, meaning that dirt can easily become ingrained if the tiles are not sealed properly, or if the sealant has worn away. This leads eventually to a very unappealing, dirty, and dull appearance which often happens so slowly it hardly get’s noticed until one day you think, “I’m sure my floor looked better than that before!”.

Limestone Tiled Hallway Before Polishing Boxworth Limestone Tiled Utility Before Polishing Boxworth

In this case the sealer had degraded over time and my customer had called me in because she was now no longer happy with the appearance of the tiles. The lustre the tiles once had eventually disappeared and there was also damage in some areas caused by the placement of table and chair legs. I was asked to restore a high-quality polished finish to the tiles.

Cleaning and Burnishing Limestone Tiles

Before beginning the restoration, I took the necessary precaution of covering the walls and kitchen units to protect them from exposure to any cleaning products or mess.

To begin, I applied Tile Doctor Remove and Go, which is a high-performance stripping agent, to break down any old sealant remaining of the tiles. This product can also be used to clean the stone itself, as well as the grout lines.

After completing the initial cleaning process, I moved on to restoring the polish to the tiles. At Tile Doctor, we do this using a system we have developed called Burnishing. This system involves the application of Diamond encrusted pads – each possessing a different level of grit – to grind away the dirt from the stone, which is often stained or damaged. The process effectively resurfaces the stone leaving it looking new and fresh.

Firstly, I applied the Coarse 400 grit pad, fitted to a rotary machine, to grind away any excess muck and sealant lubricated with a little water. The resultant slurry was rinsed away and I followed up with the application of the Medium 800 grit pad to start the restoration of the polish again with a small amount of water, followed by the Fine 1500 grit pad for the second polish.

Finally, I applied the Very Fine 3000 grit pad to achieve the most refined and highest quality polish possible. The process of burnishing is a gradual but highly effective means of achieving this kind of finish.

Any slurry that was created through this process was removed using my truck-mounted hot water cleaning and extraction machine, resulting in minimum mess.

Sealing Limestone Tiles

After burnishing the tiles and to achieve a really hard wearing and high polish I covered the floor in Tile Doctor Shine Powder crystals and buffed them into the Limestone tiles using a White buffing pad. Then to give the floor extra protection I applied a coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which impregnates the pores of the stone to prevent ingrained dirt.

Colour Grow also intensifies the natural colours in the Limestone, thus improving the appearance of the stone to an even greater extent. Following the application of Colour Grow, I gave the tiles a final light buffing with a soft red pad.

Limestone Tiled Kitchen After Polishing Boxworth Limestone Tiled Utility After Polishing Boxworth

The customer was extremely happy with the outcome, remarking that the work was carried “quickly and efficiently with no fuss.” I took lots of photographs of the process, so you can really appreciate the difference that was made.

Limestone Tiled Hallway After Polishing Boxworth Limestone Tiled Dining Room After Polishing Boxworth

 
 

Professional Polishing of a Dull Limestone Tiled Floor in Cambridgeshire



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Beautiful Black and White Victorian Tiled Hallway Renovation in Monmouth


This beautiful black & white Victorian tiled hallway was recently discovered hidden under carpet at a house near Monmouth. As well as the years of grime that had become ingrained in the tile, the carpet had been secured with carpet grippers which had been fixed on top of the tiles and the owner was keen to recruit my help in its restoration.

It’s a lovely drive up through the Wye Valley from my base in Caldicot to the town of Monmouth which has a long history that goes back to the Roman times. In fact it’s famous for its “Monnow Bridge” which dates back to medieval times and is the only remaining stone gated bridge of its type left in Britain. Needles to say it has a strong mixture of architecture with many old houses built during Victorian times.

Victorian Floor Before Renovation in Monmouth

Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The first step in cleaning the floor was to prepare it for cleaning by carefully removing the old carpet grippers and adhesive deposits using a handheld scraper. This was followed by creating a mixture of two powerful cleaning products namely Tile Doctor Remove and Go and NanoTech HBU remover. Remove and Go is a coatings remover designed to strip off old sealers whilst NanoTech HBU is a powerful Heavy Build-Up Remover that uses tiny abrasive particles to clean up tile and stone.

The floor was smothered in the cleaning solution and it was allowed to soak into the tile for about twenty minutes before scrubbing it in. It was not an exceptionally large hallway so a lot of hand scrubbing was required to get the floor as clean as possible. The cleaning solution was rinsed off with water and then extracted using a wet vacuum or wet vac as my colleagues often refer to it.

To finish off the cleaning process I scrubbed a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean into the grout lines to get them as clean as possible and then gave the floor a final rinse. I need the floor to be dry before sealing so using the wet vac I extracted as much moisture from the floor as possible.

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I left the floor to dry completely overnight and returned the next day to finish the floor off with a few coats of sealer. On my arrival I started by taking a few reading with a damp meter to ensure the floor was ready to be sealed. Fortunately by efforts with the Wet Vac the night before had paid off and it confirmed the tiles were dry and ready to be sealed.

To do this, I used multiple coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which works really well on Victorian Tiles and adds a nice low sheen that brings them up nicely. Naturally the sealer not only improves the way they look it also makes them much easier to clean and will protect them against ingrained dirt and staining.

Victorian Floor After Renovation in Monmouth

I think you will agree this old floor has been transformed and now has a new lease of life.
 
 

Professional Renovation of a Carpet Covered Original Victorian Tiled Hallway in Monmouthshire



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Victorian Tiled Reception Area Renovated in South Molton Listed Building


I was approached by the owner of a listed Georgian Townhouse right in the middle of the small market town of South Moulton in North Devon who was struggling to have any impact on the appearance of his Victorian tiled reception area, despite hours of back-breaking scrubbing and had become disheartened by it.

Georgian Reception Floor Tiles Before Cleaning South Molton

Upon arrival a survey on the floor was conducted where I tested the moisture level of the tiles because floors of this age and construction didn’t have a Damp Proof Course and as such were just tiled onto whatever subsurface was already there, which quite often contained rubble and other guiding materials such as lime from the construction of neighbouring properties!

Georgian Reception Floor Tiles Before Cleaning South Molton

Whilst talking to the customer he mentioned that he had some old quarry tiles in his kitchen that he also wanted cleaning, however I’ll cover that in another post. To continue I produced a quote for the work which was accepted and a date was agreed for me to return with all the equipment and products required.

Cleaning Victorian Tiled Reception Area

To clean the Victorian tiles in the reception area I applied a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and left it to soak in for ten minutes. I then set about scrubbing the solution into the tiles using a series of Diamond impregnated burnishing pads ranging from 100-400 grit.

Once the whole floor had been treated in this manner it was thoroughly rinsed with water using a wet and dry vacuum to extract the now soiled cleaning solution and I was able to see that the process had really brought the tiles up a treat.

Concerned about the damp readings I had experienced earlier I decided it would be prudent to give the floor an Acid Rinse with Grout Clean-up to counteract any potential salt issues (efflorescence) that can be a real problem on these old floors which have no Damp Proof Course. I highly recommend this step on old floors as salts can over time permeate through the tiles and the cleaning process draws them to the surface. Left unaddressed the salts can damage the sealer and leave the floor looking far from its best.

Once the tiles had been cleaned, I rinsed the entire floor thoroughly using fresh water to remove any trace of cleaning products, before leaving it to dry off completely overnight.

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway and Entrance Lobby

The following day I returned and after rechecking the moisture levels to ensure that they had adequately dried out I started to seal the Victorian tiles in the reception area. To improve colour, I first applied a coat of Tile Doctor’s Colour Grow, a solvent based impregnating sealer which picks out and enhances the natural colour of the tiles, not only bringing the whole floor to life but helping to disguise any damage the floor has suffered over the years. After this coat had dried sufficiency four coats of Seal and Go were applied to finish off the floor and give it that ‘wow factor’.

Georgian Reception Floor Tiles After Cleaning South Molton Georgian Reception Floor Tiles After Cleaning South Molton

The customer was thrilled and left the following feedback on the Tile Doctor feedback system:

“The work was carried out in a professional manner, with excellent results.”

For aftercare I left the customer with some guidance on care and maintenance of the floor as well as a suitable bottle of tile cleaner.
 
 

Professional Renovation of a Victorian Tiled Reception Floor in Devon



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Renovating a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Grappenhall near Warrington


The village of Grappenhall has a long history that goes all the way back to the bronze age and as a result has all periods of architecture including quite a lot of houses with Victorian tiled hallways . This particular floor at a house in the village had been well looked after well by the owner but had now lost its vibrancy, was looking dull and now needed a deep clean and reseal.

Victorian tiles are porous and so need to be sealed to protect them from dirt becoming ingrained in the floor. However, hallway floors get a lot of foot traffic which over time wears down the sealer until it becomes so thin and patchy it’s no longer effective. As a result, you need to regularly top up the sealer or every three to four years it will need to be stripped off and reapplied.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Grapenhall Before Cleaning Victorian Tiled Hallway Grapenhall Before Cleaning

Deep Cleaning the Victorian Tiled Floor

I used clear plastic to protect the wood skirting boards from splashing and then gave the tiles a good scrub with a mixture of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and Remove and Go to deep clean and strip off any remaining sealers. The cleaning solution was left to soak in for ten minutes before scrubbing it in with a black pad fitted to a heavy buffing machine.

Once the whole area had been scrubbed I rinsed off with water which was then extracted using a wet vacuum. With the floor now clear I was able to inspect it to ensure all the previous sealer and ingrained dirt had been removed. Any areas with stubborn stains were spot treated by reapplying the cleaning concoction I used earlier before leaving the floor to dry off fully overnight.

Sealing the Victorian Tiled Floor

When I returned the next morning my first job was to test the tiles for damp using a damp meter. This is important as damp tiles won’t take the sealer as well as dry tiles, however this time everything was fine.

I then proceeded to seal the Victorian tiles with a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow to enhance the natural colours in the tile before applying a further seven coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which leaves a sheen finish and is ideal for Victorian tiles.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Grapenhall After Cleaning Victorian Tiled Hallway Grapenhall After Cleaning

The hallway now looks fantastic and vibrant and then new sealer will protect them from ingrained dirt making them easier to clean and keep them looking good for some time to come.
 
 

Restoring Victorian Hallway Floor Tiles in Cheshire



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Marble tiled vestibule cleaned and polished in Edinburgh


I was asked to take a look at this small but beautiful Marble tiled vestibule at the entrance to a lovely house in Edinburgh. As you can see from the photograph below the colours in the Marble were looking washed out and the overall appearance was dull and lifeless. As the main entrance it must have seen a lot of foot traffic and a fair amount of wear and abuse over the years.

Polished Marble Vestibule Before Cleaning Edinburgh

Cleaning and Polishing Marble Tiles

The first task was to brush and vacuum the floor to remove debris and grit. After this the floor was sprayed with a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean a tile cleaner that is safe to use on stone floors and scrubbed in with a black buffing pad fitted to a rotary machine. This released a lot of dirt from the tile and the soiled cleaning solution was then rinsed off with water and extracted using a wet vacuum.

Once the floor had all the surface dirt removed we then proceeded to polish the marble with a set of diamond burnishing pads which restore the shine the stone. The burnishing pads come in a set of four and you start with a coarse pad with a little water and work your way through the set moving from a the coarse pads through to the finer pads; this process polishes the stone more and more until you get a smooth finish. After each pad was used the area was thoroughly rinsed with clean water to remove any slurry kicked up by the process before moving onto the next. Once we had gone through all four pads the floor was left clean, smooth and shiny.

Sealing Marble Tiles

Being a high traffic area I wanted to leave a very durable polish that would last for years to come, so once the burnishing process was completed we proceeded to seal and further polish the Marble by buffing the floor with Tile Doctor Shine Powder. The crystallising powder provides a very high shine and a tough durable finish, ideal for this situation.

Polished Marble Vestibule After Cleaning Edinburgh

I think you will agree we have managed to put the life back into the floor which is especially important in hallway’s and entrances like this as they are the first thing you see when you come into the property.
 
 

Marble Tiled Entrance Restored in Edinburgh



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Bitumen Stained Victorian Geometric Hallway Rejuvenated in Barrow in Furness


This old Victorian tiled Hallway floor, laid in a geometric pattern, at a house in Barrow in Furness was a challenging project. The tiles were extremely dirty and also stained with Black Bitumen which has been used as an adhesive, however we have come across these sorts of problems before and so I was confident it could be resolved.

Geometric floor before Restoration Barrow in Furness Geometric floor before Restoration Barrow in Furness

Deep Cleaning an Old Victorian Tiled Floor

I roped in Heidi and my son Lewis who spent a whole day cleaning with chemicals, steam, buffing pads and unfortunately the results were far from satisfactory; the customer wasn’t happy and Heidi wasn’t happy with it either. It was clear that the black bitumen had penetrated deep into the pores of the clay and becoming so embedded that no chemical or technique we were using would shift it fully.

Geometric floor before Restoration Barrow in Furness

To top it off I had gone out earlier to tile the old mat well with matching tiles before we started the cleaning but due to the depth of the floor matt. The matt well was at least 35mm so it was clear I couldn’t use standard floor adhesive. I opted instead for a sand cement mix, similar to what the Victorians would have used originally. This filled up the depth and allowed me to tile and grout the same day, however overnight there was a bit of shrinkage and some of the new tiles settled unevenly.

Geometric floor before Milling Barrow in Furness

I racked my head for a solution to both issues and decided the best course of action would be to Mill the clay tiles to remove the Bitumen and smooth down the uneven effect of my tiling. This is not something we would normally do on a clay tile as this system can leave scratches which potentially would look worse that the dirt. After I had milled the Tiles down with a course pad fitted to a heavy buffing machine and removed all the issues I then counteracted any scratches left over using a higher grit milling pad. This solution fully resolved both issues leaving it ready for the final step of sealing.

Geometric floor After Milling Barrow in Furness

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

The floor was left to dry off overnight and we returned the next day to seal the tiles using Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is a matt finish, fully breathable and colour enhancing sealer which really lifts the colour of the stone or in this case clay tile. Colour Grow is impregnating – meaning that it penetrates the pores of the stone to fill them and prevent trapped dirt and stains. We recommend Colour Grow for both internal and external applications and especially for areas where no damp proof membrane is evident, since the sealer allows for the floor to breathe moisture.

Geometric floor After Restoration Barrow in Furness Geometric floor After Restoration Barrow in Furness

There were plenty of problems to overcome and It took a lot of work but I’m pleased to say the floor was transformed by our efforts and now looks fantastic and I’m sure has added a lot of value to this period property.
 
 

Hallway Restoration of Bitumen-Stained Victorian Floor in Barrow in Furness



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Original Victorian Tiled Hallway Thought Beyond Repair Rejuvenated in Cardiff


Many property owners who are lucky enough to have an original Victorian tiled floor in their homes face the same conundrum: can an old and potentially very damaged floor be salvaged and restored to peak condition or should I replace it?

Some people would instinctively tell you that the answer is no – even trained professionals! In fact, a leading tile restoration company (which shall remain unnamed) based in Cardiff told a recent customer of mine that her original Victorian tiled floor, dating back to 1905, was beyond repair. The company recommended that she not waste any money on having it restored and instead that she should have it ripped up and replaced.

Victorian Tiled Hallway in Cardiff Before Restoration

It was in a bad state, however replacing the floor would incur a significant cost and the original characteristics of the period floor would be lost. The customer was feeling rather deflated and was left undecided on what to do. Fortunately after browsing the web for a solution, she came across Tile Doctor and I was asked to pop over and take a look.

I visited the customer at her home and removed parts of her hallway carpet to get a better look at the Victorian tiles beneath. The floor was certainly in a very poor state, there were many old paint splash marks covering the tiles and the surface of the floor was deeply darkened after many years’ worth of wear and tear. In my opinion however, it was still salvageable, and the customer was happy to see what could be done.

Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

A week before I was due to start the restoration, I asked the customer to remove the foam-backed carpet to let the floor breathe a bit.

Before beginning the work, I ran a few damp tests and the floor proved surprisingly dry considering how old it is and the very probable lack of a damp proof membrane. I started by manually scraping as much of the old paint staining off the stone as possible and cleared other debris from the surface.

Knowing that clay based Victorian tiles like these easily soak up paint splashes, I knew it would take a thorough clean to remove them completely. I firstly soaked the floor with water and left it to dry slightly before mixing a concoction of Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU, Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, and Tile Doctor Remove and Go.

NanoTech HBU is a particularly powerful cleaner which uses nano-sized particles to penetrate the pores of the stone, while Pro-Clean is an alkaline-based cleaner that tackles heavy soil build-up. Remove and Go is a multi-purpose product which both cleans and strips away any old sealer.

I left this mixture to dwell on the floor for around half an hour, scrubbed it in firstly using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine and then a wire wool pad. I followed by rinsing the products off with water and extracted up the excess with a wet vacuum machine.

This technique was repeated until I was satisfied with the condition of the floor.

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

After leaving the floor to dry off completely overnight, I returned to the property the next day to carry out the sealing process. I applied seven coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, which not only adds a protective covering to the tile, but also enhances its appearance.

The customer was absolutely thrilled with the results of the restoration, especially considering that she was told the floor was ruined by a leading company and not worth saving.

Victorian Tiled Hallway in Cardiff After Restoration

I think you will agree that its always worth trying to restore a period floor and my customer deserves praise for sticking to their guns.
 
 

Professional Period Victorian Hallway Floor Restoration in South Wales



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Unusual Victorian Tiled Hallway Cleaned and Sealed in Grappenhall


Impressed with the details of a similar floor published on our website the owner of this Victorian tiled hallway floor at a house in the village of Grappenhall asked if we could pay her a visit.

The floor was in relatively good physical condition, although there were a few tiles that needed replacing and really just needed cleaning and resealing however I thought it would be worth a mention on my blog due to it being so unusual. There seamed no set pattern to the tiles and it was as if they had some tiles left over and just laid them as they came.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning in Grappenhall

Deep Cleaning the Victorian Tiled Floor

After protecting the skirting boards I gave the floor a deep clean using Tile Doctor Remove and Go to strip off any remaining sealers. This was left to soak in for twenty minutes then scrubbed in using a rotary machine fitted with a black pad then rinsed off with clean water which was then extracted using a wet vacuum. I was careful not to use too much water as the owner had just converted the cellar below into a games room and was worried it may cause damp in the ceiling. There were a few tiles that needed replacing so we fixed and grouted them in before leaving the floor to fully dry off overnight

Sealing the Victorian Tiled Floor

We returned next morning and tested for damp with a damp meter to make sure the floor was ready to seal. Everything was fine so we proceeded to seal the Victorian tiles with a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow to enhance the colour of the floor before applying a further six coats of Seal and Go which is ideal for these type of tile.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning in Grappenhall

The customer was made up with the result we had made to her hallway, I only wish I had managed to take better pictures of the floor so you could appreciate it as much as she did.
 
 

Restoring Victorian Hallway Floor Tiles in Cheshire



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Original Victorian Tiles Restored at B&B in Bude


Bude is a lovely coastal resort in North Cornwall and is home to several B&Bs for visitors to the area. It became popular during the latter half of Queen Victoria’s reign, as sea bathing became a popular trend amongst the upper and middle classes, and as a result there are plenty of period houses.

In fact, I was recently contacted by a lucky Bed and Breakfast owner who had uncovered this late Victorian tiled hallway and entrance lobby which was around a hundred years old during renovation work. It had been under carpet for at least twenty years and had a variety of stains including paint, tar and glue!

The customer rightly wanted to reinstate it as a showpiece to greet clients upon entering the upmarket guesthouse but had no luck trying to remove stains themselves and had spent many hours on hands and knees but to no avail and were nearly ready to take the builder’s advice and cover it in a self-levelling cement and install a carpet throughout which would have been sacrilege!

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration at Bude Bed and Breakfast

Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway and Entrance Lobby

To begin with diamond-impregnated buffing pads were used with a rotary machine to scrub the floor and open up the pores. Small diamond hand blocks were also used to get into those difficult to reach areas such as corners and under the stairs.

Afterwards the floor was thoroughly rinsed with water which was then extracted using a wet vacuum. This was followed by giving the floor an Acid rinse using Tile Doctor’s Acid Gel. This helped to remove old mineral deposits and residue from carpet underlay. I had to be careful not to leave the acid down for too long because these tiles are susceptible to acid damage. This is also a great product to use as par for the course on floors like this that don’t have a damp proof course (floors generally didn’t pre-1950s) and the acid will neutralise any salts coming rising up through the tile later.

Dealing with salt issues on these old floors (efflorescence) is essential because they can damage the sealer or become trapped under it, detracting from the beauty of the floor. Given the age of the house It’s difficult to know what the floor had been laid onto. Often it was compacted rubble and building works from the erection of the adjoining houses. Terraced and some of the later Victorian floors were laid on a wet limecrete scree which contain a high salt-content.

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway and Entrance Lobby

Once the tiles had been cleaned, I rinsed the entire floor thoroughly using fresh water to remove any traces of chemicals, before leaving it to dry completely overnight.

Upon my return to the B&B the next day, I sealed the tiles using several coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, an impregnating sealer which provides robust protection and intensifies the natural colours in the tile. It does this while leaving a natural-look matte finish which is befitting of a classic Victorian geometric patterned floor like this one.

Now cleaned and freshly sealed, the Victorian tiles will be in a much strong position to cope with the busy B&B season over the Summer. The owner was very pleased and I’m sure visitors to the B&B will be very impressed with this original feature!

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration at Bude Bed and Breakfast

As part of the package a cleaning and maintenance guide is provided once the work has been completed but unfortunately the owner’s uncle didn’t consult this when house-sitting and attempted to clean the floor with white spirit. Fortunately, I was able to return and improve the damage that was caused much to the owner’s relief and just in time for opening!
 
 

Professional Restoration of an Original Geometric Victorian Tiled Hallway at a Bude B&B



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