Textured Ceramic Tile Cleaning, Barnsley


This ceramic tiled floor at a house in the old coal mining town of Barnsley was trapping dirt and bothering our client who was finding it impossible to keep clean. In fact, she got in touch with Tile Doctor to explain that however they cleaned the floor they just couldn’t get the tiles cleaned and looking bright.

Textured Ceramic Tile Barnsley Before Cleaning

Barnsley is my local town, so it wasn’t long before I was able to pop over to the property and survey the floor. When I got there I could see that the tiles, which had been laid throughout the Hallway and Kitchen, were Textured Ceramic which have the advantage of being anti-slip but the disadvantage of being a pain to keep clean. The rougher textured surface traps dirt easily and in this case no amount of mopping was going to clean them.

Textured Ceramic Tile Barnsley Before Cleaning Textured Ceramic Tile Barnsley Before Cleaning

My customer explained they had tried numerous household cleaners but had been unable to get them really looking clean. I was confident the floor could be deep cleaned and brought back to life using Tile Doctor products and that the job should only take a day to complete. Happy with the quote, we worked out a mutually convenient date for me to return and clean the floor.

Deep Cleaning a Textured Ceramic Tiled Floor

I started by giving the floor a really long soak with a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, the long dwell time allows the product to soak right into every bit of dirt that was clinging to the tiles and break it down. Pro-Clean is a concentrated, multi-purpose high-alkaline cleaner, stripper and degreaser which can be diluted in different ratios dependent on the situation. In this instance we diluted with 3 to 5 parts water to use as a very effective cleaner which is the recommended strength for removing inground dirt from areas that have been neglected or subjected to heavy use.

Textured Ceramic Tile Barnsley During Cleaning Textured Ceramic Tile Barnsley During Cleaning

A black scrubbing pad was then fitted to a rotary floor buffer and run over the floor at slow speed to attack the dirt. It wasn’t long before the Pro-Clean turned dark with the loose dirt and the tiles started looking lighter in colour. The now thick brown slurry was removed using a wet vacuum and then the floor was given a rinse with water which was also extracted with the wet vacuum. The process was repeated over the entire floor and doubly so where the muck was proving stubborn to remove. After we had finished the floor looked lighter and much cleaner, the grout lines also looked cleaner too.

Textured Ceramic Tile Barnsley During Cleaning Textured Ceramic Tile Barnsley During Cleaning

Our client was so relieved to have the floor looking like new again, it had been bothering her for quite some time. As you can see from the pictures the difference was quite apparent.

Textured Ceramic Tile Barnsley After Cleaning Textured Ceramic Tile Barnsley After Cleaning

Before leaving we discussed the best way to keep the floor clean. Normally I would recommend a pH neutral tile cleaning product for cleaning tiles however in this case with no sealer present (ceramic tiles don’t usually accept a sealer) and given the textured surface I felt the continued use of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean would be their best option.

 

Professional Cleaning of Textured Ceramic Tiles in South Yorkshire



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Cleaning 100 Year Old Mosaic Tiles in Abington Park


My customer recently got in touch and requested a site visit to look at her hallway floor.
The Edwardian property was situated in the Abington Park part of Northampton which is an area is steeped in history, with the nearby Manor House said to have been the home of William Shakespeare’s daughter Elizabeth Bernard. The house has since been turned into a museum.

As you can see from the photos, the floor which was laid when the house was built over 100 years ago using small square brown and beige mosaic tiles in a repeating. Although in good physical condition for its age the floor was looking a little tired and had lost its lustre and vibrant colour. The hallway also had stained wood panelling on one side which was another original feature and the owner of the property was keen to maintain the period feel.

Edwardian Mosaic Tiled Hallway Floor Before Cleaning Abington Park

I discussed with the customer what we could do to restore the floor, explaining the process, timescale and of course the cost. She was happy to go ahead so we scheduled the work in without delay.

Edwardian Mosaic Tiled Hallway Floor Before Cleaning Abington Park

Cleaning an Edwardian Mosaic Tiled Hallway Floor

In order to protect the wall panels and keep the moisture in the floor to a minimum I decided to keep the use of cleaning products to a minimum. This is always a concern with these old floors which have no damp proof membrane as the use of too much water can lead to efflorescence salts appearing later. With this in mid I decided to clean the floor using Tile Doctor burnishing pads as these pads only require a small amount of water and no products, this would also have the benefit of slightly levelling out the surface of the tiles.

My first course of action was to vacuum the floor to ensure there was no loose debris followed by masking up the bottom of the stairs carpet to protect it. I then started the restoration process by using a coarse 100-grit Tile Doctor burnishing pad attached to a 17” industrial rotary machine and a small amount of water to lubricate the process. The 100-grit pad is quite an aggressive pad which removes deeply imbedded stains and as mentioned before a small amount of unevenness. To remove the resultant slurry the floor was rinsed with a small amount of water which was then extracted using a wet pick up machine. This process was then repeated with a 200-grit burnishing pad to smooth out any scratches and polish the tile ready for sealing.

Although it was a relatively small area, 12 square metres this process took the whole day as we work in small sections at a time. Moving the machine slowly with multiple passes over each area.

Sealing an Edwardian Tiled Hallway Floor

I returned the following day and assessed the floor to ensure we were happy with the result from the previous days cleaning. I also took damp meter readings and was pleased to see they were within normal expectations for a floor of this age. Next, I applied Tile Doctor Colour Grow Sealant which is a breathable sealant that will allow any moisture in the sub floor to rise though the tile. This particular sealer is a colour enhancing sealer that protects and improves the natural colours in the tile and leaves a lovely natural finish. The floor now has a much more even finish and will be much easier for the client to maintain in the future.

Edwardian Mosaic Tiled Hallway Floor After Cleaning Abington Park

The customer was very happy with the results and left the following feedback on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

“Great communication about the work planned and quotation. A super job in bringing my Edwardian mosaic tiled floor back to life. Would highly recommend this service”
Karen M”

Edwardian Mosaic Tiled Hallway Floor After Cleaning Abington Park

 

Professional Restoration of Mosaic Hallway Tiles in Northamptonshire



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Removing Wax Scratches from Victorian Hallway Tiles in Rushden


This customer called me as she was concerned about the scratches on her hallway tiles, they were not only unsightly but were also starting to trap dirt. The Victorian property in Rushden which lies between Bedford and Kettering on the east side of Northamptonshire.

We always offer a site visit to take a look at the job before doing any work, that way we can discuss what the cleaning options are, and it also demonstrates to the customer that we know what we’re talking about.

The hallway floor was a lovely and intricate example of Victorian tile installation and I could see that overall it was in good condition for its age. On closer inspection the customer was relieved to find out that it was the old wax sealant breaking down and not actually scratches on the tiles. I carried out a test on a small area to ascertain how difficult it would be to remove this wax. I realised I would be able to use Tile Doctors new product for the removal of the wax sealant, Tile Doctor Wax Away which is a fast and effective formula that is designed just for this type of job, it offers safe removal of wax and polish from tile and natural stone. We agreed the quote and the work was booked in for the following month.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Before Wax Removal Rushden

Cleaning/Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

On our return we started to remove the wax coating using the Tile Doctor Wax Away product. It was applied neat and left to dwell for ten to fifteen minutes before working it into the floor with a small amount of water and a black stripping pad attached to a rotary machine. The resulting slurry was then removed using a wet vacuum. The floor was then inspected, and I decided to repeat this process with a hand brush in a couple of small areas and around the edges to ensure the old wax sealant was fully removed in these stubborn areas. The floor was then rinsed with water to remove any remaining slurry and trace of cleaning product and the wet vacuum was used to dry the floor again.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor During Wax Removal Rushden

My next course of action was to run over the floor with a 400-grit burnishing pad to remove imbedded dirt and stains from the tiles, this was followed by a second rinse with water. After removing the water with wet vacuum, the floor was then left to dry out fully for a few days aided by a large fan that I left on site. It’s important that the tiles are fully dry before applying a sealer and this is even more important on older floors where no damp proof membrane has been installed.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I returned three days later and started by giving the floor a light vacuum and clean. I also took damp meter readings to check the floor was fully dry. Once I was satisfied I started to apply 2 coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow Sealant, this is a breathable sealant which will allow the tiles to breath and allow moisture vapour from the sub floor to rise through the tiles which is important in these old houses where no damp proof membrane exists. Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer that works by occupying the pores in the tile thus preventing dirt from becoming ingrained there, the sealant enhances the natural colours in the tile and dries to a lovely natural matt finish.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Cleaning Rushden

Once finished the floor looked great and the customer was hugely relieved that the tiles could be restored easily and cost effectively, she had thought the damage may have been irreversible. Moving forward it will now be easier for her to maintain and keep clean. The floor is now back to its’ true self and properly in keeping with the rest of the period features in the house.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Cleaning Rushden

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Northamptonshire



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Victorian Hallway Restoration Mill Hill, North London


This 1930’s North London property in Mill Hill had a classic tiled hallway floor laid with black and white tiles in a diamond pattern and reminiscent of the Victorian era some thirty years earlier but still popular at the time the house was built. Mill Hill was first recorded as Myllehill in 1547 and appears to be named after a “hill with a windmill”. Over the years it’s merged with the surrounding towns and is now a desirable suburb in the North London Borough of Barnet.

I first spoke to the owner of the property over the phone to get an idea of what was required and work out a convenient time to take a look at the floor; we often get customers looking for a quote over the phone but this is not always easy to do as you never know what problems you might find with an older floor until you get there.

On inspection I could see there were in fact a large number of loose tiles in the central part of the floor which would need to be reset and grouted, the floor would also need to be deep cleaned and re-sealed with a suitable sealer to get it back to its former glory. I was confident we could soon get the floor looking how it should and after discussing the process, agreed a price and a timescale for the project. The owner was keen to get the job completed as soon as possible.

Cleaning/Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Firstly, we prepared the area with protective polythene tapes to thresholds, carpets, and door fronts to ensure the surrounding areas were protected. To clean the floor a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean was applied, this is a concentrated, multi-purpose high-alkaline cleaner, stripper and degreaser and is highly recommended for use on natural stone, tile and grout. The tiles were scrubbed with both floor pads and brushes, it is easier to use brushes in the more intricate areas.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Restoration During Cleaning Mill Hill

After the scrubbing we rinsed, and steam cleaned the floor, removing the slurry generated during the cleaning process with a wet vacuum. It was now nicely prepared ready for carrying out the repairs and the cleaning process was useful in identifying those tiles which needed extra attention.

The repairs involved resetting 50 to 60 loose tiles, the process requires carefully removing the tile, scraping out the old adhesive and grout and then replacing with new. The area is cleaned and then when the adhesive has set the tiles are re grouted in a grout chosen to best match the original. Luckily there were no damaged tiles on this floor which made the job easier. Although, we can usually track down replacements when they are needed!

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

We then left the hallway to dry off overnight, returning the next day we used a moisture meter to check the floor was dry and suitable for sealing. Old floors like these have no damp proof membrane fitted under the floor so can take time to dry out, fortunately we completed this work during warm weather, so all the readings were good.

Victorian style tiles are quite porous, so we found we need to apply give coats of sealer before they were fully sealed. We selected Tile Doctor Seal & Go to seal the tiles, it’s a specially formulated water-based blend of acrylic polymers that adds a durable stain resistant surface and leaves an appealing low-sheen finish. Being water based it doesn’t leave a smell as it dries, and it also a breathable sealer that can cope with the lack of a damp proof membrane ensuring moisture doesn’t become trapped under the floor.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Restoration After Cleaning Mill Hill

The client was very happy with the completed job, the work took a day and half to complete. Considering how many tiles had been loose the job had turned out very well. The floor is now much more manageable for her and the hallway tiles life has now been prolonged.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Restoration After Cleaning Mill Hill

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in North London



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Victorian Tiled Hallway Restoration in Bearwood, Smethwick


This customer got in touch with me to see if there was anything I could do to restore a Victorian tiled floor they had discovered under carpet in their hallway. Interestingly they had been told previously that the floor was beyond repair and had been quoted thousands of pounds to have it completely ripped up and replaced.

Victorian Hallway Before Restoration Bearwood Victorian Hallway Before Restoration Bearwood

I visited the property in Bearwood near Smethwick, to take a look and could see that there was a section under a cement screed. The floor was in a truly sorry state, so I could see why the other company were not keen on restoring it. Undeterred I did a test clean to see if I could remove the screed which was encouraging however without removing all the screed it would not be possible to see what condition the tiles underneath were in. I agreed with the customer to order some replacement tiles which were needed along with extra ones just in case. The job would take a few days to allow for cleaning, repairing, drying out and sealing. The client wasn’t too optimistic, but I reassured them we could definitely get a good result.

Victorian Hallway Before Restoration Bearwood

Cleaning and Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway

The first day was spent removing the cement screed which was quite thick in parts, so I went down the route of steaming it first to help soften the covering and then carefully scraping it off. This was quite labour intensive, but it did the job. Once the cement was removed I was left with some tiles that were ok but quite a few needed to be replaced.

Victorian Hallway Before Restoration Bearwood Victorian Hallway During Restoration Bearwood

There were also two doorways, one that needed completely relaying and one needed part relaying. Some of the tiles needed to be cut to size, there were many tiles that needed resetting and re-grouting along with grout being applied to the new tiles.

Victorian Hallway During Restoration Bearwood

The next day the tiles were deep cleaned with a 50:50 combination of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed with Nanotech HBU which stands for Heavy Build-Up Remover, which was quite appropriate in this case. This cocktail of tile cleaning products was left to dwell on the tiles for a while then worked in with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a weighted rotary machine. The floor was then rinsed off with water and then the soil extracted with a wet vacuum.

My next step was to give the floor and acid wash to remove any old grout smears and neutralise other mineral contaminates such as salts that can get deposited on the surface of the tiles as moisture evaporates as the floor dries. This is always a risk with old floors where no damp proof membrane exists. To do this I applied a dilution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which is scrubbed into the tiles with a deck brush and then rinsed off the floor with water and a wet vacuum. The floor was then left to dry out for a couple of days.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I returned to seal the floor and after check it had dried sufficiently applied three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer. This sealer seeps into the pores of the tile enhancing the colours and leaves a matt finish which the customer had previously specified. The floor was then buffed with a white pad and the customer left with a bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner to clean the floor with moving forward.

Victorian Hallway After Restoration Bearwood Victorian Hallway After Restoration Bearwood

The customer was delighted with the results and left the following feedback on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

“Kieron has done a fantastic job of our Victorian hallway tiles. We had been quoted several really high prices by other companies, but Kieron’s quote was a fraction of these. I initially wondered whether this meant the job wouldn’t be as good but after 3 days of solid work the results are fantastic! He managed to transform it to its former glory, a hallway that was partly cemented over, had missing and loose tiles all over the place and was filthy. He definitely does a lot more than just cleaning! We couldn’t be happier with the results!”

Victorian Hallway After Restoration Bearwood

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Birmingham



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Victorian Tiled Hallway Gloucester


My customer was renovating their house in Gloucester and discovered this lovely vibrant Victorian tiled floor with blue accents under the carpet and were keen to get it restored and back to its’ former self. Gloucester lies close to the Welsh border, on the River Severn, between the Cotswolds to the east and the Forest of Dean to the southwest.

Victorian Hallway Before Renovation Gloucester

They were delighted to uncover the original floor but unsure if it could be restored asked me to come over and take a look. The tiles were in good physical condition for their age but were ingrained with dirt and had paint splashes, cement and carpet glue on the surface. The property had lots of period features, but this was by far the nicest. Luckily there was very little damage to the floor, so there was no need to source any extra tiles. We discussed what needed to be done and how the process would work, agreed a price and a timescale for the project which was accepted.

Victorian Hallway Before Renovation Gloucester

Deep Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The first process was to cover walls and skirting boards with plastic sheeting, I usually do this as a rule but in this case the hallway had just been decorated so we wanted to avoid any dirty splashes from the cleaning process.

Next a solution of tile doctor Tile Doctor Remove and Go was applied to the floor and left to dwell for 20 minutes and then with a buffing machine and black scrubbing pad I set about deep cleaning the floor. Tile Doctor Remove and Go is a strong coatings remover that can deal with old sealers, paint and glue, it’s also safe to use on tile, grout and stone. The floor was then rinsed with water and the now soiled cleaning solution was extracted from the floor with a wet vacuum.

Stubborn stains were spot treated using the same process and once satisfied with the results I gave the floor an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel. This neutralises any potential salt staining issues that could appear later as the floor dries. This process is known as efflorescence and can be very troublesome on old floors like these which don’t have a damp proof membrane installed. We often find covering old floors like these in a rubber underlay also prevents the floor from breathing which can lead to damp being trapped in the floor.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

We left the floor to dry off overnight and then the next day checked for moisture. It’s been a long hot summer, so the tiles had soon dried out. Happy with the results we started sealing the tiles with five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go. This is a specially formulated water-based blend of acrylic polymers that provides both a stain resistant surface seal and a durable low-sheen finish that works really well on Victorian tiled floors like this. Additionally, the product allows moisture vapour transmission so will be able to cope with the fact that this floor has not damp-proof membrane.

Victorian Hallway After Renovation Gloucester

As you can see from the photos the sealant left a lovely finish and the customer was very pleased with outcome. The floor is now restored and offers a lovely traditional entrance to their property.

Victorian Hallway After Renovation Gloucester

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Gloucestershire



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Flood Damaged Sandstone Flagstone Floor Renovated in Chagford


Chagford is a small town on the north-east edge of Dartmoor and so as you can expect is surrounded by plenty of old farmhouses, some still as part of a working farm, some long since converted to family homes with just a small area around the property remaining and some having made use of the land and reinvented farmland. I visited a property that falls into the latter category, having converted pastoral farmland into stables and a riding school with a family home at the centre. Whilst the owners were on holiday having a well-earned rest a pipe burst flooding the ground floor of their house, damaging the Sandstone flagstone flooring in the process.

I went over to inspect the floor and could see that the stone floor had dried out but was now dull from dirt and in addition some of the stones were now suffering from shaling. This is where the top layers of the stone start to delaminate, and the only treatment is to cut the stones back to a decent surface through a process called milling. Tile Doctor has available a set of very coarse diamond encrusted pads for this purpose which I was able to demonstrate. I carried out the demonstration on a small area so that the customers could be confident that there was a remedy and then I measured the floor so that I could work out the amount of products that would be needed and priced the job accordingly.

Flood Damaged Sandstone Tiled Floor Chagford Before Restoration

The customers were keen to go ahead with the quote and I arranged to go back and restore the floor at a mutually suitable date.

Milling Delaminated Sandstone Flagstones

On my return I prepped the skirting boards around the hallway with plastic tape to protect them from the soil generated during the milling process. Once done I started the floor treatment using a very coarse with a 50-grit diamond milling pad to cut the sandstone back and then followed with a 100, 200 and finally a 400-grit pad to get rid of any scratches caused by the coarser pads and to tighten the pores of the sandstone which would allow for easier maintenance. Water is used to lubricate the process and the floor is rinsed with more water, which is then extracted with a wet vacuum between the application of each pad.

Once this was completed and the sandstone floor was thoroughly rinsed and then dried with the wet vacuum to remove as much moisture as possible. The floor was then left to dry out thoroughly before I returned to seal. This was a large area and so the milling was done in various stages over a few days so by the time I had finished the last area the first one was nearly ready to be sealed.

Sealing Sandstone Flagstones

The customers wanted a slight sheen to the stone floor, but not too shiny and so Tile Doctor’s Seal and Go was used; this is an acrylic sealer which once fully cured will settle to a satin finish which works really well on this Sandstone. Like the cleaning the sealing was also staggered into sections to avoid the whole of the ground floor being out of action whilst the sealer dried.

Flood Damaged Sandstone Tiled Floor Chagford After Restoration

Similar to paint drying, the polymers in Seal and Go initially give the floor a semi-gloss appearance and so I warned the customer of this, reassuring them that it would dull to a satin finish over the next week or so. In fact, I called back two weeks later to check and they confirmed this had happened and they were very happy with the result.
 
 

Restoration of Water Damaged Sandstone Flagstone Flooring in Devon



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Tessellated Victorian Hallway Restoration in Bounds Green, North London


Bounds Green in North London has more than its fair share of Victorian terraced houses packed with desirable original features. When the owners of this house pulled up their hallway carpet they were excited to discover a beautiful and original black and white Tessellated tiled floor.

Victorian Hallway Before Restoration and Repair Bounds Green Lifting Carpet Victorian Hallway Before Restoration and Repair Bounds Green

Tessellated tiled floors became fashionable from the 1860s and usually featured striking geometric patterns. By the end of the century they had become an essential feature in the most ordinary Victorian terraced houses from Dover to Aberdeen. They fell out of fashion in the 1960s and 70s and were usually covered over with carpet or linoleum, but period house owners today understand their value and are restoring them back their former glory. A well-restored tessellated tiled floor not only looks incredibly attractive but is durable and hard wearing. They were originally laid by highly skilled tillers and most have already survived 100 years of family wear and tear. With the right care they will probably be good for another 100 years.

Restoring a Victorian Tessellated Tiled Floor

The first thing we did was cut away the rest of the carpet to expose the whole hallway. The floor looked in a relatively stable condition, but it was clear the floor needed a deep clean and some minor repairs.

Victorian Hallway Before Restoration and Repair Bounds Green Victorian Hallway During Restoration and Repair Bounds Green

We started off by cleaning off each individual tile with Tile Doctor Remove and Go, a multi-purpose stripper that also draws out ingrained stains and removes old sealers and coatings; this took away all the glue and dirt from the carpet. We then applied Tile Doctor Nanotech HBU which is specially designed to penetrate below tough stains, dissolve and lift them out. We left that for twenty minutes for maximum effect before lightly scrubbing. Each tile was then individually scrapped with polypropylene pads.

The next step was to remove the resultant soil by rinsing with water and extracting with a wet vacuum. We steamed cleaned each tile and carried out a second clean with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a strong cleaner and degreaser for heavily soiled and neglected tile, stone and grout that has been neglected or subjected to heavy use.

By now the floor was looking pretty good. The beautiful black and white design of the floor was once again in evidence after decades of being hidden under carpet. There were just a few more steps to complete the job and restore this floor to its original glory. We carried out the minor repairs needed, carefully re-grouted the very fine gaps between the tiles and left the floor overnight for the grout to thoroughly dry.

Sealing a Victorian Tessellated Tiled Hallway Floor

The next day we sealed the tiles with five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go to give a beautiful and natural low-sheen satin finish. This specially formulated solution also provides a stain resistant surface seal and being water based it doesn’t leave a smell as it dries.

Victorian Hallway After Restoration and Repair Bounds Green

We managed to complete the whole job in just under two days with two of our skilfully-trained technicians. Our customer was delighted with the outcome and left the following message for us on the Tile Doctor feedback system:

“The team worked hard at what seemed a fiddly job and we are very pleased with the outcome. I would recommend.” Natalie G, Bounds Green, London”

Victorian Hallway After Restoration and Repair Bounds Green
 
 

Professional Tessellated Victorian Hallway Floor Restoration in North London



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Honed Limestone Kitchen Floor Restoration – Upper Boddington, Daventry


The following photos show a recent job we undertook at a timber framed house in the village of Upper Boddington, just south of Daventry. The client was having a new kitchen installed but didn’t want to replace the floor as it was generally in good condition, just dull with some staining and general wear and tear.

As the photos show the kitchen units had already been removed and as the tiles were wall to wall this was an ideal time to have this work carried out as the kitchen was being reconfigured and the customer wanted the floor to look uniform throughout, we also included the hallway in the cleaning process.

Honed Limestone Floor Before Restoration Upper Boddington

Burnishing and Cleaning Polished Limestone Tiles

With tiles made of Limestone, Travertine, Marble and other high quality polished stone, we find that the best way to restore appearance is through a process known as burnishing and in the before photo you will see the specialised grinding and polishing equipment we use to achieve brilliant results and a professional finish.

Honed Limestone Floor Before Restoration Upper Boddington

As the tiles were worn and stained in the high traffic areas we applied Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which had been diluted and decanted into a pump-up sprayer. After leaving it to soak in for ten minutes it was scrubbed into the tile and grout using a rotary floor machine and a stiff brush. This was followed by washing and rinsing of floors with water and extracting the soil with a wet vacuum.

The next step was to apply a full set of Tile Doctor Stone Burnishing pads from 200 grit, 400 grit, 800 grit and finishing with 1500 grit for a honed look. We worked through the pads in 10 metre sections at a time lubricating with water and rinsing with water between each pad.

The kitchen and hallway floors were then allowed to dry out fully overnight.

Sealing Polished Limestone Tiles

The next day I returned to the property and completed the polishing process by applying the very fine 3000 grit burnishing pad with a little water and leaves a high shine finish.

The floor was then sealed with three coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal, which is a premium, natural look, impregnating sealer designed to provide maximum stain protection without altering the colour of the stone. The sealer takes an hour to dry and with three coats to apply it took most of the day to finish.

Honed Limestone Floor After Restoration Upper Boddington

The customer was happy with the results and left the following 5-star review on our site.

“Superb Service Chris P, Daventry”

Honed Limestone Floor After Restoration Upper Boddington
 
 

Professional Cleaning, Polishing and Sealing of a Honed Limestone Floor in Northamptonshire



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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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