Victorian Floor Tile Restoration Lancaster


We often get asked to restore old Victorian tiled floors which are generally over 100 to 150 years old and as I’m sure you can imagine they experience a lot of wear over that length of time.

Victorian floor tiles before restoration Lancaster

We recently visited a property with such a floor in Lancaster after the client got in touch looking to have their hallway floor tiles restored. We arrived to inspect the floor and could see straight away that it was looking a little tired and in need of care and attention. Some tiles had become loose and had broken apart, especially around the doorways. Also, this floor had suffered from subsidence in the past and this had created a crack line near the top end of the hallway which pushed up several of the tiles. We went through what could be done to restore it, the client agreed a price and we arranged a time to come back.

Cleaning and Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

My first task was to take the loose tiles up, grind the concrete screed back so it was as level as we could make it and then we needed to refit the tiles. Once all loose tiles were fixed, we left them to dry and cure.

Victorian floor tiles during restoration Lancaster

We then came back to start the main clean of the floor, we used Tile Doctor Diamond Burnishing pads for this, which bite in deep to the clay face and remove ingrained dirt far better than conventional alkaline cleaners can. We used a series of different grades of these diamond pads to get the finish we required and then rinsed with clean water once were finished, removing the slurry created with a wet vacuum.

Any areas we couldn’t reach with our weighted buffing machines we had to get on our hands and knees and use small handheld Diamond Blocks, using a bit of clean water and elbow grease, this is especially good on intricate edges and around doors and corners.

Victorian floor tiles during restoration Lancaster

The floor was given a quick rinse with water to remove any remaining clay resin and soil generated by the burnishing process. A wet vacuum is then used to extract the soil and remove as much moisture from the floor before being left to dry off fully overnight.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Before we seal the Victorian Tiles, they looked very dull and washed out however this all changes once we apply the sealer. We checked the moisture levels in the floor which were fine. Our favourite sealer for this type of tile is called Tile Doctor Colour Grow, this is a fully breathable sealer which restores the colour lost in the cleaning process and allows for the floor to breathe, which is an absolutely necesity on an old floor without a Damp Proof Membrane where Efflorescence can be an problem.

Tile Doctor Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer that works by occupying the pores in the tile, so dirt cannot become ingrained there. It leaves a matt finish and enhances the colours in the tile bringing them to life, as you will see on the photos.

Victorian floor tiles after restoration Lancaster

For aftercare we always advise our customers to use Tile Doctor pH Neutral tile cleaner as it’s specially designed for cleaning sealed surfaces without damaging the sealer like cheap supermarket cleaners that contain anionic surfactants.

The client was very pleased with the restoration of her floor which is now in good physical condition and looks much brighter.

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Lancashire



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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 Repaired and Restored in Oswestry


A home owner who lives in the old market town of Oswestry in Shropshire called me in recently to work some Tile Doctor magic on their Victorian Tiled Hallway. They had been refurbishing the house room by room and had left the hallway floor until last. The previous owner of the house had repaired part of the floor at the far end of the hallway with an odd selection of unmatched tiles. The result was a bit of any eyesore and I’m surprised it hadn’t been covered over with carpet which is what most would do, the only good thing about the repair was that it had been laid level.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Oswestry Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Oswestry

There were several other areas were tiles were loose and would need relaying and a section where holes had been drilled into a couple of tiles damaging them in the process. In total I estimated there was about two square meters of tiles that would need relaying; I would be able to use some of the original tiles that had become loose, but it was clear I would need to track down some replacements either from a reclamation yard or from a retailer if I could find a match.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Oswestry

Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

As it turned out I managed to source the replacements without too much trouble, Victorian Tiles are still very popular today and there are a number of UK companies that still sell them.

My first task was to remove all the loose tiles and carefully remove what I’m going to call the eyesore. I have a handheld power tool that makes light work of removing grout which came in very hand and then once the grout was removed the tiles were prised out. The old grout and adhesive were then scraped off the sub floor, so the replacements could be fitted.

Victorian Tiled Floor During Repair Oswestry Victorian Tiled Floor During Repair Oswestry

With the loose, damaged and eyesore removed it was now a question of cutting replacement tiles to match the existing pattern and then fix them into place with fresh adhesive. This activity took up much of the first day and before leaving the tiles were grouted in, so they would be secure for cleaning the next day.

Deep Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Day two was all about deep cleaning the entire floor to remove any old coatings and ingrained dirt in the tiles. I did this using a strong dilution of Remove and Go which was left to soak into the tiles for a while before being scrubbed in using a rotary machine fitted with a black pad; the resultant slurry was then rinsed away with water and extracted off the floor using a wet vacuum.

There were some stubborn paint splashes from decorating that needed dealing with, so I gave these a spot clean using more Remove and Go and plenty of elbow grease. The floor was then given a final rinse to remove any trace of cleaning product and then dried as much as possible with a wet vacuum before being left to dry off fully overnight.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The tiles must be dry before sealing and after testing the floor with a damp meter I confirmed that the floor was indeed dry. I had previously discussed sealers with the owner he had opted for a matt finish. I decided that Tile Doctor Colour Grow would be the best choice of sealer to apply, it’s an impregnating sealer that leaves a matt finish and works by occupying the pores in the tile protecting it from staining from within. It also enhances the natural colours in the tile, only two coats of sealer were needed.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning Oswestry Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning Oswestry

The floor now looks fantastic and most crucially the eyesore has gone.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning Oswestry
 
 

Victorian and Victorian Floor Tile restoration in Shropshire



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Full Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Rotherham


Our client in Rotherham had decided to install a new floor in their hallway and after removing many layers of old floor coverings discovered a layer of self-levelling compound underneath. After deciding to chip some of this away they discovered what appeared to be an original Victorian tiled floor. Realising that original features like these are very desirable they decided to call in Tile Doctor to see if it could be restored.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Covered in Self-Leveller Before Restoration Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Rotherham

Being the local agent for Tile Doctor I was asked to look at the floor and quote for doing the work. I could see this was going to take some time to do properly, the floor was quite seriously damaged, a big area of tiles were missing, the tiles around each doorway were heavily damaged and there were quite a few loose and cracked tiles around the edges of the floor. But we were confident this floor could be made to look amazing once again and add the original charm of this hallway back to how it was intended to be.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Repair and Restoration Rotherham

Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The first course of action was to make the tile repairs which included digging out and rebuilding the sub floor in some areas.

Victorian Tiled Hallway During Restoration Rotherham Victorian Tiled Hallway During Restoration Rotherham

Fortunately, these black and white Victorian Tiles are fairly common, so I was able to source replacements quite easily. There was a lot of areas to cover so this step took a couple of days to complete.

Deep Cleaning a Victorian tiled floor

To get the floor clean we used a slow speed floor polisher fitted with a 200-grit diamond pad. Aided with Tile Doctor Remove and Go it proved to be an effective combination that cut through and removed the self-levelling compound, it also worked a treat at removing paint stains too.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Rotherham Victorian Tiled Hallway During Restoration Rotherham

The next step was to give the floor an acid wash to remove any remaining grime and dirt. To do this we applied Tile Doctor Acid Gel which being in gel form is quite easy to control. After being scrubbed into the floor it was extracted using a wet vacuum and then the floor given a thorough rinse with water to remove any traces of product.

Victorian Tiled Hallway During Acid Washing Rotherham Victorian Tiled Hallway During Acid Washing Rotherham

The wet vacuum was employed again to extract as much moisture from the floor as possible and then left to dry off fully overnight.

Sealing an Old Victorian Hallway Tiles

The next day I returned to seal the floors checking first that the tiles were dry. All was well so I began applying the sealer which in this case was Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that works by soaking into the pores of the tile to prevent dirt from becoming ingrained there.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Rotherham Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Rotherham

The floor was completely transformed over the course of five days and our customer was over the moon with the results calling it her ‘forever floor’.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Repair and Restoration Rotherham
 
 

Restoring an old Victorian Tiled floor in Yorkshire



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Renovating a Victorian Vicarage Hallway Tiles in Sheffield


Our client had recently moved into this beautiful former vicarage in Sheffield, the hallway had a stunning Victorian tiled floor and there were quarry tiles in two adjoining rooms. The floors hadn’t been maintained properly in quite some time and due to building work in the house they had become very dirty; the Victorian floor also needed some repairs doing as there were areas of loose tiles.

Victorian Hallway Before Cleaning Sheffield

The new owner wanted the floors restoring which in this case meant making some repairs, deep cleaning the tiles and then sealing to protect them from further staining. I quoted for doing the work which was accepted and agreed a date to return and complete the work.

Repairing a Victorian tiled floor

It made sense to start with the tile repairs first, so I inspected the whole floor for loose tiles and carefully removed them. The tiles and floor were then cleaned up to remove the old adhesive and grout.

Victorian Hallway During Tile Repair Sheffield

The tiles were fixed into place using a quick setting adhesive and whilst that was setting I started cleaning the floor, returning to grout the tiles later with a matching grout once the adhesive had set firm.

Victorian Hallway During Tile Repair Sheffield

Deep Cleaning a Victorian tiled floor

To deep clean the floor and remove any old sealers present on the tiles I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go. This product works best if you leave it to dwell and soak into the tile for about ten minutes before scrubbing it in. There was a large area to cover so I worked in sections and used a floor polishing machine fitted with a coarse 200 grit burnishing pad to grind off surface dirt and work the product into the tile to release the ingrained dirt. I ran the machine on a slow setting which helps reduce splashing and once the section had been cleaned I rinsed off the soiled cleaning solution with water which was then extracted using a wet vacuum.

Victorian Hallway During Cleaning Sheffield

Once the whole floor was clean I followed up with an Acid Wash which removes old grout smears from the tile and neutralises any efflorescence salts inherent in the tile. Efflorescence is a common problem with old floors where no damp proof membrane has been installed and can result in white salt deposits appearing on the surface on the floor. I used Tile Doctor Acid Gel for this step, being in gel form its easier to manage than other products and used the 200-grit burnishing pad to scrub it in. The slurry was then removed with a wet vacuum and the floor dried as much as possible with air movers leaving it to fully dry off overnight.

Victorian Hallway During Cleaning Sheffield Victorian Hallway During Cleaning Sheffield

Sealing an Old Victorian Hallway Tiles

The next day I returned to seal the floors checking first that the tiles were dry. There are a number of sealers I could have used on the floor, but the owner preferred a matt appearance and I wanted to use a fully breathable sealer to ensure it could cope with moisture rising up through the floor due to the lack of the damp proof membrane.

Victorian Hallway After Cleaning Sheffield Victorian Hallway After Cleaning Sheffield

With these considerations in mind I choose Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that protects the tiles from within by occupying the pores in the clay thereby preventing anything else from becoming ingrained there. The other advantage of Colour Grow is it’s a colour intensifying sealer that improves the colours in the tile.

Victorian Hallway After Cleaning Sheffield

Only two coats of Colour Grow were needed, and I think you will agree the floor now looks very clean and so much more vibrant.

Victorian Hallway After Cleaning Sheffield
 
 

Restoring an old Victorian Tiled floor in Yorkshire



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