Chequered Victorian Hallway Floor Restored in Oxford


Our client got in touch to see if we could restore the appearance of her Victorian tiled hallway floor. The property was located on the outskirts of Oxford which as I’m sure your aware is a city that is steeped in history and most famous for its’ University, which is the oldest in the English-speaking world. The architecture in the city is magnificent, much of it dating back to Saxon times.

Chequered Victorian Hallway Floor Tile Before Restoration Oxford

When we arrived as you can see from the first picture, this floor had some missing tiles along the righthand edge which had been back filled with some sort of filler. Fortunately, I’ve done a quite few of these restorations before and knew where to source replacements that would match perfectly. It would be great to restore the floor and get the black and white chequers looking as they should. I discussed a plan to fully restore the floor with the client and agreed a price for the work to be done.

Cleaning/Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Our first step in the restoration of the floor was to cut out the filler from the floor and clean out the resulting hole so the replacement tiles could be inserted. We then carefully measured the holes and cut the replacement tiles to match. We then laid the tiles with fast curing tile adhesive, this completed the repair part of the restoration and we left the floor for the day, so the adhesive could set overnight.

Day two was phase two of the restoration plan which involved deep cleaning the floor using abrasive burnishing pads. We started with the application of a 100-grit diamond encrusted burnishing pad which was attached to a rotary floor machine and run over the floor with a small amount water to lubricate. The resulting soil was then rinsed off with water and then removed with a wet vacuum. We repeated the process with a whole series of burnishing pads with increasingly finer grades, they included 200, 400, 800 and 1500 grit pads to fully renovate and restore the surface. This process took the whole day and we finished with a 3000-grit pad which gave the floor a slight sheen, this last pad is applied dry with only a little water sprayed onto the tile.

This process deep cleans and refines the Victorian tiles to fully restore their appearance. It also has the benefit of using less water than a chemical cleaning process which is a big advantage on these old floors which were laid before the invention of damp proof membranes and excess moisture can result in the appearance of efflorescence salts as the floor dries.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The floor was again left overnight to dry out and we returned on the third day to seal the floor. The moisture level of the floor was tested first with a damp meter to ensure it was dry, adding sealer to a damp floor is not recommended as it can result in a patchy finish. All was so the Victorian tiles were sealed with a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This is a colour enhancing sealer that will enhance the contrast of the black and white chequered effect, it’s also fully breathable so will cope well with any moisture. Colour Grow leaves a matt effect to once it had fully dried the floor was buffed with a 3000-grit diamond pad to add a slight sheen to its appearance as requested by the client.

Chequered Victorian Hallway Floor Tile Before Restoration Oxford

The client was over the moon with the result and really pleased with the repair we had done, the floor looked as it should and they were now able to keep it nice and clean. A warm welcoming hallway now awaited their visitors.

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Oxfordshire



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Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor Renovated in Didcot


This quarry tiled hallway at a house in Didcot had not been renovated for many years and any sealer that was once present on the tiles had long since worn off leaving it vulnerable to dirt which then became ingrained in the tile.

Quarry tiled Hallway floor before renovation in Didcot

I went over to the property in Didcot to survey the floor and could see that although the floor was in good physical condition it was now long overdue a deep clean. The floor had a lovely black and white border around the terracotta coloured tiles and I was confident that this floor would look really good once fully cleaned and resealed.

Deep Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor

The first process was to scrub the floor with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean using a rotary machine fitted with a silicon carbide brush. This is a multi-purpose cleaner which is high-alkaline, it acts as a stripper and degreaser too so is perfect for this situation. The highly concentrated solution is left to dwell on the floor for a short time which helps it to work on the stubborn dirt. Once the floor had been scrubbed the residue was rinsed off with clean water. Finally removing the slurry produced with a wet vacuum.

To counter the strong alkaline products used on the floor and further clean the tile the floor was given an Acid Wash using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up. It was scrubbed into the tile and grout using a soft brush and then rinsed off with water. I then scrubbed the floor with Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner to neutralise and remove the acidic cleaner again using a wet vac to remove all the liquids from the floor. Once, I was satisfied that the floor was as clean as possible I left the floor to dry overnight.

Quarry tiled Hallway floor during renovation in Didcot

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor

On day two I returned to seal the floor. The first job of the day was to test it with a damp meter first to make sure it was dry. We don’t recommend applying a sealer if the floor isn’t dry as we know from experience that the results can be patchy. Happy that we were good to go ahead I sealed the floor with several coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go. This is a specially formulated water-based blend of acrylic polymers that provides both a stain resistant seal and a gives the floor a durable attractive low-sheen finish.

The customer was very happy with the results and left the following feedback:

“Barry was brilliant! Has made a lovely job of our hall. We had one small problem (our fault) which he rectified promptly. Would happily recommend him.”

Before leaving I discussed with the client the best way to maintain the floor going forward. Many homeowners don’t realise this but many of the tile cleaning products sold in supermarkets are designed for cleaning Ceramic or Vinyl tiles and are not recommended for use on a sealed surface as they will prematurely erode the sealer away over time. We recommended using the Tile Doctor concentrated Neutral Tile and Stone cleaner. It has been especially formulated for the regular cleaning of sealed tile and stone surfaces.

Quarry tiled Hallway floor after renovation in Didcot

 

Professional Cleaning of a Quarry Tiled Hallway in Oxfordshire



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Very Dirty Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor Cleaned in Radcot


I was asked to clean the Limestone tiled floor of a very old house in the Village of Radcot which is close to the River Thames and dates to the 14th Century. Being close to a river is very scenic but can be problematic and I was told the house had experienced flooding in recent years.

Whilst the Limestone floor clearly wasn’t as old as the house it was definitely in need of some attention to remove the dirty that had become ingrained into the pores of the stone and restore its appearance.

Limestone Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Radcot

Cleaning Limestone Floor Tiles

My first step was to let the floor soak for ten minutes in a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a strong Tile and Grout cleaner. The product was then scrubbed into the floor using a deck brush to remove any surface dirt. I also took the opportunity to clean up the grout before rinsing off the now soiled cleaning solution with water and extracting it with a wet vacuum.

Next I turned my attention to the stone tiles which would need to be stripped back, re-honed and then sealed to protect them. I find the best way to achieve this on stone is through the application of a set of Diamond encrusted burnishing pads.

I started the burnishing process by fitting a coarse 400 grit no.1 burnishing pad to a floor buffer and running at a slow speed, applied the pad over the whole floor. This coarse pad is designed to strip off old coatings and dirt from the tile. You use a little water to help lubricate and once complete it’s necessary to rinse the area with water to remove the soil that is generated. The next step is to start building back the polished surface with the 800 and then 1500 grit pads which are applied in the same manner.

This floor was left to dry before moving onto the final stage of the polishing process which is to apply the very fine 3000 grit which further restores the appearance of the Limestone tile. This last pad is applied dry with a small amount of water sprayed onto the surface to help bring up the shine.

Sealing Limestone Floor Tiles

With the floor dry I moved onto sealing the tiles in-order to protect them from dirt and staining. I used a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow for this purpose as this particular sealer enhances the natural colours in the stone. It’s also an impregnating sealer that works by occupying the pores in the stone thus preventing dirt from becoming ingrained in the stone.

My pictures of the floor are not brilliant but hopefully you can see how much more colourful the floor now looks.

Limestone Tiled Floor After Cleaning Radcot
 
 

Limestone Floor Cleaned, Polished and Sealed in Radcot



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Refreshing a Victorian Tiled floor in Oxford


The Victorian tiled hallway shown below had until recently been covered by carpet and was in surprisingly good condition for its age which is a testament to the durability of these floors. My client who lives in Oxford had managed to remove most of the glue that had been used to secure the carpet to the tile but found it had left an imprint on the floor. Unable to take the restoration any further we were asked to remove the ground in grime and seal the floor.

Carpet Covered Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Oxford

Restoring Victorian Quarry Tiles

My first task was to remove what was left of the carpet adhesive primarily with the aid of scraper which was used carefully along the edges. This removed the thicker parts of the glue but needed more work to remove all the traces; so a 50 grit disc fitted to a handheld machine was run around the edges of the whole floor to complete the job removing the residue and dirt in the process.

I then used a 50 grit milling pad attached to a rotary floor machine to remove the ground in grime and clean the whole floor. The floor was then rinsed with water to remove the soil that was generated afterwards and then the process repeated this with a 100 grit and 200 grit milling pad to fully restore the appearance of the tile.

This process took up most of the day so before leaving I gave the floor an acid wash using a mild dilution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up and then followed this with a good rinse and final clean with Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner.

Sealing Victorian Tiles

Having finished cleaning the floor I left it to dry off completely for three days to ensure it was bone dry before returning to seal it.

To seal I applied Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that protects the tile from within by occupying the pores in the clay, it also enhances the natural colours in the tile in the process and leaves a matt finish.

Carpet Covered Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning Oxford

The finished floor looks a lot brighter now it’s now free of all the dirt and glue marks, the new sealer will also ensure it’s easy to clean and keeps its appearance for some time to come.
 
 

Victorian Tiled Hallway cleaning in Oxfordshire




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Dirty White Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor Cleaned in Wallingford


Photographs below of a White Limestone tiled kitchen floor at a house in Wallingford that was proving difficult for the owner to clean effectively. I went around to inspect the floor and could see that the sealer had worn off leaving the tiles vulnerable to dirt becoming ingrained in the pores of the stone. Once this happens it makes the job of keeping the floor clean quite difficult as you really need to get the dirt out of the pores of the stone to do it right and of course once you do dirt will soon become trapped again without a sealer in place.

Given these Limestone tiles were White the dirt was more visible than usual, so the customer was keen to have the floor deep cleaned to remove the ingrained dirt and then sealed to prevent the problem reoccurring.

White Limestone Floor Wallingford Before Cleaning White Limestone Floor Wallingford Before Cleaning

Cleaning White Limestone Kitchen Floor Tiles

To restore the floor back to its original condition I used a set of burnishing pads which are encrusted with industrial diamonds and come in different grades from coarse to very fine. Applied with a little water the coarse 400 grit pad is designed to strip the floor of dirt and old sealers whilst the remaining pads which are a finer restore the polished surface. Between each pad you need to rinse the floor with fresh water which is removed with a wet vacuum before finally being left to dry overnight.

On this occasion I found when I started with the 400 grit pad it wasn’t having the effect I was expecting and quickly established that this floor would need grinding back with a much coarser milling pad first. Fortunately I have numerous different types of pads available and was able to switch to a 50 grit milling pad which not only got rid of any remaining seal but also grinded out the ground in dirt. This does leave the stone in a rough condition so to restore the final finish I followed up with the 400 and 800 grit pads and finished with the 1500 grit pad, rinsing with water between each pad to remove the soil that is generated. It was quote a large floor, so it took two days to complete the process over every Limestone tile.

Sealing White Limestone Kitchen Floor Tiles

To seal the floor, I used Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which works by impregnates the stone occupying its pores and thus preventing dirt from becoming ingrained in there. This particular sealer doesn’t change the appearance of the stone and so leaves it with a natural look. Again, it was a large area, so it took two days to apply two coats. I then returned on day 5 to go over the whole floor with a 3000 grit polishing pad to give the floor a slight sheen.

White Limestone Floor Wallingford After Cleaning White Limestone Floor Wallingford After Cleaning

 
 

White Limestone Floor Honed and Sealed in Oxfordshire



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Slate Tiled Conservatory Floor Covered in Sticky Oil Residue Restored in Bicester


A recent customer of mine had a Slate tiled conservatory that had not been used in a long time since it had become covered in a sticky oil residue and couldn’t be walked over. I can’t go into detail as to how it became it this sate however suffice to say my customer had not been successful in removing it and having tried a number of products and suggestions had decided to call in their local Tile Doctor to remedy the situation.

The customer lives in Bicester just off Junction 9 of the M40 and famous for its Bicester Village outlet shopping centre, which has recently been expanded and is popular for containing discount retail outlets for several major designer clothing stores as well as restaurants and coffee shops.

Slate Conservatory Floor Before Cleaning Bicester

Cleaning Conservatory Slate Tiles

I could see this was going to be a tricky job so to begin, I created a cocktail of cleaning products consisting of Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU and Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel. NanoTech HBU is one of our most powerful cleaners (HBU = Heavy Build-Up) as it uses Nano-sized particles to penetrate deep into the pores of the stone to release ingrained dirt. Oxy-Gel is an alkaline-based cleaner and degreaser, which helps to break down oily and sticky residues.

I applied this cleaning solution across the floor and left it to work its magic for about four hours. Next, I rinsed the floor with fresh water and extracted the soil using a wet vacuum before proceeding to clean the tiles again using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean.

Once again, I rinsed away any remaining chemicals with fresh water, before giving the floor an acid wash using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up. Giving the stone and Acid Wash removes grout smears, mineral deposits and efflorescence and really gets the stone clean. After completing the cleaning process with another rinse, I left the floor to dry for a couple of days.

Sealing Conservatory Slate Tiles

On my return to the property 48 hours later, I treated the tiles to fresh sealant to protect them from stains and ingrained dirt for the long term. To do this, I used six coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, which works really well on Slate to provide a high-quality and highly aesthetic low-sheen finish.

Slate Conservatory Floor Before Cleaning Bicester

The customer was very pleased with the transformation – not least because it meant she could use the conservatory again!
 
 

Professional Restoration of a Dirty and Sticky Slate Tiled Conservatory in Bicester



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Mould-Covered Porcelain Shower Tiles Refreshed in Didcot


Available in a variety of styles and designs Porcelain tiles are harder than normal Ceramic tiles and are known for their durability and water resistance, making them ideal for use in shower cubicles and bathrooms.

However, as I’m sure most people already know, shower tiles are not the easiest to keep clean and fresh. These tiles are exposed daily to a multitude of acidic soaps and shampoo dyes, and if proper precaution is not taken to rinse away the excess after using the shower, mould will grow very quickly on the grout.

This shower cubicle, constructed from Porcelain tiles, is a typical example of this. As you can see from the photo below, the mould problem was very apparent. I was asked by the property owner, who lives in Didcot, a railway town in South Oxfordshire, to refresh it after what must have been years of neglect. Here’s how I did it.

Porcelain Shower Before Renovation in Didcot

Cleaning a Porcelain Tiled Shower Cubicle

The first process in restoring this shower cubicle was to spray the walls with Tile Doctor Duo Clean, which is both a grout cleaner and a mould remover. I left it to dwell for 45 minutes, before proceeding to scrubbing into the grout with a stiff brush. I worked in sections, spraying more Duo Clean onto the tiles as I moved along the length of the walls.

Following this, I rinsed the entire cubicle with fresh water to remove any traces of chemicals and used my wet-vac machine to dry it quickly. The next process was to remove the old, mouldy silicone and replace it with fresh silicone.

Sealing a Porcelain Tiled Shower Cubicle

With the shower cubicle now fresh and clean, it was now time for me to seal the grout and tiles.

I did this using Tile Doctor Wall Grout Sealer Spray, which is a water-based grout sealer that prevents oil, water and acid-based contaminants – including soaps and shampoos – from spoiling the appearance and colour of grout. It does this while allowing for moisture vapour transmission.

Check out the photo below – you can see that after a short day’s work, the appearance of the cubicle has been completely transformed. The customer was very pleased with the result and the addition of the sealer will ensure it stays this way for some time to come.

Porcelain Shower After Renovation in Didcot
 
 

Professional Porcelain Tiled Shower Cubicle Renovation in Didcot



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Slate Tiled Shower Cubicle Ruined by Limescale Renovated in Wantage


This house in Wantage was on the market to be sold but many potential buyers had been put off by the poor condition of the Slate tiled shower cubicle. Wantage is a lovely little market town in the south of Oxfordshire and a desirable location to live.

However, before this house could be sold, the shower cubicle needed to be renovated; as you can see from the photos below, there was a heavy build-up of limescale that needed to be removed.

Slate Tiled Shower in Wantage Before Cleaning Slate Tiled Shower in Wantage Before Cleaning

With the property owner keen to sell the house, he asked me to get the shower cubicle back to looking its very best. This would involve a deep clean, acid wash and seal.

Cleaning Limescale Damaged Slate Shower Tiles

To begin the restoration, I cleaned the walls using Tile Doctor Pro Clean. This is a strong alkaline product which is powerful and sage to use on natural stone to eradicate dirt and residue that has built up over time. I scrubbed the Pro Clean into the tiles and grout lines, before rinsing the entire area with fresh water.

The next stage involved removing the heavy build-up of limescale. This was done using Tile Doctor Acid Gel, which is a blend of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids in gel form. Being in this form makes it especially effective for use on sloped and vertical surfaces as it it’s easier to control and can dwell for a long time where required. The product deals with alkaline-based limescale and mineral salt deposits (efflorescence).

I scrubbed the Acid Gel into the affected areas with a stiff nylon brush, before rinsing with fresh water. I then needed to repeat this process twice more to make sure all the limescale was completely removed. Following this, I left the shower to dry before sealing.

Sealing Slate Shower Tiles

After letting the shower cubicle tiles dry, I sealed them using Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is an impregnating, colour-enhancing sealer.

The sealer is specially formulated to really emphasise the different natural tones and shades in the stone, in turn lifting the appearance of the entire room. In this situation, two coats of Colour Grow were used to provide robust, long-lasting protection.

Slate Tiled Shower in Wantage After Cleaning and Sealing Slate Tiled Shower in Wantage After Cleaning and Sealing

The customer was very impressed with the finished result and I’m sure any prospective property buyers will be equally impressed by the feature bathroom! Another satisfied client.
 
 

Restoration of a Limescale Damaged Slate Tiled Shower Cubicle in Oxfordshire



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