Restoring Victorian Hallway Tiles in Doncaster

This beautiful Victorian tiled hallway was in desperate need of some TLC. The house had recently changed hands and the new owners of the house were having the entire property renovated. The last part of the renovation plan was to have the Victorian hallway tiles restoring back to their former glory. Floors are always best left until last, especially hallways as last as workmen don’t usually take a lot of care in my experience.

The house was built in the early 1900’s and was situated close to Doncaster town centre a couple of streets away in fact from the famous Doncaster Racecourse which dates to the late 1500’s.

Victorian Hallway Tiles Before Renovation Doncaster

Cleaning/Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

There were a few areas of damage to the floor that would need dealing with first. This is not surprising given the age of the floor which must have seen a lot of comings and goings over the years. Our first task therefore was to repair the damage using replica tiles sourced to be as close a match to the originals as possible. We usually find any slight differences disappear once the floor has been deep cleaned and sealed. Once removing the damaged tile and cleaning the base we use a fast setting adhesive to fix the replacement tiles in place so we can get on with the cleaning as soon as possible.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Repair Doncaster

Once the replacement tiles had set, we unloaded our slow speed rotary floor machine and large wet vacuum which would be used during the cleaning. To start the cleaning the floor was sprayed with Tile Doctor Remove & Go and this was left to dwell on the tiles for twenty minutes. This gives time for the product to break down old floor coatings and grime, this was followed by scrubbing the tiles with a 200-grit diamond pad fitted to the floor machine and assisted with the addition of more water to help lubricate the process. This process generates a lot of slurry as the dirt and old sealers etc are released from the tiles and this is extracted from the surface of the floor using the wet vacuum.

The next step was to give the floor an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel which is applied to the tiles and left to dwell for fifteen minutes and scrubbed in again with the floor buffer and 200-grit diamond pad. Once done the floor was rinsed with water and then dried using the wet vacuum to extract as much moisture as possible. This last process is designed to counter any alkaline salts that may be present in the floor which may cause efflorescence to appear later. It also removes old mineral deposits and generally get the tiles looking much brighter. Once complete the floor was left to dry off naturally overnight.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I came back the next day to seal the tiles first checking the floor was dry using a moisture meter. Satisfied that the floor was ready for sealing I started to seal the tiles using multiple coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra which is a fully breathable sealer which is important for old floors like this. Seal and Go Extra also leaves a lovely satin finish which works well on Victorian tiles and brings the floor alive.

Victorian Hallway Tiles After Renovation Doncaster

This was the last step in this properties renovation, and I think you will agree that the floor responded really well to the restoration process and the colours in the tiles are now very vibrant.

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in South Yorkshire

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Large Victorian Manor House Hall Floor Restored in Ulverston

Earlier this year we had the privilege to be involved in the restoration of a large Victorian tiled hall at Stone Cross Manor in Ulverston which is being sympathetically redeveloped into nineteen apartments by Persimmon Homes at a reported cost of £4 million. The magnificent Grade II-listed stately home was built in 1874 for Myles Kennedy who was a Limestone Quarry owner and chairman of an Ironworks.

The property continued to be occupied by the Kennedy family until 1943 when it was requisitioned by the military who then sold it to Lancashire County Council in 1946. The council used it as a boarding school for some decades and allegedly had the central oak staircase removed so the hall could be used to play indoor football. Since that time, it has had different owners and states of disrepair until finally being acquired by Persimmon who contacted us to quote for restoring the floor to its former glory. This would be no easy task and would require plenty of help. However, we are a resourceful bunch and being part of a large network of Tile Doctors means we were able to draft in other Tile Doctors to assist.

Stone Cross Manor Ulverston

Before we took the job on, I went over to survey the floor and was immediately taken aback by the sheer size and scale of the project. The impressive Victorian hall has now had its large wooden staircase rebuilt and this sits in the centre of a series of architectural stone columns.

The floor was in a sorry state though and it certainly had a story to tell. At some point in its long history sections of the beautiful Victorian tiles had been cut out for the installation of central heating and then back filled with cement. There were also other areas that had been given the same treatment for some inexplicable reason. I suspect that the floor must have been covered in carpet during its later life to hide the mess.

Victorian Tiled Stone Cross Manor Hall Before Restoration Victorian Tiled Stone Cross Manor Hall Before Restoration

The biggest problem was the realisation that with so many tiles missing the only way we could get exact duplicates would be to have them made by a company such as Craven and Dunhill. They are specialist tile manufacturer who date back to 1872 and can reproduce old tiles using the same tones and colours to match the originals. This was a high spec job, so this was the right approach however the price for the moulds and the time needed to manufacture threatened to push the cost of renovating the floor off the scale.

Victorian Tiled Stone Cross Manor Hall Before Restoration

We discussed this with the developer and manged to come to a compromise by reusing tiles from another room in the property. Many of the tiles in that room had been damaged and were beyond restoration however there were enough tiles in good condition to fulfil our requirements in the main hall. They would have to be carefully lifted and cleaned but the tiles matched the colour and tone, size and texture to the main hallway perfectly. When you look at the before and after pictures on this page you will really struggle to see any difference and this is rare on old floor like this, the only exception being the black tiles underneath the radiators where a matching tone wasn’t available.

Rebuilding a Large Victorian Tiled Floor

The first week was spent lifting and replacing broken tiles, it was a large floor area of about 120m2 which was set to be the main showpiece of the building, so it had to be right. As part of the floor prep it was also necessary to level parts of the floor with the application of a a self-levelling compound. We brought in Cardiff Tile Doctor Julian Iaconno to run this part of the job, he is an absolute master tiler and one of the best Victorian Tile installers in the country. At one point there was three of us working on the floor in order to keep to schedule.

Victorian Tiled Stone Cross Manor Hall During Restoration Victorian Tiled Stone Cross Manor Hall During Restoration

Deep Cleaning a Large Victorian Tiled Floor

The second week was spent cleaning the floor various Diamond burnishing pads, moving though increasingly finer girts until we achieved the desired finish. We also used a lot of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up and Pro-clean to remove the old grout and dirt from the recycled tiles. As is always the case on a building site you get a lot of tradesmen who like to have a look at what we have done and walk all over our nice clean tiles, thus leaving dusty footprints everywhere. I must give credit to the Site Foreman for keeping these guys out although best intentioned they weren’t helping with the cleaning process, so all doors were locked off and access was limited to the site foreman and Tile Doctor only.

Victorian Tiled Stone Cross Manor Hall During Restoration Victorian Tiled Stone Cross Manor Hall During Restoration

Sealing a Large Victorian Tiled Floor</h2
The third week was reserved for Sealing the tiles however this dragged on due to issues with the heating which was basically non-existent at the time and not an ideal situation in January. Persimmon went out of the way to chase up the plumbers who had been running behind and got this sorted for us, without heat we would struggle to get the sealer to dry.

Victorian Tiled Floor Stone Cross Manor Hall After Restoration Victorian Tiled Floor Stone Cross Manor Hall After Restoration

We applied a Matt finish sealer called Colour Grow, which copes very well with potential damp issues that can cause problems with old floors with no damp proof course, it’s also excellent at bringing out the colour of Tiles whether Clay or Stone. Four coats of Colour Grow were applied to the Victorian tiles and being such a large floor area, it took a few days to fully seal the floor.

Victorian Tiled Floor Stone Cross Manor Hall After Restoration Victorian Tiled Stone Cross Manor Hall After Restoration

We cannot praise Persimmon enough for the dedication they have shown in the restoration of this historic property which has had a chequered past and will now have a long future.

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Lancashire

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Floor Damaged Quarry Tiled Floor Restoration Bearwood

My client contacted me regarding their quarry tiled floor which hadn’t been in a good condition for some time. A recent flood in the house, caused by a ruptured pipe in an upstairs boiler had only added to the problem. As you can see from the before pictures, the floor was in a sorry state. On the plus side the flood had led to an insurance claim which would cover the cost of the restoration.

I visited the property and did a test clean on a section of Quarry tiles which came up well. The client was happy the result and agreed to go ahead, my quote was agreed, and the job booked in. The property was in Bearwood which is in the southern part of the Birmingham suburb of Smethwick.

Flood Damaged Quarry Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Bearwood

Cleaning and Repairing a Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor

The client also needed some Quarry tiles replacing due to them being broken and damaged. So before returning my first task was to source some replacement quarry tiles that would be a good match for the existing. Fortunately Quarry tiles are still popular and I was able to find a set of reclaimed tiles that would make good replacements.

I was able to get the replacements delivered in time for the job starting which was just as well as my first task would be to repair the floor. Fitting the replacements was tricky work as some of the tiles were up to two inches thick and came in various sizes and so had to be cut to size with a wet tile cutter. The tiles were a good match though and they were set in place. Later that day I was able to grout them in using a matching grout along with some other areas that needed re-grouting. By the end of the first day the floor was already looking much improved.

Flood Damaged Quarry Tiled Floor During Repair Bearwood Flood Damaged Quarry Tiled Floor During Repair Bearwood

The next day the floor was cleaned with a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. The solution is left on the tiles to dwell for about ten minutes so it can start to soak into the deep-seated dirt and break it down. The tiles were then scrubbed with a black pad fitted to a weighted rotary machine. The grout was also cleaned at this point using more Pro-Clean and a hand-help scrubbing brush.

There was also a fireplace hearth that needed cleaned, this also had to be cleaned by hand as the machine was too large. The floor was then rinsed with water and the resultant slurry extracted with a wet vacuum.

Flood Damaged Quarry Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Bearwood

The last part of the cleaning process was to give the tiles and acid-wash using a dilution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up. This is an acidic product that can remove mineral staining and will also counter any alkaline salt deposits in the pores of the tile that could surface as the floor dries later. The floor was rinsed again and allowed to dry out for two days before I returned.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor

On the final day I first confirmed the Quarry tiles had dried out were ready for sealing. I then sealed the tiles using Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a fully breathable sealer that would protect whilst allowing moisture in the floor to rise through the tile. This sealer will also enhance the strong natural colour of the quarry tiles. The tiles were quite porous so four coats of sealer were needed, then after drying the floor was buffed with a white pad.

Flood Damaged Quarry Tiled Floor After Restoration Bearwood

The work transformed the floor and my customer was over the moon with the end result.

Flood Damaged Quarry Tiled Floor After Restoration Bearwood

For after-care I left the customer with a complimentary bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner. This is a pH neutral product that is safe to use on sealed surfaces and won’t prematurely erode the sealer.

 

Professional Restoration of a Quarry Tiled Floor in Birmingham

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Quarry Tiled Dining Room Floor Renovation in Hartlebury

I was contacted by the new owner of a property in Hartlebury who needed help renovating a Quarry tiled floor in their dining room. The house was full of original period features however the Quarry tiles had experienced a lot of wear over the years and were now in need of a deep clean and seal. Hartlebury by the way is a lovely village close to the larger town of Kidderminster and famous for Hartlebury Castle which was built in the mid-13th century.

There were a few tiles which had experienced salt damage in the past and I explained that as a Tile Doctor I could change these tiles for her to give the best finish. The customer however, decided she would like to keep the original floor without changing the tiles and just concentrate on the clean and seal. I conducted a test clean on part of the floor to demonstrate the difference we could achieve and also work out the best products for the floor. The test went well and happy with the results my quote was accepted, and the work scheduled.

Salt Damaged Quarry Tiled Floor Before Renovation Hartlebury

I have mentioned this before but it’s worth pointing out again that damp proof membranes did not become common until the 1970’s. Properties built before then were subject to damp rising through the sub floor drawn up by evaporation at the floor surface. Alkaline salt deposits would also be brought up with the moisture and leave a white deposit on the surface of the tile. This process is commonly known as efflorescence and can cause damage to tiles which are coated with a non-breathable coating. In extreme circumstances where the whole floor is trapping moisture under the surface then it can spread outwards into the walls leading to rising damp.

Deep Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Dining Room Floor

My first step was to concentrate on the edges of the floor using a wire brush and Tile Doctor Remove and Go on the difficult areas and paint marks. I then sprayed the rest of the floor with some more Tile Doctor Remove and Go and left it to dwell for ten minutes. Once the dirt had started to lift, I used my rotary scrubber with a black pad and worked the solution in. The soiled product was then rinsed off the floor with water and vacuumed away using a wet vacuum.

The next step was to remove the white efflorescence from the surface of the Quarry tiles and neutralise any alkaline salts within the tile. The best way to do this is to give the floor an acid wash. I use Tile Doctor Acid Gel for this purpose and being a Gel it’s very easy to control. Again, the product is worked into the floor using a rotary machine and black pad. The floor was then rinsed thoroughly and then vacuumed to remove all the soil and as much moisture as possible. After I had finished the floor looked much brighter.
Once I was happy the floor was clean and any trace of efflorescence removed, I finished for the day and left the floor to dry out fully overnight. I arranged to return the following day to seal the tiles.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Dining Room Floor

The customer had requested a gloss finish however the inherent damp issues meant I would need to apply a fully breathable sealer that would allow moisture to rise thorough the Quarry tiles unimpeded. The solution was to apply Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra, this a semi-gloss topical sealer which is fully breathable. This sealant leaves a beautiful finish and allows the natural colour of the tiles to shine through.

After using my damp test meter and making sure the floor was fully dry, I started the sealing process. The Quarry tiles were treated to five coats and the customer was very pleased and left some great feedback which I’ve copied below.

Mark was very efficient and professional. Worked hard and did a good job. Very pleased with results. Sue R., Hartlebury

Salt Damaged Quarry Tiled Floor After Renovation Hartlebury

Although we didn’t replace the damaged tiles, they were much improved and added character to the floor. Also, the new sealer will make them much easier for the customer to keep clean. For aftercare I recommended the use of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner to keep the floor looking pristine, unlike harsher products you find in supermarkets it won’t damage the sealer prematurely.

Salt Damaged Quarry Tiled Floor After Renovation Hartlebury

 

Professional Restoration of a Quarry Tiled Dining Room Floor in Worcestershire

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Damaged Victorian Tiled Period Hallway Restored in Edinburgh

These are a few photos from a Victorian tiled hallway we restored in Edinburgh. The property is close to the beautiful city centre and is in a road with other Victorian properties. The floor was once stunning but was now overdue some love and care to restore it back to its’ former self.

Victorian Tiled Entrance Edinburgh Before Restoration

We went over to the property first to survey the floor and see for ourselves the extent of the work required before quoting for the restoration. The floor was incredibly dirty and there were a number of broken tiles that would need to be replaced or repaired. There are handful of companies where you can source matching tiles but with a floor of this age its not always possible. We discussed with the client the process we would follow to restore the floor which would take three days and agreed a price and date for the work. We also took away with us some of the broken tiles to assist in tracking down matching replacements.

Victorian Tiled Entrance Edinburgh Before Restoration

Restoring a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

We arrived on the first day and started by taping up the adjacent woodwork to protect it. The next step was to ensure the floor was completely sound before starting the cleaning process which meant dealing with the loose and broken tiles. The loose and broken tiles were removed and then replaced with new reproduction Victorian tiles that we had managed to source from Original Style. The tiles were cut to fit and then set into the floor with tile adhesive. Unfortunately, we were unable to source a replacement for a broken center pattern tile which had an intricate pattern, so we had to secure this back in place using the two broken pieces. With the tiling work completed there was nothing else we could do so we left to allow the adhesive to set.

Victorian Tiled Entrance Edinburgh Before Restoration

Returning the following day, we began the cleaning process using a set of coarse burnishing pads fitted to a rotary machine. 100, 200 and then a 400-grit burnishing pad was applied in sequence. Then after going over the floor a few times with the pads the floor was rinsed with water which was then extracted with a vet vacuum to remove the fine slurry that was generated. This process ground off the dirt and refined the surface of the tile ensuring the old and new tiles made a perfect match.

The next step was to give the floor an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel which is scrubbed into the tiles and then rinsed off and extracted as before. This allowed us to get the tiles as clean as possible without the need of any alkaline cleaning products which can cause efflorescence issues later when the floor dries. Efflorescence is a common problem on floors of this age where a damp-proof membrane has not been fitted; moisture rises through the sub floor and tile carrying salts which then get deposited on the surface of the tile as the moisture evaporates. Once complete the floor was left to dry off overnight in readiness for sealing process the next day.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

On the final third day we returned to seal the floor testing the moisture level first with a damp meter to ensure the floor was dry. The results were positive, and I was happy that it was within the correct tolerance for the sealer to be effective. To seal the floor, we used Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra, applying 5 coats and letting each coat dry before applying the next.

Victorian Tiled Entrance Edinburgh After Restoration

The sealer gave enhanced the look of the floor leaving a hardwearing sheen surface which will protect the tiles will also make them easy to clean going forward. This sealer is also fully breathable which is perfect for a floor with no damp-proof membrane in that it won’t trap moisture under the tiles where is could eventually spread to the walls and lead to rising damp.

The client was very happy with the restored floor, the colours were now very vibrant, and the dull entrance hall had been transformed to an inviting space.

Victorian Tiled Entrance Edinburgh After Restoration

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Edinburgh

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Victorian Tiled Porch Deep Cleaned at Cressington Parks Liverpool


Cressington Parks is a 19th Century gated private estate built for wealthy merchants who needed easy access to the city of Liverpool. Cressington has been designated a conservation area with many examples of period street furniture including gas lamps, gates and railings along with all the period buildings. In fact, the streets have been used for many television and film sets.

As you can see from the picture below this small but impressively intricate Victorian Tiled floor was in need of some love and care after being covered in carpet for many years and we were asked to do the renovation. We have restored several period floors in the conversation area where we find the properties are popular with younger family’s buying the homes for restoration.

Victorian Tiled Porch Floor Before Cleaning Cressington

Cleaning/Repairing a Victorian Tiled Porch Floor

This particular floor was at the servants’ entrance to the main house and required deep cleaning and a few repairs to be carried out. Given the small size of the floor we were aiming to complete the job within a day by using low moisture cleaning techniques.

The first task was to remove as much of the old coatings which included carpet glue, paint and varnish using very sharp scrapers. Once this was done, we covered the floor with Tile Doctor Acid Gel. Being in gel form it’s very easy to control and means it will stay in in place where a liquid treatment would just run away. After leaving the gel to dwell for ten minutes, we used a slow speed buffing machine fitted with extra weight and a black scrubbing pad to work the product into the tiles. This now soiled gel was then rinsed off with a little water and extracted using a wet vacuum. When we use this cleaning method the acid gel cleans the floor and helps counter alkaline salts inherent in the floor.

Whilst the floor was drying, we turned our attention to the damaged tiles which we replaced with matching tiles that we had sourced earlier. It takes some time to do this as you need to scrape out the surrounding grout, lever out the broken tile and then scrape out the adhesive. The new tile is then set in place with rapid set adhesive and matching grout.

Once that had set the rest of the floor was encouraged to dry out faster with the use of heat guns for about twenty minutes before letting the floor cool down. At this stage the floor was looking much improved!

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Porch Floor

After a further twenty minutes we did a damp test using a damp meter to make sure the floor was ready for sealing. The minimal use of liquids and added heat had worked well and we were able to move on and seal the tiles starting with a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating fully breathable sealer that brings out the colour in the tile.

The first coat was left to dry for forty minutes before following with three coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra. This is also a breathable sealer and is ideal for situations where no damp proof membrane. The Sealer left the floor with a lovely sheen and the colourful tiles really shone through. The floor was back to its’ former glory.

Victorian Tiled Porch Floor After Cleaning Cressington

Our customer was over the moon and has asked us if we could return to restore the outside pathways, what better feedback can you get.

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Porch in Liverpool



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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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Full Restoration of an Old Quarry Tiled Floor in Great Witley


It is lovely when we get called out to properties with an interesting history. This delightful property in the pretty Malvern Hills village of Great Witley dates to the 1800’s and was once used as children’s home. The property has since been renovated and turned into a residential property. During the renovation works the new owners were delighted to peel back the carpet on the large entrance hallway and dining room to reveal an original quarry tiled floor believed to be well over 100 years old.

The floor however was in quite a bad state after years of being covered with various carpets over the years and was ingrained with layers of dirt and varnish. The owners were unsure if the floor could be repaired and restored and after finding Tile Doctor on-line they arranged for me to pop over and survey the floor.

Period Quarry Tiled Floor Before Restoration Great Witley Period Quarry Tiled Floor Before Restoration Great Witley

On the day of the inspection I could see that this would take some work to bring the floor back and over 20 tiles would need replacing due to salt damage or broken tiles some of which had completely perished. There was also layers and layers of white paint over many tiles from previous decoration work to deal with. Even in such a state I was still very confident that with the combination of my own abilities, the right tools and Tile Doctor products that the floor could be restored. We discussed a price for the work which was accepted and scheduled a convenient date for me to pop round and restore the floor.

Cleaning and Repairing a Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor

My first job was to remove all the damaged tiles, being careful not to damage any good tiles. I then repaired the substrate and prepared the area for the replacement tiles which were all slightly larger so needed cutting with an electric wet saw.

Period Quarry Tiled Floor During Restoration Great Witley Period Quarry Tiled Floor During Restoration Great Witley

This work took up much of the first day and on the second day the new tiles were laid using a flexible fast setting adhesive. The area was then grouted and left overnight before starting the cleaning process.

The following day the entire floor was sprayed with a dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which was then left to dwell and soak into the tiles before being scrubbed in with a rotary floor machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. Difficult areas such as the paint splashes were covered with a sheet of plastic, so the solution wouldn’t dry out and left until the paint became easier to scrape away.

Period Quarry Tiled Floor During Restoration Great Witley Period Quarry Tiled Floor During Restoration Great Witley

The floor was then rinsed with water which was the soil extracted using a wet vacuum. More work was needed to release the layers or ingrained dirt, so this was followed by scrubbing the floor with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and then more rinsing and extracting.

Last step of the cleaning process was to treat the floor to an acid rinse using Tile Doctor Acid Gel. This was also scrubbed in with a rotary cleaner before being rinsed off with water and the slurry removed using the wet vacuum. The acid rinse will counter any mineral salts in the floor and reduce the chance of efflorescence occurring as the floor dries out.

Once I was happy with the floor I left it to dry overnight, the floor was already looking significantly better.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor

I returned on the fourth day to compete the restoration by applying a sealer, checking first that the floor had dried with a moisture meter. Once I was happy the Quarry tiled floor was sealed with five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra which made the natural colours of the tile shine through without looking too glossy. This product is also fully breathable which is an important factor for these old floors where no damp proof membrane is present, and moisture needs to be able to pass through the tile unimpeded.

Period Quarry Tiled Floor After Restoration Great Witley Period Quarry Tiled Floor After Restoration Great Witley

The deep cleaning and sealing process ensured the new replacement tiles blended in well with the original tiles and the whole floor was transformed back to its former glory. The client was over the moon with the results and surprised at what we had been able to achieve!

 

Professional Restoration of an old Quarry Tiled Floor in Worcestershire



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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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Restoring a Damaged Victorian Tiled Hallway in Winchmore Hill


A customer in Winchmore Hill which is part of the London borough of Enfield was having major refurbishment works done to their home which included an upgrade to the central heating system. As part of the work a new radiator had been installed in the hallway however the utility company when putting in the new heating system had chased out two deep pipe channels in the central part of their beautiful Victorian tiled hallway floor.

Victorian Hallway Before Restoration Winchmore Hill Cropped Victorian Hallway Before Restoration Winchmore Hill

This was a real shame as the majority of the floor was in good condition; the owner of course wanted the floor restored so our brief was to do exactly that and carry out repairs to the pipe channels and to all the door thresholds that were either existing or new so they all matched in.

Restoring a Victorian Tiled Hallway

Our first task was to clean the tile and grout and strip off old sealers and waxes which we did by applying a dilution of Tile Doctor Remove & Go combined with equal part of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. This was scrubbed into the floor with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine and then rinsed off with water and extracted with a wet vacuum.

Victorian Hallway During Restoration Winchmore Hill

After deep cleaning we then carried out the tile repairs and replacements to pipe channels, missing and mislaid tiles to thresholds. Some or the tiles were replaced with matching reclaimed tiles and others were new sourced from Original Style who have a large range. Altogether we replaced circa 500 pieces of tile in order to repair the damage caused by the heating engineers and achieve a consistent pattern throughout the hallway.

Sealing Victorian Tiles

The cleaning and re-tiling work was carried out over three days and we returned on the fourth day to seal the floor with an initial two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that enhances colour.

We then protected the floor for a further week with cardboard cut to size, this allowed other trades to finish their work without messing up the floor. A week later we returned to lift the cardboard to apply the finishing seal using Tile Doctor Seal & Go which adds the final protection. Five coats were applied to reach the right level of protection and desired satin finish restoring the natural appearance and lustre of the tiles.

Victorian Hallway After Restoration Winchmore Hill Cropped Victorian Hallway After Restoration Winchmore Hill

The whole job allowing for the drying times of adhesive, grout and sealing took five days in total. It was worth it though as restored Victorian hallway really gives the property the Wow factor as you enter.

Victorian Hallway After Restoration Winchmore Hill
 
 

Victorian Tiled Hallway Restoration in North London



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Old Victorian Tiled Hallway Fully Restored in Brixton


I was asked to look at an old Victorian Tiled Hallway floor at a house in Brixton, South London. This classic floor had been discovered underneath an old hallway carpet while refurbishment works were being carried out. I went over initially in mid December to survey the floor and talked the owner through a number of similar restorations we had completed in the past. I could see this floor would need a deep clean to remove the years of dirt and also some tiling would needed to be done to tile a section of concrete near the stairs that had been dug out to lay pipe work when central heating had been installed many years prior. She didn’t want to make a commitment at that point so I left her with our quotation so she could think it over. I suspect she had other quotes to review however I’m pleased to say that she decided to give the work to us.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Brixton Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Brixton

Once we had agreed a date to do the work I started looking around for replacement tiles that would be needed to restore the floor. Unfortunately the octagonal ones are not made anymore and I couldn’t hold of any salvaged ones either. Having been involved in Tile Restoration work for some time now, I have a list of companies and reclamation yards that are usually a good source for these materials. To resolve the problem I sourced square tiles with a similar look and would cut them to the same shape when on site.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Brixton

Cleaning and Repairing a Heavily Soiled Victorian Tiled Floor
I returned after Christmas to start the restoration process which was due to take two to three days. To start the restoration process we applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go to the floor, allowed it to soak in for ten minutes and then worked it into the tiles using a scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. Remove and Go is a product that removes coatings from tiles including in this case old paint splashes and carpet adhesive. The floor was then rinsed and the now dirty solution extracted using a wet vacuum.

Victorian Tiled Hallway During Restoration Brixton

Once this was finished the floor was looking cleaner and the next step was to tackle the concrete area near the stairs where the heating pipes had been buried. The cement had to be carefully chipped away and then refilled with fresh cement but to the level of the original surface so we could lay new tile on top. We use a quick setting compound for this and were able to start relaying and grouting the section with new specially cut tiles later that afternoon.

Victorian Tiled Hallway During Restoration Brixton Victorian Tiled Hallway During Restoration Brixton

Naturally the strip of new tiles were quite noticeable against the old and although the customer was happy I knew I could get a better result by running a very coarse burnishing pad fitted to a heavy buffing machine over the surface. I used a diamond resin hybrid 50 grit pad to take off the top layer of the tiles and then refinished the surface with a 100 and then 200 grit pad. This did the trick and it was impossible to tell the old and new apart.

After this I carried out an acid wash using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up diluted with four parts water. The purpose of this was to remove any old grout smears and mineral deposits from the floor as well as counteract any possibility of unsightly efflorescence salts rising up through the tile at a later stage. This is quite a common problem with these old floors which don’t have a damp proof coarse and certainly I could see no trace of a DPC when I dug out the cement around the pipe work earlier.

The last step in the cleaning process was to steam the entire floor and then leave it to dry off fully over the New Year break.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

I returned on the 2nd of January and after inspecting the floor to ensure it was clean and free of damp I began to seal it using Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that soaks into the pores of the tile protecting it from within and enhancing its appearance in the process. Four coats of sealer were needed and as you can see by the final pictures the final results were outstanding.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Brixton

Period features such as old Victorian floors add a lot of value to and the customer was over the moon with the transformation and is so happy she chose to have the floor restored rather than covering it back up with carpet.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Brixton
 
 

Professional Victorian Tiled Hallway Restoration in South London



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