Victorian Tiled Vestibule Rebuilt and Restored in Glasgow West End


Vestibules (aka entranceways) are not that commonly found in new build houses, but they certainly were a popular architectural feature back in the Victorian period. Many of the Victorian properties which are still in use today still contain their original geometric patterned encaustic cement tiles. These tiles can be very beautiful and colourful – that is if they’re kept looking that way with routine cleaning and maintenance.

I recently visited a Victorian property in Glasgow’s West End to carry out the restoration of one of these tiled floor vestibules. This Victorian tiled vestibule was in truly awful condition. Not only were the tiles caked in years’ worth of muck and paint stains – some of the tiles were completely missing or, at the very least, loose and damaged.

Small Victorian Vestibule Before Restoration

I could see that restoring these tiles back to their peak condition would require several days of work however the owner has keen to get the work done so we set a date for my return to complete the work.

Cleaning and Rebuilding Damaged Victorian Entranceway Tiles

On the first day of work, our priority was to undertake a much needed deep clean of the tiles. This was done using Tile Doctor Pro Clean combined with Tile Doctor Remove and Go. Pro Clean is an alkaline-based cleaner specialised for heavy soil removal, while Remove and Go is formulated to strip away any old sealers, as well as the paint splashes that were very prominent on these tiles.

Small Victorian Vestibule During Restoration

Th combined cleaning solution was left to dwell for a short period of time on the surface of the floor before being scrubbed into the tiles to cut through the thick muck. A steaming machine was used to ensure the products penetrated deep into the pores of the stone to extract ingrained dirt.

During the cleaning process, we could identify which tiles were loose, damaged and missing. These tiles were carefully removed and put to one side. Once the clean was completed the tiles were left to dry off overnight.

The next the floor had dried, and we started to rebuild the floor. This involved installing and grouting new tiles that we had previously sourced for the job to match as closely possible with the original pattern of the floor.

Next, the newly installed tiles were left to set, before we gave the floor an acid rinse using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up. This product removed any grout haze from the tiles and will neutralise any efflorescence salts that may rise up through the tiles as they dry. This issue can be quite a problem with older properties which don’t have a damp proof course installed.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Vestibule

Once again, we left the floor to dry out completely overnight, this is especially important when applying a sealer to a tile as sealing damp tiles will lead to issues. We recommend the use of a damp meter at this point to ensure the tiles are indeed dry before sealing.

To seal the floor, we used three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is ideal for these uniquely patterned Victorian tiles as it intensifies the different colours in the stone, while also offering a natural-look matte finish. Of course, the sealer will also provide the tiles with lasting protection again dirt and muck and is also breathable so any damp rising up through from the sub floor will be able to evaporate.

Photos really do speak louder than words in this case, as the restoration achieve some fantastic results. Take a look at the photo below – I’m sure you’ll agree the difference is incredible. Certainly, our very happy customer seemed to think so!

Small Victorian Vestibule After Restoration
 
 

Professional Restoration of a Small Victorian Tiled Vestibule in Glasgow



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Marble tiled vestibule cleaned and polished in Edinburgh


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

Polished Marble Vestibule Before Cleaning Edinburgh

Cleaning and Polishing Marble Tiles

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

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

Sealing Marble Tiles

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

Polished Marble Vestibule After Cleaning Edinburgh

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

Marble Tiled Entrance Restored in Edinburgh



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Original Edwardian Tiles Refreshed and Revitalised in Lytham St Annes


We often get asked to restore original Edwardian tiles which, contrary to popular belief, are the same as Victorian tiles in their style and composition. The only discernible difference is the age of the property – whether it was built in the Victorian (1837-1901) or Edwardian period (1901-1910). As such, they can be cleaned and sealed in the same manner.

I recently visited an Edwardian period property in Lytham St Annes, a lovely coastal resort on the Lancashire coast where we have completed many restorative cleaning activities in the past. Along with its sandy beaches, the area is internationally renowned for its golf courses.

The property owner had some original Edwardian tiles which had been laid down in a vestibule and were beginning to show their age. There were several damaged tiles in the area that needed to be replaced and the entire set of tiles needed to be cleaned to achieve the best possible result.

Edwardian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning in Lytham

Cleaning Original Edwardian Tiles

To begin I needed to address the issue of the damaged tiles, fortunately we are always on the lookout for old tiles and have quite a collection we can choose from, were also in touch with a number of companies that still make these tiles and so are able to source replacements one way or another.

Edwardian Tiled Floor During Tile Repair in Lytham

I was therefore able to replace the broken and damaged tiles with suitable replacements that matched well with the original pattern of the floor. They were fixed in place and then once the adhesive had hardened grouted in using a matching grout.

Following this, I applied Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel to the remaining area taking care not to disturb the newly laid tiles. Based on the popular Pro-Clean product, Oxy-Gel is a strong alkaline cleaning product that breaks down dirt and grime and is safe to use on tiles however being in gel form and not liquid it stays where put, which was important the grout was still drying in the repaired area.

Edwardian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning in Lytham

The Oxy-Gel was left to dwell for roughly 30 minutes before scrubbing it in with a stiff hand brush. to the tiles. I carefully rinsed away the resulting slurry and then treated the area with Tile Doctor Acid Gel, which is a blend of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids in gel form. By applying the product, I could reduce the grout haze and efflorescence problems that occur in old properties like this.

Edwardian Tiled Floor During Cleaning in Lytham

Next, I carefully rinsed the floor again with water and soaked up the moisture with a wet vacuum, before leaving it to fully dry out overnight.

Sealing Original Edwardian Tiles

I returned to the property the next day with the intention of sealing the tiles; fortunately, the weather was good and after taking a couple of damp readings I was happy the tiles were completely dry. We must be careful with older buildings which don’t have a damp proof membrane fitted; if there is even a moderate amount of damp present it can cloud the sealer and damage its performance.

I started the sealing process with a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is an impregnating, colour-enhancing sealer that improves the look of the tile as well as adding internal protection. Assisted with a fan to speed up the drying time, this was followed by several coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, which is a topical sealer that add further protection and the high-quality sheen finish the customer requested.

Edwardian Tiled Floor After Cleaning in Lytham

The customer was thrilled with the result and very pleased that she could salvage these fantastic original tiles. Another satisfied customer.

Edwardian Tiled Floor After Cleaning in Lytham
 
 

Professional Restoration of an Original Edwardian Tiled Vestibule in the Fylde District



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