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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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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Victorian Hallway Floor Repaired and Restored in Shipley


Shipley is a town in West Yorkshire that was heavily shaped by the Industrial Revolution and the Victorian period. It became particularly well-known for its textile industry and some of the original mills in which textiles were manufactured still survive in the town today. Being in West Yorkshire, Shipley is also part of what is commonly known as ‘Brontë country’ – once home to the famous Brontë sisters.

Many Victorian era properties still survive in the area too and all too often the original Victorian tiled floors contained within are not well maintained. I recently visited a customer in Shipley who had a Victorian tiled hallway that was in need of a deep clean and seal. What’s more, the customer told me that there were around 20 loose tiles in the hallway that would need to be reinstalled.

Victorian Hallway Shipley Before Cleaning Victorian Hallway Shipley Before Cleaning

On the first day, I started by refitting the 20 loose tiles in the hallway. The problem however was a lot worse than originally thought and, in the end, I had to take up 108 tiles, so I could rebuild the base of the floor, and then relay them. This process took up most of the day but at least the adhesive and grout would be set in time for cleaning the next day.

Cleaning a Dirty Victorian Tiled Hallway

On day two I focused on deep cleaning the tiles and removing any remaining sealer by applying a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. Pro-Clean is a strong alkaline heavy-duty tile and grout cleaner that serves the purpose of both cleaning the stone and when used in a strong dilution will strip off sealers.

I applied the Pro Clean liberally across the length of the hallway and left it to soak into the tiles for about twenty minutes. This allows the product time to breakdown the sealer and dirt before being scrubbed in with a black scrubbing pad.

Special attention had to be paid to parts of the floor which had suffered paint splashes from previous decoration. I was also surprised to find that there were even some chewing gum stains marking the tiles. These were removed using the combination of a steam cleaner, more Pro-Clean and the careful use of a handheld scraper.

The floor was then given a thorough rinse with fresh water and then dried as much as possible with a wet vacuum. It was then also left to dry off overnight.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway

Upon returning to the property the next day I checked for any moisture issues with a damp tester. Thankfully, the floor proved dry and I could proceed with sealing the tiles which was done using four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go that leaves a deep satin finish that the customer had requested.

Victorian Hallway Shipley After Cleaning Victorian Hallway Shipley After Cleaning

 
 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Yorkshire



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Victorian Basket Weave Tiled Hallway Deep Cleaned and Sealed in Torver


We were recently asked to restore an old tiled floor that had been laid in a Basket Weave Pattern in the hallway of a property in Torver which is a small hamlet on the outskirts of Coniston Water in the Lake District. Torver has a long history however it really took off with the arrival of the Coniston to Broughton-in-Furness railway line in 1859 which was used to transport stone and Slate from the local mines. Many of the properties in the Coniston and Torver areas date from the Victorian period and contain original stone and tiled floors.

This tiled floor had been revealed when the existing carpet was removed by the new owners. It proved to be in quite good condition despite being covered for a long period, but it nevertheless suffered from the usual age-related issues. It needed an intense clean and a fresh seal, including the removal of deeply ingrained dirt, paint stains, glue deposits and bitumen.

After inspecting the situation, the quote we offered the customer was accepted and a date was arranged for us to return to complete the work.

Deep Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

Our first course of action was to clean the edges of the floor, to remove the glue deposits and carpet underlay residue. This was achieved using the careful application of a sharp scraping tool and handheld burnishing blocks combined with a couple of Tile Doctor cleaning products.

Victorian Floor Tiles During Renovation Torver

The first product applied was Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU (Heavy Build-up Remover) which is a strong alkaline product specially formulated with nano-sized cleaning particles to penetrated deep into the stone and dissolve deeply ingrained dirt and stains. The second product was Tile Doctor Remove and Go, a heavy-duty coatings remover which works well particularly well at removing glue deposits, paint, and synthetic coatings.

We then addressed the rest of the floor using a coarse 200-grit burnishing pad attached to a slow speed rotary cleaning machine, applied with water as the lubricant. We used this in small areas to intensely clean the surface of the floor. The resultant slurry was then extracted from the floor a powerful wet vacuum.

The floor was then rinsed again with water and the moisture was wet vacuumed before we moved onto the next area. Once the floor was completely scrubbed and rinsed, and any remaining glue and paint issues were retreated using the same methods we used on the floor edges, we then moved onto the final phase of the clean.

The last step in the cleaning process involved giving the floor an acid wash to deal with any potential salt issues (efflorescence) which can result in white salt deposits appearing on the surface of the tiles as they dry. Damp proof membranes that can prevent this problem are a relatively modern invention, so this can be a real issue for old floors from the Victorian era, particularly if the floor has had damp issues in the past. The floor was washed with a 1:3 dilution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which being acidic effectively counteracts the alkaline salts. The floor was then given another rinse to remove any trace of cleaning products and then left to dry off.

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

We actually left the floor to dry out for three full days and upon our returning to the property several moisture readings were taken to ensure the floor was dry enough to take a fresh seal.

Victorian Basket Weave Lay During Sealing in Torver

The customer had requested a natural-looking matte finish to the floor. We have the perfect product to provide this type of finish, so we proceeded to apply three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, an impregnating sealer which naturally enhances the colours in the tile, additionally it’s a fully breathable sealer so moisture can easily rise through the floor.

Victorian Basket Weave Lay After Renovation Torver

As you can see from the photographs taken during the various stages of the restoration, the intense clean and fresh seal greatly enhanced the appearance of the floor – much more so than could have been achieved with everyday products and methods. The customer was very pleased indeed.

Victorian Basket Weave Lay After Renovation Torver
 
 

Professional Victorian Tiled Floor Renovation in the Lake District



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Dirty and Stained Victorian Hallway Tiles Rejuvenated in Streatham


If you like in an older property in the UK and never looked under the carpets you might want to take a minute and have a look. I still find it surprising how many of my customers had no idea they lived in a house with a classic tiled hallway.

We were recently asked to restore a fantastic geometric-patterned Victorian tiled floor which had been found underneath carpet during decoration work in the hallway of a property in Streatham.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Streatham Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Streatham

The once black and white tiles were now absolutely caked in dirt, glue deposits, cement, paint stains and plaster. It would be no small feat to get the tiles back to looking their best again. Fortunately, Victorian tiles are very resilient and we have a lot of experience in their restoration so I was confident that with the right products and techniques we could get the job done to a high standard.

Cleaning Dirty and Stained Victorian Hallway Tiles

The tiled hallway was quite long, yet only around a metre wide, so I felt the best approach would be to work in small sections at a time. Our method was to soak the tiles with Tile Doctor Remove and Go and leave the product to work its magic for roughly ten minutes, before scrubbing the surface to remove the muck. Some of the more viscous and stubborn stains were scrapped away carefully by hand within the assistance of a steam cleaning machine. The resulting residue was extracted using a wet vacuum. Remove and Go is a particularly effective cleaner in scenarios like this, as it is specially formulated to strip away old sealers, adhesives and even paint without harming the tile itself.

The next step was to run a rotary machine fitted with a Coarse 200 grit burnishing pad lubricated with water over the floor to achieve a consistent finish. The floor was then rinsed to remove the soil generated in the process.

Old floors like these laid before the invention of damp proof membranes can be a concern as damp rising up through the tile as it dries can leads to efflorescence salt deposits appearing on the tile surface. So, to avoid potential issues Tile Doctor Acid Gel was applied to the floor to neutralise any salt deposits and the floor given a final rinse to remove any trace of cleaning products.

Sealing Victorian Hallway Tiles

After finishing the clean, we left the floor to dry out over the weekend. With old floors like this one, we tend to recommend allowing a drying period of at least 48 hours to ensure the floor is completely dry before applying a sealer.

Upon arriving back at the property, we ran a few quick damp tests and once satisfied the floor was dry proceeded to seal the tiles using Tile Doctor Colour Grow. Colour Grow is a colour-intensifying, impregnating sealant that leaves a natural-look matte finish. It works by occupying the pores in the clay and it’s also a fully breathable sealer which is important for these old floors where damp may be any issue.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Streatham Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Streatham

The customer was absolutely thrilled with the results. She even went as far as to leave a review expressing how pleased she was during the weekend before we had chance to seal the tiles.

Bill and Wayne were brilliant! On time, got to work straight away, lovely and friendly and very professional. They have done a lovely job and I’m looking forward to them coming to seal the tiles to finish it o f tomorrow afternoon. Wouldn’t hesitate to recommend. Thanks guys!
 
 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in South London



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Dirty and Discoloured Victorian Tiled Entrance Cleaned in Edinburgh


If you visit Victorian era houses throughout the UK, you will find that many them have colourful tiled entranceways (also sometimes known as vestibules). The tiles are commonly made from encaustic cement, stylised with distinct geometric patterns that really help to add character to the property.

The reign of Queen Victoria was a prosperous and confident time for Scotland – and many new houses and buildings were built in the well-known ‘Victorian’ style during the period. One of the best-known buildings to be built was Balmoral Castle, which is still in use by the Royal Family as a holiday home.

Homeowners who are fortunate enough to be in possession of original Victorian tiles will find that they are not easy to keep clean without the right products and methods. The entrance to any house of course is subject to high amounts of foot traffic, which means the tiles can become dirt and discoloured very quickly indeed.

Here is an example that we cleaned and sealed recently in Edinburgh, although in good physical condition for its age the sealer on the floor had worn off and dirt had become ingrained in the tile reducing its overall appearance.

Small Victorian Porch Before Cleaning Edinburgh

Cleaning Dirty and Discoloured Victorian Tiles

Having restored hundreds of Victorian tiled floors in the past, Tile Doctor has developed tried and tested methods for cleaning all types of tiled floors so tackling this small floor would not be a problem.

To begin, we gave the floor a deep clean to break down any old sealants and to cut through thick layers of dirt and grime. The cleaning solution we employed consisted of two products: Tile Doctor Pro Clean (which is a strong alkaline cleaner) and Tile Doctor Remove and Go (which is a stripping agent formulated for the removal of old sealants, synthetic coatings, glues, and paints). The solution is applied and left to soak into the tile for ten to twenty minutes before being scrubbed in, which for a small area such as this needs to be done by hand. The soiled solution is then rinsed off with water and this is then extracted using a wet vacuum. This deep cleaning process was repeated several times to make sure the tiles were as clean as possible.

Once we were happy that all the dirt and grime had been removed, we gave the floor a quick acid wash using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up to remove any old grout smears and to neutralise any potential salt efflorescence issues. The floor was then given a final rinse before leaving it to dry off fully overnight and a turbo air mover was left running to help speed up the process and ensure the floor was completely dry to be sealed the following day.

We are very conscious of the fact that many of these old Victorian tiled floors to have damp-proof membranes installed beneath them, so we wanted to guarantee there would be no damp issues that would prevent us from applying a fresh sealant. This is because even a small amount of excess moisture can potentially damage the performance of the sealant.

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Entrance

Returning to the property on the second day, we proceed to seal the tiles with three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This sealant soaks into the pores of the tile protecting it from within and providing long term protection, it also enhances the colours in the tile in the process.

The difference made by this two-day restoration is shown below. It is quite amazing how quickly these results can be achieved considering the age and previous condition of the tiles. Our customer was absolutely thrilled.

Small Victorian Porch After Cleaning Edinburgh
 
 

Professional Cleaning and Sealing of a Victorian Tiled Entrance in Edinburgh



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Maintaining a Victorian Tiled Entrance in Ilkley


Most stone and tile benefit from the protection that a sealer provides to stop dirt becoming ingrained into its pores. However, the act of walking on the tile causes wear and this over time will lead to the sealer wearing off and dirt reaching the pores; the worse thing is you rarely notice it happening because it takes a long time to wear down a sealer.

Most of my customers have this problem and call on me to clean and reseal the floors every few years when it becomes difficult to clean effectively. The alternative which I do for a number of my clients is to have the floor lightly cleaned and a new layer of sealer added every six to twelve months.

This Victorian tiled entrance at a period house in Ilkley was not in too bad a shape just a little dirty and dull and the owner was keen to have is renovated in the run up to the Christmas holidays. Ilkley is a lovely town in West Yorkshire which became very fashionable in the Victorian era due to the health benefits of the local water, this led to a lot of Victorian architecture and tiled entrance floors like this one are very typical in the area.

Victorian Tiled Entrance Ilkley Before Cleaning Victorian Tiled Entrance Ilkley Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Entranceway

To get the dirt out of the tile and grout I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to the tiles and left it to soak in for fifteen minutes. Pro-Clean is a very reliable cleaner for all types of tile and grout including natural stone, Limestone, Slate and Travertine, amongst others; additionally, when used in a strong dilution it will strip off old sealers. The solution was then worked into the tile using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine and the soil extracted using a wet vacuum.

I gave the floor a light rinse with water to remove any trace of cleaning products and then inspected the floor to ensure it was up to standard. At this point I could see there were flecks of paint on the tile around the edges of the floor from previous decorating work and, so I removed carefully removed these with a scrapper and a hand-held diamond block.

The floor was given a final rinse and the wet vacuum used to extract as much moisture from the floor as possible before leaving it to dry for the evening.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Entrance with a Matt Finish

I returned the next day to seal the floor first discussing the finish that the customer wanted for the tiles. Typically, I recommend using a satin sealer for Victorian tiles as it adds a nice sheen to the tile however surprisingly the owner wanted a matt finish.

Tile Doctor has a full range of sealers available to cater for all requirements so for this floor I applied three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which leaves a matt finish whilst enriching the colours in the tile.

Victorian Tiled Entrance Ilkley After Cleaning

The tiles are now full of life and with the paint specs removed there is now a crisp black edge between the floor and the skirting which the customer also picked up on.

Victorian Tiled Entrance Ilkley Before Cleaning
 
 

Professional renovation of a Dirty Victorian Tiled Entrance in West Yorkshire



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Victorian Tiled Hallway Hidden Under Carpet Restored in Leatherhead


This customer who owned a lovely period residence in Leatherhead had pulled up an old hallway carpet to discover this gem of Victorian Tiled floor. The tiles were covered in carpet adhesive, paint splashes and what looked like a hundred years of dirt. I suspect the previous owners felt it was easier to cover the hallway in carpet rather than have it cleaned properly or perhaps it was just the trend at the time.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration in Leatherhead

Given the obvious amount of work that would be needed to restore it we got a call to pop round and provide an estimate. We do a lot of Victorian floor restorations and across the Tile Doctor network I’m confident in saying there is a Tile Doctor working on a Victorian Tiled floor every day of the week.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration in Leatherhead

The owner was happy with the quote and we agreed a date to return and restore the floor.

Cleaning a Heavily Soiled Victorian Tiled Floor

Working in a metre square area at a time, I first applied a solution of Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel and left it to dwell for twenty minutes. Oxy-Gel is a relatively new product that being in Gel form is easy to control and stays in place allowing it to dissolve dirt and in this case loosen the adhesive.

After leaving it to dwell for 20 minutes I attacked it with a very coarse 100 grit diamond pad attached to a buffer machine. This removed a minuscule layer from the surface of the tile and with it the muck. I vacuumed up the excess with a wet vacuum then rubbed down the stubborn areas with a 50 grit hand block. This removed a lot of dirt and drastically lightened the whites and blues. Finally I neutralised the floor with two rinses of clean, warm water again using the wet vacuum to remove as much moisture as possible from the floor.

I repeated this process along the length of the hallway and then inspected the floor retreating any areas containing stubborn marks.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

The hallway wasn’t that big an area so I had agreed to do the whole floor in one day. As a result I needed to force dry the floor so I could seal the tiles in the same day. I have a number of tools to do this including an industrial air mover and a heat gun which were applied for about an hour before it was dry.

To seal the tiles I applied two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which as its name suggests is a colour enhancing sealer that works by impregnating the pores of the tile protecting it from within and enriching the colours in the process. This gave a lovely contrast in colour whilst providing a matt finish; another advantage of Colour Grow is it’s a fully breathable sealer which won’t trap moisture under the tile which is important for these old floors where no damp proof membrane is installed.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration in Leatherhead

The Victorian tiled hallway floor now looks amazing.
 
 

Professional Victorian Tiled Hallway Restoration in West Surrey



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120 Year Old Victorian Hallway Tiles Refreshed in Sandwell


Sandwell forms part of an area in the West Midlands which is popularly referred to as the ‘Black Country’. This area industrialised rapidly during the Victorian period and, with the building of many new factories came the building of many new houses for workers.

A good number of these Victorian properties survive, complete with original Victorian tiled floors. However, homeowners aren’t always aware that these tiled floors exist, since they have often been covered up by carpet or linoleum. We find that when new homeowners discover these original tiles, they are usually keen to restore them to their best possible appearance. This requires professional assistance.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Renovation Warley

A customer who lives in the Warley district of Sandwell recently contacted me about the restoration of a 120-year old Victorian tiled hallway that they had discovered underneath an existing carpet. As expected, the tiles were caked in deposits of adhesive, cement and paint which had accumulated over several years. Making matters worse, the customer had also spilt more paint on the tiles during decoration work.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Renovation Warley

Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway

I began the restoration by cleaning the tiles with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, a strong alkaline cleaner which is perfect for removing grime from heavily soiled and neglected natural stone. The product was applied liberally across the area and left to dwell for a short period. It was then worked into the tiles using a specialised rotary cleaning machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad.

The now soiled cleaning solution was subsequently rinsed away and the floor then rinsed with clean water. Stubborn paint marks and cement were carefully scraped off the tiles by hand. A solution which combined more Pro-Clean and Tile Doctor Remove and Go (a stripping agent) was applied to the tiles to help remove any old and now ineffectual sealer, as well to fully remove any of the particularly stubborn marks.

After being worked in again with a scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine, the excess cleaning product was rinsed away using water and the floor was dried off with a wet vacuum.

As tiles of this age were usually laid without a damp membrane in place underneath them, they can be especially prone to efflorescence (salt) deposits. To help prevent this, Tile Doctor Acid Gel, which is a combination of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids, was applied. This will help to neutralise any alkaline salts that might threaten to penetrate up through the tiles to leave unsightly white marks.

After the floor was rinsed once again, I proceeded to re-grout a few areas of the floor where the grout had worn away over the years. Once I was happy with the clean tiles and fresh grout, I left the floor to dry off overnight.

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway

The next day the tiles had thankfully dried completely and were ready to be sealed. Since the customer had requested a sheen finish, as opposed to be a natural matte finish, I opted to use a combination of two different sealants.

The first to be applied – to bring out the colour in the tiles – was Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This product impregnates the tiles to protect them against ingrained dirt, but it leaves a matte finish. Therefore, I added five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go to provide not only extra protection, but also a high-quality sheen finish.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Renovation Warley

I left the customer, who was delighted with the results, with a bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner. This product will serve as a reliable cleaning product for the routine maintenance of the tiles, ensuring they continue to look fantastic.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Renovation Warley
 
 

Professional Restoration of an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway in the West Midlands



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Dirty Paint-Marked Victorian Tiled Entranceway Restored in Roundhay


Roundhay is an affluent area of North Leeds which is well-known for the fantastic Roundhay Park. The park is large enough to contain two lakes, extensive woodland, formal gardens and even golf courses! It’s the premier attraction for anyone fortunate enough to live in the area, or anyone visiting from nearby.

I recently visited a customer who lives in Roundhay and was looking for help in restoring the small Victorian tiled entranceway at the front of her house. The tiles were in a shocking state, but it’s not hard to imagine why – the entrance to a house receives a lot of foot traffic and is not typically taken care of regularly. These tiles were also marked with paint splashes left over from decoration work, making them look even worse.

Small Victorian Entrance Before Cleaning Roundhay

The appearance of the entranceway did not set the right standard for the rest of the house, so the property owner was keen to have it restored professionally.

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Entranceway

I informed the customer that I could have the tiles rejuvenated within a day’s work. To begin, I used a scrapper and wire wool brush to manually remove some of the most stubborn paint marks.

Following this, I applied a strong solution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go, before leaving the product to dwell for about an hour. Remove and Go is multi-purpose stripping agent that can remove any adhesive and paint deposits, as well as many types of old coatings and sealers.

To work the product deep into the tiles, I agitated with an abrasive cleaning pad and then rinsed the area with fresh water. This had the desired affect and all the unsightly paint marks were removed.

Next, I gave the floor another thorough clean to remove any general muck and ingrained dirt. This was done using our high-alkaline cleaner, which we typically use on Victorian tiles, known as Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. In fact, Pro-Clean is a very reliable cleaner for all types of tile and grout including natural stone, Limestone, Slate and Travertine, amongst others.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Entranceway

Since I told the customer I would able to finish the job within a day, I dried the floor quickly using a heat gun so it could be sealed there and then. To seal the floor, I applied four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, which is a topical sealer formulated to provide maximum protection along with a high-quality, low sheen finish.

Small Victorian Entrance After Cleaning Roundhay

As you can see from the photos above, the entranceway was absolutely transformed. These tiles are now a true asset to the rest of the property, rather than looking out of place! I’m please to say my customer was amazed by how quickly such a big difference could be made and left the following glowing feedback.

I can’t believe the before and after pictures. The restoration of the tiles is top quality, they are so much brighter and richer in colour – especially without the garage paint hiding the detail! Nigel did an amazing job, even better than I could have hoped for, and is a lovely guy as well. Would definitely recommend.
 
 

Professional Tile Cleaning and Sealing for a Dirty Victorian Tiled Entranceway Restoration in North Yorkshire



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Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Renovated for a Property Investor in Burnley


A property investor contacted Tile Doctor to see if we could help renovate a property that was to be sold in few weeks’ time. To get maximum value from the investment she wanted to preserve the character and period features of the house including the Victorian Tiled Hallway floor, which as you can see from the photograph below was in need a bit of TLC!.

Victorian tiled floors and other period features have become very popular in recent years and are often discovered under hallway carpets covered in years of dirt. Fortunately, they are very resilient and with the right techniques and products can be restored back to their former glory.

Victorian Tiles Before Renovation Burnley

On our initial visit I conducted a survey of the floor to check its condition and work out the most suitable products and methods to employ to restore it. One of the main concerns we have with these old floors is damp as damp-proof membranes were not invented until relatively recently. I have a damp meter to check for this and it did indicate high moisture levels which isn’t really an issue for cleaning the floor but would restrict our choice of sealer to those which are fully breathable and allow moisture to rise-up through the tile. We agreed a price and schedule with the customer and within two weeks we were able to start the work.

Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The floor was in quite a state, made worse I suspect by recent restoration work by other contractors who unfortunately didn’t take as much care with the floor as the could have done.

After protecting the skirting boards and carpets with film work got underway starting by applying a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go to the floor to strip away old sealers and other coatings. This product also helps to break down the paint stains on the surface of the tile, though I also used a handheld scraper, as well as a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad, to speed up the process. The resultant slurry was rinsed off the floor with water and extracted using a wet vacuum.

With the floor clean of coatings, the next step was to deep clean the tiles with a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is an effective Tile and Grout cleaning product that deeply cleans away ingrained stains. Again, we used a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine to make the job easier. Corners were tough to tackle with a machine, so we had to do them by hand.
The floor was given a final rinse to remove any soil and trace of cleaning product and the wet vacuum was used a final time to extract as much moisture out of the floor as possible. Upon finishing the cleaning, we left the floor for a few days, so it could dry out fully.

Dealing with Efflorescence

When we came back to seal the floor we noticed problems with white salt deposits coming to the surface of the tile a problem known as efflorescence. I had suspected this might become an issue but there was no indication of it happening before so was not overly concerned at the time. However, it meant I could not seal the floor as planned until the efflorescence had been dealt with. Fortunately salts like these can be treated and to resolve the problem I gave the floor a wipe with a solution of Tile Doctor Acid Gel which is a blend of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids in a gel form, formulated to remove grout haze (grout smears) and treat efflorescence. Once this was done the floor was given a light rinse and dried again.

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I left the floor to dry again for a few more days and on my return, I was pleased to see the problem had not resurfaced and I was able to complete the restoration with the application of a sealer.

To seal the tiles, I used a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is a penetrating sealer designed to soak into the pores of the clay thus preventing dirt from becoming ingrained whilst additionally enhancing the colours in the tile. The sealer really deepened the colours in the tile bringing them to life and with Colour Grow being fully breathable there shouldn’t be any issues with damp becoming trapped under the tile and causing issues later.

The customer was delighted with the results (see feedback below) and the work we did should more than pay for itself when the house goes on the market.

“Thoroughly impressed with Kamila, she was so lovely, professional and thorough! Our tiles look amazing and I was especially happy with how quick she sorted that floor out from the first email I sent. Janice M., Burnley”

Victorian Tiled After Renovation Burnley
 
 

Professional Restoration of an Old Victorian Tiled Hallway in South Lancashire



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Original Victorian Tiles Refreshed With Deep Clean and Seal in Edinburgh


Edinburgh became an increasingly important city in the UK during the Victorian period. Although overtaken by Glasgow as Scotland’s largest city in the early 19th century, Edinburgh experienced expansion and industrialisation, and many areas which had been populated by Georgian architecture were rebuilt with Victorian buildings.

Of course, this included many Victorian residential properties, many of which are still inhabited, and still have original Victorian tiled flooring. A lot of property owners choose to keep the original tiles rather than strip them out, and we specialise in restoring and maintaining them.

I recently visited a property in Edinburgh to provide a deep clean and fresh seal for some Victorian porch tiles that were looking a bit worse for wear. The job was carried out over the space of two days.

Victorian Porch Entrance Before Cleaning Edinburgh

Cleaning Original Victorian Tiles

On the first day of work, I arrived at the property and immediately began by stripping the floor of any old sealant. Sealers don’t last forever and are worn away over time requiring them to be routinely topped up with a fresh application, however in this case the sealer had worn off completely in most places allowing dirt to become ingrained in the pores of the tile, so the only course of action would be to strip off what was left, clean the floor and reseal.

The old sealant was removed using a strong solution of our natural stone cleaner and stripper, known as Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, and our heavy-duty sealer and coating remover, known as Tile Doctor Remove and Go. This combination of products was applied and scrubbed into the stone using a black buffing pad fitted to a rotary machine. The floor was then rinsed to remove any excess chemical residue and the moisture was soaked up.

Next, the floor was then burnished using a coarse diamond-encrusted burnishing pad to grind off tough stains and rinsed again with fresh water. Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner, which is an excellent pH-neutral cleaner for routine maintenance, was then used to complete the cleaning process and the tiles were left to dry completely overnight.

Sealing Original Victorian Tiles

On the second day of work, the tiles had dried off nicely overnight and I was able to return to the property to seal the tiles using five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go. This is a topical sealer which provides a high-quality low-sheen finish and protection against ingrained dirt and stains. In this case, the customer had opted for a sheen finish as opposed to a natural-look, matte finish.

Comparing the before and after photos, it’s clear how significant a difference routine maintenance can make to the appearance and condition of these original Victorian tiles. The customer was very pleased with the outcome and I recommended the use of our Neutral Tile Cleaner for frequent cleaning in the future. Being PH neutral it won’t prematurely erode the sealer like many acidic supermarket products.

Victorian Porch Entrance After Cleaning Edinburgh
 
 

Professional Tile Cleaning and Sealing for an Original Victorian Tiled Floor in Edinburgh



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