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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Beautiful Black and White Victorian Tiled Hallway Renovation in Monmouth


This beautiful black & white Victorian tiled hallway was recently discovered hidden under carpet at a house near Monmouth. As well as the years of grime that had become ingrained in the tile, the carpet had been secured with carpet grippers which had been fixed on top of the tiles and the owner was keen to recruit my help in its restoration.

It’s a lovely drive up through the Wye Valley from my base in Caldicot to the town of Monmouth which has a long history that goes back to the Roman times. In fact it’s famous for its “Monnow Bridge” which dates back to medieval times and is the only remaining stone gated bridge of its type left in Britain. Needles to say it has a strong mixture of architecture with many old houses built during Victorian times.

Victorian Floor Before Renovation in Monmouth

Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The first step in cleaning the floor was to prepare it for cleaning by carefully removing the old carpet grippers and adhesive deposits using a handheld scraper. This was followed by creating a mixture of two powerful cleaning products namely Tile Doctor Remove and Go and NanoTech HBU remover. Remove and Go is a coatings remover designed to strip off old sealers whilst NanoTech HBU is a powerful Heavy Build-Up Remover that uses tiny abrasive particles to clean up tile and stone.

The floor was smothered in the cleaning solution and it was allowed to soak into the tile for about twenty minutes before scrubbing it in. It was not an exceptionally large hallway so a lot of hand scrubbing was required to get the floor as clean as possible. The cleaning solution was rinsed off with water and then extracted using a wet vacuum or wet vac as my colleagues often refer to it.

To finish off the cleaning process I scrubbed a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean into the grout lines to get them as clean as possible and then gave the floor a final rinse. I need the floor to be dry before sealing so using the wet vac I extracted as much moisture from the floor as possible.

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I left the floor to dry completely overnight and returned the next day to finish the floor off with a few coats of sealer. On my arrival I started by taking a few reading with a damp meter to ensure the floor was ready to be sealed. Fortunately by efforts with the Wet Vac the night before had paid off and it confirmed the tiles were dry and ready to be sealed.

To do this, I used multiple coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which works really well on Victorian Tiles and adds a nice low sheen that brings them up nicely. Naturally the sealer not only improves the way they look it also makes them much easier to clean and will protect them against ingrained dirt and staining.

Victorian Floor After Renovation in Monmouth

I think you will agree this old floor has been transformed and now has a new lease of life.
 
 

Professional Renovation of a Carpet Covered Original Victorian Tiled Hallway in Monmouthshire



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Victorian Tiled Reception Area Renovated in South Molton Listed Building


I was approached by the owner of a listed Georgian Townhouse right in the middle of the small market town of South Moulton in North Devon who was struggling to have any impact on the appearance of his Victorian tiled reception area, despite hours of back-breaking scrubbing and had become disheartened by it.

Georgian Reception Floor Tiles Before Cleaning South Molton

Upon arrival a survey on the floor was conducted where I tested the moisture level of the tiles because floors of this age and construction didn’t have a Damp Proof Course and as such were just tiled onto whatever subsurface was already there, which quite often contained rubble and other guiding materials such as lime from the construction of neighbouring properties!

Georgian Reception Floor Tiles Before Cleaning South Molton

Whilst talking to the customer he mentioned that he had some old quarry tiles in his kitchen that he also wanted cleaning, however I’ll cover that in another post. To continue I produced a quote for the work which was accepted and a date was agreed for me to return with all the equipment and products required.

Cleaning Victorian Tiled Reception Area

To clean the Victorian tiles in the reception area I applied a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and left it to soak in for ten minutes. I then set about scrubbing the solution into the tiles using a series of Diamond impregnated burnishing pads ranging from 100-400 grit.

Once the whole floor had been treated in this manner it was thoroughly rinsed with water using a wet and dry vacuum to extract the now soiled cleaning solution and I was able to see that the process had really brought the tiles up a treat.

Concerned about the damp readings I had experienced earlier I decided it would be prudent to give the floor an Acid Rinse with Grout Clean-up to counteract any potential salt issues (efflorescence) that can be a real problem on these old floors which have no Damp Proof Course. I highly recommend this step on old floors as salts can over time permeate through the tiles and the cleaning process draws them to the surface. Left unaddressed the salts can damage the sealer and leave the floor looking far from its best.

Once the tiles had been cleaned, I rinsed the entire floor thoroughly using fresh water to remove any trace of cleaning products, before leaving it to dry off completely overnight.

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway and Entrance Lobby

The following day I returned and after rechecking the moisture levels to ensure that they had adequately dried out I started to seal the Victorian tiles in the reception area. To improve colour, I first applied a coat of Tile Doctor’s Colour Grow, a solvent based impregnating sealer which picks out and enhances the natural colour of the tiles, not only bringing the whole floor to life but helping to disguise any damage the floor has suffered over the years. After this coat had dried sufficiency four coats of Seal and Go were applied to finish off the floor and give it that ‘wow factor’.

Georgian Reception Floor Tiles After Cleaning South Molton Georgian Reception Floor Tiles After Cleaning South Molton

The customer was thrilled and left the following feedback on the Tile Doctor feedback system:

“The work was carried out in a professional manner, with excellent results.”

For aftercare I left the customer with some guidance on care and maintenance of the floor as well as a suitable bottle of tile cleaner.
 
 

Professional Renovation of a Victorian Tiled Reception Floor in Devon



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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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Original Victorian Tiled Hallway Repaired, Cleaned and Sealed in Cheltenham


Cheltenham in the county of in Gloucestershire is a recognised area of outstanding beauty, and is known for its various festivals which take place throughout the year. Horse racing is another event that continues to be very popular in Cheltenham, after first gaining popularity during the Victorian period.

Indeed, lots of people made their homes in the town during this time, and many of the original Victorian properties are still in use to today, complete with original Victorian tiled floors. However, not all of these floors have been kept in great condition over the decades. Lots of them have spent years covered by carpet, while others have become broken or damaged, and simply left to slowly degrade over time.

I found a good example of this at the home of a recent customer of mine. The customer’s Victorian tiled hallway was in poor condition, with some of the tiles around the doorway cracked and in need of replacements. All in all, the floor required repairs, followed by deep clean and a fresh application of sealant.

Victorian Tiles Before Repair Clean and Seal Cheltenham Victorian Tiles Before Repair Clean and Seal Cheltenham

Repairing and Cleaning Original Victorian Tiles

My first job was to source suitable replacement tiles which would be needed to match with the original pattern of the floor. Fortunately Tile Doctor has built up a network of contacts in this area so this proved to be a simple enough task.

When I arrived on site I protected the flooring in the adjacent rooms and staircase carpet with plastic sheeting and made a start on removing the cracked tiles, cleaning up the foundation then fixing and grouting in the replacement tiles.

Victorian Tiles During Repair Cheltenham

Next, I moved on to cleaning the entire hallway starting with an application of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, an alkaline-based product that is safe to use on Tile and Stone including Victorian tile, for the removal of heavy soil and staining. It can strip away old sealants remaining on the tile which is important to avoid a patchy looking result. The product was diluted with water and applied liberally across the area and left to dwell for roughly 10 minutes before I proceeded to work it into the tiles using a scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine.

I used a wet vacuum to remove the soiled cleaning solution, rinsed with water and then spot treated those tiles which needed more work to get them clean.

Once I was happy with the floor was as clean as it could be I left it to dry off overnight.

Sealing Original Victorian Tiles

Upon returning to the property the next day, my first concern was to run some tests to check for any outstanding damp issues. Victorian properties do not typically have damp proof membranes installed, so these tests were essential as an excess of moisture can cloud the sealant and prevent it from performing correctly.

Luckily, there were no major damp issues and I could proceed with sealing the tiles using Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is an impregnating sealant that penetrates into the pores of the tile enhancing the natural colours and protecting it from with. I find many customers with Victorian Tiles opt for Colour Grow as their sealant because it provides a natural-look matte finish which really compliments the classic characteristics of Victorian tiles.

The customer was absolutely delighted with the outcome of the restoration, which you can see in the photo below. Best of all, he said that he is already getting comments from friends and family on how great the floor looks now.

Victorian Tiles After Repair Clean and Seal Cheltenham Victorian Tiles After Repair Clean and Seal Cheltenham

 
 

Professional Renovation of an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway in Gloucestershire



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Original Victorian Tiled Hallway Brought Back to Life at an Esher Flat


Esher is a small suburb in Surrey, situated just outside London. It was a fashionable area to live in amongst royalty and the aristocracy in the Victorian period, and during this time many buildings were built.

One such building has since been turned into a block of separate flats, and some of the flats still contain the original Victorian tiles in the hallway. I was contacted by one of these flat owners about restoring their tiles back to the best possible condition. Interestingly this customer’s tiles were part of a larger floor that had been divided between two flats.

Victorian Floor Tile Before Cleaning Esher

Cleaning Original Victorian Tiles

I began the restoration by spreading Tile Doctor Remove and Go across the entire set of tiles. Remove and Go is a heavy-duty stripper that helped to loosen and remove old glue deposits where carpet had been laid over the tile, it will also strip off old sealers and release ingrained muck.

The Remove and Go was worked into the tile and grout with a stiff brush and then the soiled solution rinsed off and extracted using a wet vacuum. I followed by this applying a coarse 200-grit diamond encrusted burnishing pad, fitted to a handheld buffer, to grind away the particularly stubborn dirt and stains to restore the appearance of the stone. Afterwards, I rinsed the tiles again with water and soaked up the resultant slurry with a wet vacuum.

I noticed that there remained several ingrained stains dotted across the floor, so to remove these I aggressively burnished the affected areas with a very coarse 50-grit handheld diamond block. This essentially removed the very top layer of the stone, taking with it the ingrained marks.

Next, I dried the area with a large blower and heat gun. Under normal circumstances, 48 hours needs to pass before the tiles can be sealed, but as this was a small area I was able to dry it very quickly. After carrying out a damp test, I determined the tiles were ready to be sealed.

Sealing Original Victorian Tiles

To seal the Victorian Tiles, I applied six coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go sealer, which provides a high-quality sheen finish, as well as plenty of protection for the future. Tile Doctor have a range of suitable sealers available including Colour Grow which provides a matte finish – it’s just a matter of personal choice for the customer.

Victorian Floor Tile After Cleaning Esher

The outcome of the restoration was fantastic and the customer was very pleased, leaving the following testimonial.

“Promptly organised, delivered when promised. Good looking job when complete. Well done.”
 
 

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



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Original Victorian Tiled Hallway Thought Beyond Repair Rejuvenated in Cardiff


Many property owners who are lucky enough to have an original Victorian tiled floor in their homes face the same conundrum: can an old and potentially very damaged floor be salvaged and restored to peak condition or should I replace it?

Some people would instinctively tell you that the answer is no – even trained professionals! In fact, a leading tile restoration company (which shall remain unnamed) based in Cardiff told a recent customer of mine that her original Victorian tiled floor, dating back to 1905, was beyond repair. The company recommended that she not waste any money on having it restored and instead that she should have it ripped up and replaced.

Victorian Tiled Hallway in Cardiff Before Restoration

It was in a bad state, however replacing the floor would incur a significant cost and the original characteristics of the period floor would be lost. The customer was feeling rather deflated and was left undecided on what to do. Fortunately after browsing the web for a solution, she came across Tile Doctor and I was asked to pop over and take a look.

I visited the customer at her home and removed parts of her hallway carpet to get a better look at the Victorian tiles beneath. The floor was certainly in a very poor state, there were many old paint splash marks covering the tiles and the surface of the floor was deeply darkened after many years’ worth of wear and tear. In my opinion however, it was still salvageable, and the customer was happy to see what could be done.

Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

A week before I was due to start the restoration, I asked the customer to remove the foam-backed carpet to let the floor breathe a bit.

Before beginning the work, I ran a few damp tests and the floor proved surprisingly dry considering how old it is and the very probable lack of a damp proof membrane. I started by manually scraping as much of the old paint staining off the stone as possible and cleared other debris from the surface.

Knowing that clay based Victorian tiles like these easily soak up paint splashes, I knew it would take a thorough clean to remove them completely. I firstly soaked the floor with water and left it to dry slightly before mixing a concoction of Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU, Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, and Tile Doctor Remove and Go.

NanoTech HBU is a particularly powerful cleaner which uses nano-sized particles to penetrate the pores of the stone, while Pro-Clean is an alkaline-based cleaner that tackles heavy soil build-up. Remove and Go is a multi-purpose product which both cleans and strips away any old sealer.

I left this mixture to dwell on the floor for around half an hour, scrubbed it in firstly using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine and then a wire wool pad. I followed by rinsing the products off with water and extracted up the excess with a wet vacuum machine.

This technique was repeated until I was satisfied with the condition of the floor.

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

After leaving the floor to dry off completely overnight, I returned to the property the next day to carry out the sealing process. I applied seven coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, which not only adds a protective covering to the tile, but also enhances its appearance.

The customer was absolutely thrilled with the results of the restoration, especially considering that she was told the floor was ruined by a leading company and not worth saving.

Victorian Tiled Hallway in Cardiff After Restoration

I think you will agree that its always worth trying to restore a period floor and my customer deserves praise for sticking to their guns.
 
 

Professional Period Victorian Hallway Floor Restoration in South Wales



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Original Victorian Tiles Restored at B&B in Bude


Bude is a lovely coastal resort in North Cornwall and is home to several B&Bs for visitors to the area. It became popular during the latter half of Queen Victoria’s reign, as sea bathing became a popular trend amongst the upper and middle classes, and as a result there are plenty of period houses.

In fact, I was recently contacted by a lucky Bed and Breakfast owner who had uncovered this late Victorian tiled hallway and entrance lobby which was around a hundred years old during renovation work. It had been under carpet for at least twenty years and had a variety of stains including paint, tar and glue!

The customer rightly wanted to reinstate it as a showpiece to greet clients upon entering the upmarket guesthouse but had no luck trying to remove stains themselves and had spent many hours on hands and knees but to no avail and were nearly ready to take the builder’s advice and cover it in a self-levelling cement and install a carpet throughout which would have been sacrilege!

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration at Bude Bed and Breakfast

Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway and Entrance Lobby

To begin with diamond-impregnated buffing pads were used with a rotary machine to scrub the floor and open up the pores. Small diamond hand blocks were also used to get into those difficult to reach areas such as corners and under the stairs.

Afterwards the floor was thoroughly rinsed with water which was then extracted using a wet vacuum. This was followed by giving the floor an Acid rinse using Tile Doctor’s Acid Gel. This helped to remove old mineral deposits and residue from carpet underlay. I had to be careful not to leave the acid down for too long because these tiles are susceptible to acid damage. This is also a great product to use as par for the course on floors like this that don’t have a damp proof course (floors generally didn’t pre-1950s) and the acid will neutralise any salts coming rising up through the tile later.

Dealing with salt issues on these old floors (efflorescence) is essential because they can damage the sealer or become trapped under it, detracting from the beauty of the floor. Given the age of the house It’s difficult to know what the floor had been laid onto. Often it was compacted rubble and building works from the erection of the adjoining houses. Terraced and some of the later Victorian floors were laid on a wet limecrete scree which contain a high salt-content.

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway and Entrance Lobby

Once the tiles had been cleaned, I rinsed the entire floor thoroughly using fresh water to remove any traces of chemicals, before leaving it to dry completely overnight.

Upon my return to the B&B the next day, I sealed the tiles using several coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, an impregnating sealer which provides robust protection and intensifies the natural colours in the tile. It does this while leaving a natural-look matte finish which is befitting of a classic Victorian geometric patterned floor like this one.

Now cleaned and freshly sealed, the Victorian tiles will be in a much strong position to cope with the busy B&B season over the Summer. The owner was very pleased and I’m sure visitors to the B&B will be very impressed with this original feature!

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration at Bude Bed and Breakfast

As part of the package a cleaning and maintenance guide is provided once the work has been completed but unfortunately the owner’s uncle didn’t consult this when house-sitting and attempted to clean the floor with white spirit. Fortunately, I was able to return and improve the damage that was caused much to the owner’s relief and just in time for opening!
 
 

Professional Restoration of an Original Geometric Victorian Tiled Hallway at a Bude B&B



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