Restoring Mosaic Floors in the Warrington Treasury Building


Around five years ago Tile Doctor was asked to quote for restoring the Mosaic tiled floors in the former Warrington Technical College which is a Grade II listed building that was built in 1901. Tile Doctor are the biggest restorative tile network in the UK and we often get asked to quote for restoring old floors like these. Although we quoted for the work, nothing happened, and it now appears the local borough council had put the work on hold until they could come up with a fully costed plan to fully restore it.

It took some time, but I’m pleased to report that a plan did evolve and a joint venture between the council and a developer has now restored the building to its former glory and is now home to several restaurants and bars spread across its three floors.

The Treasury Building Palymra Square The Treasury Building Palymra Square

The restoration plan included preserving the main stair enclosure along with the original features which includes oak panelling and thankfully the beautiful Mosaic floor tiles. Having previously quoted for the latter and with the main building works complete we were asked to return and restore the floors ASAP at what has since been renamed as “The Treasury Building of Palymra Square”.

On the first day I was given a large vase full of mosaic tile pieces which the developers had collected during the building works and figured would come in handy later.

Mosaic Tile Collection

Day 1 – Preparing and Cleaning the Mosaic Flooring

Starting at the top of the building my first job was to remove the builders rubbish and sweep both floors. I then washed both Mosaic floors with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean using a strong 1:3 dilution with water. After leaving the cleaning solution to soak in for a few minutes it was scrubbed in using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a weighted buffing machine.

Cleaning Mosaic Flooring Warrington Treasury Building Cleaning Mosaic Flooring Warrington Treasury Building

This process brought out the dirt and dust that had been ingrained in the tiles turning the cleaning solution into a grey slurry which was then removed with a wet vacuum. It was a large floor and I had to repeat the cleaning process a couple of times to remove the layers of dirt, but the result was worth it and by the end of the first day the colours and design of the floor was really standing out.

Cleaning Mosaic Flooring Warrington Treasury Building Cleaning Mosaic Flooring Warrington Treasury Building

Day 2 – Replacing Missing Mosaic Tiles on the Top Floor

On day two I started work to repair the floor where the mosaic pieces were missing using the collection of mosaic tiles the builders had kindly left me at the start of the restoration. It was quite a jigsaw that involved looking through the hundreds of pieces that had been collected, finding a suitable piece and if necessary shaping it with a grinder so it could fit in the pattern. I used a flexible tile adhesive and then left them to set overnight.

Repairing Mosaic Flooring Warrington Treasury Building Repairing Mosaic Flooring Warrington Treasury Building

Replacing the missing mosaics on the first floor was a slow process which ended up taking up much of the second day.

Day 3 – Replacing Missing Mosaic Tiles on the Top Floor

My plan on day 3 was to continue the restoration work on the top floor and ensure the repaired areas were level with the rest of the floor. I attempted to use a 50-grit milling pad fitted to weighted floor buffing machine for this but found the segments on the pad would catch the edge of the replaced pieces and knock them out of place. Clearly this was not going to work so I changed tack and smoothed them down using a set of graded hand-held Diamond burnishing blocks. Again, there was lot to do so this work took up much of the day; some might say I could have worked around this but I’m a bit of a perfectionist and I like to ensure a job is done right.

Day 4 – Burnishing Mosaic Tiles on the Top Floor

The next step was to use a set of Tile Doctor Burnishing Pads to clean and restore the finish of the mosaics. The pads which are encrusted with industrial diamonds are applied with a rotary floor buffer in sequence from coarse to extra fine. The first pad is a coarse 400-grit and is applied with only water for lubrication, it removes minor scratches, sealers, and the top surface dirt.

Cleaning Mosaic Flooring Warrington Treasury Building Cleaning Mosaic Flooring Warrington Treasury Building

Working in sections, I applied the pad across the floor, rinsing with water in between and picking up the soiled solution with the wet vacuum. I then repeated this same procedure with the medium 800-grit pad which is the first stage polishing pad again rinsing with water after use. The next two pads are a fine 1500-grit and extra fine 3000-grit which really build up a high-quality polish on the stone. This last pad is applied at the very end of the process when the floor is dry and is run over the floor using a small amount of water which is sprayed onto the floor.

Day 5 – Restoring Mosaic Flooring on the Ground Floor

The next day we started on the ground floor which consisted of a large main lobby and hallway running off it. The mosaic pattern in the lobby featured an impressive oval zodiac design with two restaurants looking on to it behind wood and glass panelling. It must have taken a long time to lay back in 1901 and we were quite often stopped by people that worked there saying how nice it was seeing the wonderful floor being restored to its former glory.

Cleaning Mosaic Flooring Warrington Treasury Building Repairing Mosaic Flooring Warrington Treasury Building

The ground floor Mosaics had the same issues as the first floor however the experience gained restoring the first floor meant I was able to crack on quite quickly and completed the repairs in a single day.

Day 6 – Burnishing Mosaic Tiles on the Ground Floor

On the sixth day I proceeded to burnish the Mosaic flooring on the ground floor and hall using the same system as before

Burnishing Mosaic Flooring Warrington Treasury Building Cleaning Mosaic Flooring Warrington Treasury Building

With two large areas to cover I found the burnishing of the ground floor and hall using the 400, 800 and 1500-grit pads as before took up the whole day. After finishing the floor was given a final rinse to remove the slurry and then left to dry out overnight.

Day 7 – Sealing Mosaic Flooring

I returned early the next day to complete the polishing process using the 3000-grit burnishing pad which further builds the polished appearance of the floor. Once this was done the floor was sealed using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that adds stain protection to the floor and enhances colour. With two floors to do I was able to work on one floor as the sealer on the other dried.

Sealing Mosaic Flooring Warrington Treasury Building Sealing Mosaic Flooring Warrington Treasury Building

The owners were very pleased with the work we did and have asked us if we can come back every two months to maintain the floor and keep it in tip top condition. Having a maintenance plan in place for busy tiled areas like these are a good idea if you want to keep your floor looking its best.

Polishing Mosaic Flooring Warrington Treasury Building Polishing Mosaic Flooring Warrington Treasury Building

 

Professional Mosaic Tiled Floor Polishing in Warrington



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Restoring a Carpet Covered Terracotta Tiled Floor in Appleton


I was contacted by a home owner in Appleton near Warrington who had a Terracotta tiled floor in their dining Room. The floor had previously been covered in carpet and they were keen to have the whole floor restored.

To complicate things further the Carpet had been stuck down with a strong adhesive and a local builder had advised them to remove the glue using brick acid. Although this was successful it had the side effect of discolouring the grout lines and no amount of rinsing with the floor with water to dilute and wash off the acid would resolve the problem.

Carpet Covered Terracotta Tiled Floor Before Restortion in Appleton

Happy for me to resolve the problem, my client informed me they were going on holiday and would like me to do the work whilst they were away. This was a great idea as it would guard against unwanted foot traffic during the cleaning and sealing process and it would also mean they would have a nice surprise waiting for them on their return.

Deep Cleaning a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor

After protecting the Kitchen units and skirting boards with plastic sheeting my first job was to strip any remaining sealer off the Terracotta tiles using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. The solution was spread across the floor and then left to dwell for twenty minutes before scrubbing it in with a black scrubbing pad attached to a rotary floor buffer. I then used a wet vacuum to remove the now dirty cleaning solution from the floor.

The grout was also given a good scrub using more Tile Doctor Pro-Clean but this time it was scrubbed in with a narrow stiff brush until I was satisfied it was as clean as it could be. The floor given a good rinse and I then inspected the floor tile and grout to ensure it was clean and free of sealers, any areas that needed ore work were retreated and the floor given a final rinse and dry with the wet vacuum before being left to dry off fully overnight.

Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor

I returned the next morning and tested the tiles with a damp meter to ensure they were dry before beginning applying the sealer. All was well, so I started by applying a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer that seeps into the pores of the tile protecting it from within and enhancing the natural red colour of the Terracotta in the process.

Once the first coat had dried I followed up with two coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a compatible water-based sealer that works really well on clay tiles and adds a lovely sheen finish to the floor.

The last step was to resolve the problem with the discoloured grout lines by applying a white grout colourant to the grout. This gave the grout a fresh and consistent appearance throughout and also has the benefit of sealing the grout which will protect it from staining and also make it much easier to clean.

Last step was to finish the sealing of the floor by topping up the sealer with another three coats of Seal and Go to ensure the floor was fully sealed.

Carpet Covered Terracotta Tiled Floor Before Restortion in Appleton

The result was a huge improvement and now looked like a recently installed Terracotta floor. When my customer returned from holiday they were more than happy with the floor and the work I had done.
 
 

Restoring a Tired Terracotta Tiled Floor in Cheshire



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Renovating an Encaustic Tiled Hallway in Padgate near Warrington


This floor may look like it’s made from Victorian tiles but if you look closely you will see the floor is actually made of 72 Encaustic tiles each one containing a regular pattern. Encaustic tiles have more in common with Ceramic tiles than Victorian and are actually made using layers of cement where are often hand painted with patterns which and hydraulically pressed into the surface.

Encaustic Tiled Hallway Padgate Before Cleaning Encaustic Tiled Hallway Padgate Before Cleaning

The tiled floor was actually floor found hiding under the hallway carpet by the new owners of the house which is in Padgate near Warrington. Were not sure of the age of the tiles but suspect they may be 100 years old. Certainly, Padgate has many older houses so they could be although it’s mainly known for its large RAF base during the 2nd world war.

Encaustic tiles are porous and so need to be sealed to protect them from dirt becoming ingrained in the floor. However, hallway floors get a lot of foot traffic which over time wears down the sealer until it becomes so thin and patchy it’s no longer effective. As a result, you need to regularly top up the sealer or every three to four years it will need to be stripped off and reapplied.

Deep Cleaning the Encaustic Tiled Floor

You can see from the pictures that the tiles were in good physical shape but had accumulated a lot of dirt which was especially visible near the front door. As I mentioned earlier Encaustic tiles being made from cement and need to be sealed in order to protect them from dirt becoming in trapped in the pores of the tile.

Encaustic Tiled Hallway Padgate Before Cleaning

These tiles would need a deep penetrative clean to extract the dirt, so my first course of action was to apply a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean across the floor and left it to soak into the tiles for ten minutes. Pro-Clean is a very effective alkaline product that’s safe to use on tile, stone and grout and is designed for tile cleaning. It was then worked into the tile using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a floor buffing machine and the soiled cleaning solution extracted off the floor with a wet vacuum.

I then used a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pads to restore the surface or the encaustic tiles starting with the 400 and 800 grit pads and lubricated with a little water. This also dealt with other deposits on the floor left behind from the carpet. I rinsed the floor with water to remove the slurry and then finished the burnishing process by applying the 1500 and 3000 grit pads to really restore the shine to the tiles.

Sealing the Encaustic Tiled Hallway Floor

To seal the floor and grout I applied Tile Doctor colour grow which is an impregnating sealer that enhances colour and soaks into the pores of the encaustic tile to protect it from dirt becoming ingrained into the tile in future. Any sealer not taken up by the pores of the tile is rubbed off afterwards.

Encaustic Tiled Hallway Padgate After Cleaning Encaustic Tiled Hallway Padgate After Cleaning

The transformation was quite remarkable and as you can imagine my customer was over the moon when he returned from work.
 
 

Restoring Encaustic Hallway Floor Tiles in Cheshire



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Renovating a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Grappenhall near Warrington


The village of Grappenhall has a long history that goes all the way back to the bronze age and as a result has all periods of architecture including quite a lot of houses with Victorian tiled hallways . This particular floor at a house in the village had been well looked after well by the owner but had now lost its vibrancy, was looking dull and now needed a deep clean and reseal.

Victorian tiles are porous and so need to be sealed to protect them from dirt becoming ingrained in the floor. However, hallway floors get a lot of foot traffic which over time wears down the sealer until it becomes so thin and patchy it’s no longer effective. As a result, you need to regularly top up the sealer or every three to four years it will need to be stripped off and reapplied.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Grapenhall Before Cleaning Victorian Tiled Hallway Grapenhall Before Cleaning

Deep Cleaning the Victorian Tiled Floor

I used clear plastic to protect the wood skirting boards from splashing and then gave the tiles a good scrub with a mixture of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and Remove and Go to deep clean and strip off any remaining sealers. The cleaning solution was left to soak in for ten minutes before scrubbing it in with a black pad fitted to a heavy buffing machine.

Once the whole area had been scrubbed I rinsed off with water which was then extracted using a wet vacuum. With the floor now clear I was able to inspect it to ensure all the previous sealer and ingrained dirt had been removed. Any areas with stubborn stains were spot treated by reapplying the cleaning concoction I used earlier before leaving the floor to dry off fully overnight.

Sealing the Victorian Tiled Floor

When I returned the next morning my first job was to test the tiles for damp using a damp meter. This is important as damp tiles won’t take the sealer as well as dry tiles, however this time everything was fine.

I then proceeded to seal the Victorian tiles with a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow to enhance the natural colours in the tile before applying a further seven coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which leaves a sheen finish and is ideal for Victorian tiles.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Grapenhall After Cleaning Victorian Tiled Hallway Grapenhall After Cleaning

The hallway now looks fantastic and vibrant and then new sealer will protect them from ingrained dirt making them easier to clean and keep them looking good for some time to come.
 
 

Restoring Victorian Hallway Floor Tiles in Cheshire



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