Restoring the Appearance of Victorian Tiled Lobby in Swindon

Victorian tiled floors are a popular feature in period houses and new builds trying to get that classic look. While they originated in the 19th century, they have a certain timeless quality that property owners love. Historically due to their hard wearing qualities they were most commonly used for flooring high traffic areas such as lobbies and hallways, however Victorian tiles are porous and without the correct maintenance the tiles can start to lose their appearance very quickly.

This customer from Swindon has an original Victorian tiled lobby at the front of their house that was suffering from this very same problem. Years worth of ingrained dirt and muck had completely sapped all colour and character from the tiles, and the customer was keen to get them back to looking their best.

Victorian Tiled Lobby Before Cleaning in Swindon

Whilst I was there inspecting the floor I agreed to run a test on the tiles to ascertain the results that could be achieved, this worked out well and the customer quickly booked me to carry out the full restoration.

Cleaning Dull and Dirty Victorian Tiles

To provide the deep clean these tiles desperately needed, I opted to use a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean. Pro Clean is our go-to cleaner for most natural stone tiles since it is highly versatile. It is alkaline-based and therefore can be used on acid-sensitive tiles to break down ingrained dirt and any existing seal.

We soaked the floor completely with the product and left it to dwell for roughly 15 minutes. This allows the Pro Clean to seep into the pores of the stone, get underneath and lift any ingrained dirt to the surface to be easily removed. I then attached a soft brush to a rotary machine and scrubbed the area throughly, with the tiles coming up very well. Once satisfied with the appearance of the tiles, I removed the dirty cleaning slurry with a wet vacuum and rinsed.

Having removed many layers of muck it came as a surprise to find that there were a number of paint splashes that have previously had been hidden. I was able to promptly remove them using a hand razor scraper, before rinsing the area again several times to remove any surface contaminants and neutralise the area. I then left it to dry fully overnight.

Sealing Victorian Tiles

Upon my return to the property the next day I ran a few damp tests to check for excess moisture in the area. This is really important to check for as excess moisture can cloud the sealer and damage its ability to provide protection for the tiles.

Once satisfied that the floor was completely dry, I sealed the floor with two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer that penetrates into the pores of the stone to act as a robust barrier against ingrained dirt. It also contains colour intensifying properties that really worked to enhance the fantastic coloured patterns of these Victorian tiles.

Victorian Tiled Lobby After Cleaning in Swindon

With a thorough clean and a fresh seal applied, these tiles are now well prepared to endure further wear and tear, which is especially important in this high traffic area of the house. Certainly the customer was relieved and pleased to know that their fantastic Victorian tiles are protected for the long-term. Another satisfied customer for the Wiltshire Tile Doctor.
 
 
Source: Victorian Tile and Stone Restoration Service in Wiltshire

Renovating Badly Stained Vinyl Flooring

Here’s an interesting job I recently completed at a house near the centre of York, the biggest town in North Yorkshire and famous for its Viking history. My client had initially emailed me some pictures of her tiles which, upon first inspection, looked like Black and Red Victorian tiles. This was also the opinion of my client and her friend, who is a builder.

Linoleum Tiled Floor Before Restoration in York

The floor had previously been covered by carpet, which was fixed down by adhesive. As such, the newly unveiled floor was in a bit of a state, with adhesive markings ruining the appearance of the tiles. I agreed a date with my client to give the tiles a closer inspection.

Restoring Linoleum Vinyl flooring

Upon my arrival at the house, I discovered that the floor was in fact made up of linoleum, rather than Victorian tiles. This was a surprise to me as Tile Doctor don’t usually get asked to work on Vinyl flooring. Nonetheless, I agreed to restore the floor to the best of my abilities.

To clean the floor, I started with a blunt chisel (so not to puncture or tear the Lino) and proceeded to scrape off all the glue and plaster from the floor. Had the tiles been unpolished natural stone I would’ve used a product such as Tile Doctor Remove & Go to break down the adhesive markings.

The next step was to restore the appearance of the floor using a combination of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed with Grout Clean-up. The latter product contains phosphoric acid to break down any remaining cement, while the former is a versatile, high alkaline cleaner.

Linoleum Tiled Floor During Restoration in York

Finally, the floor was given a thorough rinse with clean water to remove any trace of chemical and then sealed with a Linoleum sealer.

Despite not coming across this type of floor often, I am very pleased with the results I was able to achieve. Needless to say, my client was also very happy with what is essentially a fantastic new feature for her house.

Linoleum Tiled Floor After Restoration in York

 
 
Source: Vinyl Floor Cleaning and Sealing Service in Yorkshire

Choosing a Tile Sealer When You Have a Puppy

Here are the details of a job I recently completed in the town of Biggleswade, which lies on the River Ivel in Bedfordshire. My client had a fantastic red and black Victorian tiled floor with a topical seal. However, she also had a new addition to the family in the form of a new puppy and, as I’m sure most of you reading will know, puppies can be very messy and additionally urine contains Uric acid which can eat away at sealers. Therefore, my client asked me to strip off the old topical seal, before replacing with an impregnating sealer better suited to protect the tiles against an untrained puppy.

Victorian tiles Biggleswade before cleaning

My client had been replenishing the topical seal for many years, but after discussing this decided that Tile Doctor Colour Grow, an impregnating and colour enhancing sealer, would be better suited.

Stripping a Victorian tiled floor

My first task was, of course, to remove the old topical sealer. I did this using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a high alkaline cleaner that when used in a concentrated form can remove sealers. The alkaline helps to break down the sealer while also lifting out any ingrained dirt suffered by the stone. The solution was left to dwell for approximately twenty minutes before being scrubbing it into the tiles using a rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad.

Nonetheless, after giving the tiles a rinse, I discovered evidence of an old impregnating sealer in the tiles that was also need to be removed before resealing. To do this I applied Tile Doctor Remove & Go which is a powerful, dedicated coatings remover which did the job although the use of a steamer and several scrubbing brushes helped with the task.

Victorian tiles Biggleswade during cleaning

After completing the stripping, I still felt that I could improve the appearance of the tiles further, so I ran over the tiles with a small six inch Tile Doctor Diamond encrusted burnishing pad fitted to a hand-held buffer to finish the cleaning process.

Sealing a Victorian tiled floor

After completely the stripping process, I gave the entire floor a rinse and left it to dry for several days. Upon my return I sealed the tiles using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This is an impregnating, colour enhancing sealer that really brought out the shades of red and black in these Victorian tiles. Along with Victorian tiles, Colour Grow is also suitable for use of Flagstone, Limestone, Quarry, Sandstone and Marble tiles, amongst others.

Victorian tiles Biggleswade after cleaning Victorian tiles Biggleswade after cleaning

I think you will agree the floor looks transformed with the new sealer applied.
 
 
Source: Victorian Floor Cleaning and Sealing service in Bedfordshire

Cleaning and Restoring the appearance of an old Flagstone Floor

Here’s another interesting job I was privileged to work on in the town of Bicester, Oxfordshire. Bicester has a long, rich history – dating back to the Saxon age – but it is also one of the fastest growing in Oxfordshire. In fact, I had an opportunity to experience part of this history when I was called to a house to work on a old Flagstone floor which is believed to be 300-years old. The use of flagstones for both interior and exterior flooring is believed to have been popularised in Europe around the 13th century AD, and flagstone is still commonly used for these purposes today. As one of the few surviving of its kind, this Old-Flagstone-floor- has a preservation order on it – this means that it can’t be covered by wood or other tiles.

Old Flagstone floor Bicester Before Cleaning Old Flagstone floor Bicester Before Cleaning

Unfortunately, the rooms in this building were previously used as a sort of ‘dumping ground’ for builders working on the property, covering the floor with cement, plaster, sealant and glue, while also inflicting significant surface damage. As a result, it would take me three days to restore the Flagstone tiles back to their best possible condition.

Old Flagstone floor Bicester Before Cleaning

Day one: Cleaning Old Flagstones

My first task was removing the medley of muck and dirt left over from the building works from the Flagstone tiles. I did this using a weak solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and clean water (the concentration is adjusted according to the level of soil build-up). Pro Clean mixed with water is my go-to cleaning solution for most natural stone floors as it works well to lift out ingrained dirt and stains. I spread the solution evenly onto the floor and worked it into the stone using a scrubbing brush attached to a floor machine. I then rinsed off the excess cleaner, before sucking up the residue with a wet-vac machine.

The second stage of the cleaning process was to strip the floor of any old sealers. This was achieved, working in sections, using Tile Doctor Remove & Go, which can be used on unpolished natural stone floors, along with ceramic tiles, grout, and more. After leaving it to dwell for a short period, I scrubbed a layer of Remove & Go into the tiles using my floor machine and carbon brush. Following this, the floor was once again rinsed and any remaining moisture was removed with the wet-vac machine.

Old Flagstone floor Bicester Before Burnishing

Day two: Burnishing Old Flagstones

After completing the cleaning, I moved on to the burnishing process. To give unpolished surfaces a nice polished look, the best method is to use a series of four diamond encrusted burnishing pads. This is exactly what I did, first using a coarse pad, before gradually moving up through medium and fine, to eventually using a very fine pad to achieve the desired polished effect. This is done without causing any further damage to the surface of the Flagstone tiles.

Old Flagstone floor Bicester After Burnishing

Day three: Sealing Old Flagstones

On the final day, I completed the job by sealing the floor. I applied two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, an impregnating sealer which works to provide durable surface protection from within. At the same time, Colour Grow is specially formulated to intensify the natural colours in a majority of different stones including Flagstone, Limestone, Marble, Quarry and Slate, bringing character and life back to otherwise dull surfaces.

Old Flagstone floor Bicester After Sealing

I’m pleased to say that the finished result exceeded my client’s expectations, especially considering the extent of surface damage and neglect the floor had suffered during construction work. It is highly rewarding to work on unique, historic floors like this and to contribute to its preservation for many more years to come.
 
 
Source: Professional Tile, Stone and Grout cleaning services in Oxfordshire

Builders Clean of a Victorian Tiled Hallway

This customer asked me to pay a visit following work to refurbish the house and wanted to restore as many original features as possible; work had been going on to restore coving, picture rails, ceiling roses and fireplaces but unfortunately nobody had thought to cover up the beautiful Victorian floor. When I arrived there was plaster dust and splashes of paint all over the floor that needed attention. A quote was given which was accepted and the work was booked in for the following week.

Victorian Hallway Tiles Builder Cleaning before in Northampton Victorian Hallway Tiles Builder Cleaning before in Northampton

Cleaning Victorian Quarry Tiles

My first course of action was to vacuum the floor to remove any loose debris so I could assess how to proceed. I then applied diluted Tile Doctor Pro Clean with a pump up sprayer and left it to dwell on the tiles for fifteen minutes before working it in with a black scrubbing pad and hand brushes. The now soiled cleaning solution was then rinsed off together with most of the plaster and surface dirt which had come away in the process. I was then left with a few paint splatters which I removed by spot treating by hand with Tile Doctor Remove and Go; it became clear at this stage that the Pro-Clean had not removed all the old sealer and so I decided to spray the whole floor with a dilution of Remove and Go and work it in with brushes, the solution was left for a further ten minutes and then rinsed away with an extraction machine.

Sealing Victorian Quarry Tiles

The floor was left alone to dry for several days with a fan on site to assist the process. The customer wanted the floor to look traditional and requested a matt finish so when I returned to site two coats of Tile Doctor Matt Colour Grow Sealer was applied. Colour Grow is breathable and will allow any damp to evaporate without disrupting the finish, this is important as floors of this age were laid without any damp proof course or membrane which can sometimes result in damp issues.

Victorian Hallway Tiles Builder Cleaning after in Northampton Victorian Hallway Tiles Builder Cleaning after in Northampton

 
 
Source: Professional Tile, Stone and Grout Restoration service in Northamtonshire

Cleaning Sandstone and Slate Tiles Together

We recently deep cleaned two different tiled floors at a property in the village of Coningsby in the centre of Lincolnshire. The floor was split into two areas one laid with natural Sandstone and the other Riven Slate tiles. Both tiled areas had been sealed previously but the sealer was clearly not doing the job as the floor had a very dull finish due to dirt being absorbed into the tile.

Sandstone Tiled Floor Before Cleaning in Coningsby Riven Slate Tiled Floor Before Cleaning in Coningsby

Cleaning Terracotta Tiles

The floors were in need of a deep clean to remove the ingrained dirt and remaining sealer so the first step was to soak the tiles in a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and then work it in using a rotary machine fitted with a black pad and a stiff brush along the grout lines. This did the job and there’s a great photograph below that shows the difference this made.

Sandstone Tiled Floor During Cleaning in Coningsby

To extract the now soiled cleaning solution the floor was rinsed using water which was then extracted using our wet pick up system. Once the floor was clear we were able to see where more work was required and the process was repeated until we were happy the floor was thoroughly clean and free of any remaining sealer.

To get the floor dry a number of turbo air dryers were setup around the floor and we left for the day to allow the floor to thoroughly dry off overnight.

Sealing Terracotta Tile

The following morning we tested the tiles to make sure that both were dry which they were. We then applied Tile Doctor quality sealers to both floors; two different finishes were required for the different types of floor so we applied three coats of Colour Grow sealer to the Sandstone flooring as this impregnates the pores in the stone protecting it from staining and enhancing the natural colours to provide a natural look. We than applied four coats of Seal and Go sealer to the Slate floor, Seal and Go adds a nice subtle shine and works well on Riven Slate to highlight the different shades.

Riven Slate Tiled Floor During Sealing in Coningsby

The customer was delighted with the results and left an excellent review which you can read below:
The floors look absolutely beautiful. I am very pleased with the service.
J. Gibbons, Coningsby

She wants us to return soon to seal the other stone areas in their property. As you can see from the photos the before and after is very striking. The floors were ready to take light use that same afternoon.

Sandstone Tiled Floor After Cleaining and Sealing in Coningsby Riven Slate Tiled Floor After Cleaning and Sealing in Coningsby

 
 
Source: Professional Tile, Stone and Grout maintenance service in Lincolnshire

Removing Varnish From Flagstone Floor Tiles

This Flagstone floor was installed in a house near the village of Ambleside and had previously been sealed with varnish and other products which had left the floor looking dull and nowhere near its best. I did a test clean which came out well and then agreed a date and price I came back a couple of weeks later to do the job

Flagstone Tiled Floor Before Cleaning in Ambleside

Cleaning Flagstone Tiles

Due to the numerous coatings that had been applied to the floor it was necessary to completely strip off the coatings back to the bare stone. To start I used Tile Doctor Remove and Go which does what it says on the bottle and removes coatings from tiles, the product was diluted with water and left to soak in before being scrubbed in using a Black Scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. The now dirty cleaning solution was removed using a wet vacuum and I could see that the Remove and Go had removed most but not all of the coatings so it was time to using something stronger. To do this I applied NanoTech UltraClean which is a gel that is left to soak into the floor for thirty minutes before adding water and then agitating with the black pad. The floor was rinsed with water and the solution removed with the wet vacuum. At this point I could see that all the varnish and dirt had been removed so I gave the floor a final wash down with clean water to neutralise the floor before sealing and left for the evening so the floor could dry overnight.

Flagstone Tiled Floor After Cleaning in Ambleside

Sealing a Flagstone Tiled Floor

I came back the next day and tested the floor with a damp meter to confirm the floor was dry and then proceeded to seal the floor with Tile Doctor Seal and Go applied with a paint pad which gave the floor a nice low sheen finish that the customer requested.

Flagstone Tiled Floor After Cleaning and Sealing in Ambleside

 
 
Source: Professional Tile, Stone and Grout maintenance service in Cumbria

Cleaning 100 year old Quarry tiles near Cardiff

This Red Quarry Tiled floor had been laid when the house was built back in 1910 so it was over 100 years old and had years of wear and tear to show for it including old cement and paint from some decorating work that had been done some years prior. The house was located in the town of Treharris just outside of Cardiff and being an original feature of the house the owner wanted it looking as good as it could be.

Red Quarry Tiles Floor in Treharris Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Floor

I first checked for any moisture as these old floors were often laid without damp proofing and a damp floor can impact sealing later. Fortunately the reading was nice and dry, I then set about carefully scrapping off as much old paint and cement as possible. I then swept up as much of the dust as I could and caught the rest with a hoover.

The next step was to cover the whole floor in Tile Doctor Remove and Go mixed with a little NanoTech Ultra Clean which basically adds tiny abrasive particles to a powerful coatings remover. I left this on to soak into the tile for about an hour knowing that using this combination would not only remove any old surface coatings such as sealers it would also clean the floor as well. The solution was then worked into the floor using a rotating scrubbing brush attachment on a floor machine effectively letting the machinery do all the hard work. The floor was then rinsed twice with clean water which was then removed using a wet vacuum.

Red Quarry Tiles Floor in Treharris Scrubbed

It was clear at this point that the cement I could see on the surface of the tile was basically grout from an appalling tiling job when the floor was laid 100 years earlier. Fortunately Tile Doctor has a solution for that problem called Grout Remove and Go which is an acid based product that will remove grout and mineral deposits such as efflorescence. Being an acid I had to be careful so it was applied to the tile working one square metre at a time cleaning and scraping as I went along. After each section the floor was given a good rinsing again using the wet vacuum to remove the liquids from the floor. The last step of the cleaning process which I always do for Quarry and Victorian floor tiles was to finish off the rinsing process with a steam clean which brings out any remaining dirt and brings the tile back to its raw state.

Red Quarry Tiles Floor in Treharris Cleaning

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Floor

I cleaned the floor on the Friday and then left it to try for two days coming back on the Sunday to damp test the floor once again to ensure it was ready for sealing. The moisture reading was fine for sealing and as the customer had asked for a mild shine finish I sealed the floor using Tile Doctor Seal and Go which brought out the black and red colours in the tile back to life.

Red Quarry Tiles Floor in Treharris Sealed

 
 
Source: Residential and Commercial Tile Cleaning in South Wales

Victorian Tiled Floors in Southport

Southport is an interesting seaside town with many Victorian terraced properties so it came as no surprise when I was asked to maintain a Victorian Tiled hallway in the town.

Cleaning a Victorian Floor Tiles

The floor was in good condition for its age and just in need of a clean and re-seal to keep it looking good, hallway area’s as you can imagine get more footfall than other parts of the house so are more likely to need a regular deep clean.

Victorian Tiles Southport Before Cleaning

To get the floor clean and remove any remaining sealer the floor was sprayed with Tile Doctor Remove and Go which was left to soak into the tile for five minutes before being scrubbed in using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The next step was to wash off the residue with water which was then removed using a wet vacuum. Following this the tiles were given a rinse in Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up which is an acid based product that can remove grout smears and mineral deposits, it also improves the ability of the sealer to bond with the tile. Last step before sealing was to give the floor a thorough wash down with clean water, which is designed to remove any trace of cleaning products before sealing; the water was removed with the wet vacuum and then left to dry overnight.

Sealing the Victorian Tiled Floor

The next day I returned and checked the floor for dampness using a Damp Meter which indicated the floor was dry and ready for sealing. For Victorian Floor tiles I recommend several coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which provides a low sheen finish whilst offering great stain protection.

Victorian Tiles Southport After Cleaning

 
 
Source: Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Floor in Stockport