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

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

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

Deep Cleaning Victorian Tiled Steps

The photographs below are from a set of steps outside a house near Brighton Marina; the customer had a number of requirements which included bringing the Victorian tiled door steps back to life and also to resolve a leak into the basement below.

Victorian Tiled Steps Brighton Marina Before Cleaning

Cleaning Victorian Tiled Steps

To get them clean we scrubbed in a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean brushing off any moss growth in the process and exposing holes and weaknesses. It was a small area so this was done by hand using water to rinse away the soiled cleaning product and a wet vacuum to extract the water. Once the tiles were cleaned all the visible holes and cracks were filled using clear mastic and a builder went about resealing the basement below.

Sealing Victorian Tiles

With winter quickly approaching the weather has changed for the worse and I struggled to find two clear days of dry weather to seal the tiles in fact three weeks passed until it was clear enough to return. I started by wiping away any visible dampness and used the heat gun on any tricky corners. Once dry the tiles were sealed using Tile Doctor Pro-Seal which is a penetrating sealer that soaks into the tile occupying the pores in the tiles so contaminates can’t.

The property was fifty metres from the sea front so I applied four coats to be sure it would have extra protection against the elements; fortunately the weather was quite windy they dried quickly. The customer was very pleased with the result, so much so that she’s recommended me to her neighbours.

Victorian Tiled Steps Brighton Marina After Cleaning

 
 
Source: Tile, Stone and Grout Cleaning in Sussex

Restoring a damaged Victorian Tiled hallway in South Wales

This is an original Victorian tiled hallway floor in Cardiff that dated back to when the house was built in the year of 1890. The previous householders of which had a radiator installed serviced by laying pipes right through the middle of the floor destroying the tiles as they went, they then back filled the channel with cement. On top of that many of the other tiles had been splashed with cement and paint.

Abused Victorian Floor Cardiff Before

Repairing Victorian Floor Tiles

My first job was to carefully remove the cement from the channel and to precisely cut back any old cement bedding and old cement grout away from any tile edges in preparation for the replacement tiles which fortunately I was able to get hold of.

Abused Victorian Floor Cardiff Before

After all the previous preparation I started carefully scraping off cement from all around the edges of the remaining tiles as well as gloss and emulsion splashes from the surface essentially giving the whole floor a thorough scrape with a hand held scraper vacuuming up the mess as I worked. Interestingly for a floor of its age I tested the floor in various places for moisture and found it to be perfectly dry.

Cleaning a Victorian Floor

To clean the floor I mixed three parts Tile Doctor Remove and Go with NanoTech UltraClean which basically adds small abrasive particles to a powerful sealer and coatings remover making it even more effective. This was applied to the whole floor and left to soak in for an hour making sure not to let it dry out by applying further amounts; leaving it to dwell for an hour gives it time to eat away at any dirt and coatings on the tile making the scrubbing processes easier.

To scrub the tiles I used a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad rinsing and extracting the soiled solution along the way. This cleaned up the tiles well however there were still some cement stains so this time Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up was applied to the floor in sections and left to ten minutes to dwell before working it in with another black scrubbing pad and rinsing off. This product is acid based so you can’t leave on the tiles for too long; once I was happy with the final result the whole floor was given a thorough rinse with plenty of clean water using a wet vacuum to extract the waste and dry the floor.

The channel was then filled with cement and once it had set replacement replica Victorian tiles from The Original Tile Company were installed. I then grouted the floor in a medium grey grout let the tiles become solid and the grout go hard before using a steam cleaner to make sure that I have removed all the tile doctor cleaning solutions prior to sealing.

Sealing a Victorian Floor Sealing

The customer wanted a semi-gloss finish so once I had tested the floor again to make sure it was dry I sealed the tiles with Tile Doctor Seal and Go which enhanced the colour of the floor tiles and added a nice sheen.

Abused Victorian Floor Cardiff Completed Abused Victorian Floor Cardiff Completed

As you can see the new tiles fitted beautifully and the old floor tiles cleaned up so successfully the difference is impossible to spot. It was a lot of painstaking work though taking five days to finish but well worth the result.
 
 
Source: Residential and Commercial Tiled Floor Restoration in South Wales

Victorian Tile Maintenance

This was a straight forward request to clean and re-seal a Victorian Minton tiled floor in Coventry. The tiles were in good condition but there were a few stubborn stains that needed dealing with.

Victorian Minton tiles cleaned and Sealed coventry Victorian Minton tiles cleaned and Sealed coventry

Cleaning Victorian Tiles

I used a concentrated dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to clean and strip the old sealer from the floor. It was first left to soak into the tiles for around 15 minutes before being scrubbed into the Victorian tile and grout using a slow speed rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. The dirty solution was removed and the process repeated and grout lines scrubbed until I was happy the tiles were clean; this was then followed with a thorough rinse with water and a wet vacuum was used to remove the fluids and get the tile and grout as dry as possible. This process took most of the day so once the floor was clean I left for the day leaving it to dry overnight.

Sealing Victorian floor tiles

I came back the next day and after confirming the tiles had dried I began sealing them using six coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go sealer which will provide stain protection as well as adding a nice shine to the floor. The interesting thing about Seal and Go is that’s it’s a water based sealer so you don’t get a smell as it dries.

Victorian Minton tiles cleaned and Sealed coventry Victorian Minton tiles cleaned and Sealed coventry

 
 
Source: Maitaining Victorian Tiles in Warwickshire