Dating back to the 14th century, the Ilkley Manor House is a Grade 1 listed building with an original Italian mosaic floor, laid when the house was re-built 500 years ago. The property is maintained by charitable trust run by local volunteers with the aim of preserving and transforming the building into a community asset and they were keen to preserve the floor.
It was an honour to be asked by the Trust to work on the mosaic floor, I’ve worked on a lot of old building in my time and understand how to go about cleaning and preserving old floors such as this. The floor was about 8m2 and had stood the test of time but was now in need of a sympathetic deep clean and renovation.
I visited site to take a closer look at the floor and decide on the best course of action for cleaning. I knew I had to be very careful with the floor as some pieces were slightly loose, and some were crumbling. I was satisfied that I would be able to improve the floor and I gave them a quote for the works which they were happy to accept. We arranged to carry out the work the following month.
Cleaning a Mosaic Tiled Hallway Floor
As with all Victorian and Mosaic floors if you take a few out the surrounding tiles can become loose and before you know it 50 tiles need re-laying. As a result, I decided not to use a floor buffer and cleaned the whole floor by hand, I didn’t even use a wet vacuum in case the suction was too strong. This meant the process took a lot longer than usual, but I would rather be on the safe side than risk damaging the floor any further.
The mosaic floor needed to be dry before sealing so I arranged to return two day later.
Sealing a Mosaic Tiled Hallway Floor
On returning the floor looked dry but I tested it with a moisture meter to be sure. I don’t recommend applying sealer to damp floors as it can comprise the effectively and lead to inconsistent results. Once I was satisfied, I applied three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, each coat was allowed to dry before I applied the next one. Colour Grow was an ideal choice for this floor, not only does it enhance the colour in the mosaics its also fully breathable which is important on old floors that don’t have a modern damp proof membrane installed.