Neglected Victorian Encaustic Cement Hallway Renovated in Twickenham

This Encaustic Cement tiled floor dates to the Victorian period and was found under hallway carpet at a property in Twickenham. The tiles had been covered up for years with carpet and other floor coverings and although structurally intact their appearance had suffered from the neglect.

When the current owners discovered the pattered tiled floor, they were keen to restore it as a period feature, so they set about cleaning the tiles themselves. Unfortunately, they used some very harsh acidic products which badly pitted and etched the surface of the tile. In places, the tile pattern had started to disappear so when they got in contact, they were quite concerned.

Victorian Encaustic Cement Hallway Tiles Before Renovation Twickenham

Being based in Shepperton it wasn’t long before I was able to call in at the property to survey the Encaustic Cement tiles and quote for renovating the floor. The property was in a road with similar age properties, a lot still with lovely tiled Victorian porches and paths in fact we had carried out some work in the same street previously.

We advised the customer that the best course of action would be to deep clean the tiles to remove the years of ingrained dirt and then apply a sealer in order to protect the pores of the Encaustic Cement tiles from trapping ingrained dirt.

Victorian Encaustic Cement Hallway Tiles Before Renovation Twickenham

Now normally I would clean Encaustic Cement tiles with a set of burnishing pads and then seal with an impregnator like Tile Doctor Colour Grow. However, due to the damage caused by the DIY restoration I didn’t want to risk an abrasive cleaning process such as Burnishing on the tiles. After discussing the options, I recommend the best approach would be to deep clean the tiles with Tile Doctor Pro Clean which I was confident would improve their appearance. I would then seal the tiles to protect them from future damage whilst making the patterns much brighter and defined. We agreed a price and scheduled a date to start the work.

Deep Cleaning Victorian Encaustic Cement Tiles

Arriving on day one I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, this is a strong alkaline cleaner that is safe to use on Tile and Stone. It was left to dwell for roughly ten minutes so it could soak into the pores of the cement tile and breakdown the ingrained dirt. I then ran over the tiles with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor buffer running at slow speed. This action released the dirt from the floor turning the cleaning solution into a slurry that was then extracted from the floor using a wet vacuum. The floor was then rinsed with water, then extracted again to remove remaining dirt.

Once the whole floor had been treated, I repeated the process for a second time to ensure all the dirt had been removed. After the second rinse the floor looked much better and was left overnight to dry off.

Sealing a Victorian Encaustic Cement Tiled Hallway Floor

Returning the following day, I checked the floor for excess moisture and was pleased to find everything was nice and dry. It’s important that the floor is dry before applying a sealer, so I was able to set about sealing the floor. Multiple thin coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go we applied which adds a lovely subtle sheen to the tiles. Five coats were applied allowing the tile to dry in between.

Victorian Encaustic Cement Hallway Tiles After Renovation Twickenham

As you can see from the pictures, the deep clean and fresh sealer has brought out the best in the floor and given it a new lease of life. The sealer should last for a good few years and there is very little evidence of the damage done previously. Needless to say, the client was very happy and much relieved.

Victorian Encaustic Cement Hallway Tiles After Renovation Twickenham

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Encaustic Cement Tiled Hallway in Middlesex

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Restoring the Appearance of Encaustic Cement Tiles in Chipping Norton

The photographs on this page are of Encaustic Cement tiles where the grout had not been wiped off the surface properly after being laid. This in turn allowed dirt to become easily trapped and they soon became grubby. We see this problem a lot at Tile Doctor where it is commonly referred to has Grout Smears or Grout Haze. The customer from Chipping Norton had tried to remove it themselves without success and decided to give us a call.

Encaustic Cement Tiles Before Cleaning in Chipping Norton

If you haven’t come across them before Encaustic Cement tiles are often hand painted and are available in a range of beautifully artistic patterns. Being cement based however they do need to be sealed for best results.

Burnishing and Sealing Encaustic Cement Tiles

To remove the grout and dirt and restore the look of the tiles I opted to use diamond encrusted burnishing pads. Tile Doctor supply a set of these pads comprising of four pads of increasing grits. I started with the coarse 400-grit burnishing pads running it over the floor with a rotary floor machine and lubricated with a small amount of water. Following this I worked my way through the system, applying Medium 800-grit and Fine 1500-grit pads rinsing off the slurry generated in-between and extracting with a wet vacuum.

The last Very Fine, 3000-grit pad is applied dry with only a little water spayed onto the floor using a process we call a “Spray Burnish”. This really refines the look of the tiles and usefully leaves them dry. This process took up the whole morning and the next step would be to seal the tiles, so I went for lunch at this point to give the tiles more time to dry.

Sealing Encaustic Cement Floor Tiles

To be sure they were dry I tested the floor with a damp meter, the readings were fine, and I was satisfied I could go ahead and apply the sealer.

To seal the tiles, I used two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, this is an impregnating sealer that penetrates and occupies the pores of the tile thus prevent dirt from becoming ingrained there. Colour Grow also leaves a matt finish which is ideal for this type of tile.

Encaustic Cement Tiles After Cleaning in Chipping Norton

With the grout and dirt removed and a sealer in place to protect them this floor will be much easier for the customer to keep them clean in future.

Get the Encaustic Look

If you like the look of Encaustic tiles but don’t want the hassle of having to maintain them it’s worth looking at their equivalent in Glazed Porcelain which are very low maintenance. CTD have a Cuban and Havana range which are inspired by the intricate geometric shapes found in Encaustic tiles, both are made from Glazed Porcelain which doesn’t need to be sealed and are therefore very low maintenance. CTD have over 100 tile shops in the UK and you can also buy on-line or order free samples via their website: www.CTDTiles.co.uk

 

Restoring the Appearance of Grubby Encaustic Cement Tiles in Oxfordshire

The post Restoring the Appearance of Encaustic Cement Tiles in Chipping Norton appeared first on Oxfordshire Tile Doctor.

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