Restoring Victorian Hallway Tiles in Doncaster

This beautiful Victorian tiled hallway was in desperate need of some TLC. The house had recently changed hands and the new owners of the house were having the entire property renovated. The last part of the renovation plan was to have the Victorian hallway tiles restoring back to their former glory. Floors are always best left until last, especially hallways as last as workmen don’t usually take a lot of care in my experience.

The house was built in the early 1900’s and was situated close to Doncaster town centre a couple of streets away in fact from the famous Doncaster Racecourse which dates to the late 1500’s.

Victorian Hallway Tiles Before Renovation Doncaster

Cleaning/Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

There were a few areas of damage to the floor that would need dealing with first. This is not surprising given the age of the floor which must have seen a lot of comings and goings over the years. Our first task therefore was to repair the damage using replica tiles sourced to be as close a match to the originals as possible. We usually find any slight differences disappear once the floor has been deep cleaned and sealed. Once removing the damaged tile and cleaning the base we use a fast setting adhesive to fix the replacement tiles in place so we can get on with the cleaning as soon as possible.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Repair Doncaster

Once the replacement tiles had set, we unloaded our slow speed rotary floor machine and large wet vacuum which would be used during the cleaning. To start the cleaning the floor was sprayed with Tile Doctor Remove & Go and this was left to dwell on the tiles for twenty minutes. This gives time for the product to break down old floor coatings and grime, this was followed by scrubbing the tiles with a 200-grit diamond pad fitted to the floor machine and assisted with the addition of more water to help lubricate the process. This process generates a lot of slurry as the dirt and old sealers etc are released from the tiles and this is extracted from the surface of the floor using the wet vacuum.

The next step was to give the floor an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel which is applied to the tiles and left to dwell for fifteen minutes and scrubbed in again with the floor buffer and 200-grit diamond pad. Once done the floor was rinsed with water and then dried using the wet vacuum to extract as much moisture as possible. This last process is designed to counter any alkaline salts that may be present in the floor which may cause efflorescence to appear later. It also removes old mineral deposits and generally get the tiles looking much brighter. Once complete the floor was left to dry off naturally overnight.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I came back the next day to seal the tiles first checking the floor was dry using a moisture meter. Satisfied that the floor was ready for sealing I started to seal the tiles using multiple coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra which is a fully breathable sealer which is important for old floors like this. Seal and Go Extra also leaves a lovely satin finish which works well on Victorian tiles and brings the floor alive.

Victorian Hallway Tiles After Renovation Doncaster

This was the last step in this properties renovation, and I think you will agree that the floor responded really well to the restoration process and the colours in the tiles are now very vibrant.

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in South Yorkshire

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Sandstone Tiled Kitchen Floor Renovated in Mapplewell, Barnsley

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We were contacted by a family in the Barnsley area of South Yorkshire who were tearing their hair out trying to keep their Sandstone Tiled floor clean. The kitchen area was especially grubby and once the island had been removed during recent renovations, the dirty floor really stood out.

The house was located on the Northern tip of Barnsley in Mapplewell, close to the border of South and West Yorkshire, an area which is steeped in coal mining history. Even though all the coal mines have gone there’s still lots of evidence of its’ proud mining history in the area.

Sandstone Tiled Floor Before Renovation in Mapplewell

After inspecting the tiles, I could see their problem revolved around the fact that the Sandstone had a texture to it and the previous sealer used was an impregnating sealer, as a result the dirt had no problem sticking to the stone as you can see from the picture. At Tile Doctor we see Sandstone/flagstones used a lot as Kitchen flooring, it is a popular choice due to it being so hardwearing, however as with any natural stone it needs to be sealed to protect it and bring out its beauty and colour.

I demonstrated the cleaning process on a small part of the floor, which they were very satisfied with. The testing also enables me to understand what it would take to renovate the whole floor and provide them with an accurate price. They were happy with my proposal and keen for me to begin the work which would take two days to complete, one day to clean the floor and returning a further day to complete the sealing of the floor.

Cleaning a Sandstone Tiled Kitchen Floor

On arrival at the agreed date I set about preparing the working area by removing the kickboards and protecting other surfaces that might come into contact with the cleaning products and equipment.

My process for cleaning the floor was to spray the floor first with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which was left to soak into the stone for ten minutes so it could breakdown old sealers and dirt. The solution was then scrubbed into the stone using a rotary floor buffer fitted with a 400-grit diamond encrusted burnishing pad. It didn’t take long for solution to turn grey with the soil that was released from the floor and the true beauty of the Sandstone started to appear. The dirty slurry was extracted with a wet vacuum and the floor given a thorough inspection. Stubborn stains were spot-treated using the same process and once I was satisfied the floor was given a thorough rinse to remove any trace of cleaning product and dirt. The floor was dried as much as possible with the wet vacuum and then assisted with fans left to dry off fully overnight. It was clear to me at this stage that the floor was already showing significant improvement.

Sandstone Tiled Kitchen Floor After Cleaning in Mapplewell

Sealing a Sandstone Tiled Kitchen Floor

The next day I tested the stone for moisture using a damp meter to ensure it was dry before sealing. It confirmed that the floor had dried overnight and would be able to start applying the sealer.

It was already clear that an impregnating sealer was not the best choice for a textured stone so a topical sealer would be the best option, not only does it bring out the colours of the stone it also adds a barrier between the fine pores of the stone and dirt. Six coats of Tile Doctors Seal & Go were applied to ensure the stone was fully sealed, which took some time as you have to wait for the first coat to dry before applying the next. Seal and Go is a water based acrylic satin sealer which is perfect for this type of floor. It gives a nice natural finish but allows the natural colour and beauty of the floor to shine through.

Sandstone Tiled Floor During Sealing in Mapplewell

The sandstone now looks much lighter and cleaner, certainly my client was very happy with the transformation of the floor, especially where the island had been. In fact, we have agreed with the customer we will return every year to maintain the floor to keep it looking in perfect condition. In the meantime, they should be able to easily keep it clean using Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which is designed for the regular cleaning for sealed floors like this.

Sandstone Tiled Floor After Renovation in Mapplewell

 

Professional Restoration of a Sandstone Tiled Floor in South Yorkshire

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Cleaning Sealing Red and Black Quarry Floor Tiles Buxton

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The photographs below are from a client who lives in an older property in Buxton which you may have heard of due to its famous spa and popular spring water. Buxton is situated in the county of Derbyshire, in the East Midlands and has the highest elevation of any market town in England.

The property had Red and Black Quarry tiles laid throughout the Kitchen and the downstairs in a diamond pattern. Quarry tiles are very hard wearing and thus a popular and traditional flooring option for high traffic areas in the past. Certainly, in this case they were in good physical condition given their age and they looked very much in-keeping with the period property along with the fireplaces.

Red Black Quarry Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Buxton

The client loved the feature floor but felt the tiles were looking neglected and they were struggling to keep them clean. This is a common problem with quarry tiles which are porous and need to be sealed to keep them looking good, however over time the sealer wears down with use and dirt becomes ingrained in the pores of the tile making them impossible to clean effectively. The client just wanted them to look clean and ensure they could be easily maintained.

Red Black Quarry Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Buxton

I recommended deep cleaning the tiles to remove the dirt and the sealing them to protect them going forward a process which usually takes around two days.

Cleaning and Restoring Quarry tiles

My quote was accepted, and I returned on the agreed date to complete the work starting with the first part of the process which involved removing the ingrained dirt, grime and any remaining sealer that may be present on the floor. To do this I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and left it to dwell for ten minutes. The Pro-Clean was then worked into the tile and grout using a black buffing pad fitted to a rotary machine. Once done the now soiled cleaning solution was rinsed off the floor with water and a wet vacuum was used to extract it from the floor. Some areas of tile were stained with paint slashes from decorating and these was spot treated with Tile Doctor Nanotech HBU which stands for Heavy Build-Up remover and is pretty good at dealing with all sorts of stains and tough soiling on tiled floors. The floor was then dried using the wet vacuum and left overnight to allow it to dry out thoroughly.

Sealing Quarry Floor Tiles

The client had left the radiators on overnight to aid the drying process and by the next morning the floor was nice and dry. I tested the moisture content to be sure and it was well within acceptable levels and therefore ready for the next stage. It’s important to ensure the tiles are dry before applying a sealer as the sealant won’t cure and the result will be compromised.

I sealed the floor a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer. I chose this product because the house had some damp problems due to its’ age and I decided a breathable fully sealer was the best option for this situation as this will allow moisture to rise-up through the tile and evaporate without causing any problems. Colour Grow works by soaking into the pores of the tile protecting it from within and improving the natural colours of the tile in the process.

Red Black Quarry Tiled Floor After Cleaning Buxton

The end result was the floor looked much cleaner and colours in the tiles were more vibrant, needless to say my client was very pleased with the result and the sealer will ensure the floor is easy to maintain floor for the future as per their brief.

Red Black Quarry Tiled Floor After Cleaning Buxton

 

Professional Restoration of Quarry Tiles in Derbyshire

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