The photograph below is of a Large Quarry Tiled porch laid out with a classic Victorian pattern inlay at a house I worked on recently in Sutton Courtenay, Oxfordshire. Sutton Courtenay is a pretty village of on the River Thames to the south of Abingdon and to the northwest of Didcot. Historically it was previously part of Berkshire, but it has been administered as part of Oxfordshire since 1974 when the boundaries changed.
The client was unhappy with the floor, it looked very tired, it had lost all its’ sheen and was covered in large areas of dirty white marks. I discussed with the client what Tile Doctor could do to improve the floor and showed them an example of the cleaning process I would use on part of the floor. They were very happy with the test patch and could see that we could vastly improve the look of the floor. We agreed a price for the work and scheduled in some time in the diary to complete the work for them.
Cleaning a Victorian Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor
First, I cleaned the floor with a weak dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a highly concentrated, multi-purpose alkaline Tile cleaner, stripper and degreaser. It is a very effective cleaner that removes grease from areas that have been neglected or subjected to heavy use. I scrubbed the product into the floor with a rotary floor scrubber fitted with a soft brush, I then rinsed with cold water and vacuumed up the slurry produced with the wet vacuum.
I then gave the tiles an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel scrubbed in this time with a black pad, then rinsed with a small amount of water and vacuumed again. This process is designed to counter any alkaline salts known as efflorescence, that may be present in the tiles which is quite a common problem on old floors like this where no damp proof membrane exists under the floor. This action deal with the appearance of white salt staining as moisture rises through the tiles from the subfloor.
I then left the floor to dry which only took a few hours due to the location of the tiles and the usually warm and windy for the time of year.
Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor
Returning in the afternoon, I checked the floor was dry with my moisture meter and I was satisfied the floor was ready to be sealed. I chose to seal the floor with Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating colour enhancing sealer which will protect the floor from staining from within by occupying the pores in the tile. Critically this sealer is also fully breathable thereby allowing moisture to pass through the tiles and not become trapped under the floor where it could spread to the walls leading to rising damp. I applied two coats initially and then after an hour, I applied a third coat. The floor was then buffed with a white pad to remove any excess and buff up the appearance of the tiles.
The floor looked superb and the client was very happy with the finish, the vibrancy of the colours in the tiles which were enhanced by the sealer was now very intense and the floor looked as it should.