Victorian Tiles Discovered Under Lino Renovated in Kettering


The customer called me after she had removed the lino in her hallway to discover a traditional Victorian tiled floor hidden underneath. Unfortunately, at some time in the past this floor hadn’t been protected whilst decoration was carried out and had been heavily stained with splashes of paint. Although the customer had tried her best to clean the paint off the floor, she had found it was impossible to remove. She was really keen to restore the floor back to its’ former glory and see the back of the nasty looking lino!

I visited the property in Kettering which is a lovely town in Northamptonshire, approx. 15 miles from Northampton itself. The area is now very popular with commuters with regular trains heading to London St Pancras taking just one hour. As the pictures she had sent me showed the floor needed professional cleaning as no amount of household products would be able to remove the problem areas. I discussed with the customer what we could do to get the floor restored and we agreed a price for the work, scheduling it in for a few weeks later.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Kettering Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Kettering

Deep Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

To clean the floor, it was first sprayed with a solution of Tile Doctor Remove & Go which was left to dwell for fifteen minutes to help soften the paint. We then used our heavy-duty scrubbing machine with the appropriate attachments to scrub the floor. A little warm water was added to the solution on the floor to help remove the paint as the scrubbing was underway. Once done a wet vacuum was used to remove the slurry generated by the scrubbing process.

This process was repeated several times in the most stubborn areas to ensure the floor was as clean as possible. This action removed around 90% of the paint which was a huge improvement, but more work was required before it would meet my standards.

To further improve the condition of the tiles my next course of action was to apply Tile Doctors 100 and 200-grit burnishing pads to the floor with water to help lubricate. After each pad the find slurry that was generated was extracted off the floor using the wet vacuum. This process reconditions the surface of the Victorian tile and removed the remainder of the paint, it also cleaned the remaining areas that needed further attention leaving the floor spotless. I left the floor to dry overnight and arranged to return the following morning to complete the restoration with the application of a sealer.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The customer wanted the floor to look natural so requested a matt finish sealer, also being an old floor without a damp proof membrane I specified the sealer should be fully breathable so moisture can pass up from the sub floor and not become trapped under the tile where it could cause problems. With these factors in mind we agreed on Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which ticks all these boxes.

As you can see from the after pictures, the restorative cleaning process really did the trick. The colours in the floor were now nice and clear and the floor looked as it should.
The customer was over the moon with the outcome, she had not expected the finish achieved to be as good.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Kettering Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Kettering

No matter how bad you think the floor is with the use of professional machinery and Tile Doctor products we can restore most floors to a high standard, which certainly in this case exceeded the customers’ expectations.


Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Northamptonshire


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Brick Shaped Quarry Tiled Floor Restored in Much Wenlock


This was a property adjacent to Benthall Hall which is a historic building owned by the National Trust near Much Wenlock. Many of the buildings in this town date back hundreds of years including Benthall Hall which is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086.

Brick Pattern Quarry Tiled Floor Before Renovation Much Wenlock

The property hadn’t been lived in for several years and the new tenants wanted to sympathetically improve the look of the Brick Shaped Quarry Tiles on the lounge floor and in the toilet where the floor had been laid with nine-inch square quarry tiles. Both floor areas had been painted over previously and due to dampness issues the paint was flaking off leaving a very unappealing look. No doubt this contributed to the reason the property has been left un-occupied for so long.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Renovation Much Wenlock

Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Floor

To give the floor a deep clean I would need to remove all the flaking paint; there were several ways I could go about this so after some consideration I decided to try Tile Doctor Remove and Go.

Remove and Go is a multi-purpose coatings remover that can strip sealers off tiles as well as remove paint and other coatings, it’s also designed for use on Tile, Stone and Grout so safe to use. I applied a strong dilution of the product to the floor and left it to soak in for a good ten minutes. It was then scrubbed into the floor using a black seventeen-inch scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor machine. The floor was then rinsed down with water and the soil extracted using a wet vacuum. With the floor clean I could see I had been successful in removing most of the paint but there were areas where further work was needed and so I repeated the process three or four times and used a steamer on the stubborn areas until I was happy with the condition of the floor. After rinsing for a final time, I inspected the floor and could see the tiles looked a hundred times better.

My next thought was to seal the Quarry tiles to protect them from future staining and enhance their look. The problem however with old floors like these is that they don’t have a damp proof membrane and can have damp problems. The floor needed to be dry before applying a sealer and with all the water used to rinse the floor it may take some time to dry out. I discussed this issue with the customer and we agreed that I will return to monitor the floor and arrange to seal it when it was dry. In-fact I did return after a week and tested the floor with a damp meter which confirmed the floor still was still too damp.

Sealing a Quarry Floor Sealing

They were due to move into the property in a months’ time, so I visited them again to check the floor and unfortunately the damp level was still too high. I concluded that there were several factors preventing the quarry tiles from drying out: the tiles were laid on sand, the property as I mentioned had not been lived in for years also there had been a lot of rain over the last couple of months.

Brick Pattern Quarry Tiled Floor After Renovation Much Wenlock

We agreed that once they move in and start to heat the building up, the floor have a much better chance for drying and when it looks dry, they will give me a call and I will check it for them and seal it if possible.

Given the damp issues my thoughts are to seal the floor with a coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow and then finish with Seal and Go Extra, both are which breathable sealers and will leave the floor with a nice sheen finish.

Quarry Tiled Floor After Renovation Much Wenlock

Restoring an Old Quarry Tiled Floor in Shropshire


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Laminate Covered Victorian Tiled Hallway Restoration in Stafford


The photographs below are of a Victorian Tiled Hallway I recently restored in Stafford. This lovely floor was discovered underneath laminate flooring I can only assume because a previous owner of the house couldn’t work out how to restore it as it was in a terrible state and decided to cover it up.

Fortunately thanks to the power of the internet the current owner discovered Tile Doctor on-line and called us in to have a look with the aim of restoring the floor as a period feature.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Stafford

Restoring a Victorian Tiled Hallway

Laminate is laid as a floating floor so unlike vinyl or carpet coverings that I usually deal with the laminate had if anything protected what was essential a very dirty Victorian tiled floor that was stained with adhesive and paint splashes.

With the laminate flooring already removed by the owner my preparation consisted of adding protection to the wooden paintwork. Once done I started to tackle the dirt by applying a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and leaving it to soak into the tile and grout for about fifteen minutes. Then with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad and running at slow speed I set about scrubbing the floor to get as much ingrained dirt out of pores of the Victorian floor tiles as possible. Once that was done I rinsed off the now soiled cleaning solution with water and then extracted it with a wet vacuum.

This action made a huge difference to the tile and grout, but the paint and adhesive stains were more difficult to remove so these areas were treated with Tile Doctor Remove and Go assisted with a steamer to help draw the staining out.

With the tile ad grout now clean of dirt and stains I gave the floor a rinse with water to remove any trace of cleaning products and then extracted as much moisture from as possible using the wet vacuum. I then left for the day allowing the floor to dry off fully overnight.

Sealing Victorian floor Tiles

The next day I confirmed the floor had dried off and then proceeded to apply five coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go Extra which is a fully breathable sealer that adds a lovely shine to the tiles. I used a fully breathable sealer as these old houses were built before the invention of the damp proof course and I wanted to ensure that any moisture could rise through the floor and evaporate unhindered.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Stafford

The final photograph shows the huge transformation I achieved with the floor and as you can imagine my customer was very happy with the result.

Victorian tiled hallway floor Restored in Stafford


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