We were asked by the customer in Tooting, if we could restore this Victorian tiled hallway floor that they had found underneath a carpet while they were refurbishing their property. Interestingly he had already had a quote from another company, but they were unable to identify what type of tile it was. Old floors like these are not for the in-experienced and if you look closely at my website you will see I have published over 60 detailed accounts of tile cleaning and restorations since 2012.
I could see there was a lovely Victorian Tiled floor hiding underneath the paint spots and plaster dust and carried out a test patch to show him what the floor would look like when it was clean. I also showed him pictures of similar floors that we have restored over the years and was able to show the finishes you can achieve from different sealers. Convinced I was the chap for the job he booked me in there and then.
Cleaning a Heavily Soiled Victorian Tiled Floor
Returning on the agreed date we started the cleaning process by pre-wetting the floor with water. This was followed by the application of a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which was left to soak in for approximately ten minutes. This product is designed for the safe removal of old coating such as sealers from Tile, Stone and Grout and I knew it would be ideal for the task. The solution was then scrubbed into the Victorian tile and gout using a rotary machine fitted with a black stripping pad. The scrubbing process released a lot of the stains and dirt from the floor which were then extracted with a wet vacuum. The process was then repeated until all the sections were treated.
The floor was then rinsed with water and the resultant residue extracted using a wet vacuum before treating the tiles to an Acid Wash to neutralise any alkaline salts and remove mineral deposits and old grout smears. This was done by applying Tile Doctor Acid Gel for around fifteen minutes and then removing it with a final rinse.
Cleaning the hallway took up most of the day and I needed the tiles to be dry before the next step of applying a sealer, so after discussing progress with the owner I left for the day and gave the floor three days to dry out.
Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway
On our return I first checked the floor with a damp meter to make sure it had dried out thoroughly. All was well, so we proceeded to seal the tiles using Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that leaves a matt finish and soaks into the pores of the tile protecting it from within and enhancing its appearance in the process.
Four coats of sealer were needed and as you can see by the final pictures the hallway now looks fantastic and needless to say the customer was over the moon with the final results.
Professional Victorian Tiled Hallway Cleaning in South London
I was asked to look at an old Victorian Tiled Hallway floor at a house in Brixton, South London. This classic floor had been discovered underneath an old hallway carpet while refurbishment works were being carried out. I went over initially in mid December to survey the floor and talked the owner through a number of similar restorations we had completed in the past. I could see this floor would need a deep clean to remove the years of dirt and also some tiling would needed to be done to tile a section of concrete near the stairs that had been dug out to lay pipe work when central heating had been installed many years prior. She didn’t want to make a commitment at that point so I left her with our quotation so she could think it over. I suspect she had other quotes to review however I’m pleased to say that she decided to give the work to us.
Once we had agreed a date to do the work I started looking around for replacement tiles that would be needed to restore the floor. Unfortunately the octagonal ones are not made anymore and I couldn’t hold of any salvaged ones either. Having been involved in Tile Restoration work for some time now, I have a list of companies and reclamation yards that are usually a good source for these materials. To resolve the problem I sourced square tiles with a similar look and would cut them to the same shape when on site.
Cleaning and Repairing a Heavily Soiled Victorian Tiled Floor
I returned after Christmas to start the restoration process which was due to take two to three days. To start the restoration process we applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go to the floor, allowed it to soak in for ten minutes and then worked it into the tiles using a scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. Remove and Go is a product that removes coatings from tiles including in this case old paint splashes and carpet adhesive. The floor was then rinsed and the now dirty solution extracted using a wet vacuum.
Once this was finished the floor was looking cleaner and the next step was to tackle the concrete area near the stairs where the heating pipes had been buried. The cement had to be carefully chipped away and then refilled with fresh cement but to the level of the original surface so we could lay new tile on top. We use a quick setting compound for this and were able to start relaying and grouting the section with new specially cut tiles later that afternoon.
Naturally the strip of new tiles were quite noticeable against the old and although the customer was happy I knew I could get a better result by running a very coarse burnishing pad fitted to a heavy buffing machine over the surface. I used a diamond resin hybrid 50 grit pad to take off the top layer of the tiles and then refinished the surface with a 100 and then 200 grit pad. This did the trick and it was impossible to tell the old and new apart.
After this I carried out an acid wash using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up diluted with four parts water. The purpose of this was to remove any old grout smears and mineral deposits from the floor as well as counteract any possibility of unsightly efflorescence salts rising up through the tile at a later stage. This is quite a common problem with these old floors which don’t have a damp proof coarse and certainly I could see no trace of a DPC when I dug out the cement around the pipe work earlier.
The last step in the cleaning process was to steam the entire floor and then leave it to dry off fully over the New Year break.
Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor
I returned on the 2nd of January and after inspecting the floor to ensure it was clean and free of damp I began to seal it using Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that soaks into the pores of the tile protecting it from within and enhancing its appearance in the process. Four coats of sealer were needed and as you can see by the final pictures the final results were outstanding.
Period features such as old Victorian floors add a lot of value to and the customer was over the moon with the transformation and is so happy she chose to have the floor restored rather than covering it back up with carpet.
Professional Victorian Tiled Hallway Restoration in South London