Most people don’t realise this but Amtico recommend their floors are protected against scuffs and scratches with a sealer or floor care dressing as they call it and like any product you apply to a floor it will wear off over time due to the constant abrasion of floor traffic. This is very similar to the problem we face with tile and stone most of which also benefit from the protection of a sealer.
With this in mind I was asked to visit a Hair Salon in Wimbledon which as well as being famous for its annual Tennis tournament is a large town to the southwest of London. Their Amtico flooring had lost a lot of its appearance and a recent redesign had exposed a few obvious areas where equipment was once positioned. It was clear that the whole floor would need to be stripped of what was left of its protective coating and resealed.
Deep Cleaning Amtico Flooring
It was necessary to strip the floor of its old coating first as to apply a fresh sealer would simply have locked in the dirt and led to different layers of sealer on the floor which can leave some areas looking darker than others.
To strip off the old coating and clean the we used Tile Doctor Vinyl Strip mixed with hot water. This was left to sit on the floor for a short while before being scrubbed in with a scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor buffer and then the soil was removed using a wet and dry vacuum. It’s worth noting that to scrub this floor we used a finer scrubbing pad than normal because using a black stripping pad would have scratched the Vinyl. We then rinsed the floor twice with water to remove any residue and extracted the water with a wet vacuum.
Normally we these jobs we would look to let the floor dry off overnight and come back the next day to seal the floor, however given the commercial nature of the business this was not a practical option so the Amtico floor was force dried using industrial air movers.
Sealing Amtico Flooring
Once the floor was dry we were able to press on with the application of the sealer which for Amtico and other Vinyl flooring we recommend Tile Doctor Vinyl Shine floor polish which leaves a nice subtle shine. You have to wait for a coat to dry (approx. 30 minutes) before applying the next, so this process can take a while to complete, in this case three coats were applied to achieve the desired finish.
We managed to strip and seal the whole floor in a day, so the owner was able to open for business on the Monday.
Dirty Vinyl Flooring Cleaned and Sealed at a Hair Salon in South London
I thought you might find this Quarry tiled floor restoration from a property in South Croydon interesting, especially considering the transformation that we were able to achieve. The Quarry Tiles were in a covered porch at the front of the property and the previous owners had painted them with red tile paint several times and they had also become stained from other decoration work. They were now in a neglected state and really needed to be stripped of paint and restored.
Removing Paint from Quarry Tiles
To get the red paint off the Quarry tiles, Tile Doctor Nanotech HBU Remover was applied to the floor and left to dwell and soak into the tile and grout for about twenty minutes. HBU stands for Heavy Build-Up and is a strong product that utilised small Nano sized abrasive particles to remove floor coatings. There were a number of layers of paint that needed removing so a scouring pad was used to work the product into the floor.
As you can imagine that paint didn’t want to come off easily, so it took several attempts before the Quarry tiles were completely clean. After each application the floor was given a thorough rinse to remove any trace of product and the soil removed with a wet vacuum.
Grout Renovation with a Charcoal Grout Colourant
When we eventually cleaned everything off, we found the grout had absorbed the paint in places leaving a patchy appearance. Removing and replacing the grout would take a long time so I suggested to the owner that we Colour Seal the grout lines using a Charcoal Grey Grout Colourant. The colourant is basically painted onto the grout with a small brush and when it hardens it forms a protective barrier over the grout and would give a consistent appearance. The process is quite quick and given then grout lines had already been given a good scrub the colourant should achieve a good bond. The owner was happy to for us to proceed and I think you will agree we achieved a very good result.
Sealing Porch Quarry Tiles
The floor was left to dry out for a few days and we returned to finish the restoration by sealing the tiles in order to protect them from future staining and also make them easier to clean. I used an impregnating colour enhancing sealer called Tile Doctor Colour Grow for this purpose and I think you will agree the floor looks much improved.
My customer was delighted with the final result and left the following review on our website.
“My small hall floor proved to be a challenge but couldn’t be more pleased with the results. Very professional service throughout. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend.
Helen B, South Croydon.”
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