Victorian Tile Cleaning

Restoring a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Nailsworth

This Victorian tiled hallway floor at a property in Nailsworth needed repairs to four areas and then required a deep clean and seal. The client was unsure if this was something, we would be able to help with but after speaking to him on the phone and review the photographs he sent over I reassured him it should be possible.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Before Renovation Nailsworth Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Before Renovation Nailsworth

The owner was keen to progress to I arranged an appointment to visit the property and survey the floor to get a better idea of the issues and provide a price for fully restoring the floor to the best condition possible. As the pictures show the Victorian tiles looked dull and washed out, there were also white paint spots on the tiles. I was confident the floor could be saved, and the owner was happy with my quote, so we scheduled a date for the work to start.

Repairing and Cleaning and a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I spent the first day repairing the floor which in most cases requires carefully lifting the old tiles, scraping out the adhesive and cement and then re-fixing the original tile or a replacement back in place. We are usually able to source replacement tiles, either reclaimed or reproduction and we had managed to find some to match this floor. It’s a slow process and with four areas of Victorian flooring in need of attention so this step took up much of the first day. The floor was left to dry overnight so the adhesive would set.

On the second day I deep cleaned the tiles with a 200-grit diamond pad fitted to a rotary buffer using water to lubricate. The resultant slurry was then extracted with a wet vacuum and the process was repeated with a 400-grit burnishing pad. All the edges were done with water and small handheld diamond blocks as the rotary machine was too large to reach the corners and edges.

To finish the cleaning I treated the tiles to an acid wash using Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up which as well as removing any old grout smears would neutralise any efflorescent salts contained within the floor which can be problem on old floors like this that don’t have a damp proof membrane installed. Another advantage of doing this is that you achieve a stronger bond between the sealer and the tile.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The floor was left to dry for 3 days after which I returned to seal it. Before starting thought I took some moisture readings with the damp meter. Once I was satisfied, I started applying the first of what would be five coats of sealer and for this floor I chose Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra. There were several reasons for choice including the satin finish however my main thought was the age of the floor which meant it would not have a damp-proof membrane installed so any moisture would need to rise through the tile without being impeded, Seal and Go extra allows for this.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Repair Nailsworth Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Repair Nailsworth

My customer was really pleased with the result and happy to have the floor restored back to its original state.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Renovation Nailsworth

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in the Cotswolds

Original Victorian Tiled Hallway Repaired, Cleaned and Sealed in Cheltenham

Cheltenham in the county of in Gloucestershire is a recognised area of outstanding beauty, and is known for its various festivals which take place throughout the year. Horse racing is another event that continues to be very popular in Cheltenham, after first gaining popularity during the Victorian period.

Indeed, lots of people made their homes in the town during this time, and many of the original Victorian properties are still in use to today, complete with original Victorian tiled floors. However, not all of these floors have been kept in great condition over the decades. Lots of them have spent years covered by carpet, while others have become broken or damaged, and simply left to slowly degrade over time.

I found a good example of this at the home of a recent customer of mine. The customer’s Victorian tiled hallway was in poor condition, with some of the tiles around the doorway cracked and in need of replacements. All in all, the floor required repairs, followed by deep clean and a fresh application of sealant.

Victorian Tiles Before Repair Clean and Seal Cheltenham Victorian Tiles Before Repair Clean and Seal Cheltenham

Repairing and Cleaning Original Victorian Tiles

My first job was to source suitable replacement tiles which would be needed to match with the original pattern of the floor. Fortunately Tile Doctor has built up a network of contacts in this area so this proved to be a simple enough task.

When I arrived on site I protected the flooring in the adjacent rooms and staircase carpet with plastic sheeting and made a start on removing the cracked tiles, cleaning up the foundation then fixing and grouting in the replacement tiles.

Victorian Tiles During Repair Cheltenham
Next, I moved on to cleaning the entire hallway starting with an application of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, an alkaline-based product that is safe to use on Tile and Stone including Victorian tile, for the removal of heavy soil and staining. It can strip away old sealants remaining on the tile which is important to avoid a patchy looking result. The product was diluted with water and applied liberally across the area and left to dwell for roughly 10 minutes before I proceeded to work it into the tiles using a scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine.

I used a wet vacuum to remove the soiled cleaning solution, rinsed with water and then spot treated those tiles which needed more work to get them clean.

Once I was happy with the floor was as clean as it could be I left it to dry off overnight.

Sealing Original Victorian Tiles

Upon returning to the property the next day, my first concern was to run some tests to check for any outstanding damp issues. Victorian properties do not typically have damp proof membranes installed, so these tests were essential as an excess of moisture can cloud the sealant and prevent it from performing correctly.

Luckily, there were no major damp issues and I could proceed with sealing the tiles using Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is an impregnating sealant that penetrates into the pores of the tile enhancing the natural colours and protecting it from with. I find many customers with Victorian Tiles opt for Colour Grow as their sealant because it provides a natural-look matte finish which really compliments the classic characteristics of Victorian tiles.

The customer was absolutely delighted with the outcome of the restoration, which you can see in the photo below. Best of all, he said that he is already getting comments from friends and family on how great the floor looks now.

Victorian Tiles After Repair Clean and Seal Cheltenham Victorian Tiles After Repair Clean and Seal Cheltenham

 

Professional Renovation of an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway in Gloucestershire

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