Restoring a Damaged Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor in Sheffield

I received a request to take a look at renovating this old Victorian tiled hallway at a ground floor flat in Sheffield. The home owners had recently bought the property and had uncovered the floor under an old carpet. They wondered if the floor was fixable and worth getting repaired, cleaned and sealed.

Victorian Floor Restoration Sheffield Before

The floor was in quite a serious state with patches of sunken areas which had been covered in a levelling compound. There were many cracked and loose tiles and there were a lot of stains, carpet glue and paint on the tiles. The home owner had done some research into the property and had found out that it was once used as Doctors surgery and the hallway had been the waiting room which would make sense as it had certainly seen a fair amount of wear over the years, especially around the door thresholds.

Victorian Floor Restoration Sheffield Before

Our client wanted the existing floor repairing, cleaning and sealing, ideally without replacing the cracked and sunken tiles. They were very keen to try and restore the floor as an original feature which I’m sure you will appreciate are very sought after. I discussed the work that would be needed and how we would proceed. They accepted the price for the work and worked out a date for the work to start.

Victorian Floor Restoration Sheffield Before

Cleaning/Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

We were able to commence work the following week and started by removing all the self-levelling compound that had been applied to the areas of sunken tiles. The tiles were also removed in these areas and a new sub floor created to lift the floor in-line with the rest of the hallway.

Victorian Floor Restoration Sheffield Chipping Away Self=Leveller Compound

The original tiles were then cleaned up and installed back in place. Nearly all the many loose tiles were removed and re fixed in place, unfortunately a few loose tiles were left as removing these would have caused more damage to the floor.

Victorian Floor Restoration Sheffield During Repair

There were many areas of discoloured and stained tiles so after the fixed areas of damage had been left to set overnight, we returned the next day to start on cleaning the tiles. To get the tiles clean we used a combination of Tile Doctor Remove & Go and Acid Gel agitated with a 17-inch 200 grit diamond burnishing pad fitted to a slow speed rotary floor polisher.

Victorian Floor Restoration Sheffield Cleaning with Acid Gel

Combined this created a powerful cleaner/stripping action that can remove sealers, epoxy grout haze, urethane coatings, synthetic finishes, glue adhesives and paints. The resulting slurry was removed with a wet vacuum and rinsed off thoroughly with water. The immediate result showed a marked improvement and you could now get a real impression of how beautiful the floor actually was.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The floor was left to dry overnight, and we returned the next day to complete the restoration with the application of a sealer. Beforehand he floor was tested with the moisture meter to ensure the it was fully dried. We then sealed the floor with three coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go Extra which is a full breathable sealer and gives the floor a nice satin finish. It’s important to use a breathable sealer on these old floors where no damp proof membrane has been installed otherwise moisture can become trapped under the floor and will find its way up the walls instead.

Victorian Floor Restoration Sheffield After Sealing with Seal and Go Extra

The floor looked fantastic, the client was very pleased, the natural pattern and beauty had been restored to its’ former glory.

Victorian Hallway Floor Sheffield After Restoration

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in South Yorkshire

Edwardian Hallway Floor Restoration, Wombwell

We were contacted by a family in Wombwell, Barnsley, South Yorkshire to come and look at their Edwardian hallway floor that needed a lot of work to restore it. The traditional black and white design had a lot of loose, chipped and broken tiles that needed replacing and repairing. Another company had cleaned the floor previously but there was hardly any sealer still present making the floor an easy target for stains and ingrained dirt.

Edwardian Hallway Floor During Restoration in Wombwell

I drew up a three-day plan to repair, clean and seal the hallway floor, but before work could start I spent time sourcing replacement tiles to perfectly matching the originals. It can be hard to track them down, but we usually can. Once that was done we were all ready to go.

Edwardian Hallway Floor Before Restoration in Wombwell

Repairing an Edwardian Tiled Hallway Floor

The first day was spent repairing the floor, we used a combination of angle grinders, multi tools and chisels to remove all the chipped and broken tiles. The loose tiles were fixed back in place and the replacement replica tiles were fixed in place of the broken tiles. A few of the less damaged tiles were left in place to ensure the floor looked true to the era. The floor was left to set overnight.

Edwardian Hallway Floor During Restoration in Wombwell

Deep Cleaning an Edwardian Tiled Hallway Floor

On the second day I got to work using Tile Doctor Remove & Go. This was applied to the floor and left to dwell for 15 minutes, this breaks down the old sealer and ingrained dirt. We then attached a 200-grit diamond pad to a weighted rotary slow speed floor polisher and went over each area several times. The slurry was extracted using a large wet vacuum.

Edwardian Hallway Floor During Restoration in Wombwell

With damp being a big issue in these big old houses we always need to take efflorescence (salt staining) into consideration, when these types of floors were fitted 100 years ago, Damp Proof Membranes didn’t exist so any moisture below the floor will eventually rise to the surface through the tiles. This can leave white salt deposits on the surface. Knowing this can be an issue I gave the floor an acid wash to neutralise the alkaline salts. This was done by applying Tile Doctor Acid Gel to the floor and leaving it for 10 minutes before the rotary machine fitted with a 200-grit diamond pad was used to work the product into the tile. Once this was done the slurry was extracted again using the wet vacuum and the floor rinsed. Then using damp cloths, we removed all the residue.

Sealing an Edwardian Tiled Hallway Floor

After being left over night to fully dry we returned the next day to seal the floor. We first tested the moisture levels to ensure it was fully dry. All was well so the first of four coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow was applied to the floor. Colour Grow is, a colour enhancing impregnating sealer that helps bring out the natural colours in the tile whilst protecting the tile from within, this sealer is also fully breathable which is important for old tiled floors as it allows the floor to breathe and allows moisture to pass through the tile and evaporate.

Edwardian Hallway Floor During Sealing in Wombwell

You can always tell when you have applied enough sealer by adding a droplet of water to the tile, if it forms a bubble on the surface of the tile as in the photograph below then its fully sealed. Conversely if the floor becomes sticky then you have applied too much sealer.

Edwardian Hallway Floor During Sealing in Wombwell

The customer was highly delighted with the newly restored floor. The hall is now fully restored and looks clean and inviting, it will also be much easier for them to keep clean going forward.

Edwardian Hallway Floor After Sealing in Wombwell

 

Professional Restoration of an Edwardian Tiled Hallway in South Yorkshire