Victorian Tile Cleaning

Victorian Hallway Floor Restoration in Wheatley Hills, Doncaster

Our clients from the Doncaster suburb of Wheatley Hills contacted us to see if we could rescue their Victorian floor. They were a young professional couple who had recently purchased and renovated a beautiful Victorian terraced house. They loved the Victorian hallway tiles, but they did need some attention and we were asked to renovate them.

Victorian Floor Before Restoration Wheatley Doncaster Victorian Floor Before Restoration Wheatley Doncaster

Victorian floors often have areas of damage, usually at the bottom of staircases and in doorways due to heavy usage. This floor was no different. We decided not to replace every cracked tile but to concentrate on the worst areas which was at the bottom of the staircase.

Victorian Floor Before Restoration Wheatley Doncaster

A nice little feature of Victorian floors you often find is an upside tile left by the original tiler, it is usually a small tile tucked away at the edge. The Victorians believed that only god could create something perfect so one small imperfection was normally left and in this case one tile had been installed upside down.

Victorian Floor Before Restoration Wheatley Doncaster Upside Down Tile

Cleaning and Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Before starting, replica tiles were sourced to closely match the originals and as you will see from the final pictures its now impossible to tell the difference. Standard sizes have changed though so to achieve a perfect fit the old tiles were used as templates and new tiles cut to match the originals. In total around twenty badly damaged tiles were replaced, I could have replaced more however with an old floor like this its good to keep some character and history in the floor.

Victorian Floor During Tile Repair Wheatley Doncaster

Once the new tiles had set, work started on cleaning the floor which was done using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and Tile Doctor Remove and Go combined. This makes a powerful formula that can clean and strips old sealers from tiles and after being left to soak in for ten minutes is scrubbed into the floor with a coarse 200-grit pad. Pads can struggle to get into the corners etc so for those tricky areas I use hand-held diamond blocks.

After rinsing the floor with water and extracting the soil with a wet vacuum I gave the floor an acid rinse with Tile Doctor Acid Gel. This removes mineral salts trapped in the tiles and cleans off old grout smears. I always recommend an acid wash for old floors like this one as they do not have a damp proof membrane installed under the floor and this can result in salts rising through the tile as moisture evaporates, a process commonly known as efflorescence.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The floor was left to dry off overnight and I returned the following day to seal the tiles with Tile Doctor Colour Grow. Before starting, moisture readings are taken from the tiles to ensure its dry, applying a sealer to a damp floor can cloud the sealer so it’s worth checking.

Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer that soaks into the pores of the tile protecting it from within and enhancing its colours in the process. Old Victorian tiles are quite porous after being deep cleaned so in total six coats were applied before the it was fully protected and waterproof. To check enough sealer has been applied I like to conduct a water test which should result in a water droplet forming a bubble on the tile as in the picture below.

Victorian Floor After Restoration Sealer Test Wheatley Doncaster

Each coat of sealer needs to dry before applying the next, so it does take some time to fully apply the sealer.

Victorian Floor After Restoration Wheatley Doncaster Victorian Floor After Restoration Wheatley Doncaster

Once sealed the Victorian floor looked much lighter, had a lovely natural sheen and the vibrant colours of the tiles really shone through. Our clients were overjoyed with the finished results and pictures of the floor were soon all over Instagram!

Victorian Floor After Restoration Wheatley Doncaster

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in South Yorkshire

Unloved Victorian Hallway Floor Renovation in Barnsley

A young couple recently bought a house in Barnsley and were renovating it from top to bottom, included in the plan was the desire to have the previously unloved Victorian floor made beautiful again. The house stands in an area of Barnsley famous for its’ big Victorian villas and quite rightly they felt it was important to ensure period features like this original floor were correctly maintained.

Unloved Victorian Hallway Floor Before Renovation

Due to the floor being covered up for many years the floor had developed damp staining, it also had a lot of paint splattered on it. There were also some loose tiles that needed fixing back in place and the layer of old floor polish was present which would need removing.

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I started by protecting all the skirting boards, doors and carpets bordering the tiles from splashing. The loose tiles were then cleaned up and then secured back in place using a fast-setting adhesive.

Once the adhesive was set, I turned my attention to stripping and cleaning the floor starting with the application of a coarse 200-grit diamond pad fitted to a weighted rotary buffing machine. The pad was lubricated using a dilution of Tile Doctor Remove & Go which was applied to small sections of the floor and left to soak in for ten minutes first. I run the buffing machine at a slow speed to minimise splashing. Remove & Go is amazing at removing old floor coatings (i.e. sealers), dirt and grime from the floor. When the diamond pad had been used on each section of the floor for five minutes the slurry was vacuumed up using a wet vac machine and I moved onto the next section. Once the whole floor had been cleaned in this way it was time to start the next step.

Old floors like this which don’t have the benefit of a damp proof membrane, and have been covered up for a long time, can suffer from efflorescence issues due to moisture being trapped in the tile. This will result in white salt staining appearing on the tiles for days, weeks and sometimes months afterwards. To counter this the alkaline salts are neutralised by giving the floor an acid rinse using Tile Doctor Acid Gel and leaving it to dwell for five minutes before going over the floor again with the coarse diamond pad. The slurry was again removed with a wet vacuum and the floor was scrubbed clean with damp cloths.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I returned a few days later once the floor had dried to seal the floor. The client wanted a satin finish so knowing the floor had damp and efflorescence issues I opted for Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra. This is a topical sealer which leaves a lovely satin finish but also allows for the floor to breathe. six coats were required to make the floor look perfect, allowing the lovely colours to come through.

Unloved Victorian Hallway Floor After Renovation Unloved Victorian Hallway Floor After Sealing

Once complete the floor looked much brighter and the colours really shone through. The owners were really happy with the renovation we carried out and before leaving I took time to discuss how best to maintain the tiles going forward including the use of Neutral Tile cleaner.

 

Professional Renovation of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in South Yorkshire

Victorian Hallway Tile Restoration at Ex Railway Property in Doncaster

Pictures below are from the restoration of Victorian Hallway Tiles that I carried out at a marvellous old property just south of Doncaster last year. The property was originally built and owed by the railways in fact its located metres away from the East Coast mainline which links Edinburgh with London and calls at places like Doncaster, York, and Newcastle.

The owner of this property was left a very old photograph by the previous owners showing two people stood by the front door and the floor tiles are just visible in the photograph.

Victorian Hallway Original Photo Doncaster Railway Property Victorian Hallway Before Renovation Doncaster Railway Property

Even though the house had been kept in great condition by the railways for well over one hundred years the large Victorian floor had unfortunately taken a hammering. In total around 130 damaged tiles would need removing and replacing with replicas. This would be a painstaking task but would make all the difference to the overall look of the floor.

Victorian Hallway Showing Damage Doncaster Railway Property

Replacing Victorian Hallway Tiles

The current owner was keen to have the floor renovated and I was asked to do the work, old floors like these are a sought-after period feature and can add a lot of value to a property once restored. Fortunately, Victorian tiles are still popular today, and I was able to source replacements without too much trouble.

I started the restoration by removing the old cracked tiles and cleaning up the base. With this done I started the lengthy process of carefully cutting tiles to fit the original pattern and then fixing them in place with a modern adhesive.

Victorian Hallway Showing Damage Repair Doncaster Railway Property

Deep Cleaning Victorian Hallway Tiles

After leaving the tile adhesive to set overnight I came back the next day to deep clean the floor, by cleaning the old and new tiles together it will ensure the floor has a consistent appearance when finished.

Sometime in the past layers and layers of an old sealer had been applied to the floor, the sealer was flaking off and holding on to decades of dirt. To remove the old sealers, we used Remove and Go, it was sprayed on to the tiles and then left it to dwell and soak in for ten minutes.

Victorian Hallway Before Renovation Showing Failed Sealer Doncaster Railway Property

The tiles were then scrubbed using a rotary floor buffer fitted with a 200-grit diamond pad which made short work of the old floor sealers. The floor was then treated with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to clean the tiles further, again a diamond pad was used to go over the tiles.

Victorian Hallway During Sealer Removal Doncaster Railway Property

Once happy the Victorian tiles were as clean as the could be it was time to give the floor an acid wash which would remove any old mineral deposits including grout smears. We also recommended this for old Victorian floors which do not have a damp-proof membrane installed and can suffer from white efflorescent salt deposits as moisture rises through the tile. To do this Tile Doctor Acid Gel was scrubbed into the to the floor again using a 200-grit burnishing pad to make the acid gel work hard. Afterwards we rinsed the floor several times removing the slurry with a wet vacuum. This kept the mess to a minimum and the floor was already looking great.

Victorian Hallway During Renovation Doncaster Railway Property

Sealing Victorian Hallway Tiles

The property was left for a few days to let the floor dry out completely and when I returned seal the floor my first job was to check the moisture readings in the floor with a damp meter. I needed to ensure it was as dry as possible before applying a sealer and in this case, I didn’t have to worry.

Next, I applied four coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which works by seeping into the pores of the tile protecting it from within. I consider this to be best choice for sealing old Victorian tiles like these as it does a nice job of improving colour and its fully breathable. Being breathable is important due to the lack of the damp proof membrane and will allow moisture to pass through the tile and sealer and not become trapped under the floor where it could spread to the walls and cause rising damp.

Victorian Hallway After Renovation Doncaster Railway Property

PS.. If you have ever wondered if you have applied enough sealer all you need to do is drop some water onto the floor, if the tile is sealed sufficiently the water will form a bubble on the surface.

Victorian Hallway After Sealing Water Test Doncaster Railway Property

 

Professional Renovation of a Victorian Hallway Tiles in Doncaster

Renovating a Paint Spotted Victorian Hallway Floor in Dinnington

The owner of this beautiful Victorian tiled hallway floor in Dinnington had wanted the floor restored for quite some time. The property had many Victorian features, but this floor had an unusual design which made it very special. The owners had researched how to clean it themselves but hadn’t managed to achieve the result they were hoping for. The main problem was that the floor had been spotted with small paint splashes from decades of decorating.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Dinnington Victorian Tiled Floor During Cleaning Dinnington

Dinnington officially forms part of in Rotherham and is the same distance from Rotherham as it is from Sheffield. The area was a big coal mining and steel producing area and unfortunately suffered huge job losses throughout the 80’s and 90’s so its not surprising that the local housing stock suffered for many years as a result.

Cleaning/Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

We first treated the floor with Tile Doctor Remove and Go, this acts quickly to break down any old sealers still present on the tiles and softens the old paint splashes. After a ten-minute dwell time a coarse 200-grit burnishing pad fitted to rotary floor buffer was applied to the tiles. More water was applied where required to help lubricate the process and make the pad really work its magic. The slurry generated was extracted using a wet vacuum and the floor inspected. The process was the repeated to ensure all the dirt was removed and the floor was as clean as possible.

Victorian Tiled Floor During Cleaning Dinnington

Once happy the Victorian tiles were as clean as the could be it was time to give the floor an acid wash which would remove any old mineral deposits including grout smears. We also recommended this for old Victorian floors which do not have a damp-proof membrane installed and can suffer from white efflorescent salt deposits as moisture rises through the tile. To do this Tile Doctor Acid Gel was scrubbed into the to the floor using a 200-grit burnishing pad to make the acid gel work hard. Afterwards we rinsed the floor several times removing the slurry with a wet vacuum. This kept the mess to a minimum and the floor was already looking great.

Victorian Tiled Floor During Cleaning Dinnington

The floor was left to dry over the weekend, and we would return the following week to carry out the sealing process.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The following Monday we returned to seal the floor. First, we used the moisture meter to test the floor, we needed to ensure it was as dry as possible before sealing it. The client wanted a traditional look, so we opted for Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing sealer that leaves matt finish. This product is perfect for this type of floor as it is fully breathable allowing moisture to pass through the tile and sealer and not become trapped under the floor where it could spread to the walls and cause rising damp.

Four coats of Colour Grow were applied in total allowing each to dry before applying the next. The sealer works by occupying the pores in the tile thereby protecting the floor and preventing dirt from becoming trapped making it much easier to clean.

I was very happy with the result; the floor was now in great condition and was one of the more dramatic in colour and pattern that I had come across. My customer also felt the same and left the following feedback for me.

“Matt did a professional and thorough job: our Victorian hall tiles really ‘pop’ with colour. Highly recommend. Karen T, Dinnington”

Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning Dinnington Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning Sealing Dinnington

 

Professional Renovation of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Rotherham

Restoring Victorian Hallway Tiles in Doncaster

This beautiful Victorian tiled hallway was in desperate need of some TLC. The house had recently changed hands and the new owners of the house were having the entire property renovated. The last part of the renovation plan was to have the Victorian hallway tiles restoring back to their former glory. Floors are always best left until last, especially hallways as last as workmen don’t usually take a lot of care in my experience.

The house was built in the early 1900’s and was situated close to Doncaster town centre a couple of streets away in fact from the famous Doncaster Racecourse which dates to the late 1500’s.

Victorian Hallway Tiles Before Renovation Doncaster

Cleaning/Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

There were a few areas of damage to the floor that would need dealing with first. This is not surprising given the age of the floor which must have seen a lot of comings and goings over the years. Our first task therefore was to repair the damage using replica tiles sourced to be as close a match to the originals as possible. We usually find any slight differences disappear once the floor has been deep cleaned and sealed. Once removing the damaged tile and cleaning the base we use a fast setting adhesive to fix the replacement tiles in place so we can get on with the cleaning as soon as possible.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Repair Doncaster

Once the replacement tiles had set, we unloaded our slow speed rotary floor machine and large wet vacuum which would be used during the cleaning. To start the cleaning the floor was sprayed with Tile Doctor Remove & Go and this was left to dwell on the tiles for twenty minutes. This gives time for the product to break down old floor coatings and grime, this was followed by scrubbing the tiles with a 200-grit diamond pad fitted to the floor machine and assisted with the addition of more water to help lubricate the process. This process generates a lot of slurry as the dirt and old sealers etc are released from the tiles and this is extracted from the surface of the floor using the wet vacuum.

The next step was to give the floor an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel which is applied to the tiles and left to dwell for fifteen minutes and scrubbed in again with the floor buffer and 200-grit diamond pad. Once done the floor was rinsed with water and then dried using the wet vacuum to extract as much moisture as possible. This last process is designed to counter any alkaline salts that may be present in the floor which may cause efflorescence to appear later. It also removes old mineral deposits and generally get the tiles looking much brighter. Once complete the floor was left to dry off naturally overnight.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I came back the next day to seal the tiles first checking the floor was dry using a moisture meter. Satisfied that the floor was ready for sealing I started to seal the tiles using multiple coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra which is a fully breathable sealer which is important for old floors like this. Seal and Go Extra also leaves a lovely satin finish which works well on Victorian tiles and brings the floor alive.

Victorian Hallway Tiles After Renovation Doncaster

This was the last step in this properties renovation, and I think you will agree that the floor responded really well to the restoration process and the colours in the tiles are now very vibrant.

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in South Yorkshire

1850’s Victorian Hallway Restored at Ex NHS Property in Nether Edge

Detailed below is the restoration of a beautiful Victorian tiled hallway that we completed for a ‘co-housing’ community who had purchased a large house in Nether Edge. Situated three miles south if Sheffield, Brincliffe House was built in 1850 and had been used as NHS offices since the end of the Second World War but had been empty since 2012. Built originally for Herbert Unwin who was the owner of Pond Street Brewery it was now subject to a three-million-pound conversion into fifteen apartments.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Brincliffe House Nether Edge

When we first visited the property to survey the floor, we were shown around the ground floor where they had discovered magnificent Victorian tiled floor. The new owners had no idea the floor was there as the NHS had covered it up decades earlier and glued carpet on top. Being a co-housing community, they were keen to do the restoration themselves however after several unsuccessful attempts to remove the strong carpet adhesive they thought better of it and called us in. We ran several tests and worked out the best way to remove the glue. The floor covered about 70 sqm in total so we knew we had our hands full.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Brincliffe House Nether Edge

Removing Carpet Glue from an Old Victorian Tiled Floor

I’d worked out that the best way to remove the carpet adhesive was a combination of coating remover products and abrasive burnishing pads, these are industrial diamond encrusted pads that are usually used to resurface stone however we find they work equally well on Victorian tiles as well.

Working in small sections the floor was treated with a Tile Doctor 200-grit 17 inch Diamond pad fitted to a rotary floor buffer using water as a lubricant. This stripped off a lot of surface dirt and glue which was then rinsed off with water and extracted with a wet vacuum. Next the floor was coated with a mixture of Tile Doctor Remove & Go and Wax Away, two powerful coating removers that are safe to use on Tile and Stone. The mixture was left to soak into the tiles for about twenty minutes before being scrubbed in with a black scrubbing pad which slowly released the glue and dirt from the pores of the tile. In some areas the glue was so thick we found it necessary to use hand scrapers as well. As before the soil was rinsed off with water and then extracted using a wet vacuum.

Victorian Tiled Hallway During Restoration Brincliffe House Nether Edge

Each section of flooring was inspected and retreated where necessary, then once happy with the result it was given a final rinse with water to remove any trace of cleaning product. After two days of hard work the results were truly amazing, and it was very satisfying to see the floor come back to life section by section.

Victorian Tiled Hallway During Restoration Brincliffe House Nether Edge

Sealing Victorian Hallway Tiles

The community were very happy with the results and thankful I had managed to achieve such an amazing transformation. They were however keen to do as much of the project as they could by themselves, so I advised them on the importance of protecting the tiles with a sealer and left that bit tot the community.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Brincliffe House Nether Edge

With regards to sealing my recommendation was to apply a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow as it would enhance the red and blue colours in the tiles even further. Also, being fully breathable it would be able to cope with any moisture issues which is important on these old floors which were laid without a damp proof membrane.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Brincliffe House Nether Edge

 

Removing Stubborn Carpet Glue from old Victorian floor tiles in Sheffield

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

Victorian Quarry Tiled Floor Fully Restored in Nether Edge, Sheffield

We were called to this beautiful Victorian house in Nether Edge, Sheffield. The house sits on a tree lined street full of big Victorian homes and dates back to 1898. The current owners were keen to preserve the properties old charm and character and had made quite a few improvements sympathetic to the age of the property. They had begun by removing some tasteless ceramic tiles that had been installed sometime in the 1990’s and were shocked when the original quarry tiled floor was uncovered buried beneath two layers of tile adhesive and a layer of bitumen! They gave us a call and asked us to come and have a look and see if we could restore the floor.

Quarry Tiled Floor Sheffield Before Restoration

I went to the property and as they had described the floor was in need of some help.
After several test cleans we came to the conclusion that all the damage was repairable, and the floor was able to be rescued. I offered them a quote to complete this restoration work which they gladly accepted. Due to the nature of the work involved the job would take four days to complete.

Quarry Tiled Floor Sheffield Before Restoration

The client was also having their kitchen re fitted, so we discussed that we could use some of the original tiles that were going to be covered by a new island by lifting them up and storing them until we needed them to patch the holes up and replace the cracked tiles. The owners also managed to source some reclaimed tiles which were also a perfect match.

Quarry Tiled Floor Sheffield Before Restoration

Cleaning and Restoring a Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor

We began by removing the old adhesives and bitumen with a combination of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up with Pro-Clean and assisted with steam, a heat gun and good old-fashioned elbow grease. It was painstaking work but after 2 days we had uncovered the floor.

Quarry Tiled Floor Sheffield During Restoration Day 2 After Steam Cleaning

There were areas of damage, areas with no tiles, patches of loose tiles and areas where tiles had never been, like the two doorways which weren’t original, so tiles were never placed there. We used the rescued tiles and the reclaimed tiles to repair these areas, once the tiles were in you wouldn’t have known any damage had existed. There were many areas of missing grout, so we installed new grout and gave the floor one last wash. As you can see from all the pictures there was a lot to do.

Quarry Tiled Floor Sheffield During Restoration Day 3 Removing More Damaged Tiles

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor

Once the floor had dried completely we returned to seal the floor, we applied one coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, a colour enhancing impregnating sealer which we left to soak in and cure. Then we applied 5 coats of a satin breathable sealer Tile Doctor Seal & Go Extra leaving the floor with a beautiful natural finish.

Quarry Tiled Floor Sheffield During Restoration Day 4 Applying Colour Grow

It was a long job that took four days to completed but the transformation we achieved was well worth the effort. Our clients certainly thought so and were over the moon that an original and unknown part of their house was now restored back to its’ former glory and will hopefully last another 120 years. They even left the following comment on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

”We found a layer of quarry tiles under our kitchen floor – covered in bitumen and tile adhesive. After four days of cleaning, patching gaps & replacing cracked quarry tiles we have a shiny, characterful and ‘new Victorian floor!”

Quarry Tiled Floor Sheffield During Restoration Day 4 After Sealing

 

Professional Restoration of a Quarry Tiled Kitchen in South Yorkshire

Renovating Victorian Hallway Tiles in Doncaster

Our customer in Doncaster had lived in their house for 7 years. The property had lots of lovely period features along with a beautiful patterned Victorian tiled hallway. Since moving in they had not done anything to restore the appearance of the hallway floor, although they were very aware they wanted to preserve the floor but unsure what could be done to fix it and get it back up to scratch.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Doncaster

Over time the floor had become increasingly ingrained with dirt and very difficult to keep clean, so they decided to do something about it and contacted Tile Doctor. I visited the property, came up with a plan of action, agreed a price and booked the job in for the following week.

Cleaning/Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

First task was to remove any old sealers or waxes that may still be present on the floor. There are several ways to do this but for this job the floor I decided to treat it with Tile Doctor Remove & Go, which was left to dwell for a good ten to fifteen minutes before being agitated with a rotary floor machine fitted with a 400-grit diamond burnishing pad.

Victorian Tiled Hallway During Cleaning Doncaster

Remove and Go is a multi- purpose stripper that breaks down most coatings and sealers. It also has the benefit of drawing out ingrained stains and any heavy grease build up. The resulting slurry was then rinsed off the floor with water and a wet vacuum.

After that the floor was inspected and it was clear more work was required to remove the years of dirt. Given the age of the property I was sure no damp proof membrane would have been installed prior to laying the floor. This can often lead to a build-up of alkaline salts in the floor that might appear as efflorescent white spots as the floor dries after cleaning.

To finish off cleaning the floor and to counter any alkaline salts I gave the tiles a clean with Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel combined with Tile Doctor Acid-Gel. I used the same process as before, allowing the products to soak into the tiles for ten minutes and then scrubbing the hallway floor with the 400-grit diamond burnishing pad fitted to a rotary floor machine. Once again, the solution was rinsed off the floor with water and then extracted with a wet vacuum.
The floor was wiped clean with damp microfibre clothes and left to dry off overnight.

Victorian Tiled Hallway During Cleaning Doncaster

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I came back a few days later to allow for the hallway floor to have fully dried out, I also double checked it was fully dry by using a moisture meter. Satisfied that the floor was ready for the sealing process I started to seal the tiles. For this I used five coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing impregnating sealer that leaves a matt finish and will protect the floor for years to come. This sealer is also fully breathable which makes it ideal for floors such as Victorian tiles where the age of the property means damp can be an issue.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Doncaster

The job was completed, and the floor had been returned to its’ previous vibrant look. The customer was very happy and could see how much easier it would now be to maintain.
The property now looked how you would expect when you opened the front door!

 

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

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