acid wash

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.

 

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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

 

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