Doncaster

Restoration of an iconic Terrazzo Floor in Doncaster

This beautiful Terrazzo floor was uncovered in the hallway of a house in Doncaster, as you can see it had taken a bit of a beating over the years, but the owners were keen on having it restored. Restoring period features like these are a great idea as they are very sought after and can add a lot of value to a property.

The floor had spent many years below carpet and nails had been hammered through the floor to hold carpet grippers in place. Along with this there was a lot of glue and paint to remove. However, I was confident that we could get the floor restored, I gave them a quotation for the work, and they were happy to proceed as soon as possible.

Terrazzo Hallway Before Renovation

Doncaster is a hot spot for terrazzo floors, apparently there was a big Italian community there in the early part of the 1900s. Doncaster is also famous for its rich rail heritage; the main Doncaster train station is on the East Coast mainline and you find many original station buildings have Terrazzo floors in the public areas.

Cleaning a Terrazzo Tiled Hallway Floor

The first job was to remove as much of the paint, glue and other contaminates as possible. These were scraped off the floor by hand using a razor-sharp scraper.

We then moved onto using a set of five diamond burnishing pads of different grits to cut through the top layers and grime to eventually bring this floor back up to its’ former glory. Starting off with the most coarse pad first I started to go over the floor a pad at a time, each pad is fitted to a rotary machine which has extra weight added to it to make the pads work ever better. Each time a pad is changed, it is slightly less coarse, this starts to polish the floor up to a shine eventually ended with a very fine diamond pad. Water is added at each stage and removed with the wet vacuum before the next pad is used.

Gradually the original floor started to shine through, the colours were quite pronounced, and you could see the floor was a lovely example of terrazzo. After a final rinse to remove the soiling generated by burnishing, I turned my attention to filling the many holes where the nails had been.

Terrazzo Hallway Doncaster During Renovation

Sealing a Terrazzo Tiled Hallway Floor

The floor was left to dry off overnight and the following morning I returned to seal the floor with several coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. I choose this product as its designed to enhance the subtle colours in the floor and its fully breathable which is an important consideration when sealing floors in older properties. Damp proof membranes are a common feature these days but are a relatively recent invention. With older floors you need to allow the floor to breathe so the moisture in the sub floor can rise and evaporate at the surface, without this the moisture will reach out to the walls where it can cause rising damp.

Terrazzo Hallway Doncaster After Renovation

The result was a highly polished floor just the way it would have looked when it was first installed 90 years ago. As you can imagine the owners were over the moon with the transformation.

Terrazzo Hallway Doncaster After Renovation

 

Professional Restoration of a Terrazzo 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

Deep Cleaning and Polishing a Terrazzo Hallway Floor in Doncaster

We were working on a Victorian tiled floor at a property in Doncaster and were approached by a neighbour asking if we would look at their Terrazzo hallway to see if anything could be done with it. This often happens, people see our van and come and see what it is we do. Once we have had a chat it often leads to more work.

Terrazzo Hallway Floor Before Cleaning Doncaster

The neighbour had tried everything to make their unusual floor look more presentable even resorting to wire wool and a vast selection of cleaning products. I could see immediately that any sealer that was once present had long since worn off allowing dirt to become trapped in the pores of the Terrazzo. It would need a deep clean and polish to get it looking good again and so I reassured them and arranged to return in a few weeks to do the work. We see a variety of floor types in this job and each one presents a different challenge.

Deep Cleaning a Terrazzo Tiled Hallway Floor

We started by taping up the surrounding areas, skirting boards and doors to ensure they were protected. A strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean was sprayed onto the Terrazzo and allowed to soak in for ten minutes so it could breakdown and soften the decades of dirt that had been ground into the floor. This is a multi-purpose high-alkaline cleaner, stripper and degreaser. It can be diluted to suit the requirement and it is a very effective cleaner that removes grease, mildew and algae from areas that have been neglected or subjected to heavy use.

With the Pro-Clean still in place the Terrazzo was then honed and polished using a set of Tile Doctor 17in diamond encrusted burnishing pads starting with a coarse 400-grit. This coarse pad removed dirt and old sealers from the stone, its applied with water to lubricate the process and it wasn’t long before this turned into a dark slurry. The floor was then rinsed with more water and the slurry extracted with a wet vacuum. This process was repeated with the 800, 1500 and finally the 3000-grit pad which really brings up the appearance of the stone. The floor was then left to dry off overnight.

Sealing a Terrazzo Tiled Hallway Floor

Returning the following day, I first checked the floor was dry using the moisture meter. Satisfied that all was in order I moved on to sealing, this would ensure the floor was protected and would help to prevent the built up they had experienced.

We sealed the lighter areas with an impregnating sealer called Tile Doctor Ultra Seal, this is a no-sheen, natural-look, solvent-based penetrating sealer which is formulated to provide maximum stain protection. To restore the colour and add protection to the black border Tile Doctor Stone Oil was applied.

Terrazzo Hallway Floor After Cleaning Doncaster

The floors appearance was massively improved, and the client was delighted and very pleased that they had bumped into me. For aftercare I recommended the use of Tile Doctor Stone Soap which is designed for the regulate cleaning of sealed and polished floors.

 

Professional Deep Clean of a Terrazzo Tiled Hallway in South Yorkshire

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

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

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