efflorescence

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

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

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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