Renovating a Victorian Vicarage Hallway Tiles in Sheffield

Our client had recently moved into this beautiful former vicarage in Sheffield, the hallway had a stunning Victorian tiled floor and there were quarry tiles in two adjoining rooms. The floors hadn’t been maintained properly in quite some time and due to building work in the house they had become very dirty; the Victorian floor also needed some repairs doing as there were areas of loose tiles.

Victorian Hallway Before Cleaning Sheffield

The new owner wanted the floors restoring which in this case meant making some repairs, deep cleaning the tiles and then sealing to protect them from further staining. I quoted for doing the work which was accepted and agreed a date to return and complete the work.

Repairing a Victorian tiled floor

It made sense to start with the tile repairs first, so I inspected the whole floor for loose tiles and carefully removed them. The tiles and floor were then cleaned up to remove the old adhesive and grout.

Victorian Hallway During Tile Repair Sheffield

The tiles were fixed into place using a quick setting adhesive and whilst that was setting I started cleaning the floor, returning to grout the tiles later with a matching grout once the adhesive had set firm.

Victorian Hallway During Tile Repair Sheffield

Deep Cleaning a Victorian tiled floor

To deep clean the floor and remove any old sealers present on the tiles I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go. This product works best if you leave it to dwell and soak into the tile for about ten minutes before scrubbing it in. There was a large area to cover so I worked in sections and used a floor polishing machine fitted with a coarse 200 grit burnishing pad to grind off surface dirt and work the product into the tile to release the ingrained dirt. I ran the machine on a slow setting which helps reduce splashing and once the section had been cleaned I rinsed off the soiled cleaning solution with water which was then extracted using a wet vacuum.

Victorian Hallway During Cleaning Sheffield

Once the whole floor was clean I followed up with an Acid Wash which removes old grout smears from the tile and neutralises any efflorescence salts inherent in the tile. Efflorescence is a common problem with old floors where no damp proof membrane has been installed and can result in white salt deposits appearing on the surface on the floor. I used Tile Doctor Acid Gel for this step, being in gel form its easier to manage than other products and used the 200-grit burnishing pad to scrub it in. The slurry was then removed with a wet vacuum and the floor dried as much as possible with air movers leaving it to fully dry off overnight.

Victorian Hallway During Cleaning Sheffield Victorian Hallway During Cleaning Sheffield

Sealing an Old Victorian Hallway Tiles

The next day I returned to seal the floors checking first that the tiles were dry. There are a number of sealers I could have used on the floor, but the owner preferred a matt appearance and I wanted to use a fully breathable sealer to ensure it could cope with moisture rising up through the floor due to the lack of the damp proof membrane.

Victorian Hallway After Cleaning Sheffield Victorian Hallway After Cleaning Sheffield

With these considerations in mind I choose Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that protects the tiles from within by occupying the pores in the clay thereby preventing anything else from becoming ingrained there. The other advantage of Colour Grow is it’s a colour intensifying sealer that improves the colours in the tile.

Victorian Hallway After Cleaning Sheffield

Only two coats of Colour Grow were needed, and I think you will agree the floor now looks very clean and so much more vibrant.

Victorian Hallway After Cleaning Sheffield


Restoring an old Victorian Tiled floor in Yorkshire

Restoring a Pamment tiled floor in Silkstone

The owner of this house in the village of Silkstone near Barnsley had discovered this clay Pamment floor when they had a tiler come in to tile the floor. The tiler stripped off the Vinyl floor covering and removed an inch of Bitumen that it had been stuck onto. With the Bitumen removed it became clear that there was wonderful Pamment tiled floor already there. They had a go at restoring the floor themselves but eventually decided to call in the experts.

Pamment Tiled Floor Before Restoration in Silkstone

Having been buried under Bitumen for such a long time the floor had a number of serious issues that would need addressing during the restoration. The grout/cement between the tiles was crumbling and there was a thick layer of dirt ingrained in the clay, there was also evidence of inherent salt efflorescence issues which manifests as white staining.

Pamment Tiled Floor Before Restoration in Silkstone

Pamment tiles are very similar to Terracotta in that they are made from clay and like Terracotta are very porous and need to be sealed to protect dirt getting into the pores. You don’t normally see them in use in Yorkshire, but are quite a common in Norfolk and Suffolk where they are still made by Norfolk Pamments. Silkstone dates back to the Doomsday Book of 1086 and there are some very old houses in the village so you never know what your going to find.

Pamment Tiled Floor Before Restoration in Silkstone

Deep Cleaning a Pamment tiled floor

We removed what was left of the grout/cement from between the tiles using a special tool and replaced with a grout specifically made for wide joints.

Pamment Tiled Floor During Grout Removal in Silkstone Pamment Tiled Floor During Grout Removal in Silkstone

The next day once the grout had fully cured we came back to do the deep clean starting by applying Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to the Pamments and letting it soak in for ten minutes. Then the tiles were scrubbed with a floor buffer fitted with a black scrubbing pad and running at slow speed.

Pamment Tiled Floor During Restoration in Silkstone

The floor was then rinsed with water and the slurry extracted using a wet vacuum. With the floor clear we could see that the process removed had most of the grime but there were areas that needed a bit more attention. To tackle the stubborn stains and neutralise the effloresce salts that were in the tiles Tile Doctor Acid Gel was applied and scrubbed in.

After a final rinse to remove any trace of cleaning product the floor was left to dry out for a few days.

Sealing an Old Pamment Tiled Floor

Due to the age of these tiles, the inherent efflorescence issues and the lack of damp proof membrane we sealed the floor in a fully breathable sealer ‘Seal and Go Extra‘. This provides a beautiful satin finish and allows the floor to breath and any moisture to escape.

Pamment Tiled Floor During Sealing in Silkstone

Our customer was delighted with the results and was so happy to restore another original feature of the house.

Pamment Tiled Floor After Restoration in Silkstone Pamment Tiled Floor After Restoration in Silkstone


Restoring an old Clay Pamment Tiled floor in Yorkshire