Victorian Tile Restoration

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

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

Full Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Rotherham

Our client in Rotherham had decided to install a new floor in their hallway and after removing many layers of old floor coverings discovered a layer of self-levelling compound underneath. After deciding to chip some of this away they discovered what appeared to be an original Victorian tiled floor. Realising that original features like these are very desirable they decided to call in Tile Doctor to see if it could be restored.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Covered in Self-Leveller Before Restoration Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Rotherham

Being the local agent for Tile Doctor I was asked to look at the floor and quote for doing the work. I could see this was going to take some time to do properly, the floor was quite seriously damaged, a big area of tiles were missing, the tiles around each doorway were heavily damaged and there were quite a few loose and cracked tiles around the edges of the floor. But we were confident this floor could be made to look amazing once again and add the original charm of this hallway back to how it was intended to be.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Repair and Restoration Rotherham

Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The first course of action was to make the tile repairs which included digging out and rebuilding the sub floor in some areas.

Victorian Tiled Hallway During Restoration Rotherham Victorian Tiled Hallway During Restoration Rotherham

Fortunately, these black and white Victorian Tiles are fairly common, so I was able to source replacements quite easily. There was a lot of areas to cover so this step took a couple of days to complete.

Deep Cleaning a Victorian tiled floor

To get the floor clean we used a slow speed floor polisher fitted with a 200-grit diamond pad. Aided with Tile Doctor Remove and Go it proved to be an effective combination that cut through and removed the self-levelling compound, it also worked a treat at removing paint stains too.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Rotherham Victorian Tiled Hallway During Restoration Rotherham

The next step was to give the floor an acid wash to remove any remaining grime and dirt. To do this we applied Tile Doctor Acid Gel which being in gel form is quite easy to control. After being scrubbed into the floor it was extracted using a wet vacuum and then the floor given a thorough rinse with water to remove any traces of product.

Victorian Tiled Hallway During Acid Washing Rotherham Victorian Tiled Hallway During Acid Washing Rotherham

The wet vacuum was employed again to extract as much moisture from the floor as possible and then left to dry off fully overnight.

Sealing an Old Victorian Hallway Tiles

The next day I returned to seal the floors checking first that the tiles were dry. All was well so I began applying the sealer which in this case was Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that works by soaking into the pores of the tile to prevent dirt from becoming ingrained there.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Rotherham Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Rotherham

The floor was completely transformed over the course of five days and our customer was over the moon with the results calling it her ‘forever floor’.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Repair and Restoration Rotherham

 
 

Restoring an old Victorian Tiled floor in Yorkshire

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

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