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.
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.
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.