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My customer recently got in touch and requested a site visit to look at her hallway floor. The Edwardian property was situated in the Abington Park part of Northampton which is an area is steeped in history, with the nearby Manor House said to have been the home of William Shakespeare’s

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My customer recently got in touch and requested a site visit to look at her hallway floor.
The Edwardian property was situated in the Abington Park part of Northampton which is an area is steeped in history, with the nearby Manor House said to have been the home of William Shakespeare’s daughter Elizabeth Bernard. The house has since been turned into a museum.

As you can see from the photos, the floor which was laid when the house was built over 100 years ago using small square brown and beige mosaic tiles in a repeating. Although in good physical condition for its age the floor was looking a little tired and had lost its lustre and vibrant colour. The hallway also had stained wood panelling on one side which was another original feature and the owner of the property was keen to maintain the period feel.

Edwardian Mosaic Tiled Hallway Floor Before Cleaning Abington Park

I discussed with the customer what we could do to restore the floor, explaining the process, timescale and of course the cost. She was happy to go ahead so we scheduled the work in without delay.

Edwardian Mosaic Tiled Hallway Floor Before Cleaning Abington Park

Cleaning an Edwardian Mosaic Tiled Hallway Floor

In order to protect the wall panels and keep the moisture in the floor to a minimum I decided to keep the use of cleaning products to a minimum. This is always a concern with these old floors which have no damp proof membrane as the use of too much water can lead to efflorescence salts appearing later. With this in mid I decided to clean the floor using Tile Doctor burnishing pads as these pads only require a small amount of water and no products, this would also have the benefit of slightly levelling out the surface of the tiles.

My first course of action was to vacuum the floor to ensure there was no loose debris followed by masking up the bottom of the stairs carpet to protect it. I then started the restoration process by using a coarse 100-grit Tile Doctor burnishing pad attached to a 17” industrial rotary machine and a small amount of water to lubricate the process. The 100-grit pad is quite an aggressive pad which removes deeply imbedded stains and as mentioned before a small amount of unevenness. To remove the resultant slurry the floor was rinsed with a small amount of water which was then extracted using a wet pick up machine. This process was then repeated with a 200-grit burnishing pad to smooth out any scratches and polish the tile ready for sealing.

Although it was a relatively small area, 12 square metres this process took the whole day as we work in small sections at a time. Moving the machine slowly with multiple passes over each area.

Sealing an Edwardian Tiled Hallway Floor

I returned the following day and assessed the floor to ensure we were happy with the result from the previous days cleaning. I also took damp meter readings and was pleased to see they were within normal expectations for a floor of this age. Next, I applied Tile Doctor Colour Grow Sealant which is a breathable sealant that will allow any moisture in the sub floor to rise though the tile. This particular sealer is a colour enhancing sealer that protects and improves the natural colours in the tile and leaves a lovely natural finish. The floor now has a much more even finish and will be much easier for the client to maintain in the future.

Edwardian Mosaic Tiled Hallway Floor After Cleaning Abington Park

The customer was very happy with the results and left the following feedback on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

“Great communication about the work planned and quotation. A super job in bringing my Edwardian mosaic tiled floor back to life. Would highly recommend this service”
Karen M”

Edwardian Mosaic Tiled Hallway Floor After Cleaning Abington Park

 

Source: Mosaic Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in Northamptonshire

The photographs below are of a lovely Victorian tiled hallway that had been repaired and cleaned by another tradesman a his a few months earlier. The workman had left the customer to seal the floor himself, which he had done but the floor ended up looking patchy and dull and he wasn’t happy with the results which didn’t highlight the beautiful colours in the tile. Realising he needed help to achieve the correct finish I was given a call and asked to finish the floor.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Hebden Bridge

The property was in Hebden Bridge a market town situated between Halifax and Rochdale. After carrying out a survey, I advised that the floor would need re-cleaning to strip off the sealant he had applied and to remove the marks from the floor. We would then be able to re-seal the floor correctly for him. We agreed a price for the job and set a date to carry out the work.

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

On the first day we started preparing the hallway to be cleaned by covering the stair carpet and new and expensive wood panelling and skirting boards to protect them from any possible marking during the cleaning process. I then used a 200-grit Diamond burnishing pad attached to a rotary buffing machine to remove the sealant and dirt from the floor. In this instance the pad was applied just with water which is used to lubricate the pad, the resultant slurry is then removed with a wet vacuum. The advantage of using this process as opposed to a chemical clean is that moisture is kept to a minimum which is important on old floors like this where no damp proof membrane exists.

After making sure that the floor was to a standard that I was happy with, I then repeated the process along the edges with a set of hand-held diamond blocks which makes it easier to get into the corners and edges where the machine struggles to reach effectively.

Still concerned about the moisture levels in the floor I decided to give the floor an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel which will neutralise any alkaline salts in the floor. As I mentioned earlier this is a common problem on floors of this age, they do not usually have a Damp Proof Membrane fitted so moisture is able to rise through the tiles bringing with it salt which gets left on the surface of the tile, this process is more commonly known as Efflorescence. The floor was then rinsed with water and the floor dried as much as possible using the wet vacuum. Finally, I tidied up before leaving for the day and allowing the floor to fully dry out overnight.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Returning the next day, I first took moisture readings to ensure that the floor was dry enough to seal. If a floor is too damp the seal won’t cure properly and therefore won’t be effective. Fortunately, on this occasion the floor was within limits and I could proceed to apply four coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer allowing around thirty minutes between coats for drying.

Colour Grow is a breathable impregnating sealer that allow moisture to evaporate from the floor whilst also protecting it from dirt and stains. This sealer leaves a matt finish which is what the owner wanted but it also enhances the colours in the tile which really being the floor alive.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Hebden Bridge

The customer was very pleased with the results, the floor looked much cleaner and will be easy for them to maintain. I hope that you can see the difference from the before and after pictures.

 

Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Yorkshire