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This lovely Victorian tiled floor was located in the hallway of a beautiful house in Abergavenny which is an old Market Town that dates back to Roman times on the outskirts of the Brecon Beacons national park. It has been sometime since it was last given a thorough clean and seal and was now in

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A home owner who lives in the old market town of Oswestry in Shropshire called me in recently to work some Tile Doctor magic on their Victorian Tiled Hallway. They had been refurbishing the house room by room and had left the hallway floor until last. The previous owner of the house had

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A home owner who lives in the old market town of Oswestry in Shropshire called me in recently to work some Tile Doctor magic on their Victorian Tiled Hallway. They had been refurbishing the house room by room and had left the hallway floor until last. The previous owner of the house had repaired part of the floor at the far end of the hallway with an odd selection of unmatched tiles. The result was a bit of any eyesore and I’m surprised it hadn’t been covered over with carpet which is what most would do, the only good thing about the repair was that it had been laid level.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Oswestry Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Oswestry

There were several other areas were tiles were loose and would need relaying and a section where holes had been drilled into a couple of tiles damaging them in the process. In total I estimated there was about two square meters of tiles that would need relaying; I would be able to use some of the original tiles that had become loose, but it was clear I would need to track down some replacements either from a reclamation yard or from a retailer if I could find a match.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Oswestry

Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

As it turned out I managed to source the replacements without too much trouble, Victorian Tiles are still very popular today and there are a number of UK companies that still sell them.

My first task was to remove all the loose tiles and carefully remove what I’m going to call the eyesore. I have a handheld power tool that makes light work of removing grout which came in very hand and then once the grout was removed the tiles were prised out. The old grout and adhesive were then scraped off the sub floor, so the replacements could be fitted.

Victorian Tiled Floor During Repair Oswestry Victorian Tiled Floor During Repair Oswestry

With the loose, damaged and eyesore removed it was now a question of cutting replacement tiles to match the existing pattern and then fix them into place with fresh adhesive. This activity took up much of the first day and before leaving the tiles were grouted in, so they would be secure for cleaning the next day.

Deep Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Day two was all about deep cleaning the entire floor to remove any old coatings and ingrained dirt in the tiles. I did this using a strong dilution of Remove and Go which was left to soak into the tiles for a while before being scrubbed in using a rotary machine fitted with a black pad; the resultant slurry was then rinsed away with water and extracted off the floor using a wet vacuum.

There were some stubborn paint splashes from decorating that needed dealing with, so I gave these a spot clean using more Remove and Go and plenty of elbow grease. The floor was then given a final rinse to remove any trace of cleaning product and then dried as much as possible with a wet vacuum before being left to dry off fully overnight.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The tiles must be dry before sealing and after testing the floor with a damp meter I confirmed that the floor was indeed dry. I had previously discussed sealers with the owner he had opted for a matt finish. I decided that Tile Doctor Colour Grow would be the best choice of sealer to apply, it’s an impregnating sealer that leaves a matt finish and works by occupying the pores in the tile protecting it from staining from within. It also enhances the natural colours in the tile, only two coats of sealer were needed.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning Oswestry Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning Oswestry

The floor now looks fantastic and most crucially the eyesore has gone.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning Oswestry
 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Shropshire

I often get asked to do small jobs as well as large kitchens, conservatories and hallways, and there is something especially satisfying about restoring a small entrance like this lovely Victorian tessellated tile floor. The property was in the historic market town of Kendal just to the south of the Lake District and famous for making Kendal Mint Cake.

Being at the entrance to the property the floor had seen some wear over the years and the once beautiful colours in the original tiles had become dull and dreary, and some of the smaller tiles along the edge of the floor had become loose over the years and were now missing. I was asked to repair the damage, clean the floor and restore the colours to their original glory!

Small Victorian Tiled Vestibule Before Cleaning Kendal

Deep Cleaning an Intricate Victorian Tessellated Tile Floor

My first task was to thoroughly clean the tiles and given these old Victorian floors have no damp proof membrane I was wary of potential damp problems which can be exacerbated by the excessive use of water. I decided the best approach would be to apply a coarse Tile Doctor 200-Grit Milling Pad fitted to a slow speed Victor burnishing machine. To lubricate the process, I used 500 ml of water and then added a little more as needed. I carefully went over the whole floor, then vacuumed up the excess water which was now saturated with dirt and grime!

I then went over the whole floor again, replacing the coarse Milling Pad with a Black scrubbing pad. This is designed to deal with heavily built up grime and dirt. I also applied Tile Doctor Acid Gel, a specially formulated PH1 blend of Phosphoric and Hydrochloric acids. This slow release gel works by breaking down any mineral salt deposits that might have built on tiled surfaces up over the years and removes grout smears. The final stage in this part of the project was to scrub the floor with a deck brush, rinse with water and extract immediately with a wet vacuum to leave the floor as dry as possible.

Small Victorian Tiled Vestibule After Acid Wash Kendal

Repairing a Victorian Tiled Vestibule Floor

Once the tiles had been deep cleaned I moved on to repairing the floor. Reproduction tessellated tiles in a design like this one can cost anything up to £300+ per square metre, so restoration is nearly always a cost-effective solution. It is, however, a precise process. The original floor would have been laid by highly skilled tilers who had to accurately position each element of the intricate mosaic pattern. The grout lines were also very fine to allow for tiny dimensional differences without spoiling the beautiful pattern.

Sometimes new tiles can be a shade lighter or darker than the original tiles which are usually well over 100 years old! I always explain this to customers before taking on a job like this because sometimes it is just not possible to find an acceptable match and it is then the customer’s choice whether or not to go ahead. In this case, luckily, I was able to find replacement tiles that were going to work, so I took out all the damaged tiles and carefully replaced them with new ones.

Small Victorian Tiled Vestibule During Repair Kendal

The last stage for that day was to carefully grout the restored areas to secure the tiles and then clean off the excess grout haze. I left the floor over night to dry out completely.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Vestibule Floor

The next day I checked the floor for damp with a damp meter as too much moisture in the floor can affect the sealer. All was well, so I sealed the now clean and restored floor with Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour intensifying sealer that brings out the amazing colours in the tiles. The sealer will provide durable surface protection and Colour Grow is what we call a breathable sealer that will allows any damp or mineral salts to rise up through the tile. The acid wash we gave the floor during cleaning should counter any efflorescence salt issues however if they do appear they can be easily washed off with clean water.

Small Victorian Tiled Vestibule After Cleaning Kendal

This may have been a small vestibule, but the restored floor now makes a real statement as you enter the customer’s house!
 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Cumbria