victorian tile cleaning

This client had recently discovered a Victorian tiled floor hidden underneath hallway carpet at their property in the Birmingham suburb of Bournville. It didn’t look in great condition as some areas were missing and staining from carpet adhesive, but it was a beautiful patterned floor tiled potentially with Minton tiles and they were really keen to find out if it could be restored to its’ former glory.

The rest of the property in Bourneville had retained its’ original features so the floor would be the icing on the cake.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Restoration Bourneville

I went along to survey the floor, provide a quote and perform a small cleaning demonstration so I they could get an idea of the results they could expect. The damaged areas were repairable and once I had completed the test clean, we were confident the floor could be restored. They were happy to proceed with my quote and the job was booked in.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Restoration Bourneville Victorian Tiled Floor Before Restoration Bourneville

Bourneville is the home of the chocolate makers Cadbury, so many people will have visited and been aware of the area. Many of the houses were built for the workers at the Cadbury factory.

Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

On the first day I started on relaying the three internal door thresholds with some existing tiles and matching replacements that I had managed to source online. We are usually able to source reclaimed tiles and reproduction ones, so repairs are not usually a problem. It took some time to clean out the old adhesive, cut the replacement tiles to size where required and then then fix in place with fresh adhesive.

Victorian Tiled Door Threshold Before Restoration Bourneville Victorian Tiled Door Threshold Before Restoration Bourneville Victorian Tiled Door Threshold During Restoration Bourneville

The next job was to replace some broken ones along the edges and some in the main part of the floor which had been drilled in to. These can be tricky to do as they can easily break adjoining tiles. When this was done the tiles were grouted and the other loose ones reset. It’s meticulous work and the tile adhesive needs time to set before the next stage which would be giving the entire floor a deep clean.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Restoration Bourneville

Deep Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The following day I focused on deep cleaning the tiles starting with the removal of the strong adhesive that had secured the carpet gripper. This had to be removed by applying a neat Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and leaving it to dwell for ten minutes. The Pro-Clean helped loosen the glue which was then carefully scraped off.

The floor was then mopped with a strong dilution of Pro-Clean before running over the tiles with a 200-grit diamond pad fitted to a rotary machine. This combination gets into the pores of the tile, releasing the dirt and renovating the surface. The resultant slurry was then rinsed off with water and extracted using a wet vacuum.

Next, the floor was given an acid rinse using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up worked in with a 400-grit burnishing pad to further clean up the tiles and close-up the pores. The floor was rinsed and extracted again and allowed to dry for two nights.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

On my return I tested the floor was dry with the damp meter and satisfied myself that the floor was dry and ready to accept a sealer which would enhance its appearance and protect it going forward.

My sealer of choice was Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra which adds a nice subtle sheen to the floor and being breathable will cope with any potential moisture rising through the tiles. This is an important consideration on old floors like this where no damp proof membrane will have been fitted.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Restoration Bourneville Victorian Tiled Floor After Restoration Bourneville

By the time I had finished the floor was transformed and had become the main focal point of the house. My clients were very pleased with the new entrance to their home and before leaving we discussed after care for which I left them with a complementary bottle of Neutral Tile Cleaner.

Victorian Tiled Door Threshold After Restoration Bourneville


Source: Minton Floor Cleaning and Restoration Service in Birmingham

This client in Llansamlet wanted to remove their existing parquet flooring as they were aware there was a Victorian tiled floor underneath. They were keen to see if we could clean and refurbish the original tiled floor dating back to the early 1920s that had been covered over in the 70s. Whilst they liked the Parquet floor, having seen their neighbours property they were really keen to recover the floor as an original feature.

I paid a visit to the property and whilst there we lifted a section of Parquet to see how easily they would come up. It was certainly possible to remove the floor, but it was clear the biggest issue would be removing the sticky bitumen that the parquet tiles had been stuck down with. Having said that I knew from previous experience it could be done, although it would be time consuming, so I gave them a price which they were happy with and we scheduled a date to return.

Victorian Tiled Floor Hidden Under Parquet Before Restoration Llansamlet Victorian Tiled Floor Hidden Under Parquet Before Restoration Llansamlet

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

On the first day we got to work, starting by protecting the skirting and woodwork to avoid getting bitumen residue on them. Upon removal of the Parquet we got to grips with the bitumen adhesive which was used to stick the parquet to the tile. This didn’t disappoint and proved to be a very stubborn. We found the best way to deal with it was to start by carefully scraping off as much of the solidified bitumen with a blade as possible. This left a residual bitumen layer that could not be fully removed but was weakened with the application of white spirit to bleed the bitumen, a time-consuming exercise but the results are there for all to see.

Once all the bitumen was removed, we used diamond burnishing pads starting on a 400-grit pad and finishing on an 800-grit pad using water to lubricate. This removes and T-Cuts the surface of the floor. The resultant soil was rinsed off the tiles and extracted with a wet vacuum. This was a long task but thankfully the floor underneath was looking pretty good.

Victorian Tiled Floor Hidden Under Parquet During Restoration Llansamlet Victorian Tiled Floor Hidden Under Parquet During Restoration Llansamlet

We then neutralized the floor with water and were careful to make sure there was no bitumen residue remaining. The floor was left for 24 hours to dry off fully before sealing.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The customer specified they wanted a durable satin finish for the floor so I applied Tile Doctor Seal and Go which we recommend for Victorian tiles. This product is specially formulated water-based blend of acrylic polymers which provides both a stain resistant surface seal and a durable low-sheen finish. The seal ensures this heavy traffic area will be protected.

The customer was thrilled with the transformation.

Victorian Tiled Floor Hidden Under Parquet After Restoration Llansamlet

For regular cleaning I recommended the use of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which is formulated for use with sealed surfaces and won’t prematurely break down the sealer which is the problem with many supermarket cleaning products.


Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Swansea

This is a great example of a Victorian Tiled floor refurbishment which I recently completed at a property in Stoke-on-Trent. If you look closely at the photographs below you will see the white tiles are looking grubby and paint splash staining from decorating. The owner was unhappy with how the floor now looked and wanted it refurbished. Black and White Victorian tiles laid in a chequered diamond pattern is a classic style and a very popular choice for hallways at the turn of the 20th

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Earlier this year I was contacted by the church warden of St Clements Church in Worcester regarding the renovation of its Victorian floor tiles. The Church was built 200 years ago and is one of the oldest churches in the city. Unfortunately, being situated close to the West bank of the River Severn it is at risk of flooding and a recent flood had ruined a large section of carpeting which had to be removed. In fact, according to the local newspaper Worcester has been named as sixth worst

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Barnstaple in North Devon is known to be one of, if not the oldest boroughs in the whole of the United Kingdom. The area certainly has a rich history and many of the properties built in the 19th century still exist and are in use. It’s not uncommon for the owners of houses built in this era to discover original Victorian tiled floors and hallways. They’ve usually been covered up at some point in the past, either by carpet or linoleum, but if maintained correctly they can be a real asset to

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Colyton is a small village in the Coly Valley, which itself is part of Devon’s Area of Outstanding Beauty. As you can imagine, it was very nice to drive through the countryside to reach the village to visit a customer. The customer was keen to restore her Edwardian tiled entranceway and hallway in a classic herringbone pattern, which consists of an arrangement of rectangles. Parts of the floor had been under carpet for a long time and other areas were covered in at least three layers of

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Bude is a lovely coastal resort in North Cornwall and is home to several B&Bs for visitors to the area. It became popular during the latter half of Queen Victoria’s reign, as sea bathing became a popular trend amongst the upper and middle classes, and as a result there are plenty of period houses. In fact, I was recently contacted by a lucky Bed and Breakfast owner who had uncovered this late Victorian tiled hallway and entrance lobby which was around a hundred years old during renovation

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