Victorian Tiled Office Hallway Renovated in Tipton, Birmingham

A property company contacted me regarding a large Victorian tiled hallway at their head office which dated from the late 1800’s. The floor had been neglected for some years and recent restoration to the building had taken its toll making the once glorious floor look very tired.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Tipton Before Restoration Victorian Tiled Hallway Tipton Before Restoration

I visited the property in Tipton located about halfway between Birmingham and Wolverhampton. I surveyed the floor and could see that the intricate patterns although dull and uninspiring at present would be truly stunning once restored and would create a real focal point for the building. I discussed with them what could be done to renovate the floor and the process needed.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Tipton Before Restoration

We agreed a price and a timescale, and the job was booked in. The only complication being the employees who I would need to work around so they were not unduly inconvenienced.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Tipton Before Restoration Victorian Tiled Hallway Tipton Before Restoration

Cleaning/Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

When I returned I started by focusing on deep cleaning the tiles. To do this the floor was given a coating of a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was left to dwell for ten minutes. To work the solution into the tiles I used a 200-grit diamond pad which was attached to a weighted rotary machine, this really got into the ingrained dirt in the pores of the tiles.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Tipton During Restoration

The floor was then thoroughly rinsed off with water and the soil extracted with a powerful Airflex wet vacuum. After this I inspected the floor and could see the tiles still needed more work, so the whole process was repeated the process until I was satisfied.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Tipton During Restoration

Given the age of the floor I highly doubted it was unlikely to be protected by a damp proof membrane, so I was concerned about efflorescence salts appearing as the floor dried. To counter this and to further clean the tiles I then applied Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up and again went over with the diamond pad. Being an acid-based product, it will neutralize any alkaline salts present in the floor and in the alkaline cleaning solution used earlier. The floor was rinsed off thoroughly afterwards and died as much as possible with the Airflex.

I then reset some loose tiles, one in particular was right by the front door and had been irritating the staff for years catching the door! They would definitely be pleased to see that problem resolved. Luckily there were no damaged tiles that needed replacing so it was just a repair needed. Some areas were also re-grouted with a matching grout. This immediately improved the look of the floor.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Tipton During Tile Repair Victorian Tiled Hallway Tipton During Tile Repair

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The floor was left to dry for a day, then I returned to apply a sealer which would protect it from dirt becoming ingrained. After checking the moisture levels were acceptable with a moisture meter, I sealed the floor firstly with a coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that enhances the natural colour in the tile. Once this was dry it was followed with multiple coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go, this works really well on Victorian tiles and gives the floor a lovely low sheen finish. Once finished the floor was restored back to its former and has given the building back is wow factor.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Tipton During Sealing

I left my client some Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner to maintain the floor with going forward. This is especially formulated for the regular cleaning of sealed tile and stone and will help maintain its’ delightful finish. The customer was very happy with the results and even called me next day to say that their customers were already making impressive comments about it when entering the building.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Tipton After Restoration Victorian Tiled Hallway Tipton After Restoration

 

Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Tipton, Birmingham

Property Investor Relies on Tile Doctor to Maximise Investment in Lancashire

A property investor contacted Tile Doctor to see if we could help renovate a property that was to be sold in few weeks’ time. To get maximum value from the investment she wanted to preserve the character and period features of the house including the Victorian Tiled Hallway floor, which as you can see from the photograph below was in need a bit of TLC!.

Victorian tiled floors and other period features have become very popular in recent years and are often discovered under hallway carpets covered in years of dirt. Fortunately, they are very resilient and with the right techniques and products can be restored back to their former glory.

Victorian Tiles Before Renovation Burnley

On our initial visit I conducted a survey of the floor to check its condition and work out the most suitable products and methods to employ to restore it. One of the main concerns we have with these old floors is damp as damp-proof membranes were not invented until relatively recently. I have a damp meter to check for this and it did indicate high moisture levels which isn’t really an issue for cleaning the floor but would restrict our choice of sealer to those which are fully breathable and allow moisture to rise-up through the tile. We agreed a price and schedule with the customer and within two weeks we were able to start the work.

Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The floor was in quite a state, made worse I suspect by recent restoration work by other contractors who unfortunately didn’t take as much care with the floor as the could have done.

After protecting the skirting boards and carpets with film work got underway starting by applying a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go to the floor to strip away old sealers and other coatings. This product also helps to break down the paint stains on the surface of the tile, though I also used a handheld scraper, as well as a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad, to speed up the process. The resultant slurry was rinsed off the floor with water and extracted using a wet vacuum.

With the floor clean of coatings, the next step was to deep clean the tiles with a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is an effective Tile and Grout cleaning product that deeply cleans away ingrained stains. Again, we used a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine to make the job easier. Corners were tough to tackle with a machine, so we had to do them by hand.
The floor was given a final rinse to remove any soil and trace of cleaning product and the wet vacuum was used a final time to extract as much moisture out of the floor as possible. Upon finishing the cleaning, we left the floor for a few days, so it could dry out fully.

Dealing with Efflorescence

When we came back to seal the floor we noticed problems with white salt deposits coming to the surface of the tile a problem known as efflorescence. I had suspected this might become an issue but there was no indication of it happening before so was not overly concerned at the time. However, it meant I could not seal the floor as planned until the efflorescence had been dealt with. Fortunately salts like these can be treated and to resolve the problem I gave the floor a wipe with a solution of Tile Doctor Acid Gel which is a blend of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids in a gel form, formulated to remove grout haze (grout smears) and treat efflorescence. Once this was done the floor was given a light rinse and dried again.

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I left the floor to dry again for a few more days and on my return, I was pleased to see the problem had not resurfaced and I was able to complete the restoration with the application of a sealer.

To seal the tiles, I used a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is a penetrating sealer designed to soak into the pores of the clay thus preventing dirt from becoming ingrained whilst additionally enhancing the colours in the tile. The sealer really deepened the colours in the tile bringing them to life and with Colour Grow being fully breathable there shouldn’t be any issues with damp becoming trapped under the tile and causing issues later.

The customer was delighted with the results (see feedback below) and the work we did should more than pay for itself when the house goes on the market.

“Thoroughly impressed with Kamila, she was so lovely, professional and thorough! Our tiles look amazing and I was especially happy with how quick she sorted that floor out from the first email I sent. Janice M., Burnley”

Victorian Tiled After Renovation Burnley

 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Lancashire

Renovating an Old Edwardian Office Floor in Newark

Here we have a small Edwardian Tiled Hallway located in a busy office building in the market town of Newark in Nottinghamshire. We were asked to come over and inspect the floor for renovation. Our subsequent survey highlighted inherent damage, historic wear and staining as well as salt staining from efflorescence. On top of that there were some loose tiles along a door threshold that would need fixing.

Keen to get the floor restored we were given the approval to start the work and agreed on a date to return.

Restoring an Edwardian Tiled Hallway Floor

On our return we started by lifting the loose tiles and cleaning up the recess of debris before re-fixing the tiles using fast setting adhesive & grout. Within half an hour the tiles were set and we were able to start our intensive cleaning process.

Edwardian Geometric Tiled Hallway Floor Newark Before Cleaning

The first part of the cleaning process was to apply a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove & Go coatings remover allowing it to dwell and soak into the tiles for thirty minutes. The solution was then agitated using a black scrubbing pad to help break down the historic-soiling that had been hiding the original colour of the tiles and also remove any old sealers.

There were paint spots and adhesive residues on the surface of the tile which we were now able to scrape off the after being softened by Remove & Go. The resulting slurry was vacuumed away and the floor was cleaned down with water to remove the suspended soils and cleaning product residues.

To deal with the salt staining Tile Doctor Acid Gel was liberally to the tiles and left to dwell for a long time in order to neutralize both the cleaning residues and to dissolve the efflorescence salts. We had warned the customer that because efflorescence salt staining was present it was a likely indication of inherent moisture under some of the tiles and we were able to confirm this with the use of a damp meter.

It worth noting that these old floors did not have damp proof membranes installed and were designed to allow moisture vapour to pass from the sub floor to the surface of the tiles. Under normal use this was manageable by the Victorians & Edwardians. Unfortunately since that date a lot of these floors have at some point been covered by other floor coverings such as modern hard floors or carpet etc. This causes a build up of moisture to develop and efflorescence to form. Over time this causes crystalline salt capillaries to form a foothold in the tile causing damages that can affect the tiles physically as well as a loss of colour.

Once the tiles were cleaned of Acid Gel and rinsed with water again to remove any trace of product the floor was then dried as much as possible with a wet vacuum to remove moisture.

Sealing an Edwardian Tiled Floor

After leaving the floor to dry off overnight I came back the following day to apply a sealer which would protect them from staining, ingrained dirt and make them easier to clean and going forward.

Knowing that efflorescence would be an issue I had already decided to use a fully breathable sealer to aid moisture transmission from the sub floor. In this instance we used our low maintenance Impregnating sealer Tile Doctors Colour Grow applying 3 coats to provide long term protection to the floor.

Edwardian Geometric Tiled Hallway Floor Newark After Cleaning

The work took us two days to complete and before leaving our customer was given instructions on how to clean the floor in future using Tile Doctors pH Neutral Floor Cleaning Solution which is highly effective on soiling but most importantly it’s not acidic and so will not damage the integrity of the sealer. It’s worth pointing out that many household cleaning products, and also high-street branded cleaning products, can quickly damage floor coatings; they can also leave residues on floors that contribute to rapid re-soiling.
 
 
Source: Edwardian Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in Nottinghamshire

Restoring a Period Victorian Hallway at a Bude Bed and Breakfast

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 work. It had been under carpet for at least twenty years and had a variety of stains including paint, tar and glue!

The customer rightly wanted to reinstate it as a showpiece to greet clients upon entering the upmarket guesthouse but had no luck trying to remove stains themselves and had spent many hours on hands and knees but to no avail and were nearly ready to take the builder’s advice and cover it in a self-levelling cement and install a carpet throughout which would have been sacrilege!

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration at Bude Bed and Breakfast

Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway and Entrance Lobby

To begin with diamond-impregnated buffing pads were used with a rotary machine to scrub the floor and open up the pores. Small diamond hand blocks were also used to get into those difficult to reach areas such as corners and under the stairs.

Afterwards the floor was thoroughly rinsed with water which was then extracted using a wet vacuum. This was followed by giving the floor an Acid rinse using Tile Doctor’s Acid Gel. This helped to remove old mineral deposits and residue from carpet underlay. I had to be careful not to leave the acid down for too long because these tiles are susceptible to acid damage. This is also a great product to use as par for the course on floors like this that don’t have a damp proof course (floors generally didn’t pre-1950s) and the acid will neutralise any salts coming rising up through the tile later.

Dealing with salt issues on these old floors (efflorescence) is essential because they can damage the sealer or become trapped under it, detracting from the beauty of the floor. Given the age of the house It’s difficult to know what the floor had been laid onto. Often it was compacted rubble and building works from the erection of the adjoining houses. Terraced and some of the later Victorian floors were laid on a wet limecrete scree which contain a high salt-content.

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway and Entrance Lobby

Once the tiles had been cleaned, I rinsed the entire floor thoroughly using fresh water to remove any traces of chemicals, before leaving it to dry completely overnight.

Upon my return to the B&B the next day, I sealed the tiles using several coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, an impregnating sealer which provides robust protection and intensifies the natural colours in the tile. It does this while leaving a natural-look matte finish which is befitting of a classic Victorian geometric patterned floor like this one.

Now cleaned and freshly sealed, the Victorian tiles will be in a much strong position to cope with the busy B&B season over the Summer. The owner was very pleased and I’m sure visitors to the B&B will be very impressed with this original feature!

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration at Bude Bed and Breakfast

As part of the package a cleaning and maintenance guide is provided once the work has been completed but unfortunately the owner’s uncle didn’t consult this when house-sitting and attempted to clean the floor with white spirit. Fortunately, I was able to return and improve the damage that was caused much to the owner’s relief and just in time for opening!
 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Devon

Tile Doctor Acid Gel

Removing grout smears or efflorescence from tiled walls is a common problem and something we are often contacted about at Tile Doctor.  The solution is the use of an acid based product however liquids will run down walls and don’t hold in position long enough to dwell and get to work on the grout making the job more difficult.

Tile Doctor Acid Gel

Tile Doctor Acid Gel

Tile Doctor have now resolved this problem with the creation of a new pH1 blend of Phosphoric and Hydrochloric acids in a gel form and being a gel it is especially effective on vertical or sloped surface where where more dwell time is required.

Tile Doctor are the only company producing an Acid Gel for Tile and Stone, an innovation which has come about after listening to feedback from customers and the 50 Tile Doctors operating in the UK. This close working relationship allows Tile Doctor to respond quickly and to develop solutions to problems affecting the Tile and Stone industry.

Acid Gel is in stock and available in 1 and 5 litre bottles ready to order via the web site via the following link:  http://www.tiledoctor.co.uk/TD-Acid-Gel.asp