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

Postcode Lottery Building Floor Renovated in Edinburgh

These are photos of a Victorian tiled floor we renovated at the new Scottish head office of the Peoples Postcode Lottery in the centre of Edinburgh City where the building was going through a multi million pound refurbishment. Edinburgh has a lot of Georgian and Victorian architecture, much of which is listed and as a result many still have original Victorian tiled flooring.

I’ve not really looked at the Postcode Lottery until now but put simply you give the lottery £10 a month and your postcode is your winning ticket number, there are prize draws every day and if your postcode comes up every one in the system with that postcode wins; they also give 31% to charity which is impressive.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Postcode Lottery HQ Edinburgh

Cleaning Original Victorian Tiles

You can see from the photograph that the floor was in good physical condition but was looking tired and dull. This is not unusual for Victorian tiles as once the sealer wears down dirt can penetrate into the pores of the tile causing it to lose its appearance.

On the first day we set about stripping the floor of what remained of the old sealant using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is an industrial strength alkaline tile and grout cleaning product that is safe to use on Tile and Stone. The product is applied to the floor, left to soak in for ten minutes and the scrubbed into the tile using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary bonnet machine. The floor was then rinsed and the now soiled cleaning solution extracted using a wet vacuum.

The process was repeated several times until we were happy the floor was clean and free of sealer and then given a final rinse with water. Before leaving for the day the floor was dried as much as possible using the wet vacuum to extract as much moisture as possible.

Sealing Original Victorian Tiles

On the second day our first task was to check the floor with a damp meter in several places to ensure the tiles had dried off overnight. All was well and we began the process of sealing the floor with a Tile Doctor Seal and Go. This is a topical sealer which provides a high-quality low-sheen finish and protection against ingrained dirt and stains.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning Postcode Lottery HQ Edinburgh

Victorian tiles are quite porous and five coats were needed to fully seal the floor. This took some time to complete as you have to wait until the first coat is dry before applying the next however it was well worth the effort as the floor looked fantastic afterwards.
 
 
Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in Edinburgh

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

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

Victorian Hallway at Grade 2 Listed Salford Town Hall Remodelling

This original Victorian Tiled floor was uncovered at the Grade 2 listed Salford Town Hall in Salford, Manchester. This public building which built around 1827 was the former Salford Town Hall and Magistrates Court; it’s currently being turned in to luxury apartments and this amazing floor is located in the main entrance hall. The floor was only recently re-discovered during the conversion works after being hidden for many years and was in surprisingly good condition. The company remodelling the building are maintaining the historic features so we got the call to go in and clean and seal the floor.

Victorian Tiles at Salford Town hall before

Cleaning Victorian Tiles

Cleaning the floor was fairly straight forward and involved the application of a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was left to dwell on the tile for around ten minutes before being worked into the Tile and Grout using a rotary machine fitted with a black pad. The dirty solution was removed using a wet vacuum and the whole floor rinsed down three times to ensure there was no trace of cleaner left on the floor. It’s a large tiled area so it took the whole day to complete.

Sealing Victorian Tiles

I returned the next day to see that the floor had dried off overnight and so started to seal it using Tile Doctor Seal & Go which is a topical sealer that adds a nice shine to the tiles, five coats of sealer were needed before the tiles were fully sealed. I think you would agree the floor now looks fantastic; certainly the client was happy with the finish.

Victorian Tiles at Salford Town hall after

 
 
Source: Commercial Tile, Stone and Grout Cleaning in Greater Manchester