Geometric Victorian Tiled Hallway Repaired and Restored in Palmers Green

It is not uncommon for the owners of houses built in this era to discover original Victorian tiled floors and hallways. Sometimes they have been covered up with carpet or linoleum to match the trend of the day and sometimes they get covered up because they have been neglected and though beyond economical repair. Trends have now been reversed and its becoming increasingly popular to restore them and bringing them back to their former glory and who can blame them, period features are in demand and they add value to a property.

This was the case with this floor at a house in Palmers Green, North London, affectionately known by the locals as ‘Little Cyprus or Palmers Greek’. The house is situated in a street with similar properties of the same age, so it’s likely there are a few hidden Victorian tiled floors on this street!

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Palmers Green

The client asked me to visit and survey what could be done to restore the floor. As you can see from the photographs the floor in the hall is a lovely example of geometric black and white tiles. However, it is in quite a state with, cracked and missing tiles and many years of built up dirt. I discussed with the client the options and we agreed a price to carry the work out, over a couple of days.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Palmers Green

Cleaning and Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Our first task was to protect the woodwork with protective tape including the doorway threshold edges, skirting and doors. Next, we began the cleaning the tile and grout including stripping off old coatings including sealers and waxes. To do this we applied a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean mixed 50:50 with Tile Doctor Remove & Go; when you have a combination of unknown contaminates, stubborn stains and dirt, a combination of products can be the best option. The solution was left on the floor around fifteen minutes before being worked into the floor, I find a longer dwell time makes the removal of sealers, adhesives, paints and grime easier. We then agitated the wet area using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor buffer and used detail brushes for the more the intricate areas.

This process turned the cleaning solution in a black slurry which was extracted off the floor using a wet vacuum and the floor then steam cleaned to remove any remaining product residue and believe me there really was a lot of dirt to remove. A thorough rinse followed, and the floor was left for a short while to dry.

Next up we tackled the repairs, starting with the removal loose, cracked and broken tiles. Luckily, I had managed to source some new and reclaimed tiles locally and so we replaced these and then re-grouted. We then left the tiles overnight to dry.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Returning in the morning a consolidator primer seal was then applied using Tile Doctor Colour Grow which improves colour followed by four applications of Tile Doctor Seal & Go this is a specially formulated water-based blend of acrylic polymers that provides both a stain resistant surface and a protective seal as well as a lovely natural satin finish.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Palmers Green Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Palmers Green

The floor looked so much better and the black and white tiles are now very vibrant, the client is pleased they ripped up the carpet and now have a feature hallway which is in keeping with the property.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Palmers Green

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in North London

Victorian Tiled Hallway Rebuilt After Heating Installation in Palmers Green

The owners of this property in Palmers Green, North London had uncovered an original Victorian hallway floor during renovation work. However, the priority was to have a new central heating system installed so they had to make a decision to allow the heating engineer to rip up part of the floor in order to lay new pipes.

With the floor now missing a large section most customers would agree to have the hole back-filled with concrete and then have lino installed on top, however keen to have the floor restored as an original feature they reached out to Tile Doctor who have a lot of experience in this field.

Our brief was to infill the excavated section and reinstate the floor with new original style Victorian tiles to match the existing ones.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Palmers Green

Deep Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway

The existing floor had been covered in Carpet which had been secured using carpet gripper fixed to the floor using adhesive, there were also old paint splashes from decorating that would need to be removed. Our first job therefore was to remove the glue and paint by applying a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove & Go which is a coatings remover especially designed for use on tile and stone. The product was applied, left to dwell for about twenty minutes and then scrubbed into the floor, this softened the paint and glue which could then be carefully scrapped off tile tiles.

The next step was to give the floor a deep clean with a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to strip off what remained of old sealers and extract any ground-in dirt from the pores of the tile. Naturally this work had to be done in two sections due to the missing tiled section and then once complete each part of the floor was given a good rinse and the slurry extracted using a wet vacuum.

The floor was then inspected and a second clean was carried out to remove any stubborn staining or residue followed by a steam clean.

Rebuilding a Victorian Tiled Hallway

Following the two stages of cleaning we checked the existing floor pattern and prepared the hallway by levelling the floor in preparation for inlaying the new tiles which were chosen to offer the best possible match. We were able to source reclaimed tiles that would match up to the pattern and during this phase of the restoration work we carried out any loose tile and grout repairs and re-grouted the newly laid tiles.

Sealing Victorian Hallway Tiles

With the original tiles clean and the hallway rebuilt we left the floor to dry off fully overnight.

On our return we first checked the tiled were dry and that the grout in the new section was clear of any grout smears from the tiling work. Happy with the condition of the hallway we first applied a coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that will protect the tiles from within by occupying the pores within the tile, it also enhanced the colours in the clay tile.

Once the first coat of sealer was dry it was followed by five coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go which adds further layers of protection and adds a nice subtle satin finish that works really well on Victorian tiles.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Palmers Green

The work went very well, and the sealer consolidated the new and old tiled sections to form a seamless floor.
 
 

Victorian Tiled Hallway Restored in North London

Tired Victorian and Edwardian Tiles Rejuvenated in Palmers Green

At first sight, this Victorian tiled pathway in Palmers Green, N13 did not appear to need too many repairs, with just a few obvious broken and loose tiles to be fixed. On closer inspection however it became clear it was in need of a deep clean and fresh seal.

Palmers Green Path Before Restoration

Repairing, Cleaning and Sealing Victorian Tiles

To start, we applied Tile Doctor Remove & Go across the entire length of the pathway to break down and strip off the old sealer and provide an initial clean. In the more stubborn and difficult to reach areas where we saw the buildup of efflorescence, we applied Tile Doctor Acid Gel to neutralise the alkaline salts.

Acid Gel, as the name indicates, is a pH1 blend of Phosphoric and Hydrochloric acid in gel form, making it easier to apply to tricky areas, including sloped or vertical surfaces. Users should be aware not to use this type of product on acid-sensitive stone such as Limestone, as this can cause etching if left on too long.

Once the dirt and efflorescence buildups had been dealt with, I focused my attention towards the tile repairs, quickly realising that the extent of damage was greater than initially thought. Firstly, the numerous loose and broken tiles were removed and individually cleaned in a similar way to the rest of the floor. We then repaired the sub base ready for the existing and newly sourced tiles to be re-laid, before leaving the floor to set and dry overnight.

The next day, the pathway was grouted, before being sealed with Tile Doctor’s colour enhancing, impregnating sealer, Colour Grow to bring back the life and character to the Victorian tiles.

Palmers Green Path Before Restoration

Cleaning and Sealing Edwardian Hallway Tiles

I was also asked to renovate the Edwardian hallway tiles in the house so once finished with the pathway they were deep cleaned using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean. This also helped to break down the old sealers and waxes – followed by a careful cleaning of the grout lines using Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up in combination with 3m black pads and detail brushes.

Palmers Green Edwardian Hallway Before Cleaning
To ensure any pre existing sealer was completely removed, I followed up with a steam clean and left the tiles to dry overnight.

Upon my return to the property the next day, I completed re-grouting in the necessary areas, before sealing the tiles with five coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go, providing an aesthetically pleasing satin finish. Seal & Go is a topical, solvent-based sealer which forms a layer of durable protection on the surface of the tiles, protecting against dirt and stains.

Palmers Green Edwardian Hallway After Cleaning
The hard work invested in restoring these two floors certainly paid off, as the client was exceptionally pleased with the results, going as far as to leave the following feedback:

“I wanted to restore my tired Edwardian tiled hallway and was given Rob Voyce’s
contact details. I was very impressed with Rob and his team; they were very
professional and friendly. Rob explained the stages of the work to be carried out and
we agreed a date and the job was completed much to my satisfaction. Very pleased.”

Victorian Tiled Pathway and Edwardian Tiled Hallway Restored in Palmers Green