Camden Tile Cleaning

Repairing and cleaning a Victorian Tiled hallway in Highgate

This client from North London had recently bought a property in Highgate N6 and during renovation had discovered an original Victorian tiled floor in the hallway. The floor was laid in a classic black and white diamond pattern but unfortunately a large section was missing and had been filled with concrete. Furthermore, most of the remaining floor had been covered in cement and glue.

I carried out a survey of the floor to determine the main issues and was then able to email over a quote later that day that included rebuilding the missing section of flooring. I suspect the floor had been excavated at some point in the past to install central heating and then rather than have the excavated section restored it was simply back filled and then levelled with a cement screed before finally gluing down a carpet on top.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Before Renovation Highgate N6

Once the quote was accepted, I sourced replacement tiles from the Vintage Floor Tile company. Situated in Kent they are a reclamation yard that specialises in supplying original geometric and encaustic tiles including the major historical makers such as Minton and Craven Dunnill.

Repair and Restoration of Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Armed with replacement tiles I started by removing the concrete that had been used to backfill the missing section and prepare a new surface for tiling with quick drying cement. When ready I was able to carefully build back the original pattern using the replacements. The tiles were secured with tile adhesive and once that had gone off, they were grouted.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor During Renovation Highgate N6

The floor was left to set fully overnight and then the next day I was able to return and clean the whole floor using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go. As usual this was left to soak into the tiles for a good ten minutes before being scrubbed into the tiles using a black scrubbing pad. The Tile Doctor Remove and Go did a good job of cleaning the floor and the cleaning solution soon turned black with dirt during the scrubbing. The floor was rinsed with water and the soil extracted with a wet vacuum. After inspecting the floor any areas that needed further work were hand scrubbed and rinsed again until I was happy the floor was clean.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor During Renovation Highgate N6

The last part of the cleaning process was to give the tiles an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel which further cleans the floor by removing old cement residue and grout haze. It also neutralises efflorescent salts in the tiles which are a common issue with floors of this age with no damp proof membrane. After another rinse and extraction, the floor was given a final rinse and then dried as much as possible using the wet vacuum.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I left the floor to dry out for a couple of days before returning to apply a protective sealer. Tile and Stone should be dry before sealing so I use a damp meter first to double check. All was well so to seal the tiles I proceeded to apply the first of what would be three coats of sealer. I used Tile Doctor Colour Grow for this, it works by impregnating the tile occupying the pores and thereby preventing dirt from becoming ingrained there. This product also enhances the black and white colour of the tiles and makes the floor much easier to clean.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Renovation Highgate N6

Once done the floor was transformed and needless to say my customer was very pleased with the result. For the aftercare of Victorian Tiled floors, I recommend the use of a ph neural tile cleaner such as Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner; most supermarket tile cleaners are simply too strong for use on sealed floors and can strip off the sealer prematurely.


Professional Repair and Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in North London

Victorian Tiled Hallway Restored in Camden

This detailed Victorian tiled hallway at a property in Camden was overdue some much-needed repair and maintenance. The owners of the property appreciated that original period features like this add a lot of value to a property and asked me to visit the property to quote for renovating it. The property was in a terrace of similar properties most of which appeared to have retained their Victorian character.

Victorian Hallway Floor Tile Before Restoration Camden
I inspected the floor and found there were a couple of loose, cracked, worn and broken tiles that needed to be replaced. In addition, the floor tiles needed a deep clean and then seal to bring back the wow factor. I was confident we could renovate the floor but at that point unsure if we would be able to find exact match replacements for the damaged tiles. Fortunately, Victorian tiles are still in demand and I knew of several companies I could check with so I was confident they could be found.

Victorian Hallway Floor Tile Before Restoration Camden
We discussed how long the work would take and assuming I could source the replacements agreed a price for the full restoration of the floor. After doing some research I managed to find suitable replacements with a company called Original Style and the work was scheduled for the following month.

Cleaning/Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Firstly, we prepared all areas with protective tapes to threshold edges and skirting.
This was followed by spaying the tiles with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove & Go which is product designed to remove old sealers and coatings. After about ten minutes the tiles were scrubbed with black scrubbing pads and scrubbing brushes. Fresh water was used to rinse the floor and the slurry was extracted using a wet vacuum.

The floor was inspected and then a second clean carried out, this time using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a Tile and Grout cleaning agent. The same process of application was used and after rinsing and extracting the dirt the tiles were given a steam clean. This ensured all the dirt was lifted out of the pores of the tile and the floor was now as clean as it possible could be.

The next step was the remove the loose and cracked tiles using the reclaimed tiles we had sourced earlier. Some cuts were necessary to get the replacements to match the originals but overall the plan worked. A quick drying adhesive was used to secure the tiles so we could apply the grout shortly after. The whole floor was then re-grouted and cleaned off to ensure a good match. The floor was left to dry off overnight, and you could already see it was now looking considerably improved.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Returning the next morning we checked the floor was dry using a moisture meter, this is important as to apply a sealer to damp tiles will lead to a patchy experience. All was well so we were ready to apply the sealer.

To start a single base coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer was applied to the floor and left to dry. This sealer is an impregnator that protects from within by occupying the pores in the clay tile improving colour in the process. This sealer does leave a matt finish however and the client wanted a subtle shine so one dry it was followed by four coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go. The combination of the two sealers works really well to add long lasting protection to the tiles and provide the desired finish to the floor.

Victorian Hallway Floor Tile After Restoration Camden
The floor was much improved, and the client was delighted. The detailed pattern and colours were now much more prominent, and the hallway looked much more inviting for both the owner and their guests. For the aftercare of Victorian tiles, I recommended the use of Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner which is pH neutral and won’t prematurely erode the life of the sealer.


Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in North London

Restoring a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Swiss Cottage

This Victorian floor was discovered at a house in Swiss Cottage in the London borough of Camden when the current owner took the old carpet up. It was in need of substantial restoration to bring it back to its former glory however we have had really good results from restoring similar floors so we were confident it could be done.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Swiss Cottage

Restoring a Victorian Tiled Hallway

The carpet had literally just been taken away so we had to remove the gripper rods, underlay and deal with the adhesive which we managed to tackle using a strong solution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which was left to dwell and penetrate the glue for ten minutes before being scrubbed in.

Once the glue was removed the tiles were given a thorough clean using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean using the same process of leaving it to soak in and then actively scrubbing it into the floor to get the tile and grout as clean as possible. The floor was then rinsed and stubborn areas re-treated until we were satisfied with the result.

The last cleaning step was to use a steam cleaner to pull as much dirt out of the pores of the tiles as possible and a wet vacuum to extract the liquids and get the floor as dry as possible and we also re-grouted where necessary due to the damage caused by the gripper rods.

We also gave the Victorian tiles in the entrance lobby a thorough clean using the same process, although they had not been covered in carpet they were still in need of a deep clean.

Victorian Tiled Entrance Before Cleaning Swiss Cottage Victorian Tiled Entrance After Cleaning Swiss Cottage

Sealing Victorian Tiles

The floor was left to dry and when we returned the whole floor was ready to be sealed and for this we used five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which adds a nice shine to the floor as well as providing a surface seal that will help protect the tiles from stains going forward. For the entrance lobby we used two coats of Colour Grow which doesn’t add the shine but as an impregnating sealer we felt it would perform better with the wear at the front of the house.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Swiss Cottage
The owner of the house was very pleased with the outcome and left the following testimonial:
Prompt, courteous, hard working and great results !.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Restoration in North London


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