My client discovered found this Victorian tiled floor under the carpet of a communal hallway in a large Victorian house in Bounds Green. The property had previously been converted into three flats and it seems the developers of the property dodged the cost of having the floor renovated and opted to glue down a carpet instead. The floor was in quite a state and there was a section of tiles missing where a pipe had been laid under the floor.
I visited the property to survey the floor and prepare a quote for renovating the floor. With the floor in such a state I could see I would need to source replacement tiles. Whilst there I also carried out a small test clean to understand what it would take to ensure a good result could be achieved. Impressed with results from the test clean and happy with the quote my client agreed to have us back to do the work.
Cleaning and Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor
Day one started by deep cleaning the floor using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which was scrubbed in with a black pad fitted to a rotary machine. This product weakens the glue and allows it to be removed with handheld scrapers, a steamer also comes in handy during this process.
Next step was to tackle the thin layer of cement screed which had been applied in some areas to level the floor ready for carpet. To do this a 200-grit diamond pad was fitted to the rotary floor buffer and run over the tiles along with Tile Doctor Acid Gel both to lubricate and help clean away the cement residues. This process generates a lot of soil with is rinsed off with water and extracted using a wet vacuum.
The 200-grit pad was followed up with a finer 400-grit pad to improve the condition of the tile, again using Acid Gel. After another round of rinsing and extracting the cleaning process was complete. As well as removing the cement the Acid Gel will neutralise any potential efflorescent salt issues that are a common problem with floors of this age. The floor was then rinsed with water and the soiling removed with a wet vacuum.
The next step was to tackle the damaged section of tiling where the pipe had been laid. To do this the backfilled cement was carefully chiselled out and the rubble removed. The subfloor was then rebuilt to with fast drying cement ready for tiling the next day.
For this project we were unable find existing replacement tiles that fitted exactly so instead large square tiles in the colours required were obtained from Original Features (just down the road in Crouch End N8) and then cut down to size on site.
After cutting all the tiles to match the existing pattern I laid them into the floor using a fast-drying flexible adhesive. The floor set over lunch and were grouted later that afternoon.
Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor
The following day I returned and sealed the tiles with three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a breathable impregnating sealer that will soak into the tile adding protection. This takes a while to apply as you have to wait at least half an hour between coats to dry before applying the next.
Additionally, Colour Grow is a colour enhancing sealer and so was a perfect choice for this colourful floor. Being breathable it will also cope well with any moisture rising through the floor which is important for old floors like this which don’t have a damp proof membrane installed.
My client was very happy with the newly restored Victorian tiled hallway which looked so much better than the previous carpet and had added so much more value to the property. For aftercare I recommended the use of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner, which is pH balanced cleaner that will clean the tiles without being so strong that it impacts the sealer.