Victorian Hallway Restoration Mill Hill, North London

This 1930’s North London property in Mill Hill had a classic tiled hallway floor laid with black and white tiles in a diamond pattern and reminiscent of the Victorian era some thirty years earlier but still popular at the time the house was built. Mill Hill was first recorded as Myllehill in 1547 and appears to be named after a “hill with a windmill”. Over the years it’s merged with the surrounding towns and is now a desirable suburb in the North London Borough of Barnet.

I first spoke to the owner of the property over the phone to get an idea of what was required and work out a convenient time to take a look at the floor; we often get customers looking for a quote over the phone but this is not always easy to do as you never know what problems you might find with an older floor until you get there.

On inspection I could see there were in fact a large number of loose tiles in the central part of the floor which would need to be reset and grouted, the floor would also need to be deep cleaned and re-sealed with a suitable sealer to get it back to its former glory. I was confident we could soon get the floor looking how it should and after discussing the process, agreed a price and a timescale for the project. The owner was keen to get the job completed as soon as possible.

Cleaning/Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Firstly, we prepared the area with protective polythene tapes to thresholds, carpets, and door fronts to ensure the surrounding areas were protected. To clean the floor a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean was applied, this is a concentrated, multi-purpose high-alkaline cleaner, stripper and degreaser and is highly recommended for use on natural stone, tile and grout. The tiles were scrubbed with both floor pads and brushes, it is easier to use brushes in the more intricate areas.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Restoration During Cleaning Mill Hill

After the scrubbing we rinsed, and steam cleaned the floor, removing the slurry generated during the cleaning process with a wet vacuum. It was now nicely prepared ready for carrying out the repairs and the cleaning process was useful in identifying those tiles which needed extra attention.

The repairs involved resetting 50 to 60 loose tiles, the process requires carefully removing the tile, scraping out the old adhesive and grout and then replacing with new. The area is cleaned and then when the adhesive has set the tiles are re grouted in a grout chosen to best match the original. Luckily there were no damaged tiles on this floor which made the job easier. Although, we can usually track down replacements when they are needed!

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

We then left the hallway to dry off overnight, returning the next day we used a moisture meter to check the floor was dry and suitable for sealing. Old floors like these have no damp proof membrane fitted under the floor so can take time to dry out, fortunately we completed this work during warm weather, so all the readings were good.

Victorian style tiles are quite porous, so we found we need to apply give coats of sealer before they were fully sealed. We selected Tile Doctor Seal & Go to seal the tiles, it’s a specially formulated water-based blend of acrylic polymers that adds a durable stain resistant surface and leaves an appealing low-sheen finish. Being water based it doesn’t leave a smell as it dries, and it also a breathable sealer that can cope with the lack of a damp proof membrane ensuring moisture doesn’t become trapped under the floor.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Restoration After Cleaning Mill Hill

The client was very happy with the completed job, the work took a day and half to complete. Considering how many tiles had been loose the job had turned out very well. The floor is now much more manageable for her and the hallway tiles life has now been prolonged.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Restoration After Cleaning Mill Hill


Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in North London

Tessellated Victorian Hallway Restoration in Bounds Green, North London

Bounds Green in North London has more than its fair share of Victorian terraced houses packed with desirable original features. When the owners of this house pulled up their hallway carpet they were excited to discover a beautiful and original black and white Tessellated tiled floor.

Victorian Hallway Before Restoration and Repair Bounds Green Lifting Carpet Victorian Hallway Before Restoration and Repair Bounds Green

Tessellated tiled floors became fashionable from the 1860s and usually featured striking geometric patterns. By the end of the century they had become an essential feature in the most ordinary Victorian terraced houses from Dover to Aberdeen. They fell out of fashion in the 1960s and 70s and were usually covered over with carpet or linoleum, but period house owners today understand their value and are restoring them back their former glory. A well-restored tessellated tiled floor not only looks incredibly attractive but is durable and hard wearing. They were originally laid by highly skilled tillers and most have already survived 100 years of family wear and tear. With the right care they will probably be good for another 100 years.

Restoring a Victorian Tessellated Tiled Floor

The first thing we did was cut away the rest of the carpet to expose the whole hallway. The floor looked in a relatively stable condition, but it was clear the floor needed a deep clean and some minor repairs.

Victorian Hallway Before Restoration and Repair Bounds Green Victorian Hallway During Restoration and Repair Bounds Green

We started off by cleaning off each individual tile with Tile Doctor Remove and Go, a multi-purpose stripper that also draws out ingrained stains and removes old sealers and coatings; this took away all the glue and dirt from the carpet. We then applied Tile Doctor Nanotech HBU which is specially designed to penetrate below tough stains, dissolve and lift them out. We left that for twenty minutes for maximum effect before lightly scrubbing. Each tile was then individually scrapped with polypropylene pads.

The next step was to remove the resultant soil by rinsing with water and extracting with a wet vacuum. We steamed cleaned each tile and carried out a second clean with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a strong cleaner and degreaser for heavily soiled and neglected tile, stone and grout that has been neglected or subjected to heavy use.

By now the floor was looking pretty good. The beautiful black and white design of the floor was once again in evidence after decades of being hidden under carpet. There were just a few more steps to complete the job and restore this floor to its original glory. We carried out the minor repairs needed, carefully re-grouted the very fine gaps between the tiles and left the floor overnight for the grout to thoroughly dry.

Sealing a Victorian Tessellated Tiled Hallway Floor

The next day we sealed the tiles with five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go to give a beautiful and natural low-sheen satin finish. This specially formulated solution also provides a stain resistant surface seal and being water based it doesn’t leave a smell as it dries.

Victorian Hallway After Restoration and Repair Bounds Green
We managed to complete the whole job in just under two days with two of our skilfully-trained technicians. Our customer was delighted with the outcome and left the following message for us on the Tile Doctor feedback system:

“The team worked hard at what seemed a fiddly job and we are very pleased with the outcome. I would recommend.” Natalie G, Bounds Green, London”

Victorian Hallway After Restoration and Repair Bounds Green

Professional Tessellated Victorian Hallway Floor Restoration in North London

Rebuilding a Damaged Victorian Tiled Hallway in Islington

A customer in Islington had part of their Victorian tiled floor damaged due to building work and contacted us to ask if it was possible to restore it back to life as they didn’t want to lose such an original feature from their house. Victorian tiled floors are quite popular in the UK and we regularly complete restoration projects of this type so we were confident it could be restored.

Victorian tiled floor before repair Islington Victorian tiled floor before repair Islington

Laying Victorian Floor Tiles

Finding replacement tiles was the key to restoring this floor however over the years we have built-up a list of UK suppliers who specialise in Victorian tiles so fortunately we were able to source a matching set and completely rebuild the area at the bottom of the stairs with replacement tiles.

Cleaning Victorian Tiles

The next task was to set about cleaning the tiles using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean worked in with black scrubbing pads fitted to a rotary buffer machine. The soiled solution was then extracted using a wet vacuum and the floor rinsed with water. Final step of the cleaning process was to give the tiles an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel which removed old traces of grout and other mineral deposits such as efflorescence from the floor. Once happy that is had done its job is was extracted from the floor and then the tiles were given a thorough rinse and left to dry off overnight.

Sealing Victorian Tiles

Next day we sealed the floor using Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a breathable solvent based sealer, and is also very good at lifting the colours out of the clay tiles as providing a seal that will help protect the tiles from stains going forward.

Victorian tiled floor before repair Islington Victorian tiled floor before repair Islington

Another fantastic restoration completed and well worth the time that went into it, it’s great to see such a lovely feature in a house of this age which I’m sure adds value to the property.

Victorian Tiled Floor Restoration 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

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

Restoring a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Stoke Newington

The photographs below are from a Victorian tiled hallway floor at a property in Stoke Newington in London. The floor was in need of repair with a large area very uneven and partly sunk in the middle of the pattern. The repairs were made using as many existing tiles as possible.

Victorian Tiles Before Stoke Newington

Cleaning Victorian Tiles

The first task was to set about cleaning the tiles using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and Remove & Go on the stubborn areas. Both products were applied in the same way using black scrubbing pads to work the products into the tile to release the dirt. Hand brushes were used to clean up the grout lines and the floor was rinsed and soil removed using a wet vacuum.

At this point the large loose area of tiles were removed to be cleaned of grout/adhesive for use later and the sunken area that was revealed was levelled in line with the rest of the floor base. Once the new cement base had set and the tiles useable again they were re-laid and set in position to fit the matching pattern of the remaining floor.

Victorian Tiles During Replacement Stoke Newington Victorian Tiles During Replacement Stoke Newington

Once the tile adhesive had set the last thing to do was to re-grout the repaired area making the hallway whole again and left to go off.

Sealing Victorian Tiles

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.

Victorian Tiles After Stoke Newington
A lot of effort went into the restoration but what a transformation and well worth the work, certainly the customer was pleased and left the following testimonial.

Rob Voyce responded very quickly to my request for a quote, and was able to complete the work to a very good standard in the agreed time. The work caused minimum disruption to the household and everything was left clean and tidy at the end of each day. I would certainly recommend the services of the Tile Doctor and I am very happy with the work that has been done on old tiles in my Victorian hallway.

Victorian Tiles After Stoke Newington

Victorian Tile Restoration in North London

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