Loose Tiles

Restoration of an Edwardian Tiled Hallway in Finchley

After having their hallway carpeted for several years the owner of this Edwardian property in Finchley, North London decided they would like to restore their original tiled hallway floor. They asked me to visit and help lift the carpet to see whether restoring would be feasible. They knew from before that a few areas of tiles were damaged and did not know if replacements could be sourced.

Edwardian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Finchley

As requested, I went over to have a look at the newly revealed floor and make some recommendations. After carefully removing the hallway carpet we found the floor to be very dirty but importantly intact with only a few sections of loose or missing tiles. It would certainly be possible to restore it and given the length of the hallway I was confident it would look impressive when finished and be a great addition to the property.

We discussed the process and after confirming that sourcing matching reclaimed tiles as replacements was possible, we agreed a price and arranged a date to carry out the work.

Cleaning/Repairing a Edwardian Tiled Hallway Floor

The carpet had left quite a lot of residue on the tiles as well as adhesive from the carpet glue, so our first task was to get the Edwardian tiles clean. We carried out a detailed clean over the whole floor using Tile Doctor Remove & Go to treat the adhesive followed by a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean to remove all the dirt and old sealers. The floor was rinsed off afterwards and the soils extracted using a wet vacuum.

The next job was to begin the repairs starting with a complete inspection of the floor to lift the loose, broken and fractured tiles. The good ones were individually cleaned ready for re use. This left about 150-200 broken missing tiles that needed to be replaced. We had a number of reclaimed tiles and a selection of new style Victorian tiles we could cut to fit.

Edwardian Tiled Hallway During Restoration Finchley Edwardian Tiled Hallway During Restoration Finchley

Prior to relaying we prepared the base with new cement and levelled the floor to give a good surface. The tiles were carefully laid to the quick set adhesive, once this was dry the floor was re grouted. Once all the tiles were re-grouted the floor was cleaned of any excess grout with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which is great for removing grout smears.

Edwardian Tiled Hallway During Restoration Finchley

Sealing an Edwardian Tiled Hallway Floor

The floor was then sealed with a coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing sealer that impregnates the tile and protects it from within. The floor was left to dry overnight, and we returned the next day to apply five coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go to give a natural satin finish, leaving each coat to dry prior to applying the next.

Edwardian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Finchley

The whole project took three and a half days to complete.

The client was very happy with the result, in fact it was even better than they had expected. For aftercare I recommended that they use Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner to keep the floor clean as it is pH balanced and will ensure the seal is not undermined which can happen with other household cleaners.

Edwardian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Finchley


Professional Restoration of an Edwardian Tiled Hallway in North London

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

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