This classic original Black and White Victorian tiled floor was discovered by a customer in Kensal Rise under a lino floor when they moved in. Unfortunately, a large section of tiling was missing and had been backfilled with cement after a radiator pipe had been installed at some point in the past. The new owner understood that value that period features such as Victorian floors can add to the value of a property and was keen to have it restored.
We have done numerous similar restorations in the past, so we were asked to go over, survey the floor and quote for carrying out the work. Knowing that a lot of the cement would need to be removed I started by carefully chipping away some of the cement to make sure the radiator pipe had been buried deep enough for tiling. It was so after measuring up and inspecting the rest of the floor I went ahead and issued a quote.
The client accepted so we booked in a mutually convenient date to carry out the works. The property was in a lovely street of similar properties many of which looked as if they had been restored.
Cleaning and Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor
The first task we did was clean the existing tiles with an application of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a strong alkaline coatings remover. This was diluted with water, sprayed onto the tiles, left to soak in for ten minutes and then scrubbed into the floor using a black pad fitted to a rotary machine. After rinsing off and the slurry and extracting with a wet vacuum the tiles were inspected and the process repeated where needed.
The next stage was to treat the floor to an acid rinse using Tile Doctor Acid Gel, this time worked in with a coarse 200-grit pad. Old floors like this one don’t have a damp proof membrane under the floor and as the moisture rises though the tile to evaporate at the surface you can find white salt deposits being left behind. Giving the floor an acid rinse like this will dissolve the salts and will also neutralise the floor after the use of an alkaline cleaner. Combine this with a coarse pad and you find the tiles come up really well, it will even remove old grout smears on the surface of the tiles. Once done the floor was rinsed again and the floor dried as much as possible using the wet vacuum.
After leaving the floor to dry off overnight we came back the next day and started the processing of excavating the cement around the heating pipe. With the rubble removed fast drying self-levelling cement was applied to a point where it was the right height for re-tiling.
On day three with the cement now dry it was tiled using matching tiles I had managed to source from Original Style Tiles who are a supplier that specialises in reproduction Victorian tiles. They have a vast range so we can usually find a very close match. The tiles were laid in a matching diamond pattern and grouted in later that afternoon.
Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor
On the fourth and final day, we returned to seal the entire floor with a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a matt sealer that soaks into the tile occupying the pores and thereby preventing dirt from becoming ingrained there. It also contains a colour enhancer that really brings out the contrast in the black and white tiles. It is also fully breathable so is perfect for floors of this age which lack the damp proof membrane beneath the floor that we now use in every modern build.
The client was very happy with the finished result, the entrance hall was now in keeping with the rest of the period features of the property. For aftercare cleaning I recommended the use of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which is a gentle pH neutral tile cleaning product compatible for use on sealed tiles. Many household cleaning products tend to be very strong and can affect the sealer protecting the floor.