Replacing Tiles

Damaged Original Classic Victorian Tiled Hallway Rescued in Kensal Rise

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.

Damaged Classic Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Kensal Rise Damaged Classic Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Kensal Rise

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.

Damaged Classic Victorian Tiled Hallway During Restoration Kensal Rise

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.

Damaged Classic Victorian Tiled Hallway During Restoration Kensal Rise

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.

Damaged Classic Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Kensal Rise Damaged Classic Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Kensal Rise

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.

Damaged Classic Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Kensal Rise

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in North London

Rebuilding and Restoring a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor in Haringey N22

Convinced that their Victorian tiled hallway was beyond repair they decided to give Tile Doctor a call just in case there was a chance it could be saved. The property was in the Turnpike Lane area of Haringey in North London (N22), amongst a similar style of properties.

Victorian Floor Before Restoration Turnpike Lane N2 Victorian Floor Before Restoration Turnpike Lane N2

Victorian floor restorations are a speciality of ours, so I went over to take a look at the hallway and survey the tiles. When I got there, I could see why they thought nothing could be done as a lot of the tiles had come loose. However, I was pleased to inform them that in fact it could be restored and that as an original feature doing so should add a lot of value to the property. Happy that the floor could indeed be renovated we were given instructions to go ahead with the work and agreed a date for the job to begin.

Cleaning and Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

On Day 1 we set about lifting all the loose tiles. We then cleaned all the excessive adhesive from the subfloor and the loose tiles. With much of the subfloor now exposed we were also able to repair the badly damaged areas with quick drying cement. Some tiles were too badly damaged to relay, so these were replaced with matching reproduction tiles sourced from Original Features who are a specialist supplier of Victorian Tiles based in Crouch End.

Victorian Floor Before Restoration Turnpike Lane N2 Victorian Floor During Restoration Turnpike Lane N2

On day two we re-laid all the tiles and grouted the floor. After allowing the tile adhesive and grout to set we returned a few days later to deep clean the floor.

Cleaning involved applying a 200-grit burnishing pad to the floor lubricated with water to remove ingrained dirt. The floor was rinsed with water and the soil removed with a wet vacuum. This was followed by giving the Victorian floor an acid wash using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up. I always recommend an acid wash for tiled floors as it removes grout smears and other mineral deposits from the tiles and further improves their appearance as a result. The floor was given another rinse and again the soil was extracted with the wet vacuum.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

We then returned the next day and after checking the moisture readings were satisfactory, the floor was sealed with 3 coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which soaks into the pores of the tile improving colour and adding protection from within. This sealer gives the floor a lovely subtle finish, it would also give it great protection for some time to come particularly in a high traffic area such as the hallway.

Victorian Floor After Restoration Turnpike Lane N2 Victorian Floor After Restoration Turnpike Lane N2

Once done, the floor looked great the colours were really striking and most importantly my client was delighted and left some great feedback, see below:

Excellent service. Top quality workmanship and they worked extra late without complaint and without additional charges as the job turned out to be bigger than initially estimated. Andrew responded to all our queries in a friendly and polite manner throughout the job. By Martin T, London.

For aftercare cleaning of Sealed Victorian tiled floors, I always recommend Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner. Most supermarket products are simply too strong for a sealed floor and will slowly strip away the sealer with use.

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in North London

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