tile cleaning

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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