Victorian Tile Cleaning

Edwardian Tiled Hallway Floor Restored in Finchley

The owners of this Edwardian property in Finchley had purchased it a couple of years prior and since then had slowly been renovating it to restore its original character. The project was almost complete and now attention had turned to the tiled floor. The tiles were in quite a state and I was asked to work our Tile Doctor magic and bring it back to its original condition.

Edwardian Tiled Hallway Floor Before Renovation Finchley

When they moved in the hallway had been covered with carpet which gave the tiles underneath some protection. Unfortunately, however the carpet has been secured with carpet grippers that had been glued to the tiles around the edges. There were also paint splashes on the surface that would need dealing with. On top of that the floor had a few missing tiles that had been back filled by cement to provide a level base for the carpet, the client wanted like them replaced if possible.

Edwardian Tiled Hallway Floor Before Renovation Finchley

After surveying the floor, I explained what could be done and ever completed a small test clean to demonstrate how the tiles would look once deep cleaned. I was confident on being able to source very similar reclaimed tiles so replacing the missing should not be a problem. The client was very happy with the initial test result and my quotation so booked me in to restore the floor.

Cleaning and Repairing an Edwardian Tiled Hallway Floor

On my return I started by applying Tile Doctor Remove and Go to soften up the glue which allowed it to be carefully peeled off the tiles with scrappers. Once all the carpet adhesive was gone, I worked a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go into the tiles using a black pad to work the cleaning solution deeper into the tiles. A wet vacuum was used to remove the slurry created, and I followed this by giving the tiles an extra clean using a 200-grit diamond burnishing pad lubricated with water.

The last step in the cleaning process was to give the floor an acid rinse using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up, I did this for several reasons, first it removes old grout smears from the surface of the tile and second it neutralised any efflorescent salts lying dormant in the floor. This can be quite a problem for old floors which don’t have the benefit of a protective damp proof membrane under the floor. The floor was given a final rinse with water which was again extracted with a wet vacuum.

I then set about lifting all the loose tiles (approximately ten) and carefully removing the concrete infills. I had previously managed to source replacements for these holes from original features. Unfortunately, they didn’t sell the correct sized octagon tiles, so I had bought 150mm square tiles and then needed to cut them on site to get the right size.

After cutting and fixing the tiles I fixed them in place and regrouted the rest of the floor.

Sealing an Edwardian Tiled Hallway Floor

I then left the floor to dry out overnight and returned in the morning. Before applying a sealer, I took several moisture readings with the damp meter to make sure the tiles were dry enough to take the sealer.

I was able to confirm the floor was dry, so went ahead and applied three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealant. Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer that is fully breathable sealer which is important when it comes to old floors like these that don’t have a damp proof membrane installed.

Edwardian Tiled Hallway Floor After Renovation Finchley

My client was very happy with the renovated floor and for aftercare I left them with a bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner and gave advice on how best to clean the floor going forward.

Edwardian Tiled Hallway Floor After Renovation Finchley

 

Professional Restoration of an Edwardian Tiled Hallway in North London

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

Geometric Victorian Tiled Hallway Repaired and Restored in Palmers Green

It is not uncommon for the owners of houses built in this era to discover original Victorian tiled floors and hallways. Sometimes they have been covered up with carpet or linoleum to match the trend of the day and sometimes they get covered up because they have been neglected and though beyond economical repair. Trends have now been reversed and its becoming increasingly popular to restore them and bringing them back to their former glory and who can blame them, period features are in demand and they add value to a property.

This was the case with this floor at a house in Palmers Green, North London, affectionately known by the locals as ‘Little Cyprus or Palmers Greek’. The house is situated in a street with similar properties of the same age, so it’s likely there are a few hidden Victorian tiled floors on this street!

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Palmers Green
The client asked me to visit and survey what could be done to restore the floor. As you can see from the photographs the floor in the hall is a lovely example of geometric black and white tiles. However, it is in quite a state with, cracked and missing tiles and many years of built up dirt. I discussed with the client the options and we agreed a price to carry the work out, over a couple of days.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Palmers Green

Cleaning and Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Our first task was to protect the woodwork with protective tape including the doorway threshold edges, skirting and doors. Next, we began the cleaning the tile and grout including stripping off old coatings including sealers and waxes. To do this we applied a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean mixed 50:50 with Tile Doctor Remove & Go; when you have a combination of unknown contaminates, stubborn stains and dirt, a combination of products can be the best option. The solution was left on the floor around fifteen minutes before being worked into the floor, I find a longer dwell time makes the removal of sealers, adhesives, paints and grime easier. We then agitated the wet area using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor buffer and used detail brushes for the more the intricate areas.

This process turned the cleaning solution in a black slurry which was extracted off the floor using a wet vacuum and the floor then steam cleaned to remove any remaining product residue and believe me there really was a lot of dirt to remove. A thorough rinse followed, and the floor was left for a short while to dry.

Next up we tackled the repairs, starting with the removal loose, cracked and broken tiles. Luckily, I had managed to source some new and reclaimed tiles locally and so we replaced these and then re-grouted. We then left the tiles overnight to dry.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Returning in the morning a consolidator primer seal was then applied using Tile Doctor Colour Grow which improves colour followed by four applications of Tile Doctor Seal & Go this is a specially formulated water-based blend of acrylic polymers that provides both a stain resistant surface and a protective seal as well as a lovely natural satin finish.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Palmers Green Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Palmers Green

The floor looked so much better and the black and white tiles are now very vibrant, the client is pleased they ripped up the carpet and now have a feature hallway which is in keeping with the property.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Palmers Green
 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in North London

Victorian Tiled Hallway Hidden Under Carpet Fully Restored in Woodford Green

This lovely Victorian Tiled Hallway was discovered by a couple during the renovation of their home in Woodford Green which is a suburb of Woodford in North East London. The tiles were covered by a hallway carpet and much of it was obscured by concrete floor leveller. Fortunately just enough of the tile was exposed to give an indication of the Black and White Victorian floor underneath.

After initial investigation and discussion on what was possible, we were invited to quote to restore the floor which I’m pleased to say was accepted. The following pictures show an indication of the process we followed to restore the hallway to its former Victorian glory.

Cleaning Victorian Hallway Tiles

The first step was to remove the concrete floor levelling compound which was done very carefully using small hand tools, detail blades and scrapers. This took a lot of work as we did not want to damage the tiles underneath. You can get a feeling for this from the photographs below where we slowly remove the concrete layer over the floor to reveal the Victorian floor underneath.

Removing Concrete Leveller From Victorian Floor Tiles in Woodford Green Removing Concrete Leveller From Victorian Floor Tiles in Woodford Green

Once the Victorian tiles were all uncovered and the cement had been removed we got a good idea of the condition of the tiles and began a deep clean restorative process. The process began by giving the floor an acid wash with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which was left to dwell on the tile for ten minutes before being scrubbed in to release remaining smears of concrete and grout residue on the tiles.

The resultant soil was then removed with a wet vacuum and the floor then cleaned with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean using a similar technique of leaving it to dwell and then scrubbing it in.

Cleaning Victorian Hallway Floor Tiles in Woodford Green
Once cleaned the soiled cleaning product was removed with a wet vacuum and the floor give an thorough rinse with fresh water which was followed by a steam clean to finalised the process.

Cleaning Victorian Hallway Floor Tiles in Woodford Green
With the floor now deep cleaned we moved on to addressing the three door thresholds which needed to be rebuilt to fix loose and replace broken tiles.

Victorian Hallway Floor Tile Threshold After Cleaning in Woodford Green

Sealing Victorian Hallway Tiles

The tiles were left to dry and set overnight and we returned later to seal them with an initial coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, an impregnating seal as a primer before re-grouting. Colour Grow is an impregnator that seeps into the pores of the tile protecting it from within and also enhancing the colours in the tile.

Victorian Hallway Floor Tiles Regrouting in Woodford Green
Once the sealer had dried we moved on to grouting those areas which were repaired the previous day with a matching grout colour and then this was left to set

When the grout was set it was time to finish off the sealing this time using five applications of Tile Doctor Seal & Go to provide a natural sheen finish.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Full Restoration in Woodford Green
As you can see from the picture, the floor has been fully restored to its original condition and with the correct maintenance; it should last for years to come.

Full Restoration of Victorian Hallway Tiles in North London

Scroll to top