This client owned a property in Haringey, North London, which had a classic Victorian tiled floor laid in the hallway. Unfortunately, the floor was in a bad state, the tiles were dull and dirty and there was a missing section by the bottom of the stairs that had been back filled with cement. Fortunately for him however his neighbour decided to remove their front path which was made with matching tiles and so he was able acquire replacements from him. He then contacted us to see if we could use those tiles to fill in the missing ones and revive the whole floor with a clean and seal at the same time.
Before quoting for the restoration work, I paid a visit to the property to survey the floor. I can give quotes from photographs, but much prefer to visit and conduct a test clean, and in this case, I was able to check the spare tiles he had acquired. From that I emailed a quote which the client was happy with, so we arranged a date to return and do the work.
Cleaning and Reviving a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor
This was a large job, so I teamed up with Jackson Davis the Central London Tile Doctor and whilst Jackson started on cleaning the floor, I took the reclaimed tiles outside and carefully grinded off the excess cement and adhesive from them and cleaned them by hand. We managed to do this by about 3pm. Jackson and I work on a lot of jobs together so it made sense to work as a bubble from the beginning of Covid so we could continue to work together, with two of us on the job it also means we can get the job done quicker.
Cleaning the floor involved applying a 200-grit diamond burnishing pad to the tile lubricated with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go, the slurry was then rinsed off the floor with more water and then extracted with an industrial vacuum. The process was repeated on stubborn areas until we were satisfied the tiles were really clean.
We then moved onto carefully removing the cement from the floor at the bottom of the stairs and cleaning up the base. Once done the newly renovated replacement tiles were laid in place using a rapid setting adhesive which meant they could be grouted later that day before heading home. The floor was then left overnight to dry off.
Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor
We then returned the following day and took some moisture readings with the damp meter. The readings were within the expected range, so we were good to go ahead and apply the sealer. If the floor is not dry the seal will not cure properly, and this can lead to a patchy finish.
Three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow were applied to seal the tiles. This is a colour intensifying impregnating sealer that works from with and will gives the Victorian tiles durable protection, ideal for a high traffic area such as the hallway. In addition, Colour Grow is a fully breathable sealer so it will allow for moisture to rise through the tile and evaporate, this is critical for floors of this age that will not have the benefit of a damp proof membrane installed under the floor.
The hallway is now looking transformed by the work we did, we certainly thought so, but more importantly our client was very happy with the result and now has the floor he hoped for.