Old Victorian Tiled Hallway Fully Restored in Brixton

I was asked to look at an old Victorian Tiled Hallway floor at a house in Brixton, South London. This classic floor had been discovered underneath an old hallway carpet while refurbishment works were being carried out. I went over initially in mid December to survey the floor and talked the owner through a number of similar restorations we had completed in the past. I could see this floor would need a deep clean to remove the years of dirt and also some tiling would needed to be done to tile a section of concrete near the stairs that had been dug out to lay pipe work when central heating had been installed many years prior. She didn’t want to make a commitment at that point so I left her with our quotation so she could think it over. I suspect she had other quotes to review however I’m pleased to say that she decided to give the work to us.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Brixton Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Brixton

Once we had agreed a date to do the work I started looking around for replacement tiles that would be needed to restore the floor. Unfortunately the octagonal ones are not made anymore and I couldn’t hold of any salvaged ones either. Having been involved in Tile Restoration work for some time now, I have a list of companies and reclamation yards that are usually a good source for these materials. To resolve the problem I sourced square tiles with a similar look and would cut them to the same shape when on site.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Brixton

Cleaning and Repairing a Heavily Soiled Victorian Tiled Floor

I returned after Christmas to start the restoration process which was due to take two to three days. To start the restoration process we applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go to the floor, allowed it to soak in for ten minutes and then worked it into the tiles using a scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. Remove and Go is a product that removes coatings from tiles including in this case old paint splashes and carpet adhesive. The floor was then rinsed and the now dirty solution extracted using a wet vacuum.

Victorian Tiled Hallway During Restoration

Once this was finished the floor was looking cleaner and the next step was to tackle the concrete area near the stairs where the heating pipes had been buried. The cement had to be carefully chipped away and then refilled with fresh cement but to the level of the original surface so we could lay new tile on top. We use a quick setting compound for this and were able to start relaying and grouting the section with new specially cut tiles later that afternoon.

Victorian Tiled Hallway During Restoration Brixton Victorian Tiled Hallway During Restoration Brixton

Naturally the strip of new tiles were quite noticeable against the old and although the customer was happy I knew I could get a better result by running a very coarse burnishing pad fitted to a heavy buffing machine over the surface. I used a diamond resin hybrid 50 grit pad to take off the top layer of the tiles and then refinished the surface with a 100 and then 200 grit pad. This did the trick and it was impossible to tell the old and new apart.

After this I carried out an acid wash using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up diluted with four parts water. The purpose of this was to remove any old grout smears and mineral deposits from the floor as well as counteract any possibility of unsightly efflorescence salts rising up through the tile at a later stage. This is quite a common problem with these old floors which don’t have a damp proof coarse and certainly I could see no trace of a DPC when I dug out the cement around the pipe work earlier.

The last step in the cleaning process was to steam the entire floor and then leave it to dry off fully over the New Year break.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

I returned on the 2nd of January and after inspecting the floor to ensure it was clean and free of damp I began to seal it using Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that soaks into the pores of the tile protecting it from within and enhancing its appearance in the process. Four coats of sealer were needed and as you can see by the final pictures the final results were outstanding.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Brixton

Period features such as old Victorian floors add a lot of value to and the customer was over the moon with the transformation and is so happy she chose to have the floor restored rather than covering it back up with carpet.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Brixton

 
 

Professional Victorian Tiled Hallway Restoration in South London

Renovating Travertine Kitchen Floor Tiles in Sanderstead

This customer, who lives in Sanderstead located between Croydon and Purley in Surrey had been experiencing difficulties in keeping her beautiful Travertine tiled kitchen floor in good condition. Over the years it had suffered from a heavy build up of dirt and oily stains, not to mentioned a number of cracks and small holes. Needless to say, the customer was keen to have the Travertine tiles and grout renovated and made easier to keep clean.

Travertine Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Sanderstead Travertine Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Sanderstead

Restoring Travertine Flooring

To begin the renovation, I applied Tile Doctor Remove and Go across the entirety of the large tiled area. This heavy duty remover breaks down any old sealers and other coatings, leaving the area ready to cleaned or, in this case, burnished.

Burnishing is a method for cleaning and polishing certain types of high-end stone, including Travertine, Marble, and Limestone. Our burnishing system involves the application of four diamond encrusted pads of varying grits. Firstly, I applied the Coarse grit pad, which helps to break down any dirt and stains on the surface of the tiles. Then, I worked my way through the Medium, Fine, and Very Fine pads, using a little water which acts to lubricate the process gradually building the polish on the Travertine. The floor is rinsed with water between the application of each pad to remove the soil that is generated and also give a final rinse at the end before leaving to dry.

To round off the first day of work, I filled any cracks and holes in the Travertine using a colour matching resin which greatly improved the look of the tile.

Travertine Kitchen Floor Cracked Tile Before Repair Sanderstead Travertine Kitchen Floor Cracked Tile After Repair Sanderstead

Sealing Travertine Tiles

The following day I returned to the property to seal the tiles checking first that the floor had dried. I use a moisture meter to do this and it confirmed the floor was dry so I proceeded to seal the floor using our colour intensifying impregnating sealer Tile Doctor Colour Grow. Once that was dry, I added the finishing touches by buffing the floor with a soft white buffing pad. As you can see from the photographs, the combination of a fresh seal and polish worked wonders.

Travertine Kitchen Floor After Sealing Sanderstead

We did such a good job with the floor that the customer asked if we could also improve the appearance of their natural stone fireplace which was suffering from bad rust and oil stains however I do a separate write up on that.

Travertine Kitchen Floor After Sealing Sanderstead

 
 

Cracked Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor Fully Restored in Surrey

Kitchen Travertine Tiled floor cleaning in Mortlake

We recently cleaned and sealed a small Travertine floor in a kitchen for a customer in Mortlake near Richmond upon Thames in Surrey. To be fair the floor wasn’t that bad, it was just a bit dirty because the customer had been told to use a steamer to clean the floor which was bad advice as the heat from the steam was breaking down the sealer and resulting in the tiles getting dirty.

Dirty Travertine Before Dirty Travertine Before

Cleaning Travertine Kitchen Tile

I first applied a 50/50 mix of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and Nanotech Ultra Clean leaving it to dwell on the tile for 15 minutes before scrubbing it in with a rotary Machine fitted with a brush head. Once I was satisfied the floor was clean it was thoroughly rinsed with clean water. The dirty solution removed using a wet vacuum and then left it to dry overnight.

Dirty Travertine Cleaned not Sealed Dirty Travertine Cleaned not Sealed

Sealing Travertine Tile

The next day the floor had dried and we proceeded to seal it using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which as well as providing a good level of stain protection also brings out the natural colours in the stone. I always use a water test to determine if the right about of sealer has been applied, very simply you drop a small amount of water onto the stone and if it forms a bubble on the surface it’s sealed.

Dirty Travertine Sealed Dirty Travertine Sealed

Before I left I provided the customer with a proper maintenance plan for the floor, and expect a call in around a years’ time to come and do a deep clean and seal. The customer was delighted with the results and said the floor looked better than when they had it laid.
 
 

Resolving Travertine steam cleaning problems in Surrey

Terracotta Tiled Floor Sealing

Although officially the East Surrey Tile Doctor we often get requests further afield through customer recommendations, this particular Terracotta Tiled floor was in Brixton, South London. You can see from the photographs below that the floor was not looking its best and had been splashed with paint.

Terracotta Tile Cleaning

To get the tiles clean we applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed 50/50 with NanoTech Ultra Clean which combines well to produce a heavy duty alkaline cleaner/coatings stripper with a cleaner containing tiny nano sized abrasive particles that work deep into the floor. This combination is ideal for dealing difficult floors, its best to let it dwell on the floor for 10 to 20 minutes before working it into the tiles with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad.

Terracotta Restoration Before Photo

Once that was done the soiled solution was removed from the floor using a wet vacuum and we were then able to see a few spots where old wax remained on the floor. To deal with the wax Tile Doctor Remove and Go, which is a powerful coatings remover, was applied to the floor and left to dwell for a while before rinsing thoroughly with clean water and then treated with a steam cleaning machine to ensure the floor had been neutralised of all chemicals. It’s important not to leave a trace of chemical on the floor as they could react with the sealer.

The floor was still quite wet at this stage with small puddles of water forming in the dips of the uneven floor; the wet vacuum took care of most of this but the floor was still too damp for sealing so I left a couple of air blowers to assist with the drying of the floor and returned two days later to start the sealing.

Terracotta Restoration Before Photo

Terracotta Tile Sealing

When we returned the floor was mainly dry but there were a couple of damp spots which I took care of with a heat gun. Tile Doctor Seal and Go was used to seal the floor; Terracotta can be very porous so eight coats were required to completely seal the floor so it was some time before it was finished.

Terracotta Restoration After Photo Terracotta Restoration After Photo

When I finished I gave the customer instructions on how to maintain the floor. He was over the moon with the result and said that it had far exceeded his expectations.

Another happy customer.

Terracotta Restoration Before and After

 
 

Terracotta Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Brixton