Victorian Tiled Hallway

Victorian Tiled Hallway Deep Cleaned and Sealed in Reigate

It had been a while since this Victorian tiled hallway at a property in Reigate had received a deep clean and re-seal and it was now looking quite unloved. The sealer had almost worn off and dirt had become ingrained in the pores of the tile leaving it dull and lifeless. Hallways floors receive a lot of foot traffic so do need regular attention if they are to look their best and this example was no different.

Fortunately, the floor was intact with no broken or loose tiles to deal with, there were a few chipped tiles in the floor but I think that adds character to a floor of this age. I worked out a quote to deep clean the tiles, flush out the dirt and add a fresh sealer to protect them. The quote was accepted and a date set for the work to commence.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Before Restoration Reigate

Deep Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I started the work by applying a generous coating of Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel and left it to soak into the pores of the Victorian tiling for around 30 minutes. I used Oxy-Gel so as to minimise the use of water which can exacerbate efflorescence salt issues which is a typical problem of floors of this age that don’t have the benefit of a damp proof membrane.

Then using a very coarse 100-grit diamond encrusted pad attached to a rotary floor machine the tiles were given a good scrub. This process skims away a small layer off the surface of the tiles to remove the dirt and old coatings such as sealers. All the soil was extracted from the floor using a wet vacuum and I repeated this process twice for maximum effect.

At this point the tiles were already looking significantly better but I hadn’t finished yet. I still needed to deal with the edges and corners where the pad can struggle to reach. For this I use handheld burnishing blocks and more Oxy-Gel, you need a lot of elbow grease to do this but its an important step and can also be used to deal with any stubborn areas.

Once finished I used a little water to help rinse off the floor and the wet vacuum again to get the floor as dry as possible before leaving the floor to dry off completely overnight.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

The tiles need to be dry before sealing so the next day my first action was to test the floor for moisture using a damp meter. They passed and were ready to take a sealer which for this floor I used Tile Doctor seal and Go Extra. It’s super tough and ideal for doorways and hallways and leaves a nice sheen without being too shiny.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Restoration Reigate

Before leaving I left advice on how to maintain the tiles using Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which is a gentle tile cleaning product that will clean the floor without impacting the sealer which can be a problem with many of the strong products you find in supermarkets.

 

Professional Cleaning and Sealing of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in East Surrey

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

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