Recently I travelled down to the village of Prestwood in the Chiltern Hills of southern Buckinghamshire, to work on a Victorian tiled porch and hallway. Victorian tiles are commonly found in the entrance areas of older houses and unfortunately in this case the tiles had become heavily ingrained with dirt over time, and had suffered from additional paint and plaster spillages. The result was an unsightly mess; my client was considering covering the floor with lino after several unsuccessful attempts at cleaning it. I was called upon to provide a professional clean and seal, restoring these great Victorian tiles back to looking their best again.
Cleaning dirty Victorian tiles
On my first day at the house, I mixed up a solution of 50 per cent Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, a high alkaline cleaner, and NanoTech HBU (formerly known as Ultra Clean), which is a cleaning product that contains nano-sized abrasive particles that penetrate deep into the stone to lift ingrained dirt to the surface. This solution was worked into the tiles using abrasive scrubbing pads fitted to one of my commercial rotary machines.
The cleaning process left over a slurry of residue which I rinsed away with clean water and extracted with a wet vacuum. I was still left with the issue of stubborn paint spillages, so I applied a layer of Tile Doctor Remove & Go, a stripper with cleaning properties which is very effective at breaking down paint and adhesive stains.
Once the paint spillages had been dealt with I gave the area another rinse with clean water. I then left the house, allowing the floor enough time to dry overnight.
Sealing Victorian tiles
Upon my return the day I set about sealing the newly cleaned Victorian tiles. Before starting the sealing process I inspected the floor to check for any dampness, knowing that any excess moisture could potentially damage the performance of the sealer.
When I was satisfied that the tiles were fully dried, I applied Tile Doctor Seal & Go, a sealer which offers durable surface protection, along with an aesthetically pleasing, low-sheen finish which brings out the colour in the stone. This product can be used to seal internal, porous surfaces including Victorian, Slate, textured Quarry and Sandstone tiles.
The process made an amazing difference to the floor as you can see from the photographs; additionally the restoration of such an original feature adds a lot of value and looks so much better than lino!