Victorian Tile Cleaning

Cracked Victorian Hallway and Porch floor tiles Restored in Chesham

This client from Chesham got in touch due to cracked and chipped Victorian tiles in their hallway. The Victorian floor tiles in both the hall and the outside porch were over 150 years old and many of them needed replacing and relaying, they also wanted the floor to be cleaned and sealed.

Victorian Tiled Porch Floor Before Restoration Chesham

They were keen to spruce up the entrance area to the property and ensure it retained its original appearance in keeping with the age of the property. I visited site to check what needed to be done and gave them a quote for the work which they were happy to accept.

Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway and Porch Floor

Arriving on day one of a four-day job I marked out which tiles would need replacing as the client wanted to only do this kind of job once so any tiles with a chip or crack in had to be replaced. Fortunately, we were able to source a good range of reclamation and reproduction tiles so finding replacements to match is not too difficult. In total 90 tiles need replacing and work began by cutting out the grout lines around the broken tiles then drilling through the middle to stop any other tiles breaking around it and carefully removing them.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor During Restoration Chesham

We were able to remove all the damaged tiles on day one so the morning of day two began with measuring, cutting, and placing in the replacement tiles to be fixed in later that day using a flexible Mapie adhesive. With the repairs out of the way and the replacements now firmly fixed in place we would be able to start the cleaning on day three.

Deep Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway and Porch Floor

To deep clean the Victorian tiles a high alkaline cleaner called Tile Doctor Pro-Clean was sprayed onto the floor, left to soak in for ten minutes and then scrubbed in with a rotary floor buffer fitted with a Black pad. A wet vacuum was then used to hoover up the slurry.

Next step was to treat the tiles to an acid rinse to neutralise any latent alkaline salts in the floor that might lead to efflorescence later and further clean up the tiles by removing grout hazing. I used Tile Doctors Acid Gel for this and worked it in this time with a coarse 200-grit diamond pad. After another rinse and extraction using the wet vacuum.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor During Restoration Chesham

To further improve the appearance of the tiles and blend the replacement tiles in with the original I continued the cleaning with finer grades of diamond burnishing pads until satisfied the floor was as good as it could be. Afterwards the floor was given a light mop with Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner to remove any dust etc and left it to dry off for a couple of hours. At the end of day 3 it was dry enough to accept a single base coat of Tile Doctors Colour Grow, this is a colour enhancing sealer that will help blend the new and old tiles and give a uniformed look.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway and Porch Floor

Day 4 the final day of the job I arrived and buffed over the floor with a White pad to get rid of any wet patches from putting the sealer down the day before. Then I applied two coats of using Tile Doctors X-Tra Seal onto the floor leaving a good hour in between each coat for the seal to soak into the pores of the tile and create a nice hard layer to protect them. Once both coats had dried, I went over the floor with a 3000-grit pad to give the floor a slight shine.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Restoration Chesham

The client was very happy with the finished result and before leaving I took time to recommend the use of Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner for on-going cleaning. It’s a neutral pH cleaner that’s ideal for the regular cleaning of sealed tiles, supermarket cleaning products are generally too strong for this job and will erode the sealer.

Victorian Tiled Porch Floor After Restoration Chesham


Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway and Porch in Buckinghamshire

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Deep Cleaned and Sealed in Chesham

This customer had just moved into a property in Chesham around eighteen months ago. During that time, they had completely renovated the property and in the process had pulled up the hallway carpet to discover a lovely Victorian tiled floor which appeared to be in good condition but very dirty. Period features like these can add a lot of value to a house these days and so they decided to investigate having it professionally cleaned and contacted me for a quote.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Before Cleaning Chesham

Although I can give some indication of price over the phone you never know exactly what to expect so my preference is to visit the property a conduct a test clean. It’s a little trickier to do this now due to COVID-19 but using a combination of PPE, maximum ventilation and social distancing measures I was able to work on the floor. The tiles were in good order with no replacements needed so my focus would be removing carpet adhesive and ingrained dirt. The test went well, and I followed up with a quotation which was accepted, and a date arranged to do the work.

Deep Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor in Chesham

I had worked out previously that the quickest was to deep clean the floor and remove the glue and any old seal was to apply Tile Doctor Remove and Go which as its name suggests is a coatings removed designed for Tiled floors. My method was to spray strong a dilution of Remove and Go onto the Victorian tiles and leave it to soak in for fifteen minutes. Then it was scrubbed in with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. The soil was rinsed off using a minimal of water and extracted with a wet vacuum.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor During Cleaning Chesham

Once the floor had dried, I inspected the tiles and could see more work would be needed to get the white tiles really sparkling. For this I went over the floor using a 200-grit resurfacing pad using water to lubricate the process, I also used handheld burnishing blocks of different grits to do the edges. With this extra effort and another rinse with water to remove the soil the floor looked great, and so I left for the day so it could dry out ready for sealing.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I came back the next day and started by taking moisture readings with a damp meter to ensure the tiles were dry and ready for sealing. This is important as you don’t want to apply sealer to a damp tile and old floors can suffer from damp issues due to the lack of a damp proof membrane.

All was well with the floor, so I was able to move straight onto sealing which started with the application of a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This is an impregnating sealer that soaks into the pores of the tile enhancing colour and adding protection. Once this had dried, I followed up with another seven coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which adds further protection and leaves a nice subtle sheen to the tiles. This product works really well on old Victorian Tiles like these and being water based it doesn’t leave a smell as it dries.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Cleaning Sealing Chesham

The Victorian tiles looked so much cleaner and brighter after I had finished, and my customer was very happy with the transformation. For aftercare I recommended the use of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner to maintain the floor, it has a nice fresh smell and can be used regularly due to its pH neutral nature which won’t prematurely erode the sealer like stronger bleach based cleaners.


Professional Victorian Tiled Hallway Renovation in Buckinghamshire

Very Dirty Victorian Tiled Hallway Cleaned and Sealed in Prestwood

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.

Victorian tiled hallway before cleaning and sealing Prestwood Victorian tiled hallway before cleaning and sealing Prestwood

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.

Victorian tiled hallway after cleaning Prestwood
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.

Victorian tiled hallway after cleaning and sealing Prestwood
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!

Victorian tiled hallway and porch floor restoration in Buckinghamshire


South Buckinghamshire Tile Doctor

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