Original Quarry Tiled Hallway Restored in Rednal

I was recently contacted by a home owner who had recently bought a property in Rednal which is a residential suburb on the south western edge of Birmingham near Bromsgrove. They were updating the flooring and discovered a quarry tiled floor under their living room carpet. The Quarry tiles were most likely original dating back 113 years and the owner was keen to have such an original feature restored.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Restoration Rednal

The Quarry tiles were well worn in areas and it looked as though a previous owner had levelled the floor using a cement screed to try and fill in any worn areas. Unfortunately, this had left the tiles with a rough surface and were very dirty as the photos show.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Restoration Rednal

Cleaning Original Quarry Tiles

My first task was to remove any loose dirt and debris with a wet dry vacuum. Once done I then applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to give the tiles an initial clean to remove dirt from the tiles. The solution was left to soak into the tile for around ten minutes and then worked into the floor using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad.

Quarry Tiled Floor During Restoration Rednal

This process highlighted the roughness of the tiles from the cement as the pad was being torn by it. I decided that the best way to remove the cement was to scrape it away aided with a steamer. This meant a few hours on my hands and knees scraping away which was hard work but needs must!

Quarry Tiled Floor During Restoration Rednal

When this was completed I used hand held diamond blocks to remove paint marks and adhesive from where the skirting board had been. I then cleaned the floor again with more Pro-Clean and a new black pad, I also cleaned the grout lines with a stiff grout brush. The floor was then thoroughly rinsed off with water to remove any dirt and solutions and this was then extracted using a wet vacuum.

With the floor now clean I could see there were signs of efflorescence markings on the floor which is where salts are carried up through the floor through evaporation. These old floors don’t have a damp proof membrane in place to prevent damp issues so to neutralise the salts I applied Tile Doctor Acid Gel to the floor. This was left in place for a short time before rinsing the floor again. The floor was then allowed to dry out for a couple of days.

Sealing Original Quarry Tiles

Upon my return I checked the floor for damp with a meter which gave satisfactory readings. The floor was then sealed with two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating colour enhancing sealer that really brought out the red colour of the quarry tiles.

Quarry Tiled Floor After Restoration Rednal

One the sealer had dried the floor was then buffed off with a white pad to remove any excess. As you can see the floor was transformed. I left the customer with a bottle of neutral tile cleaner to help maintain the floor.”

Quarry Tiled Floor After Restoration Rednal

 
 

Restoration of an Original Quarry Tiled Floor in the West Midlands

100+ Year Old Victorian Tiled Hallway Restored in Dudley

It may sound impossible to restore tiles that are over a century old back to something resembling their original condition but in fact it’s something we do all the time. With the right cleaning products and techniques, fantastic results can be achieved.

An example being this work I did for a customer in Dudley. They had seen previous examples of Tile Doctor’s work and wanted to have their 128-year old Victorian tiled hallway which had been covered in carpet previous restored to its best possible condition. Dudley is a town in the West Midlands that is often touted as one of the birthplaces of the Industrial Revolution so there are lot of period houses.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Before Cleaning Dudley Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Before Cleaning Dudley

When I first went over to survey the floor I could see that restoring these Victorian tiles would be a significant job involving deep cleaning, tile repair and sealing. Upon closer inspection of the tiles, I realised that there was also a small area that met the hallway which was actually Terrazzo. This was to be cleaned and sealed too however I’ll deal with that in a separate post as the process was different.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Before Cleaning Dudley

Cleaning Original Victorian Tiles

To start the restoration, I treated the floor with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a strong alkaline tile and grout cleaner, leaving it to dwell for a short period to start breaking down the heavy soil build-up.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor During Cleaning Dudley Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor During Cleaning Dudley

While the Pro-Clean was soaking into the tile, I carefully scraped off the paint that had been dropped on the tiles during decorating at some point in the past. Next, I fitted a rotary machine with a 200-grit diamond encrusted burnishing pad – which is very coarse – and put it into action to remove deeply ingrained dirt from the tiles.

When this process was complete, the floor was thoroughly rinsed with water and the resulting slurry was soaked up with the aid of a wet vacuum. I repeated this process around the edges of the hallway, where the tiles were particularly badly ingrained with dirt and marked with carpet glue deposits. The floor was given a final rinse with water and the wet vacuum used again to remove as much moisture from the floor as possible before leaving it to dry off overnight.

Before leaving however I had to complete the tiler repairs which involved removing the loose tile and mortar and then setting them back into place. There was also quite a lot of re-grouting that needed to be done on various areas of the floor.

Sealing Original Victorian Tiles

The next day, I returned to the property and ran damp tests in various places to ensure the tiles had dried. Given that these tiles are particularly old, I was conscious that that the floor very likely lacked a damp proof membrane and so damp issues could be a real possibility. We always ensure that floors are completely dry before sealing them as excess moisture can damage the performance of the sealer.

Thankfully, the tiles had dried out and, so I was able to start sealing them with four coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go which added a nice sheen finish and will protect the floor going forward.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Cleaning Dudley Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Cleaning Dudley

Before leaving I left the customer with a bottle of Neutral pH tile cleaner to help maintain the tiles appearance. The customer was very happy with the results and commented that all the hard work had paid off to leave the floors looking great!

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Cleaning Dudley

 
 

Full Restoration of a Period Victorian Hallway Floor in the West Midlands