Old Tiled Hallway Resored in a Victorian House Erdington

This customer from the Birmingham suburb of Erdington contacted me about an old tiled floor they had discovered in the hallway of their Victorian house whilst doing some renovation work. The tiles were in quite a state with ingrained dirt, adhesive, paint and some tiles were loose and cracked. The floor was so bad they were considering scrapping it and contacted Tile Doctor as a last resort just in case we could do something with it.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Erdington Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Erdington

I went over to take a look and could see that as well as the problems reported to me over the phone that the tiles were also imprinted with what appeared to be the pattern of the underlay that must have covered the floor previously. Curiously there were some tiles by the front door which had what appeared to be holes drilled into them. There was also a porch area in front of the main entrance that needed renovating.

Victorian Tiled Porch Before Restoration Erdington

However, I have in fact seen floors in worse state that this one and was confident I could restore it. I worked out a quote for doing the work which was accepted, and the job was booked in for a future date.

Cleaning Original Victorian Tiles

My first task was to carefully scrape off as much of the paint and adhesive as possible using a sharp knife. Then it was cleaned with a 200-grit diamond pad fitted to a weighted rotary machine, this gets into the pores of the tiles which hang on to the dirt and loosens the grime and dirt, it also helps to grind off the pattern left by the rubber underlay. The pads struggle to get into the edges of the floor so that was cleaned by hand with diamond blocks. Once I was happy the floor the soil was rinsed off with water and then extracted with a wet vacuum.

Victorian Tiled Hallway During Restoration Erdington

Next, I gave the floor an acid rinse with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up scrubbed in with a 200-grit diamond pad again. This helped remove more dirt as well as helping to neutralize salt and mineral issues that may be present in the floor. This can be a big problem with old floors due to the lack of a damp proof membrane.

After rinsing and extracting again, I dried the floor off and went about resetting loose tiles and replacing some with replica tiles. These were grouted in along with other areas where the grout was loose and need of re-grouting.

Sealing Original Victorian Tiles

I left the floor to dry out thorough for a couple of day and then returned to seal the tiles first checking with a moisture meter that the floor was dry. We always ensure that floors are completely dry before sealing them as excess moisture can damage the performance of the sealer.

I found no evidence of dampness in the floor, so it was sealed with multiple coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which will add protection and works really well on old Victorian tiles where it adds a nice subtle sheen appearance. Also, being water based it doesn’t leave a smell as it dries. For the porch area which was partly open to the elements I used Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra which is a fully breathable sealer that will cope well with the damp conditions.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Erdington Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Erdington

The floor was unrecognisable from before and the customer was very happy with the transformation. Before leaving I left the customer with a bottle of Neutral pH tile cleaner that they can use going forward to help maintain the tiles appearance.

Victorian Tiled Porch After Restoration Erdington

 

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

Victorian Tiled Hallway Restoration in Bearwood, Smethwick

This customer got in touch with me to see if there was anything I could do to restore a Victorian tiled floor they had discovered under carpet in their hallway. Interestingly they had been told previously that the floor was beyond repair and had been quoted thousands of pounds to have it completely ripped up and replaced.

Victorian Hallway Before Restoration Bearwood Victorian Hallway Before Restoration Bearwood

I visited the property in Bearwood near Smethwick, to take a look and could see that there was a section under a cement screed. The floor was in a truly sorry state, so I could see why the other company were not keen on restoring it. Undeterred I did a test clean to see if I could remove the screed which was encouraging however without removing all the screed it would not be possible to see what condition the tiles underneath were in. I agreed with the customer to order some replacement tiles which were needed along with extra ones just in case. The job would take a few days to allow for cleaning, repairing, drying out and sealing. The client wasn’t too optimistic, but I reassured them we could definitely get a good result.

Victorian Hallway Before Restoration Bearwood

Cleaning and Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway

The first day was spent removing the cement screed which was quite thick in parts, so I went down the route of steaming it first to help soften the covering and then carefully scraping it off. This was quite labour intensive, but it did the job. Once the cement was removed I was left with some tiles that were ok but quite a few needed to be replaced.

Victorian Hallway Before Restoration Bearwood Victorian Hallway During Restoration Bearwood

There were also two doorways, one that needed completely relaying and one needed part relaying. Some of the tiles needed to be cut to size, there were many tiles that needed resetting and re-grouting along with grout being applied to the new tiles.

Victorian Hallway During Restoration Bearwood

The next day the tiles were deep cleaned with a 50:50 combination of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed with Nanotech HBU which stands for Heavy Build-Up Remover, which was quite appropriate in this case. This cocktail of tile cleaning products was left to dwell on the tiles for a while then worked in with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a weighted rotary machine. The floor was then rinsed off with water and then the soil extracted with a wet vacuum.

My next step was to give the floor and acid wash to remove any old grout smears and neutralise other mineral contaminates such as salts that can get deposited on the surface of the tiles as moisture evaporates as the floor dries. This is always a risk with old floors where no damp proof membrane exists. To do this I applied a dilution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which is scrubbed into the tiles with a deck brush and then rinsed off the floor with water and a wet vacuum. The floor was then left to dry out for a couple of days.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I returned to seal the floor and after check it had dried sufficiently applied three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer. This sealer seeps into the pores of the tile enhancing the colours and leaves a matt finish which the customer had previously specified. The floor was then buffed with a white pad and the customer left with a bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner to clean the floor with moving forward.

Victorian Hallway After Restoration Bearwood Victorian Hallway After Restoration Bearwood

The customer was delighted with the results and left the following feedback on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

“Kieron has done a fantastic job of our Victorian hallway tiles. We had been quoted several really high prices by other companies, but Kieron’s quote was a fraction of these. I initially wondered whether this meant the job wouldn’t be as good but after 3 days of solid work the results are fantastic! He managed to transform it to its former glory, a hallway that was partly cemented over, had missing and loose tiles all over the place and was filthy. He definitely does a lot more than just cleaning! We couldn’t be happier with the results!”

Victorian Hallway After Restoration Bearwood

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Birmingham