Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Edgbaston, Birmingham

This homeowner in Edgbaston contacted me about a Victorian tiled floor they had found under the hallway carpet since moving into the property a couple of months ago. The floor was stained with paint splatters, adhesive and had loose and missing tiles. Original features such as Victorian floors can add a lot of value to a property so they wondered if it could look a lot better than its present state.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Edgbaston

I visited the property in Edgbaston which is a suburb of south Birmingham and best known for its Cricket ground which is home to the Warwickshire Cricket Club. I surveyed the floor and run a test clean on part of the floor to work out how best to clean it. The old Victorian tiles responded well to the treatment which impressed the homeowner and so the job was booked in.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Edgbaston

Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway

On the first day I cut and laid replacement tiles around the door threshold that I had sourced before starting the job. Then I reset some loose tiles and added some replacements on another threshold.

Victorian Tiled Hallway During Repair Edgbaston

The front door had been replaced in the last couple of years, but it had been moved outwards which exposed part of the inner doorstep at the end of the hallway. I suggested that it would look better with tiles running right up to the door, so I removed part of the concrete with an SDS drill and cold chisel to allow space for new tiles to be laid level with the existing floor. The tiles were set in place using a quick setting adhesive which allows for grouting after only a few hours.

Victorian Tiled Hallway During Repair Edgbaston

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway

The next day I returned to deep clean the floor first checking the repairs I had made the day before were now secure and had dried nicely. My next job was to remove the paint splashes which I did by carefully scraping the paint off the tiles along with any old adhesive.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Edgbaston Victorian Tiled Hallway During Restoration Edgbaston

Next, I covered the floor with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and allowed it to dwell on the floor for ten minutes. Then ran a 200-grit diamond pad over it which gets into the tiles pores and cleans them. The floor was then rinsed the floor with water and extracted the dirty slurry with a wet vacuum.

Final stage of the cleaning process was to give the floor an acid rinse using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which helps neutralise the floor after using Pro-Clean which is alkaline. It also dissolves any unwanted salts trapped in the tile that might rise to the surface later, a process commonly known as efflorescence. I then rinsed and extracted the floor again before leaving for the day.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The cleaning process had been quite intensive so I left the floor for a couple of days before returning so it could dry out completely. The floor had dried well so I set about applying a sealer to the floor.

I sealed the floor with six coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go extra which is a low sheen sealer which will protect the floor going forward. Seal and Go Extra also enhances the appearance of the tile adding colour and is also breathable so moisture can rise through the tile and not become trapped under the floor where it could cause problems. Using a breathable sealer is important for these old floors where no damp proof membrane exists under the floor.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Edgbaston Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Edgbaston

The floor now looked fantastic and the customer had said originally that she wasn’t keen on the floor, but by the end she said she loved it. Before leaving I left the customer a bottle of Neutral Tile Cleaner to help maintain the tiles appearance without affecting the sealer.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Edgbaston

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Birmingham

120 Year Old Victorian Hallway Tiles Refreshed in Sandwell

Sandwell forms part of an area in the West Midlands which is popularly referred to as the ‘Black Country’. This area industrialised rapidly during the Victorian period and, with the building of many new factories came the building of many new houses for workers.

A good number of these Victorian properties survive, complete with original Victorian tiled floors. However, homeowners aren’t always aware that these tiled floors exist, since they have often been covered up by carpet or linoleum. We find that when new homeowners discover these original tiles, they are usually keen to restore them to their best possible appearance. This requires professional assistance.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Renovation Warley

A customer who lives in the Warley district of Sandwell recently contacted me about the restoration of a 120-year old Victorian tiled hallway that they had discovered underneath an existing carpet. As expected, the tiles were caked in deposits of adhesive, cement and paint which had accumulated over several years. Making matters worse, the customer had also spilt more paint on the tiles during decoration work.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Renovation Warley

Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway

I began the restoration by cleaning the tiles with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, a strong alkaline cleaner which is perfect for removing grime from heavily soiled and neglected natural stone. The product was applied liberally across the area and left to dwell for a short period. It was then worked into the tiles using a specialised rotary cleaning machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad.

The now soiled cleaning solution was subsequently rinsed away and the floor then rinsed with clean water. Stubborn paint marks and cement were carefully scraped off the tiles by hand. A solution which combined more Pro-Clean and Tile Doctor Remove and Go (a stripping agent) was applied to the tiles to help remove any old and now ineffectual sealer, as well to fully remove any of the particularly stubborn marks.

After being worked in again with a scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine, the excess cleaning product was rinsed away using water and the floor was dried off with a wet vacuum.

As tiles of this age were usually laid without a damp membrane in place underneath them, they can be especially prone to efflorescence (salt) deposits. To help prevent this, Tile Doctor Acid Gel, which is a combination of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids, was applied. This will help to neutralise any alkaline salts that might threaten to penetrate up through the tiles to leave unsightly white marks.

After the floor was rinsed once again, I proceeded to re-grout a few areas of the floor where the grout had worn away over the years. Once I was happy with the clean tiles and fresh grout, I left the floor to dry off overnight.

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway

The next day the tiles had thankfully dried completely and were ready to be sealed. Since the customer had requested a sheen finish, as opposed to be a natural matte finish, I opted to use a combination of two different sealants.

The first to be applied – to bring out the colour in the tiles – was Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This product impregnates the tiles to protect them against ingrained dirt, but it leaves a matte finish. Therefore, I added five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go to provide not only extra protection, but also a high-quality sheen finish.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Renovation Warley

I left the customer, who was delighted with the results, with a bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner. This product will serve as a reliable cleaning product for the routine maintenance of the tiles, ensuring they continue to look fantastic.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Renovation Warley

 
 

Professional Restoration of an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway in the West Midlands