Victorian Period Hallway Floor Restored in Bourneville

This client had recently discovered a Victorian tiled floor hidden underneath hallway carpet at their property in the Birmingham suburb of Bournville. It didn’t look in great condition as some areas were missing and staining from carpet adhesive, but it was a beautiful patterned floor tiled potentially with Minton tiles and they were really keen to find out if it could be restored to its’ former glory.

The rest of the property in Bourneville had retained its’ original features so the floor would be the icing on the cake.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Restoration Bourneville

I went along to survey the floor, provide a quote and perform a small cleaning demonstration so I they could get an idea of the results they could expect. The damaged areas were repairable and once I had completed the test clean, we were confident the floor could be restored. They were happy to proceed with my quote and the job was booked in.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Restoration Bourneville Victorian Tiled Floor Before Restoration Bourneville

Bourneville is the home of the chocolate makers Cadbury, so many people will have visited and been aware of the area. Many of the houses were built for the workers at the Cadbury factory.

Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

On the first day I started on relaying the three internal door thresholds with some existing tiles and matching replacements that I had managed to source online. We are usually able to source reclaimed tiles and reproduction ones, so repairs are not usually a problem. It took some time to clean out the old adhesive, cut the replacement tiles to size where required and then then fix in place with fresh adhesive.

Victorian Tiled Door Threshold Before Restoration Bourneville Victorian Tiled Door Threshold Before Restoration Bourneville Victorian Tiled Door Threshold Before Restoration Bourneville

The next job was to replace some broken ones along the edges and some in the main part of the floor which had been drilled in to. These can be tricky to do as they can easily break adjoining tiles. When this was done the tiles were grouted and the other loose ones reset. It’s meticulous work and the tile adhesive needs time to set before the next stage which would be giving the entire floor a deep clean.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Restoration Bourneville

Deep Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The following day I focused on deep cleaning the tiles starting with the removal of the strong adhesive that had secured the carpet gripper. This had to be removed by applying a neat Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and leaving it to dwell for ten minutes. The Pro-Clean helped loosen the glue which was then carefully scraped off.

The floor was then mopped with a strong dilution of Pro-Clean before running over the tiles with a 200-grit diamond pad fitted to a rotary machine. This combination gets into the pores of the tile, releasing the dirt and renovating the surface. The resultant slurry was then rinsed off with water and extracted using a wet vacuum.

Next, the floor was given an acid rinse using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up worked in with a 400-grit burnishing pad to further clean up the tiles and close-up the pores. The floor was rinsed and extracted again and allowed to dry for two nights.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

On my return I tested the floor was dry with the damp meter and satisfied myself that the floor was dry and ready to accept a sealer which would enhance its appearance and protect it going forward.

My sealer of choice was Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra which adds a nice subtle sheen to the floor and being breathable will cope with any potential moisture rising through the tiles. This is an important consideration on old floors like this where no damp proof membrane will have been fitted.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Restoration Bourneville Victorian Tiled Floor After Restoration Bourneville

By the time I had finished the floor was transformed and had become the main focal point of the house. My clients were very pleased with the new entrance to their home and before leaving we discussed after care for which I left them with a complementary bottle of Neutral Tile Cleaner.

Victorian Tiled Door Threshold After Restoration Bourneville


Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Birmingham

Dull Slate Tiled Floor Stripped and Re-Sealed in Moseley

A client contacted me regarding their slate tiled floor which had only been down a few years and was now looking dull and uninviting. The slate tiles were laid in a herringbone pattern and Interestingly they had only been cleaned and sealed about a year ago by another company, but it has soon started to look dull again. Naturally my client was disappointed with the result, especially considering how new the floor was.

Slate Floor Before Cleaning Moseley

The property was in the Birmingham suburb of Moseley and as per usual I paid them a visit to survey the floor and conduct a test clean. From what I could see the sealer the previous company had used was already failing and wearing off, this left the stone vulnerable allowing dirt to become ingrained in the stone. We discussed the overall procedure and I completed a test clean on part of the floor which went well so the customer was happy to proceed. Whilst I was there, we also discussed the effects of different sealers I would recommend for the tiles so they could select one that would give them the look they wanted.

Slate Floor Before Cleaning Moseley Slate Floor Before Cleaning Moseley

Cleaning a Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

On the first day I applied a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean combined with Tile Doctor Remove and Go, this was left to dwell on the slate while I cleaned up the grout with a stiff grout brush. I used this combination of products to ensure I stripped any coatings that may have been applied to the floor by the previous company and the original installer. With the grout scrubbed I turned my attention to the Slate tiles by scrubbing them with a black pad fitted to a weighted rotary buffer machine. The floor was then rinsed thoroughly, and the now soiled cleaning solution extracted with a wet vacuum.

Slate Floor During Cleaning Moseley

The kitchen area was quite large, so I did the clearing in three section inspecting each section afterwards before moving onto the next. There were some areas where the existing sealer was proving stubborn to remove which were re-treated until clean. I discussed this with the customer who explained that the previous company had left a tin of sealer and advised them that they should clean the floor and then apply more sealer. This meant every time they did, they were adding another coat of seal and if the cleaning was not effective it would result in trapping dirt under the sealer! After spending most of the day cleaning, it was agreed to let the floor dry out and see how it looked next day.

When I returned on the second day, I could see there were still traces of sealer on some areas of stone and grout, so I decided to clean the floor again with more Pro-Clean but this time working in in with an abrasive 400-grit burnishing pad. This did the trick on the slate, but the grout needed a handheld diamond block to remove the seal. The whole floor was then rinsed and allowed to dry.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

Although previously we had discussed the different options for sealing the client wasn’t sure which one to choose. To help them decide I dried some of the tiles with a heat gun and applied different sealers to they could see the different between the matt and sheen finishes. The client decided on Tile Doctor Seal & Go Extra which helps bring the colour out in the tiles, it’s also breathable and has a nice sheen to it but slightly less so than Tile Doctor Seal & Go. I applied four coats as soon as the floor had dried.

Slate Floor After Sealing Moseley

I left the client with a bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner to help maintain the tiles appearance. The client was very happy with the results, thanked me for my hard work and commented that the floor looked better than the day it went down.

Slate Floor After Sealing Moseley


Professional Restoration of a Slate Tiled Floor in Birmingham

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