Smethwick Tile Cleaning

Full Victorian Hallway Floor Restoration for Property Developer in Smethwick

A property developer contacted me earlier this year regarding a Victorian tiled hallway they had discovered at a property in Smethwick in the West Birmingham district of Sandwell. The property was being renovated into apartments and a fully restored tiled hallway would give the property the wow factor when entering the property.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Smethwick Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Smethwick

I went over to the site to take a look and could immediately see the floor really was in a real mess. The tiles were covered in old flooring, adhesive, paint, screed, and plaster etc, I could see it was going to take some work to shift that lot. There was also an interior doorway that needed retiling. None the less these old Victorian floors are durable so none of that phased me and I was confident of a good result.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Smethwick

Restoring a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I got the go-head from the developer and started work by tacking the loose tiles around one of the inner doorways. I seem to see a lot of this around door thresholds I can only assume its due some movement in the subfloor that can happen between different sections on a building.

With that section out of the way I started removing the screen from some of the more stubborn areas. For this I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up and after letting it soak in for fifteen minutes to soften the compound, I was able to scrape it away with some assistance from a steamer.

When this was completed, I covered the floor with a strong combination of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and Remove & Go and left to dwell a good 20 minutes this time, topping it up every so often so it didn’t dry out. These products combine to make a powerful tile cleaner/coatings remover that would make quick work of cleaning up the floor. The cleaning cocktail was then scrubbed into the tile with a 200-grit diamond pad fitted to rotary machine. The slurry was then then removed using a wet extraction vacuum.

After reviewing the whole floor, I picked out those areas that needed more attention which were a few stubborn areas and the edges of the floor where the rotary machine can struggle to impact. I resolved those problems by hand with small diamond blocks which come in several coarse grits. Once I was finished tackling those, I took a step back to look at the floor and was really pleased with how the restoration was going, it was unrecognisable from when I had first come to view it.

Original Victorian floor were laid well before the invention of plastics and the damp proof membrane and in many cases are laid on top of compressed rubble. As a result, it’s important to allow moisture from the subfloor to be able to rise through the tile so it can evaporate at the surface. The previous coverings will have restricted this from happening and so I was concerned about the possibility of moisture and salts being trapped in the floor. Salts especially can be an issue as when they do make it to the surface, they can leave unsightly white deposits of the surface of the tile a process known as Efflorescence.

To counter this, I gave the whole floor an acid rinse with more Grout Clean-up worked in with a 400-grit diamond pad, this would neutralise the salts and give the tiles a further clean. It will also help neutralise the pH levels in the tiles after the use of the alkaline cleaning products earlier. To do this I applied and scrubbed it in with a 400-grit diamond pad to help with any issues. The floor was then rinsed with water and extracted as before to remove any trace of product.

Sealing a Victorian Hallway Tiles

The floor was left to dry for two days and on my return, I checked the floor for moisture with a damp meter to satisfy myself it was fully dry and ready to accept a sealer which was the last step in the restoration.

For this floor I chose to go with Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a hard-wearing impregnating sealer that will cope with the foot traffic you would expect in a busy hallway. Colour Grow is also fully breathable so will cope well with any potential moisture rising through the tile and being a colour enhancer, it would help to make the beautiful colours in the Victorian tiles stand out.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Smethwick Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Smethwick

My customer was very happy with the result which was a total transformation and should do well to attract new tenants to the property when its finished. For aftercare I left the customer with a bottle of neutral tile cleaner to maintain the floor, its important to use a neutral pH product on sealed tiles as stronger products will reduce the life of the sealer.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Smethwick

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Sandwell

Restoring Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor in Harborne Part 2

Here’s the 2nd part of the floor restoration work I did for a property developer last year in Harborne, this time detailing the renovation of the Victorian tiled hallway floor. I must credit the builder for engaging me on this project as many builders would attempt this work themselves, rather call in a professional, which often leads to a less than desirable result.

Victorian Tile Hallway Before Renovation Harborne

The house dated from the 1800’s and contained two old floors that needed restoration. I didn’t want to trample over a recently renovated hallway floor whilst rebuilding the old Quarry tiled floor in the front room so naturally I addressed that first. If you missed the first post detailing its restoration you can find it here: Victorian Quarry Tiled Floor Restoration in Harborne

Victorian Tile Hallway Before Renovation Harborne Victorian Tile Hallway Before Renovation Harborne

Once the front room restoration was complete, I moved onto the original Victorian Hallway which was dull, dirty and needed some tiling work around one of the door thresholds.

Victorian Tile Hallway Before Renovation Harborne

Cleaning and Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The Victorian Hallway needed to have a threshold restoring, luckily the builders had kept the original tiles. Firstly, the space below the tiles needed to be filled with quick drying cement. The tiles were then re set and grouted.

Victorian Tile Hallway After Renovation Harborne

Next issue was to tackle the paint spots and carpet adhesive. I did this by spraying the surface of the tile with a strong solution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go and after leaving to for ten minutes to soak in and soften the glue and paint. I was then able to carefully scrape of the glue and paint with hand scrapers.

The floor was then deep cleaned with a 200-grit diamond pad on a weighted rotary machine. The edges and corners were done by hand with diamond blocks. The floor was then rinsed with water and the soil extracted with a wet vacuum.

Last stage of the cleaning process was to give the floor an Acid Wash with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up to further clean up the floor and neutralise any efflorescent salts that may have been present in the tiles. Efflorescence can be a big problem for old floors like these which don’t have a damp-proof membrane. I gave the floor another rinse and extraction before leaving for the day and left the floor to dry out overnight.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway

On return both the floors were checked for moisture with a damp meter to ensure they were dry. The readings were good, so I proceeded to start the long process of applying the sealer. On this occasion I chose Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer, main reasons being its fully breathable so will cope well with any moisture evaporation due to there being no damp-proof membrane also its really good at bringing out the colours in the tiles. Three coats were applied, allowing each coat to dry before applying the next. I then buffed off any excess with a white pad.

Victorian Tile Hallway After Renovation Harborne Victorian Tile Hallway After Renovation Harborne

The new sealer really brought the Victorian tiles to life and allowed the colour and geometric patterns in the Victorian hallway floor to shine through.

Victorian Tile Hallway After Renovation Harborne

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor in Birmingham

Restoring a Victorian Quarry Tiled Floor in Harborne

A property developer contacted me about an old Victorian Quarry tiled floor that they needed to make good at their customers house in Harborne following renovations. The work needed to be done professionally and more work was anticipated restoring the original Victorian tiled floor in the adjacent hallway which I’ll detail in a separate article.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Renovation Harborne
I went over to survey the floors and provide a quote for completing the work. The house dated from the 1800’s and the Quarry tiles in the front room were black and buff coloured. In fact, after I did a test clean the buff coloured tiles turned out to be deep red in colour, but the floor was that dirty you would never know it. There were also areas of missing tiles where replacements would be needed to match the rest of the floor. We discussed a price for the work, which was readily agreed, and the work booked in.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Renovation Harborne

Cleaning and Repairing a Quarry Tiled Living Room Floor

Before starting work, I managed to source approximately 90 replacement tiles from a reclamation yard which were delivered to site. Once they had arrived, I began the tiling work by building up the sub floor with some levelling cement. When this had hardened, I started laying the tiles with a quick setting adhesive. Some needed cutting to size which was carefully completed. Once the tiles had been positioned, I grouted the area and the floor was then allowed to dry.

Quarry Tiled Floor During Renovation Harborne Quarry Tiled Floor During Renovation Harborne

The floor was then cleaned using a combination of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and Remove and Go, scrubbed in with a black scrubbing pad. The floor needed a couple of goes to get it completely clean, and there were also some screed areas which were treated with Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up. The floor was then rinsed, next we applied more of the Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up this time to the whole floor to give it an acid rinse. The floor was then rinsed again and then allowed to dry for a couple of days.

Quarry Tiled Floor During Renovation Harborne

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Living Room Floor

On return the was sealed with three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which was left to soak in and then buffed off. This product impregnates the pores if the Quarry tiles enhancing the red and black colours whilst proving protection from staining going forward.

Quarry Tiled Floor After Renovation Harborne
You can see from the photographs the transformation that was achieved. If you look closely you can notice a difference between the original and reclaimed tiles but this will be less noticeable over time.

Quarry Tiled Floor After Renovation Harborne
Before leaving I left the client with a complimentary bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner to help maintain the tiles appearance and protect the seal. He was over the moon with the job.

 

Professional Restoration of a Quarry Tiled Living Room Floor in Birmingham

Floor Damaged Quarry Tiled Floor Restoration Bearwood

My client contacted me regarding their quarry tiled floor which hadn’t been in a good condition for some time. A recent flood in the house, caused by a ruptured pipe in an upstairs boiler had only added to the problem. As you can see from the before pictures, the floor was in a sorry state. On the plus side the flood had led to an insurance claim which would cover the cost of the restoration.

I visited the property and did a test clean on a section of Quarry tiles which came up well. The client was happy the result and agreed to go ahead, my quote was agreed, and the job booked in. The property was in Bearwood which is in the southern part of the Birmingham suburb of Smethwick.

Flood Damaged Quarry Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Bearwood

Cleaning and Repairing a Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor

The client also needed some Quarry tiles replacing due to them being broken and damaged. So before returning my first task was to source some replacement quarry tiles that would be a good match for the existing. Fortunately Quarry tiles are still popular and I was able to find a set of reclaimed tiles that would make good replacements.

I was able to get the replacements delivered in time for the job starting which was just as well as my first task would be to repair the floor. Fitting the replacements was tricky work as some of the tiles were up to two inches thick and came in various sizes and so had to be cut to size with a wet tile cutter. The tiles were a good match though and they were set in place. Later that day I was able to grout them in using a matching grout along with some other areas that needed re-grouting. By the end of the first day the floor was already looking much improved.

Flood Damaged Quarry Tiled Floor During Repair Bearwood Flood Damaged Quarry Tiled Floor During Repair Bearwood

The next day the floor was cleaned with a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. The solution is left on the tiles to dwell for about ten minutes so it can start to soak into the deep-seated dirt and break it down. The tiles were then scrubbed with a black pad fitted to a weighted rotary machine. The grout was also cleaned at this point using more Pro-Clean and a hand-help scrubbing brush.

There was also a fireplace hearth that needed cleaned, this also had to be cleaned by hand as the machine was too large. The floor was then rinsed with water and the resultant slurry extracted with a wet vacuum.

Flood Damaged Quarry Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Bearwood

The last part of the cleaning process was to give the tiles and acid-wash using a dilution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up. This is an acidic product that can remove mineral staining and will also counter any alkaline salt deposits in the pores of the tile that could surface as the floor dries later. The floor was rinsed again and allowed to dry out for two days before I returned.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor

On the final day I first confirmed the Quarry tiles had dried out were ready for sealing. I then sealed the tiles using Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a fully breathable sealer that would protect whilst allowing moisture in the floor to rise through the tile. This sealer will also enhance the strong natural colour of the quarry tiles. The tiles were quite porous so four coats of sealer were needed, then after drying the floor was buffed with a white pad.

Flood Damaged Quarry Tiled Floor After Restoration Bearwood

The work transformed the floor and my customer was over the moon with the end result.

Flood Damaged Quarry Tiled Floor After Restoration Bearwood

For after-care I left the customer with a complimentary bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner. This is a pH neutral product that is safe to use on sealed surfaces and won’t prematurely erode the sealer.

 

Professional Restoration of a Quarry Tiled Floor in Birmingham

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

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Birmingham Tile Doctor

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