Acid Wash

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

Renovating a Damaged Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor in Stourbridge

This client in the old industrial market town of Stourbridge contacted me about a Victorian tiled floor they had recently discovered under their hall carpet. They wanted to have it restored to its former glory but were concerned about the small holes all along the border. These holes were for the nails that secured the carpet grip rod and the best course of action would be to remove and replace the tiles. We are usually able to source replacement tiles, either replica or reclaimed so I was reasonably confident we could manage it, however in order to be certain I needed to survey the floor and do some research.

Victorian Hallway Tile Border Before Replacement Stourbridge Victorian Hallway Tile Border Before Replacement Stourbridge

Once I was able to take a detailed look at the tiles it was clear that the floor would also need a deep clean due to being covered up by the carpet for so long, there was also some glue and residue from the floor covering which we agreed to remove. I prepared a quote for the work which the client was happy to accept, and the job was booked in.

Victorian Hallway Door Threshold Before Tile Replacement Stourbridge

Cleaning/Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The first day was spent removing the border tiles and replacing them, these are tricky to do as the skirting can be a hinderance. The tiles needed to be carefully removed so we didn’t damage the skirting. Thankfully they were all coloured black which was a bonus as replacement black tiles match very well. After cutting to size and replacing all the border, a doorway threshold was rebuilt with a mixture of original and replacement tiles.

Victorian Hallway Door Threshold During Tile Replacement Stourbridge

To finish off the first day loose tiles were reset, and the replacement tiles grouted in along with the other repaired areas. The floor was already started to look good and the colours in the Victorian tiles which were particularly vivid were really starting to come alive as the work progressed.

Victorian Hallway Tile Border Before Replacement Stourbridge Victorian Hallway Tile Border After Grouting Stourbridge

The next day the floor was cleaned with a 200-grit diamond pad attached to a rotary floor machine. We use water to lubricate the cleaning process and this turns to a grey slurry as the dirt is released from the tiles. The slurry is then rinsed off and then removed using a wet vacuum.

Next the floor was given an acid wash using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up to remove any grout haze and treat any salty deposits (efflorescence) which are often present in floors of this age due to the lack of a damp-proof membrane. It also helps make a stronger bond with the sealer which would be applied later.

The floor was rinsed with water, then dried as much as possible with the wet vacuum and allowed to dry for a couple of days.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Returning a few days later, we checked with the moisture readings of the floor in several places using a damp meter. It confirmed that the floor had dried out fully and was ready to be sealed. Applying a sealer to a damp floor is never recommended.

To seal the Victorian tiles, I used multiple coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go Extra which is a low sheen breathable sealer that will allow moisture to rise through the tiles, it also added a lovely subtle sheen to the tiles making the colours stand out. Using a breathable sealer is important on old floors with no damp proof membrane as to use a non-breathable sealer can lead to moisture being trapped under the floor where it could build-up and spread to the walls leading to rising damp.

Victorian Hallway Tile Border After Cleaning Stourbridge Victorian Hallway Tile Border After Replacement Stourbridge

The floor was now complete and looked great. The client was over the moon and especially pleased that we had managed to replace the border tiles with the nail holes in.

Victorian Hallway Door Threshold After Tile Replacement Stourbridge

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Birmingham

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