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

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