Period Hallway

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

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

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