Smethwick

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

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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