Victorian Tiles

Full Restoration of a Minton Tiled Victorian Hallway Floor in Kings Heath

Details below of the full restoration of a Victorian Minton tiled hallway floor that I restored earlier this year in the South Birmingham suburb of Kings Heath. The owner had recently purchased the property and discovered a Victorian tiled floor underneath an old carpet in the hallway.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Kings Heath Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Kings Heath

The floor was in a very poor state with areas where tiles were missing and had been backfilled with a cement levelling compound. The adjacent vestibule also had a large area of tiling missing. My client was delighted when they had found some of the missing original tiles and now wanted to investigate having the floor returned to its former glory.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Kings Heath

I went along to quote and give a demonstration of the restoration process and provide an indication of the expected results. The test area responded well to the treatment and they were happy with my quote to repair and renovate the floor, so were booked in to restore the whole floor and I set about sourcing matching replacement tiles.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Kings Heath

Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The first two days were spent carefully removing the leveller, cleaning up the exposed subfloor then cutting and fitting replacement tiles. One of the areas that needed extra work was a doorway which required a sub-floor installing before being able to tile with a matching pattern.

Victorian Tiled Hallway During Restoration Kings Heath

With the main hallway tiling completed I started on the tiling in the adjacent vestibule. I had been given a couple of bags of original tiles to sort out by the owner and fortunately most of them were in good condition, so I was able to repair the vestibule with approximately 90% original tiles. The rest were made up of reproduction tiles that I had managed to source. Additionally, the floor had numerous loose tiles which needed resetting and finishing with replacements. Due to so many of the tiles being original the appearance between the newly replaced area did not look too much different however I was confident the following deep clean and seal would blend them in well.

Victorian Tiled Hallway During Restoration Kings Heath

Deep Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

With the tiling now repaired my next focus was the cleaning which I started on day three with an application of neat Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to help loosen the carpet adhesive and paint splashes that were staining the floor.

The Pro-Clean was mopped onto the floor and then worked in with a 200-grit diamond pad fitted to a weighted rotary buffing machine. The extra weight, cleaning agent and coarse pad gets into the pores of the tile releasing years of ingrained dirt and removing old sealers and coatings. The floor was then rinsed with water and the waste extracted with a wet vacuum.

Victorian Tiled Hallway During Restoration Kings Heath Victorian Tiled Hallway During Restoration Kings Heath

The next step was to give the floor an acid rinse using another Tile Doctor product called Grout Clean-up which is designed to remove grout smears and mineral salts that will have been trapped into the pores of the tile after years of being covered in carpet. The grout clean-up was worked into the tiles using a 400-grit burnishing pad to refine the tile surface and close up the pores. The floor was rinsed and extracted again and left to dry out for two nights.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I returned a few days later and after testing the floor was dry set about applying a sealer. For this floor I chose to apply six coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which gives a lovely sheen finish and really brought out the character in the beautiful tiles. It’s also water based so it doesn’t leave a smell as it dries.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Kings Heath Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Kings Heath

By the time I had finished the floor was looking transformed and the client was delighted, so much so they left this fantastic review:

Kieron was fantastic. He brought our Minton flooring back to life and kept us informed every step of the way. He really knew what he was talking about and has done a fantastic job. Not to mention he was a really really lovely guy and great value for the incredible workmanship he offers.”

I left the customer with a bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner to help maintain the tiles appearance. It is important to use a neutral pH cleaner when maintaining sealed floors as stronger tile cleaning products that you find in supermarkets are too strong and will prematurely strip the protective sealer off a floor.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Kings Heath

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in West Midlands

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

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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