The pictures below were taken of a Victorian tiled hallway floor in a large property in the old village of West Haddon. The tiles were in good physical condition for its age but required attention as it was looking very dull and dirty due to not being sealed for many years allowing a build-up of soil to embed in the surface of the tiles making cleaning very difficult.
Deep Cleaning a Victorian tiled hallway floor
My first course of action was to vacuum the floor to remove light dust and debris, this was followed by applying Tile Doctor Pro-Clean diluted with warm water spraying several metres at a time. The solution was allowed to soak in for a short while before being agitated with a rotary machine fitted to a rotary machine and a stiff grout brush which was run along the grout lines. The section of floor was then rinsed with water and then this was extracted with a wet pick up machine. This process was then repeated through the entire area.
I then switched to a new cleaning process for Victorian tiles that was taught on a recent Tile Doctor training course. Basically it involves using a special diamond impregnated burnishing pad fitted to a rotary machine to resurface the tiles using just water. Again I worked in small sections until I had covered the entire area.
A common issue with these old Victorian floors is they were usually laid without a damp proof course; as a result it’s not uncommon for white salt deposits (efflorescence) to appear a few days after cleaning. To counteract this I gave the floor an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel, leaving it to dwell before rinsing. This helps neutralise the tile and will combat any salts rising up through the floor later.
Sealing a Victorian tiled hallway floor
I returned the following day to carry out repairs and to re set a couple of loose tiles which is not unusual for a floor of this age. The floor was then left to dry for a further day with a dehumidifier on site before returning to seal the floor with a breathable sealer for which we used two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow.
Colour Grow does a really good job protecting tiles as it soaks into the pores of the tile enhancing its colours whilst protecting from within however it leaves a matt finish and the customer wanted a sheen finish. This would not be a problem to achieve however it would require the application of another product and I was still concerned about potential efflorescence issues which would be more difficult to resolve with the application of a further sealer so I agreed to return several weeks later to finish the job.
As agreed I returned a few weeks later which allowed the floor to dry and guard against any damp issues and on my return I was happy to confirm the floor had fully dried using my damp meter and further there were no signs of efflorescence. I then applied 5 coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go to give the customer the required finish she was after.
I also left the client a free sample of our cleaning solution Tile Doctor Neutral Clean together with written maintenance instructions to help keep the floor looking its best for years to come.
Maintaining a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor in Northamptonshire
The following photos are from a Victorian tiled hallway floor at a residence in Kettering Northants which had been covered with carpet for the last thirty odd years; to make matters worse the carpet had been stuck down with adhesive which was proving very difficult to remove.
The customer phoned to see if it would be possible to restore the floor back to its former glory as it was very dirty and the colours were dull not to mention the glue. After a home visit and testing a small area to prove we could do the work, the customer booked us in to carry out the service before completing the decorating of the hallway. It’s always a good idea to have any heavy restoration work done before you decorate as heavy machinery is used and it can be a messy job.
Cleaning Victorian Tiles
To remove the glue and restore the tiles Tile Doctor Remove and Go was left to soak into the tile before being brushed in with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. This process also works to lift out the embedded dirt from the floor tile; once done the soiled solution was removed using a wet vacuum and the floor rinsed with clean water to remove the product from the tile.
To get the grout clean Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up was sprayed onto all the grout lines and then hand scrubbed in with stiff brushes; this was then followed by a second wash and rinse.
The hallway was still in general use so the floors were then sheeted up for three days to protect them whilst the floor tiles and grout were allowed to dry out assisted by a dehumidifier which we left on site.
Sealing Victorian Tiles
On our return we remove the sheeting and damp tested the tiles to make sure they had dried sufficiently; all was well so we sealed the floor by applying five coats of Tile Doctor High Shine as the customer had requested a high gloss finish in order to fully bring out the colours of the tiles.
I think you will agree from the photographs we have managed to achieve this, certainly the customer was very happy with the results.
Victorian Tile Restoration in Kettering, Northamptonshire
Apologies for the poor quality of these grainy Quarry Tile Cleaning photographs taken in the kitchen of a residential property in Daventry but it was the middle of winter and I was using my phone camera which doesn’t have an effective flash. Hopefully you can see from the photograph below how dirt had become ingrained into the tile and stains to the grout.
Cleaning Quarry Tiles
To get the floor clean I removed the kick boards around the base of the kitchen units and applied a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed with NanoTech Ultraclean which adds tiny abrasive particles to an already powerful alkaline cleaning product that is safe to use on tile and stone. It was applied with a mop and left it to dwell on the floor for twenty minutes first in order to give it chance to soak into the tile and get to work on the dirt. It was then worked into the floor using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad, stiff hand brushes were along the grout lines. The soiled solution was picked up with a wet and dry vacuum and the floor was then rinsed with clean water to neutralise the tile and allow us to see which areas need further attention. Once I was happy the floor was given a final rinse and then left to dry overnight ready for sealing the next day.
Sealing Quarry Tiles
On my return the floor was checked in a number of places with a damp meter to confirm it had dried which it had and it was then sealed using numerous coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which adds a nice shine to the floor as well as providing a surface seal that will help protect the tile from stains going forward. Sealing can take some time as you need to let the first coat dry before starting the second.
The photographs below are taken from a job in the village of Whilton near Daventry where we were asked to clean and seal a black Welsh Slate tiled floor that was installed in a Kitchen and adjacent dining area.
The customer was concerned that the floor was very dull and proving difficult to keep clean additionally she was having a new kitchen fitted and didn’t want to replace the floor but wanted to achieve a shiny finish that was easy to maintain.
On the initial survey I found the sealant was of a poor quality and had all but worn off allowing stain and soil to seep into the grout and stain the tiles, stains which were difficult to remove with normal household cleaning products.
Cleaning Welsh Slate Tiles
After fully masking up the areas to protect the skirting boards and wooden steps I carried out a deep clean with a dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go worked in with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad in order to strip the floor and remove the old wax sealer and tackle the ingrained stains and grime. Additionally the grout lines were scrubbed using stiff hand brushes to bring them back to an acceptable appearance. The soiled cleaning solution was removed using a wet vacuum and then washed down with clean water so we could see the areas that needed further work and repeated the process.
Once I was happy with the overall appearance the entire area was given a thorough rinse and wash to remove any chemical and neutralise the floor before sealing. We left a dehumidifier in place to assist in the drying process as we wanted to ensure the tile and grout was fully dry prior to application of a sealer.
Sealing the Slate Tiled Floor
We came back two days later and checked the floor was dry which it was so we proceeded to apply the sealer for which we chose Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water based sealer (no smell) that is recommended for Slate tiles and provides good stain protection with a low sheen finish that really does bring the floor alive. It took five coats before the slate tiles were fully sealed.
Cleaning and Sealing a Welsh Slate Tiled Floor in Wilton Village near Daventry
The photograph below is from a Victorian tiled hallway floor that we were asked to restore in the historic town of Towcester, Northamptonshire; the owner wanted the tiles restored as an original feature. You can see from the photograph below how dull and neglected the tiles were so we had our work cut out.
Cleaning Victorian Tiles
We set about cleaning the tile using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a powerful alkaline cleaning product that is safe to use on tile and stone. It was applied with a mop and left it to dwell on the floor for ten minutes first in order to give it chance to soak into the tile and get to work on the dirt. It was then worked into the floor using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad, stiff hand brushes were used in difficult to get to places and along the grout lines requiring a substantial amount of elbow grease. The soiled water was picked up with a wet and dry vacuum and the floor was rinsed with clean water so we could see the result.
Unfortunately there were a number of stubborn areas and a stronger product was needed to shift them so we applied a dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a coating remover that can shift most issues, again this was applied and left to dwell for a while before working it into the stubborn stains using hand brushes. The dirty solution was removed again using the wet and dry vacuum and we could see the tiles were now clean so the floor was given a thorough rinse several times with fresh water to remove any leftover chemical and then left to dry overnight.
Sealing Victorian Tiles
The next day the floor had dried so we were able to seal it using four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which adds a nice shine to the floor as well as providing a surface seal that will help protect the tile from stains going forward.
A lot of effort but what a transformation and well worth the work that went into it as you can see from the photograph above.
On this page you will find a good selection of photographs taken during the cleaning and sealing of a Chinese Slate tiled floor in the village of Kingsthorpe, Northampton. The floor had been installed in the kitchen and the lounge and both the slate and the grout was in need of a deep clean.
Cleaning Chinese Slate Tiles
The first thing we do is to protect anything that can’t by moved by wrapping it in a plastic sheet once this was done we set about scrubbing the slate tiled floor with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and a rotary machine fitted with a black pad, we used a grout brush to clean out the grout lines and then rinsed the floor thoroughly with clean water.
It’s not until the floor has been washed down that you can spot any stubborn or missed areas so it’s not usual to have to repeat this process until a satisfactory result is obtained. We had both the kitchen and lounge to do and this took most of the day, before leaving for the evening we switched on an air blower to help the floor to dry.
Sealing the Slate Tiled Floor
We came back the next day and checked the floor was dry, fortunately the air blower had done its job and we were able to get on with the sealing the floor.
To seal the floor five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go were applied using a paint pad applicator. Seal and Go is recommended for Slate tiles and provides good stain protection with a low sheen finish that really does bring the floor alive.
Cleaning and Sealing a Slate Tiled Floor in Northamptonshire
This house in Brixworth near Northampton had Travertine tiles fitted in the kitchen and Ceramic tiles in the hallway, both of which were in need of a deep clean. It was clear that the sealer on the Travertine tiles had stopped working allowing dirt to become ingrained in the surface causing it to become very difficult to clean, you can see this quite clearly in the photographs below, the grout had also become darker.
Cleaning Travertine Tile
Travertine is a very hard surface so normally it’s necessary to use diamond encrusted burnishing pad system to clean, strip and polish the floor, in this case however I decided to try a combination of stripping and high pressure clean instead. I started by applying a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a multi-purpose tile cleaner safe to use on natural stone. This was left to dwell on the floor so it could get to work on the dirt before being worked in to the stone using a black stripping pad fitted to a rotary machine. This was then rinsed off with high pressure spinning tool operating at 1200 PSI to blast out the dirt from the pitted tiles and badly soiled grout lines.
Sealing Travertine Tile
The tiles were left to dry overnight and we came back the next day to seal the Travertine tile with two coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which will provide on-going stain protection as well as giving the tiles the glossy finish the customer had requested.
Cleaning Ceramic Tile
To tackle the Ceramic tiles in the hallway we used a similar system involving the use of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and a scrubbing pad to get the tiles clean; Ceramic tiles however are usually glazed and won’t take a sealer the top layer of Grout however is porous and to protect that we applied Tile Doctor Seal and Go along the grout lines.
Travertine and Cermaic Tiles maintenance in Northampton
This customer in Hannington had a badly soiled and stained rough sandstone tiled floor which they were finding extremely difficult to keep clean. It was apparent that the previous sealer was no longer working well and so the only solution was to strip and clean the floor then re-seal.
Cleaning a Rough Sandstone Tiled Floor
I stripped the floor using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean combined 50/50 with NanoTech UltraClean to produce a strong stripper and cleaning solution that is safe to use on natural stone. This was worked into the tile using a rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing brush rather than a pad to cope better with the uneven finish of the rough Sandstone.
This activity was then followed with a high pressure spinning tool operating at (1200psi) in four to five metre square sections. The spinner tool washes the tile surface with high pressure water and also extracts the water from the surface simultaneously which dislodges and loosens built up ingrained grim from the tiles and grout.
The floor was now clean and free of old sealer and was left to dry for a couple of day aided by turbo fans and dehumidifiers which we left at the property.
Sealing a Rough Sandstone Tiled Floor
When we came back we first tested the floor with a damp meter in a few different locations to make sure no dampness remained in the stone, fortunately the machines we had left behind had done their job and the floor was completely dry so we started to seal the floor. For this the customer had chosen Tile Doctor Seal and Go which adds a high gloss finish as well as lifting the natural colour in the stone.
Sandstone Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Northamptonshire