Restoring a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Northampton

The photographs below are from a Victorian tiled hallway floor at a house in Northampton where I was called in by the owner to inspect the floor for restoration, deep cleaning and re-setting of all loose tiles covering around 3sq metres.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Northampton Before Repair and Cleaning Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Northampton Before Showing Loose Tiles

Cleaning Victorian Tiles

The initial process was to vacuum and remove any loose debris before applying Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel to the entire area. Oxy-Gel is a strong alkaline based gel cleaner/stripper which is safe to use on tile and grout and being gel based it’s very easy to control. The gel was left to get to work on the dirt for ten minutes before being scrubbed into the tile with a black stripping pad fixed to a rotary floor machine. The resultant slurry and dirt was then rinsed with water and removed using a wet vacuum. The floor now free of dirt and old sealers was now prepared ready for repairs and re-grouting.

Grouting Victorian Tiles

The next step was to remove small sections of loose tiles and then re-fixing and re-grouting as required. We took care to replace tiles into their original position to ensure they sat together correctly. Once the section was replaced I removed the tiles in the next section and repeated this process until the 3sq metres of loose tiles were all reinstalled.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Northampton During Repair Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Northampton During Repair

I allowed the grout to dry for a few hours before polishing off excess grout with a cloth and removing difficult grout smears with a weak solution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up. The floor was then rinsed again using water to remove any trace of products and then dried using the wet vacuum.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Northampton After Repair Closeup Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Northampton After Repair Closeup

Sealing Victorian Tiles

I returned a few days later to ensure the floor was completely dry as dampness can be issue with this type of tile, I then vacuumed the floor and gave it a light clean with Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner to make sure it was spotless before sealing.

Once the floor had dried I took damp readings and when satisfied the floor was dry again I applied three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow Sealant for a light sheen finish and to enhance the natural colour of the floor. Colour grow is a penetrating sealer that protects from within by soaking into the pores of the tile stopping dirt from becoming ingrained there, it also enhances colour.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Northampton After Repair and Cleaning Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Northampton After Repair and Cleaning

 
 

Victorian Tiled Floor Restoration in Northamptonshire

Century-old Victorian Tiled Floor Rejuvenated in Finedon

Finedon is a small civil parish in Northamptonshire with a big history. At the time the Domesday Book was complete in the late 11th century, the town was, in fact, a large royal manor held by the wife of Edward the Confessor.

In subsequent centuries the town has experienced a rich history and many of the current houses were built during the Victorian period (1837-1901). It came as little surprise to me, then, to get a call from a customer in the town who had recently found an original Victorian tiled floor underneath the carpet in her house.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning in Finedon

The tiles were well over a century old. They had been covered by carpet for several years at least, and once unearthed they are clearly covered in paint and other debris from renovation work that had been carried out. Naturally, the customer was keen to restore the appearance of the tiles and so she called me, the local Tile Doctor, to get the job done.

Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

You can see from the photos above that the floor was in quite a state – it took a whole day to clean. The floor area was only around eight metres squared, but it took two litres of Tile Doctor Remove and Go and three litres of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to get it clean. Remove and Go is a very strong stripper that will just about shift any type of dirt or stain, while Tile Doctor Pro-Clean is a reliable high alkaline cleaner both products are designed for use on natural stone.

Once all the dirt, stains and paint splashes were removed, I washed down the floor with fresh water to neutralise the chemicals. I then installed some equipment to assist the drying process overnight, allowing the tiles to be sealed the next day.

There were also some cracks and missing grout that I replaced, along with some several loose tiles that I refitted.

Victorian Tiled Floor During Cleaning in Finedon

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

I returned to the property the next day to seal the floor. To do this I used two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which provides robust protection and the quality matte finish the customer had requested.

As the name suggests, it also enhances the natural colours in the tiles, restoring character to this original feature. For a more traditional look, one litre of sealer was sufficient.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning in Finedon

Looking at the photos, you can see the huge improvement made over two days of work. One hundred years of wear and tear alleviated in 48 hours! The customer was thrilled.
 
 

100 Year Old Original Victorian Tiled Hallway Restored in Northamptonshire

Restoring Victorian Quarry Tiles at St. Mary’s Church, Far Cotton

The following job was a bit different from the kitchen and hallway restorations we normally get asked to do, in fact this request came from the vicar of St. Mary’s Church in Far Cotton who wanted us to restore some beautiful old Quarry tiles which lead up to the main aisle. The church dates back to 1885 and given the wear on some of the tiles I can only assume they date back to the same Victorian period; the church is a really welcoming, community-focused place, so it was a pleasure for me to be asked to complete the work.

The vicar’s main concern was the large amount of melted candle wax around the font – so much so that this his normal cleaners had been unable to remove it. He also wanted to know if the floors could be sealed to make ongoing maintenance easier – and this was certainly something we would be able to provide. The following photos show the condition of the floor before we started.

Victorian quarry tile cleaning St. Marys church Victorian quarry tile cleaning St. Marys church

Cleaning Victorian Quarry Tiles

The next photo shows the work in progress from halfway down the aisle. We started by breaking down any old sealer and the troublesome candle wax, using a black stripping pad in combination of Tile Doctor Pro Clean to deep clean the floor. Since Pro Clean, a high alkaline cleaner, is highly versatile and can be used on all kinds of natural stone and tile.

While the church has cleaners that come in regularly to keep the building tidy for the parishioners, the old tiles really benefitted from a deep clean which tackled the stubborn ingrained dirt and staining that had built up over many years.

Victorian quarry tile cleaning St. Marys church

Sealing Victorian and Quarry Tiles

Once I was satisfied that the tiles had been cleaned to the best of my abilities, they were then left for two weeks to fully dry as it is an old church and, understandably, there were some inherent damp issues. As aforementioned, the vicar was keen to have the tiles sealed to make them easier to keep clean and protect them against ingrained dirt and staining for the future. There are only a few situations in which we wouldn’t recommend sealing tiles, such as if they are patio tiles which will already be under constant exposure to the weather.

The best choice of sealer for this particular situation was Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is an impregnating, breathable sealer that won’t trap moisture in the floor and will provide great protection against further staining. Additionally, as an impregnating sealer, Colour Grow penetrates into the pores of the tile protecting it from within and with the added benefit of enhancing the natural colours and restoring the life and character back in the old, dull tiles. I applied it using a paint pad, before polishing it off.

I’m pleased to report that the restoration was a great success. The vicar was very impressed with the work, and I’m sure the church community will also be very happy with the new, vibrant tiles.

Victorian quarry tile cleaning St. Marys church Victorian quarry tile cleaning St. Marys church

 
 

Professional Quarry and Victorian Tiled Floor Restoration at a Northamtonshire Church

Cleaning and Sealing a Victorian Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor in Stamford

This hallway floor was actually at a house in the town of Stamford which is just over the northern border of Northamptonshire and slightly out of my area; however I was recommended to the owner by another client which is always welcome and a testimonial in itself. I work right across the county so it wasn’t long before I was in the general area and arranged a visit to carry out an inspection of the Victorian Quarry tiled floor and provide a quote for a full restoration.

The owner of the house had just moved in recently and although the floor was in good overall physical, it was in need of a thorough clean and new seal to bring back some life to the tiles. Additionally she was having lots of other building work done to the house and she wanted to retain this as an original feature of the property. My quote was accepted and I was able to book the work in for the following week.

These first photos show how dull the floor looked due to a build-up of builder’s dust and general wear and tear. They also show some of the equipment needed to undertake the following cleaning process.

Victorian Tiles Stamford Before Cleaning Victorian Tiles Stamford Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I used a brush and vacuum to remove as much loose debris and dust from the surface of the floor as possible. I then applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean to the floor which is a strong alkaline cleaner which can also be used to remove sealers; the solution was left it to dwell for roughly ten minutes before agitating it with scrubbing pads and brushes to remove the muck that was lifted to the surface. This was then wet-vacuumed twice to remove all the slurry and neutralise any chemicals.

Victorian Tiles Stamford Before Cleaning

As it was such an old property I then used a steamer to heat up the tiles and draw up any contaminants and assist with the drying process. I also chose to install two fans and a dehumidifier to dry the floor even further.

Victorian Tiles Stamford After Stripping and cleaning

With the cleaning process complete – and achieving a marked difference to the appearance of the floor – I left the tiles to finish drying for 24 hours.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Upon my return to the house, I checked for any excess moisture by running damp tests as this has the potential to affect the performance of the sealer. Once satisfied with the results, I sealed the floor with two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, a colour enhancing sealant which offers both a robust surface seal and an aesthetically pleasing finish.

I also carried out water repellency tests to ensure the sealer was working as expected and the floor had sufficient protection and will be hard-wearing for a hallway which is a high traffic area.

Victorian Tiles Stamford After Cleaning Victorian Tiles Stamford After Cleaning

On my client’s return to the house she was very happy with the final results – in fact, she was also in contact about some further work in the New Year!
 
 

Professional Victorian Quarry Tile Floor Stripping, Cleaning and Sealing

Restoring a Victorian Quarry Tiled Hallway in Northampton

Here’s a job I completed just before Christmas last year, at a house in Northampton which has a rich history and mix of architectural styles. The run up to Christmas is always popular as people try to get their household projects finished off in time for celebrating the festive season with family so this is always a busy time for Tile Doctor.

The photos below show a neglected Victorian Quarry tiled floor in need of repair, with cracked tiles along the edges. These were caused by somebody in the past using brute force to remove carpet gripper rods which had been glued to the tiles. These cracks were present around the edges of the entire hallway, however; this particular type of tile is very hard to get hold of. Furthermore, it is a costly process to replace the tiles as the skirting boards would have had to have been removed.

Victorian Tiles Before Cleaning Northampton

As well as the physical issues the floor had a dull appearance due to the build-up of builder’s dust and the general wearing down of the paintwork over time. I agreed with the client that the best course of action would be to fill the tiles, and paint the damaged tiles using a colour that matched as close as possible. Many of my Tile Doctor colleagues would disagree with this approach opting to source the correct tile and rebuild the damaged section however unfortunately in this case we didn’t have the time or the budget.

Victorian Tiles Before Cleaning Northampton

Cleaning and Repairing a Victorian Quarry tiled floor

My first action was to use a brush and vacuum to remove as much loose debris and dust as possible. I followed this by agitating the tiles with a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean which is a strong alkaline product and safe to use on tile and stone. I use a combination of a coarse burnishing pad fitted to a rotary machine and hand held brushes, in order to get the floor clean. The resulting slurry was then rinsed and removed using a wet vacuum. This process was repeated twice followed by a thorough rinse to ensure any trace of cleaning agent had been removed and the floor neutralised.

Victorian Tiles During Cleaning Northampton

As this was such an old property, I then used a steamer to heat up the tiles in order to draw out any contaminants and assist with the drying process. I installed a fan to dry the floor before starting repairs, mixing up some coloured grout and filling all holes and cracks along the edges, including the doormat area.

Victorian Tiles During Repair Northampton Victorian Tiles During Repair Northampton

I allowed the coloured grout to dry overnight, before hand painting the black and Terracotta tiles. These were then given time to dry (about a couple of hours). Following this, I carefully painted in the other colours: brown and cream. The overall effect was quite convincing and you had to look very closely to notice.

Victorian Tiles Before Painting Northampton Victorian Tiles After Painting Northampton

Sealing a Victorian Quarry tiled floor

Due to the fact that there were other tradesmen working in the house at the time, the floors were sheeted up to protect from additional dust and muck. I then left the house for a week, allowing the floor ample time to dry completely in preparation for sealing.

Upon my return, I took damp meter readings, and once satisfied with the dryness of the tiles, I began the sealing process with the impregnating, colour-enhancing sealer Tile Doctor Colour Grow. The sealer provides both durable surface protection and an aesthetically pleasing matte finish.

The below photos show how the product has enriched the colours with the two coats applied.

Victorian Tiles After Restoration Northampton Victorian Tiles After Restoration Northampton

The process of restoring this wonderful Victorian Quarry tiled floor was certainly time consuming, but very rewarding. I am exceptionally pleased with the results myself, and my client couldn’t have been happier and I’m sure the newly revitalised hallway will have been a talking point for all their visitors during the Christmas break.
 
 

Victorian Tile Repairing, Cleaning and Sealing in Northamptonshire

Victorian Tiled Floor Repaired and Cleaned in Wellingborough

I was recently called down to a client’s house in the market town of Wellingborough, situated approximately 11 miles from Northampton. My client’s situation was an interesting one, as she had an old gas pipe sticking out of her Victorian tiled floor, very close to a doorway. Not only was this a bit of an eyesore, it was also significant trip hazard. The floor had been previously covered by carpet, so it is understandable that my client would have been initially unaware of the obstructive gas pipe.

Victorian Floor Before Repairs in Wellingborough

Rather than risking an accident in the future, she asked me to see what I could do to rectify the issue. At the same time, I was commissioned to give the floor a much needed clean and re-seal.

Repairing a Victorian tiled floor

My first priority was, of course, to deal with the exposed gas pipe. I was unsure whether the pipe was live or not, so I carefully removed the surrounding tiles, allowing a certified engineer access to it. He ensured that the pipe was capped below the tile line, allowing me to safely proceed with my repairs.

Victorian Floor Before Repairs in Wellingborough

I returned a few days later, rescreened the area, and began to refit the tiles, carefully hand painting some of the black tiles to hide the damage and cracks. I also applied new grout to fix all of the replaced tiles into position, and this was left to set overnight.

Victorian Floor After Repairs in Wellingborough

Cleaning and sealing a Victorian tiled floor

Returning to the house the next day, I set about treating the floor to a normal strip, clean and re-seal of the entire floor. There was very little old sealer still remaining on the tiles, so I mixed a solution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean and water, before applying this to the floor. Pro Clean is a strong alkaline cleaner which also contains stripping properties, allowing it to both clean and break down any old sealer. The solution was worked into the tiles using a black scrubbing pad, and any excess residue was quickly absorbed using a wet-vac machine.

Sealing Victorian Floor Tiles

With older floors you never can tell if a damp proof membrane was installed and it can be troublesome applying a sealant to a damp floor so I left the whole floor to dry for seven days, giving it more than sufficient time to dry completely before the re-seal. To seal the tiles I used five coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go Extra, which provides both a robust surface seal and the pleasing sheen finish requested by my client; Seal and Go Extra is especially suitable for exterior applications or damp floors due to its increased breathability.

My client was very glad to see the back of the gas pipe and pleased with the overall results of the clean and seal, as it had given this Victorian tiled floor – once hidden under carpet – new life and character. Additionally I’m sure that restoring such an original feature for the property has increased its value.

Victorian Floor After Repairs in Wellingborough

 
 

Restoring Victorian floor tiles in Northamptonshire

Refurbishing a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Northampton After Building

This customer asked me to pay a visit following work to refurbish the house and wanted to restore as many original features as possible; work had been going on to restore coving, picture rails, ceiling roses and fireplaces but unfortunately nobody had thought to cover up the beautiful Victorian floor. When I arrived there was plaster dust and splashes of paint all over the floor that needed attention. A quote was given which was accepted and the work was booked in for the following week.

Victorian Hallway Tiles Builder Cleaning before in Northampton Victorian Hallway Tiles Builder Cleaning before in Northampton

Cleaning Victorian Quarry Tiles

My first course of action was to vacuum the floor to remove any loose debris so I could assess how to proceed. I then applied diluted Tile Doctor Pro Clean with a pump up sprayer and left it to dwell on the tiles for fifteen minutes before working it in with a black scrubbing pad and hand brushes. The now soiled cleaning solution was then rinsed off together with most of the plaster and surface dirt which had come away in the process. I was then left with a few paint splatters which I removed by spot treating by hand with Tile Doctor Remove and Go; it became clear at this stage that the Pro-Clean had not removed all the old sealer and so I decided to spray the whole floor with a dilution of Remove and Go and work it in with brushes, the solution was left for a further ten minutes and then rinsed away with an extraction machine.

Sealing Victorian Quarry Tiles

The floor was left alone to dry for several days with a fan on site to assist the process. The customer wanted the floor to look traditional and requested a matt finish so when I returned to site two coats of Tile Doctor Matt Colour Grow Sealer was applied. Colour Grow is breathable and will allow any damp to evaporate without disrupting the finish, this is important as floors of this age were laid without any damp proof course or membrane which can sometimes result in damp issues.

Victorian Hallway Tiles Builder Cleaning after in Northampton Victorian Hallway Tiles Builder Cleaning after in Northampton

 
 

Victorian Tiled floor Restored after Building works in Northamptonshire

Restoring a Victorian Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor in Rushden

A customer called me out to take a look at restoring the Red and Black Victorian Quarry tiles floor they had discovered under linoleum In the kitchen of their house in the town of Rushden.

I carried out a patch test to see which products would have the best results and although most of the old sealants had worn of over time there was still glue from the lino and patches of sealer that would have to be dealt with. A quote was given and accepted and the work was booked in to the customer’s convenience.

Black and Red Victorian Quarry Tiles Before Cleaning Rushden

Cleaning Victorian Quarry Tiles

After vacuuming and mopping the floor I decided my best course of action would be to spray Tile Doctor Remove and Go to 25% of the area, this was then scrubbed in by machine using a black stripping pad. This area was then rinsed off with an extraction machine and the process repeated over the rest of the floor. I then inspected the floor and noticed a few shiny patches where the sealant hadn’t been fully removed so I then tackled these stubborn areas by hand with a second application of Remove & Go. A final rinse to the whole floor was given to make sure no trace of cleaning product remained before sealing.

As much water as possible was removed using the extraction machine and a dehumidifier installed and left for seven days to assist the drying process.

Sealing Victorian Quarry Tiles

On my return I confirmed the floor had dried thoroughly by taking took damp meter readings in different parts of the floor. All was well and so I proceeded to seal the tiles using multiple coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which matched the customers’ requirements of gloss finish.

Black and Red Victorian Quarry Tiles After Cleaning Rushden

As the pictures show there was a vast improvement in the floor and the customer was very pleased with the results. They were also given information on maintenance of this type of floor to keep it looking its best for years to come.
 
 

Victorian Quarry Tile hidden under Lino Restored in Northamptonshire

Restoring a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Kettering

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.

Victorian floor in Kettering before cleaning 1 Victorian floor in Kettering before cleaning 2

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.

Victorian floor in Kettering after cleaning 1 Victorian floor in Kettering after cleaning 2

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

Restoring a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Towcester

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.

Victorian Tiles in Towcester Before Restoration

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.

Victorian Tiles in Towcester After Restoration

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.
 
 

Victorian Tile Restoration in Brighton