Restorative Cleaning of Victorian Hallway Tiles in Wellingborough

I recently visited a property in Wellingborough to survey their Victorian Hallway floor and work out the best method and products to restore it. The tiles were extremely dirty as the sealant had worn off allowing dirt to become ingrained. They had not been maintained for many years and there was evidence of adhesive which was due to a carpet being stuck down at some point in the past.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Wellingborough Before Restoration

To restore the Victorian floor, I would need to remove the glue and give the tiles a professional deep clean to extract the years of ground-in dirt and staining. Following this the tiles would need sealing in order to protect them going forward. After discussing the work in detail with the owner I sent over a quotation by email which was accepted, and a date arranged for work to commence.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Wellingborough Before Restoration

Restorative Cleaning of Victorian Hallway Tiles

On my return I applied a cocktail of Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel and Tile Doctor Nano-Tech HBU to the tiles. This creates a strong cleaning/coatings remover that would soften the embedded soiling and glue making it easier to remove. I left this to dwell on the floor for about an hour so it could break down the soil and adhesive. I then fitted a coarse 100-grit diamond pad to a rotary floor buffer and scrubbed the floor vacuuming up the resulting residue as I went along working in small sections of 2/3 metres at a time. I then repeated the process using a 200-grit pad, rinsing and extracting afterwards with water to remove the fine slurry this process generates.

Old floors like these were laid before the invention of the damp proof membrane which can result in moisture rising through the floor as it evaporates potentially leaving alkaline salt deposits on the surface. This process is known as Efflorescence and although I minimised the use of water during the cleaning process, I was concerned that this may still present a problem later. To neutralise any alkaline salts in the floor that could cause this problem my last action for the day was give the floor an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel.

Once this was done and extracted from the floor, I followed up with a further clean using Tile Doctor pH Neutral Tile Cleaner which was applied with a microfibre cloth. I left the floor to dry off overnight so it could be sealed the next day.

Sealing Restored Victorian Hallway Tiles

On day two I used a damp meter to check the moisture levels in the floor to ensure it had dried overnight. The results were good, so I set about applying the sealer. For this floor I decided to go with three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that as well as protecting the Victorian tiles form staining also enhances the colours in the tile. This sealer is also fully breathable so any moisture will be able to evaporate up through the tile and not get trapped under the floor where it could cause problems.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Wellingborough After Restoration

Before leaving I also discussed maintenance cleaning with the customer and left them a bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which is safe to use on sealed floors and will help keep the tiles looking at their best. It’s supplied in concentrated form so it should last them some time before they run out. The customer was very happy with the end results and has left positive comments on our website.

Very happy with the restoration of my Victorian tiled floor, cleaned, sealed and polished bringing it back to life. Phil was prompt to get back to me with any aftercare questions/queries/visits. Paula B, Wellingborough

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Wellingborough After Restoration

 

Victorian Hallway Tile Restoration in Northamptonshire

Dull and Dirty Slate Tiles Deep Cleaned and Sealed in Little Harrowden

The problems with not maintaining a natural stone floor properly are manifold. The build-up of ingrained dirt and muck is not just unhygienic, it also makes the stone appear dull and discoloured – and for many property owners, this can completely ruin the character of a room.

Here’s an example of a very dull and lacklustre Slate tiled floor at a small cottage in Little Harrowden, which is tiny village of less than 1,000 people situated roughly three miles north-west of Wellingborough in Northamptonshire. The owner was concerned that the poor condition of the floor was making the feel kitchen narrow and confined, and so she called me to help with brightening it up with a deep clean and seal. Achieving a sheen finish would help to reflect the natural light that comes into the room.

Slate Floor Before Cleaning in Little Harrowden Wellingborough

Cleaning a Dirty Slate Tiled Floor

I began the restoration by masking up the edges of the room and applying a clear silicon to the base boards of the kitchen units to prevent any water damage.

My choice of cleaner was Tile Doctor Oxy Gel, which is a strong alkaline-based gel cleaner. It’s like Tile Doctor Pro Clean, which is also alkaline-based, except it sticks to the tile due to its consistency and so it’s excellent for cleaning vertical surfaces such as bathroom walls. On this occasion, I wanted to use Oxy Gel to keep the amount of water I needed to use to a minimum. Since this was an old cottage there were a few damp issues that I wanted to avoid exacerbating.

I spread the Oxy Gel out evenly over half of the floor, before agitating it with rotary brushes. I allowed this to dwell for 10 minutes before adding a small amount of water and agitating the floor again, this time paying attention to the grout lines, which were very badly soiled. This process was subsequently carried out over the rest of the floor.

Slate Floor During Cleaning in Little Harrowden Wellingborough

I wet-vaxed each area after completion of the process and then wet-vaxed the entire floor again to neutralise the tiles and remove any remaining product. The floor was then left to dry overnight.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Floor

Returning to the property the following day, I took damp meter readings to see if the tiles were dry enough to be sealed. As I mentioned, the floor had some damp issues so this was important to check. I did, in fact, have to use a heat gun to finish drying a few damp areas of grout.

Once satisfied, I sealed the Slate with Tile Doctor Seal & Go Extra, which is a breathable water-based sealer, which is ideal in situations where no damp proof membrane is present or where there are damp issues. Once dry, the sealer provides an aesthetically pleasing light sheen finish.

Slate Floor During Sealing in Little Harrowden Wellingborough

As you can see from the photo below, the deep clean and fresh seal really helped to improve the patina of this Slate tiled floor, helping the entire kitchen feel brighter and more spacious. Another satisfied client!

Slate Floor After Cleaning and Sealing in Little Harrowden Wellingborough


 
 

Professional Cleaning and Sealing for a Dirty Slate Tiled Floor in Wellingborough

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