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

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Deep Cleaned and Sealed in West Haddon

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.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning West Haddon Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning West Haddon

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.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning West Haddon

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.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning West Haddon


Maintaining a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor in Northamptonshire