Original Victorian Tiled Hallway Thought Beyond Repair Rejuvenated in Cardiff

Many property owners who are lucky enough to have an original Victorian tiled floor in their homes face the same conundrum: can an old and potentially very damaged floor be salvaged and restored to peak condition or should I replace it?

Some people would instinctively tell you that the answer is no – even trained professionals! In fact, a leading tile restoration company (which shall remain unnamed) based in Cardiff told a recent customer of mine that her original Victorian tiled floor, dating back to 1905, was beyond repair. The company recommended that she not waste any money on having it restored and instead that she should have it ripped up and replaced.

Victorian Tiled Hallway in Cardiff Before Restoration

It was in a bad state, however replacing the floor would incur a significant cost and the original characteristics of the period floor would be lost. The customer was feeling rather deflated and was left undecided on what to do. Fortunately after browsing the web for a solution, she came across Tile Doctor and I was asked to pop over and take a look.

I visited the customer at her home and removed parts of her hallway carpet to get a better look at the Victorian tiles beneath. The floor was certainly in a very poor state, there were many old paint splash marks covering the tiles and the surface of the floor was deeply darkened after many years’ worth of wear and tear. In my opinion however, it was still salvageable, and the customer was happy to see what could be done.

Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

A week before I was due to start the restoration, I asked the customer to remove the foam-backed carpet to let the floor breathe a bit.

Before beginning the work, I ran a few damp tests and the floor proved surprisingly dry considering how old it is and the very probable lack of a damp proof membrane. I started by manually scraping as much of the old paint staining off the stone as possible and cleared other debris from the surface.

Knowing that clay based Victorian tiles like these easily soak up paint splashes, I knew it would take a thorough clean to remove them completely. I firstly soaked the floor with water and left it to dry slightly before mixing a concoction of Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU, Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, and Tile Doctor Remove and Go.

NanoTech HBU is a particularly powerful cleaner which uses nano-sized particles to penetrate the pores of the stone, while Pro-Clean is an alkaline-based cleaner that tackles heavy soil build-up. Remove and Go is a multi-purpose product which both cleans and strips away any old sealer.

I left this mixture to dwell on the floor for around half an hour, scrubbed it in firstly using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine and then a wire wool pad. I followed by rinsing the products off with water and extracted up the excess with a wet vacuum machine.

This technique was repeated until I was satisfied with the condition of the floor.

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

After leaving the floor to dry off completely overnight, I returned to the property the next day to carry out the sealing process. I applied seven coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, which not only adds a protective covering to the tile, but also enhances its appearance.

The customer was absolutely thrilled with the results of the restoration, especially considering that she was told the floor was ruined by a leading company and not worth saving.

Victorian Tiled Hallway in Cardiff After Restoration

I think you will agree that its always worth trying to restore a period floor and my customer deserves praise for sticking to their guns.
 
 

Professional Period Victorian Hallway Floor Restoration in South Wales

Dirty Bath Stone Cill’s Deep Cleaned in Cardiff

Bath Stone is a material that we don’t often encounter. A variation of Limestone, its distinctive yellowish or ‘honey’ colouring is best associated with historical buildings in the City of Bath – hence the name ‘Bath Stone’. However, it has commonly been used as a building material throughout southern England and Wales.

The owner of this property in Cardiff was quite upset that her Bath Stone window sills had become so unsightly over the four-year period since her house was built, so much so that she contacted Tile Doctor to see if we could help.

Bathstone window cill before cleaning Cardiff Bathstone pillar before cleaning Cardiff

Cleaning Dirty Bath Stone Window Sills

While at Tile Doctor we most often work on tiled floors, patios and shower cubicles, I was more than happy to assist in this situation. I popped round to the property to carry out some initial cleaning tests on an inconspicuous area of one of the window sills.

I applied Tile Doctor Pro Clean, which is our high alkaline cleaner, since it’s a very versatile and reliable product, and is suitable for use on most kinds of natural stone. Some fantastic results were achieved quickly, with Pro Clean working efficiently to remove the green and black algae that I presumed came from the trees which were plentiful around the property.

Bathstone window cill after test clean Cardiff
With the test clean a success, we agreed a date to complete the job. I returned on the agreed date with a ladder to treat the rest of the sills using Pro Clean, including the one on the first floor window.

Bathstone window cills after cleaning Cardiff
Before carrying out the work, I tested the stone for moisture and the readings were sky high. Therefore, I suggested to the customer not to seal the stone, but instead to maintain it using the same cleaning process as I had undertaken.

Bathstone window cill after cleaning Cardiff
The outcome of my restoration was brilliant, so now when the customer feels that the sills need to be rejuvenated again, she can do so very easily.

Professional Cleaning of Stained Bath Stone Window Sills in South Wales

Badly Stained Quarry Tiles Deep Cleaned and Sealed in Splott

These Quarry tiles at a house in Splott, a small town not too far from the city of Cardiff, had certainly endured a hammering after what appeared to be recent decoration in the room. The tiles were heavily soiled, with sand and cement mixed up and splattered across the floor, along with deep paint and plaster stains.

Quarry Tiles Before Restoration in Splott Cardiff

Quarry Tiles Before Restoration in Splott Cardiff

The customer had already scraped off as much of the cement and other stubborn stains off – as much as they could, at least. Quarry may be typically hard wearing, but this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s any easier to clean when it gets into a bad way. Eager to find a solution to the problem, the customer found Tile Doctor via the Internet, and not long after we arranged for me to come down to the property to see what could be done.

Quarry Tiles Before Restoration in Splott Cardiff Quarry Tiles Before Restoration in Splott Cardiff
Quarry Tiles Before Restoration in Splott Cardiff

Upon arriving at the property and giving the tiles an initial inspection, I explained that not all stains and marks will come off or out of the tiles, as some staining is simply permanent. Nonetheless, the customer indicated they would be satisfied with any improvement made to the condition of the floor. Having restored tiles similar to these before, I knew that the results could still come off very well using the right methods and products.

Cleaning a Stained Quarry Tiled Floor

To begin I mixed a strong solution of Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU and Pro Clean, a combination of two different cleaners. Pro Clean is a versatile, high alkaline cleaner that is used to deal with reasonably heavy soil build-up on natural stone floors. It also contains stripping properties that allow it to start breaking down any old sealers when left to dwell on the tiles. NanoTech HBU takes the cleaning process a step further: it is specially formulated to use nano-sized cleaning particles to reach dirt and stains deeply ingrained in the stone, before dissolving and lifting them out.

This solution was applied to the floor and, working in small sections, I scrubbed it into the tiles using a rotating scrubbing machine fitted with a nylon brush attachment. The floor was then rinsed, and the resulting cleaning slurry was vacuumed away using a wet-vax machine.

My next concern was the grout, which was afflicted by stubborn cement marks. I opted to remove these firstly by carefully applying Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up, an acid-based cleaner. Some cement marks remained despite the application, and so I attempted to manually scrape and chisel them away. While I had some good success, as mentioned not all cement stains can be removed, especially if they have been there for a long time. Some old cement mixture is as hard as flint!

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Floor

I left the floor to dry following the clean and came back two days later to seal the tiles, checking first that they were dry by taking multiple readings with the damp meter, and comparing them with earlier results.

The test results came back fine, so I started with the lengthy task of applying eight coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go sealer. Having sealed similar floors with Seal and Go before I knew the results would be very desirable, with the deep natural colours in the stone being enhanced by the product. Seal and Go is my preferred sealer for Quarry tiles as it helps disguise some permanent marks and adds a durable satin shine finish.

Quarry Tiles After Restoration in Splott Cardiff

Quarry Tiles After Restoration in Splott Cardiff

While unfortunately a stained floor like this will never be able to look good as new, the results I managed to achieve were very pleasing. Certainly there was no evidence left of recent decoration, with the vast majority of the stains and marks no longer damaging the appearance of the tiles. The fresh seal has really brought out the red and black checked pattern in the floor. Needless to say the customer’s expectations were exceeded!

Quarry Tiles After Restoration in Splott Cardiff Quarry Tiles After Restoration in Splott Cardiff
Quarry Tiles After Restoration in Splott Cardiff

Professional Tile Cleaning and Sealing for a Badly Stained and Soiled Quarry Tiled Floor Restoration in South Wales

Restoring A Stained Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor in Cardiff

The following post is follows on from the Limestone tiled kitchen floor restoration I recently completed in Cardiff. You may recall that the floor had not been maintained properly since it was first installed in 2008 and one of the key problems I had to deal with during that particular restoration was a number of dark stains left on the tiles by the kitchen dustbin. Here’s a detailed account of how I tacked the staining.

Limestone Reduxa Before Stain Removal

Cleaning a stained Limestone tiled floor

To deal with the stains, I suggested to the client that I experiment with a Tile Doctor product called Reduxa, which is formulated to remove certain stains, including red wine stains, from natural stone. It is suitable on Limestone, Marble and Travertine tiles, amongst others. Nonetheless, I did have to advise the client that unfortunately some stains are unavoidably permanent and that there was no guarantee that the product would be able to remove these particular stains. Had the sealer been maintained on this floor, then the problem would have been much easier to tackle. However, in this case the sealer had worn off over the years.

I began treating the problem area by applying the Reduxa solution, before heating up the tile with a heat gun to lift out the stains. This process of spraying and heating was repeated around eight times.

Limestone Reduxa After Stain Removal

To cut a long story short, the process worked very well, and both myself and the client were amazed at the results the Reduxa stain removal solution had on the floor. This product really does what it says on the label!

Limestone Reduxa After Stain Removal

If you would like more information on the product, check out the video on the Reduxa page on the Tile Doctor website.
 
 

Professional tile cleaning restoration for badly stained Limestone tiled kitchen floor in Cardiff

Unmaintained French Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor Restored in Cardiff

This customer from the historic city of Cardiff was keen to see what Tile Doctor could do to put some life back into their treasured Limestone kitchen floor that was laid in 2008. My first observations were mainly centred on the horrific condition of the surface which although adequately sealed initially the floor had not received any subsequent maintenance and its condition had deteriorated over time. The light shining in from the patio doors highlighted all the imperfections in the floor caused by surface wear and tear commonly seen in high traffic areas such as a kitchen.

Unmaintained Limestone Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Cardiff Unmaintained Limestone Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Cardiff

Upon closer inspection, there were further problems: the floor was stained and scuffed, and in most places the sealer had worn off completely allowing the dirt to become ingrained into the pores of the Limestone. Additionally the grout was recessed but was now flush with the tile surface due to dirt build-up. There were also areas contaminated with grease and kitchen cooking oil.

The Limestone floor tiles were 20mm thick French Limestone, and had been laid very well so there was no requirement to do any tile or grout repairs however to get this floor back to its original condition the surface would need to be reconditioned using the Tile Doctor four stage burnishing system.

Restoring a French Limestone Floor

I started by giving the floor a wash with a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, focusing mainly on the grout lines in order to remove the muck that had built-up there. I used a special stiff grout brush for this activity; it’s quite narrow and ideal for grout scrubbing.

This worked well, but the significant build-up of dirt along some of the grout lines meant more work was required. I tackled this problem with a hand scraper assisted with steam. At the end of this process, the whole floor was then rinsed down with water to remove any soil and the resulting slurry was then extracted using a wet vacuum.

Unmaintained Limestone Kitchen Floor During Grout Steam Cleaning Cardiff Unmaintained Limestone Kitchen Floor During Grout Steam Cleaning Cardiff

Burnishing French Limestone Tiles

The next step was to start the burnishing process, which basically involves applying four diamond encrusted floor pads in sequence over the floor. Each pad is a different grade, starting with the most abrasive coarse pad and moving through to the finer grades using a little water to lubricate and rinsing away any slurry between each pad.

Unmaintained Limestone Kitchen Floor During Cleaning Cardiff Unmaintained Limestone Kitchen Floor During Cleaning Cardiff

I eventually finished with the extra fine pad which builds up shine and lustre on the tile; it had taken two days to clean the grout and burnish the Limestone but the floor was much improved and so after a final rinse down I left the floor to dry off overnight with the aid of the underfloor heating.

During this time, I also addressed the stained Limestone in the area of the kitchen where the dustbin was situated. This had been a major upset for the customer and I’m happy to report I managed to deal with it. However, it was quite an involved process, so I’ll write about this in a separate post.

Sealing a Limestone tiled kitchen floor

On the third day I came back to seal the floor, checking first that it had dried sufficiently with a damp meter. Fortunately, the underfloor heating had done a great job of drying the stone and I was able to seal the floor using three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealant. This sealant not only provides a durable seal but also penetrates deep into the pores of the stone protecting it from within and enhancing the natural colours of the Limestone in the process.

After the final layer of sealant, I worked over the floor again with the extra fine burnishing pad both to add shine again following sealing, and to ensure that no smear marks were visible as the lighting conditions were unforgiving and highlighted any imperfections.

Unmaintained Limestone Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Cardiff Unmaintained Limestone Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Cardiff

The customer was delighted with the results: so much so, in fact, that they booked me in to restore their Victorian hallway floor as well but that’s a story for another time!
 
 

Restoring French Limestone Kitchen Floor in South Wales

Tile Installation Problems Resolved in a Cardiff Bathroom

Sometimes my clients ask the question: “Why is the grout coming out of the joints in my bathroom floor, and what can I do about it?” This job at a house in the city of Cardiff had exactly that problem and I had been asked to resolve it, additionally one of the tiles had become cracked and need replacing.

Cracked Bathroom Floor Tile Repair Cardiff Cracked Bathroom Floor Tile Repair Cardiff

The cause was due to movement in the floor when walked on, causing the grout to dislodge from the tile; this is not uncommon on tiled floors where there is wooden base and there is a lack of flexibility in the adhesive, most likely because it was watered down upon initial installation or a flexible product was not used. In this case the floorboards outside the bathroom door would squeak when stepped on, suggesting that there was some degree of movement under the bathroom floor, making the substrate move very slightly – but enough to cause problems. All I could really do in this situation was to remove the existing grout with a small machine and re-grout the entire area using a highly flexible grout.

Cracked Bathroom Floor Tile Repair Cardiff Cracked Bathroom Floor Tile Repair Cardiff

These thoughts were confirmed when I came to replace one cracked tile in the centre of the floor. Upon removing the broken tile I saw that the tiles had been laid on 13mm of adhesive which was very brittle and soft, allowing it to be scraped off the tile and the floor easily. Only approximately 50% of the tile was covered in adhesive, suggesting that it had been laid rather carelessly. Tiles must have 100% adhesive coverage, especially in bathrooms with underfloor heating, because the heat and cold can directly impact the stone and cause cracks.

Cracked Bathroom Floor Tile Repair Cardiff Cracked Bathroom Floor Tile Repair Cardiff

Fortunately the customer had a spare tile and so I carefully chopped out the broken tile and removed the surrounding grout and adhesive causing no disruption to the surrounding area. The replacement tile was secured in place with adhesive and then grouted using a matching grout, this time using flexible products.

Cracked Bathroom Floor Tile Repair Cardiff Cracked Bathroom Floor Tile Repair Cardiff

The next job was to take a look at the shower cubicle where I was disappointed to see that the contractor who was responsible for the initial installation of the floor had used a very cheap silicone between the base and the shower wall. It was now mouldy and had de-bonded in places that it had to be cut out and replaced by a stronger, high quality silicone. Generally speaking, silicone should last more than 2-3 years (this floor had been installed in 2012).

Shower Tile Refresh Cardiff

I cut the old silicone out with a sharp knife, cleaned up the edges and replaced the silicone with a quality product.

Shower Tile Refresh Cardiff

The ceramic and mosaic tiles were in good condition so this really was just a case of resolving some installation problems however for general cleaning I would recommend Tile Doctor Stone Soap which is a new Biodegradable organic product ideal for cleaning bathroom tiles.
 
 

Bathroom Installation Problems Resolved in South Wales

Victorian Chequer Tiled Hallway Floor Deep Cleaned in Cardiff

Sometimes you survey a job and you know that if you get the chance to restore it the results will be totally fantastic! This was the case with this Victorian black & white chequer tiled floor in the hallway of a large terraced Victorian house in Cardiff which dated back to around 1900 and was now looking well past its best, I know this because my family used to live in the house opposite. It was a well laid floor with no readings of dampness; I believe it’s imperative you check a floor for dampness before starting so you know what the baseline damp level is and which sealers will work with the floor.

Black and white chequer Victorian Tiles Cardiff Before Black and white chequer Victorian Tiles Cardiff Before

Deep Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Floor

My first action was to hoover the floor and then scrape as much debris off the surface as possible, and then as always I mixed 50/50 Tile Doctor HBU (Heavy Build-Up) remover with Pro-Clean and on this occasion because I wanted the white tiles to become really white I added the same amount of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up. This special recipe created a very formidable and strong cleaning solution which is what the job called for. I swept it over the whole floor letting it soak in for about ten minutes and then worked it into the floor using a scrubbing machine fitted with a coarse black pad adding more of the solution to the floor where it was drying out as I went.

Black and white chequer Victorian Tiles Cardiff During Cleaning Black and white chequer Victorian Tiles Cardiff During Cleaning

The next step was to rinse the floor twice with water and extract the now filthy cleaning solution using a wet vacuum. At this point I inspected the tiles and I could see there were still a few stubborn areas with spots of paint and glue which I addressed with a decorators steam plate together with a scraper and hand held scrubbing pad.

I was now happy that the floor was clean and ready to be sealed, before sealing though it’s important to remove any trace of cleaning solution as it may contaminate the sealer so I gave the floor a thorough rinse and extracted as much of the water as possible to reduce drying times.

Sealing a Victorian Floor Sealing

I left the floor to dry for 48hrs before coming back to seal the tiles taking a reader on my damp meter first to establish they had indeed dried out. To seal the floor I used eight coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go which really works well on Victorian tiles and in this case made the whites really stand out.

Black and white chequer Victorian Tiles Cardiff After

The customer wanted this floor to look good because they were selling the property and were due to have an open day. The clean tiles really gave the house the wow factor and period features are so desirable these days so I don’t think it will take long to sell.

Black and white chequer Victorian Tiles Cardiff After

 
 

Victorian Tiled floor restored in South Wales

Sandstone Tiled Floor Deep Cleaned in Cardiff

This Sandstone tiled floor with Limestone coloured grout in Cardiff was laid in 2006 and had now discoloured with wear and tear and had almost turned black in places which I suspect was due to no sealer being applied after installation.

I carried out a cleaning sample using Tile Doctor HBU Remover, which is a strong cleaning solution, applied it to one tile in the utility room and the dirt lifted off with remarkable results; I then dried the tile with a heat gun to show the customer the results which she was happy with.

Sandstone Floor Cardiff Before Cleaning Sandstone Floor Cardiff Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Sandstone Tiled Floor

For the rest of the floor I started by wetting the surface and carried on treating it with more HBU remover diluted 50% with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which made it thinner and more effective for deep cleaning. Using a stiff sweeping brush with bristles about half inch long (well broken in for this type of job) I then scrubbed away at the tiles and then the grout joints using a small hand held scrubbing brush which I always find is more effective than a machine which can make a lot of mess and can be overly aggressive. I cleaned the tiles in 5m2 sections rinsing each section four times to ensure there were no trace of cleaning solutions left behind. When finished the floor was left to dry for two to four hours and I tested for moisture knowing it would be ok but always worth checking.

Sealing a Sandstone Floor Sealing

I sealed the Sandstone with four coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating and colour enhancing product which will protect the floor for many years to come.

Sandstone Floor Cardiff After Cleaning and Sealing

I tested the floor with a water test to ensure it was fully sealed, this is a simple test whereby you check to see if drops of water applied to the surface form beads on the tile. The end result was incredible as you can see the tiles looked as good if not better than the day they were cut from the quarry, and the Colour Grow certainly enhanced the true colours in the stone.

Sandstone Floor Cardiff After Cleaning and Sealing Sandstone Floor Cardiff After Cleaning and Sealing

 
 

Sandstone Tiled floor cleaned and Sealed in South Wales

Full Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor in Cardiff

Never give up is how I would describe this job!!! I initially surveyed the floor in this Cardiff kitchen in November 2014 and finally completed it and the end of February 2015 working on it off and on as I searched for right tiles to match the existing.

On my survey the Victorian tiled floor which the customer was hoping to restore was covered over by ceramic tiles which the customer agreed to remove before my next visit so I could carry out a cleaning sample. Additionally there was an area of flooring which needed to blend in with kitchen as the pantry wall that previously separated it had been knocked down.

The ceramic tiles were removed and I came round to carry out a cleaning sample in what I thought was one of the more heavily soiled areas; I used Tile Doctor Remove & Go combined with another Tile Doctor product called NanoTech HBU which stands for Heavy Build-up Remover. The results were successful and it was decided to go ahead with the restoration.

Full Victorian Floor Restoration Cardiff Exposing the tiles Full Victorian Floor Restoration Cardiff Exposing the tiles

During my visit I tested for moisture and in general the readings were good with the highest reading of 12 in different parts of the floor.

Fully Restoring a Victorian Tiled Floor

To restore the tiles I set about cleaning adhesive and grime off using a combination of Tile Doctor Nanotech HBU and Pro Clean which was left to dwell and soak in for two hours before scrubbing with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. I tried this for a while and found it was not removing the dirt as expected and on inspection I discovered that the inner body of the ceramic tile was still stuck to the floor. It seems the when the customer removed the ceramic tiles they had only managed to remove the top layer of the tile and had left the lower part stuck to the floor. This Job was now becoming a nightmare as the solution would be to chip and scrape away tiny pieces of the remaining tile away so I could reach and clean the original Victorian floor.

Full Victorian Floor Restoration Cardiff Scraping Off Adhesive Full Victorian Floor Restoration Cardiff Scraping Off Adhesive

I had suggested to the customer that it might be cheaper to replace the whole floor but he was adamant that we should continue with our original plan and try to do the best job possible so never giving up I was happy to oblige.

In between cleaning the floor I prepared the base adjacent to the original floor with levelling compound. Also with the cleaning in progress I was getting a better look at the Victorian tiles which were now starting to appear and I could see how badly damaged which would have to be replaced.

Full Victorian Floor Restoration Cardiff Levelling Compound Full Victorian Floor Restoration Cardiff laying replacement tiles

The hallway floor had to be cut at the kitchen doorway as it protruded into the kitchen which when the door was closed looked odd so the customer was happy with my suggestion. I made different suggestions for the new floor layout, and colours which we felt complimented each floor pattern , the new tiles were purchased from original style and the local reclamation yard but I did have to cut the back off a few because of different thickness.

Full Victorian Floor Restoration Cardiff Trimming reclaimed tiles Full Victorian Floor Restoration Cardiff Laying new tiles

I finished fixing the replacement tiles and laying the new tiles in a pattern that we had agreed and in a style that best matched the original floor.

Full Victorian Floor Restoration Ready for sealing

Sealing a Victorian Floor Sealing

After all the work undertaken including the tilling of the area attached to the original I gave the whole floor a final and thorough steam clean which I did on a the Friday leaving it to thoroughly dry out over the weekend so I could move onto sealing early the following week.

Unfortunately when I arrived on Monday I discovered patches of efflorescence had appeared on certain tiles and I was still unable to finish the job. To resolve this the tiles needed to be given an wash down with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up diluted 50/50 with water; this did the trick so I gave the floor another rinse with water and left to dry overnight.

When I returned the next day I checked for moisture which was a borderline reading of 15-16 so using a heat gun applied some warmth to the whole floor making sure to let it cool down before sealing with a coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that occupies the pores in the tile to prevent dirt from becoming ingrained there. Next I applied three coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which added a nice sheen to the floor and really brought out the vibrant reds in the tile. The following day I returned to do some tiling on wall above the cooker so applied a further three coats of Seal and Go to the floor to ensure it was fully sealed.

Full Victorian Floor Restoration Cardiff Finished Full Victorian Floor Restoration Cardiff Finished

If you have read this story through to the end you will appreciate that this was a mammoth job however it was satisfying to do and the final result looks fantastic, needless to say both myself and the customer were very happy with the end result.
 
 

Victorian Tiled floor hidden under ceramic tiles fully restored in South Wales

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Cleaned in Cardiff

This owner of this house built around 1900 in Cardiff had asked me if I could make their look any better following their attempt at renovating their original Victorian Tiled floor. I examined the floor and established that they had sealed the floor without testing for moisture also it seemed it had been sealed but not correctly cleaned and more importantly not rinsed thoroughly to eradicate any cleaning solutions first; the results as you can see has caused a terrible patchy mess .

Victorian Floor Before Cleaning in Cardiff Victorian Floor Before Cleaning in Cardiff

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Floor

The floor was tested for moisture first which established it was dry and also established a baseline as to what to look for later. The next step was to remove any sealers present which proved very difficult because the sealer had only been applied 6 months earlier and applied thickly with a roller. I used three litres of Tile Doctor Remove and Go in total to strip 6 m2 applying it, letting it soak in and then scrubbing it in to get the sealer off. It took multiple rounds of scrubbing but once the sealer was removed I then went over the floor with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up to remove any grout smears and mineral deposits and then gave the floor a thorough rinse with plenty of clean water. To make sure I had given the floor a thorough clean the floor was then finished off more Remove and Go mixed with Tile Doctor NanoTech Ultra-Clean to make it more effective and then steam cleaned. The floor was then rinsed again with another two rinses with fresh cold clean water which was then removed with a wet vacuum I worked.

Victorian Floor After Cleaning in Cardiff Victorian Floor After Cleaning in Cardiff

Sealing a Victorian Floor Sealing

The floor was left to dry out and I came back on two occasions to check if it was dry enough to seal. The first time I visited was three days later and the floor had a high moisture level, I tested again after five days and the readings were ok to carry on with the sealing stage. The customer wanted a satin finish so I went ahead and sealed the floor with several coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go with great results as you can see.

Victorian Floor After Cleaning in Cardiff

 
 

Victorian Tiled floor restored in South Wales

Kitchen Quarry Tiles Cleaned and Sealed in Cardiff

This Quarry Tiled Kitchen floor had been laid in 2000 which is relatively recent compared to some of the floors I’m asked to deal with, the tiles are 150 x 150 mm Quarry tiles with a mixture of colours. A customer in Cardiff said that the Quarry tiles has been sealed by the tiler however it wasn’t long after it was completed that the before became very grubby looking. You can see this for yourself in the photograph below where you should be able to make out the ingrained dirt and discoloured tile grout.

Grubby Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Cardiff Before Cleaning

Cleaning Quarry Tiles

I set about cleaning the floor with undiluted Tile Doctor Remove and Go mixed 3 to 1 with NanoTech UltraClean which adds tiny abrasive particles to a strong coatings remove; this mixture not only removes any previous sealers but also deep cleans the tiles and brings the grout back to its original colour. I used a rotary machine with a disc shaped scrubbing brush attachment disc which really gets into the dirt. The soiled solution was removed using a wet vacuum, stubborn areas retreated and then the floor was rinsed until all the cleaning solution had been removed.

Grubby Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Cardiff During Cleaning

Sealing a Quarry Floor Sealing

The floor was left to dry for 24 hours and I came back later to seal it. Before sealing I used a hand held damp meter to verify the floor had dried. I had previously discussed the choice of sealer with the customer to establish how they wanted the floor to look and selected Tile Doctor Seal and Go for its satin shine.

Grubby Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Cardiff During Sealing

I went on to seal the tiles with two coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go using a water test to verify I had applied the right amount of sealer and that liquids were being repelled from the surface of the tile as opposed being absorbed.

Grubby Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Cardiff After Cleaning and Sealing

The floor cleaned up really well especially after sealing which brought the colours in the tile back to life; the customers were delighted with the results.
 
 

Quarry Tiled floor restored in South Wales

Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor Restored in Cardiff

This Red and Black Quarry tiled floor was discovered underneath a laminate floor in the hallway of a house built in Cardiff around 1910. The customer was keen to restore it as an original feature and I was confident that despite the damaged tiles, cement and paint we would be able to do so.

Quarry Tiles Before Restoration in Cardiff

Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Floor

The area around the doorway was in the worst condition and unfortunately those tiles were beyond rescue and needed to be replaced which wasn’t a problem as with a bit of research you can usually find what you need.

The next step was to carefully scrape as much cement and old paint off the tile surface as possible by hand and remove the waste; I also tested the floor at this point for dampness at the doorways as its good to know if there are any damp problems that may require additional attention. I then applied undiluted Tile Doctor Remove and Go to the whole floor with a brush agitating as I went, it was left it on for about an hour to break down any old sealers and coatings before being rinsed off with clean water twice which was then hovered up with a wet vacuum.

The next stage was to remove the cement using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which being an acid based products starts to work as soon as it’s applied to the tile, this was worked in using a small hand held scrubbing brush before being given a good rinse down with clean water.

The last step of the cleaning process was to steam clean the tiles to open up the pores and ensure that no trace of cleaning agents was left behind that could upset the sealer.

Quarry Tiles After Restoration in Cardiff

Sealing a Quarry Floor Sealing

The floor was left to dry for two days before and I came back the next day to seal it. Before sealing however I wanted to be use it had dried out sufficiently so I tested it again use a Stanley hand held meter, the previous reading I took proved to be a useful benchmark. Sealing was done using two coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which really brought the floor back to life and lifted the lovely colours in the tile. Needless to say the customer was delighted with the restoration of the floor.
 
 

Quarry Tiled floor restored in South Wales

Abused Victorian Tiled Hallway Repaired and Refurbished in Cardiff

This is an original Victorian tiled hallway floor in Cardiff that dated back to when the house was built in the year of 1890. The previous householders of which had a radiator installed serviced by laying pipes right through the middle of the floor destroying the tiles as they went, they then back filled the channel with cement. On top of that many of the other tiles had been splashed with cement and paint.

Abused Victorian Floor Cardiff Before

Repairing Victorian Floor Tiles

My first job was to carefully remove the cement from the channel and to precisely cut back any old cement bedding and old cement grout away from any tile edges in preparation for the replacement tiles which fortunately I was able to get hold of.

Abused Victorian Floor Cardiff Before

After all the previous preparation I started carefully scraping off cement from all around the edges of the remaining tiles as well as gloss and emulsion splashes from the surface essentially giving the whole floor a thorough scrape with a hand held scraper vacuuming up the mess as I worked. Interestingly for a floor of its age I tested the floor in various places for moisture and found it to be perfectly dry.

Abused Victorian Floor Cardiff Before Abused Victorian Floor Cardiff Before

Cleaning a Victorian Floor

To clean the floor I mixed three parts Tile Doctor Remove and Go with NanoTech UltraClean which basically adds small abrasive particles to a powerful sealer and coatings remover making it even more effective. This was applied to the whole floor and left to soak in for an hour making sure not to let it dry out by applying further amounts; leaving it to dwell for an hour gives it time to eat away at any dirt and coatings on the tile making the scrubbing processes easier.

Abused Victorian Floor Cardiff Before

To scrub the tiles I used a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad rinsing and extracting the soiled solution along the way. This cleaned up the tiles well however there were still some cement stains so this time Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up was applied to the floor in sections and left to ten minutes to dwell before working it in with another black scrubbing pad and rinsing off. This product is acid based so you can’t leave on the tiles for too long; once I was happy with the final result the whole floor was given a thorough rinse with plenty of clean water using a wet vacuum to extract the waste and dry the floor.

The channel was then filled with cement and once it had set replacement replica Victorian tiles from The Original Tile Company were installed. I then grouted the floor in a medium grey grout let the tiles become solid and the grout go hard before using a steam cleaner to make sure that I have removed all the tile doctor cleaning solutions prior to sealing.

Abused Victorian Floor Cardiff Completed

Sealing a Victorian Floor Sealing

The customer wanted a semi-gloss finish so once I had tested the floor again to make sure it was dry I sealed the tiles with Tile Doctor Seal and Go which enhanced the colour of the floor tiles and added a nice sheen.

Abused Victorian Floor Cardiff Completed Abused Victorian Floor Cardiff Completed

As you can see the new tiles fitted beautifully and the old floor tiles cleaned up so successfully the difference is impossible to spot. It was a lot of painstaking work though taking five days to finish but well worth the result.
 
 

Victorian Tiled floor restored in South Wales