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

Tile Doctor Awards 2016 – Best Restoration

Every year the Tile Doctors get together for an annual conference to discuss new ideas, techniques and products in the field of Tile, Stone and Grout maintenance. As well as catching up with the latest information from Tile Doctor it’s a great opportunity to network with other Tile Doctors. This years conference took place on 29th April 2017 at the Belmont Hotel in Leicester and towards the end of the conference we always have an awards ceremony based on our performance in the previous year.

I’m proud to report I took away this years “Best Restoration Award” for the work I did restoring the Terrazzo and Quarry Tiled floors at a Fire Damaged Church in Bath. Tile Doctor were really impressed with the amount of work I did and when you think Tile Doctor collectively worked on 1,755 jobs in 2016 it’s amazing to be singled out has having done the best one.

Julian Iacono being awarded the Best Restoration Award
by Tile Doctor Director Russell Taylor
If you haven’t seen the article I posted on the restoration take a look here: Church Tile Restoration in Bath.

Tile Doctor were so impressed with the work I did they even created the following video to showcase the work.

I would like to thank Tile Doctor and the Architect who awarded me the contract at the Church and had the faith in my ability to deliver the result.

Tile Doctor 2017 Conference Awards

Dirty Terrazzo Floor Deep Cleaned, Burnished and Sealed in Bridgend

Terrazzo is a quite a bit different from the natural stone floors we most commonly work with. It’s a type of flooring material that was made popular by Venetian builders in Italy in the 1920s, but is ultimately descended from styles of design that date back hundreds of years. A typical Terrazzo floor consists of chips of marble or granite set in concrete and polished to result in a smooth surface.

This Terrazzo floor, installed in the hallway of a property in Bridgend, South Wales, was in relatively good physical condition, but it had clearly lost its shine due to the build-up of dirt and muck over the years. In fact, it was first installed in around 1940! The owner was keen to have it rejuvenated to its best possible condition, so they asked me to come in to see what I could do.

Old terrazzo hallway floor before polishing Bridgend Old terrazzo hallway floor before polishing Bridgend

Cleaning and Burnishing a Dirty Terrazzo Tiled Floor

My first course of action was to apply Tile Doctor Pro Clean liberally across the floor and leave it to dwell for a short period. This is a high alkaline cleaner that is designed to deal with light to moderate soil build-up, and to strip away any old sealer remaining on the floor. I scrubbed the product in using a black pad fitted to a rotary machine and vacuumed up the resulting cleaning with a wet-vac machine.

Next, to restore the shine to the floor, I undertook a process known as burnishing, which involves the application of diamond encrusted polishing pads. We will typically start with a Coarse grit pad to level off any uneven areas of the floor and grind down any particularly stubborn marks and stains. Then, we gradually refine the polish on the floor using Medium and Fine grit pads. A small amount of water is used as lubrication with each pad.

After I had finished applying the first three pads in our four-pad system, I gave the floor a thorough rinse and left it to dry overnight.

Old terrazzo hallway floor during polishing Bridgend

Sealing a Terrazzo Tiled Floor

I returned to the property the next day and immediately ran some damp tests to check for excess moisture issues, which one might expect with an old floor like this one. Thankfully, the floor proved dry – and I could finish the burnishing process with the fourth and final Very Fine diamond encrusted burnishing pad, which achieved a beautiful shine finish.

Finally, I sealed the floor with three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, an impregnating sealer which provides robust protection and enhances the coloured patterns in the Terrazzo.

Old terrazzo hallway floor after polishing Bridgend Old terrazzo hallway floor after polishing Bridgend

As you can see from the photos above, the floor is looking so much more colourful and bright after a deep clean, polish and a fresh seal. The customer was over the moon!
 
 

Professional Restoration of a Dirty Terrazzo Tiled Floor in Bridgend