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

Damaged Victorian Tiled Hallway Refurbished in Port Talbot

A customer in Port Talbot discovered an original but damaged Victorian Tiled Floor, circa 1890, hidden under laminate flooring in their hallway and were keen to restore it back to its original condition. They trawled the Internet and discovered Tile Doctor, made contact and a visit was arranged to conduct a survey.

The Victorian floor tiles were in a poor condition and to make matters worse a central heating pipe had been laid through the width of the hallway floor destroying the Victorian tiles. I assured the owners something could be done and we made a booking for me to return and do the work; in the meantime I spent a considerable amount of time sourcing tiles with the right measurements to replicate the original. Fortunately I managed to find a close match with a tile supplier called Original Style.

Victorian Tiled Floor Renovation Port Talbot Before Victorian Tiled Floor Renovation Port Talbot Before

Restoring Victorian Floor Tiles

My first task was as always to check for moisture then to scrape as much adhesive and paint off the tiles as possible; then resorting to a chisel and small jackhammer tool around all the edges of the area to be replaced to remove any more badly damaged tiles.

Victorian Tiled Floor Renovation Port Talbot During Victorian Tiled Floor Renovation Port Talbot During

I could see from the start I was going to need all the assistance I could get to clean this floor and lifts the stains out so to deep clean the tiles I applied Tile Doctor Remove and Go mixed 50/50 with NanoTech UltraClean which adds fine abrasive particles to an already powerful coatings remover. I brushed the solution over the whole floor and then went over it with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. I then left it to soak in for at least an hour before going over it again with the machine. Next the floor was rinsed with water to remove the worst of the dirt and to enable further attention to be focused on the more stubborn stains. Further cleaning was required so I covered the tiles in Tile Doctor Pro Clean which is a strong alkaline cleaning product and then rinsed the floor again scrapping off any old paint and stubborn glue residue in the process.

The floor was looking much improved but there were still areas with light cement smears and deeply ingrained dirt so this time I applied Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up which is an acid based product so you can’t leave it on too long but it’s the only effective way to treat mineral type deposits. I wanted to be sure all this product was removed so afterwards the floor was rinsed three times using a wet vacuum to remove the water. Once I was satisfied the floor was clean I applied a levelling compound to the area damaged by the heating pipes for the new base so I could tile it the following day.

Victorian Tiled Floor Renovation Port Talbot Before Victorian Tiled Floor Renovation Port Talbot During

Repairing a Victorian Tiled Floor

On the second day I started by cutting larger tiles into small pieces as the tiles were only certain sizes available from the tile supplier, but the colour match was nearly perfect so I made do. Next I started to tile the area using a fast setting adhesive so I could grout the tiles the same day. Once everything had set I gave the rest of the floor a final steam clean to make sure there was no trace of chemical that could upset a sealer.

Victorian Tiled Floor Renovation Port Talbot Before Victorian Tiled Floor Renovation Port Talbot During

Sealing a Victorian Floor Sealing

I left the floor to dry out over the weekend and then came back on the Monday to seal the tiles with Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is ideal for this type of tile as it adds a nice shine. I applied three coats leaving and interval in-between so it could dry before applying the next coat.

The customer was delighted with the results and that she chose Tile Doctor to do the work, we were not the cheapest quote she had received but you have to admit the floor looks like new so well worth the money.

Victorian Tiled Floor Renovation Port Talbot After Victorian Tiled Floor Renovation Port Talbot After

 
 

Victorian Tiled floor restored in South Wales

Old Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Restored in Splott near Cardiff

After removing the hallway carpet the new householders had discovered a Victorian tiled floor and being keen to restore it as an original feature made contact with Tile Doctor. Restoring original features can add a lot a value to a house so it’s well worth pursuing.

Victorian Tiled Floor Hidden Under Carpet in Splot Victorian Tiled Floor Hidden Under Carpet in Splot

Restoring a Victorian Tiled Floor

The floor actually caught me out because on initial visit I’d made my judgement on a small area by the doorway which had been uncovered. After removing the rest of the floor covering however I could see the floor was in an extremely poor condition especially around the perimeter which had ingrained dirt and cement, old paint and was generally well worn. I would estimate the floor was original from at least 120 years ago

Before starting any cleaning I put the damp meter reader on several tiles to check the damp levels which read border line .15 -.17 in places which I was not very happy with especially as the weather we’ve had recently had been hot and dry in Cardiff for some time. Undeterred I scrapped the whole floor and then chiselled the edges with Hammer and bolster; next I mixed a 50:50 batch of Tile Doctor Remove and Go with NanoTech Ultra-Clean cleaner and applied this to the whole area, agitated it with a black pad fitted to a rotary machine and left it to dwell on the tile for half an hour so it could work on any old sealers that may have been present on the tile.

I then rinsed the floor twice and although the floor was looking better I could really see how bad the condition was so next I applied undiluted Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to the whole floor which is a strong alkaline cleaner. It was left to dwell on the floor for half an hour scrubbing in between, rinsing with clean water as I carried on.

Although improved again I was still not happy with the results especially the borders as there appeared to be dark cement stains deeply ingrained into the tiles which no doubt had been there for eighty years. So next step was to apply Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up which is designed to remove mineral deposits and cement, it’s very effective solution for this type of work and it removed most of the stains but not all.

The floor still needed more work so in my frustration I rinsed the floor and mixed a concoction of Remove and Go, Pro-Clean and Grout Clean-up together with a squirt of the NanoTech Ultra-Clean cleaner and spread it over the whole area leaving it to dwell for around 10 minutes before scrubbing it again. The floor was then rinsed and then for the final clean I steam cleaned the area twice rinsing in-between.

Victorian Tiled Floor Discovered in Splot Before Victorian Tiled Floor Discovered in Splot Before

Sealing a Victorian Floor Sealing

The cleaning was done on a Friday and then left to dry out over the weekend. I returned on Monday and tested for moisture which was slightly high in places so being ever over precautions dried the whole floor with a heat gun until it gave me an absolute dry meter reading.

I left the floor to cool down to ambient temperature and then sealed it with three coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go. The customer was over the moon and I think you will agree that the tiles have been renovated to a high standard.

Victorian Tiled Floor Discovered in Splot After Victorian Tiled Floor Discovered in Splot After

 
 

Victorian Tiled floor Restored in Splott, South Wales

Starburst Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Cleaned in Penarth

This Black and White Victorian Tiled hallway floor laid in a “Starburst” pattern at a house in Penarth which had been previous restored in 2011 by another Tile Doctor however the house had recently been subject to some renovations and unfortunately the builders did not cover the hallway floor (typical) so the floor was looking rather tired when I came round to take a look. Whilst I was there I took a damp meter reading which showed the floor to be bone dry which given the hot weather was to be expected; a dry floor and hot weather works in our favour as restoring a tiled or stone floor in hot weather is much more efficient as everything dry’s so quickly.

White Victorian Floor Tiles Penarth Before White Victorian Floor Tiles Penarth Before

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Floor

My first job was to apply masking tape to the Slate step at the front doorway as the customer was very proud of it and I certainly didn’t want to get any Tile Doctor Remove and Go on it which would of stripped of the sealer. I then cut out a few tiles which were to be replaced before cleaning the whole floor with a dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go mixed 50/50 with NanoTech UltraClean to make it more effective. The solution was left to dwell for around ten minutes before being scrubbed into the tiles using a rotary machine fitted with a black coarse pad.

This process not only removed any previous sealer but really thoroughly cleaned the tiles as the small abrasive particles in the NanoTech UltraClean gave the floor a light abrasive deep clean. I should mention that during the cleaning stages I rinse the floor at least four times with clean water and then steam clean the whole floor to open up the pores to ensure that there is no cleaning agents present. I then give the floor a final rinse using a wet vacuuming to remove the water and make the floor as dry as possible prior to sealing. Before leaving for the day I carefully fitted the replacement tiles.

White Victorian Floor Tiles Penarth After White Victorian Floor Tiles Penarth After

Sealing a Victorian Floor Sealing

I cleaned the floor on Friday so it was left to dry out over the weekend coming back on Monday to ensure it was dry and then sealing it with multiple coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which works very well on Victorian floor tiles as it gives a nice satin sheen as well as providing stain protection.

White Victorian Floor Tiles Penarth After

 
 

Black and White Victorian Tiled floor restored in South Wales

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Problems resolved in Gwent

This particular Victorian tiled floor had been installed in the hallway of a house in Stow Park, Gwent around 130 years ago. Despite its age it was in a good condition and the detailed pattern although dirty was still very distinctive, the customer felt however that the floor was spoilt by the total erosion of the stone step at the front door which had suffered from the 130 years of footfall that had occurred across the threshold.

Victorian Tile Issue Resolved in Gwent Before

They asked me for any suggestions to make it more pleasing on the eye so I chose various colours from the main floor area and created a new entrance step leading to the main hallway comprising of 150 mm x 150 mm original style red and black floor tiles and 150 mm x 75 mm original style black round edge tiles.

Victorian Tile Issue Resolved in Gwent After

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Floor

The difference between the old and new was fairly obvious so once the tiles had been laid and the grout had gone off I returned to give the original Victorian tiles a thorough clean. There were some stubborn stains on the floor so I decided to scrub in a couple of strong products called Tile Doctor Remove and Go followed by Tile doctor Grout Clean-up rinsing in between the stages.

Remove and Go is a sealer and coatings remover that as well as cleaning will remove old coatings such as sealers from the tile, this is important if you wish to re-seal the floor as you can get unexpected results if you add one sealer on top of another. Grout Clean-up removes mineral deposits such as the white salts from effloresce, rust and grout smears. The floor was given a thorough rinse following the cleaning process to ensure no product was left on the floor that could upset a sealer.

Sealing a Victorian Floor Sealing

Aided by the warm weather it wasn’t long before the tiles were dry enough to be sealed and so I applied two coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which adds a nice subtle sheen to the floor as well as providing on-going stain protection.

Victorian Tile Issue Resolved in Gwent After Sealing

I think you would have to agree my solution worked out well and the new tiles look part of the original floor.
 
 

Victorian Tiled floor problems resolved in South Wales