Damaged Victorian Tiled Path Rebuilt in Cardiff

This Victorian tiled path leading up to a lovely period house in Cardiff was in a really bad state of repair with many damaged and cracked tiles. I had already been working on their hallway tiles and the customer was hoping I would be able to salvage the original tiles in the front path. I was confident something could be done but when I started to remove a few I soon found out that would be unlikely. I made a few calls and fortunately I was able to find replacement tiles in a local salvage yard that were a perfect match.

Victorian Tiled Pathway Before Rebuild Cardiff

The border tiles were a different matter though, so I had to buy new tiles that could be mixed with old for the border which I purchased from original style. I’ve used Original Style tiles on a few occasions in the past, they have a section dedicated to Victorian Tiles and stock quite a few of the popular patterns and decorative border designs.

Rebuilding a Victorian Tiled Path

The foundation of the path was cracked and crumbling so after carefully removing as many tiles that were worth saving I rebuilt the base with a new layer of cement.

Victorian Tiled Pathway During Rebuild Cardiff Victorian Tiled Pathway During Rebuild Cardiff

Once the new base was dry I was able to start Tiling as normal, I had taken photographs of the original pattern, so I was able progress quite quickly.

Victorian Tiled Pathway During Rebuild Cardiff Victorian Tiled Pathway During Rebuild Cardiff

Once the central pattern had been laid I progressed onto the edges which took longer to lay due to the complex pattern. Once all the tiles were laid and the adhesive had set I was able to move onto Grouting.

Victorian Tiled Pathway During Rebuild Cardiff

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Path

Once the tiles were laid and grout had set I was able to move onto cleaning the whole path starting with an acid wash using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up to remove any grout smears left over from the grouting and also to counter act any salts within the tile which could cause problems later.

After a rinse with water the path was then give a good scrub with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a heavy-duty Tile and Grout cleaner that worked well to brings out ingrained dirt.

Sealing a Victorian Floor Sealing

The path was left to dry off overnight and I came back the next day to seal them, I left protection over the path each night after leaving and fortunately we experienced a rare spell of decent weather that week.

The sealer I chose was Tile Doctor Colour Grow, it’s fully breathable, which is important when sealing tiles exposed to damp conditions and it’s a colour enhancing sealer which brought out the best in the red quarry tiles as well as giving good protection to the tile surface.

Victorian Tiled Pathway After Rebuild Cardiff Victorian Tiled Pathway After Rebuild Cardiff

My customer was most impressed with the transformation and left the following glowing testimonial on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

“Julian was quick to respond to emails. He arrived on the date we arranged and was finished promptly. We had our hall tiles re-surfaced and the path completely relayed. Where possible outside Julian re-used the old tiles and when not then used new. The final finish is amazing and definitely gives a wow factor to the entrance to the property. Julian is trustworthy and I would highly recommend him and his work. Thanks for the hard work!
Nigel J, Cardiff 15 Jan 2018″

 
 

Victorian Tiled floor restored in South Wales

Restoration of a Quarry Tiled Floor Ruined with Cement in Swansea

The owner of this Quarry tiles floor at a house in Swansea had expended much effort in its restoration and feeling exhausted decided to call in their local Tile Doctor to finish it off.

Quarry Tiles in Swansea Covered in Cement Compound Quarry Tiles in Swansea Covered in Cement Compound

I never saw the original flooring but I could see it had been covered by some sort of cement screed which had probably been used, judging by the imprints, to support large carpet tiles. I’ve come across a few floors like this, you can’t simply put carpet over a tiled surface as tiles can be slightly convex in shape and the grout lines result in dips forming in the carpet so as a result a floor levelling compound is usually applied beforehand.

After doing a cleaning sample and a test to see how stubborn the cement compound was to remove I agreed with the customer that it was possible and showing her the test results, she was happy to proceed with the work.

Quarry Tiles in Swansea Covered in Cement Compound Showing Test Clean

Removing Cement from a Quarry Tiled Floor

Before starting I took a few moisture readings with a handheld damp meter, I always recommend doing this at the start as it gives you a baseline reading that can be used to determine the floor has dried and ready for sealing later. Most old floors don’t have a damp proof membrane installed and so if the moisture readings were high I would recommend coming back to seal the floor at a warmer part of the year.

The first step was to remove all the cement compound from the surface of the tiles and then scrape as much paint and plaster off the tiles before cleaning with an undiluted mixture of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and Remove and Go. This combination of two different products make a great team; Pro-Clean is a versatile, high alkaline cleaner that is used to deal with reasonably heavy soil build-up on natural stone and Tile. Remove and Go, also safe to use on natural stone and tile is specially formulated to remove old coatings including paint and old sealers.

Quarry Tiles in Swansea Removing Cement Compound

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; it was also scrubbed into the grout using a stiff brush. The floor was then rinsed, and the resulting cleaning slurry was vacuumed away using a wet-vax machine.

The final stage of the cleaning process was to run over the tiles with a coarse 200 grit diamond pad together with Grout Clean-up which is another Tile Doctor product that removes mineral deposits such as old grout and cement smears. After a final rinse I could see the all the cement had been removed and the Quarry tiles were looking much healthier and ready for sealing.

Quarry Tiles in Swansea With Cement Compound Removed

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Floor

I left the floor to dry out overnight with the aid of heater fans and all doors closed to keep it warm. When I returned the next day, I retested the floor for moisture and compared the initial readings to confirm the floor was ready for sealing.

The Quarry tiles were quite porous so to seal the Quarry tiles, I eventually used eight coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go which not only provides a protective covering but also enhances the colours of tiles especially old red quarry floor tiles.

Quarry Tiles in Swansea After Restoration

The customer was thrilled with the results of the floor and was so impressed told me she was going to recommend Tile Doctor to her friends.
 
 

Professional Restoration of a Cement Covered Quarry Tiled Floor in South Wales

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

Quarry and Victorian Tiles Repaired, Cleaned and Sealed in Swansea

The owner of this property in Swansea contacted me recently about a two-part job that would involve the restoration of both a Quarry tiled hallway and a Victorian tiled lobby. The property itself dates back to 1918 – making it nearly a century old – and its safe to assume that both sets of tiles are of a similar age. As you can see from the photographs, they had certainly had absorbed a lot of wear and tear over the years, and as these tiles get older it becomes in increasingly difficult to maintain their appearance.

Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Hallway

A number of the Quarry tiles had at some point in the past been removed to allow the installation of electrical cables below ground, with an unsightly layer of cement left in their place. At a later point I would need to replace these tiles, but initially I needed to remove the old cement, along with any old sealer remaining on the floor by applying and scrubbing in Tile Doctor Remove & Go.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Restoration Swansea

Next, I applied an undiluted solution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean, our effective alkaline tile cleaner, to break down and remove the ingrained dirt. I then rinsed with clean water, and removed the resulting slurry with a wet vacuum. With the floor freshly cleaned, I proceeded to retile the area where tiles were missing.

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Lobby

The Victorian tiles in the porch/lobby room area were adjoined to the Quarry tiles. In this area there were several loose tiles, and I opted to recement and regrout them before beginning a clean.

Following this the tiles were treated to a thorough clean in a similar fashion to that provided to the Quarry tiles, however, in this case I mixed Remove and Go and Pro Clean to form a powerful cleaning solution. This was applied to the floor, left to dwell for a short period, and then scrubbed into the tiles, quickly bringing them back to life. I then lightly steamed cleaned the floor with a Karcher tool to eliminate or neutralise any chemicals that remained.

Victorian-Tiled-Lobby-Floor-During-Restoration-Swansea-114646

Sealing Quarry and Victorian Tiles

I left the two sets of tiles to dry out fully overnight. Upon my return to the property, I ran damp tests to confirm that the floors were ready to be sealed. The customer had asked for a satin finish on both floors, so I decided to use Tile Doctor Seal and Go. This topical sealer provides a durable sheen seal, and is a cost-effective option for Quarry and Victorian tiles. I applied seven coats of Seal and Go in total across both sets of tiles.

Quarry-Tiled-Floor-After-Restoration-Swansea-112352 Victorian-Tiled-Lobby-Floor-After-Restoration-Swansea-112433

The customer and myself were delighted with the results. In the space of just a couple of days these classic tiles have been brought been completely revitalised, and thanks to the application of a fresh sealer will be easier for the customer to keep clean going forward.
 
 

Restoration of an Old Quarry Tiled Hallway and Victorian Tiled Lobby 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