Specialist Repair of a Damaged Victorian Tiled Hallway in Newport

Newport is the third largest city in Wales with a long history that goes back to the Roman times so un-surprisingly it has many period buildings and problematic tiled floors. I was recently asked by a Tile Doctor colleague of mine to assist him with the restoration of an original Victorian tiled hallway at a property in the city.

You will see from my website that I have a lot of experience in rebuilding Victorian tiled floors and on this occasion my colleague required me to perform some specialist tile repairs before he could carry out the business of cleaning and sealing the floor.

The property owner had previously asked a different company in to carry out the floor restoration but the tile repairs made were disastrous. The repair attempts were never going to be successful as this was a particularly difficult situation and required real specialism in dealing with Victorian tiles.

Victorian Hallway Tiles Before Repair in Newport

The previous company had used dry plaster to bed the tiles in the hope of being able to achieve some sort of flatness to dry cut the pieces in place. This had also been done without consideration for matching the colours of the tiles. You can see the result of this in the photo below.

Victorian Hallway Tiles During Removal Showing Plaster Base in Newport

Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway

The first stage of the repairs was to remove all the plaster powder and cut out the very damaged tiles as far back as possible, being very careful not to cause any further damage to the existing tiles. Next, I cemented the base level to the desired thickness and left it to dry out, before dry cutting all the tiles (150 x 150) I had sourced to colour match with the original tiles.

Victorian Hallway Tiles During Base Rebuild with Cement Newport Victorian Hallway Tiles Cutting Replacements in Newport

Once all the tiles were cut, I moved them to the area to be tiled and proceeded to spread adhesive and install the tiles. Following this, I left the floor to dry out overnight. The next day, I returned to the property and grouted the tiles.

Victorian Hallway Tiles During Replacement in Newport Victorian Hallway Tiles During Replacement in Newport

Now that the repairs have been completed to the required standards, this Victorian tiled hallway is now ready to be cleaned and sealed by my colleague.

Victorian Hallway Tiles Grouting in Replacement Tiles in Newport Victorian Hallway Tiles During Replacement in Newport

 
 

Damaged Victorian Hallway Floor Repair and Restoration in South Wales

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Restored in Penarth

This Victorian tiled hallway floor at a house in Penarth needed a deep clean and seal but also there was the added complication of what to do with the under stairs area as you will see in the photographs below. There were many options to consider and after many visits to the property to discuss various options we finally decided on adding new replacement tiles that complimented the main colour in the floor.

Victorian Hallway Penarth Before Restoration

This floor was in quite a bad state covered in paint splashes and cement after new damp proofing also under the staircase there were no tiles just cement which the customer hoped could be tiled. I assured the customer that they made the right choice by contacting Tile Doctor that they would be very happy with the outcome of their project.

Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Using a Kango hammer I first removed all the cement from area under the stairs that was to be retiled to get the main mess out of way then scraped off as much cement and paint off the tiled surface as possible. Once this was done and the area clear I was able to re-cement the area to be tilled to the right level and once dry tile the area with tiles in the chosen colour from a company known as Original Style which produce good tile replicas.

Victorian Hallway Penarth During Restoration Victorian Hallway Penarth During Restoration

Deep Cleaning Victorian Hallway Floor Tiles

The floor was checked for moisture which proved dry and then cleaned with a mixture of Tile Doctor products including NanoTech HBU Remover (HBU stands for Heavy Build-up), Remove and Go to tackle the paint splashes and to ensure any sealers were removed and Pro-Clean which is another powerful cleaning product. All these products are safe to use on tiles floors and were worked into the tile and grout using a scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine.

Once the floor was clean the soiled cleaning solution was extracted from the floor using a wet vacuum and the floor then thoroughly rinsed down with water, again extracted using a wet vacuum. Problem areas were re-treated by hand and scraped using wire wool and Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up which is an acid product designed to remove cement stains and grout smears. The floor was then rinsed again to remove any product traces, dried as much as possible with the wet vacuum and left to dry off overnight.

Sealing a Victorian Floor Sealing

I came back the next day to seal the floor, checking the tiles for moisture first using a damp meter. To seal the tiles, I used Tile Doctor Seal and Go which adds that protective layer and a nice sheen to the floor.

Victorian Hallway Penarth After Restoration Victorian Hallway Penarth After Restoration

The replacement tiles blended in well with the original Victorian floor tiles which now following the deep clean and re-seal looks like a new installation.

Victorian Hallway Penarth Before Restoration

 
 

Restoring a Victorian Tiled floor hidden in South Wales

Deep Cleaning and Sealing to Restore Original Victorian Tiles in Maesteg

The owners of this property in Maesteg, a town in the Llynfi Valley not too far from Port Talbot, had decided after many years to remove the carpet covering the downstairs hallway. Upon doing so they revealed some truly fantastic patterned Victorian tiles, and decided that instead of replacing the old carpet with new carpet, they would restore the condition of the original flooring.

Victorian tiled hallway before cleaning Maesteg Victorian tiled hallway before cleaning Maesteg

Whenever you remove carpet that has been hiding tiled flooring, it’s almost inevitable that you will find traces of rubber underlay, glue and cement deposits, and paint stains – or, in this particular case – a combination of all the above. The best course of action to bring original tiles back to their peak condition is to seek professional restoration. Everyday cleaning products and DIY methods rarely achieve the desired result. As the local Tile Doctor, these property owners contacted me to get the job done efficiently and effectively. Here’s how I did it.

Cleaning an Old Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Upon arriving at the property, I started by checking the floor for any inherent moisture problems. This was important to do considering that the tiles appeared quite old; thankfully there were no major issues that would have affected the restoration.

After checking for moisture, I began the cleaning process by manually scrapping off as much of the heavy glue and cement deposits as possible to clear the area and give the cleaning products an easier time of penetrating deep into the tiles.

I then mixed a strong cleaning solution consisting of three of our products: Tile Doctor Pro Clean, Remove and Go and NanoTech HBU. Pro Clean is a reliable cleaner that cans be used on most natural stone floors, Remove & Go helps with the removal of glues, adhesives, and old sealers, and NanoTech HBU uses nano-sized cleaning particles to penetrate beneath tough stains, dissolve them, and lift them out.

This solution was worked into the tiles using a rotary machine fitted with a coarse black pad, before I rinsed the floor thoroughly. Then, on my hand and knees, I carefully checked every tile for any additional paint splashes or other deposits, using a handheld scraper and wire wool in combination with Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up to remove any I came across. This cleaning method for this type of floor is generally always successful.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

After leaving the floor to dry overnight I returned to the property, once again checking for moisture. Happy that the floor was ready to be sealed, I applied six coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, which not only provides a protective layer but also gives the tiles to a beautiful low sheen finish. Seal and Go is best suited for use on internal, porous surfaces such as Victorian, Quarry, Sandstone and Slate.

The two photos below show the outcome of the restoration. The transformation achieved in the space of one day was exceptional and needless to say the customer was over the moon with their new Victorian tiles.

Victorian tiled hallway after cleaning Maesteg Victorian tiled hallway after cleaning Maesteg

 
 

Professional Victorian Tiled Hallway Restoration in South Wales

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

Heavily Soiled and Damaged Victorian Tiled Hallway Restored in Pontcanna

Pontcanna is a popular residential area in the western district of Cardiff, in South East Wales. Known for its rather large houses and spectacular foliage, interestingly enough roughly a quarter of the population are English folk.

I was called down to a property in the area to take a look at a Victorian tiled floor which was in quite poor condition. Along with the typical amount of dirt and muck seen on poorly maintained tiles, there were a number of missing tiles and a fair bit of cement caked on the surface of the floor.

Victorian Tiled Floor Restoration Pontcanna

It would require a robust clean, fresh seal, and several repairs to get this floor back into optimum condition.

Cleaning and Repairing a Dirty Victorian Tiled Floor

To begin, I checked for excess moisture problems using a damp meter in various places of the hallway floor and, thankfully, it was showing dry results. Any dampness could have potentially caused problems later on in the restoration process, so it was s good idea to run tests before starting.

Next, I manually scraped as much of the dry paint and cement off the tiles as possible, with no lubrication necessary. I then proceeded to clean the floor with a solution I mixed early, consisting of equal parts Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU and Tile Doctor Pro Clean, rinsing as I went. Both products are designed to tackle heavy soil build-up, with the former uniquely using nano-sized particles (as the product name suggests) to penetrate deep into difficult to reach areas in the tiles in order to lift out ingrained muck.

Following the initial clean, I removed all of the loose tiles and those heavily affected by cement, before retiling as necessary with fresh Victorian tiles, and grouting the whole floor. Of course, these replacement tiles were carefully sourced to ensure consistency, as far as possible, with the original pattern of the floor.

Victorian Tiled Floor Restoration Pontcanna

The next day, I went over the whole floor with an application of the acid-based Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up, diluted with a little alkaline Pro Clean to form a cleaning solution. I then used a black pad to scrub the cleaner into the tiles, similarly to the previous day’s cleaning. This was followed by a through rinse with water to neutralise the floor.

It was at this point that I noticed some stubborn cement stains remained so I set about breaking them down using a 60 grade hand held diamond polishing block, and this technique proved successful.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

After completing the clean, I left the floor to dry out for roughly 24 hours. Upon my return to the property to seal the tiles, I tested again for moisture. It is recommended to run damp tests before sealing, as excess moisture can cloud the sealer, affecting its performance in the long run.

Victorian Tiled Floor Restoration Pontcanna

Fortunately, no dampness was detected and I was proceeded to seal the floor with seven coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go, which enhances the natural colours in the stone and provides a nice satin gloss appearance, as requested by the customer.

Victorian Tiled Floor Restoration Pontcanna

I was extremely pleased with the results of this restoration, as was the customer. The extent of the soil build up and damage was such before the restoration that, after completion, the floor looked like it had been newly laid!
 
 

Victorian Tiled Floor Restoration 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

1920’s Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Restored in Pontcana

The new owner of this house in Pontcana, Cardiff recently discovered a 1920’s Victorian tiled floor hidden under carpet in the hallway and was keen to restore it as an original feature. They contacted Tile Doctor to have it repaired and I popped round to do a survey. I could see there was a great deal of movement in the floor by the front door area where the old brittle cement base had buckled causing the tiles to become loose and uneven.

Victorian Tiled Floor Pontcana Before Repairs

Most contractors would consider this beyond repair however I suggested we take up the main area of buckled tiles and keep them for the repair to the centre of the hallway where a copper strip had been laid in the cement. I suggested that in the area which we lifted up the tiles by the front door that we made a mat well which not only looks good but serves a purpose and remedies the main problem of the cement base.

Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The first task was to check moisture readings then to remove the tiles carefully as I could in order to save the pieces for the repair of the other damage in the centre of floor. I then chiselled the raised areas of cement away with a small Kango hammer in preparation for the self-leveller which would be needed to make the base suitable for the new doorway mat.

Victorian Tiled Floor Pontcana Starting Repairs Victorian Tiled Floor Pontcana Removing Damaged Section

Once this was done I proceeded to repair the other damaged parts of the floor using the original tiles that were now spare. I laid the tiles through the damaged areas and grouted them in.

Victorian Tiled Floor Pontcana Before Repairs Victorian Tiled Floor Pontcana During Grouting

Once the grout had gone off I was able to start cleaning the floor starting with an application of Grout Clean-Up to remove the grout smears followed by a solution of Tile Doctor HBU mixed 50/50 with Pro-Clean which was scrubbed into the tile and then rinsed off before steam cleaning the floor to make sure any dirt or trace of chemical was removed before sealing the tiles.

Victorian Tiled Floor Pontcana After Repairs

Sealing a Victorian Floor Sealing

The floor was left to dry out and I returned two days later to seal the floor checking that the moisture readings were acceptable first. To seal the floor I used six coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which can even make an old floor look vibrant.

Victorian Tiled Floor Pontcana After Cleaning and Sealing

The floor now looks great and I’m confident the restoration of this period feature will add value to the property.
 
 

Victorian Tiled floor hidden under carpet fully restored 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

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

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

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

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