100+ Year Old Victorian Tiled Hallway Restored to New in Blackwood

This Victorian tiled hallway floor, located in a property in Blackwood, South Wales, was in a bad way. It was suffering from several broken and missing tiles, and the entire floor looked like it had not experienced a good clean and fresh seal in several years. The property itself dated back to 1905, and it’s very likely that the Victorian tiles are original.

However, the property owner was very hopeful that the hallway could be rejuvenated, so he contacted me to carry out the work. Upon my first inspection of the floor, I could immediately see that a lot of tile replacements would need to be carried out.

I suggested to the customer that I repurpose the tiles that surrounded the matt well at the front of the door to use as replacements for the tiles that were broken and damaged. I would then create a new, larger matt well while using original tiles to fix the damaged areas. It’s a technique I’ve used before so I was confident it would work.

He was happy with this suggestion so I agreed to return later that week to complete the restoration.

Victorian Hallway Floor Blackwood Before Repair

Repairing and Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway

My first task was to carefully remove the tiles around the exiting matt well, clean off the cement, and, in some cases, skim the thickness off some tiles so that they would position flat against the adjacent tile. Next, I proceeded to fix these replacement tiles in the areas required.

After completing these repairs, I moved on to cleaning the entire hallway. First, I manually scraped off as much of the paint and cement deposits from the surface of the tiles as possible, before cleaning the floor thoroughly with a mixed solution of three products: Tile Doctor Pro Clean, Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU Remover, and Tile Doctor Remove and Go.

Each of these products serves a different purpose. Pro Clean is reliable and powerful alkaline tile cleaner, while NanoTech HBU is a powerful cleaner which uses nano-sized particles to penetrate the pores of the tile and dissolve ingrained dirt and stains. Remove and Go strips away any old sealers, along with any of the stubborn paint and cement deposits.

The solution was left to dwell on the floor for about half an hour, before I scrubbed it into the stone by hand using a coarse black scrubbing pad. The floor was then rinsed thoroughly, before Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up was applied using a wire wool pad remove light grout smears (grout haze) and signs of efflorescence.

I then completed the grouting of the floor left it to dry for half an hour before giving it a final wipe with a sponge.

Victorian Hallway Floor Blackwood During Restoration

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway

After leaving the floor to dry out overnight, I returned to the property the following morning. I ran some quick checks for moisture to see if the tiles were ready to be sealed.

Thankfully, the floor proved dry and I could proceed the applying Tile Doctor Seal and Go. This sealer works really well on Victorian tiles and provides a nice subtle sheen finish whilst providing stain resistance.

The customer had initially thought the floor could not be salvaged, but now he will be able to enjoy this fantastic original feature from years to come. It just goes to show that a bit of creativity and hard work really can make a difference.

Victorian Hallway Floor Blackwood After Restoration

 
 

Professional Victorian Tiled Hallway Restoration in South Wales

110 Year Old Quarry Tiled Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Merthyr Tydfil

The pictures below were taken at a house in the town of Merthyr Tydfil, which is located not too far north of Cardiff. My client was keen to keep her very old Quarry tiled floor – which dated back to 1905 – intact. The floor had understandably seen a large amount of traffic in its lifetime, and was now in dire need of a professional restoration, including a thorough clean and seal.

Quarry tile floor Merthyr Tydfil before cleaning Quarry tile floor Merthyr Tydfil before cleaning

First, I completed a survey of the area and provided my client with a quote. After completing many similar jobs in the past, I generally have a good idea of what the final result will look like. I passed on some images of a final result to my client, who was happy for me to begin my work.

Cleaning a Quarry tiled floor

On the first day, my first task was to take run some damp tests which were fine; it’s always good to know up front if there are likely to be any damp issues. Next I covered the floor with water to take the surface suction out and waited fifteen minutes before applying a cocktail of Tile Doctor NanoTech Heavy Build-Up cleaner mixed with Pro-Clean and Grout clean-up covering the whole floor. I then immediately starting to work the solution into the floor with a rotary machine fitted with a coarse black pad. The solution was then rinsed off with water which was then extracted with a wet vacuum as I worked. For stubborn areas I applied more of the previously mixed solution scrubbed into the floor with coarse wire wool by hand followed by further rinsing with water.

Quarry tile floor Merthyr Tydfil after cleaning Quarry tile floor Merthyr Tydfil after cleaning

Each of the products used serves a particular purpose. Pro-Clean is a strong high-alkaline cleaner for natural stone, while NanoTech HBU is a particularly powerful cleaner that uses nano-sized particles to penetrate deep into the stone to get underneath and lift out ingrained dirt and stains. Grout Clean-Up, as the name implies, is a product for resolving grout related problems such as removing grout smears from tile surfaces aka grout haze.

Sealing a Quarry tiled floor

After completing the clean I left the house for 48 hours, to leave enough time for the floor to dry completely in preparation for sealing. Upon my arrival back at the house I conducted some more damp tests to check that the floor was dry enough to seal using the previous readings as a benchmark. The results indicated that I was fine to proceed with the seal, so I applied a total of eight coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go for durable protection. This was the product I recommended to my client as she wanted a nice, soft shine for her surface seal.

Quarry tile floor Merthyr Tydfil after sealing Quarry tile floor Merthyr Tydfil after sealing

As you can see from the photos, the desired result was achieved to a high standard and needless to say my client was delighted with the transformation.
 
 

Very old Quarry tiled floor restored and transformed in South Wales

Cleaning Old Red Quarry Tiles in Treharris

This Red Quarry Tiled floor had been laid when the house was built back in 1910 so it was over 100 years old and had years of wear and tear to show for it including old cement and paint from some decorating work that had been done some years prior. The house was located in the town of Treharris just outside of Cardiff and being an original feature of the house the owner wanted it looking as good as it could be.

Red Quarry Tiles Floor in Treharris Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Floor

I first checked for any moisture as these old floors were often laid without damp proofing and a damp floor can impact sealing later. Fortunately the reading was nice and dry, I then set about carefully scrapping off as much old paint and cement as possible. I then swept up as much of the dust as I could and caught the rest with a hoover.

The next step was to cover the whole floor in Tile Doctor Remove and Go mixed with a little NanoTech Ultra Clean which basically adds tiny abrasive particles to a powerful coatings remover. I left this on to soak into the tile for about an hour knowing that using this combination would not only remove any old surface coatings such as sealers it would also clean the floor as well. The solution was then worked into the floor using a rotating scrubbing brush attachment on a floor machine effectively letting the machinery do all the hard work. The floor was then rinsed twice with clean water which was then removed using a wet vacuum.

Red Quarry Tiles Floor in Treharris Scrubbed

It was clear at this point that the cement I could see on the surface of the tile was basically grout from an appalling tiling job when the floor was laid 100 years earlier. Fortunately Tile Doctor has a solution for that problem called Grout Remove and Go which is an acid based product that will remove grout and mineral deposits such as efflorescence. Being an acid I had to be careful so it was applied to the tile working one square metre at a time cleaning and scraping as I went along. After each section the floor was given a good rinsing again using the wet vacuum to remove the liquids from the floor. The last step of the cleaning process which I always do for Quarry and Victorian floor tiles was to finish off the rinsing process with a steam clean which brings out any remaining dirt and brings the tile back to its raw state.

Red Quarry Tiles Floor in Treharris Cleaning

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Floor

I cleaned the floor on the Friday and then left it to try for two days coming back on the Sunday to damp test the floor once again to ensure it was ready for sealing. The moisture reading was fine for sealing and as the customer had asked for a mild shine finish I sealed the floor using Tile Doctor Seal and Go which brought out the black and red colours in the tile back to life.

Red Quarry Tiles Floor in Treharris Sealed

 
 

Old Quarry Tiled floor restored in South Wales