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

Deep Cleaning a Terrazzo Hallway near Caerphilly Castle

I previously restored an Quarry Tiled floor for the owner of this residence near Caerphilly Castle and was asked back to deep clean their Terrazzo hallway floor which was far from looking its best.

Terrazzo Hallway before deep cleaning near Caerphilly Castle Terrazzo Hallway before deep cleaning near Caerphilly Castle

Restoring a Terrazzo Floor

Terrazzo is a very hard surface and needs to be burnished to get the best results so after scrubbing the floor with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and a black scrubbing pad to remove what felt like 100 plus years of black dirt I set about burnishing the floor with a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pads and a little water. The set comprises of four different grades of diamond pads ranging from coarse to smooth that produce a shiny clean surface. The floor is rinsed between pads to remove any slurry from the process and given another rinse at the end.

Sealing a Terrazzo Floor

The hard Terrazzo soon dried and I was able to seal the floor with the application of three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing impregnating sealer which will prevent staining and make it easier to clean in future. Once the last coat was dry I and gave the floor a further polish with the 4th stage green pad to give a true deep shine.

Terrazzo Hallway after deep cleaning near Caerphilly Castle Terrazzo Hallway after deep cleaning near Caerphilly Castle

I think you will agree that what was once an old and tired terrazzo hallway floor now looks much better following its facelift, something that was only made possible due the quality of installation when first laid.

Quarry Tiled floor restored in South Wales

Quarry and Terrazzo floors restored near Caerphilly Castle

The owner of this residence near Caerphilly Castle had discovered a 150x150mm red Quarry tiled floor in the kitchen which dated back to before 1900 and had unfortunately been tiled over by a previous owner. Keen on restoring such an original feature the owner set about removing the tiles on top using a chisel and scraping off the adhesive, it was at this point we got the call to assist.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Restoration near Caerphilly Castle

Restoring a Quarry Tiled Floor

Before proceeding my first job is to always check the moisture levels, many of these old floors have no damp proof membrane so without taking a base reading it’s tricky to know if the floor has thoroughly dried later. The kitchen was being replaced and the old kitchen had been removed so I was able to work on the restoration before the new one had been installed making the task easier.

Quarry Tiled Floor Before Restoration near Caerphilly Castle

To clean the floor I realised I would need a strong cleaning solution to get these old Quarry tiles clean so I diluted Tile Doctor Pro-Clean 50:50 with Heavy Build-up Remover or Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU as we like to call it. This was applied to a wet floor and scrubbed in using a scrubbing machine fitted with a coarse back pad running on slow speed. I rinsed the floor every so often so I could see the difference and discovered my choice of cleaning product has proved to be effective and fast. Before long I was happy to rinse away the now soiled cleaning solution satisfied that I could not improve the tiles any further with more cleaning.

Quarry Tiled Floor During Restoration near Caerphilly Castle

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Floor

I left the floor to dry for 24h hours before returning to seal the tiles. On my return I checked the moisture levels and there were some high readings so using a heat gun I applied some gentle heat to the tiles allowing them to cool before checking again. This did the trick and the second reading was much better so I proceeded to seal the tiles using Tile Doctor Seal and Go which I find works well on quarry tiles. The quarry tiles were quite worn and very porous and as result needed at nine coats of sealer before they were fully sealed. I do find multiple of coats of sealer works well on floors of this condition as it helped to hide the imperfections and marks caused by the chisel and scrapper.

Quarry Tiled Floor After Restoration near Caerphilly Castle

The owners were delighted with the results and asked me to come back and restore their terrazzo hallway floor which will be subject to another post.
 
 

Quarry 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