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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.