tiled hallway

Original Victorian Tiled Hallway Thought Beyond Repair Rejuvenated in Cardiff

Many property owners who are lucky enough to have an original Victorian tiled floor in their homes face the same conundrum: can an old and potentially very damaged floor be salvaged and restored to peak condition or should I replace it?

Some people would instinctively tell you that the answer is no – even trained professionals! In fact, a leading tile restoration company (which shall remain unnamed) based in Cardiff told a recent customer of mine that her original Victorian tiled floor, dating back to 1905, was beyond repair. The company recommended that she not waste any money on having it restored and instead that she should have it ripped up and replaced.

Victorian Tiled Hallway in Cardiff Before Restoration
It was in a bad state, however replacing the floor would incur a significant cost and the original characteristics of the period floor would be lost. The customer was feeling rather deflated and was left undecided on what to do. Fortunately after browsing the web for a solution, she came across Tile Doctor and I was asked to pop over and take a look.

I visited the customer at her home and removed parts of her hallway carpet to get a better look at the Victorian tiles beneath. The floor was certainly in a very poor state, there were many old paint splash marks covering the tiles and the surface of the floor was deeply darkened after many years’ worth of wear and tear. In my opinion however, it was still salvageable, and the customer was happy to see what could be done.

Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

A week before I was due to start the restoration, I asked the customer to remove the foam-backed carpet to let the floor breathe a bit.

Before beginning the work, I ran a few damp tests and the floor proved surprisingly dry considering how old it is and the very probable lack of a damp proof membrane. I started by manually scraping as much of the old paint staining off the stone as possible and cleared other debris from the surface.

Knowing that clay based Victorian tiles like these easily soak up paint splashes, I knew it would take a thorough clean to remove them completely. I firstly soaked the floor with water and left it to dry slightly before mixing a concoction of Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU, Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, and Tile Doctor Remove and Go.

NanoTech HBU is a particularly powerful cleaner which uses nano-sized particles to penetrate the pores of the stone, while Pro-Clean is an alkaline-based cleaner that tackles heavy soil build-up. Remove and Go is a multi-purpose product which both cleans and strips away any old sealer.

I left this mixture to dwell on the floor for around half an hour, scrubbed it in firstly using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine and then a wire wool pad. I followed by rinsing the products off with water and extracted up the excess with a wet vacuum machine.

This technique was repeated until I was satisfied with the condition of the floor.

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

After leaving the floor to dry off completely overnight, I returned to the property the next day to carry out the sealing process. I applied seven coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, which not only adds a protective covering to the tile, but also enhances its appearance.

The customer was absolutely thrilled with the results of the restoration, especially considering that she was told the floor was ruined by a leading company and not worth saving.

Victorian Tiled Hallway in Cardiff After Restoration
I think you will agree that its always worth trying to restore a period floor and my customer deserves praise for sticking to their guns.

Professional Period Victorian Hallway Floor Restoration 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

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