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.
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.
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.