When the owner of this property in Bayston Hill near Shrewsbury contacted me about a Clean and Seal of their Victorian tiled hallway and Quarry tiled dining room floors. They mentioned a few loose tiles needed resetting, however, as you will see it turned out to be over 70% of the hallway floor tiles that were loose, additionally the Quarry tiles had been covered with several layers of floor paint.
This is one of the reasons why I rarely give a quote over the phone, happy to provide a rough estimate but if you want an accurate price for the work, I really must pay a visit to the property and survey the floor first. In the case both floors needed a lot of work to fully restore them so I’ve split this work history into two parts and will publish details on the restoration of the Quarry tiled floor in a separate article.
Except for the loose tiles the Victorian hallway was simply dull with ingrained dirt just needed a deep clean and then reseal to restore its appearance. Particularly noticeable where the light blue tiles within the geometric pattern which once cleaned would really shine.
Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor
For best results I use a rotary machine to clean floor tiles however the floor would been to be intact before I could make use of that, so my first task was to re-fix the loose tiles which as mentioned earlier were quite significant. In-fact once I started to lift the loose tiles, that couple of tiles turned out to be more than half of the hallway floor. When they were fixed back, I grouted it and left the floor to dry overnight.
Deep Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor
On the second day with the floor now solid I was able to progress the cleaning starting with the removal of old coatings and ingrained dirt in the tiles. I did this using a strong dilution of Remove and Go which was left to soak into the tiles for a while before being scrubbed in using a rotary machine fitted with a Black pad; the resultant slurry was then rinsed away with water and extracted off the floor using a wet vacuum.
Once done I treated the tiles to an acid wash using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up which is designed to remove old grout smears and salts from the tile. Salts can be a real problem on old Victorian floors with no damp proof membrane as there is nothing to stop salts being caried up through the tile from the subfloor and being left as white deposits as the moisture evaporates, a process commonly known as Effloresence. Another advantage of give the floor an acid wash is that it neutralises the pH level of the floor following the use of alkaline cleaning products such as Remove and Go.
Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor
The tiles must be dry before sealing and given all the washing and rinsing I had done to get the floor clean I decided to leave the floor for a whole week before returning to seal the tiles.
For this floor I opted to use Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that leaves a matt finish and works by occupying the pores in the tile protecting it from within. It’s also fully breathable so won’t prevent moisture rising through the tile and it contains a colour enhancer that will help improve the colours in the tile.
The deep clean and fresh sealer worked well and as hoped those light blue tiles really lit up the floor. Before leaving I took time to discuss aftercare cleaning and for this floor, I recommended Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner which is a gentle but effective product that is safe to use on sealed tiles.