Victorian Tiled Hallway Repaired and Restored in Oswestry

A home owner who lives in the old market town of Oswestry in Shropshire called me in recently to work some Tile Doctor magic on their Victorian Tiled Hallway. They had been refurbishing the house room by room and had left the hallway floor until last. The previous owner of the house had repaired part of the floor at the far end of the hallway with an odd selection of unmatched tiles. The result was a bit of any eyesore and I’m surprised it hadn’t been covered over with carpet which is what most would do, the only good thing about the repair was that it had been laid level.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Oswestry Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Oswestry

There were several other areas were tiles were loose and would need relaying and a section where holes had been drilled into a couple of tiles damaging them in the process. In total I estimated there was about two square meters of tiles that would need relaying; I would be able to use some of the original tiles that had become loose, but it was clear I would need to track down some replacements either from a reclamation yard or from a retailer if I could find a match.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Oswestry

Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

As it turned out I managed to source the replacements without too much trouble, Victorian Tiles are still very popular today and there are a number of UK companies that still sell them.

My first task was to remove all the loose tiles and carefully remove what I’m going to call the eyesore. I have a handheld power tool that makes light work of removing grout which came in very hand and then once the grout was removed the tiles were prised out. The old grout and adhesive were then scraped off the sub floor, so the replacements could be fitted.

Victorian Tiled Floor During Repair Oswestry Victorian Tiled Floor During Repair Oswestry

With the loose, damaged and eyesore removed it was now a question of cutting replacement tiles to match the existing pattern and then fix them into place with fresh adhesive. This activity took up much of the first day and before leaving the tiles were grouted in, so they would be secure for cleaning the next day.

Deep Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Day two was all about deep cleaning the entire floor to remove any 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.

There were some stubborn paint splashes from decorating that needed dealing with, so I gave these a spot clean using more Remove and Go and plenty of elbow grease. The floor was then given a final rinse to remove any trace of cleaning product and then dried as much as possible with a wet vacuum before being left to dry off fully overnight.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The tiles must be dry before sealing and after testing the floor with a damp meter I confirmed that the floor was indeed dry. I had previously discussed sealers with the owner he had opted for a matt finish. I decided that Tile Doctor Colour Grow would be the best choice of sealer to apply, it’s an impregnating sealer that leaves a matt finish and works by occupying the pores in the tile protecting it from staining from within. It also enhances the natural colours in the tile, only two coats of sealer were needed.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning Oswestry Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning Oswestry

The floor now looks fantastic and most crucially the eyesore has gone.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning Oswestry

 
 

Victorian and Victorian Floor Tile restoration in Shropshire

Victorian and Quarry Tiled Floors Restored in Shrewsbury

Details below of a red and black Quarry tiled floor at a house belonging to a customer in the Shropshire market town of Shrewsbury, which dates back to medieval times. The owner had recently moved back to the area and purchased the house with the intention of restoring all its original features including the Quarry tiles floor which had several coats of red floor paint and had been covered with carpet for several years, I guess the previous owner wasn’t sure what else to do with it.

Black and Red Quarry Tiled Dining Room Before Cleaning in Shrewsbury

I was also asked to refurbish the Victorian Tiled hallway and porch which was in an equally neglected state.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning in Shrewsbury

Naturally this is exactly the sort of thing we do so I was confident the floor could be significantly improved with our assistance and after popping round to take I look provided a quote although due to other priorities it was a whole year later before I was asked to come and do the job.

Black and Red Quarry Tiled Dining Room Before Cleaning in Shrewsbury

Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Floor

There was cement based building residue, plaster and efflorescence on the floor so I decided to treat the floor with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor 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 washed away using more water and a wet vacuum.

The whole process was repeated until I was satisfied that any stubborn areas had been dealt with and then the floor given an acid wash with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up to remove the efflorescence.

Once I was happy with the condition it was given a final rinse to remove any trace of cleaning products and then left to dry for four days.

Sealing a Quarry Floor Sealing

The tiles have to be dry before sealing and after testing the floor with a damp meter I confirmed that four days has been sufficient and the floor was indeed dry. The next step was to apply three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that occupies the pores in the tile and enhances the natural colour of the tiles in the process.

Black and Red Quarry Tiled Dining Room After Sealing in Shrewsbury

I was able to use the same cleaning and sealing process on both floors and I think you will agree it made quite a difference and both floors have been transformed.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning in Shrewsbury

 
 

Quarry and Victorian Floor Tile restoration in Shropshire

Victorian Tiled Hallway Renovated in Telford

Details below of a customer in Telford who bought a house with a Victorian Tiled Hallway a couple of years prior and has been refurbishing it in sections. When I went there to do the quotation the floor I could see it was in a desperate state and in need of a deep clean and replacement of several broken and cracked tiles, there were several loose ones too.

Victorian tiled Hallway before restoration in Telford Victorian tiled Hallway before restoration in Telford

Cleaning and Repairing a Victorian Tiled Floor

The floor was cleaned using a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was left to soak into the tiles for around 15 minutes before being worked into the tile and grout using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad and a stiff grout brush. Pro-Clean is a strong alkaline cleaning product that is safe to use on Stone, Tile and Grout. The floor was given a thorough rinse with clean water and a wet vacuum was used to remove the water from the floor, stubborn areas were then spot cleaned using the same process and the floor was then left to dry off overnight.

Victorian tiled Hallway after repair and cleaning in Telford Victorian tiled Hallway after repair and cleaning in Telford

The next day I returned to do the repair work, originally there were seven tiles to replace, but I ended up replacing sixteen tiles and fixing twenty five, fortunately Victorian tiles are still popular and you can still source replacements.

Victorian tiled Hallway after repair and cleaning in Telford Victorian tiled Hallway after repair and cleaning in Telford

Sealing a Quarry Floor Sealing

To ensure the repaired areas had sufficient tile for the adhesive and grout to set I left the floor for four days before returning to apply a sealer checking the moisture level first to ensure it was dry enough to take the sealer. To seal the tiles which will help protect them from staining I applied five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which works really well on Victorian tiles and adds a nice subtle shine to the floor also being water based you don’t get that smell that a solvent based sealer has.

Victorian tiled Hallway after restoration in Telford Victorian tiled Hallway after restoration in Telford

 
 

Restoring Victorian tiles in Shropshire

Victorian Tiled Hallway and Terracotta Kitchen Floor in Shrewsbury

For this old terraced house in Shrewsbury I was asked to clean and seal two areas which included a Victorian tiled hallway and Terracotta tiled kitchen; I’ve copied below the original request so you can better understand that there was a fair amount of work that needed doing.

“I have 2 areas of quarry tiles that need a serious make over, in the hall and the back room. There are patches of red paint and areas of mineral deposit and lots of ingrained filth!””

As it turned out the customer had only recently bought the property and told me that the previous owner had rented the property out and that the last tenants kept snakes, rats and all sorts of animals there and the remaining smell was one of the concerns of the customer.

After inspecting the Victorian tiled hallway I suspected it had probably been re-laid at some point in the past as the grout line were different in places and there were several new replacement tiles visible. The terracotta floor was more recent and had showed no signs of a sealer being applied which would explain how they had become so dirty.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning in Shrewsbury Terracotta Tiled Floor Before Cleaning in Shrewsbury

Cleaning a Victorian and Terracotta Tiled Floors

To clean both floors I applied a dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go leaving it to soak in before scrubbing it in using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. I was banking on the Remove and Go to deal with any remaining sealer and also to loosen the paint spots. The resultant slurry was washed away using more water and a wet vacuum and the process repeated until I was happy with the condition of the tiles. I also had to use a steamer on the hallway tiles as the dirt was ingrained in the mainly light coloured tiles and it needed the steam to lift it out. it was then given a final rinse to remove any cleaning products and then left to dry.

Sealing Terracotta and Victorian Floors

I left both floors to dry out overnight and returned to seal them the next day checking first with a damp meter that they were dry. To seal the Terracotta tiles in the kitchen two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow was applied, Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer that enhanced the colours and leaves a matt finish which is what the customer wanted. For the hallway however the customer wanted a shine so five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go were applied. The one advantage of having two floors to seal was that I could be adding a coat of seal on one floor whilst the other was drying.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning in Shrewsbury

Apologies for not taking a final photograph of the Terracotta tiles after they were sealed, however the customer was really happy with the job and left a nice testimonial:

“Jozsef was a pleasure to deal with – professional, hardworking and friendly. He was quick to contact me, give me the quote and to schedule the work. He clearly explained what my options were and I am really happy with the work done – both tiled floors look great!”
 
 

Cleaning and Sealing Tiled Floors in Shropshire

Victorian Hallway Tiles Restored in Whitchurch

I’m beginning to wonder if Tile Doctor has started a trend that has got people looking under their hallway carpets looking for period floors. Indeed this customer in Whitchurch has done exactly that and discovered a beautiful Victorian tiled floor which was with the exception of adhesive residue and dirt was in reasonable condition. They had tried to restore it themselves but could not achieve the desired results so being their local Tile Doctor we got the call.

Victorian tiled hallway Whitchurch before cleaning Victorian tiled hallway Whitchurch before cleaning

Removing Glue and Dirt from a Victorian Tiled Floor

The floor was dirty which I would normally take care of with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean however glue requires something stronger so a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go was applied, left to soak in and then scrubbed into the tiles using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. Remove and Go does pretty much what its name suggests and is a great product for safely removing coatings from tile. The floor was given a thorough rinse with clean water and a wet vacuum was used to remove the water from the floor and get it dry so it could be sealed. Some stubborn areas were still evident so they were spot treated using more Remove and Go.

Victorian tiled hallway Whitchurch after

Sealing a Quarry Floor Sealing

The floor needs to be thoroughly dry before it can be sealed and this can be a problem with old houses which may have damp issues. I therefore left the floor to dry for 5 days before coming back to seal it and when I returned checked the floor using a damp meter first. The readings were fine however there were a couple of areas that needed further treatment so those were spot treated and then dried until I was satisfied the floor was as good as it could be. I then processed to seal the floor using five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which adds a nice subtle sheen to the tiles as well as providing stain protection going forward.

I think you will agree from the photographs the floor looks great, certainly the customer was really pleased with the result.

Victorian tiled hallway Whitchurch after sealing

 
 

Restoring Victorian tiles in Shropshire

Red and Black Victorian Quarry Tiled Floor Restored in Oswestry

Details below of a Victorian Quarry tiled floor belonging to a customer in Oswestry who had recently moved back to the area and wanted to restore the original features of the house including the Quarry tiles floor which had several coats of red floor paint and was later was covered with carpet for a number of years. The customer described the floor as:

“I have 2 areas of quarry tiles that need a serious make over, in the hall and the back room. There are patches of red paint and areas of mineral deposit and lots of ingrained filth!””

Red Black Quarry Tiles Oswestry Before Red Black Quarry Tiles Oswestry Before

Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Floor

I managed to clean the floor with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor 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 washed away using more water and a wet vacuum. The whole process was repeated several times as the paint was really stubborn and in places I had to remove the paint removal with a scraper. Once I was happy with the condition it was given a final rinse to remove any cleaning products and then left to dry for five days leaving an air mover with the customer to accelerate drying.

Red Black Quarry Tiles Oswestry After Cleaning Red Black Quarry Tiles Oswestry After Cleaning

Sealing a Quarry Floor Sealing

The tiles have to be dry before sealing and even though I returned five days later the damp meter still indicated that there was moisture in the tiles which I suspect was due to there being no membrane in place under the old Victorian tiles. I agreed with the customer to come back a further week later which proved sufficient and the floor was dry enough to take the sealer.

The customer wanted a matt finish so I sealed the floor with two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that occupies the pores in the tile and also enhances the colour of the tile.

Red Black Quarry Tiles Oswestry After Sealing Red Black Quarry Tiles Oswestry After Sealing

The customer was out when I applied the sealer but when the she got home she sent me the following message:

“The floor looks brilliant. So much better than I had ever hoped. Thank you.”
 
 

Victorian Quarry tiles restoration in Shropshire

Victorian Quarry Tiled Floor Restored in Telford

The photographs below of a Red and Black Victorian Quarry tiled floor were taken at a 109 year old cottage in the town of Telford. Unfortunately the tiles were in a really neglected state after the completion of building works but we do like a challenge and agreed to do the work.

Victorian Quarry Tiles Telford before cleaning Victorian Quarry Tiles Telford before cleaning

Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Floor

The whole floor was covered in layers of mortar and plaster so a strong solution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go was applied and scrubbed into the floor using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad.

The initial clean revealed a lot more of the mess that had been left over from the builders mixing of mortar and concrete so I decided to try an acid based product called Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which is mainly used for the removal of grout from the tile surface but works on other cementitious materials as well. This worked well but required several applications to remove it all and once complete the floor was given a thorough rinse with clean water to ensure it was clear of the resultant slurry and there was no trace of cleaning product. A wet vacuum was used to remove the water from the floor and get it dry so it could be sealed.

Sealing a Quarry Floor Sealing

Once the floor was dry I sealed it using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which was chosen as the customer wanted a matt finish; Colour Grow also brings out the colours in the tile and it’s an impregnating sealer that occupies the pores in the tile to provide excellent stain protection.

I think you will agree the photographs below shows an amazing transformation that exceeded all expectations.

Victorian Quarry Tiles Telford After cleaning Victorian Quarry Tiles Telford After cleaning

 
 

Restoring old Quarry tiles in Shropshire