Red and Black Victorian Tiles Stripped and Sealed in Biggleswade

Here are the details of a job I recently completed in the town of Biggleswade, which lies on the River Ivel in Bedfordshire. My client had a fantastic red and black Victorian tiled floor with a topical seal. However, she also had a new addition to the family in the form of a new puppy and, as I’m sure most of you reading will know, puppies can be very messy and additionally urine contains Uric acid which can eat away at sealers. Therefore, my client asked me to strip off the old topical seal, before replacing with an impregnating sealer better suited to protect the tiles against an untrained puppy.

Victorian tiles Biggleswade before cleaning

My client had been replenishing the topical seal for many years, but after discussing this decided that Tile Doctor Colour Grow, an impregnating and colour enhancing sealer, would be better suited.

Stripping a Victorian tiled floor

My first task was, of course, to remove the old topical sealer. I did this using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a high alkaline cleaner that when used in a concentrated form can remove sealers. The alkaline helps to break down the sealer while also lifting out any ingrained dirt suffered by the stone. The solution was left to dwell for approximately twenty minutes before being scrubbing it into the tiles using a rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad.

Nonetheless, after giving the tiles a rinse, I discovered evidence of an old impregnating sealer in the tiles that was also need to be removed before resealing. To do this I applied Tile Doctor Remove & Go which is a powerful, dedicated coatings remover which did the job although the use of a steamer and several scrubbing brushes helped with the task.

Victorian tiles Biggleswade during cleaning

After completing the stripping, I still felt that I could improve the appearance of the tiles further, so I ran over the tiles with a small six inch Tile Doctor Diamond encrusted burnishing pad fitted to a hand-held buffer to finish the cleaning process.

Sealing a Victorian tiled floor

After completely the stripping process, I gave the entire floor a rinse and left it to dry for several days. Upon my return I sealed the tiles using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This is an impregnating, colour enhancing sealer that really brought out the shades of red and black in these Victorian tiles. Along with Victorian tiles, Colour Grow is also suitable for use of Flagstone, Limestone, Quarry, Sandstone and Marble tiles, amongst others.

Victorian tiles Biggleswade after cleaning

I think you will agree the floor looks transformed with the new sealer applied.
 
 

Stripping old sealers from Red and Black Victorian tiles in Bedfordshire

Neglected Quarry Tiled Floor Restoration in Langford

This was a very interesting job at a house in the town of Langford in Bedfordshire which used to be an old butchers shop which had been converted for residential use. One aspect of the butcher’s shop that my client wanted to keep for the new house was an extremely worn and dirty Quarry tiled floor. The floor had experienced a high amount of traffic in the past, evidenced by the fact that in some areas the top layer of the tiles had been lost and to make matters worse the floor had been covered in a layer of concrete paint which would need removing.

Although the floor had fallen into a serious state of neglect, I was confident that with the right products and techniques I would be able to restore the appearance of the tiles.

Quarry Tiles Before Restoration in Langford

Cleaning Old Quarry tiles

My first step in the restoration was to apply a solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, a high alkaline cleaner, to the floor, leaving it to dwell for roughly twenty minutes. I then agitated the solution into the tile using a combination of scrubbing pads and brushes, in an attempt to remove as much of the dirt and muck as possible. This served more as an initial rinse to prepare the floor for a much deeper clean later on in the process.

Having rinsed the tiles, I installed air movers to help the floor dry quickly. This allowed me to see which areas of the floor required some more specific cleaning attention. The next step was to give the floor an acid rinse using Tile Doctor Tile and Grout Clean-Up. This step was necessary to tackle the salt deposits which were coming up through the tile and grout; this process is more commonly known as efflorescence and is usually due to a lack of damp proofing under the floor which is not surprising given the age of the floor.

Quarry Tiles Before Restoration in Langford

I soon realised that the tiles were still partly shielded by a plastic covering which had been in place for upwards of forty years. I used a steamer to loosen the covering to the point that I could then remove it by hand. Once all of the Quarry tiles were finally exposed I came across a lot of stubborn marks along and, unsurprisingly, decade’s worth of dirt. To give the tiles a thorough clean I used Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU which stands for Heavy Build-Up cleaner. As the name suggests, this is a product which uses tiny abrasive particles to penetrate deep into the pores of the tile to lift out the dirt normal cleaning products simply can’t reach, enabling the removal of tough dirt and stains.

Sealing Quarry tiles

After completing the clean I left the house for several days to allow the floor to dry assisted by a number of air movers and dehumidifiers that I left at the property to speed up the drying process. When I returned to the house, I ran damp tests to double check that the tiles were completely dry. This was important as any excess moisture has the potential to damage the performance of the sealer.

To seal the floor I used a combination of Tile Doctor Colour Grow (one coat) and Seal & Go (six coats). This provided a robust surface seal and also accentuated the natural shades in the Quarry tiles.

Quarry Tiles After Restoration in Langford Quarry Tiles After Restoration in Langford

As you can see from the photographs, although not perfect due to its history, this was quite a transformation and I was happy to bring yet another old floor full of character back into daily use; original features are also very popular these days so I’m sure this has added a lot of value to the property.
 
 

Old Butchers Shop Quarry Tiles Restored in Bedfordshire