We often see Victorian tiled floors, like this Minton tile example in Bedford, where they have become damaged or broken due to years of neglect or simply because pipes were laid for central heating. Owners of floors like this often have them covered up with carpet until a new owner reveals what was under the carpet and decides they would like the original feature back. The owner of this property had made exactly that decision and contacted Tile Doctor to find out what could be done to resolve their Victorian tiled hallway floor.
I paid a visit to the property to survey the floor and immediately saw there were two sections of tiling that had been dug out during the installation of radiator pipework. The sections were then backfilled with cement ruining the look of the floor.
The client required the original look back again to enhance the original features of the property.
Having restored numerous period floors previously I was confident all these problems could be resolved and the floor renovated to a high standard.
Repairing and Cleaning a Victorian Minton Tiled Floor
Before cleaning the floor the cemented sections needed to be dealt with starting by carefully chipping out the cement that had been used to provide a level surface for the carpet. The rubble was raked out and a new bed laid with self-levelling cement. Since my initial visit I was able to track down matching replacement tiles and these were then used to rebuild the missing sections of flooring.
Once the repairs had set the cleaning process could begin starting with the application Tile Doctor Remove and Go worked in with a coarse 200-grit diamond pad. Remove and Go is a powerful tile cleaning product that as the name suggests will remove all sorts of coatings such as sealers. Small hand-held Diamond blocks were used for cleaning up the corners and edges where the pads struggle to reach. This action pulls the dirt out from the pores of the tile to the surface where it is then rinsed away with water and extracted using a wet vacuum.
The final clean involves giving the floor an acid rinse for which I use Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up. This final step removes old grout smears, efflorescent salts and counters the use of alkaline cleaning products such as Remove and Go leaving the floor with a neutral ph. Lastly it etches the tile slightly resulting in a stronger bond with the sealer, improved finish, and better performance. After another rinse and extract the floor was then dried to a sufficient level using floor fans and I returned two days later to seal the floor.
Sealing a Victorian Minton Tiled Floor
After checking the floor was dry with a damp meter, I set about applying a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that soaks into the pores of the tile improving colour and adding protection from within. Once dry it was followed up with several coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which provided the subtle sheen finish my client wanted.
As usual before leaving we like to advise the customer on how to maintain the tiles using a compatible cleaning product such as Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner. This aftercare product has a neutral ph. which won’t impact the sealer like many of the standard bleach-based products you find in supermarkets.