Victorian Tile Cleaning

Victorian Tiled Hallway Deep Cleaned in Leighton Buzzard

A homeowner in the Leighton Buzzard was having some renovation work done to their property and during the course of the work discovered an original Victorian tiled floor underneath the hallway carpet. The town dates all the way back to the 12th century so period features like this are quite common.

Keen to have the floor restored the owner got in touch to ask if I could survey the floor and quote for restoring it, so my colleague Phillip popped round to see what needed to be done. Surprisingly the tiles were generally in quite good condition for their age with just a few cracks and chips here and there. There were some missing tiles that needed replacing but I was able to help them source replacements which were fitted before the cleaning work commenced.

Victorian Tiled Floor Leighton Buzzard Before Cleaning Victorian Tiled Floor Leighton Buzzard Before Cleaning

Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

I started the cleaning process by giving the tiles a deep machine clean with Pro-Clean which is a strong tile and grout cleaning product produced by Tile Doctor. A strong dilution was left to soak into the tiles before scrubbed in with a tile brush fitted to a rotary machine. This action lifted the surface soil and bits of plaster and paint which was then rinsed off and extracted using a wet vacuum.

With the soil and cleaning solution removed I then carried out a full inspection of the tiles in their natural state to see what other work would be required. As there was no apparent sealer present, I decided that the next step in the cleaning process would be to use a coarse 200 grit burnishing pad to clean and resurface the tiles, this was followed by a second rinse and wet vacuum. I then went around on hands and knees using Tile Doctor 100 grit diamond hand blocks to remove stubborn staining around the edges close to the newly painted skirting boards.

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

The floor was allowed to fully dry for 2 days before I returned to apply Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealant which is an impregnating sealer that improves colour and is fully breathable, so it allows any damp from the sub floor to dissipate. Choosing a breathable sealer is important for these old floors which have no damp proof course and Colour Grow is normally my sealer of choice for Victorian floor tiles.

However Colour Grow dries to a matt finish and on this occasion the customer felt the finish still looked quite dull, although she was very happy with the results of the cleaning she asked if there was anything else I could do to brighten the finish, it was agreed that I would return a week later to carry out a damp test and if the results of this were favourable I would go ahead and apply several coats and apply Tile Doctor Seal & Go topical sealant which is water based and dries to a silk finish.

When I returned moisture, readings were taken which were acceptable, so as agreed I applied several coats of Seal and Go to give the tiles the desired appearance. With the work completed the customer was happy with the final results and even left the following feedback via the Tile Doctor feedback system.

Phillip arrived on time, worked very hard to prepare the floor- about 6 hours. Returned after floor was properly dry- 2 days. Applied a mat finish – 2-3 coats. I was disappointed with this finish, the floor which looked very flat and washed out. Each floor has its own characteristic and absorbs the products used differently. Phillip didn’t disagree, so applied two coats of a glossy finish which has brought out the beautiful colours of my Victorian floor. All of this was done without a quibble. Happy with the finish now. My advice is to discuss fully the finish you require and get a patch test done before so everyone is clear about the job in hand. Would use again. Ms. A Binger , Leighton Buzzard

Victorian Tiled Floor Leighton Buzzard After Cleaning Victorian Tiled Floor Leighton Buzzard After Cleaning

 

Professional Restoration of Victorian Tiled Hallway in Bedfordshire

Victorian Tiled Hallway Deep Cleaned at The Embankment in Bedford

The following photos show a lovely traditional Victorian hallway floor in a period property close to the Great Ouse river in the city of Bedford, a city with a rich history that dates back to medieval times.

The floor was in very good physical condition for its age but was very dirty due to not being sealed for many years allowing a build-up of soil to embed in the surface of the tiles. When this happens, we find general cleaning is no longer effective at thoroughly removing all the dirt and the result is a dull tiled floor that never looks its best.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning The Embankment Bedford
To restore the tiles to their former glory the floor would need to be stripped back, deep cleaned and then resealed.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning The Embankment Bedford

Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

My first course of action was to vacuum the floor to remove light dust and debris, this was then followed by applying a Tile Doctor Pro-Clean diluted with warm water. Pro-Clean is a strong alkaline tile and grout cleaning product that is safe to use on all types of tile and stone. The solution was decanted into a spray bottle and then sprayed onto the tiles working in sections of several metres at a time.

The Pro-Clean was left to soak into the tile and grout for about ten minutes before being agitated with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The soiled solution was then rinsed off with water and extracted from the floor with a wet vax. The process was then repeated through the entire area.

Once the whole floor was treated in this manner I then switched to a new cleaning process for Victorian tiles that is now being taught at Tile Doctor. The process resurfaces the tile by applying a special diamond impregnated pad fitted to a rotary machine and lubricated with water. The pad is worked over the tiles in sections as before rinsing each section with water after the application of the pad. Once the last section was treated in this manner and rinsed I moved onto the last step in the cleaning process by giving the floor an acid wash which helps neutralise the tile and helps to combat salts rising through the stone.

To do this I applied Tile Doctor Acid Gel to the entire area, leaving it to dwell for a short period before rinsing off with water, extracting again with the wet vax and then leaving the floor to dry off overnight.

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

I returned the following day to carry out minor repairs to small chips in the tile and also to replace missing and loose grout. This needed to set before I could seal the floor so once complete I left for the day which had the added benefit of allowing the floor to dry for another day. I also left a dehumidifier running on site to assist with the drying process.

On the third day, I returned to seal the floor with three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is a matt finish impregnating sealer that occupies the pores in the tile protecting it from within. Colour Grow also has other advantages, it enhances the colours in the tile and it’s a breathable sealer which will allow any dampness in the subfloor to evaporate which is important for older floors that have no damp proof course.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning The Embankment Bedford
I also left the client a free sample of our cleaning solution Tile Doctor Neutral Clean which is recommended for the regular cleaning of sealed tiles. I also left them with written maintenance instructions which will help them to keep their floor looking at it’s best for years to come.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning The Embankment Bedford
 

Professional Restoration of an Victorian Tiled Hallway in Bedfordshire

Old Victorian Tiled Floor Brought Back to Life in Bedford

This customer from Bedford, the county town of one of England’s smallest counties Bedfordshire, called me out because they have bought a house and, upon lifting the glued down carpet, had discovered a beautiful Victorian tiled floor. They decided to call me in to see if this original feature could be restored to its former glory having already tried household products to remove the glue and clean the tiles with limited success.

We often find customers who discover old tiles under carpet or linoleum struggle with the standard cleaning products available in supermarket which are only designed for everyday cleaning. The products Tile Doctor sells are far stronger; naturally however to achieve the best results it also helps if you have the right equipment, knowledge and experience and that where we come in.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Bedford
I popped round to take a look at the floor and having tackled quite a few of these restorations before was confident we could restore the floor so a quote was given and the work was booked in for the next week.

Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

My first course of action was to vacuum the floor to remove any loose debris. This gave me a better picture of the condition of the floor overall, and so I could assess how best to proceed. I opted for our tried and trusted method of applying a diluted solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a very reliable high alkaline cleaner suitable for all types of natural stone and tile. The solution was applied with a pump-up sprayer and left to dwell for 20 minutes to seep into the pores of the tile.

Victorian Tiled Floor During Cleaning Bedford
Next, I worked the solution into the tiles using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine and hand brushes. The resulting cleaning slurry was then rinsed off – and I found that this had removed most of the glue and surface dirt. There were a few stubborn deposits of glue remaining, but I was able to remove them by using hand brushes and scrapers in combination with Tile Doctor Remove and Go, which is as its name suggest can remove most things including old sealers, epoxy grout haze, urethane coatings, synthetic finishes, adhesives and event paint.

Even after this there were still some patches of glue, so I decided to spray the whole floor with Remove and Go and worked it into the stubborn areas with brushes. I left it to dwell for 15 minutes and then rinsed the floor with a wet pick-up extraction machine. This did the job and the floor was left fresh and clean, ready to be sealed once it had dried.

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

The floor was left to dry for several days, which is typically necessary for old tiled floors that don’t have a damp proof membrane installed. The customer wanted the floor to look traditional and therefore requested a matt finish. This was achieved by applying two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is also breathable thereby allowing any damp to evaporate as gases through the sealer, without affecting the finish.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning Bedford
As I previously mentioned, floors of this age can sometimes have damp issues, so this sealer is ideal for these older floors. Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer, meaning it penetrates the pores of the stone to fill them and prevent trapped dirt. It also intensifies the colours in the tiles to really bring them to life.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning Bedford
The customer was shocked and amazed by the great results as she thought nothing could be done to restore such an old floor. Before leaving the property, I gave her some maintenance instructions to help her keep the floor looking its best in the future. Another satisfied customer!

Professional Restoration of an Old Victorian Tiled Floor in Bedfordshire

Colourful Original Victorian Tiled Hallway Restored to New in Bedford

When you discover an old Victorian tiled floor underneath carpet, the first question that will probably pop into your mind is: can it be restored?

The answer, in the majority of cases, is yes. In fact, Tile Doctor has completed hundreds of Victorian tiled floor restorations. Victorian tiles have a timeless quality about them and are still popular for residential use even in the twenty first century.

What you can usually expect upon lifting your carpet is for the tiles to be covered in carpet adhesives and grippers, as was the case with this particular example of a Victorian Tiles hallway floor at a property in Bedford. Sometimes you might also find paint splashes or other staining left over from decoration work. And, of course, the tiles will be dirty and in much need of a deep clean. These issues spoil the original appearance of the tiles, but with the right methods and products, a complete restoration can be achieved quickly and cost-effectively.

Victorian tiled floor Before Cleaning Bedford
My first task upon arriving at the proper was to carry out a site survey to address the condition of the tiles, before running a quick test clean on a small area of the floor. The result was good and so I was confident that I could achieve a high-quality restoration for the client.

Victorian tiled floor Before Cleaning Bedford

Cleaning Original Victorian Tiles

A quote was issued and accepted, and the work was booked in at a date that was convenient for the customer.

Returning to the property, my first course of action was to mix a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean, which is a powerful alkaline cleaner safe to use on natural stone, with hot water. This cleaning solution was sprayed along all edges of the floor loosen the glue securing the carpet grippers. I then successfully removed the adhesive carefully using handheld tools to avoid damaging any tiles.

Victorian tiled floor Before Cleaning Bedford
Once this was done, I applied Tile Doctor Remove and Go, scrubbing it into the tiles with a rotary machine. This product is designed to remove heavy soiling, paint splashes and old waxes and sealers. The soiled solution was then extracted using a wet vacuum and stubborn areas re-treated until I was satisfied the floor was clean.

The entire floor was then given a thorough rinse with water to remove any trace of cleaning products and extracted using a wet vax machine.

Sealing Original Victorian Tiles

The floor was allowed to dry for several days before I was able to return to seal the tiles. It’s always important to leave significant time for the floor to dry because any moisture left over can impact the performance of the sealer.

The choice of sealer was Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra, which provides robust protection against dirt and stains, with a light sheen finish. I chose this sealer not only because the customer wanted a light sheen finish, but also because this particular sealer is fully breathable. Dampness can sometimes be an issue with old Victorian and Quarry tiles which were installed before damp proof membranes became standard.

Victorian tiled floor After Cleaning Bedford Victorian tiled floor After Cleaning Bedford

The transformation achieved within the space of a week was quite incredible and the colours in the tile have really come through.
Another satisfied customer!

Victorian tiled floor After Cleaning Bedford
 

Professional Restoration of an Original Victorian Tiled Floor in Bedfordshire

Victorian Brick floor tile restoration in Colmworth

The photographs below are from a Victorian brick floor in the kitchen and conservatory of a busy farm house in the old village of Colmworth. Any sealer that had been applied to the floor in the past had long since worn off and without a barrier in place dirt had become ingrained into the pores of the brick making it appear worn, dirty and very difficult to clean.

Victorian Brick Floor Tiles-Before Restoration in Colmworth
Victorian Brick Floor Tiles-Before Restoration in Colmworth

Deep Cleaning Victorian Brick Tiles

To get the kitchen floor clean I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to the floor and then left it to soak in for around twenty minutes; this long dwell times allows the product to get to work on the dirt. I then agitated the floor with a black stripping pad fitted to a rotary machine rinsing the floor with water afterwards which was extracted with a wet vacuum and then repeating the process where necessary.

Once cleaned and rinsed thoroughly the floor was left to dry and I moved onto the next job tackling the conservatory floor in a new extension where the tiles had been chosen to match the kitchen.

There were signs of efflorescence on some of the brick tiles along with concrete residue which I was able to remove using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which is an acid, and once it had done its job the conservatory tiles were given a thorough rinse to remove any trace and given a quick clean using a weak dilution of Pro-Clean.

Sealing Victorian Brick Tiles

After leaving the floor to dry for several days we returned and sealed the floor with several coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go until the floor was fully sealed and the desired finish has been achieved.

Victorian Brick Floor Tiles-After Restoration in Colmworth
Victorian Brick Floor Tiles-After Restoration in Colmworth

Restoring the Appearance of Victorian Brick Tiles in a Bedforshire Farm House

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

Victorian Tiled Hallway Restored in Bedford

Recently I was contacted by a man in the town of Bedford who was worried that he had damaged his Victorian tiled hallway as a result of dragging a piano across the floor. I went round to the property to get a better look at the problem and, on closer inspection, realised that the tiles were actually fine; however, the piano had torn through the old surface seal.

The 150-year old tiles, dating back – as the name suggests – to the reign of Queen Victoria, had been poorly sealed and additionally had not been maintained correctly with the appropriate cleaning products. I was commissioned to remove the old sealer, clean and re-seal in order to restore this fantastic floor to its former glory.

Victorian Tiles before Cleaning in Bedford

Method for cleaning Victorian tiles

My first task was to mix a solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and water, which was then spread across the floor. Pro-Clean is a high alkaline cleaner which also contains stripping properties and this helped to break down the old, damaged sealer. The solution was left to dwell for approximately 20 minutes, giving it time to seep into the stone to get underneath, and lift out, any ingrained dirt. Pro-Clean was worked into the tiles using a heavy low speed rotary machine fitted with a black pad.

Once cleaned and stripped, we rinsed the floor using plain, clean water to neutralise the high alkaline Pro-Clean and the removed the resulting slurry using a wet-vac machine.

At this point I noticed that the white/magnolia tiles were particularly well worn and still very dirty and in need of further cleaning. Around this time Tile Doctor had also been discussing the successful use of Burnishing Pads (normally used on polished stone) on Victorian Tiles so I hand burnished the most stained tiles with a small 6 inch diamond encrusted burnishing pad with a little water to help lubricate the process. Following this, I rinsed the entire floor once again.

Method for sealing Victorian tiles

After leaving the floor to dry for four days, I returned to the house to seal the tiles opting to apply a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow impregnating sealer first followed up with four coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go. This combination of sealers provides a durable internal and surface stain protection whilst lifting the colours and adding a nice subtle sheen finish.

Victorian Tiles after Cleaning in Bedford
Once dried and cured, the floor was buffed using micro-fibre clothes to further enhance the appearance of the tiles further. My client was very pleased with the results, and couldn’t believe it was possible to get a floor that was so old appear brand new! The floor will dull with wear so I advised my client on the benefits of a regular maintenance plan going forward to ensure this great flooring feature remains in top condition.

Professional tile cleaning and sealing for Victorian tiled hallway restoration in Bedford

Red and Black Victorian Tiled Floor Restored in Sharnbrook

We were asked to restore a beautiful Victorian tiled floor at a house in the small village of Sharnbrook, Bedfordshire. The floor had been badly treated for many years until new occupiers decided to restore it.

The area comprised of a Pantry, Loo, Lobby, Dining room, Kitchen and Conservatory, we had several problems to deal with including some tiles that were loose, some had cement on them and the dining room floor had the remnants of a coir rug stuck to the surface.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Restoration in Sharnbrook

Cleaning Old Quarry Tiles

Having moved all the furniture we started from the far end pre-treating the coir matted dining room tiles by soaking them in a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean; leaving them to soak in this way would soften up the matting and enabled us to remove the debris more easily with a scrapper by the time we got to the dining room.

We then started on the rest of the floor again using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was left to dwell on the tile for ten minutes before being worked in using a scrubbing pad until any remaining old sealer was stripped off the tile the tiles were clean.

For the tiles which were covered in cement we treated them with an acid rinse using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up, being an acid you have to take care and wear appropriate personal protection and not to leave the acid on the tile for too long. It was satisfying however to watch the cement fizz away to reveal the beautiful tile below.

Once everything was stripped and the floor clean we gave the tiles a thorough rinse and extracted as much water from the floor as possible before installing a number of and air movers to speed up the drying process.

Whilst the floor was drying our attention moved onto the replacement of the lose tiles and re-adhering them to the floor. This was a straight forward job using tile adhesive and matching grout and we then left to allow the floor to dry out thoroughly.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Deep Cleaning in Sharnbrook

Sealing Quarry Tiles

We returned seven days later and took more damp readings, these all read ok so we proceeded to seal the floor. First we used a coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer the gets into the pores of the tile protecting it from within and also enhancing the colours in the tile in the process; this was then followed with four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go to leave a high shine finish as requested by the client.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Restoration in Sharnbrook
 

Restoring and repairing old Victorian Quarry Tiles in Bedfordshire

Leighton Buzzard Victorian Hall Tile Clean and Restore

We were asked to restore a beautiful geometric Victorian tiled floor. The property had been used as a letting house and the floor had been used and abused for many years, just given an occasional mop over from time to time.

Victorian Tile Before Cleaning Leighton Buzzard Victorian Tile Before Cleaning Leighton Buzzard

The new owners wanted to revive the colours and deal with the neglect. Step one was to put down the tile doctor pro clean alkaline cleaning solution and to let it dwell for a period of around twenty minutes.

We gave the solution plenty of dwell time before setting up our low speed rotary machine, underneath it we used a black pad to agitate and help loosen the ingrained dirt.

Once completed we set up our powerful rinsing tool which is attached to a machine fixed into our van, by doing this we do not need to dispose of any dirty water on your property but instead we take it away with us and dispose of it in the proper manner in an appropriate disposal point.

After rinsing the floor came up very well but we still felt it could be better, we used a steamer coupled with HBU Nanotech and a scraper to remove various deposits of paint and other sticky residue which had set over time.

After thoroughly rinsing the floor again we left the floor to dry for 4 days, Victorian tiles along with other earth based tiles are very absorbent and need to dry thoroughly and fully.

Victorian Tile After Cleaning and sealing Leighton Buzzard Victorian Tile After Cleaning and sealing Leighton Buzzard

On our return we tested for damp ensuring the floor was dry enough to seal.

To seal the floor we used two coats of colour grow impregnating sealer, once the sealer had dried we then began sealing the floor using seal and go.

After applying several thin coats of seal and go, the floor reached the desired appearance.

A combination of Pro clean, hbu nanotech, colour grow and seal and go with a little bit of care from your local tile doctor restored this old uncared for floor back to the prime of its life.

Refreshing a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Leighton Buzzard

Victorian Quarry Tiled Floor Refreshed in Bedford

This was a very straightforward request to clean and seal an old Quarry tiled floor that dated back to the Victorian era. The tiles didn’t appear to have any sealer or other treatment applied, it could be if there was anything it had worn off a long time before.

Cleaning Old Quarry Tiles

A strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean was applied to the floor and left to soak into the tile for around twenty minutes before being worked into the floor using a rotary floor scrubber fitted with a black pad. Pro-Clean is a strong alkaline product so unlike acid based cleaners it’s safe to use on any tile and stone which given the age of these tiles was quite an important consideration.

Pro-Clean was also used along the grout lines which were scrubbed by hand using a stiff brush. The floor was then rinsed with clean water which was removed using a wet vacuum and the whole process repeated until we were happy that the tile and grout was clean.

This process took most of the day and before we left the floor was given a thorough rinse with clean water to remove any trace of Pro-Clean as this can upset sealing later on.

Victorian Quarry Tiles Bedford before cleaning Victorian Quarry Tiles Bedford after cleaning and sealing

Sealing Quarry Tiles

The floor was left to dry overnight and when we came back the next day we were able to start the sealing process. For sealing a combination of sealers was used starting with a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow; Colour Grow is a impregnating sealer that fills the pores in the tile in order to repel any contaminates that can stain the floor, it also as its name suggests brings out the colour in the tile. Once this had dried a coat of Tile Doctor Seal and Go was applied which is a topical sealer that adds a nice sheen to the floor. This proved to be a great combination and the quarry tiles looked really nice when they were finished in fact the customer was so surprised by the result we had managed to achieve.

Cleaning old Victorian Quarry Tiles in Bedford

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