victorian tiles

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

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

Scroll to top