Victorian Tiled Vestibule Rebuilt and Restored in Glasgow West End

Vestibules (aka entranceways) are not that commonly found in new build houses, but they certainly were a popular architectural feature back in the Victorian period. Many of the Victorian properties which are still in use today still contain their original geometric patterned encaustic cement tiles. These tiles can be very beautiful and colourful – that is if they’re kept looking that way with routine cleaning and maintenance.

I recently visited a Victorian property in Glasgow’s West End to carry out the restoration of one of these tiled floor vestibules. This Victorian tiled vestibule was in truly awful condition. Not only were the tiles caked in years’ worth of muck and paint stains – some of the tiles were completely missing or, at the very least, loose and damaged.

Small Victorian Vestibule Before Restoration

I could see that restoring these tiles back to their peak condition would require several days of work however the owner has keen to get the work done so we set a date for my return to complete the work.

Cleaning and Rebuilding Damaged Victorian Entranceway Tiles

On the first day of work, our priority was to undertake a much needed deep clean of the tiles. This was done using Tile Doctor Pro Clean combined with Tile Doctor Remove and Go. Pro Clean is an alkaline-based cleaner specialised for heavy soil removal, while Remove and Go is formulated to strip away any old sealers, as well as the paint splashes that were very prominent on these tiles.

Small Victorian Vestibule During Restoration

Th combined cleaning solution was left to dwell for a short period of time on the surface of the floor before being scrubbed into the tiles to cut through the thick muck. A steaming machine was used to ensure the products penetrated deep into the pores of the stone to extract ingrained dirt.

During the cleaning process, we could identify which tiles were loose, damaged and missing. These tiles were carefully removed and put to one side. Once the clean was completed the tiles were left to dry off overnight.

The next the floor had dried, and we started to rebuild the floor. This involved installing and grouting new tiles that we had previously sourced for the job to match as closely possible with the original pattern of the floor.

Next, the newly installed tiles were left to set, before we gave the floor an acid rinse using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up. This product removed any grout haze from the tiles and will neutralise any efflorescence salts that may rise up through the tiles as they dry. This issue can be quite a problem with older properties which don’t have a damp proof course installed.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Vestibule

Once again, we left the floor to dry out completely overnight, this is especially important when applying a sealer to a tile as sealing damp tiles will lead to issues. We recommend the use of a damp meter at this point to ensure the tiles are indeed dry before sealing.

To seal the floor, we used three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is ideal for these uniquely patterned Victorian tiles as it intensifies the different colours in the stone, while also offering a natural-look matte finish. Of course, the sealer will also provide the tiles with lasting protection again dirt and muck and is also breathable so any damp rising up through from the sub floor will be able to evaporate.

Photos really do speak louder than words in this case, as the restoration achieve some fantastic results. Take a look at the photo below – I’m sure you’ll agree the difference is incredible. Certainly, our very happy customer seemed to think so!

Small Victorian Vestibule After Restoration

 
 

Professional Restoration of a Small Victorian Tiled Vestibule in Glasgow

Terrazzo Tiled Vestibule Cleaned and Polished in Glasgow

This Terrazzo tiled vestibule in Glasgow was completely dull and lacking colour when we arrived, this area probably see’s the most foot traffic in the house so it must of seen a fair amount of wear and abuse over the years.

Terrazzo tiled vestibule in Glasgow before cleaning

Cleaning Terrazzo Tiles

Terrazzo is a very hard surface and needs to be burnished in the same way as you would treat Marble or Travertine, before we could do that thought we needed to remove any loose debris etc. that could scratch the surface during the burnishing process to the first job was to sweep out the area with a brush and vacuum up any loose debris etc.

It was a very tight area so use of our large Bonnet machine was ruled out and we opted instead for a small handheld rotary machine fitted with the diamond encrusted burnishing pads. The burnishing pads come in a set of four and you start with a coarse pad with a little water and work your way through the set moving from a the coarse pads through to the less abrasive pads; this process polishes the stone more and more until you get a smooth finish. After each pad was used the area was thoroughly rinsed with clean water to remove any excess polish before moving onto the next, once we had gone through all four pads the floor was left clean ,smooth, and shiny.

Sealing Terrazzo Tile

Once the burnishing process was completed we proceeded to seal the stone with two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing sealer designed to protect the stone whilst lifting the natural colours.

Terrazzo tiled vestibule in Glasgow after cleaning

Although quite intensive due to the space restriction it was quite a small area so it took just less than a day to complete.
 
 

Terrazzo Tiled Vestibule restored in Glasgow