The client had lifted the old floor in the hallway of their property in Glasgow’s West End and discovered original Victorian tiles underneath. The Victorian tiles had however suffered over the years and parts of the floor had been destroyed during the installation of new heating and electrics some years prior. Following the installation, the damage had just been back filled with cement to provide a level surface and then covered.
I visited the property to survey the hallway tiles and work out a plan for restoring them. The cement would need removing, and new replacement tiles would be required. Fortunately, these tiles are still popular today and there are several specialist suppliers in the UK where I can find a good match. The floor would then need deep cleaning and sealing to complete the restoration. I provided the clients with a price for the work, they were happy to accept my quote and we arranged a convenient time to return and carry the work out.
Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor in Glasow
The first job was to carefully knock out the cement backfill using a breaker and hammer/chisel for the more delicate bits to ensure not to damage the cables and pipes underneath. The rubble was removed, and the areas backfilled with a self-levelling compound at a height to provide a new base to lay the replacement tiles.
Once the self-levelling compound had set the replacement tiles were laid which were about 250 in number combined with a mixture of spare original tiles the client had found in a box.
Deep Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor in Glasgow
The full floor was then cleaned several times using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go worked in with 100 grit and 200 grit milling pads fitted to a rotary buffer. Handheld diamond burnishing blocks were also used along the edges and harder to clean areas that are a struggle to reach with the buffer. The floor was then rinsed with water and the soil removed with a wet vacuum.
The next step was to give the floor an acid rinse using a dilution of another Tile Doctor product called Grout Clean Up. Old Victorian floors tend to suffer from efflorescence issues which is where alkaline salts from the foundation are deposited on the surface. Modern floors have a damp proof membrane to prevent this however washing the floor with an acid-based product neutralises the alkaline salts and resolves the problem.
Afterwards we regrouted the full floor in order to help stabilise the other tiles which weren’t replaced or fixed by us and also fill any gaps etc.
Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor in Glasgow
The floor was left to dry for a week before returning and returning to apply a sealer. A lot of water was used in the cleaning process and the floor needs to be dry before applying a sealer. Sealing a damp floor will give you inconsistent results so it’s worth the wait.
To seal this floor a chouse Tile Doctor Colour Grow which ticks a lot of boxes for an old floor like this one. First, it’s a matt finish sealer which matches the requirements of the owner; second it contains a colour enhancer that improves colour and third it’s fully breathable so moisture can rise though the tiles and evaporate at the surface. Allowing a floor to breath as otherwise the moisture can build up under the floor and eventually reach out to the walls where it can result in rising damp.
Three coats of Colour Grow were applied, allowing each coat to dry before applying the next. This sealer works by soaking into the pores of the tile, occupying the space, and thereby preventing dirt from becoming ingrained there. This makes the floor much easier to clean and adds durable protection which will last for years to come.
As you can see from the photos the Victorian tiled hallway as restored back to its original condition and my client was over the moon. Finally, I like to recommend the use of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner to keep the floor looking in great condition, its pH neutral so will not damage the newly applied seal.