Victorian Tile Cleaning

Badly Damaged Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Fully Restored in Glasgow West End

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.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Before Restoration Glasgow West End

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.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Before Restoration Glasgow West End

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.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor During Restoration Glasgow West End Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor During Restoration Glasgow West End

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.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Restoration Glasgow West End Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Restoration Glasgow West End

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.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Restoration Glasgow West End

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Glasgow

Original Victorian Tiled Hallway Repaired and Restored in Glasgow’s West End

We recently carried out renovation work to a Victorian Tiled Hallway floor at a period property in Glasgow’s West End. I went over to the property first to survey the floor and see its condition before quoting for the job. The floor was in quite a state and had pretty much collapsed around the door threshold. I suspect this was due to an old settlement issue.

Having put up with the condition of the floor for some time the owner had decided it was time to have something done about it. As well as a deep clean repair work would need to be done first; this would involve sourcing some replacement tiles which is not usually a problem as there are various suppliers I have sourced similar tiles from in the past.

Confident of achieving a good result for the customer I worked out a quote for the restoration, which was accepted, and a date arranged to complete the work which would take three days.

Victorian Floor During Restoration Glasgows West End

Cleaning and Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The first task was to remove the damaged subfloor around the door, carefully removing the old Victorian tiles for reuse however most were cracked and broken. What was left of the old subfloor was then removed and backfilled with a quick drying cement screed to a level ready for tiling.

Victorian Floor During Restoration Glasgows West End

I had managed to rescue a few of the old Victorian tiles however there would not be enough to complete the floor however I was able to find matching replacements that would blend in nicely with the original pattern. The replacements were fixed into place with a flexible adhesive in case there was any further movement in the floor.

Victorian Floor During Restoration Glasgows West End Victorian Floor During Restoration Glasgows West End

There were several other areas that needed attention and were fixed down, the whole section was then re-grouted and left to set for a few days.

On our return the floor was deep cleaned using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which was scrubbed in with a 200-grit diamond pad fitted to a rotary floor buffer. The floor was then rinsed with water and the soil extracted with a wet vacuum. I repeated the process in a couple of areas that were particularly stubborn with ingrained dirt. The floor was left to dry out overnight.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I returned the following day to complete the restoration starting by checking the moisture level in the floor with a damp meter. Floors of this age don’t have a damp proof membrane to prevent moisture rising through the sub floor so can take longer to dry out. Also, for best results sealers need to be applied to a dry tile so I always like to check first.

The readings were within tolerance, so I began sealing the floor with the first of two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This sealer was chosen as it’s a fully breathable impregnating sealer which is very hardwearing, perfect for high traffic areas such as hallways. It also enhances the natural colour of the floor without making it too shiny. The breathable nature of the sealant will ensure it copes well with moisture rising through the tiles and its colour enhancement properties really helped blend the old tiles in with the new.

Victorian Floor After Restoration Glasgows West End Victorian Floor After Restoration Glasgows West End

The repair, deep clean and fresh seal transformed the Victorian Tiled floor which given its age exceeded the expectations of my customer who was very happy. For maintenance cleaning I suggested Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which is a gentle tile cleaning product designed for use with sealed floors. I always recommend this product as many tile cleaners are very strong and you can end up stripping the sealer off if you’re not careful.

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Glasgow

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Fully Restored in Newton Mearns, Glasgow

This old classic Victorian tiled hallway at a property in Newton Mearns, south of Glasgow, had seen a lot of wear over the years leading to a general degradation. Some of the major problems including loose and broken tiles and one area in particular under a radiator was so bad a previous owner had back filled it with cement instead of having it repaired.

I suspect the house had been reconfigured and central heating added at some point in its history, and this will have been when the damage was done. The current owner was aware of the value that original features can have on a property so decided it was time to have the whole floor restored.

Having worked on numerous Victorian floor restorations previously I knew the floor could be put back to its original condition if not better, so I was more than happy to take on work. Having visited the property and provided a quotation for the work I’m please to say we were intrusted to go ahead with the restoration.

Repairing and Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

On day one the work started by carefully lifting, grinding and fixing back down the original tiles, this included repairing areas that had been back filled with concrete using originals recovered from another part of the floor that was no longer required.

Victorian Hallway Floor During Restoration Newton Mearns Victorian Hallway Floor During Restoration Newton Mearns

Once the adhesive had set the tiles were grouted and the floor left for a few days.

On our return the floor was given a deep clean using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go worked in with 100 and 200 grit diamond pads fitted to a rotary floor buffer. The soil generated was rinsed off and extracted using a wet vacuum. This process removes any old sealants and deep-seated dirt from the old tiles. This process was repeated, and some tiles needed to be spot treated by hand before they met the high standard I was looking to achieve.

The next step was to improve the tiles further by giving the floor an Acid Rinse using Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up. This final part of the cleaning process further cleans up the tiles by removing surface grout that can detract from the appearance of the tile and mineral salts. This is a common issue with floors of this age which don’t have a damp proof membrane installed under the floor and can lead to white salt deposits appearing as the tile dries out, a process called Efflorescence.

Victorian Hallway Floor After Restoration Newton Mearns

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The floor was then left for a week so it could fully dry out before returning to seal the tiles. Its important that the tiles are dry before sealing otherwise you risk a patchy appearance. Due to the fact this floor had no damp proof membrane I chose to use Tile Doctor Colour Grow which being fully a breathable will could cope with any moisture rising through the floor. Three to four coats of Colour Grow were applied which as its name suggests also intensifies the colours in the tile as well as adding the high level of protection that a busy hallway floor needs.

Victorian Hallway Floor After Restoration Newton Mearns

Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer that penetrates into the tile occupying its tiny pores and thereby preventing dirt from becoming ingrained. You can always tell the sealer is working as it will repel liquids which will then form beads on the surface of the tile.

Victorian Hallway Floor After Restoration Newton Mearns

The floor looked amazing once finished and lifted the appeal of the whole property. The client was very satisfied with the work we had carried out and before leaving I made a point to recommend the use of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner to keep the floor looking in tip top condition. This product is pH neutral and will ensure that the newly applied seal is not compromised which is a problem when using stronger off the shelf cleaning products.

Victorian Hallway Floor After Restoration Newton Mearns

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Glasgow

Carpet Covered Victorian Hallway Tiles Restored in Glasgow West End

I thought you might be interested in these pictures of a tile restoration that we carried out in the hallway of a victorian property in the West End of Glasgow. Glasgow is actually the most populated city in Scotland and the third biggest by population in the whole of the UK so naturally a busy location for us.

The floor had been previously covered in carpet and as a result was stained with adhesive and paint splashes. We popped in to do a site visit, so we could survey the floor and see for ourselves the condition of the floor. Although not in great shape, I was happy that the overall floor was in good physical condition and could be restored with the help the products and methods.

Victorian Hallway Floor Before Cleaning Glasgow West End

I discussed with the client the process involved and the costs to put it right. They were happy to accept my quote and we booked the job in for later in the month. The job would take two days to complete, one day to clean and a further day to seal the floor.

Victorian Hallway Floor Before Cleaning Glasgow West End

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The first job was to clear the floor of the wooden carpet gripper by carefully chipping it off the floor. This took a bit of time and we had to be careful not to damage the floor further.

Next, we started on deep cleaning the floor by applying Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel. This is a strong alkaline based cleaner and degreaser in gel form, its great for when a long dwell time is required to break down dirt, grime, acrylic sealers, stains and oil-based products and waxes.

We left the Oxy-Gel to dwell for twenty to thirty minutes to ensure it got to work on breaking down the layers. It was then worked into the tile using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine with the slurry rinsed off the floor and extracted with a wet vacuum. This process was carried out a few times to get the floor as clean as possible could before we gave a final scrub and rinse with Tile Doctor Acid Gel to combat any efflorescence issues that can occur on these old floors that do not have a damp proof membrane.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I returned the following day to seal the floor checking first that it had dried using a damp meter. Once I was satisfied, four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra were applied to the tiles to give the sheen finish asked for by the client. This process takes longer that you might think as you have to wait for the first coat to dry before applying the next and naturally this can vary depending on the conditions.

I chose Seal and Go Extra as these Victorian properties were built before the invention of damp-proof membranes so you need to use a fully breathable sealer that will allow dampness to rise through the tile and evaporate. Use of a non-breathable sealer can lead to damp becoming trapped under the floor which can spread into the walls leading to rising damp. The sealer will protect the tiles and make it much easier to clean going forward, additionally it enhances the appearance of the tile leaving a sheen finish which allows the vivid colours to shine through.

Victorian Hallway Floor After Sealing Glasgow West End

The client was very happy with the floor and quite amazed with the before and after shots, they had not expected the results to be as good. They would now be able to easily keep the floor clean and looking good for any visitors.

Victorian Hallway Floor After Cleaning Glasgow West End

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Glasgow

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

Victorian Mosaic Hallway Tiles Cleaned and Sealed in Glasgow

These unusual period Victorian mosaic tiled floor at a residence in the west end of Glasgow were far from looking their best and well overdue for a deep clean and re-seal.

Victorian Mosaic tiles glasgow before cleaning Victorian Mosaic tiles glasgow before cleaning

Cleaning a Victorian Floor

I’ll try and keep the details short so as not to lose your attention but basically the tiles were first stripped from all sealers and coatings that had been previously applied to the floor using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which was left to dwell for an hour before working it in with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad and then rinsing the floor with water which was extracted with a wet vacuum. Secondly we then cleaned the floor four times using a rotary machine and a strong mixture of Pro-Clean which was again wet extracted and rinsed again. Finally we cleaned and rinsed the floor using Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner to neutralise the tiles from any products which may affect the sealer before leaving the floor overnight to dry assisted with a turbo air mover.

Sealing a Victorian Floor Sealing

Once the floor was dry it was then sealed using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which brings out the colour in the tile and provides the matt effect the owners were looking for as well as protecting the floor from staining.

Victorian Mosaic tiles glasgow after cleaning Victorian Mosaic tiles glasgow after cleaning

 

Victorian Mosaic Tiled floor cleaned and sealed in Glasgow

Victorian Hallway Tiles Cleaned and Sealed in Glasgow

These Victorian tiles at a residence in Glasgow went through a dramatic change after we restored the colours and appearance. You can see from the photograph below the tiles were dull, stained and there was also paint splashes in various places.

Victorian-Tiled-floor-in-Glasgow-Before-cleaning

Cleaning a Victorian Floor

Firstly the floor was swept out and vacuumed to remove all loose debris; we then covered the entire floor with a strong solution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go combined 50/50 with NanoTech Ultra Clean which was left to dwell on the floor for an hour so it could soak into the tile. This floor did not have a previous sealer applied however the solution helped to break down the ground in dirt in the tiles and also remove the paint splashes.

The dirty solution was then extracted off using a wet vacuum and the floor rinsed with clean water several times to remove any chemical residue. Next we mixed a 50/50 solution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean and NanoTech Ultra Clean which was then scrubbed into the tile using a black scrubbing pad on a rotary machine. This was then removed and floor rinsed again and the floor was cleaned a further three times using a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and extracted with a wet vacuum again followed by a mopping of Neutral Tile Cleaner.

Sealing a Victorian Floor Sealing

Once the floor was dry it was then sealed using four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go to achieve the finished result. I recommend Seal and Go for Victorian tiled floors as it leaves a low sheen finish whilst providing excellent stain protection.

Victorian-Tiled-floor-in-Glasgow-after-cleaning
 

Victorian Tiled floor cleaned and sealed in Glasgow

Victorian Tiled Floor Restoration in Glasgow

This Victorian tiled floor was located in the west end of Glasgow, the owner had discovered the tiles under the carpet and wanted to have them restored as an original feature. When we arrived the floor was still covered in carpet glue, cement, and hessian backing from the carpet that had been stuck to the tiles.

victorian-tiled -floor-in-Glasgow-before

Cleaning a Victorian Floor

The first job was to scrape off as much hessian backing and glue as we could with large scrapers and brushed all loose debris away. We then covered the entire floor with a strong solution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go combined with NanoTech Ultra Clean to create an effective coatings remover; this was then left on the floor to dwell for an hour in order to break down and soften the adhesive etc. The floor was then wet extracted and rinsed with clean water several times to remove any excess residue. This allowed us to see what glue was left which was then removed using a steamer. After this we cleaned the floor three times using Pro-Clean and a black buffing pad on a rotary bonnet machine to clean the floor; again all the dirty water was wet extracted with a wet vacuum and the floor neutralised with more water to ensure no chemicals remained on the floor prior to sealing.

Sealing a Victorian Floor Sealing

The floor was left to dry overnight and we came back the next day to seal it with four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is an ideal sealer for Victorian tiled floors as it leaves a low sheen finish whilst providing excellent stain protection. You have to wait for each coat to dry before moving on to the next so it did take a while.

victorian-tiled -floor-in-Glasgow-after
This was a tough job but certainly well worth the effort as the floor has been completely transformed and now looks fantastic.

Victorian Tiled floor restored in West Glasow

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Glasgow Tile Doctor

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