Worn and Dirty Victorian Tiled Lobby Rejuvenated in Swindon

Victorian tiled floors are a popular feature in period houses and new builds trying to get that classic look. While they originated in the 19th century, they have a certain timeless quality that property owners love. Historically due to their hard wearing qualities they were most commonly used for flooring high traffic areas such as lobbies and hallways, however Victorian tiles are porous and without the correct maintenance the tiles can start to lose their appearance very quickly.

This customer from Swindon has an original Victorian tiled lobby at the front of their house that was suffering from this very same problem. Years worth of ingrained dirt and muck had completely sapped all colour and character from the tiles, and the customer was keen to get them back to looking their best.

Victorian Tiled Lobby Before Cleaning in Swindon

Whilst I was there inspecting the floor I agreed to run a test on the tiles to ascertain the results that could be achieved, this worked out well and the customer quickly booked me to carry out the full restoration.

Cleaning Dull and Dirty Victorian Tiles

To provide the deep clean these tiles desperately needed, I opted to use a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean. Pro Clean is our go-to cleaner for most natural stone tiles since it is highly versatile. It is alkaline-based and therefore can be used on acid-sensitive tiles to break down ingrained dirt and any existing seal.

We soaked the floor completely with the product and left it to dwell for roughly 15 minutes. This allows the Pro Clean to seep into the pores of the stone, get underneath and lift any ingrained dirt to the surface to be easily removed. I then attached a soft brush to a rotary machine and scrubbed the area throughly, with the tiles coming up very well. Once satisfied with the appearance of the tiles, I removed the dirty cleaning slurry with a wet vacuum and rinsed.

Having removed many layers of muck it came as a surprise to find that there were a number of paint splashes that have previously had been hidden. I was able to promptly remove them using a hand razor scraper, before rinsing the area again several times to remove any surface contaminants and neutralise the area. I then left it to dry fully overnight.

Sealing Victorian Tiles

Upon my return to the property the next day I ran a few damp tests to check for excess moisture in the area. This is really important to check for as excess moisture can cloud the sealer and damage its ability to provide protection for the tiles.

Once satisfied that the floor was completely dry, I sealed the floor with two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer that penetrates into the pores of the stone to act as a robust barrier against ingrained dirt. It also contains colour intensifying properties that really worked to enhance the fantastic coloured patterns of these Victorian tiles.

Victorian Tiled Lobby After Cleaning in Swindon

With a thorough clean and a fresh seal applied, these tiles are now well prepared to endure further wear and tear, which is especially important in this high traffic area of the house. Certainly the customer was relieved and pleased to know that their fantastic Victorian tiles are protected for the long-term. Another satisfied customer for the Wiltshire Tile Doctor.
 
 

Professional Victorian Tiled Entrance Restoration in Wiltshire

Recently Uncovered Victorian Tiled Hallway Restored to New in Warminster

It’s always a great surprise to find old tiled flooring hidden underneath carpet or linoleum which appears especially common with 19th century properties where it’s not unusual for the owners to uncover fantastically patterned, original Victorian tiled floors and, naturally, they want to restore them to their former glory. If you have a property of this type you might want to look under the carpets.

The majority of the time, however, these tiles have been covered up for decades, allowing for thick layers of muck to build-up and are invariably damaged carpet grippers, surface glue and adhesive tape.

This was pretty much the case with this customer who lives in the town of Warminster and was keen to have her own newly discovered Victorian hallway brought back to life, and called me down to see what could be done. Upon arrival at the property, I determined that the tiles would definitely require a very deep clean, including the remove of numerous glue stains, followed by the application of a new seal.

Victorian Floor Found Under Carpet Before Restoration in Warminster

Cleaning a Very Dirty Victorian Tiled Hallway

Before I could begin the deep cleaning process, I needed to remove the carpet grippers and surface glue, attempting to remove as much as possible by hand using a scraper.

For the particularly stubborn areas, I applied Tile Doctor Remove & Go, a powerful stripper specially designed to break down adhesives and solvents, and left it to dwell for 20 minutes to eat through the glue deposits. I then attached a black pad to a rotary machine and scrubbed the area thoroughly to clean the affected areas, before removing the resulting slurry using a wet vacuum and rinsed with clean water.

Once I was satisfied that all of the glue had been removed, I proceeded to soak the floor using a solution of the high alkaline cleaner known as Tile Doctor Pro Clean. This is a versatile product that can be used on a wide range of natural stone floors to deal with heavy soil build-up.

I left the Pro-Clean to dwell for ten minutes, and then scrubbed it into the tiles to remove the ingrained dirt and also to break down any old and ineffectual seals. The floor was then once again rinsed thoroughly with clean water which was then extracted using a wet vacuum before being left to dry for a couple of days.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway

Upon our return to the property I immediately tested the floor for damp using a damp meter. This is an extremely important test to carry out before sealing any kind of tiled flooring, due to the fact that excess moisture left over from cleaning can cloud the sealer and damage its ability to protect against dirt and stains.

Thankfully, the damp test revealed no excess moisture, and I was able to proceed with sealing the tiles. My choice of sealer was Tile Doctor Seal and Go, a water-based topical sealer that simultaneously provides both a stain resistant surface seal and a durable and aesthetically pleasing low sheen finish, also being water based it doesn’t give off a smell as it dries.

Victorian Floor Found Under Carpet After Restoration in Warminster

This is a very cost effective product that is highly suitable for use on Victorian and Quarry tiles, I applied five costs to achieve the desired finish.

The customer was very pleased with the final results. It’s always satisfying to restore original Victorian tiled floors to looking their best once again – and this one was no exception.
 
 

Restoring a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Wiltshire

Kitchen Quarry Tiles Floor Treated to a Deep Clean and Seal in Salisbury

When the sealer wears down on sealed tiled floor dirt will become ingrained in the pores of the tile and floor becomes more and more difficult to clean effectively. Even hard wearing tiles like Quarry tiles will experience this problem over time more so if you use acidic floor cleaning products to regularly clean your floor as they slowly eat away at the sealer.

This is a problem we come across relatively often and was the case this customer, living in the town of Salisbury contacted Tile Doctor for assistance. I paid them a visit to survey the floor and arranged a date to come back a give these brown Quarry kitchen tiles a thorough clean and fresh seal to provide durable protection against future soil build up.

Quarry Tiles Before Cleaning Salisbury

Cleaning a Dirty Quarry Tiled Floor

Taking a close look at the tiles, it was clear that they would need to be cleaned using a strong solution of the high alkaline Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, with special attention to be paid to the grout and to deal with some spots of grout haze.

To begin, Pro-Clean was applied across the floor and left it to dwell for 15 minutes to eat through any old sealer and dirt. A black pad was then to a rotary machine, and this was used to scrub the area throughly, lifting the muck away. Following this, a wet vacuum was used to remove the dirty cleaning slurry.

Next, I tackled the grout haze around the edges, by applying Tile Doctor Acid Gel to the affected areas, which is a mixture of Phosphoric and Hydrochloric acids in a handy gel form. This was scrubbed again with a black pad and rinsed with cold water to neutralise the area. Having successfully eliminated the dirt and grout haze, I left the floor to dry for a couple of days.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Floor

Upon my return I tested the area for damp using a damp tester; this should always be carried out before sealing as excess moisture can negatively affect the performance of the sealer.

When satisfied with the results of the damp test, I proceeded to seal the floor with five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, which is a topical sealer suitable for sealing internal, unsealed porous surfaces. It works by building up a durable surface seal, preventing any dirt from becoming ingrained in the stone. Additionally, Seal and Go provides a subtle, but pleasant looking, low sheen finish and being water based no smell is given off as it dries.

Quarry Tiles After Cleaning Salisbury

The customer was very pleased with the results. Since she had struggled to keep the floor clean, I made sure before leaving the property to give the customer some maintenance tips to help her maintain the appearance of the Quarry tiles. I also assured her that Tile Doctor are always on hand to assist if any new problems occur.
 
 

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Restoration in Wiltshire

Cleaning & Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Heytesbury

A client from the village of Heytesbury contacted me to see whether we could improve the look of her Victorian tiled hallway floor. It turns out that a competitor had previously cleaned and sealed it two years prior but she was disappointed with the result once she realised that the floor still had dirt ingrained in the tile. As per our normal practice we ran a test clean and she booked us in immediately.

Victorian Floor Heytesbury Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Floor

We started by wetting the floor using a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and left it dwell for ten minutes. We then attached a black stripping pad to a rotary machine and slowly covered the whole area to remove ingrained dirt and any existing seals that may be evident. The dirty slurry was then removed with a wet vacuum and then floor rinsed with the aid of a deck brush and a wet vacuum.

Next we used a heavy duty scraper to remove paint splashes around the edges from years of decorating. Once we were satisfied we’d removed all evident dirt, seal and paint we rinsed the floor thoroughly several times to make sure all contaminants are removed again using the wet vacuum to remove the water.

Sealing a Victorian Floor Sealing

We returned five days later to let the floor dry out thoroughly. Upon our return we tested with a damp meter which tested fine so we proceeded to seal the floor using six coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go to provide protection and add a nice sheen to the floor which I think you will agree now looks amazing

Victorian Floor Heytesbury After Cleaning

 
 

Restoring the appearance of a Victorian tiled hallway in Wiltshire

Slate Tiled Kitchen Cleaned and Sealed in Trowbridge

This floor was installed in the house of a client in the town of Trowbridge, Wiltshire, I was asked if I could restore the Slate tiled kitchen floor back to its former glory. The client was having trouble cleaning the floor themselves due to the sealer being worn away and dirt now becoming ingrained into the pores of the slate. I suspect the life of the sealer had been reduced by the use of in-appropriate cleaning products; anything even mildly acidic will overtime eat away at the sealer and reduce its life.

Upon arriving at the house, I undertook some test cleaning to demonstrate to the client the results I would be able to achieve. Seeing how quickly I would be able to make a marked difference to the appearance of the tiles, the client quickly commissioned me to undertake a clean and seal for the entire floor.

Slate Floor Before Cleaning and Sealing in Trowbridge

Cleaning a Slate tiled floor

My first task was to mix a solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and clean water. This was then applied evenly onto the floor and left to dwell for 15 minutes, allowing for the strong alkaline cleaner to soak into the stone to get underneath any ingrained dirt, and lift it to the surface.

Once the solution had rested on the surface for a short while, I paid particular attention to the grout lines, scrubbing them with a stiff grout brush. Next, I attached a polybrush to a rotary machine and scrubbed all of the tiles thoroughly. I then used a wet-vac machine to soak up any resulting residue.

However, upon further inspection, I noticed some further paint splashes and grout haze. I applied Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up to tackle the evident grout haze, and used a heavy duty scraper to remove the paint splashes. Once my client and I were happy with the result, I vacuumed up the slurry and gave the entire floor a thorough rinse. It was then left to dry completely overnight.

Sealing a Slate tiled floor

I returned the next day to seal the floor. Firstly, I tested the floor for evidence of damp using a damp meter and, once I was happy that there was no excess moisture to potentially damage the performance of the sealer, I proceeded to seal the floor using Tile Doctor Seal & Go, which provides a durable surface seal and leaves an aesthetically pleasing sheen finish.

Slate Floor After Cleaning and Sealing in Trowbridge

I applied a total of six coatings of the sealer, resulting in a marked difference in the appearance of the tiles (as you can see from the photos). She was very happy with her refreshed floor, and I left her with some cleaning and maintenance advice for the future, before making my departure.
 
 

Slate Kitchen Tiled Floor rejuvenated in Wiltshire

Polished Travertine Floor Restored in Lower Woodrow

Polished stone floors will lose their shine over time depending on the amount of wear and cleaning products used and this Travertine Tiled Floor in Lower Woodrow had basically experienced this problem. The solution is to burnish the floor with diamond encrusted pads, a process that will remove any dirt and bring back the polish.

Travertine Floor Before Polishing in Lower Woodrow

Cleaning and Polishing Travertine Floor Tiles

We started by smothering the floor is a mild dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and left it to dwell for ten minutes. We then scrubbed the grout lines using a stiff grout brush to get the grout clean. Next we fitted a course diamond burnishing pad to a rotary machine and slowly burnished each and every tile. We then extracted the slurry using a wet vacuum and rinsed. We continued this procedure with the medium, fine and very fine pads rinsing in-between until the shine had been restored. We then left the floor overnight to dry.

Sealing Travertine Floor Tiles

Upon our return we sealed the floor using Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that soaks into he pores of the stone protecting it from within and enhancing the natural colours in the stone. Once the seal had dried I used a white buffing pad attached to the rotary machine and buffed the travertine to a nice shine.

Travertine Floor After Polishing in Lower Woodrow

 
 

Travertine Floor and Grout Cleaned, Burnished and Sealed in Wiltshire

Victorian Tiled Hallway Cleaned and Sealed in Swindon

We were contacted by a home owner in Swindon who had discovered a black and white Victorian tiled floor underneath carpet in their hallway and wanted to make it a feature. I took a look at the floor and can see it was in good condition considering the carpet glue and arranged an appointment to come back and do the work.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Swindon Before Cleaning

Cleaning Victorian Tiles

First we started with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was smothered over the floor and left to dwell for twenty minutes so it could get to work breaking down any remaining sealer and dirt build up etc. Then after we attached a black scrubbing pad to a rotary machine and worked the solution into the tile to release the dirt. This caused the cleaning solution to become black with the soil which was removed using a wet vacuum and the floor rinsed thoroughly with cold water.

Upon further inspection it had become evident that the edges still had a build-up of carpet adhesives and yellowing sealer so something stronger would be required to get rid of it. These areas were spot treated with Tile Doctor Remove and Go which was brushed to the edges and let it dwell as before. A hand scraper was then used to remove the adhesive and stubborn sealer. The floor was rinsed thoroughly once more using the wet vacuum to remove as much water as possible.

Another inspection of the tiles revealed slight staining which was most evident on the white tiles so we used a 120grit hand pad with a little water to remove as much staining as possible and rinsed several times. Once we were satisfied we then left the floor to dry over 3 days.

Sealing Victorian Tiles

Upon our return we tested the floor for damp by using a damp meter; the test was fine so we proceeded to seal the floor using five coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go which will protect the floor from further staining and also adds a nice subtle sheen to the tiles which always looks attractive on Victorian tiles.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Swindon After Cleaning

Our customer said that the tiles had come up cleaner than she had ever imagined possible and was so happy that they now have a ‘feature’ hallway.
 
 

Maintaining Victorian Tiles in Swindon

Cleaning & Sealing Terracotta Tiles in Osbourne St. Georges

The owner of this Terracotta tiled floor installed in a house in the village of Osbourne St. Georges several years earlier contacted us as the floor had become ingrained with dirt and was now proving impossible to keep clean. We popped round to take a look and ran a small test clean to show what could be achieved, the test area came up really well and we were immediately booked to do the rest of the floor.

Terracotta Tiled Floor Before Cleaning in Osbourne St. Georges

Terracotta Tile Cleaning

We started by smothering the floor in a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and left it to dwell for about twenty minutes. Once the dwell time had been reached we scrubbed the grout lines by hand with a grout brush before scrubbing the whole floor thoroughly with a black pad fitted to a rotary machine. The cleaning solution soon became soiled with the released dirt and was removed the using a wet vacuum and rinsing with cold water.

At this point it became apparent that the edges needed attention, the machine always struggles here so we used a stiff hand brush to remove the ingrained dirt and also some paint spots with the aid of a razor edged floor.

Once we were satisfied we had removed all existing dirt and sealer we rinsed again thoroughly with clean water and a scrubbed with a deck brush several times to make sure we had removed all traces of cleaning product. The floor was then dried as much as possible using a wet vacuum and left to dry agreeing to return a week later to seal the floor.

Terracotta Tiled Floor After Cleaning in Osbourne St. Georges

Sealing Terracotta Tiles

Upon our return we tested the floor was dry with a moisture meter, the test came back fine so we proceeded to seal the floor using six coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which works really well on Terracotta and adds a nice subtle sheen to the tile.

Terracotta Tiled Floor After Sealing in Osbourne St. Georges

The customer was so happy to have her floor back to the appearance when it was first laid and before leaving I give her some cleaning advice to help prolong the life of the sealer. It’s a fact that a lot of commercial tile cleaning products are designed for cleaning ceramic tiles and contain acid which slowly erodes the sealer so to maximise the life of the sealer use a low alkaline/neutral PH product such as Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner.
 
 

Maintaining Terracotta Tiles in Osbourne St. Georges

Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor Deep Cleaned in Malmesbury

This was a straight forward refresh of a Slate Tiled floor that had been installed in the kitchen of a house the village of Malmesbury. You can see from the photo below how the Slate had become dull with wear and how the grout had become discoloured; it was clear that the previous sealer was starting to fail and the tile and grout was now in need of a deep clean and seal to bring it back to life.

Slate Floor Malmesbury Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Slate Tiled Floor

To get the floor clean and remove and remaining sealer a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-clean was brushed over the floor and left it to soak in for around twenty minutes. A grout brush was then used to scrub out all grout lines and get them clean. A black scrubbing pad was then attached to a rotary machine and the entire kitchen floor was scrubbed. This process generated a fair amount of slurry as the remaining sealer, dirt and grime came out of the pores of the tile. This was then removed using a wet vacuum and the floor rinsed thoroughly with clean water.
At this point it became evident that the tiler who installed the floor previously had left grout smears on the surface in some places (aka grout haze) and this was removed using a solution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up applied with a black pad and thoroughly rinsed again to remove any trace of cleaning product. The floor was then dried as much as possible using a wet vacuum and left overnight.

Slate Floor Malmesbury After Cleaning

Sealing a Slate Floor

We returned the next day and tested the floor for damp by using a damp meter to ensure it was dry enough to seal; the test came back OK so we proceeded to seal by applying five coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go which adds a nice subtle sheen to the tile and will protect it from staining for some years to come.

Slate Floor Malmesbury After Sealing Slate Floor Malmesbury After Sealing

 
 

Slate Tiled Kitchen Refresh in Wiltshire

Original Victorian Tiled Hallway in Melksham

The owner of this pre 1900s period house in the town of Melksham contacted us to clean & seal their Victorian tiled hallway which had been laid in a geometric pattern and was the original floor from when the house was built. Given its age it was in excellent conditions and a real testament to Victorian engineering.

Original Victorian Tiles Melksham Before Cleaning

Cleaning Victorian Tiles

Firstly we mixed a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and Nano-Tech HBU remover; HBU stands for Heavy Build-Up and is a great product for getting deep stains out of tiled floors. The tiles were covered with the solution and left for twenty minutes so it could soak into the pores. We then attached a black pad to a rotary machine and scrubbed the area thoroughly. Any paint or adhesives was then removed using a scraper and once we were satisfied we then removed the slurry using a wet vacuum and rinsed several times with cold clean water and a deck brush to ensure we had removed all traces of cleaning product before sealing. Stubborn areas were re-treated and the process took most of the day so we then left the floor to dry overnight.

Sealing Victorian Tiles

Upon our return we tested the floor was dry with a damp meter, testing in a number of locations. The readings were fine so we proceeded to seal the floor using six coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which will protect the floor from further dirt build-up and staining, it also adds a nice subtle sheen to the tiles.

Original Victorian Tiles Melksham After Cleaning and Sealing

All went well with no major problems and as you can see the tiles now look fantastic.
 
 

Putting the life back into an original Victorian tiled floor in Melksham

Honed Limestone Tiled Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Marlborough

The photographs below of a Honed Limestone tiles fitted in the living room of a house in Marlborough. The tiles were proving difficult to keep clean especially around the high traffic areas such as the doorway, I suspect the sealer had worn down and dirt was now becoming ingrained in the pores of the stone.

Honed Limestone Before Cleaning in Marlborough

Cleaning Limestone Floor Tiles

The first job was to remove any surface dirt and get the grout clean so a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean was mopped onto the floor and left to dwell for around ten minutes before being scrubbed into the tile and grout lines with a stiff brush. We then removed the dirty cleaning solution with a wet vacuum and rinsed the floor with clean water.

The next step was to burnish the Limestone tiles using a set of diamond burnishing pads starting with the coarse or number 1 pad as it’s known. This is run over the stone in conjunction with a little water and is designed to remove old sealers and other surface coatings and clean at the same time. The resultant milky slurry is the removed using a wet vacuum and the floor rinsed before repeating the whole process with the medium (number 2) pad and fine grade (number 3) pad. The Limestone tiles were then given a final rinse and left to dry overnight. I should point out the Limestone was honed as opposed to polished so there was no need to apply the final pad which is used to bring up the polish on stone.

Sealing Limestone Floor Tiles

I returned the next day to seal the floor checking first that it was dry by taking multiple readings with a damp meter. The result were fine so I was able to move quickly onto sealing the floor for which I used two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a versatile impregnating sealer that occupies the pores in the stone preventing contaminates from lodging there and enhancing the colours in natural stone.

Honed Limestone After Cleaning and Sealing in Marlborough

 
 

Limestone Floor Burnished, Buffed and Sealed in Wiltshire

Deep Cleaning a Terracotta Kitchen Floor in Burbage

Some great photo’s below of Terracotta tiled floor in the kitchen of a house in Burbage which as you can see was overdue for a deep clean and seal.

Terracotta Tiled Floor Burbage Before Cleaning

Terracotta Tile Cleaning

The first job was to get the floor clean so it was covered in a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was left it to dwell and soak into the surface for about twenty minutes, this helps to soften and beak down any existing sealer and ingrained dirt and grime. The grout lines were then scrubbed clean with a stiff grout brush which was run along the grout lines before running a rotary floor machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad over the tiles several times to get them clean. Once satisfied with the condition of the floor the remaining soiled cleaning solution was removed using a wet vacuum and the floor rinsed several times with clean water with the aid of a deck brush due to ensure we had flushed out all the dirt from the Terracotta tiles which are quite porous. Once we 100% satisfied that all traces of cleaning product had been removed the floor was left to dry for seven due so we could be sure the Terracotta would be dry on our return.

Terracotta Tiled Floor Burbage After Cleaning

Terracotta Tile Sealing

Upon our return we tested that the floor was dry enough to seal; Terracotta is very porous so it can take a while. Seven days had proved to be plenty of time and the test came back as fine so we sealed the floor first using a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that occupies the pores in the stone and also enhances natural colouring and the secondly with five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which adds a nice subtle sheen to the floor.”

Terracotta Tiled Floor Burbage After Sealing

 
 

Terracotta Floor Deep Cleaned and Sealed in Burbage