The pictures below are of a very detailed Victorian tiled hallway at a period property in Shenstone near Lichfield. As you can see the floor was in a really bad state, fortunately the owner wanted it restored as it was part of the history of the house.
It’s certainly an impressive floor, the pattern was very detailed and very intricate so well worth preserving as it must have taken a craftsman some time to create. Additionally, there was a section of floor under a door threshold that had been filled with concrete. The owner was unhappy with how that looked and wanted it removing and replacing with tiles to match the hallway.
I suspect there may have been some movement in the door threshold at some point in the floors long history so instead of repairing the tiles it was simply removed and back filled with concrete.
Repairing and Deep Cleaning Victorian Floor Tiles
Work started with the repair of this section by carefully digging out the cement screed and removing the rubble. A quick setting self-levelling compound was then poured in to provide a flat base on which I could tile.
You will see from the after photos below that I had managed to source some tiles that matched the colour of the original floor and so once the compound had set these were fixed into place with a rapid setting adhesive. The tiling wasn’t as intricate as the main floor but I thought it blended well.
Once the replacement tiles had set, I moved onto to deep cleaning starting with an application of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. I used a strong dilution for maximum effect spraying it onto the floor and leaving it to soak in for ten minutes before scrubbing it in with a weighed rotary floor buffer fitted with a 100-grit pad. The soil generated was then rinsed off the tiles and extracted with a wet vacuum.
I followed this up with an acid wash which involves applying an acidic cleaning product called Grout Clean-up and then scrubbing it in using the 100-grit pad and weighted floor buffer as before. This is a beneficial treatment for tiled floors as not only does it remove further contaminates and grout smears from the tiles it also deals with Efflorescence issues which can be a real problem with old floors that have no damp proof membrane. Again, the floor was rinsed with water and the soils removed with a wet vacuum.
Sealing Victorian Floor Tiles
I then left the floor to dry off overnight and came back the next day to seal the tiles, however having checked the moisture level of the floor with a damp meter I realised it was still too damp and applying a sealer now would only result in a patchy final appearance.
This work was done in December 2022 which being a wet and cold month didn’t help, in fact I had to leave the floor for a week until it was completely dry and able to take a sealer. Once dry though I applied four coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go which gave it a nice shine.
As you can see from the photos on this page the old Victorian tiles responded extremely well to the treatment and needless to say my customer was very happy with the outcome. For aftercare cleaning I recommended the use of Tile Doctor Neutral Clean which is a gentle yet effective tile cleaning product that’s ideal for use on sealed floors.