Chequered Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Restoration Oxford

You may recognise this Chequered Victorian tiled floor from other restorations that I’ve detailed on my website. This in fact is the third house I’ve worked on in the same small road in Oxford where hallway floors like these are a very common feature. In fact, I seem to get a lot of referrals from this area, which is always a pleasure, so I suspect word has got around the neighbourhood. The property sits close to the city centre, of course is famous for the University of Oxford, the oldest in the English-speaking world.

Chequered Victorian tiled hallway Floor Oxford Before Restoration

I visited the property to survey the floor and work out the best method and products to restore the Victorian tiles. The tiles were dotted in paint splashes from decorating and had previously been covered in carpet so there were gripper strips glued around the edges. All of which would need to be removed and then the floor would need a deep clean to remove the years of dirt and then finally it would need to be sealed to protect it going forward. After discussing the work in detail with the owner he was happy to accept my quote and we worked out a convenient date to do the work.

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

On my return I carefully prised off the carpet gripper so not to damage the tile. Then I applied a 50:50 mixture of Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel and Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU to the tiles. This creates a strong cleaning/coatings remover that would soften the paint and glue making it easier to remove. I left this to dwell on the floor for about an hour so it could break down the pint and adhesive. I then fitted a coarse 100-grit diamond pad to a rotary floor buffer and scrubbed the floor vacuuming up the resulting residue as I went along. I then repeated the process using a 200-grit pad and repeated the process.

I then spray buffed the floor using water and a 400-Grit burnishing pad followed by a 800-grit pad, rinsing and extracting afterwards with water to remove the fine slurry this process generates.

Old floors like these were laid before the invention of the damp proof membrane which can result in moisture rising through the floor as it evaporates potentially leaving alkaline salt deposits on the surface. This process is known as Efflorescence and although I minimised the use of water during the cleaning process, I was concerned that this may still present a problem later. To neutralise any alkaline salts in the floor that could cause this problem my last action for the day was give the floor an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel. Once this was done and extracted from the floor, I followed up with a further clean using Tile Doctor pH Neutral Tile Cleaner which was applied with a microfibre cloth. I left the floor to dry off overnight so it could be sealed the next day.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

On day two I checked the moisture level in the floor to ensure it had dried overnight. The results were good, so I set about applying the sealer. For this floor I decided to go with three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that as well as protecting the Victorian tiles form staining also enhances the black and white colours in the tile increasing the apparent contrast. This sealer is also fully breathable so any moisture will be able to evaporate up through the tile and not get trapped under the floor where it could eventually lead to rising damp in the walls.

Chequered Victorian tiled hallway Floor Oxford After Restoration

Before leaving I also discussed maintenance cleaning with the customer and left them a bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which is safe to use on sealed floors and will help keep the tiles looking at their best. It’s supplied in concentrated form so it should last them some time before they run out. The customer was very happy with the end result, she suggested I would be hearing from more neighbours very soon!

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Oxfordshire

Chequered Victorian Hallway Floor Restored in Oxford

Our client got in touch to see if we could restore the appearance of her Victorian tiled hallway floor. The property was located on the outskirts of Oxford which as I’m sure your aware is a city that is steeped in history and most famous for its’ University, which is the oldest in the English-speaking world. The architecture in the city is magnificent, much of it dating back to Saxon times.

Chequered Victorian Hallway Floor Tile Before Restoration Oxford

When we arrived as you can see from the first picture, this floor had some missing tiles along the righthand edge which had been back filled with some sort of filler. Fortunately, I’ve done a quite few of these restorations before and knew where to source replacements that would match perfectly. It would be great to restore the floor and get the black and white chequers looking as they should. I discussed a plan to fully restore the floor with the client and agreed a price for the work to be done.

Cleaning/Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Our first step in the restoration of the floor was to cut out the filler from the floor and clean out the resulting hole so the replacement tiles could be inserted. We then carefully measured the holes and cut the replacement tiles to match. We then laid the tiles with fast curing tile adhesive, this completed the repair part of the restoration and we left the floor for the day, so the adhesive could set overnight.

Day two was phase two of the restoration plan which involved deep cleaning the floor using abrasive burnishing pads. We started with the application of a 100-grit diamond encrusted burnishing pad which was attached to a rotary floor machine and run over the floor with a small amount water to lubricate. The resulting soil was then rinsed off with water and then removed with a wet vacuum. We repeated the process with a whole series of burnishing pads with increasingly finer grades, they included 200, 400, 800 and 1500 grit pads to fully renovate and restore the surface. This process took the whole day and we finished with a 3000-grit pad which gave the floor a slight sheen, this last pad is applied dry with only a little water sprayed onto the tile.

This process deep cleans and refines the Victorian tiles to fully restore their appearance. It also has the benefit of using less water than a chemical cleaning process which is a big advantage on these old floors which were laid before the invention of damp proof membranes and excess moisture can result in the appearance of efflorescence salts as the floor dries.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The floor was again left overnight to dry out and we returned on the third day to seal the floor. The moisture level of the floor was tested first with a damp meter to ensure it was dry, adding sealer to a damp floor is not recommended as it can result in a patchy finish. All was so the Victorian tiles were sealed with a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This is a colour enhancing sealer that will enhance the contrast of the black and white chequered effect, it’s also fully breathable so will cope well with any moisture. Colour Grow leaves a matt effect to once it had fully dried the floor was buffed with a 3000-grit diamond pad to add a slight sheen to its appearance as requested by the client.

Chequered Victorian Hallway Floor Tile Before Restoration Oxford

The client was over the moon with the result and really pleased with the repair we had done, the floor looked as it should and they were now able to keep it nice and clean. A warm welcoming hallway now awaited their visitors.

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Oxfordshire

Grout Clean and Silicone Replaced Oxford

Our clients contacted us in despair with their bathroom. The request was to renovate their ceramic tiled bathroom at a house in Oxford, a beautiful location, as most will know the city is known worldwide as the home of the University of Oxford, which is in fact the oldest university in the English-speaking world, also known as the “city of dreaming spires”. They had tried many supermarket solutions to clean up the grout and sort out the silicone trim, to no avail. The ceramic tiles were in good condition so the specific focus for the client was on treating the dirty grout and silicone trim around the bath.

Bathroom Before Grout Clean and Silicone Replaced Oxford

The grout has gone black with mould in some places and this is a very common problem in UK bathrooms where it thrives in the warm damp conditions and is usually related to a lack of ventilation. The simple action of leaving a window and door ajar after having a shower helps to cross ventilate and can reduce the problem. Of course, this is not always desirable during cold weather so improved mechanical extraction is always better. Another option is to run the shower cold for a few minutes afterwards, in fact some modern showers have this feature built in for that purpose. I discussed the causes with the client, we agreed a quote and arranged a day to complete the work.

Cleaning and Grouting Ceramic Tiled Bathroom in Oxford

I started by spraying the grout with Tile Doctor Duo-Clean, this is a fast and effective double action grout cleaner and mould remover. It cleans up grout and can remove mould and blackspot from grout and silicone and is suitable for use on plastic and enamel baths and showers. I left this to soak in for about 30 minutes, and then worked in sections spraying more Duo-Clean and scrubbing with a grout brush and rinsing each section with water. After cleaning the whole bathroom, I left it for an hour so that the grout had dried. I could then see if there were any places needing a second clean, in this case there were a few stubborn areas and so the process was repeated. Once I was satisfied I had fully cleaned the grout and tiles I took a break and left the bathroom so that the grout would completely dry out. At this stage the tile and grout were already looking much better.

Resealing Ceramic Tiled Bathroom in Oxford

After lunch I carefully removed all the silicone between the bath, sink and the wall tiles with a sharp knife. This is a little time consuming, but it is important to remove all of the old sealant in order to achieve the best finish. This was then cleaned up and then fresh mould resistant silicone put back in its place. This ensures everything is water tight

For aftercare we recommend the regular application of Tile Doctor Oxy-Pro, this is a powerful alkaline product especially formulated for cleaning shower Tile and Grout. It’s a highly effective cleaner that removes soap scum, body oil, mildew and algae from areas that have been neglected or subjected to frequent use. This will keep on top of the problem and ensure the bathroom continues to look nice and clean.

Bathroom After Grout Clean and Silicone Replaced Oxford

The client was very happy with the result which was completed in one day. The bathroom was certainly left looking very fresh, clean and much more appealing.

 

Re Grouting and Sealing Ceramic Tiles in Bathroom Oxfordshire

Filthy Limestone Fireplace Restored in Oxford

A stone fireplace adds a classic and period look to any home but like the stone floors we deal with its only a matter of time before the appearance degrades, however not from foot traffic but from soot. This process happens so gradually it goes without being noticed until one day you realise it really does need a good clean and the dirtier it gets, the harder it is to clean.

I recently visited a customer living in the historic city of Oxford who had never once cleaned their black Limestone fireplace. One day, they decided to finally clean it but found that it would take a lot more than just a light scrub with some soapy water!

As you can see from the photograph below, the Limestone was extremely dirty, dusty and stained. Upon examining the situation, I decided that the best way to restore the stone to its original condition would be to use a polishing process known as burnishing. Keen to see the natural beauty of the Limestone again, the customer was more than happy to book in the job.

Limestone Fireplace Before Cleaning Oxford

Cleaning and Burnishing a Limestone Fireplace

As I would be focusing solely on the Fireplace, it was necessary for me to start by protecting the surrounding area with tape. I then began the process of burnishing, starting with a 200-grit diamond encrusted handheld burnishing block. I sprayed a small amount of water onto the fireplace to act as a lubricant and rubbed the diamond encrusted block onto the stone.

This coarse grit pad helps to grind away the thick layers of dirt on the surface of the Limestone and starts to gradually polish the surface beneath. I completed the burnishing working in small sections at a time, rinsing with fresh water and wiping excess off regularly as I progressed.

After finishing with the 200-grit block I then repeated the process using a 400-grit block. This block possesses a finer grit and really helped to achieve a high-quality polished effect.
While the Limestone was drying, I treated the black fire grate with the correct grate paste (or polish) which cleaned it and recoloured it.

To complete the cleaning process, I paid attention to the black tiles on the floor. These were cleaned using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean diluted with water, and scrubbed into the stone and grout using a small specialised brush. Finally, I rinsed the area with fresh water and dried it with a towel.

Sealing a Limestone Fireplace

I then had to leave the fireplace to dry for about an hour so it would be ready to seal. To seal the Limestone, I used Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal, which offers the natural looking finish that the customer wanted. This sealer is formulated to provide maximum protection against stains and dirt, and is suitable for use on all types of natural stone.

The customer has decided that although this will no longer be used as a working fireplace it, will certainly give the room a focal point – so she was very happy to have it back to looking its best!

Limestone Fireplace After Cleaning Oxford

 
 

Professional Restoration of a Limestone Fireplace in Oxfordshire

Refreshing a Victorian Tiled floor in Oxford

The Victorian tiled hallway shown below had until recently been covered by carpet and was in surprisingly good condition for its age which is a testament to the durability of these floors. My client who lives in Oxford had managed to remove most of the glue that had been used to secure the carpet to the tile but found it had left an imprint on the floor. Unable to take the restoration any further we were asked to remove the ground in grime and seal the floor.

Carpet Covered Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Oxford

Restoring Victorian Quarry Tiles

My first task was to remove what was left of the carpet adhesive primarily with the aid of scraper which was used carefully along the edges. This removed the thicker parts of the glue but needed more work to remove all the traces; so a 50 grit disc fitted to a handheld machine was run around the edges of the whole floor to complete the job removing the residue and dirt in the process.

I then used a 50 grit milling pad attached to a rotary floor machine to remove the ground in grime and clean the whole floor. The floor was then rinsed with water to remove the soil that was generated afterwards and then the process repeated this with a 100 grit and 200 grit milling pad to fully restore the appearance of the tile.

This process took up most of the day so before leaving I gave the floor an acid wash using a mild dilution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up and then followed this with a good rinse and final clean with Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner.

Sealing Victorian Tiles

Having finished cleaning the floor I left it to dry off completely for three days to ensure it was bone dry before returning to seal it.

To seal I applied Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that protects the tile from within by occupying the pores in the clay, it also enhances the natural colours in the tile in the process and leaves a matt finish.

Carpet Covered Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning Oxford

The finished floor looks a lot brighter now it’s now free of all the dirt and glue marks, the new sealer will also ensure it’s easy to clean and keeps its appearance for some time to come.
 
 

Victorian Tiled Hallway cleaning in Oxfordshire

100 Year Old Brick Floor Renovated in Oxford

We were contacted by a customer living in Oxford who had a property with a brick floor in the living room that was in a bad state and in need of restoration. Brick has always been used as an alternative flooring material to stone due its durability and low cost. Oxford has a long history dating back over a thousand years so it not unusual to discover something like this in older properties.

The owner believed the floor to be over 100 years old and had been patched up in numerous places in the past with holes filled in with modern bricks and concrete. I was confident we could dramatically improve the floor but naturally give its long history it would never look like it was new again.

100 Year Old Brick Floor Before Cleaning

Restoring a Brick Floor

To remove the dirt I stated with the application of a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean, a high alkaline product that is our go to cleaning product. I applied the product to the floor and left it to dwell for twenty minutes before scrubbing into the brick with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a low speed rotary machine. The soiled cleaning solution was then extracted using a wet vacuum and the floor rinsed with water.

With a lot of the dirt removed I could see I would need to use something abrasive to remove the layers of concrete and give the floor a consistent appearance. Fortunately we a number of techniques we can use for dealing with these issues and in this case I opted to apply a series of coarse abrasive milling pads. I started with the 50grit grit pad which is applied by attaching it to a weighted floor buffer and lubricated with water. Then the floor is rinsed and the process repeated with a 100 grit pad and finally a 200 grit pad to finish the process. The pads use industrial diamonds to slowly grind down the surface and improve its appearance. After the final rinse I could see the floor was much improved, I then had to wait for the floor to dry off fully before I could seal it.

Sealing a Brick Floor

On my return the next day I checked the floor with a damp meter to make sure it had dried. All was well so I set about applying a sealer to protect the floor from staining going forward and also make it easier to clean. This sealer I opted for was Tile Doctor Colour Grow which protects the brick from within by become ingrained into the pores of the material and has the added benefit of enhancing the natural colour to bring back the redness of the brick in the process.

100 Year Old Brick Floor After Cleaning
I appreciate the photographs are not my best but hopefully you can appreciate the improvement, certainly the customer was very pleased with transformation and left the feedback for me below. In fact they were originally of the opinion that it probably wasn’t salvageable so this was a major bonus.

We went from dirty old brick living room floor to shiny new (looking) floor in the space of two days. Barry called back immediately came round to have a look the same day then set a date and time and met every promise.

Professional Restoration of a Dirty Brick Living Room Floor in Oxfordshire

Deep Cleaning a Chequered Vinyl Floors in Oxford Catholic Church

These photos of a Black and White Chequered Vinyl floor are actually from the Holy Rood Catholic Church in Oxford which is part of the North Hinksey Parish. It’s a popular church visited by many parishioners so the floor gets a lot of wear and I was asked to give it a good deep clean and re-seal.

Chequered Vinyl Lino floor Before Cleaning Sealing in Oxford

Cleaning Soiled Vinyl Floor Tiles

The Vinyl tiles had been sealed with a polish before so my first job was to strip the old polish off the floor. Fortunately, I have a good product for doing that in the shape of Tile Doctor Vinyl Strip which is an effective heavy-duty floor polish stripper that quickly removes polish and coatings from vinyl floors.

The Vinyl Strip was applied to the floor, left to soak in for a while and then scrubbed in using a scrubbing pad attached to a rotary machine. I then rinsed the floor with water.

The cleaning process released a lot of dirt from the floor which was rinsed away with water and then extracted using a wet vacuum. Once the floor was clean I was able to check the floor and repeat the process for any stubborn areas that needed extra work and once I was 100% happy I left for the evening.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

I returned the next day to seal the floor with two coats of Tile Doctor Vinyl Shine applying the first coat in an up and down direction and the second coat side to side.

Vinyl Shine is a high solids polymer floor seal and polish designed to protect and enhance the appearance of Vinyl floor tiles. The formula includes special polymers which produce a ‘Wet Look’ finish whilst enhancing slip-resistance. A first coat seals and protects the floor and a second produces a gloss finish.

This was a huge floor and naturally the Church was open most days so the work was spread over two weeks doing two days each week.

Chequered Vinyl Lino floor After Cleaning Sealing in Oxford

I’m not sure the photographs I took actually do the work justice however my customer was certainly pleased with the difference and left the following glowing testimonial for me.

“Barry and Nick did a great job and was a pleasure to have around, always letting us know what was going to happen next. The final invoice was exactly as his initial quote. We are very impressed with his work and I will definitely contact him for some work in my home.”
 
 

Professional Vinyl Tiled Floor Maintenance in Oxfordshire

Heavily Stained Quarry Tiled Floors Restored in Oxford Shop Conversion

This ground floor flat in the City of Oxford had been converted from a shop which as you can imagine, was quite complex. One significant element involved in the conversation was the restoration of an old Quarry tiled floor which ran through the main hallway and had for many years been covered in a commercial linoleum covering.

When the linoleum covering was removed, the sheer amount of glue which had been used to affix it had completely ruined the appearance and condition of the Quarry tiles. There was also a lot of concrete in the bathroom, and our client was keen to have this removed in the hope that the tiles beneath were salvageable.

Quarry Tiled Floor Oxford Before Restoration Quarry Tiled Floor Oxford Before Restoration

Removing Concrete and Glue Stains from a Quarry Tiled Floor

My first task at the property was to deal with the adhesive. I covered the entire floor area with Tile Doctor Remove and Go and then covered it with a plastic sheet and leaving it to soak into the glue and break it down overnight. Remove and Go is powerful stripper with a long-dwell time, formulated to break down adhesives and paint stains, amongst other coatings.

I returned the next day and, removing the plastic sheeting, I scrubbed the floor with a carbon brush attached to a rotary floor scrubber to remove the huge glue deposits. I worked in sections, rinsing each area of the floor with water after it had been scrubbed. Once I had finished the entire floor there was still some glue remaining, so I covered it again with a solution of Remove and Go combined with Tile Doctor HBU Nanotech, which utilises nano-sized particles to get underneath tough stains, dissolve them, and lift them out. I left this solution on the floor for about two hours to dwell and scrubbed it again.

During the next day of work, I used a very coarse 100 grit diamond burnishing pad to manually grind away the remaining stubborn bits of glue. Paying attention to the bathroom, I used a 50-grit coarse milling pad followed up with a 100-grit diamond burnishing pad to do the same to the area of concrete.

The next part of the process was to use Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up to acid wash the floor. This was successful in removing the last bits of cement and the remaining residue of the glue. To complete the cleaning process, I then rinsed the floor with plenty of water and vacuumed up any soiled solution.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Floor

I opted to leave the floor alone for a couple of days to fully dry off so that it could be sealed upon my return. This is crucial as any moisture or damp issues can damage the performance of the sealer and expose the floor to further ingrained dirt and staining.

To seal the floor, I used Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This is an impregnating sealer that also enhances the natural reddish shades in the Quarry. I applied two coats of the sealer, giving the floor the natural look matte finish the customer desired.

Quarry Tiled Floor Oxford After Restoration Quarry Tiled Floor Oxford After Restoration

The customer was very impressed with the results of this thorough restoration. She even left the following feedback:

“I cannot recommend this service enough. The Oxford Tile Doctor (Barry) was a superstar: he cleaned up the tiles in my hallway, which were covered in a very thick layer of glue, and removed concrete from the tiles. They now look superb and I’m really happy with the outcome. Barry was always on time, considerate, and kept me up to date. The quote for the job was exactly right. I would not hesitate to recommend him.”
 
 

Professional Quarry Tiled Floor Restoration in Oxfordshire

Victorian Tiles Refreshed After Property Renovation in Oxford

When you decide to undertake a complete renovation of a property, it’s inevitable that floors will be in some way affected by the decorating. At this property in Oxford a renovation had just recently taken place, leaving the black and white patterned Victorian tiled floor covered in concrete residue, plaster and paint.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Oxford

Naturally, the property owner was keen to have the appearance of the tiled restored, to match in with the completely rejuvenated house. I was called in to see what could be done to resolve the problems.

Cleaning a Dirty and Stained Victorian Tiled Floor

I started the restoration by rinsing the floor thoroughly using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which is a concentrated phosphoric acid cleaner used to remove the plaster, concrete, paint and adhesive residue. I then rinsed the floor with fresh water to neutralise the chemicals and extracted all the fluids using a wet vacuum.

Following this, I opted to apply a series of diamond burnishing pads to grind off any particularly stubborn instances of residue, rinsing the tiles with water after each.
Unlike the pads, we use to burnish the shine back onto high end polished stone such as Limestone, Marble, and Travertine these pads were very coarse 100 and 200 grit milling pads rinsing with water after each pad and finishing with a 400 grit burnishing pad. This process thoroughly cleaned the floor and removed all the paint.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

After leaving the floor to dry completely for a couple of days, I returned to the property to seal the tiles. Once satisfied that the floor was damp-free and ready to be sealed, I chose to apply a combination of two products.

Firstly, I applied a coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is an impregnating sealer designed to enhance the natural colours and shades in the stone, but with a matte finish. Secondly, I applied a few coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go, which provides the high quality, durable sheen finish that the customer had requested.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning Oxford

Having the best of both worlds with these sealers really worked wonders for the appearance of the tiles and would highly recommend this combination of sealers for Victorian tiles. The customer was very pleased with the result of the restoration and can now enjoy her fully renovated house – complete with a fantastic looking Victorian tiled floor.
 
 

Professional Victorian Tiled Floor Restoration in Oxfordshire

Dull Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor Refreshed in Oxford

These Slate kitchen floor tiles at a property in Oxford were in good physical condition, but had become dull over time due to heavy usage, and upon close inspection the grout was stained. The customer contacted me as she was keen to get the tiles back to looking their best. This would require a thorough clean and the application of a fresh sealer.

While Slate floor tiles are reputed to be hard wearing and damage resistant – and are therefore a popular choice for high traffic areas like kitchens – this does not exclude them from needing regular maintenance.

Slate Floor Tiles before refresh Oxford

Cleaning a Dull Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

To begin, I mixed a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean and water. Pro-Clean is a versatile cleaner that when used in a weak dilution can be used as a regular cleaner for most types of natural stone floor, including more sensitive stones such as Limestone and Marble.

The cleaning was then spread across the surface area of the floor, and left it to dwell for ten minutes to allow the solution to seep into the pores of the stone and lift the ingrained dirt to the surface. Pro-Clean in a strong dilution also functions as a stripping product, meaning it works to strip away any old and ineffectual sealer.

I then scrubbed the solution into the floor using a stiff scrubbing brush, paying particular attention to the grout in order to break down the visible staining. The tiles and grout lines came up really well during the cleaning process – this became clear once I had rinsed the floor and removed the residue using a wet vacuum.

Sealing a Slate Tiled Kitchen Floor

With the customer eager to have the job completed quickly, I installed portable room dryers and utilised a heat gun to dry the floor, allowing me to seal it on the same day.

Once I had ensured the floor was completely dry, I commenced the sealing process by firstly applying a coat of Tile Doctor Stone Oil, a product which is designed to bring out all of the natural dark shades in the Slate.

When this was dry, I applied a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This is an impregnating sealer, meaning that it soaks into pores of the stone to provide durable protection from within against ingrained dirt and stains. Colour Grow also enhances the natural colours in the stone even further.

Slate Floor Tiles after refresh Oxford

The customer was amazed by just how big a difference could be made to the tiles in the space of just a day. Although the tiles were generally in very good nick, my main task was to be liven them up – judging by the before and after photos, I think this was achieved. And, now that they have been treated to a fresh seal, the tiles will be prevented from quickly becoming dull again.
 
 

Restoring the Appearance of a Slate Tiled Floor in Oxfordshire

Victorian Tiled Floor with Gas Pipe Trench Repaired and Restored in Oxford

This house in the historic university city of Oxford had a gas fire installed in the living room and unfortunately the only route to the gas supply in the under stairs cupboard was via to go under the Victorian tiled floor in the hallway. Unfortunately this was a bit of a butcher’s job and a trench was dug into the floor which the current owner however was very keen on restoring back to its original condition.

I visited the client just before the Christmas break last year, and agreed that I would firstly replace the missing tiles and then return after Christmas to give the floor a deep clean and seal.

Victorian Floor Gas Pipe trench in Oxford

Repairing a Victorian tiled floor

In order to properly repair this Victorian tiled floor, I firstly had to source tiles that would be consistent with the colour and pattern of the original design. Since Victorian tiles are known for their intricate and varied designs, this isn’t always an easy task. However, I was able to find the right tiles in good time, although naturally being new they were brighter than the existing which had seem some wear but they should blend in over time. I proceeded to fill the deep part of the hole with concrete, before carefully laying down the tiles in line with the specific pattern on the rest of the floor. I then grouted the new tiles in to finish the repair.

Victorian Floor- Gas Pipe Repaired in Oxford

Cleaning a Victorian tiled floor

After the Christmas break, I returned to the house to commence the cleaning and sealing processes. My first task was to mix a solution of the two cleaning products, Tile Doctor Nanotech HBU and Pro Clean and let this soak into the tiles.

Nanotech is a particularly powerful cleaner which uses nano-sized particles to penetrate deep beneath the surface of the stone to lift out ingrained dirt. Pro Clean is a high alkaline cleaner that also contains stripping properties to break down any old sealer and mixed together the two products make a very powerful tile cleaning product.

I applied the solution to the floor and left it to dwell for a full hour before agitating with a scrubbing brush to remove any dirt. Following this I used my wet vacuum to soak up the soiled solution, before thoroughly rinsing the floor with clean water extracting again using the wet vacuum.

Sealing a Victorian tiled floor

I left the floor for 24 hours in order to let it dry completely following the clean. Upon my return I sealed the tiles using Tile Doctor Seal & Go, which adds a stain resistant and robust surface seal, along with a nice low sheen finish.

Victorian Floor Gas Pipe Repaired and cleaned in Oxford

It took some work but I think your will agree the floor now looks fantastic and the sealer should keep it looking that way for some time to come.
 
 

Professional Tiled Floor Repair and Restoration in Oxfordshire

Deep Clean and fresh Seal for Victorian tiled floor in Oxford

This fantastic Victorian tiled hallway floor in Oxford was in good physical condition for its age; however like any sealed floor the sealer had worn down with use and with dirt becoming trapped in the pores of the tile it was now becoming difficult to clean effectively and had become dull and un-inviting. It was now due a really good deep clean and re-seal. Oxford as I’m sure your aware has a rich history and is home to one of the world’s best universities, so not surprisingly many houses here have interesting floors such as this one.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Oxford Before Cleaning

Cleaning a dirty Victorian tiled floor

Upon my arrival at the house, my first task was to protect the skirting boards, as well as the wooden floors leading into the other rooms. I then mixed a solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, a versatile, high alkaline cleaner combined 50:50 with Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU, a particularly strong cleaner that utilises nano-sized particles to penetrate into areas of the stone that standard products simply cannot reach.

I applied the solution to the surface and allowed it to soak for thirty minutes, allowing it to get to work on the ingrained dirt so it could be easily removed. Following this, I agitated the solution with a soft brush attached to a rotary scrubbing machine. I then applied more solution and left it for a further thirty minutes, before scrubbing this into the tiles using a black pad fitted to the rotary machine.

After the clean had been completed, I rinsed the entire floor multiple times and vacuumed up the resulting slurry using a wet-vac machine.

Sealing a Victorian tiled floor

I left the floor overnight, allowing the surface enough time to dry and returned then next day to seal the floor, checking first to ensure the tiles had dried. To seal the floor I used several coatings of Tile Doctor Seal & Go. Seal & Go which is a water-based, topical sealer that is suitable for use on unsealed, porous surfaces such as Victorian tile, textured Quarry, Slate, and Sandstone; being water based you don’t get the smell so it’s much more pleasant to work with.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Oxford After Cleaning

As you can see from the before and after photos, the result was an aesthetically pleasing and – most importantly – clean, Victorian tiled floor. Needless to say, my client was extremely pleased with my work.
 
 

Maintaining a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor in Oxfordshire

Full restoration of a Victorian tiled floor in Oxford

I was recently called to a property in the historic city of Oxford, perhaps most famous for being the site of the oldest University in the English-speaking world. The property owner asked me to take a look at a linoleum floor, which was partially revealing a black and white patterned, Victorian tiled floor underneath, to see what I could do with it. Although it would be a challenging and lengthy job, I assured my client that I would be able to restore the hidden Victorian tiled floor to its original condition.

Victorian Floor Restoration Oxford Before Victorian Floor Restoration Oxford Before

Removing the linoleum covering and cleaning the floor

My first task was to carefully scrape off as much of the linoleum covering as possible without damaging the floor beneath.

Victorian Floor Restoration Oxford Lino Removed

Once the linoleum had been removed, my next step was an initial clean of the floor.
Firstly, I applied a layer of Tile Doctor Remove and Go, which would help to draw out the ingrained dirt and stains. I left the product to dwell for only a short time as I did not want it to dry on the surface of the floor. Following this, I scrubbed the floor with a medium brush attached to a Rocky floor cleaning machine, before rinsing the area with clean water and then repeating the process again.

Victorian Floor Restoration Oxford Cleaning

To take the cleaning process a step further, I mixed a solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and NanoTech HBU, which uses nano-sized particles to penetrate below particularly tough stains and lift them out. This solution was applied to the floor and left to dwell for roughly two hours. I then used my floor machine (which weighs 57kg when full) with a medium brush and scrubbed the surface once again. After completing the cleaning process, I made sure to rinse the floor multiple times in order to ensure all the products had been rinsed away.

Victorian Floor Restoration Oxford Repair

Floor repair, tile replacement and sealing

I then set about digging out the concrete lines that were in the floor; these were likely the reason for having the floor covered in linoleum in the first place. One area under the concrete lines contained a gas pipe, which I found to be obsolete, and another contained an electrical wire, which I had to test in order to ensure it too was no longer functioning. I dug out the concrete, and removed all the tiles around the edge of the room, where carpet grippers had been put down, effectively smashing nails into the floor.

Victorian Floor Restoration Oxford Repair

Once I had sourced a total of 268 replacement tiles, I set about careful laying them down in a pattern that was consistent with the floor’s original appearance, once the tile adhesive was dry they were then grouted and the floor was then left for a week so they could set properly.

Victorian Floor Restoration Oxford Tile Repair Victorian Floor Restoration Oxford Tile Repair

When I returned after this period, I mixed a solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and water, and applied it to the floor. I left it to dwell for about 30 minutes, periodically stubbing with a deck brush. I then once again utilised my floor cleaning machine with a medium brush to scrub the floor, rinsed the area with more clean water, and then vacuumed up the excess liquid. The floor was let again to dry, this time for a period of a few days.

Victorian Floor Restoration Oxford Pre-Sealing

When I returned to the property after a few days, I used a damp meter to test the floor, making sure that the surface was dry enough to commence sealing (as any excess solution might have affected the performance of the sealer). My sealer of choice was Tile Doctor Seal & Go, a topical sealer which provides a sheen finish (as requested by my client) along with durable protection.

Victorian Floor Restoration Oxford After Sealing

Overall, the job took more than three weeks to complete, but it was extremely satisfying to see the restored Victorian tiled floor, back to looking great again. My client was also very satisfied with my work, saying:

“We are delighted with the work Barry carried out for us. He had restored our floors with care and attention to detail, and we are really pleased with the final result!”

Victorian Floor Restoration Oxford After Sealing

 
 

Restoring a Victorian Tiled Floor Hidden under Vinyl in Oxfordshire

Cleaning and Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Floor in Oxford

The before picture below was actually taken after another cleaning company had come in to clean these Terracotta floor tiles for a client in the city of Oxford; well what can I say except they then called Tile Doctor.

Terracotta Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Oxford

Cleaning Terracotta Tile

I started by doing a test on a small area and realised that I could strip the remaining sealer from the floor with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean which is also an effective cleaner and safe to use on stone and tiled floors. So I diluted Pro Clean with warm water and spread this on the floor leaving it to dwell for twenty minutes before scrubbing it in with a black padf fitted to my Rocky floor machine. This worked very well on the floor and the cleaning solution was soon dirty with the released soil which was removed using a wet vacuum and more water to rinse it away and dry the floor as much as possible.

Sealing Terracotta Tile

Satisfied that the floor was now as clean as it could be I left for the day and returned the next day to seal the floor, first checking that the tiles were dry and ready to be sealed.

Sealing was done in two stages starting with an initial coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that adds life to the natural colours in the tiles and gives the floor a good base for the next sealer. The second stage was to apply a few coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go which builds up a surface seal that leaves a nice sheen to the floor as requested by the customer.

Terracotta Tiled Floor After Cleaning Oxford

 
 

Terracotta Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Oxfordshire

Refreshing a Victorian Tiled floor in Oxford

The Victorian tiled floor shown below comprised of a complex square and diamond pattern contained with a parallel border and must of take a lot of work when it was first installed. It had been a while since it was last given a deep clean and was now looking rather dull and lifeless; we come across a lot of these floors at Tile Doctor and the remedy is a straight forward deep clean and reseal.

Victorian Tiled Floor Oxford Before Cleaning

Restoring Victorian Quarry Tiles

The first task was to clean the floor with a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was left to dwell on the tiles for a short while before being scrubbed in washing the floor down afterwards and extracting it with a wet vacuum to remove the soiled cleaning solution.

This did a reasonable job of cleaning up the tiles but there were some stubborn areas that would need further attention and what I suspected to be remnants of an old sealer. A stronger product was required and so the next step was to cover half the floor with Tile Doctor Remove & Go leave it to dwell for a time and then scrub the floor again with a rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. Again the tiles were rinsed and the dirty cleaning solution removed using a wet vacuum. Once done the process was repeated on the other half of the floor. Working in sections like this allows more room in what was a tight hallway and also ensures the cleaning products don’t dry out.

This process removed all the old seal and drew out the ingrained dirt. I them rinsed the floor with a dilution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up to deal with a few stains and grout problems before removing it with the wet vacuum and giving the entire floor a thorough rinse with water which was repeated a couple of times; again the wet vacuum was used to extract the water from the tiles and get them as dry as possible.

Sealing Victorian Tiles

I had finished cleaning the floor and so left for the evening returning four days later to seal the floor. Fortunately the customer had planned a short break away so the tiles were nice and dry and still clean on my return.

To seal I applied a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer to give a good base followed by three coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go which is a topical sealer that added the shine the customer required.

Victorian Tiled Floor Oxford After Cleaning

 
 

Victorian Tiled Hallway cleaning in Oxfordshire

Restoring a Victorian Tiled Floor in Oxford hidden under Parquet

Let me start this story by telling you this was the most challenging floor that I have come across so far. It all started with a request to visit a property in Oxford where they had discovered an original Victorian tiled floor under a parquet floor in the hall.

When I arrived the customer had taken up a small area in the corner and had already tried to remove the black bitumen that the parquet floor was stuck down with, he had made some progress but realized it would be a massive project without the right tools. After I had showed him how much cleaner I could take his patch he booked me to restore the floor, the customer said he would remove the parquet floor himself.

Victorian Floor Oxford Before Cleaning

Removing Bitumen from Victorian Tiles

When I arrived the parquet had been taken up to reveal a completely bitumen covered tiled floor that was very sticky. My first task was to put protection around the doors and skirting before moving on to removing the bitumen which was done by covering the half the floor in a mixture of Tile Doctor Remove and Go combined with Nano Tech UltraClean which was left to soak in for about an hour.

Victorian Floor Oxford Before Cleaning Victorian Floor Oxford Before Cleaning

After this I scrubbed the solution into the floor using a black scrubbing pad on my Rocky floor scrubbing machine, this loosened the bitumen from the floor which was then washed off with water and removed using a numatic wet vacuum. The same process was repeated on the other half of the floor and then the whole process was repeated again on both parts of the floor until it was clear of bitumen. This was arduous work and took a whole day to complete.

Cleaning Victorian Tiles

When I returned the next day I gave the floor a deep clean using a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean, like the Remove and Go this was spread over the floor leaving it to dwell for 10 minutes before being scrubbed in using the scrubbing machine fitted with a black pad; again the floor was rinsed clean with water which was removed using the wet vacuum.

After this I applied Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up which is an acidic product that is great at removing grout smears and mineral deposits from tiles, being an acid you can only leave it on the tile for a short while so I worked in 1m square sections at a time on my knees spraying and scrubbing with a deck brush and then rinsing.

When I had finished this process the whole floor was thoroughly rinsed with clean water to ensure there were no cleaning products left on the floor. I then left the floor to dry promising to return a few days later when it had dried.

Sealing Victorian Quarry Tiles

I returned as agreed a few days later to seal the floor with five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a great for Victorian tiles as it leaves a nice shine to the floor which is exactly how the customer wanted it. This process does take time however as you have to let the first coat dry before moving onto the next.

Victorian Floor Oxford After Cleaning Victorian Floor Oxford After Cleaning

From start to finish the transformation of the floor was amazing and the customer was very impressed with the results. Although the area was not large this was a very testing floor as bitumen stays sticky and was very difficult to remove even with the correct machines and products.
 
 

Victorian Tiled Hall Restored in Oxford

Victorian Quarry Tiled Basement Floor Restored in Oxford

This old Victorian Quarry Tiled Floor was discovered in the basement of a large house in Oxford where they had been covered up for years. There were a couple of dead tiles that have had the tops taken of for some reason but the rest were in a reasonable condition given their age.

Victorian Quarry Tiled Floor before Restoration in Oxford

Restoring Victorian Quarry Tiles

On the first day I used a mixture of Tile Doctor Remove and Go combined with Nanotech UltraClean which adds an abrasive element to a powerful coatings remover. I spread this on the Quarry tiled floor and left it for about an hour so it could soak into the tile and breakdown old sealers and soil etc.; I then used a commercial steamer on the floor to aid the cleaning process and bring the dirt and old sealant to the surface. When that was done I rinsed the floor with clean water which was then removed along with the soil using a wet vacuum. The next step was to give the floor a mild acid rinse using Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up to remove any mineral deposits from the surface of the tile and then rinse down again with clean water so all the chemicals were removed. The floor was quite damp at this stage and need to be dry so it could be sealed so I left a dehumidifier there and a damp meter so the customer could test the floor.

Sealing Victorian Quarry Tiles

After a couple of days I got the call from the customer that the floor was now dry so I went round to seal it with five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a recommended sealer for Quarry tiles providing good stain protection whilst adding a nice sheen.

Victorian Quarry Tiled Floor after Restoration in Oxford

This floor was 120 years old and the customer had no expectation of any significant improvement and had even considered covering it with wood before giving us a call; I was pleased therefore that we managed to exceed their expectations and breathe new life into this old floor.
 
 

120 year old Quarry Tile Renovation in Oxford