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

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