victorian tiles

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

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

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

Victorian Tiled Floor Refurbished in Farringdon

Apologies for the first photograph, I realise now it’s a little out of focus but hopefully you can see that the Victorian Tiled Floor pictured (at a residence in the market town of Farringdon, Oxfordshire) was not looking its best and this was mainly due to the fact that the house had recently undergone some extensive building work and had become very dirty in the process.

Victorian Tiles Before Refurbishment in Farringdon

Refurbishing Victorian Tiles

The first thing I did was protect the skirting board and doors from splashes and then to clean the floor I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean and this was left to dwell on the floor for a good twenty minutes. It was then worked into the tile using a deck brush and then more Pro-Clean was applied so the floor didn’t dry. I then scrubbed the floor with a rotary floor machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. After I finished the soiled cleaning solution was extracted using a wet vacuum and the whole floor was then rinsed with clean water to remove any trace of cleaning product. The tiles were then inspected and the process re-applied to areas that needed it; I then left the floor for two days so it could dry thoroughly.

Sealing Victorian Quarry Tiles

When I returned the floor was dry so I sealed it using a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow followed by four coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go. This is a great combination as the Colour Grow impregnates the tile improving the colours and protecting it from within whilst Seal and Go adds a further layer of protection and also added a nice subtle shine that the customer wanted.

Victorian Tiles After Refurbishment in Farringdon

Victorian Tiled floor Deep Cleaned and Sealed in Farringdon

Filling Holes and Restoring Shine on a Victorian Tiled Floor in Thame

The pictures below were taken in the entrance hall of a residence in the market town of Thame in Oxfordshire where the Victorian Floor Tiles although in good condition had become dull, you will see there is also a photograph of part of the tiles where holes had been drilled in the floor (don’t ask). Naturally the owner wanted both problems resolving and so called in their local Tile Doctor.

Victorian Tiled Floor Thame Before Cleaning 1 Victorian Tiled Floor Thame Before Cleaning 2

Restoring Victorian Quarry Tiles

The first task was to clean the floor which I used a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was left to dwell on the tile for around thirty minutes before being scrubbed in. This was a small area so I used a small black scrubbing pad attached to a cordless drill to do this; a stiff scrubbing brush was also run along the grout lines to make sure any staining to the grout was also dealt with. The resulting soiled solution was then removed using a wet vacuum and the tiles rinsed with water.

The next step was to remove some stubborn paint marks for which Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up was applied and scrubbed in with a stiff scrubbing brush, you have to be very careful with this product as it is an acid so you can’t leave it on the tile for too long however it does resolve all sorts of tile staining problems. Again this was removed with a wet vacuum and the floor rinsed thoroughly with fresh water to remove any trace of the product.

Sealing Victorian Quarry Tiles

When the floor dried I filled the holes in the Victorian Tile with a quick drying flexible grout which was left to dry and then painted using an acrylic paint to colour the grout the same as the different colours in the tile. On close inspection the hole damage is still visible however they are now a lot less obvious.

The next step was to seal the floor using five thin coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go which adds a nice sheen to the floor as we as providing protection and making it easier to clean going forward.

Victorian Tiled Floor Thame After Cleaning and Sealing 1 Victorian Tiled Floor Thame After Cleaning and Sealing 2


Victorian Tiled Hall Restoration in Thame, Oxfordshire

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