Restoring a Victorian Tiled floor hidden under Carpet in Balham

This post is from a house in Balham where the owner was doing some renovation work and after deciding to change the flooring in the hallway they discovered an original Victorian tiled floor. They planned to restore the floor unfortunately however their builders did not listen and didn’t bother to put down any protection when decorating leaving it in a worse condition than when they found it.

Victorian Tiled Floor Balham Before Cleaning Victorian Tiled Floor Balham Before Cleaning

Cleaning the Victorian Tiled Floor

To initially clean the floor I put down a 50/50 mixture of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and Nanotech Ultraclean diluted with four parts water; this creates a powerful alkaline cleaner that is safe to use on tiles and contains tiny abrasive particles to cut through the grime. This solution was left to dwell on the tile for twenty minutes before being agitated using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. This action did well to deep clean the tiles and remove dirt but there was still plenty of other problems to deal with including paint from the decorating and glue from the carpet.

To remove the glue and paint I treated the surface with Tile Doctor Remove and Go which as its name suggest is designed to remove coatings from the surface of tiles without damaging them. Working in sections the product was left to dwell for forty minutes on the surface of the tile before being worked in by hand into the glue and paint. Once it had all been removed I gave the whole floor a scrub with Grout Clean-Up to remove grout from the surface of the tile and this brightened up the colours. Last step was to give the floor a thorough rinse down using clean water, this is quite important and you need to ensure any trace of product has been removed before sealing. The water was removed using a wet vacuum which literally sucks the water off the floor and reduces drying times, the floor was still fairly damp at this stage so we called it a day leaving an air blower in place to help the floor to dry overnight.

Sealing Victorian Tiles

When I came back the next day I decided to seal the tiles using Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that penetrates into the pores of the tile blocking any dirt from getting in and making the tiles easier to clean.

Victorian Tiled Floor Balham After Cleaning Victorian Tiled Floor Balham After Cleaning

Two coats were sufficient and Colour Grow also brings out the colour in the tile improving its look, certainly my customer thought so as all they could say was:

“AMAZING I didn’t think it was possible to get like this.”

Victorian Tiled Floor Balham Before and After
 

Victorian Floor Restoration in Balham

Resolving Sandstone Flagstone issues in Clapham

Details below of a Sandstone floor installed in the Kitchen of a house in Clapham, South London. The client had not been happy with the floor since it had been installed because the tiler hadn’t applied the seal correctly. The owner had also had a quote from a stonemason who had recommended grinding off the top later of stone. I explained that that would not be necessary and went on to explain the process to restore it. As it turns out my quote was £500 cheaper that the Stone mason but I was confident I could get as good a result and the customer could see I knew what I was talking about and gave the job to me.

Sandstone Tiles Before Cleaning Sandstone Tiles Before Cleaning

Sandstone Tile Cleaning

I began work on the floor using a coarse diamond burnishing pad fitted to a rotary scrubbing machine with a little water. I slowly scrubbed the floor in small areas and removed the old sealer from the whole tile. The next step was to tackle the grout which was done by applying Tile Doctor Pro-Clean worked in along the grout lines using a stiff grout cleaning brush. After this the pad was replaced on the rotary machine with a medium brush head and the floor was given a good scrub followed by rinsing thoroughly with fresh water.

At this stage it was evident that a couple of stubborn areas were still in need of attention due to the old sealer still being present so Tile Doctor Remove and Go was applied which is a strong sealer stripper and left to dwell for around 40 minutes before being scrubbed in and washed down again.

I can recommend a Wet Vacuum at this point as they are great at removing liquids from floors; at this point I left for the day to allow the floor to dry overnight ready for sealing the next day.

Sandstone Tile Sealing

Then next day when I returned I checked to make sure the floor was dry and ready to seal, there were a couple of little patches I needed to redo and once they were rinsed I dried them using my heat gun. I then sealed the floor with four coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow and when the last coat had dried I demonstrated to the customer that it was fully sealed using a water test.

Sandstone Tiles After Cleaning Sandstone Tiles After Cleaning

The client was really pleased with the results and that I had saved him so much money and left the following comment on our feedback system.

Bill was great and worked hard to restore and protect the floor. We’re very pleased. There has been some accidental damage outside which I’m happy we’ll sort.
Ian Blandford, Clapham

Sandstone Tiles Before and After

 
 

Sandstone Tiled Floor Cleaned and Sealed in South London

Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Brixton

These photographs are from a Quarry Tile Cleaning job we did for a lady in Brixton recently, as you can see from the early pictures they were not only dirty but there was also evidence of an old sealer and splashes of paint on them as well both of which would have to be removed first.

Quarry Tile Kitchen Floor Before Quarry Tile Kitchen Floor Before

Cleaning Hallway Quarry Tiles

The first task we did on arrival was to disconnect her cooker and washing machine which were placed outside in the garden, this would allow us to get at all the tiled areas and also meant there was less to protect.

Working in small sections the next step was to pre-wet the floor tiles followed by adding a dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go combined 50/50 with Nanotech UltraClean, these two products combine to make a powerful cleaner/stripper that’s safe to use on tile. The cleaning solution was left to soak into the tile whilst we set up all of our equipment and added protective coverings to the kitchen units, walls and adjoining floors.

After about forty five minutes we re-wet the areas and hand scrubbed the tiles using scouring pads. This process was repeated covering small areas at a time until the kitchen was finished. We then used our scrubbing machine with a medium brush head fitted and thoroughly rinsed the floor to remove any trace of chemical.

We needed the floor dry for sealing so a couple of Turbo blowers we setup to force dry the floor and this took a couple of hours before my moisture meter told me that the floor was dry enough.

Sealing Hallway Quarry Tiles

After discussing sealer choices with the customer it was decided to seal the floor with Tile Doctor Colour Grow which provides a natural finish whilst lifting the natural colours in the tile. Two coats were sufficient and once it had dried we refitted the cooker and washing machine, put all the plinths back and removed all of our protective coverings.

Quarry Tile Kitchen Floor After Quarry Tile Kitchen Floor After

The lady was really pleased with our work and left the following testimonial.

“Bill did a fantastic job on my kitchen floor, I can’t thank him enough. Mrs Scott, Brixton”

Quarry Tile Kitchen Floor Before and After

 
 

Quarry Tile Renovation in Brixton

Terracotta Tiled Floor Sealing

Although officially the East Surrey Tile Doctor we often get requests further afield through customer recommendations, this particular Terracotta Tiled floor was in Brixton, South London. You can see from the photographs below that the floor was not looking its best and had been splashed with paint.

Terracotta Tile Cleaning

To get the tiles clean we applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed 50/50 with NanoTech Ultra Clean which combines well to produce a heavy duty alkaline cleaner/coatings stripper with a cleaner containing tiny nano sized abrasive particles that work deep into the floor. This combination is ideal for dealing difficult floors, its best to let it dwell on the floor for 10 to 20 minutes before working it into the tiles with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad.

Terracotta Restoration Before Photo

Once that was done the soiled solution was removed from the floor using a wet vacuum and we were then able to see a few spots where old wax remained on the floor. To deal with the wax Tile Doctor Remove and Go, which is a powerful coatings remover, was applied to the floor and left to dwell for a while before rinsing thoroughly with clean water and then treated with a steam cleaning machine to ensure the floor had been neutralised of all chemicals. It’s important not to leave a trace of chemical on the floor as they could react with the sealer.

The floor was still quite wet at this stage with small puddles of water forming in the dips of the uneven floor; the wet vacuum took care of most of this but the floor was still too damp for sealing so I left a couple of air blowers to assist with the drying of the floor and returned two days later to start the sealing.

Terracotta Restoration Before Photo

Terracotta Tile Sealing

When we returned the floor was mainly dry but there were a couple of damp spots which I took care of with a heat gun. Tile Doctor Seal and Go was used to seal the floor; Terracotta can be very porous so eight coats were required to completely seal the floor so it was some time before it was finished.

Terracotta Restoration After Photo Terracotta Restoration After Photo

When I finished I gave the customer instructions on how to maintain the floor. He was over the moon with the result and said that it had far exceeded his expectations.

Another happy customer.

Terracotta Restoration Before and After

 
 

Terracotta Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Brixton