Victorian Tiled Hallway Restoration at Jodrell Bank Farmhouse

We received an enquiry from a client who had just brought a farmhouse with a Victorian Tiled floor close to Jodrell Bank near the village of Goostrey. Jodrell Bank is a few miles north of Homes Chapel and famous around the world for the nearby Jodrell Bank Observatory which is an astrophysics centre and part of the University of Manchester.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Jodrell Bank

On restoring the farmhouse, the client discovered a Victorian tiled floor hidden under their hall carpet and wondered if it was worth saving. I rang the client up to arrange a day to do a test clean and talk through the process of restoring the floor. Turns out the floor was looking washed out and there were a few tiles that would need replacing. I went over to survey the floor and complete a test clean which worked out well. Certainly, the client was happy with the result and could now see the floors potential, so a date was arranged to start work.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration Jodrell Bank Zoom

Cleaning/Repairing a Farmhouse Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The first job was to cut out the damaged tiles and replace them, this was done using spare tiles I had been saving over the years for replacements and they were fixed using rapid set tile adhesive which meant I was able to start cleaning the floor after two hours.

To get the years of ingrained dirt out of the tiles I used Tile Doctor Acid Gel which is a blend of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids in a gel form, so it stays on top of the tiles and does not run off. This was left to dwell for a good ten minutes before scrubbing the floor using a weighted floor buffer fitted with a 200-grit resurfacing pad. A little water was used to lubricate the resurfacing pad and dilute the acid gel which helps stop efflorescence which is often a problem with floors of this age. The solution soon turned into a dark slurry which was then removed using a vet vacuum.

The next step was to repeat the process using more water and a 400-grit burnishing pad which refines the surface after the application of the coarser 200-grit pad. After more rinsing and extracting the floor was wiped using a microfibre cloth and then left to dry out overnight so it would be ready for sealing the next day.

Sealing a Farmhouse Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The next morning, I took a couple of moisture readings with a damp meter to make sure the floor was dry and ready to seal. The results were good so three coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra were applied using a clean microfibre cloth rubbing in circles to blend the polymers together to leave a semi sheen to the floor. I chose Seal and Go Extra due to the fact that it’s a breathable sealer that will cope with any moisture rising through the floor, this is an important consideration with old floors as they don’t have a damp-proof membrane installed under the floor.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Jodrell Bank Zoom

The client was very satisfied with the restoration, it looked better than they had expected and of course a lot nicer than the previous hall carpet! I recommended they should use Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner to maintain the floor which is pH neutral and will ensure the longevity of the seal we had applied.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Restoration Jodrell Bank

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in East Cheshire

Victorian Tiled Hallway Altered and Restored in Hale Barns

We were contacted by an architect who was working on the redevelopment of a late Victorian property in Hale Barns, their client wanted to restore the property to its former glory and several internal changes meant reconfiguring the doorways on the ground floor. This in turn would impact the elegant Black and White Victorian tiled hallway floor and the request was for us to lift half the tiled floor and then replace it once the internal changes were complete.

Black White Victorian Hallway Floor Before Restoration Hale Barns Black White Victorian Hallway Floor Before Restoration Hale Barns

Certainly, an interesting request and one we were happy to quote for. Hale Barns is an effluent part of Cheshire with a mixture of late Victorian and ultra-modern housing popular with footballers, so It’s refreshing to see a period property like this sympathetically restored instead of being demolished.

Lifting and Rebuilding a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The first part of the works involved removing the section of flooring that would be disrupted by the internal changes. Normally we would carefully cut out one tile so we can get a purchase on the remainder from underneath; however the floor had some loose tiles so it simply a question of lifting these then putting a flat plate under the rest and popping them up. I make it sound simple but doing it without damaging a tile takes patience.

Black White Victorian Hallway Floor During Tile Removal Hale Barns Black White Victorian Hallway Floor During Removal Hale Barns

The lifted tiles were stored in buckets containing a 4:1 dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and water. The tiles were left so soak for a couple of days to soften the adhesives, grout and dirt before being cleaned off and left to dry out.

Once the building work was completed, we were called back into rebuilt the Victorian floor taking into account the new door thresholds. The first job was to level the floor with fast drying self-levelling compound to provide a new sub-base for the tiles. This was left to dry overnight and the next day we started laying the floor back down with fast setting tile adhesive. Once the floor was laid, we left for the day, so it could set overnight.

Black White Victorian Hallway Floor During Restoration Hale Barns Black White Victorian Hallway Floor During Restoration Hale Barns

Lifting and Rebuilding a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Next day we checked the tiles were set before starting to clean with a set of abrasive burnishing pads which attach to a slow speed weighted rotary floor machine. We started with a very coarse 100-grit pad and use water to help lubricate the process, the resulting soil is then rinsed off and removed with a wet vacuum. Using exactly the same process we continue to further refine the tiles by working our way through ever finer grades of pads until we get to 1500-grit. The floor was then washed with Tile Doctor Acid Gel and this is left to soak into the tile before being washed off with water. Giving the floor an acid wash in this fashion helps clean the tile of old mineral deposits and also neutralises any alkaline salts in the floor which could cause problems later on, this is a common issue with old floors more commonly known as efflorescence. The floor was dried using the wet vacuum to remove as much moisture as possible before being left to dry off overnight.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

The next morning, I finished off the restoration of the floor with the application of a very fine 3000-grit burnishing pad which gave the floor a light sheen. This final pad is applied dry with only a little water sprayed onto the tile using a method we call a ‘Spray Burnish’.

The floor was then checked for moisture with a damp meter to make sure it was dry before sealing. All was well and two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer were applied to protect the floor going forward. Colour Grow is a fully breathable impregnating sealer that will enhance the colour of the black tiles and being breathable will cope well with any moisture rising through the floor. Once the sealer had dried fully the floor was buffed with the 3000-grit pad leaving a sheen as requested by the client.

Black White Victorian Hallway Floor After Cleaning Hale Barns Black White Victorian Hallway Floor After Sealing Hale Barns

The result was quite a transformation that was well received by the architect and their client.

 

Professional Victorian Tiled Floor Restoration in Hale Barns

Victorian Tiled Hallway Repaired and Cleaned in Prestbury

This fantastic chequered black and white Victorian Tiled Hallway was located at a house in the village of Prestbury north of Macclesfield in Cheshire. According to Wikipedia Presbury is part of the “Cheshire Golden Triangle” villages which include Wilmslow and Alderley Edge which are the most sought after and expensive places to live outside of London.

It was a lovely building however a new stair case had been fitted which didn’t quite match the foot print of the original staircase leaving a gap in the hallway tiling. The owner of the property wanted matching tiles fitted and also to give the floor and good clean and seal so they would blend in.

Chequered Victorian Floor Prestbury Before Repair and Clean

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Floor

To clean the floor and strip off any remaining sealer I first created a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean cleaning solution which is a versatile alkaline cleaner that’s designed for use on tile, stone and grout. reliably eradicates dirt on a wide variety of natural stone floors.

The solution was applied liberally across the floor, and left to dwell for about ten minutes to allow time for it to soak into the Victorian tiles. It was then scrubbed into the tiles using a scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary cleaning machine. The resulting cleaning slurry was rinsed off with water and then extracted from the floor using a wet vacuum. I repeated this process until I was confident the tiles were clean and free of old sealer.

The next step was to treat the floor to an acid wash using Acid Gel, this is especially important on old floors where there is no damp proof course to prevent damp rising through the tile leaving salt deposits on the surface. This problem is known as efflorescence and is neutralised by the acid. The gel was then removed and the floor given another rinse using the wet vacuum to get the floor as dry as possible.

The last task of the day was to fix replacement tiles in the gap left by the original staircase. Fortunately, Tile Doctor keep a range of replacement tiles so I was able to source some that matched without too much problem. After grouting the hallway was left to dry off fully overnight so it could be ready for sealing the next day.

Chequered Victorian Floor Prestbury After Repair and Clean

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

The next morning, I returned to the property and ran some damp tests. This is incredibly important to do before sealing any tiled floor because any excess moisture can cloud the sealer and prevent it from doing its job properly.

Once satisfied that the floor was dry, I applied a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a breathable impregnating sealer that enhances colour and protects from within. I dusted off any excess sealer and then followed up with the application of four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which provides both a robust surface seal and a long-lasting low sheen finish. I waited two hours for the sealer to dry and then the rotary machine fitted with a white buffing pad over the floor to makes sure everything was nice and tight.

Chequered Victorian Floor Prestbury After Repair and Clean Chequered Victorian Floor Prestbury After Repair and Clean

 
 

Professional Victorian Tiled Floor Restoration in Prestbury