Hale Barns

Renovating a Victorian Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor in Hale Barns

The pictures below are of an old Quarry Tiled Floor in the Kitchen of a property in Hale Barns that date back to the Victorian era. The clients had tried to clean the tiles themselves but struggled to achieve a satisfactory result and thus decided to call Tile Doctor to have the floor professionally restored.

Old Victorian Quarry Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Hale Barns

Close to the Trafford market town of Altrincham, Hale Barns village has a long history with many older properties with classic floors that need a lot of care and attention to keep them looking good.

Old Victorian Quarry Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Hale Barns

I went over to survey the floor and could see that as well as the usual build-up of ingrained dirt they had also some marks from decorating and plastering which can be hard to remove.
I demonstrated the cleaning method I had planned to use on a small are of the floor which responded well to the treatment. They were happy to proceed with my quote and we booked the job in.

Deep Cleaning a Victorian Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor

My process was to give the floor a good scrub with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is designed to remove old sealers and other coatings. This was initially scrubbed in with a stiff brush and then I followed this with the application of a coarse 200-Grit milling pad. These pads are made from industrial diamonds and being very coarse they really cut through the dirt.

The paint and plaster was a real struggle to remove, I spent a lot of time dealing with these by hand using small hand-held burnishing blocks working through the 100, 200 and 400-grit in sequence until I got the desired result. A lot of water was added to aid the process of lubrication and rinsing, all liquids were then extracted off the floor with an industrial wet vacuum. The amount of dirt removed was remarkable, but the floor looked great.

I was planning to seal the Quarry tiles the very next day so I left three floor industrial fans in situ overnight to ensure the floor would dry out. These also came in handy the next day to help speed up drying times during the sealing process.

Old Victorian Quarry Tiled Floor During Cleaning Drying Hale Barns

Sealing a Victorian Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor

It’s not a good idea to apply sealer to a damp floor, for best results it needs to be dry. With that in mind when I returned the next day, I started by taking moisture readings from the floor with a damp meter. I am pleased to say the fans had done their job and the floor was dry so I was able to press on with sealing the floor with the application of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This is an impregnating colour intensifying sealer which provides durable protection as well as allowing the tile to breath which is an important consideration when working in older properties. Several coats were applied and true to its name the deep orange/red colours in the Quarry tiles really stood out.

Old Victorian Quarry Tiled Floor After Renovation Hale Barns

By the time I had finished the floor looked great and my client was over the moon with their newly restored Quarry tiled floor. For aftercare cleaning I recommended they use the Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner. It is pH neutral tile cleaner that will not degrade the new sealer which is important as many supermarket cleaning products are simply too strong for use on sealed tiles. (Always check the label!)

Old Victorian Quarry Tiled Floor After Renovation Hale Barns


Professional Restoration of a Quarry Tiled Kitchen in East Cheshire

Bleach Disaster Resolved in Hale Barns Travertine Tiled Shower Cubicle

The pictures shown are from a Travertine tiled shower cubicle that was installed at a property in Hale Barns twenty years prior. The Travertine tiles were in desperate need of renovation and being stone they needed a specialist to sort it out.

20 Year Old Travertine Shower Cubicle Before Renovation Hale Barns 20 Year Old Travertine Shower Cubicle Before Renovation Hale Barns

In an attempt to clean the stone a cleaner ended up making it worse when she used a strong bleach cleaner all over the tiles which actually etched the stone due to the acidic nature of the product. We find this is quite a common problem, especially in areas with limescale, in fact Tile Doctor now offer a training course for commercial cleaning companies because of it. I discussed with the client the process I would use to restore the appearance of the Travertine and with our quote accepted we agreed a date to complete the work.

Cleaning a Travertine Tiled Shower Cubicle

To begin with I applied a set of six-inch diamond burnishing pads fitted to a hand buffer to slowly remove the etching and gradually build the polished appearance of the stone. The pads are applied in sequence from 400-grit which resurfaces the stone through to 3,000 grit which builds up the polished appearance of the stone.

The Grout was then given a clean using Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel which was left to soak into the grout line for ten minutes before being scrubbed in by hand. Being a gel, it sticks better to vertical surfaces resulting in longer dwell time and therefore better cleaning results.

The combination of the two processes really got to grips with the ingrained dirt and the heavy limescale. The tiles were thoroughly rinsed which is nice and easy in a shower situation, and then left to dry for a few hours, prior to the seal being applied. During this time, I turn my attention to other bathroom areas for which I use a wet vacuum to extract the water and soiling.

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Shower Cubicle

We sealed the Travertine and Grout later that afternoon using a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This is a impregnating sealer which soaks into the pores to provide durable protection, it also enhances the natural colours in the stone to bring the best features out in the Travertine. The stone had been installed all the way up to the high ceiling, so I needed to climb up a ladder to reach all areas.

The customer was beyond happy with results and left the following feedback:

“Kamila turned a bleach disaster in a travertine shower into a just installed look, also clearing mould stains at the same time – in a long day. Fantastic service, great price: don’t hesitate to book her. Steve D, Hale, 10 February 2020”

20 Year Old Travertine Shower Cubicle After Renovation Hale Barns 20 Year Old Travertine Shower Cubicle After Renovation Hale Barns

For everyday aftercare I recommended the use of Tile Doctor Aqua Pro which is designed for cleaning bathrooms where a sealer has been applied. This will keep the shower cubicle looking in great condition moving forward. It will also help to keep the dreaded limescale and mould under control and with regular use it will also ensure the newly applied sealant stays in place for longer.

If you’re a commercial cleaner reading this then do take a look at Tile Doctor’s Agency Tile Cleaning training course. It will fill the knowledge gap many cleaners have when it comes to cleaning stone tiling and ensure you avoid being in a similar situation.


Professional Travertine Tiled Shower Cubicle Restoration in West 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

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