Dirty and Damaged Victorian Tiled Hallway Restored in Heathfield

This beautiful Victorian hallway had been left to suffer under the wear of rugby boots and dogs for many years. There were also some broken tiles in the doorways leading to other rooms, and there were clear paint splashes where decorators had neglected to clean up after themselves. To cut a long story short, the floor was in a bad state, and the property owner decided it was about time to call upon some professional assistance.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Heathfield

After providing a demonstration of the techniques I could use to improve the condition of the floor, the customer called me down to their property in the quaint market town of Heathfield.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Heathfield

Cleaning and Repairing a Damaged Victorian Tiled Hallway

To begin the cleaning process, I mixed a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean, before applying it liberally across the floor and working it into the tiles with a black pad fitted to a buffing machine. The cleaner helped to remove ingrained dirt and also contains properties to help break down any old sealer. I then soaked up the soiled solution with a wet vacuum.

Following this I turned my attention to the unsightly paint splashes, opting to remove them manually with a hand scraper, rather than use a liquid cleaning product. Oftentimes when there are small isolated paint marks it is more convenient to deal with them in this way.

The last problem to address was the array of broken and loose tiles in the doorways. Since original Victorian tiles are well over 100 years old (and often fit to a very particular pattern, like in this case), it can be extremely difficult to source replacements that colour match exactly. Thankfully I had previously been able to source some original tiles from a salvage yard in Kent which matched very closely with the colour of the customer’s floor. I had no issues in fitting the replacement tiles before moving on to the sealing process.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway

I left the house for two days, and upon my return the tiles were bone dry and ready to be sealed. A damp floor cannot be sealed as any moisture rising to the surface will cloud the sealer and affect its performance.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning Heathfield

Using a paint pad as an application tool, I sealed the floor with nine coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go. Seal and Go is a topical sealer which builds up a barrier on the surface of the stone to protect from dirt. Each coat of the sealer must be allowed to dry before the next is applied.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning Heathfield

As the photographs show, the tiles were transformed in a short space of time. The customer was really pleased, knowing now that the floor will be protected from future wear and tear – a must with dogs running about the house!
 
 

Professional Damaged and Dirty Victorian Hallway Floor Restoration in East Sussex

Six Day Cleaning And Sealing Of Limestone Bathrooms And Hallway In Brighton

This was a substantial engagement at a luxury rental apartment in Brighton rejuvenating the Limestone tiles in two bathrooms and a hallway taking six days of hard work. In addition, I would be working around two decorators, making for even more testing work conditions.

Brighton Luxury Flat Limestone Floor Before Cleaning

Cleaning Limestone bathroom tiles

I first set to work on the smallest bathroom, which featured limestone tiles from floor to ceiling, as well as a large bath, copper sink and a tiled surround. Limestone is a very popular choice for interior and exterior decoration, but the tiles in this bathroom were in need of some care to get them looking their best again. My initial task was to strip away any previous sealer by hand; this was done using a mixture of warm water and Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which, along with Limestone, is also suitable for use on other types of natural stone, such as Granite, Slate and Travertine. Pro-Clean serves both as an effective stripper and cleaner, meaning that once the sealer had been stripped away, the tiles also received a thorough clean. Once I had cleaned the tiles, I sucked up any excess water and residue using a Wet-Dry Vac machine.

Brighton Luxury Flat Limestone Bathroom Before Cleaning

Since the tiles would have to be left to dry for a couple of days, I offered to restore the copper sink for the customer, even though this was not actually part of my job description. After conducting some research into copper cleaning, I opted to use a combination of lemon juice, vinegar and salt. The research paid off as, once I began to apply the solution to the sink, the bright orange and brown colours of the copper quickly rose to the surface. Within the space of an hour, I had transformed what initially appeared to be a ruined sink into a lovely, shimmering copper feature for the bathroom. Both the decorators and I were truly amazed at the results – but all credit goes to Google!

Brighton Luxury Flat Copper Sink Before Cleaning Brighton Luxury Flat Copper Sink After Cleaning

The larger of the two bathrooms was a much stiffer test for the Tile Doctor products. It had not been left in great condition, as the shower area had clearly not been sealed correctly, and the tiles had been left in such a manner that soap scum from shampoos, soaps and shower gels had built up on the window sill. In fact, the damage was significant enough that I had to explain to the customer before starting the work that whilst I could greatly improve the appearance of the tiles, I would not be able to restore them to new. This is because many shampoo and body wash products are acidic and can cause permanent damage to stone work especially when left to dwell for a long time.

My choice of product was Tile Doctor Mould Away, a formula which, over time, seeps deeply into the pores of the stone, effectively lifting away the muck. In cases of particularly stubborn areas, it is necessary to apply another covering of Mould Away and leave it for an extended period of time. This is exactly what I did over the next few days, leaving the product overnight to work its magic. The change was certainly drastic, if not perfect.

Brighton Luxury Flat Window Sill Before Cleaning Brighton Luxury Flat Window Sill After Cleaning

Cleaning and sealing the hallway and bathrooms

As both bathrooms required extended periods of drying, I spent two days working on the hallway, which had been partially covered with a plastic sealing for the previous six months due to building work. Needless to say, the hallway was in need of a good clean. I set about cleaning the hallway with a solution of warm water and Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, before once again using a Wet-Dry Vac machine to remove any excess water to prepare the floor for sealing at a later point. It is very important to remove any residue of cleaning solution before sealing, as this may impact the performance of the sealer. Following this, I left the hallway to dry for two days, providing the builders with strict instructions to cover it with blankets for protection while they were working.

While the floor was drying, I sealed the bathrooms – both now fully dried – with Tile Doctor Colour Grow Sealer, a solvent-based sealer that was highly effective at enhancing the colour of the brown tiles around the sinks. The product will also provide durable surface protection. I spent the final of the six days sealing the hallway floor with Tile Doctor Seal & Go, which provides both a stain-resistant surface seal and a durable, low-sheen finish. This was an ideal choice of product, as the customer requested a hard-wearing, yet shiny finish.

Brighton Luxury Flat Limestone Bathroom Before Cleaning Brighton Luxury Flat Limestone Bathroom After Cleaning

The hard work really paid off, as both the customer and the decorators were very impressed with the final results in the two bathrooms and the hallway. I was extremely pleased that I was able to complete this big job to the highest possible standards.

Brighton Luxury Flat Limestone Floor After Cleaning Brighton Luxury Flat Limestone Floor After Cleaning

 
 

Huge Limestone Tile Restoration Process Done In Brighton

Restoring a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Brighton

The photograph below is from a Victorian tiled floor that we recently restored in the seaside town of Brighton. The house owner discovered the tiles under carpet and after realising what a beautiful and original feature they were decided to have them restored and so called in Tile Doctor. The tiles had been well preserved by the carpet although as you can see they were looking rather washed out and were in need of a thorough deep clean.

Victorian Tiles in Brighton Before Restoration

Cleaning Victorian Tiles

We set about cleaning the tile using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a powerful alkaline cleaning product that is safe to use on tile and stone. It was applied with a mop and left it to dwell on the floor for ten minutes first in order to give it chance to soak into the tile and get to work on the dirt. It was then worked into the floor using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad, stiff hand brushes and a substantial amount of elbow grease was used to tackle the stubborn stains and along the grout lines. The soiled water was picked up with a wet and dry vacuum and once we were happy the floor was clean it was given a thorough rinse with fresh water to remove any leftover chemical and then left to dry.

Sealing Victorian Tiles

Once the floor was dry we were able to seal it using four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which adds a nice shine to the floor as well as providing a surface seal that will help protect the tile from stains going forward.

Victorian Tiles in Brighton After Restoration

It was quite a transformation and well worth the effort as you can see from the photographs above.
 
 

Victorian Tile Restoration in Brighton

Black Slate tiled floor cleaned and sealed in East Sussex

This black slate tiled floor installed in a hallway of a client’s house in East Sussex had seen its share of foot traffic and as you can see from the photograph below the tiles had dulled and grout become stained.

Black Slate Tile Before Cleaning

Cleaning black slate floor tiles

We set about scrubbing the floor with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad together with a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is an effective Tile and Grout cleaner especially recommend for stone floors due to its alkaline formula. It’s also quite good at stripping sealers from floors however this wasn’t too much of any issue in this case as most of the old sealer had been worn off.

The next step was to get into the grout lines with stiff brushes to give the grout a good scrub, this step has to be done by hand as the scrubbing pads can struggle to reach the grout. The next step was to remove the soiled cleaning solution with a wet vacuum and wash the floor down with clean water to remove any remaining cleaning product and neutralise the floor before the next step of sealing.

Sealing black slate floor tiles

Once the floor was dry we came back to seal it using two coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which put the shine back into the tile and will protect the tile and grout from stains going forward.

Black Slate Tile After Cleaning
 

Black slate floor tile restored in East Sussex