Original Victorian Tiles Restored to Top Condition in Brighton

The 19th century was a pivotal period for the Brighton and Hove area of East Sussex. Many of the major attractions were built during the Victorian era, including two of the major piers. Over time, Brighton became not just a very popular destination for day trippers, but also for home makers. Lots of Victorian-style houses were built, complete with Victorian-style tiled floors.

Modern homeowners are increasingly uncovering these original Victorian tiles after decades of being hidden under carpet overlay. Contrary to popular belief, it is very much possible to restore these tiles back to peak condition despite suffering from damage, dirt and staining.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Before Restoration Hove

I recently a house in Brighton to prove just that. The customer’s Victorian tiled hallway floor had been covered by many carpets over the past few decades and so there were many thick glue deposits, along with a heavy build-up of dirt and staining.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Before Restoration Hove

Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway

After protecting the woodwork with tape, I set about cleaning the Victorian tiles using a combination of products. One of these was Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU (HBU = Heavy Build-Up Remove), a powerful cleaner which uses nano-sized cleaning particles to penetrate deep into the tile to lift out and dissolve ingrained dirt and stains. I mixed the NanoTech HBU together 50:50 with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, a reliable alkaline-based cleaner. This cleaning mixture was applied to the hallway floor and then covered with a plastic sheet for a few hours before being scrubbed into the tiles thoroughly with a lot of elbow grease and a specialised scrubbing pad.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor During Restoration Hove

A lot of the glue deposits were stubborn and would not respond to the chemical cleaning, so I needed to carefully scrape these off by hand. Once the majority of the glue had been removed I applied a set of diamond-encrusted burnishing pads to remove the top layer to resurface the floor and bring back a lot of the definition in the tile.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor During Restoration Hove

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Hallway

After completing the cleaning process, I left the floor to dry completely. Giving the tiles enough time to dry is important, especially in older properties which won’t have a damp-proof membrane installed. Even a small amount of excess moisture can cloud the sealer and damage its performance.

Once I was satisfied with the moisture level, I proceeded to seal the tiles using numerous coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water based sealer that doesn’t leave a smell as it dries and as well as adding a layer of protection to the tiles give an appealing low-sheen finish.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Restoration Hove

The client, being of French nationality, said she was “sur la lune” (over the moon) with the result! Look at the photos below to see the transformation – I must say I was quite pleased myself!

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor After Restoration Hove

 
 

Professional Tile Cleaning and Sealing for an Original Victorian Tiled Floor Restoration in Brighton

Lower Courtyard Slate Patio Cleaning in Brighton

Brighton is a great location to work with a huge variety of property styles and tile installation but being such a popular location parking can be an issue. We need to park our van physically close to the property so we can make use of our powerful Truck mounted cleaning system that weighs in at 3/4 of a tonne! It’s a really clever system that uses water under very high pressure to clean the stone whilst at the same time recovering the waste back to a storage tank in the van making it a very clean operation even in the most awkward conditions.

I thought I would mention this first as I was asked to deep clean and seal the lower ground level Slate tiled courtyard patio at this property in Brighton which was located down a small side street where people rarely moved their vehicles due to lack of spaces available. Fortunately I was aware of the issue and managed to overcome it by arranging a parking suspension with Brighton and Hove City Council allowing me to park my van.

Slate Patio Courtyard Brighton Parking Suspension Slate Patio Courtyard Brighton Before Cleaning

This patio was open to the elements and was also used by the owner’s dog. Further due to its inaccessibility it had never been cleaned apart from with the general hosepipe sprayer. Any kind of porous stone will over time become dirty and stained if the sealer is not maintained, sealers do fail eventually and usually in the highest traffic areas first where they become worn down the most.

Slate Patio Courtyard Brighton Before Cleaning Slate Patio Courtyard Brighton Before Cleaning

Deep Cleaning Dirty Slate Patio

The first job was to pressure clean the entire area using the truck mounted system I mentioned earlier, it works well on patios removing all sorts of detritus that can build up over time.

With patio now clear I was able to see the condition of the slate which showed grout smears on the surface from installation as some stubborn staining that the pressure treatment had been unable to shift. To resolve this I mixed up a batch of Tile Doctor Cleaning Agent Oxy Gel together with Tile Doctor Acid Gel and applied it to all the problem areas. Liquids have a tendency to run (patios have a gentle slope to allow for rain run off) whereas Gel’s remain in place so they dwell on the problem areas longer and really get to work. I left the mixture in place for a short while before scrubbing it in with a stiff brush and then extracted it using truck mount system. The water from the truck mount also neutralised the acid which is important as you shouldn’t leave acid on natural stone for too long.

Slate Patio Courtyard Brighton During Cleaning Slate Patio Courtyard Brighton During Cleaning

Sealing a Slate Patio

Fortunately there was no rain that night and being August also quite warm so I was pleased to find the Slate had tried off fully by the next day when we returned to seal it. To be certain however I ran some quick damp tests to check that the floor was completely dry and ready to be sealed. Once satisfied, I applied a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which works really well on Slate giving it that much needed protection against dirt and stains, along with a full lustre finish that enhances the character of the floor.

Slate Patio Courtyard Brighton After Cleaning Slate Patio Courtyard Brighton After Cleaning

The client was elated both with the result and even more so after we explained how to maintain the look of the tiles with having a doggy in the house!

Slate Patio Courtyard Brighton After Cleaning

 
 

Refurbishing a Slate Tiled Patio in East Sussex

Resolving limescale problems on black slate tiles in Hove

Recently we were asked to resolve an unusual problem with Limescale deposits on Black Slate floor tiles installed in a WC at a house in Hove on the East Sussex coast. You can see from the photograph below how Limescale has left an unsightly white haze and water marks on the surface of the slate tile.

Black Slate Tiles in Hove Before

Cleaning Limescale from a Slate Tiled Floor

The first step was to remove the Limescale and any other sealer products from the floor using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean scrubbed into the floor using a rotary machine fitted with a black pad, we also used a stiff brush along the grout lines and in those hard to reach areas around the toilet. The floor was then rinsed thoroughly with clean water and any stubborn areas revisited with a repeat of the same process until we were happy the tiles were clean. Had the Limescale proved harder to shift we would applied a stronger product such as Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which can remove mineral deposits.

Sealing Black Slate Floor Tiles

We left the floor to dry overnight and came back the next day to seal it using Tile Doctor Seal and Go, a highly recommended sealer for Slate which provides good stain protection with a low sheen finish, slate is quite porous and it took five coats before it was fully sealed.

Black Slate Tiles in Hove After

I think you will agree the slate tiled floor looks transformed as well as being much easier to clean.
 
 

Cleaning and Sealing a Black Slate Tiled Floor in Hove, East Sussex

Cleaning a Block Paved Driveway in Hove

Although we are Tile Doctors primarily we have the right equipment to tackle external brickwork as well and in this case were asked to clean a brick driveway in Hove which is near the famous seaside town of Brighton on the south coast. This is especially relevant for the elderly where paths can become slippery and treacherous with moss etc. if not cleaned regularly.

Block Paved Driveway Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Block paved Driveway

The process for cleaning the driveway was really straight forward; to start with we diluted one part Tile Doctor Pro-Clean with ten parts water and then applied it to the surface of the block paving and grout. This was left to dwell for a while so the chemicals could get to work and eat into the dirt of the surface. The blocks where then jet washed using an industrial