Damaged Victorian Tiled Period Hallway Restored in Edinburgh

These are a few photos from a Victorian tiled hallway we restored in Edinburgh. The property is close to the beautiful city centre and is in a road with other Victorian properties. The floor was once stunning but was now overdue some love and care to restore it back to its’ former self.

Victorian Tiled Entrance Edinburgh Before Restoration

We went over to the property first to survey the floor and see for ourselves the extent of the work required before quoting for the restoration. The floor was incredibly dirty and there were a number of broken tiles that would need to be replaced or repaired. There are handful of companies where you can source matching tiles but with a floor of this age its not always possible. We discussed with the client the process we would follow to restore the floor which would take three days and agreed a price and date for the work. We also took away with us some of the broken tiles to assist in tracking down matching replacements.

Victorian Tiled Entrance Edinburgh Before Restoration

Restoring a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

We arrived on the first day and started by taping up the adjacent woodwork to protect it. The next step was to ensure the floor was completely sound before starting the cleaning process which meant dealing with the loose and broken tiles. The loose and broken tiles were removed and then replaced with new reproduction Victorian tiles that we had managed to source from Original Style. The tiles were cut to fit and then set into the floor with tile adhesive. Unfortunately, we were unable to source a replacement for a broken center pattern tile which had an intricate pattern, so we had to secure this back in place using the two broken pieces. With the tiling work completed there was nothing else we could do so we left to allow the adhesive to set.

Victorian Tiled Entrance Edinburgh Before Restoration

Returning the following day, we began the cleaning process using a set of coarse burnishing pads fitted to a rotary machine. 100, 200 and then a 400-grit burnishing pad was applied in sequence. Then after going over the floor a few times with the pads the floor was rinsed with water which was then extracted with a vet vacuum to remove the fine slurry that was generated. This process ground off the dirt and refined the surface of the tile ensuring the old and new tiles made a perfect match.

The next step was to give the floor an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel which is scrubbed into the tiles and then rinsed off and extracted as before. This allowed us to get the tiles as clean as possible without the need of any alkaline cleaning products which can cause efflorescence issues later when the floor dries. Efflorescence is a common problem on floors of this age where a damp-proof membrane has not been fitted; moisture rises through the sub floor and tile carrying salts which then get deposited on the surface of the tile as the moisture evaporates. Once complete the floor was left to dry off overnight in readiness for sealing process the next day.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

On the final third day we returned to seal the floor testing the moisture level first with a damp meter to ensure the floor was dry. The results were positive, and I was happy that it was within the correct tolerance for the sealer to be effective. To seal the floor, we used Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra, applying 5 coats and letting each coat dry before applying the next.

Victorian Tiled Entrance Edinburgh After Restoration

The sealer gave enhanced the look of the floor leaving a hardwearing sheen surface which will protect the tiles will also make them easy to clean going forward. This sealer is also fully breathable which is perfect for a floor with no damp-proof membrane in that it won’t trap moisture under the tiles where is could eventually spread to the walls and lead to rising damp.

The client was very happy with the restored floor, the colours were now very vibrant, and the dull entrance hall had been transformed to an inviting space.

Victorian Tiled Entrance Edinburgh After Restoration

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Edinburgh

Dirty and Discoloured Victorian Tiled Entrance Cleaned in Edinburgh

If you visit Victorian era houses throughout the UK, you will find that many them have colourful tiled entranceways (also sometimes known as vestibules). The tiles are commonly made from encaustic cement, stylised with distinct geometric patterns that really help to add character to the property.

The reign of Queen Victoria was a prosperous and confident time for Scotland – and many new houses and buildings were built in the well-known ‘Victorian’ style during the period. One of the best-known buildings to be built was Balmoral Castle, which is still in use by the Royal Family as a holiday home.

Homeowners who are fortunate enough to be in possession of original Victorian tiles will find that they are not easy to keep clean without the right products and methods. The entrance to any house of course is subject to high amounts of foot traffic, which means the tiles can become dirt and discoloured very quickly indeed.

Here is an example that we cleaned and sealed recently in Edinburgh, although in good physical condition for its age the sealer on the floor had worn off and dirt had become ingrained in the tile reducing its overall appearance.

Small Victorian Porch Before Cleaning Edinburgh

Cleaning Dirty and Discoloured Victorian Tiles

Having restored hundreds of Victorian tiled floors in the past, Tile Doctor has developed tried and tested methods for cleaning all types of tiled floors so tackling this small floor would not be a problem.

To begin, we gave the floor a deep clean to break down any old sealants and to cut through thick layers of dirt and grime. The cleaning solution we employed consisted of two products: Tile Doctor Pro Clean (which is a strong alkaline cleaner) and Tile Doctor Remove and Go (which is a stripping agent formulated for the removal of old sealants, synthetic coatings, glues, and paints). The solution is applied and left to soak into the tile for ten to twenty minutes before being scrubbed in, which for a small area such as this needs to be done by hand. The soiled solution is then rinsed off with water and this is then extracted using a wet vacuum. This deep cleaning process was repeated several times to make sure the tiles were as clean as possible.

Once we were happy that all the dirt and grime had been removed, we gave the floor a quick acid wash using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up to remove any old grout smears and to neutralise any potential salt efflorescence issues. The floor was then given a final rinse before leaving it to dry off fully overnight and a turbo air mover was left running to help speed up the process and ensure the floor was completely dry to be sealed the following day.

We are very conscious of the fact that many of these old Victorian tiled floors to have damp-proof membranes installed beneath them, so we wanted to guarantee there would be no damp issues that would prevent us from applying a fresh sealant. This is because even a small amount of excess moisture can potentially damage the performance of the sealant.

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Entrance

Returning to the property on the second day, we proceed to seal the tiles with three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This sealant soaks into the pores of the tile protecting it from within and providing long term protection, it also enhances the colours in the tile in the process.

The difference made by this two-day restoration is shown below. It is quite amazing how quickly these results can be achieved considering the age and previous condition of the tiles. Our customer was absolutely thrilled.

Small Victorian Porch After Cleaning Edinburgh

 
 

Professional Cleaning and Sealing of a Victorian Tiled Entrance in Edinburgh

Victorian Tiled Office Entrance Cleaned and Sealed in Edinburgh CIty

These are photos of a Victorian tiled floor we renovated at the new Scottish head office of the Peoples Postcode Lottery in the centre of Edinburgh City where the building was going through a multi million pound refurbishment. Edinburgh has a lot of Georgian and Victorian architecture, much of which is listed and as a result many still have original Victorian tiled flooring.

I’ve not really looked at the Postcode Lottery until now but put simply you give the lottery £10 a month and your postcode is your winning ticket number, there are prize draws every day and if your postcode comes up every one in the system with that postcode wins; they also give 31% to charity which is impressive.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Postcode Lottery HQ Edinburgh

Cleaning Original Victorian Tiles

You can see from the photograph that the floor was in good physical condition but was looking tired and dull. This is not unusual for Victorian tiles as once the sealer wears down dirt can penetrate into the pores of the tile causing it to lose its appearance.

On the first day we set about stripping the floor of what remained of the old sealant using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is an industrial strength alkaline tile and grout cleaning product that is safe to use on Tile and Stone. The product is applied to the floor, left to soak in for ten minutes and the scrubbed into the tile using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary bonnet machine. The floor was then rinsed and the now soiled cleaning solution extracted using a wet vacuum.

The process was repeated several times until we were happy the floor was clean and free of sealer and then given a final rinse with water. Before leaving for the day the floor was dried as much as possible using the wet vacuum to extract as much moisture as possible.

Sealing Original Victorian Tiles

On the second day our first task was to check the floor with a damp meter in several places to ensure the tiles had dried off overnight. All was well and we began the process of sealing the floor with a Tile Doctor Seal and Go. This is a topical sealer which provides a high-quality low-sheen finish and protection against ingrained dirt and stains.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning Postcode Lottery HQ Edinburgh

Victorian tiles are quite porous and five coats were needed to fully seal the floor. This took some time to complete as you have to wait until the first coat is dry before applying the next however it was well worth the effort as the floor looked fantastic afterwards.
 
 

Professional Renovation of an Original Victorian Tiled Floor in the City of Edinburgh

Original Victorian Tiles Refreshed With Deep Clean and Seal in Edinburgh

Edinburgh became an increasingly important city in the UK during the Victorian period. Although overtaken by Glasgow as Scotland’s largest city in the early 19th century, Edinburgh experienced expansion and industrialisation, and many areas which had been populated by Georgian architecture were rebuilt with Victorian buildings.

Of course, this included many Victorian residential properties, many of which are still inhabited, and still have original Victorian tiled flooring. A lot of property owners choose to keep the original tiles rather than strip them out, and we specialise in restoring and maintaining them.

I recently visited a property in Edinburgh to provide a deep clean and fresh seal for some Victorian porch tiles that were looking a bit worse for wear. The job was carried out over the space of two days.

Victorian Porch Entrance Before Cleaning Edinburgh

Cleaning Original Victorian Tiles

On the first day of work, I arrived at the property and immediately began by stripping the floor of any old sealant. Sealers don’t last forever and are worn away over time requiring them to be routinely topped up with a fresh application, however in this case the sealer had worn off completely in most places allowing dirt to become ingrained in the pores of the tile, so the only course of action would be to strip off what was left, clean the floor and reseal.

The old sealant was removed using a strong solution of our natural stone cleaner and stripper, known as Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, and our heavy-duty sealer and coating remover, known as Tile Doctor Remove and Go. This combination of products was applied and scrubbed into the stone using a black buffing pad fitted to a rotary machine. The floor was then rinsed to remove any excess chemical residue and the moisture was soaked up.

Next, the floor was then burnished using a coarse diamond-encrusted burnishing pad to grind off tough stains and rinsed again with fresh water. Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner, which is an excellent pH-neutral cleaner for routine maintenance, was then used to complete the cleaning process and the tiles were left to dry completely overnight.

Sealing Original Victorian Tiles

On the second day of work, the tiles had dried off nicely overnight and I was able to return to the property to seal the tiles using five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go. This is a topical sealer which provides a high-quality low-sheen finish and protection against ingrained dirt and stains. In this case, the customer had opted for a sheen finish as opposed to a natural-look, matte finish.

Comparing the before and after photos, it’s clear how significant a difference routine maintenance can make to the appearance and condition of these original Victorian tiles. The customer was very pleased with the outcome and I recommended the use of our Neutral Tile Cleaner for frequent cleaning in the future. Being PH neutral it won’t prematurely erode the sealer like many acidic supermarket products.

Victorian Porch Entrance After Cleaning Edinburgh

 
 

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

Dirty Victorian Tiled Hallway Restored in Edinburgh

Victorian tiled floors were popularised during the 19th century and continue to be in fashion to this day. However they do need to be properly maintained and many homeowners need assistance with this as was the case with this customer in Edinburgh. Their Victorian tiled hallway floor was very dull due to several layers of ingrained dirt, and was also marked in numerous places by paint splashes from decorating. The customer was unable to deal with these issues themselves, despite trying several times with everyday cleaning products and called us in to restore the floor back to looking its best.

Victorian Entrance Hallway Before Cleaning Edinburgh

Cleaning a Dirty Victorian Tiled Hallway

To begin, I mixed a 50:50 solution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean and Tile Doctor Remove & Go which creates a powerful cleaner/stripper solution. Pro-Clean is a high alkaline cleaner, while Remove & Go is specifically designed to break down adhesives, paints and any old surface sealer.

The solution was sprayed onto the tiled floor and left it to dwell for 5-10 minutes. It was then thoroughly scrubbed into the floor, and any excess residue was promptly extracted using a wet-vac machine.

The area was too tight to allow for a heavy rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad, so I opted to complete the cleaning process by hand. To ensure a high quality clean in lieu of the absent rotary machine, I scrubbed the floor three times over, successfully removing all of the paint marks and ingrained dirt in the process.

After cleaning it was important to neutralise any excess chemicals left over on the tiles, and I did this by washing the entire floor with Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner. A wet vacuum was used to remove as much moisture from the floor as possible and then it was left to dry fully overnight.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

On the second day, I returned to the house to seal the newly cleaned Victorian tiles. The customer specifically requested a natural, non-sheen finish for the surface seal; now normally I recommend Seal and Go for Victorian tiles however it does leave a shiny finish and so I switched to Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that met the client’s requirements and has the additional benefit of improving the natural shades and colours within the tile. Three coats were applied to fully protect the tiles allowing the floor to dry between each coat.

Victorian Entrance Hallway After Cleaning Edinburgh

My customer was very happy with the results achieved over the course of two days. Before leaving the property I made sure to impart some advice on cleaning products and methods, to help the customer take long-term care of this fantastic Victorian floor.
 
 

Professional Victorian Tile Maintenance Service in Edinburgh

Removing paint from a Victorian tiled hallway floor in Polwarth

This job was at house in Polwarth, a small parish through which flows the Union Canal, running from Falkirk to Edinburgh. The client had requested a clean for a Victorian tiled hallway set in the narrow reception area of the house.

Victorian Tiled floor Polwarth before cleaning

The tiled floor had been painted over by the previous owners of the house using a thick, red paint. Painting a tile floor in such a way can affect its wash-ability, and the paint can peel off over time especially in a high-traffic area such as a reception area or hallway such as this. The red paint would have to be removed in order to restore the tile underneath and reveal its natural state, as well as provide a thorough and much-needed clean.

Victorian Tiled floor Polwarth before cleaning

Removing paint from a Victorian tiled floor

The first step in the paint removal process was to spray the floor with a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed with Remove & Go. Pro-Clean is a heavy duty cleaner and degreaser, suitable for use on tile, stone and grout. Pro-Clean combines well with Remove and Go, which is a multi-purpose stripper capable of removing most sealers, adhesives and, particularly important for this case, paint. The solution was left to dwell after application to allow it to soak into the tile and soften the paint and dirt.

After 10 to 15 minutes we scrubbed the floor in order to remove as much of the paint as possible. The owner of the house was surprised to see the true colours of the tile appearing, which had been hidden beneath the paint for a significant period of time. As the red paint coating was particularly thick, we had to scrub the floor multiple times. In some areas the paint proved tricky to remove so it was necessary to use a steamer to steam clean the stubborn areas.

Once all of the paint had been successfully removed, the unveiled tile floor was treated to another clean using Pro-Clean, before being given a wash down and neutralised using Concentrated Neutral Tile & Stone Cleaner. It’s important to ensure any trace of strong cleaning products are removed from floor before the next step of sealing as it can impact the sealer leading to un-even results.

Sealing Victorian floor tiles

The floor was left to dry off overnight and we came back the next day to seal the tiles using four coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go which is an ideal sealer for Victorian tiles as it provides stain protection whilst also bringing out the colours resulting in a subtle sheen appearance.

Victorian Tiled floor Polwarth after cleaning

You can see from the photos that after a thorough cleaning and sealing the floor was back to looking its best. I do wonder why someone would want to paint over such a fantastic Victorian tiled floor!

Victorian Tiled floor Polwarth after cleaning

 
 

Restoration of Victorian floor at a residence in Polwarth

Cleaning Victorian Hallway Tiles in Whitburn

This dull and un-inviting Victorian tiled entrance hall was located at a house in the small town of Whitburn in West Lothian which is half between Glasgow and Edinburgh. The tiles were in need of a deep clean and seal and we do see our fair share of Victorian tiled floors in this area and so have become quite experienced in their maintenance.

Victorian Tiles Before Cleaning in Whitburn

Cleaning Victorian Tile and Grout

To clean the floor and remove any remaining sealer a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean was applied to the floor and left to soak into the tiles for around fifteen minutes before being worked into the tile and grout using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary bonnet machine. Pro-Clean is a heavy duty alkaline cleaning product that un-like acid based cleaners are safe to use on Tile, Stone and Grout.

The soiled cleaning solution was then rinsed off using water and then the whole process repeated; three times to ensure any remaining sealer was removed and the floor was clean. The final step was to neutralise the floor before sealing which we did by giving it a final wash with Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner, this time we extracted as much water as possible using a wet vacuum and then left the tile to dry off overnight.

Sealing Victorian Tiles

We came back the next day and after checking the floor was clean and dry proceeded to seal the tiles using five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go. Seal and Go is a water based sealer so it doesn’t leave a smell as its drying, it also offers good stain protection and adds a nice sheen to the floor.

Victorian Tiles After Cleaning in Whitburn

The entrance tiles now look new again and the sealer should keep it that way for a long time to come.
 
 

Victorian Tile Deep Cleaned and Sealed near Edinburgh

Cleaning Dirty Victorian Tiles Floor in Musselburgh

We had a great result on this Victorian tiled floor at a house in Musselburgh which is five miles east of Edinburgh and apparently one of the oldest towns in Scotland. If you take a close look at the photograph below you can see how dirty the tiles were before we got started.

Victorian Tiles Before Cleaning in Musselburgh

Cleaning Victorian Tile and Grout

We were quite lucky with the floor in that it was in good physical shape and really just need a deep clean and re-seal. So the first step was to strip of any old remaining sealer or other coatings from the tiles using a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is safe to use on these old tiles. The solution was mopped onto the tile and grout and then scrubbed in using a rotary bonnet machines fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The soiled cleaning solution was then rinsed off using water and then the whole process repeated; three times in fact before being satisfied that the floor was clean. The floor was given a final rinse using Neutral Tile cleaner and then water extracted using a wet vacuum before being left to dry overnight.

Sealing Victorian Tiles

We came back the next day and checked a few areas to make sure the floor was dry before sealing. The tiles were dry so the sealing process was started using Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is an ideal sealer for Victorian Tiles as it affords good stain protection whilst adding a nice subtle sheen to the floor, five coats were required before the tiles had become fully sealed.

Victorian Tiles After Cleaning in Musselburgh

I think you will agree the tiles look transformed and the sealer should keep them looking that way for some time to come.
 
 

Victorian Tile Deep Cleaned and Sealed near Edinburgh