Victorian Tile Cleaning

Welcome to my Work History archive where you will find detailed examples of the cleaning and renovation of Victorian tiles carried out in West Sussex

Cleaning and Renovating Victorian Tiles

Commonly found in the hallways of oldder UK properties Victorian tiles are very hard wearing and can provide a classic look to any space. We often find that the beauty of these tiles are hidden under years of grime and neglect and are often covered up with carpets etc as tastes have changed over the years. If this sounds familiar then all is not lost as they can be restored.

The standard bearer for quality Victorian tiles was a firm called Minton Hollins, an English manufacturer who made a very good product which lasted the test of time. Victorian building practices however did not include the use of damp proof membranes and we often find damp can be a major issue with these old floors leading to salt problems known as efflorescence.

Common problems we face when restoring Victorian tiles are the removal of carpet glue, paint splashes and cement. Loose and cracked tiles can also be a problem however due to their popularity we usually find finding replacement tiles isn’t a problem.

Below you will find detailed examples of work we have carried out in the past, it should give you some idea of what’s involved and what can be achieved with the right techniques and products.

Victorian Tiles Goring by Sea Before After Renovation

Victorian tiled floor restoration Goring by Sea

We were contacted by a letting agent who managed a large town house in Goring by Sea that had been turned into flats. The area they wanted dealing with was the entrance hall where the original Victorian tiled floor had been covered over with linoleum tiles backed with a bitumen based adhesive and after removing the tiles the floor was now in a terrible state. I was confident that they could be restored however in extreme cases like this there can be no guarantee of the end result so I set their expectations accordingly.

Victorian Tiles Goring by Sea Before Renovation Victorian Tiles Goring by Sea Before Renovation

Restoring Victorian Floor Tiles

I started the job by softening the old adhesive with an application of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which was left to soak into the tile before using a paint stripping blade to carefully lift it off. This process had to be done over the entire area before I could start on the cleaning and once finished the floor was given a good rinse.

The tiles were now mostly free of the adhesive but were very grubby so I started over but this by time by applying a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a powerful tile cleaning product designed for use on stone, tile and grout. The solution was left to soak into the tile before being worked into the remaining dirt and grime using a buffing machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. One done the floor was thoroughly rinsed and any areas that needed it were spot treated.

Sealing a Victorian Floor Tiles

The floor was left to dry out for a few days after which we came back to seal it with four coats of Tile Doctor Pro-Seal which is a penetrating sealer which gave the desired natural look finish and will provide long lasting stain protection by soaking into the pores of the tile and preventing dirt from becoming ingrained there. You have to wait for each coat to dry before moving on to the next so it did take a while.

Victorian-Tiles-Goring-by-Sea-After-Renovation-3 Victorian Tiles Goring by Sea After Renovation

This was a tough job but certainly well worth the effort both the letting agents and residents all said how great the floor now looked.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor Restored in Sussex

Victorian tiled floor restoration Goring by Sea Read More »

Victorian Tiled Floor Before After Restoration Eastbourne

Victorian Floor Tiles Restored in Eastbourne

The pictures below are from a Victorian tiled floor installed in a period house in the coastal town Eastbourne. The tiles had been covered lino and carpet for years which the owner had only recently removed during renovation work, as it turns out this was unfortunate as they then became covered in plaster and paint from the decorators. Although the floor did look to be in a very sorry state I was very confident that I could breathe new life into it given enough time so I allowed four days to complete the task.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Restoration Eastbourne Victorian Tiled Floor Before Restoration Eastbourne

Cleaning a Victorian Floor Tiles

Some type of adhesive had been used to stick down the Lino and Carpet so the first step was to remove all the stubborn glue build up which I did using Tile Doctor Remove and Go, then once the bad areas had been targeted I concentrated on the plaster and paint build up which I treated using a 3-1 mix of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean in warm water worked in with a buffing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The soiled water was rinsed away using a wet vacuum so the floor could be checked to see if more work was required which it was so stubborn areas that had resisted the initial cleaning onslaught were spot cleaned by using a diluted mix of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up which is a very strong acidic product for removing grout and other mineral based substances from tiles. Before finishing the entire floor was given a thorough rinse to remove any trace of cleaning product, again a wet vacuum was used to remove the water and this time get the floor as dry as possible.

Sealing the Victorian Tiled Floor

The cleaning took place over two days and then the floor was given a further two days to allow it to dry fully after which I went back and sealed it with four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is an ideal sealer for Victorian tiles as it combines stain protection whilst giving the floor a subtle sheen appearance.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Restoration Eastbourne
Looking at the floor when the last coat went on it was hard to believe the state it was in when I first arrived. Incidentally the owner who had inherited the house told me that he had not seen the floor look that good when his parents were alive as he remembered it from his childhood. It always makes the job more worthwhile when you hear stories like that.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Restoration Eastbourne

Restoring a Victorian Tiled Floor

Victorian Floor Tiles Restored in Eastbourne Read More »


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