Original Victorian Tiled Hallway Extended and Refreshed in Sevenoaks

This customer has recently purchased a house in Sevenoaks and was looking to extend and reconfigure the interior layout. As part of this, they had removed a wall, effectively extending the hallway which had been tiled in fantastic original Victorian tiles. Naturally, they felt the extended hallway should look the same and wanted the Victorian tiles extending into this new area with matching tiles.

Victorian floor before cleaning Sevenoaks

Also, the existing tiles had not been cleaned and sealed for some time and were now overdue a deep clean and fresh seal, this however would to work to our advantage as cleaning the existing floor and then sealing the whole floor in one go would help the new tiles blend in with the original.

Victorian floor before cleaning Sevenoaks

Cleaning a Dirty Victorian Tiled Hallway

To clean the floor, I applied several different products. When cleaning Victorian tiles, I usually start by applying our heavy duty cleaner known as Tile Doctor Remove and Go because it is particularly effective at breaking down grime that has been built up on these tiles over many years, and as its name suggests strips away any old sealer. This is left to dwell on the tile for ten to fifteen minutes before being scrubbed in with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor buffer.

Once the cleaning slurry from the Remove and Go had been vacuumed up and cleared completely from the area, I then applied a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean, a high alkaline cleaner which helps to get deep into the stone to eliminate ingrained dir and staining.

I finished the deep cleaning process by applying a solution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up, which is an acid-based cleaner that is good for removing grout haze and other mineral deposits such as effloresce. After diluting it with water, I used it to rinse the floor, neutralising any efflorescence and limescale. It also assisted in opening the pores in the clay based tiles to get them ready for an impregnating sealer.

Laying a Victorian Tiled Hallway

The next step was to extended the hallway using reproduction tiles which I had sourced to match the existing Victorian pattern. There were also a couple of areas where the existing tiles need replacing. Rebuilding Victorian tiled floors is quite a common request for Tile Doctor so over the years we have built up a good list of suppliers and often source tiles from ebay that we keep in stock in case someone needs them.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway

One the new tiles were laid and the grout had gone off I returned to complete the project by sealing the whole floor with a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, a colour-enhancing impregnating sealer that leaves the floor richer in colour while retaining the natural looking matte finish requested by the customer.

Victorian floor after cleaning and rebuilding Sevenoaks

The photos show just how great the results were – the customer was very pleased with their newly extended and refreshed Victorian tiled hallway.

Victorian floor after cleaning and rebuilding Sevenoaks

 
 

Professional Victorian Tiled Hallway Restoration and Extension in Sevenoaks

Slate Tiled Wet Room Treated for Grout Haze and Restored in Sevenoaks

A builder had made a real mess of this customer’s new Slate tiled wet room. When installing any new natural stone tiles, it is always recommended to apply the sealer before grouting, since – as was the case here – the porosity of the stone can cause the grout to stick with to the stone, leaving a terrible blotchy and uneven appearance.

Slate Tiled Floor Before Restoration Sevenoaks

What’s more, once stuck to the stone, the grout is essentially impossible for the tiler to remove. In this wet room, light grey grout had been left smeared all over the Slate tiled walls, causing haze in some places.

Slate Tiled Floor Before Restoration Sevenoaks

Understandably, she was very upset with the situation and was eager to secure some professional help, courtesy of the Kent Tile Doctor. I travelled down to the property, situated in Sevenoaks, Kent, to set the problems right.

Restoring the appearance of a Slate Tiled Wet Room

To begin, I had to tape up all the chrome and metal fittings found around the bathroom to stop them coming into contact with the cleaning products. I them started the restoration by applying Tile Doctor Acid Gel, which is a PH1 blend of Phosphoric and Hydrochloric acids for the removal of grout haze.

As it comes in a gel form, this product is especially effective on vertical or sloped surfaces, where more dwell time is required. A liquid product would, of course, simply run off the tiles. So, working on small areas at a time, I allowed the gel to dwell for around five minutes, before agitating the solution with a pan scrubber, and rinsing the gel off with water. Once I had completed this process on the whole of the wet room, I allowed the tiles to dry out before repeating the process on some of the areas suffering from thicker smears of grout.

Sealing Slate Wet Room Tiles

When I was happy that I had removed all of the grout smears, I ensured that all the tiles were dry before applying Tile Doctor Stone Oil. This product is an easy-to-apply, pre-polish impregnating sealer which is ideal for low porosity stone and also suitable for more porous stone, such as Terracotta. It is also specially designed to enhance the natural colours and textures of tiles, and improve mechanical strength once cured. The oil is particularly effective when used on dark stone, like this Slate, as it really helps to deepen the colour.

I returned the next day to seal the tiles completely using one coat of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal to lock in the Stone Oil applied the previous day. Ultra Seal is a premium, no-sheen, natural-look, solvent-based penetrating sealer formulated to provide maximum stain protection. It allows moisture vapour transmission and is an excellent grout sealer.

Slate Tiled Floor After Restoration Sevenoaks

The customer was very happy with the results, which set this difficult problem right. In particular, she was worried that all of the tiles would have to be removed and the entire wet room would have to be redone. Thankfully that is no longer the case, and she can enjoy this fantastic Slate feature. All she needs to be concerned with now is ensuring the tiles are regularly maintained with professional care, including having the sealer topped up as and when necessary.

Slate Tiled Floor After Restoration Sevenoaks

 
 

Professional Slate Tile Restoration in a Kent Wet Room

Rebuilt Victorian Tiled Hallway Cleaned and Sealed in Bromley

Not too long ago I was called to the large town of Bromley, where my client was in the process of renovating an Edwardian house. The house has a fascinating original geometric Victorian tiled hallway which had previously been covered in carpet which my client now wanted restoring and extending.

Before beginning my work I had an initial consultation with the client and liaised with the builder. It was agreed that the existing floor joints would be strengthened and the current floorboards would be replaced with ply sheets, allowing for the area to be fitted with new Victorian tiles, ensuring that these were consistent with the original design.

Geometric Victorian Floor Restoration Bromley Before

Restoring a Victorian tiled hallway

The first task was to clean the original tiles so that they would blend in with the fresh, new tiles. To do this I mixed a solution of three parts Tile Doctor Pro-Clean (a high alkaline cleaner) to one part clean water, combined with a small quantity of NanoTech HBU. NanoTech HBU is a penetrating cleaner which uses nano-sized particles to reach areas other cleaners simply can’t in order to lift out difficult stains and ingrained dirt.

This solution was washed over the floor, and was left to dwell for five minutes. I then used my rotary machine with a black pad to agitate and work the solution into the dirty tiles. After completing this initial clean I used a wet-vac machine to hoover up the resulting residue.

There was also some glue residue around the edges of the floor from where carpet grippers had been placed years before. To remove this I used Tile Doctor Remove & Go, which breaks down adhesives, waxes and old sealers. I covered the treated area with plastic to prevent it from drying out, before leaving it to sit for a couple of hours. Once the product had begun to break down the glue I then agitated it with a scrubbing pad to remove the residue. The area was then cleaned with the Pro-Clean/NanoTech HBU solution.

Tiling with Victorian floor tiles

Once the old floor was clean I started laying down the new floor using a matching set of tiles I had managed to source. Victorian tile designs are still very popular so many of the original designs can still be found being made today.

Geometric Victorian Floor Restoration Bromley During Tiling Geometric Victorian Floor Restoration Bromley During Tiling

Once the tiles had been stuck to the new hardboard I was able to give both floors a general clean with a weak dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to remove any dirt from tiling etc, this was followed by a rinse and the use of a wet vacuum to get the floor as dry as possible before sealing.

Geometric Victorian Floor Restoration Bromley During Tiling

Sealing a Victorian tiled hallway

After leaving the house for more than 24 hours to allow the hallway to dry completely, I returned to seal the tiles. After inspecting the area to ensure no excess moisture remained, I applied five coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go, a water-based topical sealer, to both the old and new tiles.

This gave the entire hallway a nice sheen finish (as you can see from the photographs), as well as a robust surface seal to protect the tiles from dirt and wear in the future.

Geometric Victorian Floor Restoration Bromley Tiling Complete

Once the sealing process had been completed, it was near impossible to distinguish between the old and new tiles and as you can imagine the customer was very pleased with the end result.

Geometric Victorian Floor Restoration Bromley Sealed

 
 

Victorian tiled Hallway restored, rebuilt and extended in Kent