This Victorian tiled hallway at a house in the Forest of Dean had a very interesting pattern, consisting of an array of different colours, including shades of red, yellow and blue. Unfortunately, as you can see from the first photograph below, the tiles had lost all life, with the colours largely masked by months’ – or maybe even years’ – worth of ingrained dirt and muck. The floor as a whole was also suffering from a number of loose tiles that needed to be reset before it could be cleaned.
The property owner was keen to employ some professional assistance to restore the appearance of the floor and prevent it from getting in an even wrote state, and so contacted Tile Doctor who have a lot of experience working with Victorian tiled floors.
Repairing and Cleaning Dirty Victorian Tiles
As mentioned, the loose tiles had to be repaired before the cleaning process could be started. I removed the tiles and extracted excess grout and old adhesive from the exposed concrete substrate using a vacuum, before putting the original tiles back into place and fixing them back into position carefully using fresh adhesive and matching grout.
Once happy the replaced tiles had set, I started the process of cleaning the entire area of hallway tiles using a combination of Tile Doctor Remove and Go to strip away the old sealer and Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU (formerly Ultra Clean) remover to get the tiles as clean as possible. The latter product contains nano-sized cleaning particles (hence the name) to reach difficult areas of trapped dirt, making it more effective than your run-of-the-mill tile cleaner. These two products were scrubbed into the tiles using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The floor was then rinsed with water and the soiled residue was extracted with a wet vacuum.
I then paid particular attention to the grout, applying our alkaline-based multi-purpose cleaner Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to the grout lines, before scrubbing them with a narrow grout brush. This quickly had the grout looking clean again: I’d even go as far as to say that it matched it seamlessly with the fresh grout that had just been laid.
With the tile and grout as clean as it was possible to get it, I gave the whole floor a final rinse to neutralise the excess chemicals. I extracted as much water as possible with a wet vacuum and left the floor to dry overnight.
Sealing Victorian Tiles
My first task upon returning to the property the next day was to check for any dampness. If you neglect to remove all excess moisture from the surface of the tiles before sealing it is more than likely going to cloud the sealer, rendering it less effective I’m protecting the stone against ingrained dirt and stains.
Once satisfied that the floor was completely dry, I proceeded to seal the tiles using multiple costs of Tile Doctor Seal and Go. Seal and Go is what we would classify as a topical sealer, meaning it rests on the surface of the tiles to act as a durable layer of protection against all kinds of muck. While providing surface protection, Seal and Go also adds a nice subtle sheen to the tiles, as per the customer’s request.
The customer was quite amazed at how quickly the appearance of the tiles had been restored. It was fantastic to see the colours we both knew were hidden in the tiles come to life once again. Another satisfied customer for sure!