At Tile Doctor, we often come across Victorian tiled hallways in need of restoration. They’re very popular due to their timeless and unique patterns – and as a result are still in production, having first being produced in the 19th century. While many have been maintained in their original state since first being laid (which is sometimes over a century ago), others have been hidden by carpet or linoleum for many years, only to be uncovered by new property owners.
In this case, at a property in Newport – the port city of South East Wales – the Victorian tiled hallway had not been subject to an effective cleaning plan leaving the fantastic white and black checkered pattern grubby and unsightly. I was asked if I could help bring it back to life – and I was happy to oblige!
Cleaning a Dirty Victorian Tiled Hallway
I started the restoration by applying a strong cleaning solution combined from mixing two Tile Doctor products in equal parts namely Remove and Go and Pro Clean. Together they create a powerful sealer remover and cleaner to break down any remaining old sealers, paint whilst lifting ingrained dirt and muck from the pores of the tile.
The two products were worked into the tiles using firstly a 17 inch black buffing pad to remove the initial layer of dirt, followed by a 6 inch buffing pad, wire brush, and hand-held scrapper to remove the more stubborn specks of paint and dirt. The resultant slurry was then rinsed away with water and a wet vacuum and stubborn areas retreated until I was satisfied. The results were great so after a final rinse I left tiles to dry off.
Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway
A couple of days later, after leaving the tiles to dry completely, I went back to the property to seal the floor. I checked first for any excess moisture as this can cloud the sealer and prevent it from acting an effective barrier against dirt and stains.
My choice of sealer included one coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow to restore the rich colour to the black and white tiles, followed by seven coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go to provide an aesthetically pleasing sheen finish. Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer that penetrates the pores of the tile to fill them and prevent dirt becoming trapped, while Seal and Go is a topical sealer that builds up an additional layer of protection on the surface of the tiles.