I was contacted by a homeowner who had moved into a property in the small Yorkshire market town of Masham and discovered a Victorian tiled floor under the hallway carpet. Realising this was a valuable period feature he was keen to see if it could be restored. As you can imagine he was delighted when I told him that it should be possible, and he was keen to get it uncovered and back on show.
After discussing the floor on the phone, I visited the property and removed the carpet so we could take a long look at the Victorian tile’s underneath. The carpet had protected the floor well and it was in good physical order, (i.e. no cracks etc.) it was just very dirty but was also marked with paint splashes from some untidy decorating work from the past. I confirmed none of these issues should present a problem and got the go ahead for the work to start.
Cleaning/Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor
There was no sealer on the floor, so I started the cleaning process using a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was worked into the tiles using a coarse 200-grit pad fitted to a rotary floor buffer. I then used a 400-grit hand-held diamond block to clean the edges which couldn’t be reached by the machine. This also removed the paint splashes which should have been on the skirting boards and not the floor!
The floor was then rinsed with water and the soil extracted with a wet vacuum. I was able to inspect the floor at this stage and spot treat areas that needed more work as they were a little stubborn. It wasn’t a large hallway and except for the paint it only needed a light clean. The result was I was able to complete the cleaning process by lunch time. I dried the floor as much as possible and left an air blower in the space for a couple of hours.
I returned later that afternoon and checked the floor for moisture using a damp meter. The floor was mostly dry, but some areas needed some more help with a heat gun. It was late summer and so still warm and so there was no need on this occasion to leave the floor overnight.
Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor
Once I was happy the floor was dry, I started sealing the tiles with the first of four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go. This is a specially formulated water-based blend of acrylic polymers that provides both a stain resistant surface seal and a durable low-sheen finish. It is perfect for a floor of this age as it allows moisture vapour to pass through, this is an important feature when considering a sealer for old floors which will not have a damp-proof membrane installed. If you were to apply a non-breathable sealer moisture can get trapped under the floor causing it to spread out to the walls resulting in rising damp.
The combination of the cleaning and new sealer brought the floor back to life and it now looked in keeping with the rest of the property which had numerous other period features. My client was over the moon with the difference and very happy to see the back of the grubby carpet.