140 Year Old Victorian Church Floor Restored in Blackburn Parish

Earlier this year I was asked to restore a number of Victorian tiled floors at the St. Peter & St. Paul’s Parish Church in Rishton near Blackburn. The Church has a lot of carpet flooring and some had to be removed due to some other work that was going on and these tiles were discovered underneath. The Vicar believe the tiles are originals and date back to 1877.

Victorian Floor Before Cleaning Rishton Church

You can see from the photograph above that the tiles were discoloured with years upon years of ingrained dirt but what you can’t see is the adhesive that was used to secure the carpet to the tile. The whole floor and the Altar behind would need several deep cleans to remove the dirt and glue and being a busy church with an active congregation I it would need to be done in a few days. In need of an extra pair of hands I gave Derbyshire Tile Doctor Henri Mall a call and he was more than happy to help me out.

Victorian Floor Before Cleaning Rishton Church Victorian Floor Before Cleaning Rishton Church

Deep Cleaning Old Victorian Church Tiles

To begin, I took moisture readings over all areas due to be worked on; Damp Proof Membranes were not invented until relatively recently, so it pays to know in advance how damp the floor is. Next, I gave the floor a quick clean in Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, mainly to remove any surface dirt and grit. This was then followed by the application of a 200 grit burnishing pad to grind off surface dirt and excess glue so we access the pores of the tile. The resultant soil was then rinsed off with water and then extracted using a wet vacuum.

The next step was to give the tiles a good soak in a solution of NanoTech HBU remover (HBU stands for Heavy Build-Up) which was then scrubbed in using a black pad fitted to a rotary floor machine. This process worked well to release the ingrained dirt from the tile and took off a lot of the glue however it took quite a few iterations and the use of a portable steamer to really get the floor clean.

Victorian Floor During Cleaning Rishton Church Victorian Floor During Cleaning Rishton Church

There was a lot of tile to do so working in sections it took Henri and I two days to really get the floor clean. A lot of water was used in the process and although a lot of the moisture was extracted using a wet vacuum we felt it best to leave the floor to thoroughly dry out for a couple of days.

Sealing Old Victorian Church Tiles

The floor needed to be dry before sealing so on our return I checked the floor with the damp meter and compared it with my previous readings. All was so Henri and I started applying the first coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, an impregnating and breathable sealer ideal for this situation. Colour Grow seeps into the pores of the tile protecting it from within and enhancing the colours in the tile. Three coats were needed so it took most of the day to complete.

Victorian Floor After Cleaning Rishton Church Victorian Floor After Cleaning Rishton Church

While it was a lot of work we were very both pleased with the outcome, as was the Vicar who left the following comment on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

Many thanks to Tony Olmet, not only a very good job but he worked tirelessly, never stopped, to get it done. Nothing a problem, very helpful chap. Recommended.
Christopher Holden (vicar), Rishton 14 July 2017

Victorian Floor After Cleaning Rishton Church

 
 
Source: Victorian Tiled Floor Cleaning and Sealing Service in Greater Manchester

Deep Cleaning Church Floors in Northamptonshire

The following job was a bit different from the kitchen and hallway restorations we normally get asked to do, in fact this request came from the vicar of St. Mary’s Church in Far Cotton who wanted us to restore some beautiful old Quarry tiles which lead up to the main aisle. The church dates back to 1885 and given the wear on some of the tiles I can only assume they date back to the same Victorian period; the church is a really welcoming, community-focused place, so it was a pleasure for me to be asked to complete the work.

The vicar’s main concern was the large amount of melted candle wax around the font – so much so that this his normal cleaners had been unable to remove it. He also wanted to know if the floors could be sealed to make ongoing maintenance easier – and this was certainly something we would be able to provide. The following photos show the condition of the floor before we started.

Victorian quarry tile cleaning St. Marys church Victorian quarry tile cleaning St. Marys church

Cleaning Victorian Quarry Tiles

The next photo shows the work in progress from halfway down the aisle. We started by breaking down any old sealer and the troublesome candle wax, using a black stripping pad in combination of Tile Doctor Pro Clean to deep clean the floor. Since Pro Clean, a high alkaline cleaner, is highly versatile and can be used on all kinds of natural stone and tile.

While the church has cleaners that come in regularly to keep the building tidy for the parishioners, the old tiles really benefitted from a deep clean which tackled the stubborn ingrained dirt and staining that had built up over many years.

Victorian quarry tile cleaning St. Marys church

Sealing Victorian and Quarry Tiles

Once I was satisfied that the tiles had been cleaned to the best of my abilities, they were then left for two weeks to fully dry as it is an old church and, understandably, there were some inherent damp issues. As aforementioned, the vicar was keen to have the tiles sealed to make them easier to keep clean and protect them against ingrained dirt and staining for the future. There are only a few situations in which we wouldn’t recommend sealing tiles, such as if they are patio tiles which will already be under constant exposure to the weather.

The best choice of sealer for this particular situation was Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is an impregnating, breathable sealer that won’t trap moisture in the floor and will provide great protection against further staining. Additionally, as an impregnating sealer, Colour Grow penetrates into the pores of the tile protecting it from within and with the added benefit of enhancing the natural colours and restoring the life and character back in the old, dull tiles. I applied it using a paint pad, before polishing it off.

I’m pleased to report that the restoration was a great success. The vicar was very impressed with the work, and I’m sure the church community will also be very happy with the new, vibrant tiles.

Victorian quarry tile cleaning St. Marys church Victorian quarry tile cleaning St. Marys church

 
 
Source: Quarry Tile Cleaning and Maintenance Service in Northamptonshire

Restoring the Tiled Floors at St’ Mary’s in Bath Following a Fire

Back in June, I had the absolute pleasure of undertaking a large scale tiled floor restoration at St. Mary’s Church in Bath. An architect who does a lot of commissions in Bath and the surrounding areas got in touch with me as they needed to restore the very weathered and worn Church flooring, which dates back to 1840.

The Church itself had suffered a lot from fire damage and the Terrazzo flooring had lost any shine due to both exposure to the smoke and, of course, a lot of wear and tear over the course of 176 years. There were also a number of missing tiles that needed to be replaced.

St Marys Church Bath Before Fire Restoration

In addition, some old carpet which was beyond repair had been pulled up to reveal some fantastic red Quarry tiles that the architect hoped could also be restored. They had discovered that some of the tiles had been removed in front of the Altar (an area of around 2.5 square metres) and cemented over due to the Altar being moved back a metre.

St Marys Church Bath Before Fire Restoration

Fully restoring both large areas of tiled flooring would take time however with numerous contractors and trades also working in the building at the same time I completed the work in stages over a period of two months.

Cleaning and Sealing Terrazzo Tiles

To begin, I took moisture readings over all areas due to be worked on. In some places, the levels of moisture were high for two reasons: first, a significant amount of water had been used to quell the fire, and second the red Quarry tiles had been laid with no damp proof membrane due to the age of the building.

Next, I liaised with the architect to decide what tile and pattern would be best to replace the cement area in order to compliment the surrounding red tiles. We decided on a similar shape and colour from original style. I then removed the cement, re-cemented and tiled the area accordingly. Following this, I removed the badly damaged Terrazzo tiles and replaced them with spare replica tiles that the architect had leftover from previous projects.

St Marys Church Bath Before Fire Restoration

My method for restoring the Terrazzo tiles was to use the Tile Doctor four pad burnishing system, applying each diamond encrusted pad in turn – from Coarse to Very Fine – to clean and polish the stone. I then sealed the tiles with an impregnating sealer known as Tile Doctor Colour Grow which enhances the natural colours in the stone. Finally, I went over the tiles again with the Very Fine burnishing pad to refine the shine. Needless to say, I checked for moisture before sealing, and thankfully the floor proved dry.

St Marys Church Bath During Fire Restoration

Cleaning and Sealing Red Quarry Tiles

In some areas, the red Quarry tiles had glue on them from the carpet being stuck down for many years. I manually scraped off the large, tough glue residues, and once this had been done, I used Tile Doctor Remove and Go combined with Tile Doctor Pro Clean to soften and break down any particularly stubborn glue deposits. After rinsing the floor, I went over it again with the Coarse grit burnishing pad to give the surface a really good clean. The remaining Quarry tiles were cleaned by using the same Coarse grit pad. using water to lubricate the process and rinsing periodically as I worked.

St Marys Church Bath During Fire Restoration

Having cleaned the tiles, I left the Church for a week to allow the builders and other trades to finish their work. Upon my return, I ran some damp tests to and found the readings were sky high, meaning sealing was not an option at this time. I discussed this issue with the architect and we decided to carry on with the completion in a month, leaving the floor enough time to dry out and for any other building work to be completed. By that time, the heating system would have also been installed and would work to help the floor to dry out quicker.

A month passed, and I returned to seal the Quarry tiles. However, before doing so I noticed efflorescence in some areas and neutralised it using Tile Doctor Acid Gel. I then left the floor a further two days to dry, by which time the Acid Gel had successfully removed all traces of efflorescence. To my satisfaction, the moisture readings I took upon my return were low, meaning the tiles were ready to be sealed.

St Marys Church Bath After Fire Restoration

To seal the tiles, I applied several costs of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, an impregnating sealer which helps protects with no damp proof membrane, follows by a few coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, a sealer which prices a nice satin shine finish. This really enhanced the old fire red pigment in the tiles.

St Marys Church Bath After Fire Restoration

While it was a long and difficult process to fully restore both sets of tiles, the outcome was very much worth the wait. Looking at the before and after photographs, it’s easy to see why the architect, priest and the parishioners were absolutely delighted with the results. I’m also really pleased to have contributed to the restoration and continued conservation of this wonderful building.
 
 
Source: Tile and Stone Restoration Service in South East Wales

Quarry and Marble Floor Tiles Renovated at a Wantage Church

Did you know that Wantage, the town in Oxfordshire where I completed this job, is the birthplace of Alfred the Great? The town is certainly a historic area – in fact, I was contacted by the warden of a church dating back to the 12th century, who asked Tile Doctor Oxfordshire to help restore the building’s flooring, consisting of Quarry and Marble tiles.

This is an interesting mix of hard wearing and high end tiles, and while the floor was in
dire need of a deep clean, it could be restored back to looking fantastic once again.

12th Century Church Tiled Floor Wantage Before Renovation

The church has recently undergone a complete refurbishment with the help of a grant from lottery money. We were called after the builders had finished their work, to restore the floor to the finish required by the church warden.

12th Century Church Tiled Floor Wantage Before Renovation

His specification was to provide the Marble with a Matt finish and the Quarry tiles with a sheen finish. The floor was, at one point in its history, covered in carpet which had been taken up, no doubt exposing many years’ worth of muck.

Cleaning Dirty Quarry and Marble Tiles

My first task was to clean the floor with a diluted solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, a high alkaline cleaner safe to use on tile and stone. This was left to dwell for a short period to seep into the tile, before being scrubbed in to remove the initial layers of muck. The resulting residue was promptly vacuumed away.

To tackle the tougher areas of soil buildup, I opted to use Tile Doctor Nanotech HBU which was spread over the floor and left to dwell for about 30 minutes. This product differs from most cleaners in that it uses nano-sized cleaning particles to deal with difficult to reach dirt ingrained in the stone. I then rinsed the area with water and vacuumed this up.

Due to the substantial size of the church floor I had to work in multiple sections, and so the cleaning process took three days to complete. After finishing, I left the church for a few days to allow the floor time to dry.

Sealing Quarry and Marble Tiles

When I returned to the church I checked the floor with a damp meter and was satisfied that it was dry enough to seal.

First, I sealed the Marble tiles with Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is a colour enhancing impregnating sealer suitable for use on high end stone such as Marble and Limestone. I applied two coats, leaving a few hours between coats; this brought the colour back without a high shine, as per the church warden’s request.

12th Century Church Tiled Floor Wantage After Renovation

The next day I returned to seal the Quarry tiles, this time using Tile Doctor Seal & Go Extra which is a topical sealer specially formulated to lea e a nice sheen as requested. I applied several thin coats of the sealer to build up solid protection on the floor.

12th Century Church Tiled Floor Wantage After Renovation

The warden was extremely pleased with the finished floor, leaving the following feedback:

“We found the Tile Doctor online and watched some of the very helpful slideshows on YouTube. The Victorian Quarry tiles in our 12th century church had been covered with carpet for many years and needed a thorough clean and polish at the end of our major restoration project. Barry was very quick to respond to our enquiry and over the course of a week he did a brilliant job on our tiles. We’re delighted with the results, just in time for our reopening service with our bishop and MP.”
 
 
Source: Church Floor Tile Renovation service in Oxfordshire

Refurbishing a Victorian Quarry Tiled Floor at Church in Frankton

These beautiful Quarry tiled floors belong to a 13th century church in the heart of the old village of Frankton. I did some research on the internet and discovered that the church had gone through a major restoration in 1872 so it’s most probable the tiles date back to that time.

Victorian Floor Tile Cleaning Frankton Church

Cleaning Victorian Tiles

There were multiple quarry tiled floors that were all in need of a deep clean and seal; however there was concern that cleaning the tiles using conventional cleaning methods requiring a lot of water could result in damp permeating into the structure of the building and considering the age of the building may this could cause damage. With this in mind I ran some tests to work out an alternative and I worked out that the best alternative would be to use Acid Gel which would stay in place followed by a steam clean.

Victorian Floor Tiles Frankton Church Before Cleaning Victorian Floor Tiles Frankton Church Before Cleaning

There was quite a lot of floor to cover and I need to work in relatively small sections so it took two days to complete the cleaning. I used the method I worked out earlier applying Acid Gel, and then leaving it to dwell for ten minutes before working it in with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a buffing machine. The gel and resultant soil was then removed with a wet vacuum and then the section was steam cleaned to lift out any further dirt and neutralise the acid.

Victorian Floor Tiles Frankton Church During Cleaning

Sealing Victorian floor tiles

On the third day I returned to seal the floors; there are a number of sealers I could have used for this type of floor however with the building being as old as it was I wanted to ensure the tiles could breathe and any damp could rise up through the tiles. Additionally I wanted the sealer to bring out the best in the tiles so with these points in mind I sealed the floor using four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go extra which covers all these points and is the recommended sealer for Victorian and Quarry tiles.

Victorian Floor Tiles Frankton Church After Sealing Victorian Floor Tiles Frankton Church After Sealing

I think you will agree the floors now look fantastic and with the sealer to protect them they should stay this way for some time to come, although give the amount of traffic these floors receive I will be working out a maintenance plan for them.
 
 
Source: Church Floor Tile Renovation service in Warwickshire

Terrazzo Tiled Church Floor Restored in Redhill

Every so often I will get the chance to undertake tiled flooring restoration work in public buildings, and late last year I was asked to clean and seal a Terrazzo floor at a church in Redhill. The floor wasn’t in great condition; not only was it suffering from a significant amount of dirt due to a lack of proper maintenance, but it was also marked by several cracks. Overall, the appearance of the floor was very displeasing and the church was keen to have me in to complete some repairs, along with a deep clean and seal.

Terrazzo Flooring Redhill Church Before Restoration Terrazzo Flooring Redhill Church During Crack Repair

Cleaning and Burnishing a Terrazzo tiled floor

Upon initial inspection of the floor, I was unable to say for certain whether there was any old sealer remaining on the tiles so to ensure it was removed I began the cleaning process by applying a layer of Tile Doctor Remove & Go, which is a powerful cleaner/stripper designed to both break down old layers of sealant and lift out any ingrained dirt.

I then gave the floor a rinse with water to remove any excess cleaning product, before moving onto a different cleaning process, known as burnishing. Burnishing involves polishing the surface with to achieve an aesthetically pleasing sheen finish. The Tile Doctor burnishing system consists of four diamond encrusted burnishing pads with different levels of grit.

Terrazzo Flooring Redhill Church Part Cleaned Terrazzo Flooring Redhill Church Part Cleaned

I began by applying a Coarse burnishing pad, before working my way through the system with Medium, Fine and finally Very Fine pads to achieve a very refined, high quality polished finish, you need to use a little water to help lubricate the burnishing and you need to rinse the floor after each pad to remove the slurry.

Terrazzo Flooring Redhill Church Cleaning in Progress Terrazzo Flooring Redhill Church During Burnishing

Once the floor had been allowed to dry completely following both cleaning processes, I set about filling the cracks in the tiles with two part resin stone filler.

Terrazzo Flooring Redhill Church During Crack Repair Terrazzo Flooring Redhill Church Crack Filled

Then, once the filler had dried, I re-polished the floor using only the extra fine burnishing pad, focusing my attention along the crack lines. This really helped to reduce the evidence of cracks and left instead a smoothed surface.

Sealing a Terrazzo tiled floor

The final stage of the restoration involved sealing the Terrazzo tiles with Colour Grow, which is Tile Doctor’s colour intensifying sealer that impregnates the stone seeping into its pores to provide protecting the floor from within with a robust seal capable of withstanding the high amount of traffic experienced by church floors. The last step was to buff the entire area with a soft white buffing pad.

Terrazzo Flooring Redhill Church After Terrazzo Flooring Redhill Church After

The church was very pleased with the results, especially that they were able to show it off for last year’s Remembrance Sunday and left the following comment on the Tile Doctor feedback system:

“Many thanks for the work on our Terrazzo floors. It’s only when you see the before and after that you realise how grubby they had become. We have had loads of complimentary comments as to how good they look. Bill Bailey was a very personable and professional contractor who put himself out to work around our requirements and others working in the buildings at the same time. More than happy to recommend the company and Bill personally. Many thanks for a job well done.”

Terrazzo Flooring Redhill Church Before and After Restoration

 
 
Source: Church Floor Tile Renovation service in Glasgow

Renovating an Old Quarry Tiled Church Floor in Greenock

The photographs below are from the Lyle Kirk Church of Scotland in Greenock where we asked to clean the Quarry tiles in the main entrance of the church. As you can imagine the floor is very busy and is constantly in use from parishioners and had now become very unappealing from ingrained dirt and was proving impossible to clean effectively.

Lyle Kirk Church Quarry Tiles Before Cleaning Greenock Lyle Kirk Church Quarry Tiles Before Cleaning Greenock

Cleaning Old Quarry Tiles

With such an old floor we had to take a lot of care and so using a buffer machine to speed up the process was out of the question. As a result so we cleaned the whole tiled floor including the grout by hand using various strength dilutions of Tile Doctor Remove and Go and then Pro-Clean to remove the years of wax and coatings from the tiles, both products I should mention are safe to use on tile, stone and grout. It was arduous and slow work taking us four days to complete and the floor was given a thorough wash down once clean to remove any trace of cleaning product before sealing.

Dealing with Efflorescence

Whilst cleaning the floor we noticed some signs of efflorescence which is where salts from the ground below evaporate up through the pores in the tile and leave white deposits on the surface of the tile above. The efflorescence was removed easily using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up but it alerted us to the fact that normally old floors were traditionally laid directly on compacted earth with no damp proof course and that damp could be an issue that could affect the sealer.

Lyle Kirk Church Greenock

Sealing an old Quarry Tiled Floor

We left the floor to dry off and when we returned being cognizant of the damp issue we chose Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra to seal the floor, this a new sealing product which is highly breathable and ideal for sealing external tiles or internal tiles where there is a damp problem. Four coats were sufficient and once done the floor looked completely transformed.

Lyle Kirk Church Quarry Tiles After Cleaning Greenock Lyle Kirk Church Quarry Tiles After Cleaning Greenock

 
 
Source: Church Floor Tile Renovation service in Glasgow