Restoring 200 Year Old Victorian Vicarage Floor in Sutton Coldfield, Staffordshire

This property in Sutton Coldfield dates to the early 1800s and was owned by the local church until recently. The property needed a lot of work and the new owners had asked me to restore the beautiful Victorian Tiled Flooring which I suspect was as old as the property itself. The property was in the process of a complete refurb when I first visited to survey the floor and so I recommended that they call me in to work on the floor when all the other work was complete. I find leaving the floor restoration until last is the best approach as tradesmen usually exacerbate the problem.

Old Victorian Tiled Floor Sutton Coldfield Vicarage Before Cleaning Old Victorian Tiled Floor Sutton Coldfield Vicarage Before Cleaning

Although incredibly dirty the Victorian Tiles were in good condition for their age, however there were some areas where tiles were missing or damaged and replacements would need to be sourced and fitted. Sourcing replacements is not usually a problem for Victorian Floors as there are a few companies such as the Vintage Floor Tile Company that still sell them due to their popularity. I also find you can pickup old tiles at restoration yards and eBay.

Old Victorian Tiled Floor Sutton Coldfield Vicarage Before Cleaning Old Victorian Tiled Floor Sutton Coldfield Vicarage Before Cleaning

Day 1 – Replacing Damaged Victorian Floor Tiles

On the first day I set about replacing the missing and broken tiles; I had taken photographs of the floor before hand and had plenty of time to source replacements. This process involves carefully removing the damaged tiles and scrapping out the subfloor to remove old adhesives and grout. This is followed by cutting the replacement tiles to size and fixing them in place using a flexible adhesive. If the subfloor has crumbled away, then this also needs cleaning out and building backup with cement to the right level before fixing the tiles. Needless to say, this is painstaking work and takes time to get right, in this case most of the day.

Day 2 – Deep Cleaning Victorian Floor Tiles

On the second day I set about giving the tiles a good deep clean using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which a very effective alkaline cleaning product that’s safe to use on tile, stone and grout.

The Pro-Clean was applied to the floor and then left to soak into the pores in the tile for about ten minutes before being scrubbed in using a rotary machine. The machine was fitted with a Polyscrub brush and run over the tiles at slow speed. This process worked well, and it wasn’t long before the cleaning solution had turned black with the dirt that had been released from the floor. The soiled solution was then extracted from the floor using a wet vacuum and the process repeated in areas that I felt could do with more work.

Old floors like these don’t have a damp proof membrane installed and can suffer from white alkaline salts being deposited on the surface of the tile and damp evaporates up through the tile as it dries. To counter this problem, I decided to follow up the cleaning by giving the tiles an acid wash using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up, not only does this neutralise the salts it also removes old grout smears and other mineral deposits from tiles making them much cleaner.

Old Victorian Tiled Floor Sutton Coldfield Vicarage During Cleaning

I scrubbed the product into the tiles using a deck brush and then rinsed it off with water and extracted with the wet vacuum. Being an Acid, we don’t recommend you leave it on the floor for too long.

Day 3 – Sealing Victorian floor Tiles

The next day I confirmed the floor had dried and then proceeded to apply five coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go Extra. This product is fully breathable and will cope well with any inherent damp issues that can cause problems in an old floor such as this, it also adds a nice shine to the tile as you can see in the photographs below.

Old Victorian Tiled Floor Sutton Coldfield Vicarage After Sealing

The final result was a huge transformation and my customer was very happy with the outcome and booked me in to seal the new flooring in the kitchen/utility and conservatory areas.

Old Victorian Tiled Floor Sutton Coldfield Vicarage After Sealing Old Victorian Tiled Floor Sutton Coldfield Vicarage After Sealing

 

Source: Victorian Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Sutton Coldfield, Staffordshire

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