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Nick Noel-Flint
24 followers -
Tile, Stone and Grout cleaning specialist
Tile, Stone and Grout cleaning specialist

24 followers
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Victorian Tiled Hallway Renovation in Cleckheaton – Kirklees

I was asked to visit an old house from the Victorian era in Cleckheaton which is part of the West Yorkshire district of Kirklees and only 14 miles from my base in Oxenhope. The owners had bought the house last year and had been renovating it ever since. The last job was to sort out the Victorian tiled hallway that they knew from the previous owners had been covered by carpet for over 50 years.

Leaving the floor restoration until last was a sensible decision as the last thing you need is for a decorator to drip paint over your recently renovated floor. I could see the floor was in good physical condition but had layers of dirt, old sealant and of course paint splashes on it but after doing a test clean I knew that we could bring it back to life and return it to something like its former glory.

The test clean is an important part of our survey as it gives the customer confidence we know what we’re talking about and it gives me a chance to work out the best way of cleaning the floor, so I can provide a more accurate quotation (see below). The owner of the property was impressed with the results of the test clean and keen to have the full potential of the Victorian tiled floor revealed booked me in to do a full clean and seal.

Deep Cleaning a Very Dirty Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor
Normally, we would clean these floors using our rotary machines and chemicals to break down the layers of dirt but in this instance that was not going to be effective. I worked this out during the test clean where I discovered that the tiles were very porous so that any liquid that was put on the floor was immediately absorbed into it. This meant that any chemicals that I applied to the floor did not have time to work before they were absorbed into the floor. When these floors were originally laid there was no damp-proof membrane laid underneath which leaves them very susceptible to damp issues and salting from efflorescence.

After trying a couple of different methods, I decided that the only way to get this floor clean was to use handheld diamond blocks and a small amount of water to clean the floor in very small sections at a time and then immediately remove the residue before it dried back into the floor. This was obviously very time consuming but did remove the dirt very effectively, it also meant that I wouldn’t exacerbate any efflorescence issues which could happen when excessive amounts of water are used.

Once the whole floor was clean it was given an Acid Wash with Tile Doctor Acid Gel to neutralise any potential salting issues. The gel was then rinsed off with water and extracted using a wet vacuum to remove as much moisture as possible from the floor. The now clean floor was then left to dry off thoroughly, so it would be ready for sealing.

Sealing an Old Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor in
A couple of days later I returned and started by checking the moisture levels in a couple of areas to verify that the tiles were dry enough to be sealed. All was well and so I proceeded to seal the floor with a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that seeps into the pores of the tile protecting it from within. Colour Grow is also a colour enhancing sealer that improves the natural colours in the tile and most importantly it’s a breathable sealer that will allows any moisture rising through the tile to evaporate. Using a breathable sealer is highly recommended for floors with no damp-proof membrane as moisture can become trapped under the tile which over time can cause damp to rise through the walls and even tiles to become loose.

The Customers were very impressed by the transformation in their floor and hopefully you can see from the photos how much of a difference that has been made to the floor.
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5 Star: Grace M. "We have been very impressed with the work Nick has carried out. Our very dirty grout is now looking sparkling again. He was very knowledgable and came and did a free sample test with no..."
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Finishing a Victorian Hallway Floor in Hebden Bridge

The photographs below are of a lovely Victorian tiled hallway that had been repaired and cleaned by another tradesman a his a few months earlier. The workman had left the customer to seal the floor himself, which he had done but the floor ended up looking patchy and dull and he wasn’t happy with the results which didn’t highlight the beautiful colours in the tile. Realising he needed help to achieve the correct finish I was given a call and asked to finish the floor.

The property was in Hebden Bridge a market town situated between Halifax and Rochdale. After carrying out a survey, I advised that the floor would need re-cleaning to strip off the sealant he had applied and to remove the marks from the floor. We would then be able to re-seal the floor correctly for him. We agreed a price for the job and set a date to carry out the work.

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor
On the first day we started preparing the hallway to be cleaned by covering the stair carpet and new and expensive wood panelling and skirting boards to protect them from any possible marking during the cleaning process. I then used a 200-grit Diamond burnishing pad attached to a rotary buffing machine to remove the sealant and dirt from the floor. In this instance the pad was applied just with water which is used to lubricate the pad, the resultant slurry is then removed with a wet vacuum. The advantage of using this process as opposed to a chemical clean is that moisture is kept to a minimum which is important on old floors like this where no damp proof membrane exists.

After making sure that the floor was to a standard that I was happy with, I then repeated the process along the edges with a set of hand-held diamond blocks which makes it easier to get into the corners and edges where the machine struggles to reach effectively.

Still concerned about the moisture levels in the floor I decided to give the floor an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel which will neutralise any alkaline salts in the floor. As I mentioned earlier this is a common problem on floors of this age, they do not usually have a Damp Proof Membrane fitted so moisture is able to rise through the tiles bringing with it salt which gets left on the surface of the tile, this process is more commonly known as Efflorescence. The floor was then rinsed with water and the floor dried as much as possible using the wet vacuum. Finally, I tidied up before leaving for the day and allowing the floor to fully dry out overnight.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor
Returning the next day, I first took moisture readings to ensure that the floor was dry enough to seal. If a floor is too damp the seal won’t cure properly and therefore won’t be effective. Fortunately, on this occasion the floor was within limits and I could proceed to apply four coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer allowing around thirty minutes between coats for drying.

Colour Grow is a breathable impregnating sealer that allow moisture to evaporate from the floor whilst also protecting it from dirt and stains. This sealer leaves a matt finish which is what the owner wanted but it also enhances the colours in the tile which really being the floor alive.

The customer was very pleased with the results, the floor looked much cleaner and will be easy for them to maintain. I hope that you can see the difference from the before and after pictures.
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French Limestone Tiled Floor Cleaned and Polished in Eldwick

I was recently contacted by a lady in the small village of Eldwick near Bingley who wasn’t happy with the condition of her French Limestone floor which had hadn’t been professionally cleaned for some time. The French Limestone tiles had been laid throughout the kitchen and dining room and as you can see in the photograph below now looked dull, dirty and uninviting.

The floor needed a deep clean and seal to bring it back to its’ best however before I could do that I needed to determine the best method to use. I duly carried out a survey and test clean which showed how the floor could be improved and discussed the quote for the work with the client, they were really pleased with the test area, accepted the quote and we arranged a convenient time to carry out the work the following week.

Deep Cleaning a French Limestone Tiled Floor
Arriving on site a week later, my first task was to cover all the kitchen units with protective covering to protect against splashing. The last thing we want is to cause any damage to the surrounding areas.

The next step was to use a set of diamond burnishing pads from Grits 400 to 1500 to clean and polish the Limestone tiles. The pads are fitted to a rotary buffer and applied in sequence with water to lubricate, the process removes inground dirt and rebuilds the polish on the Limestone. Small hand-held burnishing blocks are used to reach the more intricate areas. The floor is then rinsed with more water after each pad has been used and the resultant residue is removed with a wet vacuum.

Once I was satisfied that the dirt had been removed from the floor, I then worked on the more stubborn grout lines with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and a stiff grout brush to get any remaining deposits out of the grout lines. This is a great multi-purpose high alkaline cleaning and stripping product brilliant for heavily soiled and stubborn neglected tiles and very good on very dirty grout. With the grout clean I then applied the last 3000 grit burnishing pad to really bring up the polish on the Limestone floor, this pad is applied dry with a little water sprayed onto the surface of the stone. The floor was then left to dry off completely overnight.

Sealing a French Limestone Tiled Kitchen Floor
The following day I checked that the floor was dry using a moisture meter before applying Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal to the floor. This is a premium, no-sheen, natural-look penetrating sealer which is formulated to provide maximum stain protection, it’s also recommended for busy kitchen areas and is an excellent grout sealer. Once the sealant was dry I did a water drop test to confirm that the floor was properly sealed.

I hope that you can see from the photos the improvement in the appearance of the floor. The client was really happy with the floor which lifted the whole room and made the kitchen like new again.
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Some after results of tile/stone restoration.
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24/04/2018
4 Photos - View album
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1831 Victorian Tiled Hallway Renovation in Penrith

Details below of a Victorian Tiled floor I renovated in Penrith earlier this year. The floor had previously been hidden under laminate flooring and the mat well had been concreted over and other tiles were missing and replaced with concrete infill.

Restoring Victorian Floor Tiles

I carried out a damp test and started by removing the concrete infill and levelling the mat well with a self-levelling compound. Fortunately I had been able to source reproduction tiles that were a pretty good match to the originals which is amazing bearing in mind that the floor was originally laid in 1831 (pre Victorian in fact).

Before replacing the missing tiles I cleaned the existing floor with a diluted mixture of Tile Doctor Remove and Go and NanoTech UltraClean; Remove and Go is a coatings remover so as well as cleaning the floor it also removed the traces of adhesive that was used to stick down the line. I washed down the floor and found there were still some stubborn marks which I tackled with neat Remove and Go and a steam cleaner. Once I was happy with the floor I gave it another rinse and then set about fixing the replacement tiles.

Sealing Victorian Floor Tiles

I needed the floor bone dry before sealing so I allowed it to dry out for a couple of days before returning. I sealed the tiles with Tile Doctor Seal and Go which adds a nice subtle shine however I did find the Victorian tiles to be extremely absorbent and so needed seven coats of sealant in total which took much of the day. The sealer did well to bring out the deep colours in the tile as well as brought out the colour in the tiles as well as providing the lovely satin finish. The customers were extremely satisfied with the final result

#Victorian #Tile #Restoration #Penrith
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Travertine Tiled Floor Cleaned and Polished near Harrogate

This 25m2 Travertine tiled floor was installed in a house in Pateley Bridge, near Harrogate, it hadn’t been cleaned properly for 5 years and we were asked to clean it, I also recommended that we polish it and the customer was happy with the suggestion.
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Dirty Quartzite Tiled floor in a Leeds Kitchen

This Quartzite tiled kitchen floor from a house in Leeds was in need of some attention and as well as a build-up of general dirt it was also affected by cooking oil and Grease. Any sealer that may have been in place had long since worn off and it was time for a good clean and re-seal.
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