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.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Hebden Bridge

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.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Hebden Bridge

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.

 

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway in West Yorkshire

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.

French Limestone Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning and Polishing Eldwick

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.

French Limestone Kitchen Floor After Cleaning and Polishing Eldwick

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.

 

Professional Renovation of a French Limestone Tiled Floor in West Yorkshire