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.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Renovation Cleckheaton Kirklees

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.

Victorian Tiled Hallway During Renovation Cleckheaton Kirklees

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.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Renovation Cleckheaton Kirklees

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.

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in West Yorkshire

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