Renovating an Encaustic Tiled Hallway in Padgate near Warrington

This floor may look like it’s made from Victorian tiles but if you look closely you will see the floor is actually made of 72 Encaustic tiles each one containing a regular pattern. Encaustic tiles have more in common with Ceramic tiles than Victorian and are actually made using layers of cement where are often hand painted with patterns which and hydraulically pressed into the surface.

Encaustic Tiled Hallway Padgate Before Cleaning Encaustic Tiled Hallway Padgate Before Cleaning

The tiled floor was actually floor found hiding under the hallway carpet by the new owners of the house which is in Padgate near Warrington. Were not sure of the age of the tiles but suspect they may be 100 years old. Certainly, Padgate has many older houses so they could be although it’s mainly known for its large RAF base during the 2nd world war.

Encaustic tiles are porous and so need to be sealed to protect them from dirt becoming ingrained in the floor. However, hallway floors get a lot of foot traffic which over time wears down the sealer until it becomes so thin and patchy it’s no longer effective. As a result, you need to regularly top up the sealer or every three to four years it will need to be stripped off and reapplied.

Deep Cleaning the Encaustic Tiled Floor

You can see from the pictures that the tiles were in good physical shape but had accumulated a lot of dirt which was especially visible near the front door. As I mentioned earlier Encaustic tiles being made from cement and need to be sealed in order to protect them from dirt becoming in trapped in the pores of the tile.

Encaustic Tiled Hallway Padgate Before Cleaning

These tiles would need a deep penetrative clean to extract the dirt, so my first course of action was to apply a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean across the floor and left it to soak into the tiles for ten minutes. Pro-Clean is a very effective alkaline product that’s safe to use on tile, stone and grout and is designed for tile cleaning. It was then worked into the tile using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a floor buffing machine and the soiled cleaning solution extracted off the floor with a wet vacuum.

I then used a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pads to restore the surface or the encaustic tiles starting with the 400 and 800 grit pads and lubricated with a little water. This also dealt with other deposits on the floor left behind from the carpet. I rinsed the floor with water to remove the slurry and then finished the burnishing process by applying the 1500 and 3000 grit pads to really restore the shine to the tiles.

Sealing the Encaustic Tiled Hallway Floor

To seal the floor and grout I applied Tile Doctor colour grow which is an impregnating sealer that enhances colour and soaks into the pores of the encaustic tile to protect it from dirt becoming ingrained into the tile in future. Any sealer not taken up by the pores of the tile is rubbed off afterwards.

Encaustic Tiled Hallway Padgate After Cleaning Encaustic Tiled Hallway Padgate After Cleaning

The transformation was quite remarkable and as you can imagine my customer was over the moon when he returned from work.
 
 

Restoring Encaustic Hallway Floor Tiles in Cheshire

Bringing Life Back to Encaustic Cement Tiles in Chester

This very old Encaustic tiled flooring was uncovered at a property in Chester when the present owners started to undertake renovation. They removed the carpets and vinyl tiles from the hallway, revealing the Encaustic tiles to find that they were in truly horrific condition. This included being covered by heavy dirt, dust and, in some parts, by a sticky black bitumen.

Encaustic tiles are made out of compressed cement, and were commonly used in properties built during the Edwardian and Victorian period. This gives us a good idea of just how old these tiles are – but the owners were keen to see what Tile Doctor could do to restore their condition.

Encaustic tiled hallway before restoration in Chester Encaustic tiled hallway before restoration in Chester

Cleaning Extremely Dirty Encaustic Cement Tiles

The black bitumen was my main concern when it came to cleaning the tiles. To remove this, along with all the other dirt and dust, our powerful cleaner for heavy soil buildup, known as Tile Doctor Remove and Go, was applied.

The product, which is also effective for removing adhesive and paint stains, was worked into the tiles then left to dwell for thirty minutes, before being scrubbed with a black pad fitted to a rotary machine. The resulting cleaning residue was soaked up with a wet vac machine. This cleaning process was repeated once more over to get the tiles as clean as possible, before leaving them to dry overnight.

Sealing Encaustic Cement Tiles

The next day, damp readings were taken to make sure the floor was dry enough to seal. It’s essential to take damp readings before sealing – especially with old tiled floors that may not have a damp proof membrane installed – as even the slightest amount of excess moisture can damage the performance of the sealer.

Two types of sealer were used in this situation. First to be applied was a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, an impregnating, colour intensifying sealer which enhances the best shades in the tiles. Following this, four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go were applied. This is a topical sealer, which means it builds a layer of protection on the surface of the floor, while also providing an aesthetically pleasing low-sheen finish.

The customer was over the moon at the end result. At first the floor looked to be with a lost cause, but with the right cleaning methods and products it has been a restored to a standard where it almost appears new. Another satisfied customer!

Encaustic tiled hallway after restoration in Chester Encaustic tiled hallway after restoration in Chester

 
 

Professional Restoration of an Old Encaustic Cement Floor in Cheshire