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

Renovating a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Grappenhall near Warrington

The village of Grappenhall has a long history that goes all the way back to the bronze age and as a result has all periods of architecture including quite a lot of houses with Victorian tiled hallways . This particular floor at a house in the village had been well looked after well by the owner but had now lost its vibrancy, was looking dull and now needed a deep clean and reseal.

Victorian 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.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Grapenhall Before Cleaning Victorian Tiled Hallway Grapenhall Before Cleaning

Deep Cleaning the Victorian Tiled Floor

I used clear plastic to protect the wood skirting boards from splashing and then gave the tiles a good scrub with a mixture of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and Remove and Go to deep clean and strip off any remaining sealers. The cleaning solution was left to soak in for ten minutes before scrubbing it in with a black pad fitted to a heavy buffing machine.

Once the whole area had been scrubbed I rinsed off with water which was then extracted using a wet vacuum. With the floor now clear I was able to inspect it to ensure all the previous sealer and ingrained dirt had been removed. Any areas with stubborn stains were spot treated by reapplying the cleaning concoction I used earlier before leaving the floor to dry off fully overnight.

Sealing the Victorian Tiled Floor

When I returned the next morning my first job was to test the tiles for damp using a damp meter. This is important as damp tiles won’t take the sealer as well as dry tiles, however this time everything was fine.

I then proceeded to seal the Victorian tiles with a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow to enhance the natural colours in the tile before applying a further seven coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which leaves a sheen finish and is ideal for Victorian tiles.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Grapenhall After Cleaning Victorian Tiled Hallway Grapenhall After Cleaning

The hallway now looks fantastic and vibrant and then new sealer will protect them from ingrained dirt making them easier to clean and keep them looking good for some time to come.
 
 

Restoring Victorian Hallway Floor Tiles in Cheshire

Unusual Victorian Tiled Hallway Cleaned and Sealed in Grappenhall

Impressed with the details of a similar floor published on our website the owner of this Victorian tiled hallway floor at a house in the village of Grappenhall asked if we could pay her a visit.

The floor was in relatively good physical condition, although there were a few tiles that needed replacing and really just needed cleaning and resealing however I thought it would be worth a mention on my blog due to it being so unusual. There seamed no set pattern to the tiles and it was as if they had some tiles left over and just laid them as they came.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning in Grappenhall

Deep Cleaning the Victorian Tiled Floor

After protecting the skirting boards I gave the floor a deep clean using Tile Doctor Remove and Go to strip off any remaining sealers. This was left to soak in for twenty minutes then scrubbed in using a rotary machine fitted with a black pad then rinsed off with clean water which was then extracted using a wet vacuum. I was careful not to use too much water as the owner had just converted the cellar below into a games room and was worried it may cause damp in the ceiling. There were a few tiles that needed replacing so we fixed and grouted them in before leaving the floor to fully dry off overnight

Sealing the Victorian Tiled Floor

We returned next morning and tested for damp with a damp meter to make sure the floor was ready to seal. Everything was fine so we proceeded to seal the Victorian tiles with a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow to enhance the colour of the floor before applying a further six coats of Seal and Go which is ideal for these type of tile.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning in Grappenhall

The customer was made up with the result we had made to her hallway, I only wish I had managed to take better pictures of the floor so you could appreciate it as much as she did.
 
 

Restoring Victorian Hallway Floor Tiles in Cheshire

Restoring Life to Victorian Hallway Tiles in Warrington

Victorian tiles are a product of the gothic revival that occurred during the reign of Queen Victoria, these tiles are typically colourful and patterned, taking influence from medieval designs. Many property owners in the 21st century understand the value original features such as these floors can have and have chosen to maintain these original tiles.

Restoring them however isn’t always an easy process and we often get asked to deep clean and seal these floors including the example below of a Victorian tiled hallway in the hallway of a grand house in Warrington where the old sealer had gradually worn off allowing the tiles beneath to become dirty and discoloured.

Warrington is an area in Cheshire that expanded and urbanised during the Industrial Revolution period of the 18th and 19th centuries, with its major industries including steel and textiles. This coincided with the growing prosperity of the town, and as people grew wealthier they were able to build fantastic houses with equally fantastic Victorian tiled floors.

Cleaning a Dirty Victorian Tiled Hallway

To begin the restoration, I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a high alkaline product, to both remove ingrained dirt and strip away any remaining old sealer that was still present on the tiles. It’s important to strip the floor of all old coatings and sealers to ensure optimum performance by the new sealer and also to avoid patchy results. The product was left to dwell on the floor for twenty minutes to break down the sealer and seep into the pores of the stone. I then scrubbed the tiles with a black pad and rotary machine to work the Pro-Clean deep into the tile.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Warrington

The resulting soiled cleaning solution was then removed using a wet vacuum machine and the floor was rinsed with water. There were a few stubborn areas that needed further work so these were spot treated using the same process and then followed this by neutralising anytrace of cleaning product on the tiles with a thorough rinse of water. I dried the tiles with the wet-vacuum once more before leaving them to dry out over the course of two days.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Warrington

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway

Upon my return to the property I sealed the Victorian tiles using a combination of sealers which we have found is the most effective method of sealing Victorian tiles. Firstly, I applied a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is a colour intensifying impregnating sealer that soaks into the tile and really lifts the colourful the Victorian designs. Secondly, I applied four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, which provides a durable low-sheen finish (as requested by the customer) and will protect against dirt and stains.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning Warrington

The customer was over the moon with the finished result. We love restoring these
original Victorian tiles because the transformations are truly in incredible. It’s easy to see why so many people want to have them maintained because they really add character to any property.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning Warrington

 
 

Cheshire Victorian Tiled Hallway Restoration

Full Restoration Of A Victorian Tiled Hallway In Warrington

Victorian tiles have a classic aura about them. They have been in use for over 150 years but have never really gone out of style due to their unique style and variety of patterns. As such, we often encounter both Victorian tiles that are very old, and Victorian tiles are quite new. Time, however, can certainly expose the tiles to all manner of wear and tear, and regular professional maintenance will always be necessary to keep them looking good.

As you can see from the photographs below, this particularly old Victorian tiled hallway at a house in Warrington was in pretty bad shape, with missing and cracked tiles. Not to mention that it clearly hadn’t been treated to a deep clean and fresh seal in a very long time. The property owner contacted me to set the situation right.

Victorian tiled hallway before restoration Warrington

Repairing and Cleaning Dirty and Damaged Victorian Tiles

Before I could begin with the restoration, it was necessary to order and reinstall replacements for the missing tiles. Fortunately, Tile Doctor maintains a list of suppliers that we can go to for these. Loose tiles were also refixed and grouted, before being left to dry over night. The result was an almost entirely rebuilt floor of original and replacement Victorian tiles.

Victorian tiled hallway during restoration Warrington

The next day I started the restoration by using a hand help flex machine fitted with three-inch diamond encrusted discs to lightly grind out the scratches in some of the original tiles. This was followed by a deep cleaning of the floor with Tile Doctor Pro Clean in combination with a black buffing pad. I repeated the process multiple times with this reliable alkaline cleaner to ensure all tiles were thoroughly and consistently clean.

The last step in the cleaning process was to rinse the floor thoroughly to remove any trace of chemicals, before soaking up any excess moisture using a wet vacuum. I gave the floor another night to dry fully, as it could only be sealed when I was sure all moisture had disappeared.

Sealing Victorian Tiles

On the third and final day of work, I started by checking the tiles were completely dry. This is essential because even a small amount of moisture can cloud the sealer and prevent it from performing correctly.

When satisfied with the state of the floor, I proceeded to seal it with a combination of six coats Tile Doctor Seal and Go and one coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. Seal and Go is a topical sealer that provides a durable layer of protection on the surface of tiles, plus a high-quality sheen finish. Colour Grow, by comparison, is an impregnating sealer, meaning it penetrates into the pores of the stone to act as a barrier against ingrained dirt and stains. It also enhances the range of different colours in the tiles.

Victorian tiled hallway after restoration Warrington

As you can see from the last photographs, this combination of cleaning and two sets of sealer worked wonders to restore the character to the old tiles. My customer was over the moon.

Victorian tiled hallway after restoration Warrington

 
 

Professional Victorian Tiled Hallway Restoration 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

Recently Uncovered Victorian Tiles Completely Transformed in Lymm

When you uncover a tiled floor after it has been covered by carpet for many years, it’s almost a given that it will be in a bad state. However, my customer, who lives in the town of Lymm, wasn’t expecting the Victorian tiled hallway they had recently uncovered to be in quite so terrible a state. As you can see from the photograph, it has been completely devastated by paint plaster and a big pool of cement floor leveller. Understandably, the formerly colourful appearance of the tiles had completely drained and it would require a through restoration to get them back into a usable condition.

Victorian Floor Uncovered Before in Lymm

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Floor

To begin the restoration, I mixed a strong cleaning solution which consisted of Tile Doctor Remove & Go combined 50/50 with Tile Doctor Pro Clean. Remove & Go is a heavy duty remover that breaks down old sealers, along with adhesives, paint stains and other tough soil build up where as Pro-Clean is a versatile alkaline-based cleaner that reliably eradicates dirt on a wide variety of natural stone floors.

The solution was applied liberally across the floor, and left to dwell for a short period, allowing time for it to soften up the paint plaster. Next, I fitted a coarse scrubbing pad to my rotary cleaning machine and began to scrub the solution into the tiles, with a big difference to the appearance of the tiles being made quite quickly. The resulting cleaning slurry was promptly removed using a wet-vac machine.

I repeated the process two times to provide an extra thorough clean and then give the floor a thorough rinse. Some particularly stubborn marks remained on the floor which I was able to remove using Tile a Doctor Acid Gel, a blend of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids in gel form that’s easy to control. The floor was then left to dry fully overnight.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

The next morning, I returned to the property and ran some damp tests. This is incredibly important to do before sealing any tiled floor because any excess moisture can cloud the sealer and prevent it from doing its job properly.

Once satisfied that the floor could be sealed, I applied several coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, our topical sealer which provides both a robust surface seal and a long-lasting low sheen finish in one and ideal for Victorian tiles.

Victorian Floor Uncovered After in Lymm

It would be an understatement to say that this Victorian tiled floor was transformed. The customer was amazed at the results considering how bad a state the tiles had been in just a day earlier. When you have a situation like this, it’s hard to believe the tiles could ever be fully restored. Nonetheless, we could now see them in their full and original glory, and needless to say, the customer was very, very pleased with the result.
 
 

Professional Victorian Tiled Floor Restoration in Lymm