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

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

Ceramic Kitchen Tiles Refresh and Grout Recolouring in Warrington

It can be amazing and equally frustrating just how quickly grout can become dirty and discoloured. I was recently contacted by a couple in Warrington to see if I could help them with their Ceramic tiled kitchen floor that had only been laid six months earlier. To their dismay, in that short time the grout had become discoloured and difficult to clean. They had given up trying to resolve the situation by themselves and so turned to Tile Doctor for some professional assistance.

Naturally I was happy to assist and so arranged to visit the property to conduct a small cleaning test where I demonstrated how with a combination of the right tools and products I could indeed get the grout lines clean again. Seeing the results of the test, the couple were more than happy to book me to complete the job.

Kitchen tiles before cleaning and grout recolour in Warrington

Grout Cleaning for Dirty Ceramic Tiles

On my return to the property, I repeated the same successful test clean across the entirety of the floor. This involved the application firstly of Tile Doctor Remove and Go, which is a strong cleaner, stripper and degreaser. I scrubbed the product thoroughly into all the grout lines, making sure I did not miss any dirt and stains.

I then started to clean the Ceramic floor tiles using our high alkaline cleaner, Tile Doctor Pro Clean. This was scrubbed into the floor in a similar fashion to the Remove and Go and then rinsed off with plain water extracting the waste water with a Wet Vat. The floor was left to dry over lunchtime.

Recolouring Grout for Ceramic Tiles

In the afternoon, I explained that whilst I could get the grout clean it was only a matter of time before it became dirty again. So, to provide a permanent solution I recommended to the customer that we apply an epoxy Grout Colourant, which adds a protective barrier over the grout. An alternative would have been to apply a Grout Sealer however this is best applied to new grout and in this case would not have guaranteed the uniform appearance required.

Before applying the Grout Colourant, I made sure the grout lines were dry by giving them a quick blast with a heat gun. I then started to colour the grout lines with our White Grout Colourant, which is part of a range made by Tile Doctor and is available in ten popular colours, including Black, Charcoal Grey and even Cappuccino Brown.

The difference made to the floor was quite remarkable. Not only is the grout now a uniform brilliant white, but it should remain so for a long time to come. You can see this yourself in the photograph below!

Kitchen tiles after cleaning and grout recolour in Warrington

 
 

Restoring the Appearance of Grout on a Ceramic Tiled Kitchen Floor in Cheshire

Grout Haze Removed from Wood Effect Porcelain floor tiles in Appleton

This request actually came from a local tilling company who needed assistance removing grout smears (aka grout haze) from Ceramic tiled floors that they had recently installed at a new housing estate in Appleton, south of Warrington. Busy tiling firms should take note as Tile Doctors are more than happy to add the final finishing touches to a tiled floor whether it’s sealing, polishing or simply removing excess grout as in this case.

Grout haze on Porcelain Wood Effect floor tiles in Appleton

Grout haze on Porcelain Wood Effect floor tiles in Appleton

If you take a close look at the above photograph you will see these are actually Wood Effect Porcelain tiles which are a new style of tile that have emerged over the last few years that allow you to have the beauty of a natural wood floor but with the ease of maintenance and durability of Porcelain. You will need to take a close look as unfortunately the grout smears hide a lot of the wood pattern.

Removing Grout Smears from Wood Effect Porcelain Tile

To remove Grout Haze you need to use an acid product and being a Tile Doctor I happened to have a bottle of Tile Doctor Grout Clean–Up in the van which is specially designed for removing excess grout as well as dealing with mineral salt problems. Working in sections I applied the product to the floor and left to soak for five minutes before scrubbing into the tiles and then rinsing it off and removing with a wet vacuum. This activity made a difference but more work was required so I repeated the process once more.

I was still left with some stubborn grout haze but fortunately I also had a bottle of Tile Doctor Acid Gel which is a thick gel for use primarily on wall tiles as being a gel is doesn’t run down the walls as much. It’s also useful on floors so I applied Acid Gel to the stubborn parts with a paint brush and left to soak for five to ten minutes then scrubbed the said areas with a stiff brush. This did the trick and I was able to remove the remainder of the grout haze.

Grout haze removed from Wood Effect Porcelain floor tiles in Appleton

Grout haze removed from Wood Effect Porcelain floor tiles in Appleton

I have the floor a thorough wash to remove any trace of product and the results were quite a transformation.

Tiled FloorING Problems Professionally Resolved in Cheshire