Listed Building

Marble Entrance Hall Floor Polished in Tattenhall Listed Building

This Black and White Marble tiled hallway floor at a Grade II listed property in the village of Tattenhall has quite a history. The building was constructed in 1865 and at one time it has been the home to the high sheriff of Cheshire, and the family home of Edith Wignall the daughter of Sir Henry Tate the founder of the sugar company Tate and Lyle.

In more recent years the property had been used as a council building and even a nursing home for the elderly. After a long history of decline it has now been restored to a lavish family mansion however the marble floor had suffered over the years and still need attention. The current owner had been in touch as they wanted it restoring and basically brought back to life.

Marble Tiled Floor Before Renovation Grade II Listed Building Tattenhall

As it turns out I had already planned to go to Tattenhall the following week to work on another listed building which was formerly the village bank. After discussing the Marble floor over the phone, I agreed a date and time to pop over from the bank and inspect the floor in detail. I can provide a rough quote from photographs, which has been especially useful recently, but it’s far better for all concerned if I’m able to properly survey the floor first.

The Marble floor consisted of Black and White Mable tiles laid in a diamond pattern, it wasn’t a very large area perhaps 9 square metres in total. The tiles were well worn as described but also stained and scratched. I would see they would need a deep burnish and polish to bring them back to life and then protected with a fresh sealer. Following on from that visit I was able to provide an accurate quote which was accepted, and a date agreed for my return.

Marble Tiled Floor Before Renovation Grade II Listed Building Tattenhall

Removing Scratches and Stains from a Marble Tiled Entrance Hall Floor

The first job was to protect the surrounding heavy wooden panelling with masking film. The floor was very heavily stained yellow with deep scratches, to remove these I would have to grind the marble back until a clean fresh tile was left. To start I used a 200-grit coarse pad fitted to a weighted buffing machine, the abrasive action of the pad was lubricated with water. After inspection I found that the staining and scratches were still there, so I needed to use stronger pads, so I worked my way through a set of very coarse milling pads starting at a 50, 100 and finishing with a 200-grit pad. Again, water was used to lubricate, and the resultant slurry was removed by a powerful wet vacuum and washed down between each pad.
The milling pads had the desired effect, and I was then able to bring back the polished appearance of the Marble surface using a set of finer burnishing pads with the same process. The 400 and 800-grit pads helped to clean and remove the fine scratches left by the milling pads and then the next 1500-grit pad started to build the shine back on the marble tile.

After finishing with 1500-grit pad I washed the Marble with Tile Doctor Stone Soap and vacuumed up the residue with the wet vacuum. I left an industrial blower in place overnight to dry out the floor ready for the next morning when it would be sealed.

Sealing a Marble Tiled Entrance Hall Floor

The next morning, I used the last of the four burnishing pads which is a very fine 3000-grit to polish the floor further. This last pad is applied dry with just a spray of water to create a high gloss finish.

When I was happy, I sealed the floor with two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that soaks into the fine pores of the Marble to protect it from within. This product also improves colour and after application it was left to soak into the tile for five minutes before polishing off and then leaving it to dry.

Marble Tiled Floor After Renovation Grade II Listed Building Tattenhall

The last step was to I buff the floor with a white pad. The finish was impressive, and the family were very happy with the work we had carried out. For aftercare I recommended they use Stone Soap as its designed for the regular cleaning of sealed and polished stone, as well as cleaning it also helps build the patina.

 

Professional Restoration of a Mable Tiled Hallway in West Cheshire

Listed Victorian Floor Restoration at Aston Park House Great Budworth

Earlier this year were contacted by the The Vintage Floor company who have supplied me with reclaimed tiles in the past to see if we could help one of their customers restore a Victorian floor at Aston Park House in Great Budworth. A section of flooring in the mansion house had been ripped out by a property developer along with most of the other features in the building. According to Cheshire Live news the developer was taken to court and fined for the “reckless vandalism” of a rare Grade II listed building.

Aston Park House Great Budworth Northwich Cheshire

The property dates to 1715 and at one time was part of the nearby Arley Hall Estate which has been used for many film locations including Peaky Blinders and War of the Worlds. English Heritage were now keeping a close eye on the renovation work, so needless to say the standard had to be high.

On the first day of work a person from English Heritage met me with old plans of the floor and how it was to be restored. Fortunately, half the floor was still there so that section just needed a good clean and seal, but there was a twelve-foot section of the floor missing which needed to be replaced to English Heritage standards.

Victorian Floor Before Installaton and Restorattion Aston Park House Great Budworth Northwich Victorian Floor Before Installaton and Restorattion Aston Park House Great Budworth Northwich

Rebuilding a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

English Heritage had arranged to have a new sub-base installed so I was able to get straight onto tiling the floor. I used a modern flexible adhesive to lay the tiles which alone took two weeks as there were 2,450 tiles of different sizes. Keeping the tiles butted up to each other level and smooth and following the correct pattern is meticulous work. Once the new tiles were laid it was left for three days to set before I returned to grout the floor. With part one of the project done English Heritage returned to check my work which was a nerve-racking experience.

Victorian Floor During Installaton and Restorattion Aston Park House Great Budworth Northwich Victorian Floor During Installaton and Restorattion Aston Park House Great Budworth Northwich

English Heritage has specified that the floor needed to be levelled so to ensure the tiles were completely flat I applied a system that Tile Doctor use called Milling. This involves the application of a coarse 200-grit DRB pad to take out any lippage and flatten the tiles. DRB stands for Diamond Resin Block which refers to the segments in the pad that do the heavy lifting of milling the tiles. The pads are applied using a rotary machine which is fitted with extra weights to make better contact with the tile and is run at a slow speed. Water is used as a lubricant and the fine slurry generated is removed with a wet vacuum.

Deep Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

Next step was to get both floors clean using a 200-grit pad (without segments) followed with a set of burnishing pads from 400, 800 and finally 1500-grit to restore the surface. Again, each pad is applied with water for lubrication and is rinsed and extracted after each pad. This process really gets the floor clean and reduces any noticeable difference between the new and old floors.

After completing the burnishing, the floor was treated to an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel. This is applied to the floor and left to soak for ten minutes before being rinsed off with water and extracted with a wet vacuum. Old floors don’t have a damp proof membrane so this neutralises any efflorescent salts in the tile which could cause a problem later, it also ensures grout smears are removed. The floor was then left to dry out for seven days.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

On return we tested the floor to check it was dry enough to seal, this is important as any moisture in the tile can affect the sealer leading to an inconsistent finish. One coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow was applied to start, this is a colour intensifying breathable impregnator that soaks into the tile improving its appearance and adding protection from within. Any excess sealant was removed by wiping the floor with a microfibre cloth and then it was left to dry for an hour.

We then applied four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra which is an acrylic sealer and breathable. This is an important feature when choosing a sealer for old floors where moisture needs to be allowed to rise through the tile, otherwise it can become trapped under the floor and reach out to the walls causing rising damp.

Victorian Floor After Installaton Aston Park House Great Budworth Northwich

We returned two days later for a final inspection with English Heritage which thankfully we got the nod that the floor had passed!

Victorian Floor After Installaton Aston Park House Great Budworth Northwich

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in West Cheshire

Restoring Mosaic Floors in the Warrington Treasury Building

Around five years ago Tile Doctor was asked to quote for restoring the Mosaic tiled floors in the former Warrington Technical College which is a Grade II listed building that was built in 1901. Tile Doctor are the biggest restorative tile network in the UK and we often get asked to quote for restoring old floors like these. Although we quoted for the work, nothing happened, and it now appears the local borough council had put the work on hold until they could come up with a fully costed plan to fully restore it.

It took some time, but I’m pleased to report that a plan did evolve and a joint venture between the council and a developer has now restored the building to its former glory and is now home to several restaurants and bars spread across its three floors.

The Treasury Building Palymra Square The Treasury Building Palymra Square

The restoration plan included preserving the main stair enclosure along with the original features which includes oak panelling and thankfully the beautiful Mosaic floor tiles. Having previously quoted for the latter and with the main building works complete we were asked to return and restore the floors ASAP at what has since been renamed as “The Treasury Building of Palymra Square”.

On the first day I was given a large vase full of mosaic tile pieces which the developers had collected during the building works and figured would come in handy later.

Mosaic Tile Collection

Day 1 – Preparing and Cleaning the Mosaic Flooring

Starting at the top of the building my first job was to remove the builders rubbish and sweep both floors. I then washed both Mosaic floors with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean using a strong 1:3 dilution with water. After leaving the cleaning solution to soak in for a few minutes it was scrubbed in using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a weighted buffing machine.

Cleaning Mosaic Flooring Warrington Treasury Building Cleaning Mosaic Flooring Warrington Treasury Building

This process brought out the dirt and dust that had been ingrained in the tiles turning the cleaning solution into a grey slurry which was then removed with a wet vacuum. It was a large floor and I had to repeat the cleaning process a couple of times to remove the layers of dirt, but the result was worth it and by the end of the first day the colours and design of the floor was really standing out.

Cleaning Mosaic Flooring Warrington Treasury Building Cleaning Mosaic Flooring Warrington Treasury Building

Day 2 – Replacing Missing Mosaic Tiles on the Top Floor

On day two I started work to repair the floor where the mosaic pieces were missing using the collection of mosaic tiles the builders had kindly left me at the start of the restoration. It was quite a jigsaw that involved looking through the hundreds of pieces that had been collected, finding a suitable piece and if necessary shaping it with a grinder so it could fit in the pattern. I used a flexible tile adhesive and then left them to set overnight.

Repairing Mosaic Flooring Warrington Treasury Building Repairing Mosaic Flooring Warrington Treasury Building

Replacing the missing mosaics on the first floor was a slow process which ended up taking up much of the second day.

Day 3 – Replacing Missing Mosaic Tiles on the Top Floor

My plan on day 3 was to continue the restoration work on the top floor and ensure the repaired areas were level with the rest of the floor. I attempted to use a 50-grit milling pad fitted to weighted floor buffing machine for this but found the segments on the pad would catch the edge of the replaced pieces and knock them out of place. Clearly this was not going to work so I changed tack and smoothed them down using a set of graded hand-held Diamond burnishing blocks. Again, there was lot to do so this work took up much of the day; some might say I could have worked around this but I’m a bit of a perfectionist and I like to ensure a job is done right.

Day 4 – Burnishing Mosaic Tiles on the Top Floor

The next step was to use a set of Tile Doctor Burnishing Pads to clean and restore the finish of the mosaics. The pads which are encrusted with industrial diamonds are applied with a rotary floor buffer in sequence from coarse to extra fine. The first pad is a coarse 400-grit and is applied with only water for lubrication, it removes minor scratches, sealers, and the top surface dirt.

Cleaning Mosaic Flooring Warrington Treasury Building Cleaning Mosaic Flooring Warrington Treasury Building

Working in sections, I applied the pad across the floor, rinsing with water in between and picking up the soiled solution with the wet vacuum. I then repeated this same procedure with the medium 800-grit pad which is the first stage polishing pad again rinsing with water after use. The next two pads are a fine 1500-grit and extra fine 3000-grit which really build up a high-quality polish on the stone. This last pad is applied at the very end of the process when the floor is dry and is run over the floor using a small amount of water which is sprayed onto the floor.

Day 5 – Restoring Mosaic Flooring on the Ground Floor

The next day we started on the ground floor which consisted of a large main lobby and hallway running off it. The mosaic pattern in the lobby featured an impressive oval zodiac design with two restaurants looking on to it behind wood and glass panelling. It must have taken a long time to lay back in 1901 and we were quite often stopped by people that worked there saying how nice it was seeing the wonderful floor being restored to its former glory.

Cleaning Mosaic Flooring Warrington Treasury Building Repairing Mosaic Flooring Warrington Treasury Building

The ground floor Mosaics had the same issues as the first floor however the experience gained restoring the first floor meant I was able to crack on quite quickly and completed the repairs in a single day.

Day 6 – Burnishing Mosaic Tiles on the Ground Floor

On the sixth day I proceeded to burnish the Mosaic flooring on the ground floor and hall using the same system as before

Burnishing Mosaic Flooring Warrington Treasury Building Cleaning Mosaic Flooring Warrington Treasury Building

With two large areas to cover I found the burnishing of the ground floor and hall using the 400, 800 and 1500-grit pads as before took up the whole day. After finishing the floor was given a final rinse to remove the slurry and then left to dry out overnight.

Day 7 – Sealing Mosaic Flooring

I returned early the next day to complete the polishing process using the 3000-grit burnishing pad which further builds the polished appearance of the floor. Once this was done the floor was sealed using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that adds stain protection to the floor and enhances colour. With two floors to do I was able to work on one floor as the sealer on the other dried.

Sealing Mosaic Flooring Warrington Treasury Building Sealing Mosaic Flooring Warrington Treasury Building

The owners were very pleased with the work we did and have asked us if we can come back every two months to maintain the floor and keep it in tip top condition. Having a maintenance plan in place for busy tiled areas like these are a good idea if you want to keep your floor looking its best.

Polishing Mosaic Flooring Warrington Treasury Building Polishing Mosaic Flooring Warrington Treasury Building

 

Professional Mosaic Tiled Floor Polishing in Warrington

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