I was recently contacted by a client who had just moved into a large Victorian property in the West Cheshire village of Tarvin about renovating their Victorian tiled hallway. Apparently, the floor was in good condition, and it would just be a case of removing what was left of the old sealer, deep cleaning the tiles and then applying a fresh seal. Unless the floor has been regularly maintained with the same sealer it’s important to remove all traces of old sealers before applying fresh.
A lot of the work we do at Tile Doctor can be a lot more involved, often requiring the sourcing of matching replacement tiles and rebuilding large sections of tiled flooring so straight forward clean and seal job is always welcome.
Stripping and Cleaning a Victorian Hallway Tiles
To remove what was left of the sealer and the ingrained dirt from the pores of the Victorian tile I dressed the floor with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. On this occasion I used a 1:3 dilution with water and applied it to the floor with a mop. I left it to soak into the tile for fifteen minutes before scrubbing so it could get to work breaking down the old sealer.
During this time, I set up a weighted floor buffer and fitted a black buffing pad, these pads are designed for scrubbing hard floors and lifting out the dirt. I applied a little water as required during this process to ensure the pad was lubricated. Shortly the cleaning solution darkened as the old sealer and dirt was released from the tile.
The soil was rinsed away with water and then removed using a wet vacuum. Once clear the floor was inspected and the process repeated until I was satisfied it was as clean as it could be and free of sealer.
Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor
I left the floor to dry off overnight and returned the next day to apply a new sealer. Before doing so however I like to use a damp meter to take moisture readings from the floor. This is needed to ensure it is dry enough to seal which is important as any moisture in the tile can affect the sealer and lead to an inconsistent finish.
To seal I started with the application of a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour intensifying breathable impregnator that soaks into the tile improving 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.
This was followed with four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra which is an acrylic breathable sealer which adds a pleasing subtle shine to the tile. 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.
The customer was very happy with the revamped hallway which made the house a lot brighter and welcoming. Before closing I should mention that for aftercare cleaning I recommend Tile Doctor Neutral cleaner which is designed for the daily cleaning for sealed tiles, this is important as most domestic supermarket cleaners are simply too strong and can prematurely erode the sealer.