Renovating an Edwardian Tiled Hallway in Worcester

This customer bought an Edwardian property in Worcester and discovered a stained yet beautiful tiled period floor when removing the hallway carpet. They were delighted to find the tiles were in good physical condition but as you would expect the floor needed a thorough clean and then sealing to protect the tiles and improve the finish.

Edwardian Hallway Tiled Floor Before Clean and Seal

The property was well located, close to the city centre, River Severn and the stunning historic 12th century Worcester Cathedral. Neighbouring houses were of a similar age and it was lovely to see so many of them had retained their Edwardian tiled porchways. Naturally the new owners were keen to retain as many of the period features of the property as possible, and so over the moon to discover the original hallway.

Edwardian Hallway Tiled Floor Before Clean and Seal Edwardian Hallway Tiled Floor Before Clean and Seal

After popping round to survey the floor I discussed my plan for restoring the hallway and submitted a quote based on two days’ work. The quote was accepted, and the work was scheduled for later in the month.

Cleaning an Edwardian Tiled Hallway Floor

The first day was spent cleaning the floor, firstly removing the carpet glue which was quite heavy on the edges of the floor. I used Tile Doctor Remove and Go for this and ceramic hob scraper, sometimes the oddest tools are the best! I then sprayed more Tile Doctor Remove and Go on to the remaining tiles leaving it to dwell for ten minutes. Then working the solution into the tiles with a 200-grit diamond pad fitted to my rotary scrubber, I really started to make some progress.

The soil generated was extracted with a wet vacuum and I made a start on giving the floor an acid wash. For this I applied Tile Doctor Acid Gel and pasted it onto the floor again working the gel into the tiles. Tile Doctor Acid Gel is particularly useful for removing cement and grout smears. Also, there was some evidence of salt stains (Efflorescence), old floors like these don’t have a damp-proof membrane so it’s quite normal for moisture to rise through the tile.

I removed the slurry with a heavy duty wet and dry vacuum cleaner. Then as a final measure I used micro fibre cloths and some Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up to remove any remaining smears once the floor was clean. I left for the day allowing the floor to dry overnight and would return the following day to seal.

Sealing a Edwardian Tiled Hallway Floor

Returning the following morning, I first checked the floor with a moisture meter to ensure it had dried off fully overnight. The sealer I would use as agreed with the customer would be Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra. This is a topical fully breathable semi-gloss sealer and would give a nice light sheen and allow the colours in the tile to shine through. This sealer is fully breathable and would cope well with the light efflorescence issues the floor had experienced in the past.

Edwardian Hallway Tiled Floor After Clean and Seal Edwardian Hallway Tiled Floor After Clean and Seal

The moisture readings were fine, so I started to apply the first coat of sealer using micro fibre cloths. After allowing the required drying time between coats I started on the second coat. Leaving the right amount of time between coats is especially important in winter when drying takes longer. The floor was treated to five coats of sealer in total and the customer was very satisfied with the finish.

Edwardian Hallway Tiled Floor After Clean and Seal

 

Professional Restoration of a Edwardian Tiled Hallway in Worcestershire

Salt Damaged Quarry Tiles Replaced and Restored in Droitwich-Spa Kitchen

I was contacted to inspect a quarry tiled floor in the kitchen of a property in Droitwich Spa which was in need of repair and also in need of a clean and seal. Having spoken to the customer previously, I was aware there were several damaged tiles that would need replacing so before visiting the property to survey the floor I sourced potential replacements from several manufacturers so I could find one that would be a good match to the originals.

Once that was done, I went over with the samples to inspect the floor and whilst I was there marked all the damaged tiles that would need lifting and replacing. The house was quite old and many of the tiles had been badly affected by salt damage at some point in the past. Given the age of the property it could have been from efflorescence or it is possible it was flood damage as the property was about 700m from the River Salwarpe which has a history of overflowing. In fact, Droitwich Spa is known for its salt deposits and became a Spa town when the salt industry started to dwindle towards the end of the 19th century.

I worked out a quote to repair the floor, then clean and seal it which was accepted, and the work scheduled.

Cleaning and Repairing a Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor

The first job was to remove the damaged tiles from the floor using various tools to prise the tiles away from the substrate. I then used a self-leveller to level the screed. All the new tiles would need cutting so I used a Bridge Saw with a diamond blade and proceeded to cut all the tiles to shape. The replacement tiles were then fixed in place using flexible adhesive and left to dry and then grouted.

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor During Tile Replacement Droitwich Spa Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor After Tile Replacement Droitwich Spa

The following day I moved onto cleaning the tiles. Tile Doctor Remove and Go was used to tackle any previous sealers. leaving the product to dwell for the required time and then working it into the floor with a rotary scrubbing machine. I then used Tile Doctor Acid Gel to remove old grout smears and combat any efflorescence the floor was encountering, before vacuuming the remaining slurry with a wet vacuum. Once I was happy the floor was as clean as it could be, I left the tiles to dry overnight so they could be sealed the following day.

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor During Cleaning Droitwich Spa Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor After Repair and Cleaning Droitwich Spa

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor

I returned the next day and began by using a moisture meter to ensure the floor was dry. All was well so I proceeded to seal the floor using Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra, a semi-gloss breathable sealer that will allow moisture to rise through the tile unimpeded which was important considering its history. The floor required five coats of sealer to completely seal the floor and the customer was very pleased with the result as indicated in the feedback below:

“We are very happy with the work that Mark carried out for us. Mark was very professional and always responded quickly to any enquiries that we had. We have recommended Mark to our friends and family. Thank you. Lydia B, Droitwich Spa”

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor After Sealing Droitwich Spa

 

Professional Restoration of a Quarry Tiled Kitchen in Worcestershire

Quarry Tiled Dining Room Floor Renovation in Hartlebury

I was contacted by the new owner of a property in Hartlebury who needed help renovating a Quarry tiled floor in their dining room. The house was full of original period features however the Quarry tiles had experienced a lot of wear over the years and were now in need of a deep clean and seal. Hartlebury by the way is a lovely village close to the larger town of Kidderminster and famous for Hartlebury Castle which was built in the mid-13th century.

There were a few tiles which had experienced salt damage in the past and I explained that as a Tile Doctor I could change these tiles for her to give the best finish. The customer however, decided she would like to keep the original floor without changing the tiles and just concentrate on the clean and seal. I conducted a test clean on part of the floor to demonstrate the difference we could achieve and also work out the best products for the floor. The test went well and happy with the results my quote was accepted, and the work scheduled.

Salt Damaged Quarry Tiled Floor Before Renovation Hartlebury

I have mentioned this before but it’s worth pointing out again that damp proof membranes did not become common until the 1970’s. Properties built before then were subject to damp rising through the sub floor drawn up by evaporation at the floor surface. Alkaline salt deposits would also be brought up with the moisture and leave a white deposit on the surface of the tile. This process is commonly known as efflorescence and can cause damage to tiles which are coated with a non-breathable coating. In extreme circumstances where the whole floor is trapping moisture under the surface then it can spread outwards into the walls leading to rising damp.

Deep Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Dining Room Floor

My first step was to concentrate on the edges of the floor using a wire brush and Tile Doctor Remove and Go on the difficult areas and paint marks. I then sprayed the rest of the floor with some more Tile Doctor Remove and Go and left it to dwell for ten minutes. Once the dirt had started to lift, I used my rotary scrubber with a black pad and worked the solution in. The soiled product was then rinsed off the floor with water and vacuumed away using a wet vacuum.

The next step was to remove the white efflorescence from the surface of the Quarry tiles and neutralise any alkaline salts within the tile. The best way to do this is to give the floor an acid wash. I use Tile Doctor Acid Gel for this purpose and being a Gel it’s very easy to control. Again, the product is worked into the floor using a rotary machine and black pad. The floor was then rinsed thoroughly and then vacuumed to remove all the soil and as much moisture as possible. After I had finished the floor looked much brighter.
Once I was happy the floor was clean and any trace of efflorescence removed, I finished for the day and left the floor to dry out fully overnight. I arranged to return the following day to seal the tiles.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Dining Room Floor

The customer had requested a gloss finish however the inherent damp issues meant I would need to apply a fully breathable sealer that would allow moisture to rise thorough the Quarry tiles unimpeded. The solution was to apply Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra, this a semi-gloss topical sealer which is fully breathable. This sealant leaves a beautiful finish and allows the natural colour of the tiles to shine through.

After using my damp test meter and making sure the floor was fully dry, I started the sealing process. The Quarry tiles were treated to five coats and the customer was very pleased and left some great feedback which I’ve copied below.

Mark was very efficient and professional. Worked hard and did a good job. Very pleased with results. Sue R., Hartlebury

Salt Damaged Quarry Tiled Floor After Renovation Hartlebury

Although we didn’t replace the damaged tiles, they were much improved and added character to the floor. Also, the new sealer will make them much easier for the customer to keep clean. For aftercare I recommended the use of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner to keep the floor looking pristine, unlike harsher products you find in supermarkets it won’t damage the sealer prematurely.

Salt Damaged Quarry Tiled Floor After Renovation Hartlebury

 

Professional Restoration of a Quarry Tiled Dining Room Floor in Worcestershire

Renovating a Quarry Tiled Cloakroom Floor in Brotheridge Green

These photographs are from a beautiful farmhouse in the tranquil village of Brotheridge Green near the city of Worcester. Worcester is famous for many things, Royal Worcester Porcelain, Lea and Perrin Worcester Sauce, Berrow’s Worcester Journal which claims to be the oldest newspaper, and indeed it was also the hometown of the composer Edward Elgar.

Quarry Tiled WC Floor Brotheridge Green Farmhouse Before Cleaning

The owner of the farmhouse asked me to come and look at their downstairs cloakroom which had existing quarry tiles fitted. They were becoming frustrated that they couldn’t get the area to look clean and were considering replacing the floor. The owners of the property had used every cleaning product they could find and scrubbed for hours to try and get these quarry tiles in their cloakroom clean. The problem with the tiles was a build-up of ingrained dirt over time as the tiles had not been sealed, so no amount of cleaning with household products would have helped. There was also an issue with salts rising through the tiles which was making them look worse, common in properties of this age.

Quarry Tiled WC Floor Brotheridge Green Farmhouse Before Cleaning

Following my inspection, I explained to the customer what I could do to bring the tiles back to life. I completed a quote for the work that evening which they gladly accepted, and the work was scheduled in.

Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Cloakroom Floor

On day one of the job my first step was to sweep away any loose debris from the quarry tiles. I then tackled the floor with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean this is a heavy-duty alkaline cleaner which is safe to use on Tile and Stone, in concentrated form it can strip away sealers and grease and was perfect for this job. As I was working in a confined space I opted to complete the job by hand using a deck brush and scrubbing brush to work the solution in after leaving the Pro-Clean to dwell and soak into the floor for ten minutes. I then extracted the resultant slurry off the floor with my wet and dry vacuum and repeated this process until I was happy the floor was as clean as it could be given its age.

I then finished the cleaning of the floor with an acid rinse using Tile Doctor Acid Gel to remove grout stains and counter potential salt efflorescence issues which are a common problem with these old floors where no damp proof membrane has been installed. The floor was then rinsed again with water, dried with the wet vacuum and left to dry off fully overnight.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Cloakroom Floor

When I returned the following morning, I checked the floor was dry using my moisture meter; this is important step as a damp floor will effect the ability of the sealer to cure.

I decided to seal the Quarry tiles with Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra, which is a semi-gloss breathable sealer to allow for any damp issues and applied four coats allowing each coat to dry for approximately 30 minutes before adding the next. This gave a nice natural finish letting the colour of the quarry tiles shine through.

Quarry Tiled WC Floor Brotheridge Green Farmhouse After Cleaning

The customer was very happy with the result and is looking to get the rest of the Quarry tiles in the house cleaned and sealed in the future. They were very happy that the floor didn’t need to be replaced.

Quarry Tiled WC Floor Brotheridge Green Farmhouse After Cleaning

 

Professional Restoration of a Quarry Tiled Cloakroom in Worcestershire