Renovating Flood Damaged Victorian Flooring at a Worcester Church

Earlier this year I was contacted by the church warden of St Clements Church in Worcester regarding the renovation of its Victorian floor tiles. The Church was built 200 years ago and is one of the oldest churches in the city. Unfortunately, being situated close to the West bank of the River Severn it is at risk of flooding and a recent flood had ruined a large section of carpeting which had to be removed. In fact, according to the local newspaper Worcester has been named as sixth worst place in the UK for flooding.

Flood Damaged Church Victorian Tiles Before Restoration Worcester

Every cloud has a silver lining, so they say and, in this case, once the carpet was removed it revealed a very impressive Victorian tiled floor. There were two sections of 24m2 & 10m2, and I visited the Church to survey the floor and assess its condition.

Victorian tiles are generally very robust, and I discovered that the carpet had helped to preserve them in good physical condition. I conducted a few cleaning tests and I could see there were two areas where there was quite a lot of wax, dirt and carpet adhesive that would need removing. I discussed with the warden the process and provided a detailed quote.

Flood Damaged Church Victorian Tiles Before Restoration Worcester

My quote was accepted, and a date agreed to commence the work when their diary was a little quieter as the area would be out of use for a few days.

Renovating a Victorian Tiled Church Floor

On the first day I decided my first task would be to tackle the years of wax build-up and glue around the Altar. To do this I sprayed the floor with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a powerful coatings remover designed for use on Tile and Stone. The tiles were then covered in industrial cling film, this prevents the solution drying out and increases the active dwell time on the tiles so it can really get to work breaking down the wax and adhesive.

Working in sections I repeated the process across the whole floor and after an hour I removed the cling film and then scrubbed the floor with a rotary machine fitted with a 200-grit diamond pad. This really got deep into the tiles and after repeating the process several times the soiled cleaning solution containing the wax and glue was rinsed off the tiles and extracted with a wet vacuum.

I then used handheld burnishing blocks and a scraper on the stubborn and hard to reach places that couldn’t be accessed by the rotary machine. It was a large area that needed to be treated in this way, so the cleaning process took three days before I was satisfied with the result.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Church Floor

I used a lot of water in the cleaning process, so I left the floor to dry out for a few days, returning the following week to apply a sealer to the tiles.

I sealed the Victorian tiles with Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra which is which is breathable thereby allowing for moisture to rise through the tiles and evaporate. This is an important consideration for old tiled floors where a damp-proof membrane hasn’t been installed. Without this moisture can build up in the floor where it could eventually spread out to the walls resulting in rising damp. The tiles took five coats of sealer and each coat had to be left to dry before applying the next so naturally this took some time and had to be done in sections cordoned off from the parishioners. Once the sealer had been applied to the whole floor the transformation of the church floor was complete, the floor looked fantastic and much more in-keeping with the period look of the building.

Flood Damaged Church Victorian Tiles After Restoration Worcester

I received a glowing review from the Church which I have copied below. I also heard that a parishioner had seen the floor and had cried because the last time she had seen the floor was 50 years ago at her wedding, its moments like those that make my job very worthwhile!

Mark Conway was an absolute star. He worked so hard on our Church floor. It looks magnificent now and everyone has commented on how beautiful it looks. Mark was such a nice friendly and helpful person and went the extra mile. Thanks Mark. A brilliant job.

Flood Damaged Church Victorian Tiles After Restoration Worcester

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Church Floor in Worcestershire

Carpet Covered Quarry Tiled Hallway Renovated in Stourport-on-Severn

I was contacted by a client from the Georgian canal town of Stourport-on-Severn regarding their Quarry tiled hallway floor. The client had moved into the property sometime in the past and unhappy with the appearance of the tiled floor decided to have it covered up with carpet. The carpet was now due for a change and rather than replace it she looked around to see if anyone could restore the original quarry tiles.

Having found Tile Doctor, I was asked to pay the property a visit and quote for the restoration. I arranged a convenient time and went over to survey the tiles which although dirty were in good physical condition. The carpet however had secured to the floor with a carpet gripped screwed through the grout and a strong carpet adhesive all of which would need rectifying as part of the restoration.

Quarry tiled hallway floor Stourport-on-Severn Before Restoration

After reviewing the whole floor and completing a few tests I was confident we could remove the old glue and restore the floor back to its original condition. My quote was accepted, and a date agreed to start the work.

If you have never been, I can recommend a visit to Stourport, close to Kidderminster and famous for its canal junction location it was once one of the principal distribution centres for goods to and from the rest of the West Midlands.

Cleaning a Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor

The first job was to remove the carpet, underlay and carpet grippers. I then applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go to breakdown the adhesives and to remove any old sealers. It was left to soak into the Quarry tile and grout for about ten minutes before being worked into the floor with a scrubbing rotary machine fitted with a black pad. It wasn’t long before the solution went dark with all the dirt that had been released from the pores of the tiles and the slurry was removed with a wet and dry vacuum.

Quarry tiled hallway floor Stourport-on-Severn During Restoration

I then applied Tile Doctor Acid Gel to remove some cement residue and combat any potential efflorescence issues which are quite common in old floors like these that don’t have a damp-proof membrane installed. The floor was then rinsed down with water to remove any trace of cleaning products, then then left to dry off overnight. Before leaving I spent time filling in the holes left by the screws of the carpet rods with a dark coloured grout which was as close a match to the colour of the tile as possible.

Sealing a Quarry Tiled Hallway Floor

On my return the following day I checked the moisture readings on the floor using a damp meter and as the readings were good, I proceeded to seal the floor. For a sealer I had chosen to use the tried and tested Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra. This sealer allows for moisture vapour transmission making it partially breathable and ideal for situations where no damp proof membrane has been installed and where there is risk of moisture being trapped under the floor. It also allows the colour of the tiles to shine through without leaving a shiny finish. I gave the floor five coats allowing ample drying time in-between coats.

Quarry tiled hallway floor Stourport-on-Severn After Restoration

As you can see from the pictures the floor looked great and my client was extremely happy with the result and so pleased, they had finally taken the old hallway carpet up. For aftercare I recommended Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner to keep the floor in the best condition and ensure maximum longevity for the new sealer.

Quarry tiled hallway floor Stourport-on-Severn After Restoration

 

Professional Restoration of a Quarry Tiled Hallway in Worcestershire