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

Victorian Tile Clean and Seal Evesham

It’s not just major restoration work we do at Tile Doctor, sometimes a simple clean and seal is all that is required and that was the case at this property in Evesham. This medieval market town lies within the Vale of Evesham and is encompassed by the River Avon. It is located between the larger towns of Worcester, Cheltenham and Stratford-upon-Avon.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Evesham

I was contacted by the owner and I arranged a visit to view their Victorian Hallway. The floor was in very good condition, but the previous sealer was now in-effective and the floor was dull and needed a good clean and seal. The colours were starting to fade, and it was due some attention. Sealers do wear off over time so if you have a similar floor to this it’s worth bearing that in mind. We discussed the work required and the cost involved, my quote was accepted, and the work scheduled.

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

On arrival I set up my equipment and covered any areas of carpet to protect from splashing during cleaning. I then used Tile Doctor Remove and Go spraying the product onto the floor allowing it to dwell for 10 minutes thus breaking down any sealers. This product is a non-flammable, multi-purpose stripper which works best when left to soak in for some time before scrubbing. This product is also great for drawing out ingrained stains and removing heavy grease build up.

The floor was then pasted with Tile Doctor Acid Gel which works to neutralise any alkaline salts in the tiles that can cause efflorescence later. This is a common issue with old floors which often do not have a damp proof membrane in place. I then went to work with my scrubbing machine and a black pad and worked the products into the tile. The resulting slurry was then rinsed off with water and removed with a wet vacuum.

I then went over the floor with microfibres and water to remove any remaining marks before leaving it to dry off overnight and ready for sealing.

Victorian Tiled Hallway During Cleaning Evesham

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I returned the following day and started by checking the floor was dry using a moisture meter. To seal the floor, I chose Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra which is a fully breathable semi- gloss sealer which made a huge difference to the floor. Choosing a fully breathable sealer is important for floors that don’t have a damp proof membrane as you want to encourage any dampness to rise through the tile and not get trapped underneath where it might spread into the walls.

The deep clean and new seal brought out the vibrant colours in the tiles which were now shining through enhances by the lovely sheen which customer was very pleased with.

For aftercare I left the customer with a bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which being concentrated goes a long way. Once diluted with water the product becomes completely pH neutral which unlike most household cleaners and washing up liquids which contain bleaches won’t prematurely degrade the sealer with use.

Victorian Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Sealing Evesham

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Worcestershire

Craven Dunnill Victorian Floor Tile Clean and Repair Worcester

I received an enquiry for a clean and seal on this Victorian tiled floor in Worcester, so having spoken to the customer on the phone I arranged a time to make on-site visit to survey the floor and get a good look at the requirements, so I could advise on the cost.

On inspection I could see that not only was the floor pretty dirty, there was also an area of missing tiles. I managed to trace the tiles to Craven Dunnill a high-quality Victorian floor manufacturer based in nearby Bridgnorth that have been in business since 1872. Thankfully I knew I was able to source some more for them which would match nicely. The owner of the property was delighted to hear that not only would we clean the floor, but we could also source, supply and fit replacement tiles thus making the floor complete again.

Victorian Floor Before Restoration Worcester

After visiting the property, I sent the customer an accurate quote for the repairs and to clean and seal the hallway floor. They were happy with the price and my quote was accepted and a date arranged to complete the work.

Cleaning/Repairing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

On arrival the first step was to set up my equipment including a rotary floor scrubber/polisher, a wet and dry vacuum and my tile cutter.

I started with the floor edges first as they are difficult for floor machines to get into effectively. The process involved spraying the edges with Tile Doctor Remove and Go and then scrubbing it in with a a handheld diamond burnishing block. I then sprayed the rest of the floor with more Remove and Go and left it to dwell for ten minutes. I then proceeded to work the product into the floor with the rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor During Cleaning Worcester

The floor was then rinsed with water and the soil extracted using a wet vacuum. My next step was to give the tiles an acid wash by scrubbing Tile Doctor Acid Gel into the floor effectively repeating the previous process. The Tile Doctor Acid Gel is especially effective on Victorian floor tiles to remove mineral salt deposits (efflorescence) and old grout smears. Once I was done the soil was rinsed off as before and extracted with a wet vacuum.

Once I was happy the floor was clean, I moved onto the repairs, carefully measuring and cutting the shapes and fixing the tiles into the gaps with rapid set adhesive. I then grouted the area and left the tiles and floor to dry for the rest of the day and would return the following day to seal.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor During Repair Worcester

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

I returned the next day and after checking the floor was dry with a moisture meter, I started with sealing. The product I used was Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra, this is a fully breathable sealer with a semi-gloss finish which is ideal for old floors like these that won’t have a damp proof membrane installed. I worked the product into the floor leaving 30 minutes between coats and treated the floor to four coats before I was happy the floor was completely sealed.

Victorian Floor After Restoration Worcester

The customer was very happy with the finished floor and left some great feedback (see below) and has been asked by family and neighbours for our details.

“Very pleased with the result. Mark arrived on time every day and was sure to tidy away after himself, leaving no mess. Our Victorian tiled hallway now has a new lease of life and people are already asking who did it? I would have no hesitation in Recommending Mark.”

Victorian Floor After Restoration Worcester

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Worcestershire

Rebuilding and Restoring an Edwardian Tiled Hallway in Bewdley

Named after the monarch of the time Edwardian tiles are very similar to Victorian tiles in both their colourful nature and geometric design. Both types of tiled floor are commonly found in older properties, but they aren’t always immediately visible because unfortunately many people opt to cover them up with carpet or linoleum.

This customer had just moved into a house in Bewdley, a town in Worcestershire and the home of Severn Valley railway, and after lifting the carpet to replace it found a lovely Edwardian tiled hallway. She decided immediately the floor should be restored to its original condition and so contacted me to see what could be done.

Edwardian Tiled Hallway Before Restoration in Bewdley

Repairing an Edwardian Tiled Floor

At some point in the past, the house had been extended, and the builders had damaged the tiles towards the rear of the hallway to install a gas pipe.

Edwardian Tiled Hallway During Restoration in Bewdley

This meant my first task was to carefully remove the concrete without damaging the gas pipe, before rebuilding the floor to the level where I could relay new tiles and replace damaged ones.

Edwardian Tiled Hallway During Restoration in Bewdley

It took two days to repair the floor, but with the hallway successfully rebuilt I could then move onto the task of cleaning and sealing the tiles.

Edwardian Tiled Hallway During Restoration in Bewdley

Cleaning an Edwardian Tiled Floor

It took me another full day to clean, speed dry and seal the floor.

I started by applying Tile Doctor Remove and Go around the edges of the Edwardian hallway tiles to eliminate any paint splashes and glue stains from previous decoration work and the carpet that had been secured to the tiles by adhesive.

This was then followed by treating the floor with an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel with a buffing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad to clean off any old grout smears and other residues. The floor was then carefully rinsed down with water applied using micro fibre cloths so it wouldn’t get too damp and then speed dried with air blowers.

Edwardian Tiled Hallway During Restoration in Bewdley

Sealing an Edwardian Tiled Floor

Once satisfied that the floor was as clean as possible and bone dry from the speed driers I moved swiftly on to sealing them.

My choice of sealer was Tile Doctor Colour Grow, since the customer requested a natural finish. I applied three heavy coats of the sealer to lift the colours in the tiles and provide a long-lasting impregnating sealer to protect them against dirt and make them easy to keep clean in future.

Edwardian Tiled Hallway After Restoration in Bewdley

The transformation was remarkable and the customer was so happy with the result they left the following feedback:

“Mick and his tiler Dean were friendly, courteous, professional and trustworthy throughout the service given. An excellent job was made of restoring my original Victorian tiled floor – the reproduction tiles look like they’ve been there forever. Mick was extremely helpful to me when I had a crisis with a leaking roof while he was at my home. Would highly recommend him.”

Edwardian Tiled Hallway After Restoration in Bewdley

 
 

Professional Repair and Restoration of an Edwardian Tiled Floor in Bewdley

Fantastic Victorian Tiled Floor Restored to New in Stourbridge

Victorian tiled floors are known for their interesting and unique mosaic patterns – and this one was no different. It was installed at a house in the historic West Midlands town of Stourbridge (famous for its glass industry). Unfortunately it was now looking worse for wear and was in dire need of not just cleaning and sealing, but also some minor repairs and the owner was keen to have it restored back to its former glory.

Victorian Floor Stourbridge Before Cleaning

Repairing Victorian a Tiled Floor

This particular Victorian tiled floor had been arranged in a fantastic pattern comprising tiles in shades of yellow, blue, red and white. There were, however, some missing tiles but fortunately I know a number of specialist suppliers where I can source replacements. I spent the first day making minor repairs and replacing the missing tiles, including the grouting, and then left the treated areas to set overnight.

Victorian Floor Stourbridge Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Victorian tiled floor

On the second day I returned to the house to complete the cleaning process starting with a combination of Tile Doctor Remove & Go – a powerful sealer stripper – and Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU cleaner to lift out ingrained dirt and break down old layers of sealer. NanoTech HBU is particularly effective as it utilises tiny nano sized particles to penetrate deep into the stone and lift out the dirt. The resultant slurry was rinsed off the floor and removed using a wet vacuum.

Victorian Floor Stourbridge Cleaned Repaired and Sealed

The next step was to give the floor an acid wash using Tile Doctor Acid Gel, this product can remove old grout haze and other mineral deposits, additionally being in a gel form makes it easy to control and although primarily designed for use on walls it works really well on floors as well. Following this I gave the floor a thorough rinse, dried as much as possible with a wet vacuum and left it to dry overnight, ready to be sealed the next day.

Sealing a Victorian tiled floor

Upon my return to the house on the third day I set about sealing the floor, checking first that the area was completely dried by running damp tests with damp meter, all was well so I able to start applying the sealer. The sealer chosen for this floor was Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water based product which is a popular choice as it gives the floor a nice sheen and doesn’t leave the smell that the solvent based sealers do; three thin coats were applied to provide a robust surface seal and to achieve a semi-shine finish, as per the client’s requested.

My client was extremely pleased with the results, with a lot achieved over the space of roughly two and a half days. They left the following feedback:

“Mick did a fantastic job. He was polite and friendly and kept us informed at every stage of the work. He is extremely professional and it is obvious that he takes a great deal of pride in his work. We are thrilled with our ‘new’ floor.”

Victorian Floor Stourbridge Cleaned Repaired and Sealed Victorian Floor Stourbridge Cleaned Repaired and Sealed

 
 

Professional Victorian Tile Restoration and Maintenance in Worcestershire