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

Light Grey Grout Recolouring on a Ceramic Tiled Kitchen Floor in Worcester

If you don’t like the colour of your grout or it’s severely stained, we usually recommend Grout Colouring which can be done with a kit from Tile Doctor and is available in ten popular colours. This was the case with a client of mine who wanted her Ceramic tiled Kitchen floor renovated.

Patchy Grout Before Recolouring in Worcester Kitchen

I visited the property in Worcester to survey the floor and discuss it with the owner. My client was mainly unhappy with the dark patchy floor grout and wanted the tiles cleaned and the grout deep cleaned to bring back the original lighter colour. We have multiple products for cleaning grout available but in this case the staining was so deep I recommended Grout Colouring. I usually keep a range of colours in my vehicle so I was able to demonstrate how it would look on an inconspicuous part of the floor and light grey was chosen.

Patchy Grout Before Recolouring in Worcester Kitchen

Grout Recolouring of a Ceramic Tiled Kitchen Floor

I returned on the agreed date to renovate the floor and started by applying protective sheets to the kitchen units. Next I cleaned the floor with a green pad fitted to a rotary scrubbing machine. I used Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to cut through the grime and this soon darkened with the dirt that was released from the tile and grout. The soiled cleaning solution was then rinsed with water and extracted using a wet and dry vacuum, keeping the mess to a minimum.

The next step was to ready the grout joints for the recolouring process, this is done by spraying Tile Doctor Grout Colourant Pre-Treat Cleaner into the joints, leaving it to dwell for a few minutes and then scrubbing it in by. As well as cleaning, the solution etches the grout which ensures a strong bond with the grout colourant.

The floor was then speed dried with blowers and a heat gun. The grout was then given two coats of the Tile Doctor Light Grey Grout Colourant. This product is painted onto the grout line using a small brush, it takes a little time to complete and any residue is removed with a baby wipe before it has time to dry. Although tedious to apply the result is worth waiting for and it left the floor looking so much lighter and fresher.

Patchy Grout Before Recolouring in Worcester Kitchen

The client was extremely happy and left a glowing review

“Mark proved to be a good choice for the three different floors that we needed to renovate. He explained clearly what he could do for each of them, carried out the work efficiently, and produced a finished job of a high standard. Mark is a good worker who is also easy to have around the house which is always an important aspect in the middle of major work being done. Adrian G, Worcester “

The grout colourant adds a tough barrier over the grout so it will keep its looks for a very long time, it also makes it much easier to clean. For aftercare I recommended the use of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which is a pH neutral product designed for the maintenance cleaning of tile and grout.

Patchy Grout Before Recolouring in Worcester Kitchen

 

Professional Recolouring of grout on a Ceramic Tiled Kitchen in Worcestershire

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

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

Restoring Quarry and Flagstone Tiles at a Worcester Farmhouse

This restoration of two different types of tiled floor took place in the kitchen of a farm property in Worcester which had been in same family for generations. The floor was made up of Quarry tiles, some of which were damaged and Flagstones both of which were in true need of a deep clean and seal.

Cleaning Quarry and Flagstone Tiles

Before I could start cleaning the Quarry floor, we needed to carefully remove and any broken tiles and install suitable replacements including a large damaged flagstone.

Quarry Tiles Refurbishment Worcestershire Farm Flagstones Replacement Worcestershire Farm

I wanted everything to match as closely as possible so I also opted to grind out the old grout and replace with fresh grout in a light grey.

The whole area was then deep cleaned with a black scrubbing pad and Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to remove ingrained dirt, the soiled cleaning solution removed with a wet vacuum and then the floor was treated to an acid wash with Tile Doctor Acid Gel. Acid Gel is a blend of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids in gel form which can remove grout smears and efflorescence from salts on the tiles.

Sealing Quarry and Flagstone Tiles

After leaving the floor to dry completely overnight, I returned to the property to seal both sets of tiles with three coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra. This sealer is very breathable allowing moisture vapour to rise up through the tile and ideal for situations where no damp proof membrane has been installed which is especially relevant in older properties such as this one.

Quarry Tiles Refurbishment Worcestershire Farm Flagstones Replacement Worcestershire Farm

The customer was very pleased with the results. The positive influence of a deep clean and seal on both the Quarry and Flagstone tiles is very clear in the photos. Another satisfied customer.
 
 

Professional Quarry and Flagstone Farmhouse Floor Renovation in Worcestershire

Old, Salt Damaged Quarry Tiled Ffloors Restored in Worcester

Here’s an interesting job I recently completed for a client in the historic city of Worcester. My client had two tiled floors in her house that were in dire need of restoration. They were located in the hallway and dining room of the house, and were a mix of Quarry tiles, with some believed to be over a century old. The entire area required a thorough clean and seal, while some of the tiles were showing evidence of salt damage in the grout lines, this is usually caused by damp evaporating up through the tile and grout and is more commonly known as efflorescence.

Quarry Tiled Hallway Worcester Before Cleaning Quarry Tiled Hallway Worcester Before Cleaning

Cleaning Quarry tiled floors

I completed the cleaning and sealing processes over the course of two days. My first task was to break down any old sealer and hard wax coatings left on the surfaces of the floors from previous maintenance. Working in two metre square sections I scrubbed Tile Doctor Remove & Go into the floor, Remove and Go is a coatings remover (aka stripper) that is safe to use on Tile, Stone and Grout and is great for tackling old sealers and waxes, the product can also used to remove glue and other adhesives. This was then rinsed off and the resulting slurry extracted using a wet vacuum; the process was then repeated as necessary until all the sealers etc. had been removed.

Following the removal of the old coatings I diluted Tile Doctor Pro-Clean with four parts water and I worked the solution into the floor using a black scrubbing pad to lift out any ingrained dirt from the tile. Pro-Clean is a high alkaline cleaner which is highly effective and again safe to use on Tile, Stone and Grout.

To complete the cleaning process I addressed my attention to the salt that was evidence in the grout between some of the tiles. I used Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up for this, which removes salt and other mineral deposits, along with any stains, dirt and grout haze.

Sealing Quarry Tiled Floors

After completing the clean I gave the whole floor a thorough rinse which was then removed using a wet-vac machine, before leaving the whole area to dry overnight. I installed two air movers and a dehumidifier to speed up the process, and by the time I returned to the house the next day, the tiles were ready to be sealed.

To seal the floor I used four coats of the new Tile Doctor Seal & Go Extra, which is especially recommended for sealing external tiles or internal tiles with a damp problem. The product formula has increased breathability as well as providing a robust surface seal along with an aesthetically pleasing, low-sheen finish.

Quarry Tiled Hallway Worcester After Cleaning Quarry Tiled Hallway Worcester After Cleaning

 
 

Quarry Tiled Hallway and Dining room Stripped, Cleaned and Sealed in Worcestershire

Limestone and Slate tiled hallway restored in Worcester

I recently had a chance to complete a job at a house down in the bustling city of Worcester, home to one of the UK’s fastest growing universities, the University of Worcester, along with the much-loved condiment, Worcestershire sauce.

Limestone and Slate tiled floor before Restoration in Worcester

I was asked by my client to restore an interesting hallway floor that was made up of Limestone and Slate tiles laid in a diamond pattern. Both Limestone and Slate are reputed for their durability, and are popularly used for both interior and exterior flooring. However, this particular floor, situated in a high-traffic area of the house, was covered with many layers of dirt built up over the course of several years, and was marked by a number of loose tiles.

Limestone and Slate tiled floor before Restoration in Worcester

Cleaning and replacing Limestone and Slate tiles

My first job in the process of restoring the hallway was to give it a deep clean. I mixed up a solution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean and clean water, before scrubbing it into the tiles. I use Pro-Clean to clean most natural stone floors as it works very well to lift out ingrained dirt and stains.

Limestone and Slate tiled floor before Restoration in Worcester

Nonetheless, as the floor had suffered from more than its fair share of dirt over the years, I opted to also use Tile Doctor Remove & Go stripper which, in addition to removing any old sealer from the surface of the tiles, contains cleaning properties to ensure any remaining muck is eradicated.

Limestone and Slate tiled floor During Tile Replacement Restoration in Worcester

After completing the clean, I set about refitting the loose tiles, and in one particular area I had to remove and re-build the base back up. In order to effectively reuse the tiles, I had to grind off all the old adhesive.

Limestone and Slate tiled floor rebuilding base Restoration in Worcester

Sealing Limestone and Slate tiles

After leaving my work to set and dry for a period of a few days, I returned to put the finishing touches on the job with by sealing the hallway floor. I made sure that the surface was completely dry before commencing the seal, as any excess moisture might have affected the performance of the sealer, Tile Doctor Seal & Go.

This product is used to provide internal, porous surfaces with a stain resistant surface seal and, as you can see from the photos, a nice low-sheen finish. The low-sheen finish really helps to bring out the distinct colours in the Limestone and Slate tiles.

Limestone and Slate tiled floor after Restoration in Worcester

My client was amazed at how quickly I was able to rejuvenate the appearance of her hallway floor, especially considering the many years’ worth of dirt there was to tackle, as well as some tricky loose tiles.
 
 

Slate Hallway given new life in Worcestershire