Hallway Floor

Diamond Pattern Victorian Hallway Floor Renovated in Llanelli

This job was carried out in a terraced property in Llanelli which had a Victorian Tiled Hallway laid in a diamond pattern that looking worse for wear and in need of some attention. The clients were a young couple who had moved in two years previously and had only recently decided they wanted the floor renovated. This was earlier in the year, so I was able to pop over to the property and take a detailed look at the floor before recommending a course of action to renovate the tiles.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Llanelli

Upon arrival the first thing we noticed was that the border had been laid with an inconsistent pattern, non- matching tiles had been patched in essentially filling voids as you can see in the images. The floor wasn’t terribly dirty however it wasn’t very clean either.

I discussed with the client replacing the non-matching tiles, so the floor pattern was uniform however they decided against it and were happy to just to have it cleaned and sealed. We can usually source either reclaimed original tiles or some great reproduction ones, so most floors can be restored if needed. I worked out a quote for the work and they were happy to go ahead.

If you have never been you should know that Llanelli is the largest town in the county of Carmarthenshire and famous for Rugby and the production of Tin. It is located on the Loughor Estuary, some 10 miles from Swansea and 12 miles from Carmarthen.

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

With no tiling to do the first job was to protect the woodwork such as skirting and staircase with tape. Once done the process of cleaning began with the application of a 400-grit burnishing pad fitted to a buffing machine. The process is lubricated with water and the pad run over the whole floor two to three times to remove dirt and refine the appearance of the tile. Even after the first application of the pad we could see a massive improvement to the appearance of the tiles. To get right into the edges of the tiled floor we use a 400-grit handheld diamond block, this proved especially useful under the stairs where our buffer machine could not reach.

During this process, the water turns into a fine slurry which is rinsed off with more water and extracted with a wet vacuum. On this occasion the floor was not dirty enough to require any chemicals, the use of water and the machine was enough to get the floor cleaned up.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

This job was very straight forward, and we did not run into any problems at all. After allowing the floor to dry out for 24 hours we returned to seal the tiles checking first that the floor was sufficiently dry first using a damp meter. Fortunately, the burnishing method uses a lot less water than a chemical clean, so I was able to get straight on with sealing.

The client wanted a satin sheen finish, so I applied four coats of Tile Doctors Seal and Go which works well on Victorian tiles. The sealer really put the life back into the tiles and will protect them from staining going forward. It will also make the floor much easier to maintain and keep it looking good for much longer.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning Llanelli

I’m pleased to say the owners were very happy with the floor and recommended us to one of their friends who we also did some work for. For aftercare I recommended the use of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner. This is an everyday tile cleaning product that is sealer friendly and not prematurely reduce the life of the sealer which can happen with many household cleaning products which are simply too strong.


Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Carmarthenshire

Victorian Tiled Floor Hidden Under Parquet Restored in Llansamlet

This client in Llansamlet wanted to remove their existing parquet flooring as they were aware there was a Victorian tiled floor underneath. They were keen to see if we could clean and refurbish the original tiled floor dating back to the early 1920s that had been covered over in the 70s. Whilst they liked the Parquet floor, having seen their neighbours property they were really keen to recover the floor as an original feature.

I paid a visit to the property and whilst there we lifted a section of Parquet to see how easily they would come up. It was certainly possible to remove the floor, but it was clear the biggest issue would be removing the sticky bitumen that the parquet tiles had been stuck down with. Having said that I knew from previous experience it could be done, although it would be time consuming, so I gave them a price which they were happy with and we scheduled a date to return.

Victorian Tiled Floor Hidden Under Parquet Before Restoration Llansamlet Victorian Tiled Floor Hidden Under Parquet Before Restoration Llansamlet

Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

On the first day we got to work, starting by protecting the skirting and woodwork to avoid getting bitumen residue on them. Upon removal of the Parquet we got to grips with the bitumen adhesive which was used to stick the parquet to the tile. This didn’t disappoint and proved to be a very stubborn. We found the best way to deal with it was to start by carefully scraping off as much of the solidified bitumen with a blade as possible. This left a residual bitumen layer that could not be fully removed but was weakened with the application of white spirit to bleed the bitumen, a time-consuming exercise but the results are there for all to see.

Once all the bitumen was removed, we used diamond burnishing pads starting on a 400-grit pad and finishing on an 800-grit pad using water to lubricate. This removes and T-Cuts the surface of the floor. The resultant soil was rinsed off the tiles and extracted with a wet vacuum. This was a long task but thankfully the floor underneath was looking pretty good.

Victorian Tiled Floor Hidden Under Parquet During Restoration Llansamlet Victorian Tiled Floor Hidden Under Parquet During Restoration Llansamlet

We then neutralized the floor with water and were careful to make sure there was no bitumen residue remaining. The floor was left for 24 hours to dry off fully before sealing.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor

The customer specified they wanted a durable satin finish for the floor so I applied Tile Doctor Seal and Go which we recommend for Victorian tiles. This product is specially formulated water-based blend of acrylic polymers which provides both a stain resistant surface seal and a durable low-sheen finish. The seal ensures this heavy traffic area will be protected.

The customer was thrilled with the transformation.

Victorian Tiled Floor Hidden Under Parquet After Restoration Llansamlet

For regular cleaning I recommended the use of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which is formulated for use with sealed surfaces and won’t prematurely break down the sealer which is the problem with many supermarket cleaning products.


Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Swansea

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