Victorian Tiled Lobby Floor Rebuild in Lytham St Annes

I visited this property in Lytham St Annes to survey a small Victorian tiled lobby which was in a sorry state. The client was keen to have it restored and wanted to know if it was possible. I discussed with them what we could do, and I gave them a quote for the work. Although it was only a small lobby, I could see the job could be quite involved and would be subject to the replacement tiles which I was confident we could source.

Victorian Tiled Lobby Before Rebuild Lytham St Annes

Repairing a Victorian Tiled Lobby Floor

This is one of those jobs you wish you hadn’t started as there were a lot more tiles to remove than anticipated and it mushroomed into replacing half the floor. Once the area was cleaned up, I applied a self-levelling compound to bring up the height of the base.

Victorian Tiled Lobby During Rebuild Lytham St Annes

Once the levelling compound had set, I was able relay the Victorian tiles using a combination of original tiles and replacements which had to be cut to shape. Cutting tiles to fit is quite intricate and time-consuming work especially when you consider new tiles are all metric in size and a 2mm difference becomes very telling after a foot or so! My solution was to use 150 mm tiles which are the biggest the stockist offers and then cut them down on my Rubi cutter using a template made from the original tiles. This the only way I could get it to look tight, it takes longer but it makes for a thorough job and a better finish.

Victorian Tiled Lobby During Rebuild Lytham St Annes

I always use flexible floor adhesive when laying tiles, my preference is Keraquick Grey from Mapei. There are other brands off course but this one is quite easy to get hold of and as the term grouting is a relatively modern invention (in the past it was called pointing ) I find it looks right with this type of tile and similar to the screed cement the Victorians used in the past.

Deep Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Lobby Floor

After the tiling had been completed, I left the floor to cure and fully dry and returned at a later date to give the floor an overall clean. For this I ran a coarse 200-grit diamond floor pad across the floor lubricated with water and used handheld diamond blocks for the edges where the pad can’t reach. The slurry was rinsed off with water and extracted with a wet vacuum.

With old floors like this, which don’t have a damp-proof membrane installed under the floor, efflorescence is always a concern and can lead to white salts appearing on the surface of the tile as moisture rises through the floor. To counter this, I finished cleaning the floor by scrubbing it with Tile Doctor Acid Gel. This was then rinsed off with water and the soil extracted using a wet vacuum.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Lobby Floor

The client was happy to seal the floor themselves (they wanted to save some money and it wasn’t a big area) so I supplied them with a bottle of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. I recommended this sealer as it will enhance the dark colours and being fully breathable it will cope with any moisture rising through the base. I recommended they apply two coats to start leaving time to allow the first coast to dry they could also then decide to leave it at that if they were happy with the finish.

Victorian Tiled Lobby After Rebuild Lytham St Annes

 

Professional Restoration of a Victorian Tiled Hallway in Lancashire

Original Edwardian Tiles Refreshed and Revitalised in Lytham St Annes

We often get asked to restore original Edwardian tiles which, contrary to popular belief, are the same as Victorian tiles in their style and composition. The only discernible difference is the age of the property – whether it was built in the Victorian (1837-1901) or Edwardian period (1901-1910). As such, they can be cleaned and sealed in the same manner.

I recently visited an Edwardian period property in Lytham St Annes, a lovely coastal resort on the Lancashire coast where we have completed many restorative cleaning activities in the past. Along with its sandy beaches, the area is internationally renowned for its golf courses.

The property owner had some original Edwardian tiles which had been laid down in a vestibule and were beginning to show their age. There were several damaged tiles in the area that needed to be replaced and the entire set of tiles needed to be cleaned to achieve the best possible result.

Edwardian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning in Lytham

Cleaning Original Edwardian Tiles

To begin I needed to address the issue of the damaged tiles, fortunately we are always on the lookout for old tiles and have quite a collection we can choose from, were also in touch with a number of companies that still make these tiles and so are able to source replacements one way or another.

Edwardian Tiled Floor During Tile Repair in Lytham

I was therefore able to replace the broken and damaged tiles with suitable replacements that matched well with the original pattern of the floor. They were fixed in place and then once the adhesive had hardened grouted in using a matching grout.

Following this, I applied Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel to the remaining area taking care not to disturb the newly laid tiles. Based on the popular Pro-Clean product, Oxy-Gel is a strong alkaline cleaning product that breaks down dirt and grime and is safe to use on tiles however being in gel form and not liquid it stays where put, which was important the grout was still drying in the repaired area.

Edwardian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning in Lytham

The Oxy-Gel was left to dwell for roughly 30 minutes before scrubbing it in with a stiff hand brush. to the tiles. I carefully rinsed away the resulting slurry and then treated the area with Tile Doctor Acid Gel, which is a blend of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids in gel form. By applying the product, I could reduce the grout haze and efflorescence problems that occur in old properties like this.

Edwardian Tiled Floor During Cleaning in Lytham

Next, I carefully rinsed the floor again with water and soaked up the moisture with a wet vacuum, before leaving it to fully dry out overnight.

Sealing Original Edwardian Tiles

I returned to the property the next day with the intention of sealing the tiles; fortunately, the weather was good and after taking a couple of damp readings I was happy the tiles were completely dry. We must be careful with older buildings which don’t have a damp proof membrane fitted; if there is even a moderate amount of damp present it can cloud the sealer and damage its performance.

I started the sealing process with a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is an impregnating, colour-enhancing sealer that improves the look of the tile as well as adding internal protection. Assisted with a fan to speed up the drying time, this was followed by several coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, which is a topical sealer that add further protection and the high-quality sheen finish the customer requested.

Edwardian Tiled Floor After Cleaning in Lytham

The customer was thrilled with the result and very pleased that she could salvage these fantastic original tiles. Another satisfied customer.

Edwardian Tiled Floor After Cleaning in Lytham

 
 

Professional Restoration of an Original Edwardian Tiled Vestibule in the Fylde District

100+ Year-Old Victorian Mosaic Hallway Rejuvenated in Lytham St Annes

Victorian tiled floors are well-known for their colourful and unique patterns which never fail to impress and are a very sought after period feature. Recently I was very impressed with the work that had gone into this hallway floor that I came across at a property in the seaside resort of Lytham St Annes south of Blackpool on the Flyde coast. I was there to restore what I originally believed to be a stone Tesserae Mosaic floor, but after some chemical testing it was revealed to be a traditional Victorian tiled floor which are made of clay.

Original Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Lytham St Annes

In the case of this floor, each tile was approximately 1cm squared and they had been painstakingly installed throughout a 15m squared area by hand in the 1880s. I can only imagine the time and effort it must have taken to do this, and it is a testament to the Victorian craftsmen of the day that despite having many loose, missing, broken, and dirty tiles, the floor was still in a reasonable condition and could be restored back to its former condition.

Original Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Lytham St Annes

Cleaning an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

Now, if this had in fact been a stone Tesserae Mosaic floor, I would have cleaned the tiles using different methods. However, since it was a clay Victorian tiled floor, I decided – after conducting some product testing – to clean the whole floor with a black buffing pad in combination with Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel. Oxy-Gel is a powerful high-alkaline formula designed to tackle dirt and stains on Tile, Stone and Grout.

I followed this by steam cleaning the tiles and then gave the floor an acid rinse using Tile Doctor Acid Gel, which is a blend of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids in gel form. This was needed to keep efflorescent salt issues at bay which are a problem with these old floors with no damp proof membrane has been installed.

Sealing an Original Victorian Tiled Floor

My choice of sealer was Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is a fully breathable and colour enhancing product. The sealer is impregnating – meaning that it penetrates the pores of the stone to fill them and prevent trapped dirt and stains. We recommend Colour Grow for both internal and external applications and especially for areas where no damp proof membrane is evident, since the sealer allows for the floor to breathe moisture.

Original Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning Lytham St Annes

Despite the floor being well over a century old it came up really well and the sealer will now add a layer of protection that will keep it that way for some time to come.

Original Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning Lytham St Annes

 
 

Rejuvenating a 100-Year Old Victorian Floor in Lytham St Annes