I thought I would share this case history of a Yellow and Black Victorian Tiled floor that we worked on at a large house in Lancaster last year. It’s a great example of the typical problems we face with old Victorian floors, especially around door thresholds where the transition between the different foundation invariable cause problems.
I didn’t know the full history of the floor, but it was now in quite a state and recent renovation work had left the floor unstable with loose and cracked tiles. The tiles needed to be removed and then the damaged subfloor carefully scraped out and replaced. Once that was done the floor would need relaying and then cleaned and sealed so everything would blend in.
After visiting the property and providing a quotation we were given the go ahead and agreed a date to do the work.
Repairing a Yellow and Black Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor
We returned on the agreed date and set about carefully removing the loose and cracked Victorian tiles and put them aside for later use. Some would need replacing however this would not present a problem and they are still widely available, and I have several contacts I can turn to for this.
Once this was done and the subfloor exposed and cleaned up, I used self-levelling cement to bring the floor level up and in-line with the existing. This now needed to set hard, so the rest of the day was spent cleaning up the tiles we removed earlier with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up and Pro-clean. Our goal is to reuse as many of the original tiles as possible to preserve the heritage of the floor.
The next day with the new subfloor set it was ready for tiling. This involves laying out the tiles first without adhesive carefully cutting and fitting new tiles as needed to maintain the overall pattern of the floor. Once I was happy the tiles were moved to a board and then fitted with fresh adhesive.
Deep Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor
I came back on day three with the aim of cleaning the floor so it could be sealed however whilst inspecting my new tiling I was disappointed to discover some were not as level as I had hoped. I had noticed the replacement tiles were not the same thickness as the originals the previous day but I had worked around this by using different levels of adhesive, clearly this plan was not as effective as I had hoped for.
To counter this problem, I used a set of 50-Grit, 100-grit and then 200-grit diamond pads in sequence to mill the floor flat and remove the lippage between them. This is done with water to lubricate the process and a weighted floor buffer. The pads generate a lot of slurry and so you need to rinse this off with more water and extract all the soil after each pad.
I followed this up with various Diamond burnishing pads of increasingly finer grits across the whole floor until we achieved a consistent finish and had the added benefit of getting the whole floor clean. More water is used to rinse the tiles after burnishing and the soil extracted with a wet vacuum as before. Once done and inspected the floor was left to dry off overnight.
Sealing a Large Victorian Tiled FloorTile Doctor Colour Grow was applied to enhance the appearance of the tiles and protect them going forward. This product copes well with damp which can always be a problem with old floors like this one with no damp proof membrane present.
The floor looked amazing when finished and our attention to detail had really paid off, in fact you simply could not tell we had done any tiling work or replaced any tiles. For aftercare I recommend the use of Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner which is designed for the regular cleaning of sealed tiles.