Victorian tile restoration in Newcastle.
Victorian tile restoration in Newcastle. These tiles had suffered years of neglect with a lack of floor cleaning by the previous owners and the substrate eventually gave way causing major cracks under and on the tiles.
Why Have Tile Restoration
Victorian tiles are often recognised for their striking geometric patterns and colours. These types of tiles have historical significance less popular in the 1970's. If you're fortunate enough to have Victorian tiled floors then you'll notice that they're valuable pieces of history, giving your home a special touch, so regular floor cleaning is essential.
It's estimated that there are over fifty million Victorian tiles in Britain. Many people choose to restore these when they renovate older period homes and buildings, or if they have a new building they opt for reproduction tiles. But many don't realise that floor cleaning after floor restoration will help to protect the surface from damage.
Here's How We Restore Tiles.
The Victorian Tile Restorer has many years of experience with these floors and is going to show you what needs to be done when they're restored. One example is the restoration process on this 1870's property, commissioned by a home owner who wanted all the original features of their property to remain.
- Tile Restoration
Tile Removal Process
The first thing Tony does is check for cracks and hollows under the floor tiles. If there are too many, full restoration will be needed which happens about 20% of the time. In this case, the substrate had way too many cracks for a local area to be repaired.
He noted that most of the tiles would need to be lifted, a new substrate installed and the broken ones replaced. He meticulously lifted each tile like an archaeological dig, making sure not to disturb the border tiles and save as many as possible.
Old Lime Screed Substrate
Once all of the old tiles are removed, the old lime screed bed is left exposed to prepare for the new substrate.
New Reinforced Substrate
Tony first replaces the old substrate with a new compound made from breathable fibre and a self-levelling mix. After it's set and dried, he then locates replacement tiles to replace those that are broken.
Dry Test Run
Victorian floor tile restoration typically involves replacing broken and worn out tiles. In order to get a proper fit, similar tiles may need to be trimmed down.
Before setting and fixing the tiles, it's always important to do a dry test run and mapping each tile. Only once the other border tiles have been fixed into position will a test be needed for symmetry and custom tile cutting.
When the dry run is complete, every individual tile is laid and set to level. There are gaps between the tiles when they're first laid, which will be fully filled with grout after they've dried overnight which produces a symetrical consistent finish. The tile adhesive comes with a 50-year integrity guarantee against coming loose.
Once the tiles and grout have set, it’s time to clean them. To do this, Tony uses an ultrasonic machine. This gently vibrates the floor while simultaneously removing dirt with a specially formulated cleaning solution that’s gentle on the tiles.
Next, it's important to rinse the tiles with clean water to remove any remaining residue that could interfere with sealing later on.
Enhancing & Sealing
After the tiles have dried, a coat of colour enhancing breathable penetrating sealer is applied. Once the sealer has been left to dwell, a microfiber cloth is used to remove the excess and buff the tiles. This will help ensure even coverage and create a long-lasting vibrant finish with 10 year guarantee against fading, water, dirt and grease staining.
This requires experience so it's better to employ a professional when performing this task as it will determine the overall appearance of the tiles.
Heres How to Care for Them After Restoration
After they've been professionally restored, Victorian tiles are durable and easy to care for. We have 3 reasons why it's important to keep your tiles clean:
- 1) Dirt and fine grit can act like sandpaper on the surface of the tile, causing the sealer to degrade over time.
- 2) Fine dirt can accumulate and lead to permanent staining that cannot be removed.
- 3) Keeping your Victorian tiles clean ensures you'll get the maximum life out of them! so you won't ever have to worry about needing expensive or painful repairs again.
After floor restoration Tony will advise and give you full instructions on how to easily keep your tiles in tip top condition all year round, by explaining why regular grout cleaning and tile cleaning is important which ensures you don't damage the sealer protecting the tiles and grout for many years to come.
We want your Victorian tiles to continue looking their best for as long as possible. They are important parts of your home that add elegance and detail to any living space. That's why we offer professional restoration, cleaning and protection services so they can look their very best for many years to come.
Have your floor fully restored by a master craftsman with a 10 year guarantee against fading, water, grease and oil staining.
Get in touch with Tony for a friendly chat using the contact form, and he'll discuss your requirements and arrange a free site survey and Estimate.
Learn how to restore Victorian tiles.Get Estimate
History of Victorian Tiles
The Victorian era was a period of immense change in architecture and art. To keep up with this new design style, many materials were invented and available for architects to use. Tiles were no exception - they became an essential part of the home as we know it.
Encased in a tough, durable clay, Encaustic and geometric tiles were used to create walls and floors for public buildings. They are the most common tiles in churches, museums, embassies, and hospitals. Recently they became popular as flooring in Victorian homes.
In the past, most Victorian-tile-floor property owners ignored their flooring because they became bored with it. People tried new flooring materials and fashion trends, like linoleum, that left old floors totally neglected. As a result of this negligence, many tiles were able to shift and shimmy around due to moisture build-up underneath the tiles. There are two ways to prevent damage: removing the coverings on top of the tile (carpet or glue) and repairing or replacing any damaged substrate or broken tiles.
Victorian Encaustic and geometric floor tiles were often laid on suspended timber floors with a lime mortar screed. Sometimes, however, the substrate has given way in certain areas of the floor, resulting in cracks in the tiles or even raising and sinking of parts of the floor. We also see sloping when underfloor timbers move against supporting brickwork.