Victorian Tile Restoration
Why Have Your Tiles Restored
Victorian tiles, often known for their striking geometric patterns and colour, are a type of Encaustic tile that often have historical significance. If you are lucky enough to have a genuine Victorian tiled floor then you have something that is invaluable to the history of your home.
You can usually find these in period homes or buildings, and as these tiles are becoming more popular many buyers choose to use reproduction Victorian tiles in new buildings and modern style houses.
How To Have Your Tiles Restored
The Victorian Tile Restorer has many years of experience with these floors and is going to show you how to have your tiles professionally restored and whats involved. Below is one example of a full tile restoration project (Circa 1870) commissioned by a home owner that wanted to retain the original features of the property.
- Tile Restoration
One of the first jobs the Victorian tile restorer is to determine the integrity of the substrate (thats the bed the tiles sit on). Tony is looking for cracks and hollows beneath the tile which will ultimately decide the level of restoration required. In this particular case the substrate had to many cracks to allow for effective restoration which is about 20% of the time.
He concluded that most of the tiles would need lifted, a new substrate installed and the broken ones replaced. He meticulously lifted each tile treating it like an archaeological dig being very careful not to disturb the black outer border tiles, and to save as many tiles as possible.
Once all of the tiles are removed, the old lime screed bed is removed to make way for the new substrate.
A new substrate is installed which is made up of a breathable fibre reinforced self levelling compound which creates a super strong split level surface to prepare for tile setting. Whilst the substrate is drying out Tony then begins sourcing replacement tiles.
Once the other border tiles have been fixed into position a dry run is needed to map every individual tile to enure symmetry, all the tiles are present and if required custom tiles to be cut to size.
Once the dry run is completed, every individual tile is laid, set and leveled using a breathable high strength contact tile adhesive which comes with a 50 year integrity guarantee against tile movement.
Once the adhesive has hardened overnight the small gaps between the tiles are grouted to lock the tiles in place and produce an even consistent finish.
Once the tiles and grout have completely set. The next step is to clean the tiles to remove decades of dirt, grease, any old sealers, paints, glues and grout haze from the surface.
To do this, Tony uses an ultrasonic machine that will gently vibrates the floor using a specially formulated cleaning solution which lifts the dirt to the surface.
Once the tiles are thoroughly cleaned, it's important to rinse them off with clean water in order to remove any residue that will interfere with sealing later on.
The next step to take care of light surface scratches and pitting. A machine is used that has a diamond head which gently hones the floor, removing a few microns from the tile.
Once this is done, a vacuum is used to extract the slurry and thourougly rinse the tiles. This process will leave your tiles with a smooth consistent finish.
Enhancing & Sealing
Once the tiles have dryed out, a coat of colour enhancing breathable penetrating sealer is carefully applied by hand ensuring even coverage.
There is quite a knack to this so don't recommend anyone other than a professional to attempt this as it will determine the overall look of the tiles.
Once the sealer has been left to penetrate the tiles a special cloth is used to remove the excess and buff the tiles.
This will produce a beautifully vibrant consistent finish with a 10 year guarantee againts fading, water, dirt and grease staining.
How To Care For Your Victorian Tiles After Restoration
For any homeowners living in Victorian properties, one of the most common features is most certainly Victorian tiles.
Once professionally restored, they are not only beautiful but durable and easy to care for. However, like all surfaces, they will eventually need to be cleaned.
This list contains 3 reasons why it is important to keep your tiles clean after restoration:
- 1) Coarse dirt, loose grit can build up over time and lead to permanent staining and scratches.
- 2) Dirt and fine grit can act like sandpaper on the surface of the Tile, damaging the sealer causing it to become scratched or chipped away over time.
- 3) By keeping your Victorian tiles clean you'll extend their life and keep them looking pristine!
After restoration Tony will advise and give you full instructions on how to easily keep your tiles in tip top condition all year round, which ensures you don't damage the sealer protecting the tiles for many years to come.Download Ebook
If you have dirty or damaged Victorian tiles in your home, it's important to have them professionally restored with proper care and attention to keep them looking their best.
You can have them beautifully restored, cleaned and protected so that they continue to add elegance and interest to your home for many years to come. Thanks for reading and we hope this article has been helpful.
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.Get Estimate