Esher is a small suburb in Surrey, situated just outside London. It was a fashionable area to live in amongst royalty and the aristocracy in the Victorian period, and during this time many buildings were built.
One such building has since been turned into a block of separate flats, and some of the flats still contain the original Victorian tiles in the hallway. I was contacted by one of these flat owners about restoring their tiles back to the best possible condition. Interestingly this customer’s tiles were part of a larger floor that had been divided between two flats.
Cleaning Original Victorian Tiles
I began the restoration by spreading Tile Doctor Remove and Go across the entire set of tiles. Remove and Go is a heavy-duty stripper that helped to loosen and remove old glue deposits where carpet had been laid over the tile, it will also strip off old sealers and release ingrained muck.
The Remove and Go was worked into the tile and grout with a stiff brush and then the soiled solution rinsed off and extracted using a wet vacuum. I followed by this applying a coarse 200-grit diamond encrusted burnishing pad, fitted to a handheld buffer, to grind away the particularly stubborn dirt and stains to restore the appearance of the stone. Afterwards, I rinsed the tiles again with water and soaked up the resultant slurry with a wet vacuum.
I noticed that there remained several ingrained stains dotted across the floor, so to remove these I aggressively burnished the affected areas with a very coarse 50-grit handheld diamond block. This essentially removed the very top layer of the stone, taking with it the ingrained marks.
Next, I dried the area with a large blower and heat gun. Under normal circumstances, 48 hours needs to pass before the tiles can be sealed, but as this was a small area I was able to dry it very quickly. After carrying out a damp test, I determined the tiles were ready to be sealed.
Sealing Original Victorian Tiles
To seal the Victorian Tiles, I applied six coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go sealer, which provides a high-quality sheen finish, as well as plenty of protection for the future. Tile Doctor have a range of suitable sealers available including Colour Grow which provides a matte finish – it’s just a matter of personal choice for the customer.
The outcome of the restoration was fantastic and the customer was very pleased, leaving the following testimonial.
“Promptly organised, delivered when promised. Good looking job when complete. Well done.”