Edwardian Geometric Craven Dunhill Tile Restoration in Birstall

I took these pictures earlier in the year when a homeowner got in touch requesting repairs to a Geometric Tiled Hallway floor at their property in Birstall, Leicestershire.

The tiles were made by Craven Dunhill back in the Edwardian Era, a company which is still in operation today. They are an original Victorian Geometric & Encaustic Tile manufacturer and have been operating from their facility in Jackfield, Telford since 1872. The tiles were a lovely example of their work but clearly the tiles were now in need of some work to bring them back to their former glory.

I popped along to the property to have a look at the floor in person, survey the floor and produce an accurate quote for renovating it. I could see there was damage to border tiles from tacks, fixing holes and resin adhesive which indicated the floor had been covered by a carpet at some point in its long history. The main body of the floor also had movement cracks, and a section in front of the stairs had dropped considerably. This was loose underfoot and a trip hazard.

Craven Dunhill Geometric Tiled Hallway Floor Before Repair Birstall Craven Dunhill Geometric Tiled Hallway Floor Before Repair Birstall

After surveying the floor, I was able to give the owners an accurate quote for repairing and restoring the floor back to its original condition. They were happy with the quote and we agreed a date for my return. Original features like these are well worth preserving as they are very sought after and add a lot of value to a property, especially when the tiles are from a respected manufacturer like Craven Dunhill or Mintons.

Cleaning and Repairing an Edwardian Era Geometric Tiled Hallway Floor

Arriving on the first day, we prepared the area by taping off the surrounding areas with dust sheets. We then began the careful process of repairing the floor starting with the removal of the damaged and loose tiles.

Craven Dunhill Geometric Tiled Hallway Floor Before Repair Birstall

With the tiles removed the next step was to repair the damage to the subfloor using cement to fill the voids and raise the lowered section. Once this has dried the tiling was replaced using a combination of original and replacement tiles. As the manufacturer was still in business the client had managed to source some replacements tiles which made the job a lot easier to complete and would ensure the heritage of the restoration.

Craven Dunhill Geometric Tiled Hallway Floor During Repair Birstall Craven Dunhill Geometric Tiled Hallway Floor During Repair Birstall

Once the tiles had been replaced you could really see the floor was starting to come together and I we were all looking forward to seeing the finished result.

With the repairs completed we carried out a low-moisture restorative clean and seal using Tile Doctors Remove and Go and Acid Gel products along with light diamond pads. This two-stage process remove the build-up of soiling and sealers. Following this the floor was thoroughly rinsed, and the waste extracted with a wet vacuum. The floor was then left for a few days to dry out.

Sealing an Edwardian Era Geometric Tiled Hallway Floor

We retuned a few days later and tested the floor with the damp meter to check the floor was ready for the seal. The readings were acceptable and so we were able to finish the floor by apply a protecting sealer. For this floor we selected to use Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This is an impregnating sealer that soaks into the pores of the tile intensifies the colours and providing durable protection from within. Colour Grow is fully breathable sealer which is a vital consideration for floors of this age which do not have a damp proof membrane installed.

Craven Dunhill Geometric Tiled Hallway Floor After Repair Birstall

The work took us a week to complete and by the end floor was level and the lovely patten, colours and appearance of the floor was restored as promised. The owners were very happy with the results and new sealer will help protect the floor for up to 5 years if properly maintained with our Tile Doctor pH Neutral Tile Cleaning Concentrate.

Craven Dunhill Geometric Tiled Hallway Floor After Repair Birstall


Professional Restoration of a Craven Dunhill Tiled Hallway in Leicestershire

Efflorescence Removed From Old Quarry Tiles in Leicester

Efflorescence occurs when water rises up through the floor leaving salt deposits on the surface of the tile as it evaporates and can be a problem on old floors where there is no damp proof course. The photographs below of an old Quarry tiled floor at a house in Leicester are a great example of this, fortunately there is a solution and I’ll walk you through this in the story below.

Efflorescence on old Quarry tiles in Leicester

Removing Efflorescence from Quarry Tiles

The first step was to give the tiles and grout a good clean and then strip the floor of any remaining sealer for which I used a dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which was applied to the floor and left to soak in for ten minutes before being scrubbed in with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The now soiled solution was then removed using a wet vacuum and the floor rinsed with water.

To remove the efflorescence you need to acid wash the floor for which we use Grout Clean-Up which as its name suggests is normally reserved for removing grout smears from tiles however it’s also useful for removing mineral deposits such as the salts from efflorescence and even rust stains. The acid is scrubbed onto the floor just long enough for it to do its job and then quickly removed and the floor given a thorough wash with water, acids can damage a tiled floor if left on for too long so you do need to be careful.

Efflorescence removed from old Quarry tiles in Leicester

Sealing Quarry Tiles

Given there was no DPC the floor was left to dry off for a few days and when we returned it was sealed with several coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which gives the matt finish the customer wanted. Colour Grow is a penetrating sealer that provides stain protection by soaking deep into the pores of the Quarry tile and preventing dirt from becoming ingrained there, it also does a good job of enhancing the natural colour of the tile.

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