I was contacted by a client who recently bought a house in Leyton E10 and found an original Edwardian floor in the hallway under old lino. The house was built in 1908 making it well over 100 years old and from the Edwardian era.
The customer had decided to remove the linoleum, but it had been fixed down with bitumen which he struggled to remove as it is such a sticky substance. As well as the bitumen the floor was dirty with ground in dirt, I can only deduce the previous occupants must have decided just to cover it up with the lino rather than clean it. Also, there was some damage to the tiling in front of the stairs that needed repairing. It was clearly going to be more work and more involved than the new owner had initially thought so I was asked to take over the restoration.
After visiting the property for a site visit, I had a good idea of what would be needed and managed to find suitable replacement tiles from Original Style Tiles. They were keen to get the floor restored so they agreed my quote and I went ahead and purchased the replacement tiles on their behalf.
Removing Bitumen and Repairing an Edwardian Tiled Floor
I used a combination of floor buffers, coarse 200-grit pads, hand scrapers and lots of Tile Doctor Nanotech HBU Remover to get the floor clean and clear of the bitumen. Rather a lot of elbow grease was required too! It was a long process which took up all of day one and continued into much of day two. The day ended by removing the damaged floor tiles and replacing with the newly sourced replacements. The floor was left overnight to dry and the new tile adhesive to cure before we could return to seal the floor.
Sealing an Edwardian Tiled Hallway Floor
I returned on Day 3 to seal the floor using a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. Old floors like these have no damp proof membrane and being fully breathable Tile Doctor Colour Grow will allow any moisture to rise through the tiles and not get trapped underneath where it could cause problems later. The sealer also gave the floor a nice natural sheen without being too shiny. Most importantly the new sealer would protect the floor going forward which is particularly necessary in a high traffic area such as the hallway.
My client was glad to see the floor restored back to its original state which I’m sure will add a lot of value to the property as original features are very sought after these days.
For aftercare I recommend they use Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner to clean the floor. It’s a pH neutral product so it will ensure that the newly applied seal stays in place and keep the new floor restoration looking good.