Bitumen removed from Victorian Tiles in Barrow in Furness

I was asked to take a look at restoring a Victorian Tiled Floor in the Cumbrian town of Barrow in Furness where the floor had been covered in black bitumen; the bitumen was so thick it was difficult to gauge the condition of the floor underneath. I did a test clean which came out well but I had to explain there could be tile damage and other hidden problems so very difficult to quote for however we agreed a date and price and I came back a couple of weeks later to do the job.

Victorian Tiles Covered in Bitumen Barrow in Furness

Removing Bitumen form Victorian Tiles

Removing the bitumen from the floor without damaging the tiles underneath was a slow process involving spraying on a strong solution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go, letting it soak in, applying steam and then carefully scraping off the bitumen. The floor was treated in this manner a small area at a time and a wet vacuum was used to rinse and remove the resulting slurry. This process took up the whole day and was completely successful at removing the bitumen, before finishing I gave the floor a thorough rinse with clean water and used the wet vacuum to dry the floor was much as possible before leaving.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Floor

I had used a lot of water cleaning the floor so I agreed with the owner to leave the floor for a few days before sealing it so it could thoroughly dry out. When I did return I used Tile Doctor Colour Grow to seal the tiles, the customer had wanted a satin finish but having weighed up the options including the fact that there was a damp problem in the house I felt Colour Grow which is a penetrating and breathable sealer would have the best longevity.

Bitumen Cleaned from Victorian Tiles in Barrow in Furness

The customers were very happy with the results and before leaving we discussed aftercare cleaning, with sealed surfaces you have to be careful not to use acidic products as this can reduce the life of the sealer.
 
 

Victorian tiled hallway floor Restored in South Lakes

Varnished Brazilian Slate tiled floor refinished in Barrow-in-Furness

This beautiful Brazilian Slate tiled floor was installed in the kitchen of a house in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria; the slate has been previously sealed with a number of products including Varnish and the overall effect was inconsistent making the floor dull and had done little to bring out the true beauty of the natural stone. Additionally varnish is quite brittle and easily scratched by furniture etc. so never a good choice for sealing a floor.

The situation needed to be remedied so during my visit I did a small test to strip off the old sealants, clean the tile and re-seal; the effect was transformational so they booked me to come back in a few weeks’ time to finish the job.

Varnished Brazilian Slate Tiles Before Cleaning

Removing Varnish from slate floor tiles

To transform the floor and guarantee the final appearance its necessary to remove all the previous products applied to the floor stripping it back to its natural state and then seal again. So I got started stripping off the varnish and other sealants from the floor slate using a dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a tile friendly product designed to remove coatings from natural stone. The solution is sprayed onto the floor, left to soak in and then agitated using a floor buffer fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The soiled solution is then rinsed away and removed using a wet vacuum.

This process removed most but not all of the varnish and sealers so the next step was to apply NanoTech UltraClean which is a gel that you apply and leave for 30 minutes before adding water and agitating with a scrubbing pad. This did the trick and now not only was the slate clean of all coatings the grout had come up nice and clean as well. The whole floor was given a thorough rinse to remove any trace of product and then dried as much as possible using the wet vacuum to soak up the water.

Varnished Brazilian Slate Tiles Before Cleaning

Sealing Brazilian Slate Tiles

The floor was left to dry off overnight and I returned the next day to seal the tiles checking first with a damp meter to ensure they were no longer damp. All was well so I proceeded to apply the sealer with a paint pad applicator. For this we had agreed on Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is ideal for slate as it really does transform the look of slate and adds a nice satin finish, the Slate was quite porous so five coats were needed in total.

Varnished Brazilian Slate Tiles Partly Sealed Varnished Brazilian Slate Tiles Sealing

I think you will agree the Brazilian slate tiles look much improved; certainly the customer was happy with the results. Before leaving I gave them some advice about aftercare and what products to use when cleaning the floor in future for best results.

Varnished Brazilian Slate Tiles Finished

 
 

Brazilian Slate Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Barrow-in-Furness