Tile Doctor was contacted by a couple in Chatham, Kent wishing to explore the options for repairing the badly damaged and worn Victorian pathway that led up to their property. I arranged a time to take a look at the path, conduct a survey of its condition and produce a quotation for restoring it; this is something we are happy to do free of charge.

I could see immediately that many of the tiles in the path were damaged so I started by closely inspecting each tile and cataloguing the missing and badly damaged tiles that I would need to find replacements for. Whilst there I discussed in detail the process, timescales and results they could expect from a 100-year-old pathway. As is so often the case with very old floors and paths, perfection is not sought after – time and again it is all about preserving the character.

Victorian Pathway Before Cleaning Chatham

Once all questions had been answered, I went away and put together a quote. I calculated that the work would take a week to complete, given that there were 194 tiles to replace. Happy with the submitted quote, we booked the dates, prayed for dry weather and the replacement tiles were ordered.

Repairing and Cleaning a Victorian Tiled Pathway

The first two days were spent removing the broken tiles and preparing the path for the replacement tiles. This is tricky work as removing a tile can upset the tiles adjacent thereby making the job bigger and best avoided. Work progressed steadily until the middle of the week when work was interrupted with rain showers but I managed to progress nevertheless. The tiles were replaced and left to set overnight and the next day the deep clean started.

Victorian Pathway During Restoration Chatham

To remove what looked like a 100-years of dirt I applied a coarse Flexi-Segment Diamond pad fitted to a weighted floor buffer and lubricated with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a powerful alkaline tile cleaner. This shifted the worst of the ingrained dirt turning the cleaning solution into a dark slurry as I went. The slurry was then rinsed off with water and extracted from the path using a wet vacuum.

This process was then repeated using a medium 800-Grit burnishing pad with just water, to perform a second and final clean. Again, the wet vacuum was used at this point to get the path as dry as possible and then left overnight to fully dry out.

Victorian Pathway After Cleaning Chatham

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Pathway

The following morning, happy that the tiles were dry enough, I started applying a sealer to protect them staining going forward. The sealer chosen for Tile Doctor X-Tra Seal which is an oil-based impregnator that’s rated for external use and contains a UV protector to provide greater resilience to the weather.

Victorian Pathway After Sealing Chatham

The pathway then needed 12 hours to be left alone for the sealer to fully dry and cure before allowing any foot traffic. Once the sealer had cured the inbuilt colour enhancer had worked well on the Victorian tiles giving them more depth and vibrancy. I was really pleased with the finish, as were both the customers.


Source: Victorian Path Restoration Service in Chatham Kent