How to seal Victorian tiled floors
If you wish to seal a Victorian tiled floor and are unsure which products to use, please read on!
The information within this article relates to Victorian geometric tiles, Victorian encaustic tiles and Victorian quarry tiles. If you are sealing modern encaustic tiles don’t hesitate to get in touch with us for advice.
Prior to sealing your Victorian tiles, they will need to be clean and clear of other sealers. We have written a separate article related to the cleaning of Victorian tiles, the link to this article is at the foot of the page.
Links to the specific products mentioned in this guide are highlighted in blue.
The importance of Victorian tiles being totally dry before sealing
Your Victorian tiles need to be totally dry before sealing with any form of sealer. Dry tiles will be highly absorbent allowing the sealer to penetrate the pores and generally adhere to the surface.
Damp tiles will conflict with sealers creating white patchy marks and a lack of adhesion. Make sure your tiles are dry before sealing! Neutralise strong cleaning agents by rinsing the tiles with plenty of clean water & possibly a neutralising agent.
Victorian tiles are soft! they can take 5 days (or more) to become fully dry. This is because of the fact they are very porous and because deep cleaning processes use a lot more water than general cleaning.
Always allow plenty of time for your tiles to dry out before sealing.
How to correctly seal Victorian tiles
We recommend sealing with Floorseal Terracotta & Quarry Tile Sealer. This sealing product should be applied in 2 to 3 coats to a dry floor.
This sealer is a water-based sealer, free from solvents & VOCs, low odour, and rapid drying.
Terracotta & Quarry Tile Sealer will produce a low sheen and slightly deepen surface colours. This enriches the earthy tones associated with clay-based tiles like Victorian geometric tiles.
How to apply Terracotta & Quarry Tile Sealer
When applying the sealer, we recommend applying the product using a microfibre cloth. This will ensure even thin coats are applied without application errors.
Apply the product by pouring the sealer into a small paint tray and soaking the cloth in sealer. Wring the cloth out and fold down into quarters, apply the sealer by spreading over the tiles and grout line in thin coats.
Once the process has begun apply small amounts of sealer directly to the floor, spread evenly over the tiles with the cloth. The sealer is a white liquid that, when applied correctly, produces a thin clear coating.
Build up the coats in 2 -3 applications with approximately 1 hour of drying time between coats. The sealer will dry rapidly, but leaving 1 hour between coats allows the carrying agents to fully evaporate.
*It is possible to apply a first coat on very porous tiles with a roller with an emulsion style ‘fluffy’ roller. You should then switch to a microfibre cloth to apply subsequent coats.
Terracotta & Quarry Tile Sealer will cure over 24 hours but will accept light foot traffic as soon as the sealer is touch dry.
Do not allow the sealer to become wet during the curing time.
Aesthetic problems associated with Victorian tiles
Victorian tiles tend to look faded and pastel-coloured after cleaning. Floorseal Terracotta & Quarry Tile Cleaner can revive the appearance of older tiles for two reasons.
Firstly, a low sheen finish can appear to enrich the colour of the tiles, removing the lifeless very dull ‘matt’ appearance often present after cleaning.
Secondly, a low sheen finish slightly deepens the colour of the tile, thus invigorating the overall appearance of the floor.
*What kind of sealer should I use in a wet area like bathrooms?
If you are sealing in a full wet area you should use an impregnating sealer like Floorseal Premium Impregnating Sealer. This sealer does not create a sheen. It will leave the tile with an unaltered matt appearance.
You may also wish to seal with this product if your floor has a noticeable damp issue which cannot be resolved.
Premium Impregnating Sealer can be applied by roller, brush, or paint pad. Remove all excess product with microfibre cloths within 20 minutes of application.
*Victorian floor tiles are normally located in hallways and kitchens but occasionally a room may have been partitioned and smaller area turned into a bathroom etc. Please contact us for advice if you are sealing Victorian tiles in bathrooms, wet areas or if the floor is clearly suffering from efflorescence/damp.
Floorseal Terracotta & Quarry Tile Sealer – is suitable for sealing Victorian tiles with a satin finish. This sealer can appear to enrich earthy colours.
Floorseal Premium Impregnating Sealer – for sealing tiles in wet areas such as bathrooms. This product does not alter the colour of the tile. It is simply a waterproofing agent i.e., no sheen.
This article cannot possibly cover all aspects of cleaning, sealing and renovating Victorian tiles. For this reason, the information contained within this article is not exhaustive. If you need further information please contact Floorseal on (01484) 861461 or email us Info@floorseal.co.uk our web address is www.floorseal.co.uk
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