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How to clean Victorian floor tiles

Learn how to maintain beautiful period features in your home - read on to find tips to spruce and restore old floor tiles and victorian floor tiles.


By Cleanipedia Team

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The most important thing you need to know about cleaning Victorian floor tiles – or indeed, any old ceramic tiles – is to tread carefully. Test your cleaning method first on a small corner area, and go gently as you apply it.

Key Steps

  1. Wash tiles regularly with a little water to keep them clean.

  2. Always use an appropriate cleaner and brush that won't cause damage - check specific instructions for different materials. Our article on cleaning porcelain tiles can help.

  3. If possible, steam clean to disinfect tiles and remove dirt easily.

  4. Regrout your tiles when needed to keep them looking fresh. Read our article on how to clean tile grout to reduce the need for regrouting.

When moving house or embarking on an extensive renovation, you may be fortunate enough to discover original Victorian floor tiles hidden under an old carpet, or simply left to fade and stain over time by previous owners. Cleaning floor tiles embedded with over a century’s worth of dirt, and then keeping them at their best, may seem intimidating: old ceramic floor tiles can be somewhat delicate. The question of how to clean Victorian floor tiles need not be too complicated, however. The following suggestions are here to help you make light work of this task.

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Initial Precautions for Cleaning Ceramic Floor Tiles

  • Never begin any aspect of the cleaning process at the centre of the room. It is best to start in a small area in a corner. That way, if any damage is caused to the tiles, the process can be stopped without causing any obtrusive damage.

  • Whatever cleaning method is chosen, it is preferable not to use too much water on the tiled surface, as this can cause the tiles to loosen.

  • Use protective gloves during the cleaning process, to avoid any chemicals affecting the skin.

  • Always read the label on any cleaning product, and test them in a small area first.

How to Clean Victorian Floor Tiles, Minton Floor Tiles, & Other Old Ceramic Floors

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This guide on how to clean old floor tiles makes the process straightforward, as long as care is taken. If you feel that your tiles are very fragile – for example if you’re wondering how to clean Minton floor tiles with multiple cracked sections – you may decide to contact professional floor-cleaners to do the job.

  • A pressure steam-clean can be employed in most, but not all cases – use your judgement. This can be very effective, particularly in those situations where the tiling is in a particularly dirty condition.

  • If you don’t have a steam cleaner, that’s fine. As long as you are prepared to be patient and thorough, cleaning floor tiles is still easy.

  • Begin by using a blunt knife to gently scrape off any hardened residues, such as dried paint, from the surface. Always point the blade away from you. Then sweep away all loosened dirt and grime from the tiling.

  • Wet the floor, taking care not to use too much water. A targeted ceramic tile cleaner, like those in the Cif range, should be more than sufficient when cleaning floor tiles – check the label to be certain, and test any product in a small area first.

  • Follow the product instructions to apply your chosen cleaning product, working on each tile individually. A soft plastic scourer that can work on the embedded grime without scratching the tile is recommended.

  • Leave the cleaned flooring for twenty minutes and then rinse away the product. Then use paper towels to dry the tiles.

How to Clean Victorian Floor Tiles – Finishing Touches

  • Once the main clean is over, it is a good idea to protect the tiling. If your tiles are damaged, you may want to think about having them re-grouted. This will reduce the risk of further damage to the tiles through movement. Avoid lime mortar grout, as this can stain old tiles over time.

  • Then, use an acrylic sealer to protect the tile surface. Avoid wax, which can trap dirt and also cause discolouration. Just read the directions on the label and test any product on a small area first.

  • Finally, maintain the tiles with regular but light washes, using as little water as possible.

As you can see, it’s easy to keep this classic, elegant feature of your home looking its best – give it a go!

Originally published