This is something that we always advise our clients about. When we leave our clients with a newly installed Victorian pathway or hallway we do our best to ensure they do not stain but it is up to the client in the end.
Victorian tiles and staining
These tiles are as hard wearing a surface as they come and they are very tough. They are generally harder than steel as a trowel or steel object will usually make steel marks on these tiles instead of scratching them. However what they lack in scratching they make up for in staining.
These tessellated type clay tiles are very absorbent and will stain if they are allowed. We therefore seal them to block up the pores and prevent staining liquid from penetrating them.
What are sealers
Its more technical than this but sealers can be thought of as a mixture of solvent and silicone. They are applied to tiles and stone and the solvent evaporates and the silicone remains. They come in different thicknesses and purposes such as color enhancement etc. You will need a basic “impregnating” sealer available from any tile shop. Impregnating sealers dont change the color of the tile.
How to seal them yourself
Sealers are known to break down over time and so it is advisable to re apply them every 2 years or so.
1)Sealer will trap in dirt so it is very important to clean the tiles first.
2)When they are as clean as you can get them rinse with plenty clean water and leave to dry.
You will need to come back the next day to seal. Hallways can be covered and kept clean till the next day and you can also keep shoes off pathways and ban postmen till the next day.
Use a sponge or lint free cloth and apply sparingly. Spread the sealer out as best you can so that you dont have it sitting on the surface. It needs to absorb into the tiles after a few minutes. It can be thought of like lightly oiling a kitchen timber worktop or some furniture.
The emphasis is to work the sealer into the tiles and NOT to apply a coat as you would with paint (so no mini rollers!).
It is much better to apply two light coats than one heavy coat. You will have more control and if you see the sealer seems to be sitting on the surface then you can ease up on the second coat. Wait a good hour before doing a second coat.
What type of sealer must you use.
For exterior pathways you need to go to the nearest tile shop and ask for an “impregnating sealer”. When they ask you what type of tiles its for you can say “quarry tiles” or “Victorian floor tiles”
If you dont want to do it yourself
Call me up and I will happily take care of it for a small fee.