Some Advice On Sealing Victorian Tiles - Part
by：Heng Xing 2020-06-08
Victorian floor tiles are experiencing a revival as people attempt to replace original features in their Victorian era homes. These tiles are combined to create iconic Olde English geometric patterns and are produced from a part-vitrified grade 5 porcelain. However, as strong as this porcelain may be (many original Victorian tiles are still in place), the surfaces of these Victorian floor tiles are susceptible to staining and given the high cost of Victorian tiles, (A�59.95/sqm to A�232.95/sqm) it's vital to protect the surfaces from stains. The most common and simplest way to protect the surfaces of Victorian tiles from staining is to apply a product known as an impregnator to 'seal' them. An impregnator basically fills in the pores that chemicals or fine dust could settle in and potentially permanently stain with a compound. This compound left behind by an impregnating solution creates a smooth surface on the Victorian tile from which staining substances like coffee, fine dirt or paint can be easily cleaned off. A useful analogy to the impregnation of Victorian tiles is to imagine a felt pen drawing a line on two ceramic bathroom tiles and the rough grout line in between. The ceramic tiles in this case represent impregnated Victorian tiles as the pen marks can be easily washed off of the smooth glass surface with a wet sponge. However, the pen mark will be much harder to clean off of the grout in between the tiles as the rough surface at a microscopic level has many pores and crevices in which the felt pen marks can settle. This is known more commonly as staining and the grout line in this example represents an unimpregnated Victorian floor tile. Most tilers will almost always advocate impregnating Victorian tiles fitted indoors. Scuff marks left by rubber-soled shoes or a spilt drink can leave permanent stains on a Victorian floor. However, outdoors, whether or not it's a good idea to impregnate Victorian floor tiles depends on the conditions at that location. Impregnating Victorian tiles has been found to affect the frost-resistance of the tiles and can lead to small but noticeable splintering and flaking of the surface of the tile. However if temperatures in the area rarely reach below zero, impregnating can be a good idea. In my case, temperatures can reach sub-zero but a berry bush that grows over my porch regularly sheds berries onto my tiles. These release a staining juice when squashed and so I decided to impregnate my Victorian tiles to prevent unsightly stains. Whether or not you decide to seal your Victorian floor tiles outside is a decision you have to weigh up for your self. If your path or porch is near to a hazard that can cause staining or has high foot traffic, it could be wise to seal your tiles with an impregnator. Hopefully by now you should understand what it means to seal a Victorian tile with an impregnator, why it is necessary and whether you should seal your Victorian floor tiles. The concluding part of the advice will follow shortly and will provide instructions regarding the sealing of your tiles.