Edwardian Floor - deep set ground in dirt

Discuss Edwardian Floor - deep set ground in dirt in the Tile Cleaning and Restoration Forum area at TilersForums.co.uk


Active Member
Good afternoon all,

Discovered a beautiful Edwardian floor underneath some horrific 60s bright orange floor tiles in our new house. Had a quote to get it cleaned up but way out of our budget so decided to have a crack at DIY. Took it from this:

To this:

However whilst it looks good overall, once you get close and look at individual tiles they still have a fair bit of ground in dirt, and I'd like to get this removed before I go on to sealing the floor. Example:

Tile is perfectly smooth to the touch (apart from that sadly cracked one, RIP!). I've been using "Lithofin KF Tile Restorer" which has done a decent job overall but can't seem to get me to the next stage where I want to be. Is there a better product I could be using, a better application method, or do I need to be looking at floor polisher hire/purchase? If so, what advice on products/pads for those (never used one)

Thanks in advance for your knowledge and advice,

Paul C.

Trusted Advisor
Professional Tiler
First off, good job so far. Hate to see lovely floors like that get covered and neglected.

You may find a light acid wash will even the colour and remove some of the staining. Something like the Lithofin Cement Residue Remover. Diluted about 1:8ish, mop it over, give it a good scrub and rinse.

Our resident Lithofin chappy @Lithofin BOB will castrate me or anyone who does not mention, do a small inconspicuous test area first and avoid contact with metal.... and keep the area well ventilated.

If the black specks are excess bitumen from the vinyl tiles, you may find a product like the LTP Solvex will help.

Once cleaned as best as possible, give it a seal with the Lithofin Stain Stop or the LTP Mattstone.

Don't expect any miracles though. Based on what was over it, you may have already reached the limit of what is achievable but the above may help take some of the ground-in grimeyness away.

Best of luck :)


Trusted Advisor
Professional Tiler
Beautiful job there!
Don't get too caught up now trying to get them looking brand new.
The age and patina is part of the beauty.


Professional Tiler
The odd speck or crack is to be expected with a floor of this age...........don’t try and get them looking brand new/magazine finish..........or you could make a right mess of it.

Once sealed, they will look the Biz ;)


Official Member Support
Company Support
These tiles can be mechanically polished (actually you can grind off the top 0.5mm to 1mm and refinish them) but I think it starts to look unnatural and a bit fake.

Like other respondents I'd be very happy with what you've done so far, maybe try some of the suggested chemicals but leave it there.

It's a main entrance and it's going to get used and grubby, particularly in winter so just enjoy it for what it is, a floor that looks attractive despite being close to a century old.
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