The Washington Hotel in Llandudno, North Wales, is a truly historic building and one of the enduring features on the promenade of the sea resort. This beautiful part of Wales was the holiday destination of choice for Lewis Carrol, the famed author of Alice in Wonderland, and you can see several statues of him in and around the town.
The Washington Hotel first opened in 1855, but was rebuilt in 1925 after being destroyed by a fire. The building most recently served as a nightclub, before it closed in 2012. Now, there is ongoing renovation work to turn it into a restaurant.
As part of this renovation work, we were asked to restore bring the old Terrazzo floor back to life, which was certainly worse for wear after nearly a century of use. It had been covered in carpet, as well as old vinyl tiles, and was very heavily soiled with dirt and ingrained muck. This area of floor would eventually act as the entrance to the restaurant and bar area, so it was important to get this right for the customer.
Burnishing a Terrazzo Tiled Floor
There were three areas we were asked to restore, covering 36 square meters in total:
• Circular foyer (27 square meters)
• Internal entrance area (2 square meters)
• External entrance stairs: (7 squares meters)
We started the restoration process with the application of a Very Coarse 50 grit diamond pad to tear away all the old carpet and vinyl resin, clearing the area to allow us to work directly on the Terrazzo tiles. With the tiles exposed, we discovered two large, long cracks in the base of the floor, so we filled these with a flexible floor grout. We chose to use this instead of a resin compound because resin isn’t very flexible, and if there is any movement the crack will become exposed again after six to 12 months. A flexible floor grout will move with the contractions and expansions of the base, and if the movement is not too extreme the flexible grout will not crack in the future.
We then continued through our system of diamond burnishing pads, applying the 100, 200, 400, 800, and 1500 grit pads with a small amount of water as lubricant. Once the floor was fully dry we applied the final 3000 grit pad, which is the finest of the pads and produces a very high quality polished effect on the stone.
Sealing a Terrazzo Tiled Floor
Once the floor had been polished, it needed to be sealed in order to protect it from dirt becoming ingrained into the pores of the stone. We did this using firstly two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is our impregnating, colour-enhancing sealer. The sealer works by penetrating the pores of the stone to fill them and block trapped dirt and stains. We then left the floor to dry off fully overnight.
The next day, we returned to the building to apply a crystallization powder known as Tile Doctor Shine Powder, which further enhanced the shine we had built up on the floor and give it extra sealer protection.
The customer was exceptionally happy with our work, as the restoration of the Terrazzo tiled flooring is an essential part of the renovation project overall. We wish them all the best in the eventual opening of the new restaurant!
For aftercare, we recommended to the customer that the floor is maintained with Tile Doctor Stone Soap as this will not only clean the Terrazzo without damaging the sealer like many stronger cleaners, but also maintain its patina as well.
Source: Tile, Stone and Grout Cleaning and Restoration in Wales