Removing Efflorescence from Terracotta Tile

At first glance and this Terracotta tiled floor at a house in the village of Great Bourton looks in good condition, but on closer inspection there were visible white marks where there had been a water leak in previous years and the salts had come through the tiles. The customer also told me she had to wax the floor on a regular basis and was looking for a seal where she didn’t have to do this.

Terracotta Tiled Floor in Great Bourton Before Cleaning 1 Terracotta Tiled Floor in Great Bourton Before  Cleaning 2

Cleaning Terracotta Tile

My first task was to protect all the skirting and kickboards with protective tape. I then mixed Tile Doctor Pro Clean with water and spread it over a section of the floor and then left it to dwell for a few minutes. The solution was then scrubbed in with a black pad on a 17inch rotary floor scrubbing machine. I then used a wet vacuum to remove the slurry and rinsed the floor with water. This process was repeated this process until the whole floor was scrubbed and rinsed with any stubborn areas re-treated.

To remove the white salts from the Terracotta I applied Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up over the floor which was scrubbed in and then removed using the wet vacuum. The whole floor was then thoroughly rinsed with water and the wet vacuum used to suck up the water until it the surface was dry.

The photograph below shows the terracotta floor at this stage with the floor clean and stripped back before re-sealing. I left the floor a couple of days at this point to allow it fully dry before applying the sealer.

Terracotta Tiled Floor in Great Bourton After Stripping

Sealing Terracotta Tile

On my return I checked the floor had dried and then applied two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating seal that enhances the natural colour of terracotta, I then added five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a topical sealer giving it the nice finish the customer required.

The customer was really pleased with the results and also relieved that she would not have to keep waxing the floor; whilst I was there I demonstrated how to clean the floor using Tile Doctor Neutral cleaner which unlike acidic cleaners will not harm the sealer.

Terracotta Tiled Floor in Great Bourton After Cleaning 1 Terracotta Tiled Floor in Great Bourton After Cleaning 2

The floor looks much better and certainly my customer thought so and left the following feedback on the system.

Very pleasant young man and he has done a great job. The kitchen floor is transformed. Thank you Barry!
 
 
Source: Terracotta problems resolved in Oxfordshire

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