Removing Linseed Oil from Terracotta

This Terracotta floor in Leamington Spa had been sealed previously with Linseed Oil; apparently the tiler had dipped the Tile into the oil to make sure he had an even coverage. Linseed Oil is a traditional way of sealing terracotta however it makes the tiles significantly darker and over the years it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain.

Terracotta Floor Before Terracotta Floor Before

Cleaning Terracotta Tiles

To remove the oil and clean the floor we used a 50/50 mix of Pro-Clean and NanoTech Ultra-Clean, the strong cleaning power of the alkaline Pro-Clean mixed with the tiny abrasive particles in the Ultra-Clean combine together to make a powerful cleaning agent. We left the solution to dwell and soak into the tile for twenty minutes giving it time to break down the oil before working it in with a rotary buffing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. We then scrubbed and cleaned the grout lines by hand using stiff grout brushes and picked up the soiled cleaning solution using a wet vacuum. Last step was to rinse the floor down to remove any remaining chemical and effectively neutralise the floor before sealing; to do this we used a high pressure spinner tool which is an industrial system fitted into our van that delivers high pressure hot water to a lance whilst simultaneously removing the resulting water with a secondary suction action.

Terracotta Tile Sealing

We let the floor dry overnight and returned the next day only to notice that in a number of places linseed oil had dried on the surface to form some oil spots. These had to be removed before we began the sealing process so the spots were treated with a strong sealer remover product called Remove and Go and the floor was re-cleaned using an industrial steam vacuum.

We left the floor to dry again overnight and came back the third day to seal it, this time I’m pleased to say the floor was clear of the Linseed Oil and so we began to seal it using Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a breathable colour intensifying sealer which brings out the natural colours in the tile surface as well as providing durable stain protection; Four coats were sufficient to seal the floor, it is a time consuming task however as you need to make sure the sealer has dried before applying the next coat.

Terracotta Floor After Terracotta Floor After

This job had taken three days and I had only quoted for two however we stuck to our original quote and only charged for the two days.
 
 
Source: Terracotta Tiles Cleaned of Linseed Oil and Resealed