Removing Layers of Wax from a Terracotta Tiled floor in Derbyshire

Terracotta Tiles have been around in certain parts of the world for over two millennia; in fact, the word Terracotta means burned earth. The ancient Romans used a variety of Terracotta tiles in their villas and palaces for many centuries.

Terracotta tiles are thicker than most modern tiles, giving them strength and durability. The one big downside to Terracotta, however, is that it has no glaze on the surface and can pick up and store muck and dirt very quickly. If you have ever owned a Terracotta floor before you will be able to relate to this problem.

Such was the dilemma facing our client in rural Hope Valley in the Peak District National Park of Derbyshire. Her Conservatory had been laid with Terracotta tiles around 25 years ago and over the years had been continuously covered with wax. Now, no matter how many times she mopped the floor it never looked clean because all the dirt over many years had been drawn in and sealed into the wax. She called in Tile Doctor to deep clean the floor and treat it with a gloss finish.

Terracotta Tiled Conservatory Before Cleaning Hope Valley

Cleaning a Terracotta conservatory floor

I started by removing the layers of wax with Tile Doctor Nano-Tech HBU (a heavy build-up remover that is designed to work where other cleaners won’t) and Tile Doctor Remove and Go, specially formulated to draw out ingrained stains and remove heavy grease build-up. I combined both products into a powerful cleaning cocktail and left them to soak into the floor for about twenty minutes. The solution was then scrubbed into the tile and grout using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. The resultant soil was rinsed off with water and then extracted from the floor using a wet vacuum.

After cleaning I inspected the floor and could see there was still some wax left in the grout between the Terracotta tiles, so I went over the floor with a hand-held steamer and scrub brush, it took some time, but the process was perfect to remove the last traces of wax. Finally, I washed the floor with clean water twice and left it to thoroughly dry overnight.

Terracotta Tiled Conservatory During Cleaning Hope Valley

Colour Restoring and Sealing a Terracotta tiled floor

The following day I went back to seal the floor but found there were still a few areas with higher levels of damp than I would have liked. My solution was to seal the tiles with Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This is a superb colour intensifying matt sealer that provides durable protection and enhance colour but importantly, it’s fully breathable therefore allowing any damp in the tiles to evaporate. I then left the floor to completely dry out, which took five days.

On my return I finished the sealing of the floor with four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go. This is a specially formulated water-based blend of acrylic polymers that provides a stain-resistant surface seal and a durable low-sheen finish that works really well on Terracotta.

Terracotta Tiled Conservatory During Sealing Hope Valley

The conservatory looked beautiful with its clean Terracotta tiles. The unsightly and grimy orange-brown floor had been restored to its original Terracotta colour with a very attractive sheen. And, of course, the floor was now correctly sealed to prevent the problem happening again and to make mopping easy. I left the house with good feeling!

Terracotta Tiled Conservatory After Cleaning Hope Valley

The customer was delighted and left this positive feedback:

“Henry did a brilliant job, friendly professional polite and efficient. He kept us fully informed of the procedures he was using. We would not hesitate to use him again or to recommend him to others.”

Terracotta Tiled Conservatory After Cleaning Hope Valley

 
 
Source: Terracotta Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Derbyshire

Deep Cleaning 20 Year Old Mexican Terracotta Tiles near Preston

Mexican Terracotta is quite a difficult tile to deal with, mainly due to the fact it is very porous clay and partly fired, unlike a Spanish or French equivalent which is fully fired and a lot less porous as a result. Although difficult to maintain they are full of character and colour so it’s understandable why they are so popular.

Mexican Terracotta Before Cleaning Elswick

This particular Mexican Terracotta floor was installed in the kitchen and garden room of a house in Elswick near Preston around twenty years prior. The house had recently changed hands and the new owner wanted the floor in the garden room renovating, it had been covered with a carpet in the past and had now lost all its colour due to ingrained dirt.

Mexican Terracotta Before Cleaning Elswick Mexican Terracotta Before Cleaning Elswick

Cleaning Mexican Terracotta Tiles

You can see from some of the photographs that the tiles were quite grubby, so I knew we would have to give this floor a really deep clean to get the dirt out. I felt the best way forward would be to apply Tile Doctor Oxy Gel to the Terracotta and leave it to soak in. This product is a very strong gel version of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, our popular tile and grout cleaner and needs a lot of dwell time to break down fully what was left of the sealer, carpet adhesive and extract the dirt from the pores of the clay.

The product was then worked into the tile and grout using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor buffer running at a slow speed. This action worked as predicted and the now soiled cleaning solution was extracted from the floor using a wet vacuum. A lot of rinsing with water was required after this to remove all the dirt and traces of product from the tiles. I wanted to ensure all traces of the alkaline cleaning solution were rinsed from the pores of the clay, if we left any of this in the clay it could cause issues with the new sealer.

Sealing Mexican Terracotta Tiles

The floor was left to fully dry out which can take some time with Terracotta so after returning to seal the floor damp meter readings were taken first so we could be sure it had dried completely. This is essential because excess moisture can cloud the sealer and damage its performance.

Our choice of sealer was Tile Doctor Seal and Go, which provides excellent surface protection along with an aesthetically pleasing deep sheen finish that the customer wanted. The sealer is also water based so you don’t get that solvent smell as it dries.

Mexican Terracotta Before Cleaning Elswick

As you can see from the photographs, the result was fantastic, and it just goes to show even a twenty-year-old Terracotta floor can be rejuvenated and make it look like almost new.

Excellent results on terracotta tiled floor that had had carpet laid on top so was covered with glue and pretty dirty! Wouldn’t hesitate to use them again.
Caroline M, Nr Preston

Mexican Terracotta Before Cleaning Elswick

 
 
Source: Mexican Terracotta Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Lancashire

Removing Efflorescence from Terracotta Floor

I was contacted by the owner of a Terracotta floor at a house in the old village of East Tytherley near Salisbury, the floor was in good condition and was just in need of a regular deep clean and seal with extra attention along the grout lines which had darkened, additionally there appeared to be evidence of efflorescence that would need attention.

Terracotta Tiles in East Tytherley Before Cleaning

Terracotta Tile Cleaning

We started by smothering the floor with a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed 50/50 with Nanotech Ultra Clean leaving it to soak into the tiles for twenty minutes to give it time to eat through any dirt and remaining seal.

The solution was scrubbed into the grout using a stiff grout brush followed by the use of a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. We made sure each tile was scrubbed in this manner four times to remove all the dirt and remaining sealant. Then we removed all trace of slurry and product by using clean water and a deck brush several times using a wet vacuum to remove the water.

To treat the efflorescence we then applied a dilution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up to the affected parts of the floor and used a stiff deck brush to remove the salts again rinsing the floor with clean water afterwards and removing it with a wet vacuum. We then left the floor to dry for ten days as Terracotta is very porous and can take time to dry.

Terracotta Tiles in East Tytherley After Cleaning

Terracotta Tile Sealing

When I returned ten days later the first thing was to test the floor with a damp meter which confirmed the floor was dry and good to seal which was done using ten coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which will protect the tile from stains going forward and also adds a nice subtle sheen to the terracotta.

Terracotta Tiles in East Tytherley After Sealing

Source: Residential and Commercial Tile and Stone Cleaning in Wiltshire

Removing layers of wax and oil from Terracotta tiles

These photographs are from a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen at a house in the historic town of Warwick. You should be able to see from the photographs that the tiles had a heavy build-up of wax and oil coating which besides being very unsightly made them difficult to clean.

Terracotta Deep Clean Warwick before Terracotta Deep Clean Warwick before

Removing Wax and Oil from Terracotta Tiles

I knew I was going to struggle to remove the build-up of wax and oil so I decided to go apply Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a product specifically designed to safely remove sealers and coatings from Tile and Stone. It was diluted and applied to the floor where it was left to soak into the tiles for a good twenty minutes before being worked in with a rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad.

The resultant soiled solution was removed using a wet vacuum and the floor washed down with clean water. At this point I could see more work was required so as well as applying more Remove and Go I also applied steam from a heavy duty steamer. Slowly but surely using a combination of the above tools and product the wax and oil was stripped from the floor.

Terracotta Deep Clean Warwick Wax Stripping
The next job was to give the floor a deep clean using a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was worked into the pores of the Terracotta tile and grout using a slow speed rotary machine fitted with another scrubbing pad. The dirty solution was removed and the floor rinsed thoroughly with water, again we used the wet vacuum to remove the water and get the tile as dry as possible.

Terracotta Deep Clean Warwick After Cleaning Terracotta Deep Clean Warwick After Cleaning

Sealing Terracotta floor tiles

I left the floor overnight to dry overnight with the assistance of an air blower and then came back next day to seal the floor; I used a damp test meter first to verify the floor was dry and ready for sealing. Once happy I proceed to apply three coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is a no-sheen, natural-look penetrating sealer that provides maximum stain protection by occupying the pores in the tile. It’s also highly recommended for use in in food preparation and serving areas

Terracotta Deep Clean Warwick After Sealing
It was a tough job but the results were well worth the effot.

Source: Residential and Commercial Tile, Stone and Grout Cleaning in Warwickshire

Cleaning Terracotta Tiles in a Kitchen

This customer in Salisbury was having difficulty bringing their Terracotta tiled
kitchen floor
back to the condition it was in when it was first laid. Upon
inspection it was evident that the sealer on the floor had failed and dirt had become
ingrained into the pores of the tile making it difficult to clean and causing it to
become increasingly dirty over a period of time.

Terracotta Tiled Floor Salisbury Before Cleaning

Terracotta Tile Cleaning

We started by cleaning the floor with a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean
mixed 50/50 with Nanotech Ultra Clean which has the effect of adding tiny abrasive
particles to an already effective alkaline cleaning product that is safe to use on Tile,
Stone and Grout. The solution was scrubbed into the grout first using a stiff grout
brush and this powerful combination made the removal of ingrained dirt much
easier to achieve. The next step was to use a black scrubbing pad on a rotary
machine to clean the tiles. Once I was happy with that the tile and grout was clean
the now dirty cleaning solution was removed using a wet vacuum and he floor then
thoroughly rinsed with cold water using a deck brush to make sure that any product
residue was removed. We then repeated the process for any stubborn stains and
give the floor another cold water rinse to finalise the cleaning process again using a
wet vacuum to remove as much water from the floor as possible to reduce drying
times.

Terracotta Tile Sealing

We left the floor to dry for seven days due the porosity of the terracotta. Upon our
return we gave the floor a damp test to confirm that the floor was dry enough to be
sealed. The test confirmed the tiles had dried and so the Terracotta was sealed using
seven coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go which enhanced the colour and shine on the
floor but most importantly will give the floor the protection it needs.

Terracotta Tiled Floor Salisbury After Cleaning and Sealing

Before leaving I gave the customer some cleaning tips to prolong the life of the seal
and recommended in future they use Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner to clean the
floor going forward; unlike most acidic tile cleaning products you find in
supermarkets Neutral Clean does not degrade and reduce the life of the sealer with
use.
 
 
Source: Residential and Commercial Stone and Grout Cleaning in Wiltshire

Terracotta Deep Clean and Seal

This Terracotta tiled kitchen floor in Twickenham had accumulated a high amount of soil over the years. Spots and spills from kitchen activity had also proved impossible to remove by the owner which was due to the sealer breaking down; the floor was now in need of a deep clean, stripping off the old sealer and then re-sealing to ensure easy maintenance in the future.

Terracotta Kitchen Floor Twickenham Before Cleaning

Cleaning Terracotta Tiles

The first step was to use a rotary scrubbing machine together with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a high alkaline cleaner for use with tile and stone. This action breaks down the soil in the tile and releases it along with the remaining old sealer. The floor was then pressure rinsed to ensure all of the dirt was removed from the pores of the tile and grout lines scrubbed by hand with a stiff brush. Once I was happy the floor was clean it was given a thorough rinse to remove any remaining chemical and left it to dry.

Terracotta Kitchen Floor Twickenham During Cleaning

Sealing Terracotta Tiles

The floor was left to dry for a period of twenty four hours before sealing which was done by applying five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go. This is a water based topical sealer that leaves no smell and will repel liquid and soil allowing the tile to keep its appearance and making it easier to maintain in the future. The sealer also gives a high sheen finish which reflects the light and enhances the colours of the stone. As you can see from the pictures, the restored floor brought the kitchen back to life and made the room look brighter.

Terracotta Kitchen Floor Twickenham After Cleaning Terracotta Kitchen Floor Twickenham After Cleaning

 
 
Source: Making Terracotta tiles look new again in Middlesex

Very Dirty Terracotta Floor Tiles Cleaned

We were asked to restore the Terracotta tiled floor at an old cottage in the village of Wing which was way overdue for a good deep clean and re-seal. In fact the tiles were so dirty they were black in some areas, which you can see for yourself in the photograph below.

Terracotta Tiles in Wing Before Cleaning

Cleaning Terracotta Floor Tiles

Fortunately this sort of work is bread and butter to a Tile Doctor and the process is relatively straight forward. The first job was to apply a reasonably strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is an industrial strength alkaline Tile Cleaning product that is safe to use on Tile, Stone and Grout. This was left to dwell on the tile for a while and then scrubbed into using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad, a stiff hand brush was used on the grout where the scrubbing pad struggled to reach.

The next step was to wash the floor using a Rotovac machine which applies water at a high pressure and also removes it to a storage tank using it’s built in vacuum. This finishes off the cleaning process and also washes the floor down with clean water to remove any remaining cleaning solution and neutralise the tile to remove any trace of cleaning chemical before sealing.

Terracotta Tile Sealing

The floor was left to dry overnight and when we returned the next day when the floor was completely dry to seal using seven coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which works well on Terracotta providing on-going stain protection as well as adding a nice shine to the tile. As you can see the floor cleaned up really well and now looks like a Terracotta floor should.

Terracotta Tiles in Wing After Cleaning

 
 
Source: Stone, Tile and Grout Cleaning Service in Buckinghamshire

Cleaning Old Terracotta Tiles in Bedfordshire

This was an old Terracotta tiled floor at a house in the village of Toddington where the previous sealer had been worn off allowing dirt and soil to penetrate into the tile, naturally this made it difficult to clean and it was now overdue for a good deep clean and re-seal.

Old-Terracotta-Floor-Toddington-Before-Cleaning

Cleaning Terracotta Floor Tiles

To get rid of any remaining sealer and get the tiles clean we applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed 50/50 with NanoTech UltraClean which combines a heavy duty alkaline cleaner that can also be used as a stripper with tiny abrasive particles. The resultant cleaning solution was left to dwell on the surface of the tile for twenty minutes before working it into the tiles with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The soiled solution was then removed from the floor using a wet and dry vacuum and the stubborn areas re-treated. Once I was happy the floor was clean and any remaining sealer removed the whole floor was washed down to neutralise the tile and remove any trace of cleaning chemical before sealing. Leaving the old sealer on any cleaning solution on the tile could have an unexpected impact on the sealer so it’s always best to make sure this is done thoroughly.

Terracotta Tile Sealing

The floor was left to dry overnight and when we returned the next day when the floor was completely dry to seal using seven coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go (Terracotta is very porous) which works well on Terracotta adding a nice shine to the tile as well as providing on-going stain protection. The final result looked great and will last for many years to come, the customer was so happy with the finish.

Old-Terracotta-Floor-Toddington-After-Cleaning-and-Sealing

 
 
Source: Terracotta Tile Cleaning Services in Bedfordshire

Choosing a Sealer for Terracotta Tiles

Pictures below of another Terracotta tiled floor that was deep cleaned and then sealed, this time in Whipsnade. You can see from the photograph below the floor was in good physical condition but was looking washed out and had staining to the grout.

Terracotta Floor Whipsnade Before Cleaning

Cleaning Terracotta Floor Tiles

To deep clean the Terracotta tile and grout I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed 50/50 with NanoTech Ultra Clean to produce a heavy duty alkaline cleaner with nano sized abrasive particles that can clean deep into the tile. The resulting solution was left to soak into the Terracotta for 10-20 minutes before being worked in with a Rotovac machine fitted with a Tile and Grout head attachment. The Rotovac is a powerful and versatile tool that can also be used to clean carpet as well as tile and connects to separate machine that feeds high pressure water to the unit as well as generating a vacuum to remove the dirty water back to a separate tank. Once we were happy that the floor we left for the day so the floor could dry.

Terracotta Tile Sealing

We returned two days later to seal the floor which we did using a combination of two compatible sealers. First off we applied two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a premium impregnating sealer that soaks into the tile and brings out the natural colour. Once this was dry five coats for Tile Doctor Seal and Go were applied which is a surface sealer that adds a nice subtle sheen to the floor as well as topping up the stain protection.

Terracotta Floor Whipsnade After Cleaning and Sealing

 
 
Source: Sealing Terracotta Tiles in Bedfordshire

Maintaining Terracotta Kitchen tiles

This Terracotta tiled floor was laid in the kitchen of a property located in Horncastle, Lincolnshire. The tiles were well maintained and in reasonable condition compared to some floors I have worked on but they had started to look tired and dull in some areas and so the customer wanted them deep cleaned and resealed.

Terracotta Horncastle Before Cleaning

Cleaning Terracotta Tiles

I began the job using a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a heavy duty alkaline product ideal for cleaning natural products such as Terracotta and stripping off old sealers, this was scrubbed in with a black pad fitted to a rotary machine. We repeated the process a couple of times and also used a stiff hand brushes along the grout lines where the pads can often struggle to reach. Once happy the floor was clean it was given a thorough rinse to remove any remaining chemical and left it to dry.

Terracotta Horncastle Before Sealing

Sealing Terracotta Tile

We left the floor to dry and then returned then next day to re-seal it. Tile Doctor Seal and Go was used to seal the floor, it’s a topical water based sealer that doesn’t give off an odour when it’s drying and also offers durable stain protection together with a low sheen finish which I think you will agree has added a nice shine to the floor. Terracotta is very porous and this floor actually took five coats of sealer before it was fully sealed. Applying a sealer does take a long time to apply as you have to wait for it to dry before applying the next coat.

Terracotta Horncastle After Sealing
The work took two days in all, you can see the difference for yourself.
 
 
Source: Cleaning and Sealing Terracotta tiled Kitchen in Lincolnshire

Deep Cleaning Terracotta Tiles

This customers Terracotta tiled floor was installed in the kitchen of a house in Great Missenden and had become ingrained with dirt and soiling over the last twenty years leaving an unsightly black greasy appearance which was impacting the sale of the property.

Cleaning Terracotta Tiles

On the first day we covered the floor with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean which is a heavy duty Tile Stone and Grout Cleaner mixed 50/50 with Tile Doctor Ultra Clean which adds abrasive particles into the mix. The resulting combination provides a powerful cleaning agent that penetrated deep into the tile and in conjunction with a rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad managed to remove several layers of soiling. We then rinsed the floor with fresh water and removed the vast amount of slurry with a wet vacuum.

Terracotta Tiles During Cleaning

The next step of our cleaning process was to apply Tile Doctor Remove and Go across the tiles and let it soak in as before; Remove and Go is a coatings remover that will strip the floor of any seal or wax coatings which had been applied to the floor over the years, again the product was worked in using a scrubbing pad and then washed off.

Once we were happy with all cleaning and seal and wax removal and the floor had returned to its original condition we left the floor to dry.

Terracotta Tiles After Sealing

Sealing Terracotta Floor Tiles

Once the floor was dry we started to seal it in order to protect it and for this we chose Seal and Go which not only leaves a surface protection but also brings though the true colour of the stone returning the floor to its original beauty, Terracotta is very porous and it took seven coats before it was fully sealed.

Our customer was very happy with the difference and I have since been informed they have received a first offer on the property.


 
 
Source: Terracotta Tile Cleaning in Buckinghamshire