Restoring the Appearance of a Terracotta floor in Hertfordshire Kitchen

The pictures below were taken at a beautiful Hertfordshire Lodge located on the outskirts of Welwyn Garden City where the traditional Terracotta Kitchen floor had lost its appeal and was now in need of renovation.

Welwyn Garden City is actually a new town that was created in the 1920 with an aim to create a modern garden city, the architecture is therefore fairly modern.

Terracotta Lodge Floor Tile Before Cleaning in Welwyn Garden City

Deep Cleaning Kitchen Terracotta Tiles

As usual the first step before starting the cleaning process was to clear the floor of as move furniture as practical and use protective tape to cover the threshold edges, skirting’s and doors and use a protective sheet to the fixed kitchen units.

To deep clean the Terracotta tiles and remove any trace of old sealers and waxes present a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go was applied to the floor and left to soak in for about ten minutes. Then the solution was agitated using detail brushes along the grout lines and edges and polypropylene pads.

Once done the now soiled cleaning solution was extracted from the floor using a wet vacuum and the tile and grout rinsed with fresh water.

This process removed most of the dirt and old coatings but more work was required so a further treatment using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a strong tile cleaner and sealer remove was applied and worked in using an orbital floor machine fitted with a scrubbing pad.

Again the soiled cleaning solution was removed using a wet vacuum and the tile and grout given a steam clean to remove any trace of cleaning product residue. The floor was then left for two days to fully dry out.

Sealing Terracotta Kitchen Tiles

On our return the floor was checked for dampness before we proceeded to seal the floor; sealing damp tiles can result in a patchy finish so this is always worth checking.

To seal we gave the Terracotta tiles a primer coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that brings out the natural colours in the tile and by occupying the pores of the clay tile it stops dirt becoming ingrained. This was then followed by six coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which works really well on Terracotta and adds a nice satin sheen finish. The floor now looks much healthier and has really lifted the appearance of the kitchen.

Terracotta Lodge Floor Tile After Cleaning in Welwyn Garden City

Before leaving we advised the customer to avoid commercial acid based cleaning products as these are not appropriate for sealed Terracotta tiles. We suggest using a low alkaline/neutral PH product such as Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner as this will maximise the life of the sealer and maintain the sheen of the tile.
 
 
Source: Terracotta Cleaning and Renovation Service in Hertfordshire

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

Kitchen Terracotta Tile Maintenance

This Terracotta tiled floor was laid in the kitchen of a property located in Shepperton, Middlesex. It had been laid eight years prior and had an initial sealer applied. Over the years the customer had applied polish to help maintain a shine however the sealer and polish were now in a bad state and holding onto dirt. You can see this in the photographs below which show the tiles looking quite dull and the grout grey.

Terracotta Tiles Before Terracotta Tiles Before

Cleaning Terracotta Tiles

I started 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 and polish, 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.

Sealing Terracotta Tile

We left the floor to dry for 48 hours and then returned 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 really enhances the natural colour of the tile. Terracotta is very porous and in the end the floor actually took six 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 Tiles After Terracotta Tiles After

The work took two days in all and you can see the difference for yourself, the floor now looks much improved certainly the customer was very pleased with the end result and now has a floor that is easy to maintain for the future. I cover Shepperton and the surrounding areas so please feel free to contact me.
 
 
Source: Terracotta Tile and Grout cleaning in Middlesex

Restoration of Terracotta Tile and Grout

This small Terracotta tiled floor with tumbled travertine inserts at a house in Middlemarsh, Dorset was around 25M² and had been in place for over ten years, since before the owner moved in. After a recent freezer leak caused the tiles and grout to become stained in the utility area; the customer was looking to either clean them or replace them as she wasn’t that keen on them anyway.

Terracotta Tile During Cleaning

After a demonstration of what could be achieved she was happy to go ahead and have them stripped and resealed as opposed to the more expensive replacement option.

Terracotta Tile Before Cleaning

Cleaning Terracotta Tiles

The floor was covered in a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and this was left to dwell on the floor to allow it to soak into the tile and get to work on the dirt and breakdown any remaining sealer. The solution was then worked into the tile and grout using a heavy 17″ rotary scrubbing machine and then rinsed down using a high pressure wash to remove the soiled solution and neutralise the floor of any remaining cleaning solution before sealing. The grout proved to be stubborn to clean so we had to repeat the process a second time and use stiff hand brushes along the grout lines to get them clean.

You should be able to appreciate from the photographs below how we have managed to get the floor back to its original state and the difference in the grout particularly which was looking very dark prior to cleaning.

Terracotta Tile After Cleaning Terracotta Tile After Cleaning

Sealing Terracotta Floor Tiles

The customer had opted to seal the floor themselves with Tile Doctor Seal and Go naturally I was keen to see how it came out so I asked them to send me some photographs a couple of which are shown below. The final result is a practically new floor and the customer is very happy with it.

Terracotta Tile After Sealing Terracotta Tile After Sealing

 
 
Source: Terracotta Tiles Restored in Dorset

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

Kitchen Terracotta Floor Transformed in London

We had our work cut out for us restoring this Terracotta floor installed in the kitchen of a house in Clapham, south west London. Over the years it had been covered with many layers of metallised emulsion polish, this had been put on without a primer and Terracotta being porous it had soaked into the tile. Various efforts to remove it in the past had not been successful and had resulted in some damage to the floor. This had been covered by yet more layers of metallised emulsion which had yellowed and oxidised over time.

Terracotta Floor Before

Cleaning Terracotta Tiles

Working in stages, I laid down Tile Doctor Remove and Go, which is a powerful coating remover, to break down the layers of metallised emulsion and then steamed the tiles and scraped and wire-brushed the remnants of it away. Once this was done more Remove and Go was applied to the terracotta tile to remove the polish that had sunk deep into the tile when it was first applied more than twenty years before. Again a steamer was required to help bring out what was left of the original misused sealer! Once I was happy this was followed by a thorough clean with a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean scrubbed in with a black buffing pad fitted to a Numatic floor buffing machine. Last step was to give the floor a thorough rinse with water in order to remove any remaining chemical and neutralise the Terracotta.

Terracotta Floor During

Sealing Terracotta Floor Tiles

After two days work cleaning the floor I left it to dry out overnight and returned to seal on the third day using six coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which will protect the floor and also gives the surface an attractive low sheen. You can see the transformation in the floor and the customers were very impressed and preferred the lightened natural look compared to its previous appearance.

Terracotta Floor After

 
 
Source: Clapham Terracotta Floor Restored

Quarry Tiles Restored in Cheshire

This terracotta floor was in a 1950’s style property in the village of Cringleford near Norwich. In total there was 13m2 of tile laid in the kitchen and conservatory around fifteen years ago. The floor had been given very little treatment since then resulting in the tiles looking faded and dull.

Cleaning Terracotta Tile

I started the job using a solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a heavy duty alkaline product ideal for cleaning natural products such as Terracotta, this was scrubbed in with a black pad fitted to a rotary machine. We used 3 litres of Pro-Clean in total having had to repeat the cleaning a couple of times, we also used 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 overnight. A dehumidifier was left running to ensure that the floor was dry enough to seal the next day.

Terracotta Tile in Cringleford before

Sealing Terracotta Tile

The next day came back to do the sealing and checked the floor first for any spots we might had missed and also to ensure it had dried sufficiently. Tile Doctor Seal and Go was used to seal the floor, it’s a water based sealer so it doesn’t give off an odour when it’s drying and also offers durable stain protection together with a low sheen finish. Terracotta is very porous and in the end the floor actually took seven coats of sealer requiring three litres of Seal and Go before it was fully sealed. Applying a sealer does takes a long time to apply as you have to wait for it to dry before applying the next coat.

Terracotta Tile in Cringleford after

The work took two days in all and you can see the difference for yourself, the floor now looks wonderful and will be a lot easier to maintain going forward.
 
 
Source: Quary Tile Cleaning and Sealing in South Cheshire

Terracotta Floor Restoration

This Terracotta tiled floor installed in a house in Wilmslow had become black and discoloured in areas due to the customer being badly advised on what sealer to use themselves; this resulted in the sealer staying tacky and turning black over time

Cleaning Discoloured Terracotta Tiles

To remove any remaining sealer and deep clean the Terracotta tile we used a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean worked into the floor with a buffing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. Pro-Clean is an ideal cleaner for natural floors due to its alkaline formula which doesn’t eat away at the tile like an acidic cleaner, it’s also very good for cleaning up grout however I find that’s best tackled manually using a stiff brush.

Last step in the process was to remove the soiled cleaning solution with a wet vacuum and then wash the whole floor down with clean water in order to neutralise it before sealing, we then left the floor so it could dry overnight.

Sealing and Colouring Terracotta Tiles

The next step was to seal the Terracotta floor and for this we applied Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water based sealer recommended for Terracotta floors, it provides stain protection and a low sheen that lifts the look of the floor. Seven coats were required due to the porosity of the Terracotta tile.
 
 
Source: Terracotta Tiled Floor Restored in Cheshire

Terracotta Floor Tiles in Brixton

Although officially the East Surrey Tile Doctor we often get requests further afield through customer recommendations, this particular Terracotta Tiled floor was in Brixton, South London. You can see from the video below that the floor was not looking its best and had been splashed with paint.

Terracotta Tile Cleaning

To get the tiles clean we applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed 50/50 with NanoTech Ultra Clean which combines well to produce a heavy duty alkaline cleaner/coatings stripper with a cleaner containing tiny nano sized abrasive particles that work deep into the floor. This combination is ideal for dealing difficult floors, its best to let it dwell on the floor for 10 to 20 minutes before working it into the tiles with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad.

Once that was done the soiled solution was removed from the floor using a wet vacuum and we were then able to see a few spots where old wax remained on the floor. To deal with the wax Tile Doctor Remove and Go, which is a powerful coatings remover, was applied to the floor and left to dwell for a while before rinsing thoroughly with clean water and then treated with a steam cleaning machine to ensure the floor had been neutralised of all chemicals. It’s important not to leave a trace of chemical on the floor as they could react with the sealer.

The floor was still quite wet at this stage with small puddles of water forming in the dips of the uneven floor; the wet vacuum took care of most of this but the floor was still too damp for sealing so I left a couple of air blowers to assist with the drying of the floor and returned two days later to start the sealing.

Terracotta Tile Sealing

When we returned the floor was mainly dry but there were a couple of damp spots which I took care of with a heat gun. Tile Doctor Seal and Go was used to seal the floor; Terracotta can be very porous so eight coats were required to completely seal the floor so it was some time before it was finished.

When I finished I gave the customer instructions on how to maintain the floor. He was over the moon with the result and said that it had far exceeded his expectations.

Another happy customer.
 
 
Source: Cleaning and Sealing Terracotta Tiles in South London

Restoring miss-matched Terracotta tiles in Paxford

This job was a Terracotta Tiled kitchen floor in Paxford near Chipping Camden, the Terracotta tiles were in a large kitchen/diner which had a mix of different types of Terracotta due to the replacement of some damaged tiles. The recently fitted tiles were slightly darker than the older tiles in the kitchen area and the customer wanted a closer match but at the same time didn’t want the floor looking new (with all the wax and oil removed) just the old tiles made darker. You can clearly see the problem in the first photograph below.

Paxford Terracotta Floor Before

Cleaning Terracotta Tiles

The floor had a heavy build of a wax and oil coatings which we tackled with a Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed with two parts NanoTech Ultra-Clean; this combines the strong cleaning power of the alkaline Pro-Clean with the nano sized abrasive particles in the Ultra-Clean to make a powerful cleaning agent. We left the solution to dwell and soak into the tiles for twenty minutes before working it in with a heavy floor buffing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad, some areas had experienced little foot traffic and so had a thicker coating needed up to three cleans. All the edges were done by hand using wire wool pads and brushes. The soiled water was picked up by a wet and dry vacuum and then the floor was thoroughly rinsed with water using a high pressure spinning tool.

Paxford Terracotta Floor after cleaning

Terracotta Tile Sealing

We let the floor dry overnight and returned the next day to seal it for which we used a combination of Tile Doctor sealers. The first step was to darken some of the lighter tiles so they would match the others in the dining room we did this using a sealer called Colour Grow which brings out the colour in a Tile. Once we were happy with this floor was fully sealed using five coats of Tile Doctors new formula High Shine sealer to give a uniform look.

Paxford Terracotta Floor after sealing

 
 
Source: Terracotta Tile Cleaning near Chipping Camden