Restoring a Mexican Terracotta Floor in Shrewsbury

Mexico is known to produce some of the best quality Terracotta tiles, with the Saltillo region in the north-east of the country being particularly famous for its craftsman. People from countries all over the world import these tiles and use them in their houses to create fantastic, colourful floors.

This set of Mexican Terracotta floor tiles had been installed throughout the ground floor of a property in historic Shrewsbury which is on the Welsh border and renowned for being the birthplace of Charles Darwin. The tiles were in all the functional areas of including the Large kitchen/diner, pantry, utility room and downstairs WC and so had seen a fair share of wear which had worn off any protective sealers that may have been present.

The floor had not received any maintenance for some time so it was now in dire need of a deep clean and re-seal. At a loss for how to improve the condition of the floor, the property owner contacted me to restore the Mexican Terracotta tiles back to their original condition.

Mexican Terracotta Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Shrewsbury

I visited the property to conduct a test clean and, impressed with the result I achieved, the client booked me in to complete the job.

Mexican Terracotta Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Shrewsbury

Cleaning a Mexican Terracotta Tiled Floor

Before beginning the work, I made sure to cover the bottom of the kitchen units with plastic wrap to protect them from splashes during the cleaning process. I then started to clean the floor using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean in combination with a scrubbing brush fitted to a rotary machine.

Mexican Terracotta Tiled Floor After Cleaning Shrewsbury

Pro-Clean is a versatile and powerful high alkaline that can be used with reliable results on all tile, stone and grout. Once I applied it liberally across the floor I left it to dwell and seep into the pores of the tile. After scrubbing it was rinsed off using water and the soiled solution was extracted using a wet vacuum. Stubborn stains were re-treated and then I focused my attention on to cleaning the dirty grout lines using more Pro-Clean scrubbed in with a special grout brush.

Mexican Terracotta Tiled Floor After Cleaning Shrewsbury

Once I was happy with the condition of the tile and grout I gave the floor a good rinse with water and used the wet vacuum machine again to remove as much moisture from the floor as possible and then left the floor to dry off fully overnight.

Sealing a Mexican Terracotta Tiled Floor

Upon my return to the property I immediately checked the floor to see if it was dry enough to be sealed (thankfully, it was). Testing for damp issues is incredibly important before sealing because any excess moisture can affect the sealer and negatively affect its performance.

I sealed the floor using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, an impregnating, colour enhancing sealer which offers the natural looking, matte finish the customer requested to match the rustic feel of the tiles.

Mexican Terracotta Tiled Floor After Sealing Shrewsbury

The customer was really pleased with the improved condition of his floor. So much so, in fact, that he left the following testimonial:

“Five-star performance from Tile Doctor Jozsef Hoffmann in terms of professionalism and customer service. Really pleased with the end result of our kitchen floor – a vast improvement on what is was like. Very happy that we found Tile Doctor and will certainly use them again when needed. I have no problem in recommending to both family & friends.”

Mexican Terracotta Tiled Floor After Sealing Shrewsbury

 
 
Source: Terracotta Tile and Grout Cleaning and Restoration in Shropshire

Deep cleaning Terracotta and Quarry Tiles

These photographs were taken at a recently purchased cottage in Alveley, Bridgenorth and the new owner was keen to refurbish the floors. The quarry tiles in the lounge had grout haze and general dirt on also the grout needed replacing in several places.
The remaining areas were covered with Terracotta tiles which they had thought were quarry tiles. On first impression I thought they were a patterned ceramic tile as the tiles a slight sheen on them and the “pattern” looked uniform however on closer inspection I realised that they were definitely not ceramic so I did a test clean on a small area and it turned out that the apparent pattern was in actual fact from a build up dirt all over the tile; the owners were shocked at the discovery.

Terracotta Tiled Floor Cleaning Alveley TestPatch

Cleaning Quarry and Terracotta Tiles

I cleaned both floors with a dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which was left to soak into the tiles for a while before being scrubbed in using a rotary machine fitted with a black pad and the dirty water was removed using a wet vacuum.

Quarry Tiled Floor Cleaning Alveley Before Terracotta Tiled Floor Cleaning Alveley Before

The Terracotta tiles needed extra attention so I scrubbed them once again with a brush paying special attention to the tiny holes in the surface of the tile which had become ingrained with dirt. Once I was happy both floors were given a final rinse to remove any cleaning products and I finished the day repairing the grout line in the lounge.

Terracotta Tiled Floor Cleaning Alveley During Terracotta Tiled Floor Cleaning Alveley During

Sealing a Quarry Floor Sealing

I left the floor for a week so it could dry out thoroughly and when I returned to seal the floor, the damp meter indicated that the floor was dry enough to take the sealer. At the same time I did a final inspection of the floors and spot cleaned those areas where it was needed using a heat gun to dry the tiles afterwards. The customer had dogs and had specified a matt finish so I sealed the Quarry and Terracotta tiles several coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that occupies the pores in the tile and also enhances the colour of the tile.

Quarry Tiled Floor Cleaning Alveley During Terracotta Tiled Floor Cleaning Alveley After

Needless to say the customer was really pleased with the result.
 
 
Source: Tile, Stone and Grout Cleaning Service in Shropshire

Cleaning and Sealing Terracotta Tiles in Shrewsbury

Details below of a Terracotta tiled hallway and kitchen at a house in the historic town of Shrewsbury. The floor had been laid a couple of years previously but the customer had found it difficult to maintain the appearance especially in the kitchen in fact the customer’s description on their enquiry form was “Need to spruce up the hallway and kitchen floor.”

Terracotta Tile Before Cleaning in Shrewsbury Terracotta Tile Before Cleaning in Shrewsbury

Cleaning a Terracotta Tiled Floor

I cleaned the Terracotta floor with strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean scrubbed into the tile and grout with a black pad and then rinsed off with clean water which was then removed with a wet vacuum. After rinsing the floor there were a couple stubborn spots left behind so they were spot treated using Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a strong coatings remover that is safe to use on tile and stone and usually takes care of most issues and certainly worked in this case. The floor was then thoroughly rinsed to remove any cleaning product prior to sealing and then left to dry.

Sealing a Terracotta Floor Sealing

I’d agreed with the owner to return a week later to ensure the tiles were bone dry and ready to be sealed and on my return I checked the floor for any problem areas in need of further cleaning and also for dampness. The Terracotta was dry enough to take the sealer so I sealed it using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which was chosen as the customer didn’t want a shine on the floor.

Terracotta Tile After Sealing in Shrewsbury Terracotta Tile After Sealing in Shrewsbury

Out of interest I’ve included the photograph below which shows how the sealer causes water to form on the surface of the tile due to the surface tension provided by the sealer.

Terracotta Tile After Sealing in Shrewsbury

The customer was very happy with the result and left the following testimonial on the Tile Doctor feedback system:
“Very pleased with the work carried out by Jozsef. He is a pleasant and hard working individual and very conscientious about his work. No hesitation in recommending his work.”
 
 
Source: Tile, Stone and Grout Cleaning and Sealing in Shropshire