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.
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.
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.
These photographs are from an old Terracotta tiled floor in Chingford, Essex that had been under carpet for years. The owners had removed carpet which had been glued to the tiles beneath and found this lovely floor which they wanted to restore as an original feature. As you can see it was in a bad state and needed some work on it.
Remove Grout Haze and Cleaning Terracotta Tiles
We started by giving the floor a deep clean with Tile Doctor Pro Clean which was left to dwell on the floor for ten minutes before working it into the floor using a scrubbing machine fitted with a black pad. I knew this wouldn’t resolve all the problems but it was a good start and would show what was going to be removed easily.
As expected there were a number of stubborn areas including the surface glue especially around the edges which needed to be tackled with a stronger product so the next step was to apply Tile Doctor Remove and Go which as the name suggests is a coatings remover that will remove almost anything and is safe to use on tiles. Hand scrapers were used along the edges of the floor and although the area was relatively small it took a long time to remove all the various contaminants.
Once satisfied the haze was removed we washed the floor down three times with water to remove any residue using a wet vacuum to pick up the slurry and suck any remaining liquids from the floor to allow it to dry quicker..
The floor turned out to be quite acceptable to customer who was happy with the results. They were going to seal the floor themselves once all the decorating had been completed.
Details below of a terracotta floor cleaning job we did near Boston, that’s Boston in Lincolnshire which is small port on the east coast of the UK as opposed to Boston, Massachusetts which was given its name by emigrants from this area.
The tiles were expensive handmade terracotta tiles, a few of which contained finger prints that had been baked onto the tile during the manufacturing process. The owner had previously tried to seal the floor themselves using other products but was having difficulty and had delayed making use of their new kitchen extension until the floor could be sealed.
Cleaning Terracotta Floor Tiles
To ensure a consistent finish we had to remove the previous sealer and make sure the Terracotta floor was clean it was scrubbed with a buffing machine assisted with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is an effective alkaline cleaner and sealer remover depending on the dilution. Cleaning the Terracotta floor tiles took a day to complete before being washed down with clean water to remove any remaining cleaner and neutralise the floor.
Sealing Terracotta Floor Tiles
The floor was left overnight to dry and we came back the next day to apply a sealer to protect the tiles, sealing those pores that collect dirt and make them easier to clean. We used four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go for this; it’s recommend for Terracotta floors bringing out the colour in the tile whilst providing a Matt finish. The customer was over the moon with the results and can now move into their new kitchen and sealed tiles.
Terracotta Tiles cleaned With Tile Doctor Pro-clean and 2 Black Buffing pads, there were some awkward stains in corners and such so I used Remove and Go and some Nano-scrub cleaner on these, but only after they had been pre-wetted first otherwise Remove and Go is hard to get out of the clay.
Terracotta Floor Before Cleaning and Sealing
Lots of Rinsing with water, left to dry overnight and came back the next day to Seal, turned the heating up, opened a couple of small windows front and back to allow for some Airflow and then started to apply 9 coats of Seal and Go with a Paint pad, this took all day, so quite a bit of waiting around, good time to catch up on my paperwork in the van in between sealer drying times.
Details here of a customer who had discovered old Terracotta tiled floor that had been hidden under carpet in the kitchen of their house in the village of Oadby Leicestershire. The carpet had been glued to the Terracotta tile which as you can see was in quite a state, the tiles also had grout haze on the surface of the tile which may have been the reason for covering them up in the first place.
Restoring Terracotta Floor Tiles
First step was to remove the carpet adhesive and grout haze which we did using a special coatings and sealer remove product called Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a multi-purpose stripper and cleaner. We applied Remove and Go to the whole floor and then covered it with a plastic sheet and left it to dwell on the floor for around 12 hours so it could really get to work. When we returned we gave the floor a good scrub and rinsed off with clean water to neutralise the floor ready for sealing.
Sealing Terracotta Floor Tiles
The floor was dried and then sealed with six coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is recommended for Terracotta tiled floors as it brings out the deep red colour in the tile with an attractive durable low sheen combined with stain protection whilst allowing vapour to transmission through the sealer, something you need if the floor is old and your not sure if a damp proof course has been installed.
You can see from the photographs what a fantastic transformation we achieved, naturally the customer was very pleased.
Mexican Terracotta tiled floor laid several years ago in the kitchen of a property in Wheathampstead near St Albans. It had originally been laid and sealed in the classic method with a wax and was becoming increasingly impossible to clean.
Cleaning Mexican Terracotta Tiles
We started the cleaning process using a solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean in order to remove excess dirt and soil from the surface of the tile. This was followed by the application of Tile Doctor Remove and Go combined 50/50 with NanoTech Ultra Clean agitated with a brush fitted to a scrubbing machine running at slow speed. This worked to breakdown and remove the remaining wax sealer returning the Mexican Terracotta back to its original condition. The resulting solution was rinsed off with water and a cleaned with Neutral Tile cleaner followed by two further water rinses. A wet vacuum comes in very useful at this point for removing the liquids from the floor.
Sealing Mexican Terracotta Tiles
We left the floor to dry and returned some days later to seal. We started this process with a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which really helps to bring out the colour in the tile followed by six to seven coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go. Terracotta is by its nature a very porous tile and so it’s not unusual for it to need seven coats.