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

Carpet Covered Terracotta Tile and Grout Restoration near Warrington

I was contacted by a home owner in Appleton near Warrington who had a Terracotta tiled floor in their dining Room. The floor had previously been covered in carpet and they were keen to have the whole floor restored.

To complicate things further the Carpet had been stuck down with a strong adhesive and a local builder had advised them to remove the glue using brick acid. Although this was successful it had the side effect of discolouring the grout lines and no amount of rinsing with the floor with water to dilute and wash off the acid would resolve the problem.

Carpet Covered Terracotta Tiled Floor Before Restortion in Appleton

Happy for me to resolve the problem, my client informed me they were going on holiday and would like me to do the work whilst they were away. This was a great idea as it would guard against unwanted foot traffic during the cleaning and sealing process and it would also mean they would have a nice surprise waiting for them on their return.

Deep Cleaning a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor

After protecting the Kitchen units and skirting boards with plastic sheeting my first job was to strip any remaining sealer off the Terracotta tiles using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. The solution was spread across the floor and then left to dwell for twenty minutes before scrubbing it in with a black scrubbing pad attached to a rotary floor buffer. I then used a wet vacuum to remove the now dirty cleaning solution from the floor.

The grout was also given a good scrub using more Tile Doctor Pro-Clean but this time it was scrubbed in with a narrow stiff brush until I was satisfied it was as clean as it could be. The floor given a good rinse and I then inspected the floor tile and grout to ensure it was clean and free of sealers, any areas that needed ore work were retreated and the floor given a final rinse and dry with the wet vacuum before being left to dry off fully overnight.

Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor

I returned the next morning and tested the tiles with a damp meter to ensure they were dry before beginning applying the sealer. All was well, so I started by applying a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer that seeps into the pores of the tile protecting it from within and enhancing the natural red colour of the Terracotta in the process.

Once the first coat had dried I followed up with two coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a compatible water-based sealer that works really well on clay tiles and adds a lovely sheen finish to the floor.

The last step was to resolve the problem with the discoloured grout lines by applying a white grout colourant to the grout. This gave the grout a fresh and consistent appearance throughout and also has the benefit of sealing the grout which will protect it from staining and also make it much easier to clean.

Last step was to finish the sealing of the floor by topping up the sealer with another three coats of Seal and Go to ensure the floor was fully sealed.

Carpet Covered Terracotta Tiled Floor Before Restortion in Appleton

The result was a huge improvement and now looked like a recently installed Terracotta floor. When my customer returned from holiday they were more than happy with the floor and the work I had done.
 
 
Source: Terracotta Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service near Warrington, Cheshire

Terracotta Kitchen Tiles Cleaned at Buckinghamshire Farm Cottage

I was recently contacted about the restoration of a fantastic example of a Terracotta tiled floor in the kitchen of a farm cottage just south of Buckingham.

Terracotta Tiles Before Cleaning Buckingham Farm Cottage

There was a very noticeable build-up of dirt on the tiles and in the grout lines. Additionally, there were lots of white spots on the tiles in front of sink area because of a caustic soda spillage. Caustic soda is also known as sodium hydroxide, as is commonly used as a drain unblocking agent. It’s a highly alkaline product and isn’t very friendly to Terracotta.

Terracotta Tiles Before Cleaning Buckingham Farm Cottage

The grout was also stained and naturally, the homeowner was keen to get her floor back into the best shape possible – and I was on hand to see what could be done.

Terracotta is a very attractive and useful material that has been in use for over two millennia throughout the world. It has been used perhaps most famously for sculptures and other forms of art, although it has since the days of the Ancient Romans been used as a building material – including in the form of floor tiles. It’s still a popular choice for tiles amongst homeowners today, since Terracotta tiles are typically thicker, and the red colour adds a warm country feel to the home.

Cleaning Stained and Dirty Terracotta Kitchen Tiles

Before beginning the restoration, I first removed the kickboards from underneath the kitchen units to protect them from splashes from the cleaning products I would be using.

Once this had been done, I got straight into deep cleaning the tile and grout lines using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a strong alkaline cleaner. To get the best result I left the solution to soak into the pores of the tile for approximately ten minutes before being agitated with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine.

The floor was then rinsed with fresh water and the resulting slurry of soiled cleaning solution was promptly extracted using a wet vacuum. This process left the tiles and grout looking much cleaner and fresher, however, the white spots caused by the caustic soda would need something extra to remove them.

I treated these spots using Tile Doctor Acid Gel in combination with a steam machine. Acid Gel is a mixture of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids in gel form, and can be used to neutralise alkali-based stains such as these. We also commonly use it to treat efflorescence (mineral salt deposits).

The floor was then once again rinsed with fresh water to remove any trace of cleaning products and neutralise the floor, before being left to dry off fully for two days.

Sealing Terracotta Kitchen Tiles

I returned after 48 hours and the floor was dry enough to be sealed. The customer wanted to retain the natural-looking and rustic appearance of the Terracotta, so I suggested that we seal the tiles using Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This sealer is impregnating and colour-intensifying (so it emphasises the patina of the stone), but also leaves a matte finish.

Terracotta Tiles After Cleaning Buckingham Farm Cottage

The after photos show the result of the restoration – I job well done if I say so myself. And certainly, my customer agreed!

Terracotta Tiles After Cleaning Buckingham Farm Cottage

 
 
Source: Professional Cleaning of a Stained Terracotta Kitchen Floor in Buckinghamshire

Terracotta Conservatory and Kitchen Floors Renovated in Brighton

This couple, who live in the seaside resort of Brighton, had purchased their house four months before Christmas and wanted to have the fantastic Terracotta tiled floor in the kitchen and conservatory looking its best before the festive period, since they had family visiting. The floor was looking washed out and it was clear the sealer had failed in the high traffic areas and was now allowing dirt to penetrate into the pores of the tile making it difficult to clean.

Terracotta Floor Before Cleaning Brighton

We often get calls from new home owners keen to put their own stamp on a property shortly after moving in; stone floors rarely come with cleaning instructions so if you have a stone floor it makes sense to get in touch, so we can advise you on how best to maintain it.

Terracotta Floor Before Cleaning Brighton

We provided a quote which included stripping the floor of old sealers, cleaning, oiling and then sealing it again to restore cleanliness and character to the Terracotta. There was a lot to do and two areas to clean so I anticipated it would take four days to complete.

Cleaning a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor

Having accepted the quote our first task upon returning to the property was to give the Terracotta tiles a deep clean and remove any remaining sealer present on the tile. This was achieved by applying a strong combination of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU to the tiles and then covering it in a plastic sheet, so it wouldn’t dry out. This method allows the products to really soak into the pores of the Terracotta and draw out the dirt. I should also mention that Pro-Clean is a very effective Tile and Grout cleaner whilst HBU enhances it by adding nano-sized cleaning particles.

Terracotta Floor During Cleaning Brighton Terracotta Floor During Cleaning Brighton

The plastic blanket was left in place for a few hours before being peeled off and then the cleaning products scrubbed into the tile and grout using a black pad fitted to a rotary floor machine and hand brushes. The now soiled product was rinsed off with water which was then extracted using a wet vacuum. The floor was inspected, and stubborn marks spot treated until the floor was clean.

Terracotta Floor During Cleaning Brighton

After thoroughly cleaning the Terracotta over two days, we left the floor to completely dry off over the weekend. The tiles would need to be sufficiently dry to receive fresh sealant, as excess moisture can cloud the sealant and prevent it from working correctly.

Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor

When we returned to the property, we proceeded to apply Tile Doctor Stone Oil to the tiles. Stone Oil is a sealer which restores the colour and texture of tiled floors, as well as mechanical strength once cured.

We applied a single coat of the Stone Oil before topping it up with multiple coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, a topical sealer which provides a high-quality sheen finish to help accentuate the appearance of the Terracotta tiles as well as adding protection.

Terracotta Floor After Cleaning Brighton

You can see the results of the restoration below. The couple were so impressed that they have now agreed to have Tile Doctor visit once a year (at a fraction of the cost of the original restoration) to complete a maintenance clean. This will make sure this Terracotta is always looking at its best!

Terracotta Floor After Cleaning Brighton

 
 
Source: Terracotta Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Brighton

Restoring the Appearance of a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor in Kingston-on-Thames

It’s very surprising how often I hear from home owners who are considering completely replacing tiled floors that can be easily be salvaged. While some people might believe that replacement is cheaper and quicker than cleaning, this is emphatically not true in most situations.

Thankfully, one of my recent customers, who lives in Kingston Upon Thames had been persuaded by her husband not to completely strip out the original Terracotta tiles in their kitchen. While the couple had just had new kitchen units installed, it seemed unnecessary to completely replace the Terracotta floor tiles even though they certainly needed a deep clean.

Terracotta Floor Tiles Before Cleaning Kingston on Thames

Instead, they contacted their local Tile Doctor to rejuvenated the tiles to complement the new kitchen design.

Cleaning Original Terracotta Kitchen Tiles

Before beginning, I covered all the new kitchen units with protective sheeting to prevent them from encountering water and splashes from the cleaning products. I could see that the tiles had been left unsealed for many years and this had allowed dirt and general muck to become deeply ingrained.

To clean the tiles, I applied a covering of our strong alkaline-based cleaner, known as Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, and left it dwell for a short period. I then attached a coarse, 200-grit diamond encrusted burnishing pad to my buffing machine and began working the product into the tiles. The burnishing pad milled away the dirty top layer of the tiles. Contrary to what some might believe, this doesn’t harm the tiles in any way, but instead polishes them.

Any old sealer and dirt that the buffing machine could not reach in the corners of the room was removed by hand using diamond encrusted burnishing blocks. The burnishing process does, in fact, make quite a mess, so I promptly rinsed off the resulting slurry with more water and a wet vacuum to clear the area and leave it clean and ready to be dried.

Sealing Original Terracotta Kitchen Tiles

A lot of water was used during the cleaning process, so I had to leave the property for 48 hours to let the tiles dry completely. Returning to the property after those two days, I sealed the tiles using six coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go. Following years of next to no protection, the floor desperately needed an effective sealer to put new life in the Terracotta and Seal and Go does that in spades by adding a lovely sheen to the tile.

Terracotta Floor Tiles After Cleaning Kingston on Thames

The photo above shows the amazing difference made by cleaning the floor instead of choosing to replace. The customer’s testimonial speaks for itself:

“Excellent service and we are delighted with the work. Would definitely use Rupert again.”
 
 
Source: Terracotta Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Surrey

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

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 and Sealing Terracotta floor tiles in Sussex

This Terracotta Tiled floor was located in a house in the town of Ringmer, East Sussex, it had been a while since it had last been thoroughly cleaned and re-sealed and was now well overdue for some extra attention.

Terracotta Tile Cleaning

To get the tiles clean we applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a heavy duty alkaline cleaner/coatings stripper ideal for tiled surfaces. We let the solution 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. The photograph below shows the floor half way through this process with the top section cleaned and the bottom section still to do.

Terracotta Ringmer During Cleaning

The soiled solution was removed from the floor using a wet vacuum and any stubborn areas re-treated before thoroughly rinsing the tiles down with clean water to remove any remaining product and neutralise the floor prior to sealing.

Terracotta Tile Sealing

Once the floor was dry the floor was sealed with TIle Doctor Seal and Go which took some time to do as you need to wait until the first coat dries before applying the second. Terracotta is very porous so seven coats were required to completely seal the floor.

Terracotta Ringmer After Cleaning

I thing you would agree from the photographs the floor is much improved and the sealer should keep the Terracotta tiles looking good and much easier to keep clean going forward.
 
 
Source: Sealing Terracotta Tiles in Ringmer