Renovating a Terracotta Tiled Church Floor in Norfolk

St Andrews church serves a large congregation in Eaton Village which is located just outside the city of Norwich on the south side. A sizeable extension was built onto the old church in the 1980s to accommodate the ever-increasing number of people wanting to attend and it was in this part of the building where a problem had developed with the Terracotta tiled flooring.

The tiles chosen by the architect were made from a surprisingly soft terracotta clay which had been sealed with an oil-based product (probably Osmo Polyx Oil or similar) but the coating generally had worn away badly, particularly along the main foot traffic lane up the aisle to the altar. The overall appearance was extremely tired and dull with wide lanes of ground-in dirt.

The clients asked us to clean the floor and replace the thin oil finish with something more durable and easy to maintain.

Terracotta Floor Tiles Before Renovation St Andrews Church Eaton Norfolk

Deep Cleaning Terracotta Church Tiles

Our first job was to remove the now very patchy finish and deep-clean the entire surface of the floor. This was achieved using a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean mixed with a generous quantity of Tile Doctor Remove & Go. The combined solution was left to soak into the Terracotta tile and grout for about twenty minutes before being agitated with a green scrubbing pad fitted to our rotary machine. The tile was so soft I felt that a black pad would probably have been too harsh and may have damaged some of the religious symbols which had been moulded into a number of individual tiles.

The resulting clay, dirt and sealer slurry was then power rinsed and vacuumed away with our Ninja machine. These machines force hot water under high pressure onto the floor and then extracts the resulting soiled water away with suction. It was an expensive investment for the company, but it certainly makes work like this much easier.

Any remaining soiling in the grout lines was removed by hand using Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel which is a more powerful but manageable gel form of Pro Clean. Also, there were a few really stubborn areas in the corners where the oil finish had pooled and hardened during application. To deal with these and completely remove the shiny patches it was necessary to use a 100-grit hand-held diamond block.

After a final rinse to remove any trace of cleaning product the whole floor was left to dry off overnight, assisted by two industrial fans and a commercial dehumidifier.

Sealing Terracotta Church Tiles in Eaton village

On returning to the church after the previous day’s cleaning, we spot tested the tiles across the whole floor area and found that the fans and dehumidifier had done their job and the substrate was easily dry enough to accept a sealer. We knew that a damp proof membrane had been laid under the floor at the point of installation, so moisture ingress wasn’t going to be a problem. What was an issue however was the high porosity of the clay tile now that it had been stripped of ingrained dirt and the old sealer.

I usually apply Tile Doctor Seal and Go to Terracotta tiles as it leaves the floor with an attractive subtle sheen, however we realised that the floor would probably soak up around a dozen coats or more if applied directly. With this in mind we decided to start with the application of two base coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. Colour Grow is a penetrating sealer that would occupy the pores of the Terracotta tile, protecting it from within whilst enhancing the natural colour of the clay at the same time. This was then followed by six coats of Seal and Go which enabled us to achieve the desired level of durability and sheen.

Terracotta Floor Tiles After Renovation St Andrews Church Eaton Norfolk

When we had finished the work, this is what the client had to say:

“After careful consideration of several contractors, it was decided that Nicholas White provided the most sympathetic solution to our flooring needs and at a competitive price. The work was completed as promised with minimum fuss. At all times Nicholas and his staff worked in a professional manner and were totally respectful of their sensitive surroundings.

We were very satisfied with the final work and would have no hesitation in recommending this contractor to other potential clients. J Holmes, Warden St Andrews Eaton.”
 
 
Source: Terracotta Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in Eaton, Norwich

Renovating a Stained Terracotta Tiled Floor in North-Buckinghamshire

A local cleaning contractor called us in to work on the Terracotta tiled floors at a council building in Amersham. The Terracotta had not been deep cleaned and resealed for about ten years and the sealer had worn off leaving the tile vulnerable to dirt becoming ingrained in the pores of the tile. The grout had also suffered the same fate and had almost gone black in many areas.

Terracotta Floor Files Before Cleaning Amersham Council Offices

This is a common problem with Terracotta which is quite porous and once those pores become ingrained with dirt the tile becomes difficult to clean effectively. The solution is to seal the tile however sealers wear off over time and this was basically the problem.

Terracotta Floor Files Before Cleaning Amersham Council Offices

After discussing the issues we agreed on a plan of action to deep clean the Terracotta tile and grout and then re-seal to protect it. Due to the busy nature of the building we agreed to do the work between Christmas and New Year when we knew the building would be empty.

Cleaning Old Terracotta Floor Tiles

We started by applying a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel which is a strong tile cleaning product that being in a gel form ensures it sits on the tile for longer, giving it a longer effective dwell time so it can really eat into and loose the dirt. After approximately twenty minutes the gel was scrubbed into the tile with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. This broke down most of the dirt and removed any remaining sealer. Once the whole floor had been treated in this manner it was rinsed thoroughly with water which was then extracted using a wet vacuum.

With the soiled cleaning solution removed I could see the next step would be to spot clean stubborn staining and clean the grout. For this task I used a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean scrubbing it in by hand using stiff brushes and aided with a hand-held steamer to help treat the stubborn staining. Once done the floor was given a final rinse and then as much moisture as possible removed with the wet vacuum.

Sealing Old Terracotta Floor Tiles

We then left the floor to dry off completely and came back a couple of days later to seal the Terracotta tile.

I mentioned earlier that Terracotta is porous; in fact it’s probably the most porous material I deal with, so to fully seal the floor I had to apply eight coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which will provide complete and long lasting protection against staining and dirt. Seal and Go also adds an appealing satin sheen to the tile and the new seal will make it much easier to clean in future.

Terracotta Floor Files After Cleaning Amersham Council Offices

The floor tile and grout now look much healthier and I’m sure the council will be very impressed when they go back to work after the holidays.

Terracotta Floor Files After Cleaning Amersham Council Offices

Happy New Year…
 
 
Source: Terracotta Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Amersham, Buckinghamshire

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

Bleach Damaged Sealer Replaced on a Terracotta Tiled Floor in Somerset

This is an unusual job we did in the old town of Crewkerne which is on the southern edge of Somerset near Dorset. We were asked to restore a Terracotta tiled kitchen floor where the seal on the terracotta tiles had been damaged when the floor had been cleaned with bleach leaving horrible smears all over the floor.

Terracotta Tiles Damaged by Bleach before cleaning Crewkerne

Bleach is a very strong product with a high pH that can easily damage the sealer on a floor and unfortunately there is no easy way of restoring the damaged sealer so the whole floor would need to have the remaining sealer stripped off so the floor could be resealed.

Terracotta Tiles Damaged by Bleach before cleaning Crewkerne

Stripping Sealer from a Terracotta Tiled Floor

To remove the existing sealer the Terracotta tiles were covered in a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean before scrubbing the product into the tiles with the aid of a rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. Pro-Clean is a powerful alkaline cleaner designed for use on all types of natural stone. In concentrated form, it breaks down old sealers as well as removing dirt, while the rotary machine helps the product to penetrate deep into the pores of the stone to eradicate ingrained dirt and stains.

The now soiled cleaning solution was then extracted from the floor using a wet vacuum and the then the floor rinsed with water. Water will pool on a sealed surface to I was able to spot where more work was required and re-treated those areas until I was happy the floor was clean and all the sealer had been removed. I then gave the floor a final rinse and then dried as much as possible using the wet vacuum and then then left to dry off overnight.

Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Floor

The next day, I returned to the property to find the tiles dry, and ready to be sealed so I started by the application of two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which enhanced then natural reddish colours in the tile. Colour Grow is also an impregnating sealer that occupies the pores of the Terracotta preventing dirt from becoming ingrained there.

To add the Satin finish my client had requested I topped off the floor with five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, a water based sealer that words really well on Terracotta. Sealing the Terracotta took some time as you need to let the first coat dry before applying the next.

Terracotta Tiles Damaged by Bleach after cleaning and sealing Crewkerne

The floor is now fully sealed and looking like new, additionally I have advised the client to clean the floor going forward using a pH neutral tile cleaning product such as Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which should avoid the problem happening again.

Terracotta Tiles Damaged by Bleach after cleaning and sealing Crewkerne

My customer was really happy with the result and left the following comment on the Tile Doctor Feedback system.

“We were amazed at how hard David worked. The floor is greatly improved.
Caroline P., Crewkerne”
 
 
Source: Terracotta Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Somerset

Revamping a Terracotta Tiled Floor on the Devon Coast

Terracotta, terra cotta or terra-cotta meaning baked earth is a clay based tile which can be glazed or unglazed and were traditionally hand-made. Because of the material used to produce the tiles they are very porous and the firing process creates a lot of variation of colour not just between each tile but within each individual tile. The two main types of terracotta tile are Spanish and Mexican, or Saltillo, and have different colour variations and characteristics but are essentially treated in the same way. There are even some manufacturers that offer paw prints in tiles, although they cost extra!

Of course, Terracotta is also commonly used as a material for tiled floors due to the warming and homely characteristics of the stone, associated with old country living. Indeed, a Terracotta tiled floor can be an asset to any home, but only if it is routinely maintained.

I recently visited a property in Lympstone, a small picturesque harbour village in East Devon in the area of Woodbury, to tend to a lovely Terracotta tiled floor that had been installed in an open-plan kitchen/diner. The tiles had gotten very dirty over its fifteen-year life and the current owners were struggling to clean it and had spent a long time scrubbing the floor with very little reward.

Once on-site I conducted a small test clean on the floor which was very successful and gave the customers confidence in going forward. Happy to give me the work we agreed a date and I came back a few weeks later.

Terracotta Tiled Floor in Lympstone Before Cleaning

Deep Cleaning Terracotta Tiles

Because of the undulation and texture in the tiles, the floor was treated using Tile Doctor’s Oxy-Gel, a powerful and fast-acting alkaline stripper/degreaser which is ideal for use on vertical surface and uneven tiles such as terracotta because the gel doesn’t run off the higher areas and pool in the lower areas. The product also has a short dwell time which enabled the entire floor to be cleaned in a day.

The Oxy Gel was scrubbed into the tile and grout with the aid of a stiff bristled monster brush fitter to rotary scrubbing machine. Once the cleaning process had been completed, I extracted the dirty cleaning solution using a wet vacuum and then re-treated any stubborn areas.

Following the cleaning the whole floor was given a thorough rinse to remove any trace of cleaning product. This required a lot more water and brushing than usual because of the tiles acting more like a sponge because they weren’t sealed. Again, a wet vacuum was used to extract the water and get the floor as dry as possible.

Sealing Terracotta Tiles

Because Terracotta is a very porous tile I left the floor for five days to ensure it would be dry enough when I returned to seal it. Tiles need to be dry before sealing as any excess moisture and damp issues can upset the performance of the sealer.

I tested the floor for dampness on my return and found it had dried well and was ready to be sealed. This allowed me to proceed with sealing the tiles using Tile Doctor Seal and Go, which is an acrylic, topical sealer. It provides a both a stain resistant surface seal and a durable low-sheen satin finish.

Being the product is water-based there no smell is given off by the sealer as it dries, and since the Terracotta is very porous I ended up using nine coats of sealer which is not uncommon on this type of tile. Once fully sealed the floor will not absorb water and so is easier to clean and much more resistant to staining.

Terracotta Tiled Floor in Lympstone After Cleaning

As you can see from the above photo, the condition of the floor was massively improved. What was a very dull and stained Terracotta floor is now colourful and clean. Certainly, the customer was really pleased with the outcome and left the following feedback:

“Stuart was punctual to the minute and thoroughly friendly and professional at all times.
We are very pleased with the floor and highly recommend him. Ryan S.”
 
 
Source: Terracotta Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Devon

Stains removed from Terracotta Conservatory Floor in Cambridgeshire

Isleham is a small village in the Fens area of Cambridgeshire which, as the name suggests, is a natural marshland. The town itself is home to just over 2,000 people and some very nice properties.

I recently visited a customer in the town who contacted me after finding our website because her Terracotta tiled conservatory and utility room had become worn and stained due to leakages from plant pots and other various spillages. Terracotta is a highly porous stone and so has a strong propensity to absorb stains, and dirt can easily become ingrained. This problem is easily exacerbated when the sealer has worn away and can no longer adequately protect the stone.

Terracotta Tiles Before Cleaning Isleham Conservatory

These tiles were now due for deep clean and reseal, and I was more than happy to oblige.

Terracotta Tiles Before Cleaning Isleham Conservatory

Cleaning a Stained Terracotta Tiled Floor

My first action, before beginning the restoration, was to tape up all the walls and wood features around the conservatory and utility areas with our décor protection film, to protect them from getting damaged.

Terracotta Tiles Before Cleaning Isleham Conservatory Terracotta Tiles Before Cleaning Isleham Conservatory

Then, to begin, I applied Tile Doctor Pro Clean – which is our high alkaline cleaner – across the floor to strip away the old sealer and to provide an initial clean. The product was left to dwell for 10-20 minutes before being worked into the pores of the stone using a firm scrubbing brush fitted to a rotary machine.

Next, I removed any deep staining using Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU, a potent cleaner which contains nano-sized particles to penetrate the pores of the Terracotta to dissolve and lift out the embedded stains. I also used this product to remove the very stubborn salt deposits in the utility room – although it took three to four attempts.

To complete the cleaning process, I gave the grout a light clean using Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up, which is a concentrated phosphoric acid cleaner designed to remove grout haze and any deep staining in the grout. The floor was then dried down with cloths and air-movers, and left over the weekend to make sure any excess moisture had evaporated.

Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Floor

Upon returning to the property at the beginning of the week, I sealed the floor firstly using one coat of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal, followed by five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra.
Ultra-Seal is a penetrating sealer which fills the pores of the stone to protect against staining and ingrained dirt. It is also fully breathable and allows for moisture vapour transmission. Seal and Go Extra provides further protection and a durable and aesthetically pleasing low-sheen finish to really improve the overall look of the floor.

Terracotta Tiles After Cleaning Isleham Conservatory Terracotta Tiles After Cleaning Isleham Conservatory

The customer absolutely loved her newly restored Terracotta tiles and was amazed by the transformation. I’m sure she is looking forward to spending time in her conservatory over the course of the summer months.

Terracotta Tiles After Cleaning Isleham Conservatory

 
 
Source: Terracotta Tile Cleaning and Restoration in Cambridge

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 a Terracotta Tiled Porch

This post comes from a job I did for a customer in who lives in the town of Runcorn on the south bank of the River Mersey. The request was to restore the Terracotta floor tiles in the kitchen of a property which dated back to 1773 and still had all its original features inside and out. You can see from the photograph below that the tile and grout were looking very dull and well overdue a deep clean and seal.

Old Terracotta Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Runcorn

Deep Cleaning a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor

To clean the floor, I soaked the floor in a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a strong stripping and cleaning solution which removes sealers and also draws out ingrained stains and also the heavy grease build up that was present around the cooker.

After twenty to thirty minutes the solution was worked into the tiles using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. The soiled solution was then removed with a wet vacuum and this was followed by scrubbing the grout lines with more Remove and Go and a grout brush until they were clean. The whole floor was then rinsed with water to remove any soil and trace of cleaning product. The water was then extracted using the wet vacuum. The floor was then checked to make sure it was as clean as it could be and stubborn areas spot treated.

Once I was happy the floor was clean it became apparent that some of the grout was loose and would need replacing so I took care of that using a matching grout before calling it a day and leaving the floor to dry out overnight.

Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor

We returned next morning and tested the tiles with a damp meter making sure it was dry before we could seal it. To seal the floor, I used Tile Doctor Seal and Go which adds a nice sheen to the tiles and works really well on Terracotta.

Old Terracotta Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Runcorn

I took some time to complete though as due to the porosity of the clay it required eight coats to fully seal the tiles. You have to wait between coats to allow them to dry however I was able to speed up the drying process though using an air blower.
 
 
Source: Terracotta Tile and Grout Cleaning Service in Cheshire

Expansion Cracks Repaired in Mexican Terracotta Floors

Cracks can appear in tiles for several different reasons, but in all cases, they spoil the overall appearance of the floor. I was contacted just before Christmas by a customer in the market town of Ormskirk with a significant problem with cracking in their warm and rustic Mexican Terracotta tiles, particularly in and around doorways. The area was quite large at 85 square yards and covered multiple rooms. In general, the tiles were also in need with a deep clean and fresh seal.

Mexican Terracotta Kitchen Floor Ormskirk Before Cleaning

After inspecting the tiles first-hand, I determined that the cracking was most likely due to the addition of an extension: the concrete floors were laid at separate intervals, causing some expansion and contraction issues. The effects are similar to shifting Tectonic plates in the Earth’s crust, if not so drastic (the tiles just tend to crack, rather than causing an earthquake!).

After agreeing on a quote for the work, I set about putting the situation right.

Repairing Cracked Mexican Terracotta Tiles

The more laborious and costly answer to the problem of damaged tiles would be to replace them with new ones, but we have found that implementing an expansion joint in the areas where the concrete floors touch each other is more effective.

Mexican Terracotta Kitchen Floor Ormskirk Showing Cracked Grout

We have done this before many times, using flexible adhesive and grout to fill the cracks and counteract any further movement between the different concrete floors. This repair work was carried or over two days, in order to allow time for the adhesive and then grout to set.

Cleaning Mexican Terracotta Tiles

By the third day the tile repairs were complete, so we started cleaning the whole tiled area. We usually carry out repairs before cleaning to improve the chance of the repair blending in with the existing tile.

You can see from some of the photographs above that the tiles had started to get quite grubby and were proving difficult to keep clean. To clean and remove the old sealer we applied a diluted solution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go to the tiles allowing it soak into the pores for ten minutes before scrubbing it in with a rotary machine fitted with a black pad. The floor was rinsed with water and the resultant slurry was extracted using a wet vacuum.

The next step was to give the grout lines a thorough scrub with a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a reliable alkaline cleaner that works well on grout and tile. The dirty cleaning solution was then extracted with a wet vacuum and the whole floor rinsed with more water to remove any trace of cleaning product. The wet vacuum was then used again to get the floor as dry as possible before leaving for the day.

Mexican Terracotta Kitchen Floor Ormskirk After Cleaning

Sealing Mexican Terracotta Tiles

On the fourth day, we returned to seal the floor, but not before checking first with a damp meter that it had dried completely. This is essential because excess moisture can cloud the sealer and damage its performance.

Mexican Terracotta Kitchen Floor Ormskirk After Repair and Cleaning

Our choice of sealer was Tile Doctor Seal and Go, which provides excellent surface protection along with an aesthetically pleasing deep sheen finish.

Mexican Terracotta Kitchen Floor Ormskirk After and Sealing

As you can see from the photographs above, the result was fantastic. The customer was amazed by the improvement and very pleased that the difficult cracking problem had been resolved. Another satisfied customer!

Mexican Terracotta Kitchen Floor Ormskirk After and Sealing

 
 
Source: Terracotta Tile Cleaning & Restoration Service in Lancashire

Maintaining a Terracotta Floor

Not too long ago, I was contacted by a client in the town of Wickford, which is a fairly small, quiet town in the south of Essex. My client had a Terracotta tiled floor that was in dire need of a complete refresh in the form of a thorough clean and seal.

You might not be aware of this but the word ‘Terracotta’ actually means ‘burned earth’, owing to the stone’s fantastic natural orange-auburn colours. A strong, durable material,it has been in use for residential uses for over two thousand years; the ancient Romans, for example, used Terracotta tiles to decorate their villas and palaces. However, as anyone who has ever owned with a Terracotta tiled floor will know, a major downside to the stone is that it has no natural glaze on the surface, and therefore can pick up ingrained dirt very quickly.

Terracotta Tile Before Cleaning Wickford

Cleaning a Terracotta tiled floor

I began the cleaning process by focusing on the grout lines. Firstly, I mixed a solution of one part Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to two parts clean water. Pro-Clean is a high alkaline cleaner that is suitable for use on most types of natural stone tile. I scrubbed the solution into the grout lines using a stiff grout brush in order to lift out the ingrained dirt and freshen up the grout.

To clean the tiles I applied Tile Doctor Remove & Go, which is a powerful coating remover product designed to break down and strip away any remaining old sealer on the surface. Nonetheless, most of the old sealer on this floor had clearly already worn away, allowing dirt and muck access to the tiles beneath. The product was applied to the tiles and agitated using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. As you can see from the photographs, the clean made a marked difference to the appearance of the floor, and also helped to remove some linseed oil which had been applied at some point in the past.

Once I was satisfied with the results of the clean, I left the house for a total of four days in order to allow enough time for the floor dry completely. This was important, as any excess moisture can inadvertently affect the performance of the sealer.

Terracotta Tile After Cleaning Wickford

Sealing a Terracotta tiled floor

Upon my return, I finished off the job by sealing the floor with multiple coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go. Seal & Go offers durable surface protection, which is especially important for porous stone like Terracotta that can, as I’ve mentioned, become very easily ingrained with dirt. Seal & Go also provided the aesthetically pleasing, low sheen finish that my client had requested.

Terracotta Tile After Sealing Wickford

TIP: If you have ever wondered how to tell if you floor is fully sealed, simply add a few drops of water to the surface; if the water forms a bubble on the surface as in the photograph below, then its sealed.

Terracotta Tile After Sealing Wickford

 
 
Source: Professional Tile, Stone and Grout cleaning and maintenance services in South-Essex

Cleaning a Terracotta and Slate Floor in Bicester

I was recently contacted by a client living in the historic market centre of Bicester, one of the fastest growing towns in Oxfordshire. Many will know Bicester for its famous shopping village.
They had a small, dirty Terracotta and Slate tiled conservatory which had suffered from water damage and a loss of colour. Terracotta and Slate are examples of naturally porous tiles which can suffer from dirt becoming trapped/ingrained into its pores making it difficult to clean for the regular homeowner with everyday cleaning products. The water damage had also left stubborn stains on the floor which would require professional attention to remove.

Grubby Terracotta and Slate Conservatory Floor Bicester Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Terracotta and Slate tiled floor

My first task was to cover the whole floor with Tile Doctor Remove & Go, mixed with water to form a solution. Remove & Go is a powerful cleaner that needs to be left to dwell for roughly ten minutes when first applied. This allows the product to soak into the pores of the stone, thereby getting underneath dirt and lift it out. After allowing the solution to dwell, I then agitated the surface with a brush attached to a floor machine to remove the particularly difficult muck.

In this process of doing this, I unveiled some staining in the floor. To tackle this I used NanoTech HBU (previously known as Ultra Clean), which uses nano-sized particles to remove heavy soil build-up in places other products simply cannot reach.

Following this I repeated the cleaning process with Remove & Go until I was satisfied that the conservatory floor had been cleaned to the best of my abilities. All of the resulting soiled residue was quickly extracted using a wet-vac machine. The floor was then given a final rinse before leaving to dry completely overnight before returning the next day to seal the tiles.

Sealing a Terracotta and Slate tiled floor

On day two and after checking the floor had dried, I applied several coatings of Tile Doctor Seal & Go to seal the floor. This helped to restore the desired colourful sheen finish to the floor, whilst also guaranteeing durable surface protection for the future. Seal & Go is suitable for use on internal, unsealed porous surfaces such as Terracotta, Sandstone, Slate, and more.

Grubby Terracotta and Slate Conservatory Floor Bicester After Cleaning

My client was very pleased with the results. They were especially happy to see the fantastic natural colours and shades in the tiles brought to life again, after forgetting they were there to begin with!
 
 
Source: Professional Tile, Stone and Grout cleaning services in Oxfordshire

Terracotta Floor Refresh to Assist Property Sale

This client in the East Sussex town of Wadhurst, was selling her country cottage and wanting to achieve the best price decided to have the Terracotta tiled kitchen floor restored before she put property on the market. Personally I think this is a great idea as you want to show the house at its best; I guess Estate Agents and Sarah Beeny would call it staging the property, although she should do well as it was a lovely cottage and Wadhurst is an old, quiet market town lying on a high ridge in the area known as the Weald, between the North and South Downs and so should prove popular.

The Terracotta tiled floor was in real need of a good clean and seal which is not surprising considering that the kitchen is generally a very high traffic area in most houses and, in this case, the family Labrador loved to use it as a play area. Terracotta tiles have been used for over 2000 years, having been first popularised by the ancient Romans. However, one downside to them is that, due to the lack of surface glaze, they can pick up dirt very quickly, which can become ingrained in the tiles if not removed quickly.

Terracotta tiles before cleaning in Wadhurst Terracotta tiles before cleaning in Wadhurst

Cleaning a Terracotta tiled floor

After removing the client’s Labrador from the kitchen, I set to work cleaning the floor using a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. I applied a layer of the solution to the floor, before leaving it for a short period to dwell and soak into the pores of the Terracotta. I then set to work scrubbing the cleaning solution into the tiles and, since Pro-Clean acts as both a cleaner and a stripper, the any remaining old sealer quickly came off.

The Pro-Clean successfully lifted the ingrained dirt out of the tiles leaving the colourful terracotta looking much cleaner. It also had a dramatic effect on the colour of the grout, transforming it from a mucky shade of tan to cleaner looking yellow.

Sealing a Terracotta tiled floor

After cleaning and a thorough rinse, I left the floor to dry over the weekend, but not before instructing the client to keep the dog out of the kitchen during this time. It was important to allow the floor sufficient time to dry completely, as any excess moisture left over from cleaning could affect the performance of the sealer.

Terracotta tiles after cleaning in Wadhurst Terracotta tiles after cleaning in Wadhurst

My sealer of choice was Tile Doctor Seal & Go, which I applied to the floor to provide it with not only a nice low-sheen finish, but also a stain resistant surface seal that will protect the tiles against dirt in the long-term. Seal & Go is a suitable sealer for unsealed porous surfaces like Terracotta, Victorian tile, textured Quarry and Slate.

My client was very pleased with the results of the clean and seal, and so was I. The Terracotta tiled floor in the kitchen of her house is a fantastic feature, and I’m sure whoever buys the country cottage will love it as well.
 
 
Source: Professional Tile, Stone and Grout Cleaning service in East Sussex

Putting life back into Terracotta tiles

This customer in Henfield was contemplating digging up her Terracotta kitchen floor and replacing it, the tiles were ingrained with dirt which had proved impossible to remove and as a consequence were left looking flat, dull and very un-appealing. Additionally she had an elderly dog that had been ill several times in the corner area and she really struggled to make it look decent again. Following a quick test I was able to persuade her to try a clean and re-seal first.

Terracotta Kitchen Tiles Before Cleaning in Henfield

Terracotta Tile Cleaning

The first step was to deep clean the floor to remove the ingrained dirt and any previous sealers. As well as the dog I had two rugby playing sons to deal with so to make it easier for the family I split the floor up into areas and worked on one area at a time.

Terracotta Kitchen Tiles Before Cleaning in Henfield Terracotta Kitchen Tiles Before Cleaning in Henfield

The tiles were first soaked in a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean before scrubbing it into the tile and grout with a black pad fitted to a buffing machine. The tiles were rinsed, the now dirty cleaning solution extracted and the process repeated until I was happy that the Pro-Clean had done its trick and the floor was as clean as it could be.

The Terracotta tiles now looked clean but completely washed out so I assured the customer that once the tiles had been sealed the colour would return and more. Unsealed Terracotta marks easily so given I left the customer dust sheets to walk on.

Terracotta Tile Sealing

I returned after two days to ensure any moisture had left the tile and proceeded to seal with six coats of Tile Doctor Pro-Seal which is highly recommended for use in food preparation areas and gives a high gloss finish whilst providing maximum stain protection. As each coat takes 40 minutes to dry I took the opportunity to clean her slate front door step as well.

Terracotta Kitchen Tiles After Cleaning and sealing in Henfield

The customer was very happy with the finished floor and I’m glad to report she has decided to keep the floor.

Terracotta Kitchen Tiles After Cleaning and sealing in Henfield

 
 
Source: Professional Tile, Stone and Grout maintenance service in East Sussex

Maintaining Terracotta Floor Tiles

The before picture below was actually taken after another cleaning company had come in to clean these Terracotta floor tiles for a client in the city of Oxford; well what can I say except they then called Tile Doctor.

Terracotta Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Oxford

Cleaning Terracotta Tile

I started by doing a test on a small area and realised that I could strip the remaining sealer from the floor with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean which is also an effective cleaner and safe to use on stone and tiled floors. So I diluted Pro Clean with warm water and spread this on the floor leaving it to dwell for twenty minutes before scrubbing it in with a black padf fitted to my Rocky floor machine. This worked very well on the floor and the cleaning solution was soon dirty with the released soil which was removed using a wet vacuum and more water to rinse it away and dry the floor as much as possible.

Sealing Terracotta Tile

Satisfied that the floor was now as clean as it could be I left for the day and returned the next day to seal the floor, first checking that the tiles were dry and ready to be sealed.

Sealing was done in two stages starting with an initial coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that adds life to the natural colours in the tiles and gives the floor a good base for the next sealer. The second stage was to apply a few coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go which builds up a surface seal that leaves a nice sheen to the floor as requested by the customer.

Terracotta Tiled Floor After Cleaning Oxford

 
 
Source: Professional Tile, Stone and Grout maintenance service in Oxfordshire

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

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