Removing ingrained dirt from Terracotta Tiles

This Terracotta Tiled Floor in the lounge of a house in Edinburgh was ingrained with dirt from what must have been years of use since it was last given a thorough deep clean and seal.

Terracotta Floor Tiles Edinburgh Before Cleaning

Cleaning Terracotta Tile and Grout

This floor was very dirty so to get them clean a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean was applied and left to soak into the pores in the Terracotta for a good while. More Pro-Clean was applied and then worked into the tiles using a rotary bonnet machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. This action saw the dirt coming out of the floor a

Very Dirty Terracotta Floor Tiles Cleaned

We were asked to restore the Terracotta tiled floor at an old cottage in the village of Wing which was way overdue for a good deep clean and re-seal. In fact the tiles were so dirty they were black in some areas, which you can see for yourself in the photograph below.

Terracotta Tiles in Wing Before Cleaning

Cleaning Terracotta Floor Tiles

Fortunately this sort of work is bread and butter to a Tile Doctor and the process is relatively straight forward. The first job was to apply a reasonably strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is an industrial strength alkaline Tile Cleaning product that is safe to use on Tile, Stone and Grout. This was left to dwell on the tile for a while and then scrubbed into using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad, a stiff hand brush was used on the grout where the scrubbing pad struggled to reach.

The next step was to wash the floor using a Rotovac machine which applies water at a high pressure and also removes it to a storage tank using it’s built in vacuum. This finishes off the cleaning process and also washes the floor down with clean water to remove any remaining cleaning solution and neutralise the tile to remove any trace of cleaning chemical before sealing.

Terracotta Tile Sealing

The floor was left to dry overnight and when we returned the next day when the floor was completely dry to seal using seven coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which works well on Terracotta providing on-going stain protection as well as adding a nice shine to the tile. As you can see the floor cleaned up really well and now looks like a Terracotta floor should.

Terracotta Tiles in Wing After Cleaning

 
 
Source: Stone, Tile and Grout Cleaning Service in Buckinghamshire

Removing Efflorescence from Terracotta Tile

At first glance and this Terracotta tiled floor at a house in the village of Great Bourton looks in good condition, but on closer inspection there were visible white marks where there had been a water leak in previous years and the salts had come through the tiles. The customer also told me she had to wax the floor on a regular basis and was looking for a seal where she didn’t have to do this.

Terracotta Tiled Floor in Great Bourton Before Cleaning 1 Terracotta Tiled Floor in Great Bourton Before  Cleaning 2

Cleaning Terracotta Tile

My first task was to protect all the skirting and kickboards with protective tape. I then mixed Tile Doctor Pro Clean with water and spread it over a section of the floor and then left it to dwell for a few minutes. The solution was then scrubbed in with a black pad on a 17inch rotary floor scrubbing machine. I then used a wet vacuum to remove the slurry and rinsed the floor with water. This process was repeated this process until the whole floor was scrubbed and rinsed with any stubborn areas re-treated.

To remove the white salts from the Terracotta I applied Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up over the floor which was scrubbed in and then removed using the wet vacuum. The whole floor was then thoroughly rinsed with water and the wet vacuum used to suck up the water until it the surface was dry.

The photograph below shows the terracotta floor at this stage with the floor clean and stripped back before re-sealing. I left the floor a couple of days at this point to allow it fully dry before applying the sealer.

Terracotta Tiled Floor in Great Bourton After Stripping

Sealing Terracotta Tile

On my return I checked the floor had dried and then applied two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating seal that enhances the natural colour of terracotta, I then added five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a topical sealer giving it the nice finish the customer required.

The customer was really pleased with the results and also relieved that she would not have to keep waxing the floor; whilst I was there I demonstrated how to clean the floor using Tile Doctor Neutral cleaner which unlike acidic cleaners will not harm the sealer.

Terracotta Tiled Floor in Great Bourton After Cleaning 1 Terracotta Tiled Floor in Great Bourton After Cleaning 2

The floor looks much better and certainly my customer thought so and left the following feedback on the system.

Very pleasant young man and he has done a great job. The kitchen floor is transformed. Thank you Barry!
 
 
Source: Terracotta problems resolved in Oxfordshire

Terracotta Floor Transformation

This customer had recently moved into a house with a Terracotta Tiled Floor in Thame, Oxfordshire and decided she did not like the colour of the floor grout and also was unable to clean off some back marks in the corners. When I went to view the property I performed a test clean on a sample area to show her that the black marks could be removed and also stripped back the tile show how much cleaner they could look. The work was agreed and I was booked to come back and completely strip the floor tile, reseal it and also change the grout colour.

Terracotta Tiled Floor Thame Before Cleaning

Cleaning Terracotta Tile

On the first day I carefully taped up all the kitchen cupboards and skirting board to protect them from any splashes or damage. Once this was done a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a multi-purpose cleaner and stripper was applied to the Terracotta floor tiles and left to soak into the tile for a while before being worked in with a rotary machine fitted with a black stripping pad and then a floor scrubber.

Once the whole floor had been treated in this manner the now soiled Pro-Clean solution was removed from the floor using a wet vacuum and then the floor rinsed with clean water using a spinner tool attached to the wet vacuum. The spinner tool has been a great investment for us, it applies water under pressure to the floor and at the same time removes it via an adjacent suction connection saving loads of time; it’s also a versatile tool that can also be used for Carpet Cleaning which incidentally we also do.

The Terracotta tile was now stripped of all sealer so the next step was to cleaned the black grout with Grout Clean Up which is a mild acid cleaner that can remedy a number of grout related issues, after this I rinsed the floor again with fresh water. At this point I noticed some of the grout joints had loose or missing grout so the loose grout was removed and new grout applied to the affected areas, I then had to wait overnight so the floor could dry.

Sealing Terracotta Tile

On the second day I set about sealing the floor using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which as well as protecting the floor also brings out the natural colours in the Terracotta tile. For added protection and to enhance the shine on the floor I then applied a further five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, the combination of the two compatible sealers provided the effect the customer wanted. I then had to wait overnight for the sealer to dry hard.

Grout Colouring

If you recall from the start of this post, the customer also wanted to change the grout colour to a light grey so I came back for a third day to complete this. With the original grout colour being black I was concerned that the dark grout may show through the lighter grey and so I first let the customer know that it might take two coats of Grout Colourant to achieve this. However once I got started colouring the grout using an applicator I noticed that the light grey was consistently covering the black grout and therefore one coat would be sufficient.

Terracotta Tiled Floor Thame After Cleaning and Sealing

When I had finished she was very impressed by the colour of the tile and grout and remarked on how much brighter her kitchen looked. She also asked me to come back later to do the hall floor which is a multi coloured Victorian floor.
 
 
Source: Specialist Terracotta tile transformations in Oxfordshire

Cleaning Old Terracotta Tiles in Bedfordshire

This was an old Terracotta tiled floor at a house in the village of Toddington where the previous sealer had been worn off allowing dirt and soil to penetrate into the tile, naturally this made it difficult to clean and it was now overdue for a good deep clean and re-seal.

Old-Terracotta-Floor-Toddington-Before-Cleaning

Cleaning Terracotta Floor Tiles

To get rid of any remaining sealer and get the tiles clean we applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed 50/50 with NanoTech UltraClean which combines a heavy duty alkaline cleaner that can also be used as a stripper with tiny abrasive particles. The resultant cleaning solution was left to dwell on the surface of the tile for twenty minutes before working it into the tiles with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The soiled solution was then removed from the floor using a wet and dry vacuum and the stubborn areas re-treated. Once I was happy the floor was clean and any remaining sealer removed the whole floor was washed down to neutralise the tile and remove any trace of cleaning chemical before sealing. Leaving the old sealer on any cleaning solution on the tile could have an unexpected impact on the sealer so it’s always best to make sure this is done thoroughly.

Terracotta Tile Sealing

The floor was left to dry overnight and when we returned the next day when the floor was completely dry to seal using seven coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go (Terracotta is very porous) which works well on Terracotta adding a nice shine to the tile as well as providing on-going stain protection. The final result looked great and will last for many years to come, the customer was so happy with the finish.

Old-Terracotta-Floor-Toddington-After-Cleaning-and-Sealing

 
 
Source: Terracotta Tile Cleaning Services in Bedfordshire

Choosing a Sealer for Terracotta Tiles

Pictures below of another Terracotta tiled floor that was deep cleaned and then sealed, this time in Whipsnade. You can see from the photograph below the floor was in good physical condition but was looking washed out and had staining to the grout.

Terracotta Floor Whipsnade Before Cleaning

Cleaning Terracotta Floor Tiles

To deep clean the Terracotta tile and grout I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed 50/50 with NanoTech Ultra Clean to produce a heavy duty alkaline cleaner with nano sized abrasive particles that can clean deep into the tile. The resulting solution was left to soak into the Terracotta for 10-20 minutes before being worked in with a Rotovac machine fitted with a Tile and Grout head attachment. The Rotovac is a powerful and versatile tool that can also be used to clean carpet as well as tile and connects to separate machine that feeds high pressure water to the unit as well as generating a vacuum to remove the dirty water back to a separate tank. Once we were happy that the floor we left for the day so the floor could dry.

Terracotta Tile Sealing

We returned two days later to seal the floor which we did using a combination of two compatible sealers. First off we applied two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a premium impregnating sealer that soaks into the tile and brings out the natural colour. Once this was dry five coats for Tile Doctor Seal and Go were applied which is a surface sealer that adds a nice subtle sheen to the floor as well as topping up the stain protection.

Terracotta Floor Whipsnade After Cleaning and Sealing

 
 
Source: Sealing Terracotta Tiles in Bedfordshire

Cleaning a Terracotta tiled floor in Bedfordshire

Details below of a Terracotta tiled floor at a house in Leighton Buzzard which was in need of a deep clean and re-seal.

Cleaning Terracotta Floor Tiles

To get the tiles clean we applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed 50/50 with NanoTech Ultra Clean which combines into a heavy duty alkaline cleaner containing nano sized abrasive particles that cleans deep into the tile. For best results let the cleaning solution dwell on the surface of the tile for 10-20 minutes before working it into the tiles with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The soiled solution was then removed from the floor using a wet and dry vacuum and the stubborn areas treated with a steamer, following that the whole floor was washed down to remove any remaining chemical before sealing.

Leighton Buzzard Terracotta Before and After

Terracotta Tile Sealing

We returned when the floor was dry to seal using seven coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go (Terracotta is very porous) which works well on Terracotta adding a nice shine to the tile as well as providing on-going stain protection.
 
 
Source: Terracotta Floor Tile Cleaning

Restoration of Terracotta Floor in a Kitchen Area

This Terracotta tiled floor was installed in the kitchen of a house in Fareham. The floor was in need of a deep clean especially in the high traffic areas where the sealer had worn down and on the tiles near the kitchen units there were some stubborn stains from spillages.

Fareham Terracotta Floor Before

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. The cleaning process was repeated a couple of times and a stiff hand brush was used along the grout lines to clean up the grout. To treat the suborn stains we mixed Pro-Clean 50/50 with Tile Doctor NanoTech UltraClean which adds tiny abrasive particles to the cleaner making it even more effective; its best to leave the resultant solution to soak into the tile for half an hour before working it in with a scrubbing brush. Once happy the floor was clean it was given a thorough rinse to remove any remaining chemical and left it to dry overnight.

Fareham Terracotta Floor During

Sealing Terracotta Tile

The next day came back to seal the Terracotta but first checked the floor 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 sealant 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.

Fareham Terracotta Floor Finished

The work took two days in all and you can see the difference for yourself, the Terracotta tile and grout look wonderful and have lifted the overall look of the Kitchen.
 
 
Source: Terracotta Floor Maintenance in Hampshire