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

Maintaining the Appearance of Polished Terracotta in North-Buckinghamshire

This old Terracotta floor in Shenley Brook End near Milton Keynes was already dirty with very little sealer intact when our customer moved into the property. Then after having extensive building work done throughout the property they were in desperate need of a Tile Doctor service to improve the look of the floor.

Old Terracotta Floor Before Cleaning in Shenley Brook End

Cleaning Old Terracotta Floor Tiles

We started by applying a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to the floor which is our go to cleaning product for all types of Tile, Stone and Grout. After approximately 20 minutes of dwell time we scrubbed the floor 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.

Having removed the soiled cleaning solution, we could see the result achieved on the floor and although there was a massive improvement there were some tiles we still were not totally happy with. We went back to these tiles and applied a stronger Tile Doctor product called NanoTech HBU which stands for Heavy Build-Up remover. We gave this an hour to dwell.

Whilst the NanoTech was doing its magic on the problem tiles we went to work scrubbing all the grout lines by hand using more Pro-Clean. Once we had finished cleaning the grout we gave the whole floor one more rinse and were pleased to see the problem tiles were now looking much better.

Sealing Old Terracotta Floor Tiles

We then left the floor to dry off completely overnight and returned the following day to seal the floor. Made from clay Terracotta is very porous and needs to be sealed to stop dirt becoming ingrained in the tile, it also improves its general appearance.

To fully seal the floor, we used six coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which will provide complete protection against stains and dirt, Seal and Go also adds an appealing satin sheen to the tile.

Old Terracotta Floor After Cleaning in Shenley Brook End

For an old floor that has been exposed to building work it’s now looking much cleaner and healthier; more importantly the customer was delighted with the service and left the following glowing review which is always appreciated:

Andrew and his colleagues (including Gemma in the office) could not have been more helpful and courteous. They are some of the tidiest tradesmen we’ve met! The results have exceeded our expectations and the service is very cost-effective compared to the cost of a new tiled floor, so happy customers all round. Thanks again!
 
 
Source: Terracotta Tile Cleaning & Sealing Service in Buckinghamshire

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

Putting new life into a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen in Somerset

Anyone with familiar with tile cleaning and maintenance will know that Terracotta is one of the most difficult of tiles to seal. This is due to the clay being particularly porous thus requiring several coatings of sealer to ensure complete saturation and protection against ingrained dirt and stains. The next problem is that a sealer will wear down in high traffic areas first and without regular maintenance will wear off allowing dirt to penetrate resulting in areas which seem to be impossible to keep clean.

Terracotta Floor Before Cleaning Minehead Somerset

At this property in Minehead, the coastal town in Somerset known for its beaches, the sealer on the Terracotta kitchen tiles had not been maintained in over four years and during that time, the sealer had deteriorated, allowing dirt and dust to enter the pores of the stone. Trying to get the floor to look clean was now an impossible task so I was contacted by the property owner to resolve the problem first by cleaning the tiles with professional products and methods, and second by applying a fresh sealer.

Terracotta Floor Before Cleaning Minehead Somerset

Cleaning a Dirty Terracotta Tiled Floor

My focus for the cleaning process was soak the Terracotta tiles in Tile Doctor Pro-Clean for around ten minutes before scrubbing the solution 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 solution was extracted from the floor using a wet vacuum and the then the floor rinsed with water. With the floor clear I was able to see stubborn areas that need more work and spot treated them using the same process.
One I was happy that the floor was clean and free of old sealers it was given 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 fresh, dry, and ready to be sealed.

My sealer of choice was Tile Doctor Seal and Go, a topical sealant which provides a robust seal and the durable low sheen finish in one product. Sealing the floor took some time as you need to let the first coat dry before applying the second and if you recall from my note at the beginning of this post it’s important to use several coats of sealer on Terracotta to achieve saturation due to the naturally high porosity of the clay.

Terracotta Floor After Cleaning Minehead Somerset

The floor is now fully sealed and looking like new, additionally It will be easy to keep clean simply by using a mop and Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which is a pH neutral product designed for the routine cleaning of sealed tiled floors.

Terracotta Floor After Cleaning Minehead Somerset

 
 
Source: Terracotta Tile and Grout Cleaning and Restoration Service in Somerset

Dealing With Grout Smears On New Terracotta Floor Tiles

This newly installed Herringbone-style Terracotta tiled floor in a refurbished kitchen was heavily covered with patches of grout haze. The customer, who lives in the town of Cogenhoe, Northampton informed me that the tiler had supposedly sealed the floor before grouting. If this was true, the grout haze should have been very easy to remove.

However, the tiler had clearly not been entirely truthful as, when I arrived at the property to carry out a test clean, I found very little evidence of any sealer whatsoever. Nonetheless, I found that the grout haze was easily removed using a solution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up, a concentrated phosphoric acid cleaner which is designed specifically for the removal of haze, mineral deposits and efflorescence.

Herringbone design terracotta floor before Cogenhoe Herringbone design terracotta floor before Cogenhoe

These Terracotta tiles were very pitted and the original tiler was correct to fill the small holes with grout to complement the rustic look of the tiles, but he should have taken the correct measures to ensure that a white misty grout haze didn’t appear over the whole area!

The customer was happy for me to proceed with restoring the floor, but also very concerned that her newly installed hand painted kitchen units would be damaged by the chemical cleaning products. I assured her that I would cover them up completely and carry out all work along the plinths by hand.

Removing Grout Haze from Terracotta Tiles

Once on site, I covered the kitchen units to protect them and proceeded to mix up a solution of Grout Clean Up. This was applied firstly around the edges of the floor and scrubbed into the stone by hand using a stiff brush.

Working in areas of four square metres each so as to not the leave the product on the floor too long, I applied the solution to pre-wet the floor ready for the next part of the process. This was to apply Tile Doctor Acid Gel, our blend of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids, leave it to dwell for a few minutes has then agitate it to neutralise and remove the copious grout haze. Once each area had been treated I rinsed it with water to remove any chemicals.

Herringbone design terracotta floor during Cogenhoe Herringbone design terracotta floor during Cogenhoe

Sealing Terracotta Tiles

With the entire floor treated, I installed a dehumidifier to help the tiles to dry quickly overnight. The next day I returned to the property to apply two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer. This is an impregnating sealer which provides robust protection while also lifting the natural shades in the Terracotta.

Each coat was polished in by hand, leaving an hour for drying between coats. I then waited another hour before giving the whole floor a final polish with a buffing machine to remove any excess sealant.

Herringbone design terracotta floor after Cogenhoe Herringbone design terracotta floor after Cogenhoe

The result achieved in the space of 24 hours was fantastic and the customer was exceptionally pleased. Despite the severity of the grout haze problem, the combination of the right products allowed me to handily resolve it. The addition of a properly applied and top quality sealer will help to ensure the floor is protected from staining, something which is essential in a kitchen.
 
 
Source: Tile and Grout Cleaning Service in Northamptonshire

Refreshing the appearance of Terracotta Tiles in Cambridgeshire

Due to its naturally high porosity, Terracotta is more susceptible to ingrained dirt than other types of stone tile. Typically, this downside is simple to offset with professional maintenance, including deep cleaning with suitable products and maintaining the sealer.

Terracotta Tiled Floor Before Clean and Seal in Great Gransden

Unfortunately, this Terracotta tiled floor at a property in Great Gransden (famous for being home to England’s oldest remaining windmill), had not been treated to professional maintenance for at least a decade. As you can imagine, the extremely outdated sealer had gradually broken down in most areas of the floor, leaving the tiles exposed to dirt and grime. I was asked by the property owner to restore the floor back to its original condition, and was more than happy to oblige!

Terracotta Tiled Floor Before Clean and Seal in Great Gransden

Cleaning a Dirty Terracotta Tiled Floor

The first step in the restoration was to strip the floor of the very old sealer by applying Tile Doctor Pro Clean, which both breaks down old sealers and removes light to medium soil buildup. After allowing the product twenty minutes to dwell, I went over the floor with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine to ensure all of the old sealer was removed, mopping and rinsing the floor several times during the process.

Following this, I used a steamer in combination with Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU – a cleaner that uses nano-sized particles to penetrate and dissolve tough stains – to tidy up some of the more stubborn areas of muck. Finally, I gave the entire floor, including the grout lines, an acid rinse with Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up to remove inherent grout haze etc.

Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Floor

Once the cleaning process was complete, I left the floor to dry completely for 24 hours. This is the typical drying time for most natural stone floors, although the process will be sped up if there is a damp proof membrane or underfloor heating installed.

Terracotta Tiled Floor After Clean and Seal in Great Gransden

Upon my return to the property the next day I ran some damp tests to check for excess moisture, as this can cloud the sealer. Thankfully the floor was dry and I was able to start sealing the Terracotta starting with a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that seeps into the pores of the tile enhancing the natural colours and adding protection from within. One this was dry I continued the process by applying four further coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go to achieve the desired sheen finish.

Terracotta Tiled Floor After Clean and Seal in Great Gransden

I made sure to give my very happy customer some advice on cleaning before departing the property as sealers do wear down over time so it’s important to maximise their longevity by using a pH neutral cleaning product for everyday cleaning.
 
 
Source: Terracotta Tile and Grout Cleaning and Sealing Service in Cambrideshire

Maintaining Spanish Terracotta Tiles in Yorkshire

Terracotta is an interesting type of stone manufactured using a variety of techniques dependant on the country of origin which leads to a number of differences such as Spanish Terracotta being less porous than its Mexican counterpart: the former is semi-hand made and finished in a factory kiln, while the latter is completely handmade. Spanish Terracotta is therefore a lot less than porous and ultimately, of a higher quality.

Spanish Terracotta Hallway Before Cleaning Halifax

But despite the Spanish Terracotta being less porous, and therefore being less prone to ingrained dirt, it still, like any other stone, needs regular maintenance to keep it looking smart. In the tiling trade, we quite often refer to this as a good old fashioned ‘Clean and Seal’ and this is exactly what was requested by this property owner in Halifax, for their Spanish Terracotta tiled floors in the kitchen and adjacent hallway.

Cleaning Spanish Terracotta Tiles

I cleaned both sets of Terracotta tiles using the same process, which involved the application of our reliable alkaline cleaner known as Tile a Doctor Pro Clean, diluted with five parts of warm water. Once the solution had been left to dwell for a short period, it was scrubbed into the tiles to remove all dust, dirt, and general muck. This created a slurry of cleaning residue, which I promptly soaked up using a wet vac. A wet vac machine is an essential tool when it comes to cleaning porous tiles since, unlike a traditional mop and bucket, it sucks the excess trapped dirt out of the clay and thus provides a superior clean.

Following this, I applied a small amount of our heavy duty remover, known as Tile Doctor Remove & Go, to deal with some of the more stubborn stains and paint splashes, before rinsing with clean water and wet vaxing in a similar fashion to before.

Spanish Terracotta Kitchen After Cleaning Halifax

Sealing Spanish Terracotta Tiles

Once the clean had been completed I left the tiles to dry completely. This can take 12 to 24 hours depending on numerous factors including whether a Damp proof Membrane and underfloor heating has been installed which can really help reduce drying times. Letting the tiles dry completely before sealing is paramount as moisture can cloud the sealer and affect its performance.

Upon my return to the property I ran some quick damp tests, which revealed the tiles were ready to be sealed. I then applied several coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, our topical sealer which provides a satin finish and accentuates colour. A new coat of this product is recommended every six months on Terracotta to ensure the continuous protection of the tiles’ soft clay particles.

Spanish Terracotta Hallway After Cleaning and Sealing Halifax

My customer was extremely pleased with her refreshed Terracotta tiles. It goes to show what a big difference a bit of regular maintenance can make. I advised the customer that an everyday cleaner called Tile Doctor pH Neutral cleaner can also be used regularly to keep the tiles looking great without damaging the sealer.

Spanish Terracotta Kitchen After Cleaning and Sealing Halifax

 
 
Source: Terracotta Tile and Grout Cleaning and Sealing Service in Yorkshire

Restorating the Appearance of a Terracotta Tiled floor

In our experience there is a general lack of good maintenance advice given when new tiled floors are installed which results in floors that looked fantastic following installation losing their appearance of the years that follow. Naturally Tile Doctor aims to fill this gap and this Terracotta tiled floor at a property in Twickenham, Middlesex is a good example. It had not been professionally cleaned since it was installed 18 years prior and due to a multitude of advice over the year’s various oils and sealers had been erroneously applied, leaving a build up of routine maintenance residues in the tile.

Terracotta Floor Before Deep Clean in Twickenham

Furthermore, due to its natural porosity, Terracotta tends to allow dirt and stains to become ingrained, making the tiles even more difficult to clean – and keep clean, for that matter. These types of floors need regular maintenance or the only remedy is to strip and deep clean the tiles followed by the application of a fresh seal which is exactly what we had to do in this case.

Deep Cleaning a Dirty Terracotta Tiled Floor

To restore the appearance of this floor I would need to strip off the old coatings; fortunately, we have a strong product just for that purpose so to start with I liberally covered the tiles in our heavy duty coatings remover, Tile Doctor Remove and Go. It helps break down old sealers and oils and I left it to soak in for ten minutes so it could get a good start. I then machine scrubbed the floor with a 17″ scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine which takes a lot of the hard work out of the job, although I still need to hand scrub in the corners and along the grout lines with a stiff brush.

Terracotta Floor Deep Clean During Grout Scrubbing in Twickenham

All of the resulting cleaning chemicals and soiled residue were then flushed and vacuumed away with our pressure rinsing system. This method leaves the Terracotta tiles completely fresh and clean, ready to receive a new sealer.

Sealing a Terracotta Tiled a Floor

I left the property overnight, giving the floor a full 24 hours to dry completely. As most who read my posts will already know, a floor with outstanding damp issues cannot be sealed as even the slightest quantity of moisture can cloud the sealer and damage its performance.

Terracotta Floor Deep Clean after grout scrubbing in Twickenham

Upon my return to the property I ran a few damp tests as a matter of precaution. Once satisfied that the floor was completely dry, I proceeded to seal the tiles using seven coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, which works really well on Terracotta providing an aesthetically pleasing sheen finish and forms a stain resistant layer on the surface of the tiles to protect them from dirt and stains. I should mention it’s also a water based sealer so there’s no solvent smell given off as it dries which is always a bonus.

Terracotta Floor After Deep Clean and seal in Twickenham

As you can see from the pictures, the restoration has restored the lustre and colour of the Terracotta and the grout looks much cleaner; the very happy customer can be assured that maintaining the condition of the Terracotta will be much easier in the future.
 
 
Source: Terracotta Tile Cleaning and Maintenance Service in Middlesex

Commissioning a new Terracotta Tiled Floor in Warwickshire

Newly built properties are not without their problems and often take a while to resolve all the snagging which occasionally extends to resolving problems with newly laid tiled floors. At this new property in the village of Malvern, and overlooked by the Malvern hills, the builders had left the Terracotta tiled kitchen floor covered in grout smears (also known as Grout Haze) following installation. They had also neglected to seal the tiles, which was actually quite fortunate in this case as they would have sealed in the grout haze, making it more difficult to remove.

Naturally, the property owner wanted the problem to be resolved as soon as possible, and for me to make the tiles easy to keep clean in future, which can be achieved by sealing the tile.

Grout Haze Removed from new Terracotta Tiles at Malvern Village

Removing Grout Haze from a Terracotta Tiled Floor

Before starting work, I made sure to fully protect any exposed woodwork with a plastic sheet covering to protect them from potential damage. I then proceeded to give the floor a thorough clean, using Tile Doctor Remove and Go to clean the floor and eradicate some stains that had been left behind as a result of the building work.

Grout Haze Removed from new Terracotta Tiles at Malvern Village Grout Haze Removed from new Terracotta Tiles at Malvern Village

Next, I paid special attention to the grout, where the very visible problem of grout haze had arisen. To neutralise these smears I used Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up, a concentrated phosphoric acid cleaner that can also remove alkaline mineral deposits and efflorescence. Grout Clean Up is only to be used on acid resistant stone, as sensitive stone can suffer from irreparable etching if it comes into contact with the product.

Once completely clean and free of grout smears the floor was thoroughly rinsed with water to remove any trace of product and then dried as much as possible with a wet vacuum, afterwards an air mover was installed to speed up the drying process.

Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Floor

Later that afternoon the floor was dry and I was able to apply a sealer. To do this I opted to use several coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra, a topical, fully breathable sealer that works really well on Terracotta.

Grout Haze Removed from new Terracotta Tiles at Malvern Village

The sealer builds up a layer of protection on the surface of the tiles, protecting against ingrained dirt and stains. Seal and Go Extra also provides a high quality sheen finish which really did well to enhance the look of the Terracotta.

Grout Haze Removed from new Terracotta Tiles at Malvern Village

The property owner was exceptionally pleased with the results, and to have this problem dealt with quickly and efficiently, additionally the sealer will ensure the Kitchen floor is easy to keep clean in the future.
 
 
Source: Terracotta Tile Cleaning and Maintenance Service in Warwickshire

Terracotta Hallway Tiles Restored in Cheshire

These Terracotta tiles, located at a property in the town of Pendle, Lancashire had the unique circumstances of being covered by a thick layer of wax which had turned black over the years. Anyone from the Lancs area will have heard of the famous Pendle Witch Trials, and we would need to channel some serious magic to successfully remove the unsightly wax.

The wax had been settled on the tiles for many years, proving difficult to remove even for a seasoned tile cleaning professional, especially since Terracotta has a high porosity and therefore allows the muck to become more easily ingrained. We had to employ all of our years of experience to get the job done. Here’s how we did it.

Black Terracotta in Pendle Before Cleaning Black Terracotta in Pendle Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Wax Covered Terracotta Tiled Floor

Our main product of choice when dealing with the heavy wax build-up was the strong alkaline gel cleaner, Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel. Oxy-Gel is a stripper and degreaser that functions very similarly to our liquid alkaline cleaner, Tile Doctor Pro Clean, the main difference being that Oxy-Gel is in gel form, making it usable on vertical and sloped surfaces.

The thicker consistency of Oxy-Gel would make for a better foil for the thick buildup of wax: we applied it to the tiles and worked it in using a series of buffing pads fitted to a buffing machine. We also employed the assistance of a steaming machine that helped to soften the wax and make it easier to break down. A lot of rinsing with clean water was required, and several wet-vax machines were used to remove the excess cleaning residue, but it quickly became clear that we had finally achieved the result the customer was hoping for.

Black Terracotta in Pendle After Cleaning Before Sealing

Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Floor

As was to be expected, the new unveiled tiles were very dull and lifeless, having not been sealed properly for a number of years. To restore the colour and lustre to the tiles we opted to use two different sealers. The first was one coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, an impregnating sealer which penetrates into the pores of the Terracotta to block dirt from becoming trapped. It also contains colour intensifying properties which really brought out the natural reddish shades in the stone.

The second was Tile Doctor Seal and Go, which differs from its impregnating counterpart in that it is a topical sealer. This means that it forms a layer of protection of the surface of the tiles, as opposed to in the pores of the stone. Seal and Go eliminates the need for two-step sealing by providing both a protective layer and a durable, aesthetic sheen finish in the same product.

As you can see from the last two photographs, this combination of sealers really helped in getting these Terracotta tiles looking at their best again after years of neglect under the layer of black wax. We left our very happy customer with some advice to only use pH neutral cleaners for aftercare as general maintenance producers, including bleaches and washing up liquids can reduce the life of the sealer.

Black Terracotta in Pendle After Cleaning and Sealing Black Terracotta in Pendle After Cleaning and Sealing

 
 
Source: Terracotta Tile Cleaning and Maintenance Service in Cheshire

Restoring the Appearance of Terracotta Kitchen Tiles in Monmouthshire

Terracotta may be one of the most aesthetically pleasing types of tiled floor, but as many of our customers will tell you can be particularly difficult to keep clean. This is due to the naturally high porosity of clay, which allows dirt to become very easily trapped. Quite commonly this situation is made worse by a lack of an adequate sealer to block the intrusion of muck. Of course, poor quality cleaning products also make it difficult for property owners to keep their Terracotta tiles clean, and a combination of the two problems can leave these floors looking a lot like this one, located in the kitchen of a house in the beautiful Forest of Dean.

Terracotta Kitchen Floor Forest of Dean Before

The property owner was keen to have me restore some character to her dull Terracotta tiles. It was proving increasingly difficult for her to keep them clean due to the reasons described before, and the grout had also become very dirty. So, the customer turned to me for some professional assistance.

Cleaning a Dirty Terracotta Tiled Floor in the Forest of Dean

While these Terracotta tiles had been sealed previously it had, over time, lost its ability to protect the stone against ingrained dirt. To remove the old excess sealer my product of choice was the heavy duty soil remover and stripper, Tile Doctor Remove & Go, which I applied liberally across the surface and scrubbed in to the tile used a rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. This also helped to remove the trapped dirt and left the stone looking fresher.

Once the old sealer was removed – to be replaced with a fresh sealer once cleaning was complete – I was free to focus on the troublesome grout lines with Tile Doctor Pro Clean, an alkaline cleaner that reliably breaks down dirt. When cleaning the grout, I opted to use a handheld grout brush that allowed for more precise, careful application of the product.

As per usual, the floor was given a good rinse and left to dry for 24 hours.

Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Floor

Upon returning to the property I checked the floor was completely dry, ready for sealing. My process for sealing actually involved the application of two different kinds of sealer; initially I applied a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which has soaks into the pores of the tile and has the added bonus of enhancing its natural colours.

Once this had dried I then applied ix coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, a product which forms a durable layer of protection of the surface of the tiles and at the same time provides a lovely sheen finish.

Terracotta Kitchen Floor Forest of Dean After

The combination of the two sealers will certainly offer a long-term solution to the ingrained dirt problem, and the appearance-enhancing properties in the products really helped to transform the tiles from dull and dirty to lively and eye-catching. Nonetheless, before departing the property, I also left my very pleased customer with some cleaning advice for the future.
 
 
Source: Terracotta Tile Cleaning and Maintenance Service in Monmouthshire

Deep Cleaning And Sealing Stained Terracotta Tiles in Derbyshire

Having an effective sealer in place is essential for ensuring the long term condition of tiled floors in fact a lack of sealer can make cleaning the tiles exceptionally difficult as the sealer prevents dirt becoming ingrained in the tile.

Terracotta Floor Before Cleaning and Sealing in Matlock

This property owner, living in the former spa town of Matlock in Derbyshire, was experiencing problems with their Terracotta tiled kitchen floor since they had applied some kind of wax to act as a sealer, and this had worn off within a few weeks. After this happened the tiles were not sealed again, making cleaning a big problem. Terracotta is a highly porous stone and thus easily soaks in spillages and stains, and allows dirt to become very easily trapped.

Terracotta Floor Before Cleaning and Sealing in Matlock

In this situation, the property owner resolved to contact me about some professional maintenance. I suggested that the tiles would need a deep clean followed by the application of a fresh, high quality sealer. The work was agreed on and I made my way down to the property the following week.

Cleaning a Dirty Terracotta Tiled Floor

When I arrived at the property and saw the tiles first hand it became clear that a professional clean had been in need for a long time: greasy looking stains were particularly prevalent and covered large areas of the kitchen floor.

To remove I mixed a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean, which is a multi-purpose, high-alkaline cleaner, stripper and degreaser, and, working in small areas, applied it to the floor. Working in small sections was important because the stone is very porous and quickly soaked in any product laid down. I scrubbed the cleaner into the stone using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad, with the dirt and stains coming away nicely. Pro Clean is highly versatile and can be used for similar cleaning purposes on most types of natural stone floor.

After cleaning each section, I quickly removed the excess dirty water and chemicals with my wet vax machine. Once the whole floor had been cleaned I rinsed it several times with fresh water just to make sure all cleaning chemicals were gone. I then left the floor to dry completely for 36 hours.

Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Floor

When I returned to the property, I conducted several damp tests to check for any areas of the floor that needed further drying. As is almost always the case, there were a few areas that remained slightly damp, and I set about speeding the drying process along using my heat gun. In fact, it actually took me more than three hours to get the floor completely dry, but this was worth the effort as even the slightest excess moisture can damage the performance of the sealer.

Once the floor was finally dried I began sealing the floor with one coat of Tile a Doctor Colour Grow sealer. Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer that penetrates deep into the pores of the stone, thus acting as a shield against ingrained dirt, and also raises the colour of the tiles to provide an aesthetically appealing appearance. sealer. After sealing with Colour Grow, I left the floor to dry for couple of hours and then applied six coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go, which is a topical sealer that builds up durable protection on the surface of the tiles.

Terracotta Floor After Cleaning and Sealing in Matlock

The combination of through cleaning and the application of not one, but two high quality sealers really did wonders for the appearance of these Terracotta tiles. Looking at the final results you wouldn’t have believed they had been without a proper clean and seal for so long! Needless to say the customer was exceptionally pleased and will surely be able to keep her floor looking great for a long time to come.
 
 
Source: Terracotta Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in Derbyshire

Refreshing the Appearance of Terracotta Kitchen Tiles

This Terracotta tiled kitchen in the village of Willingale near Maldon, in the Epping Forest District of Essex had lost its finish and looked slightly dull. The client wanted the tiles restored to a shiny finish and additionally wanted the two cracked tiles replaced in the kitchen doorway.

Terracotta Tile Replacement

I started by removing the two cracked tiles using an angle grinder and cleared away the grout to leave the edges of the remaining tiles as smooth as possible.

Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Replacement in Willingale Before Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Replacement in Willingale After

Cleaning a Dull and Dirty Terracotta Tiled Floor

The next stage was to strip and clean the tiles and grout lines. I dampened the tiles with water before applying Tile Doctor Remove and Go, a product which breaks down existing sealers so they can be scrubbed off the tiles and rinsed away. To make the work easier I used a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad to work the solution in and then pressure washed them using a spinner tool attached to a wet extraction machine mounted in my van. This process blasts any remaining dirt and sealer from the stone and grout lines and vacuums the waste into a holding tank in the van.

This process took most of the day, but just before I left I replaced the broken tiles with two new ones and re grouted them in place, fortunately these tiles were still available and so it wasn’t difficult finding replacements. The tiles and grout were left to dry over night.

Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Floor

The following morning I damp tested the floor before beginning to seal the floor, this is an important check as damp can upset the sealer and lead to unexpected results.

Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Testing for Damp Willingale

Once I was satisfied the tiles were dry I applied five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, leaving the stone with a healthy lustre. Seal and Go is a topical sealer that is highly recommended for Victorian, Terracotta and Quarry tiles and being water based it doesn’t leave a smell as it dries.

Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Cleaned and Sealed in Willingale Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Cleaned and Sealed in Willingale

 
 
Source: Terracotta Tile and Stone Restoration Service in North Essex

Deep Cleaning a Very Dirty Terracotta Floor

The old town of Halstead, Essex, meaning ‘safe place’ or ‘place of refuge’ in Old English, was the site of this job. Similarly, historic is the property I was called to, a fantastic seventeenth century thatched cottage, situated just on the outskirts of the town.

The owner was keen to have her Terracottatiled living room restored; the tiles had been laid twenty years prior and had been given very little treatment over the following two decades. They were now very dirty and dull looking and were certainly in need of a deep clean, followed by the application of a fresh seal to maintain condition.

Terracotta Tiled Floor Before Cleaning in Halstead

Cleaning a Dull and Dirty Terracotta Tiled Floor

To begin the cleaning process, Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, a heavy duty, high alkaline product designed for cleaning Terracotta and many other types of natural stone, was applied liberally to the floor in a dilute form. The product was then left to dwell for a short period, allowing it to seep into the pores of the stone, before being scrubbed into the tiles using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad.

The grout lines should usually be treated individually in the cleaning process since the dirt and stains found here can prove very stubborn, and so they were scrubbed carefully with a special grout brush.

Following this a high pressure spinning tool, which is powered by a machine in my van, was used to blast stubborn ingrained soils from the grout and tile. This tool also serves to rinse the tiles and vacuum all slurry and chemicals back into a waste tank on the van.

The floor was then left to dry fully overnight, allowing for any excess moisture to disappear and leaving the tiles ready to be sealed the following day.

Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Floor

In the morning I arrived back at the property and promptly for any dampness. Once satisfied with the condition of the tiles, I proceeded to apply Tile Doctor Seal and Go. This is an odourless, water-based topical sealer that builds up protection on the surface of the tiles, providing a durable and aesthetically pleasing satin finish.

Terracotta Tiled Floor After Cleaning in Halstead

Since Terracotta is a very porous material, I was required to apply five coats of the sealer, allowing enough to fill the pores completely to offer protection from within.

The results of the restoration were very pleasing for both the customer and myself. I think you will agree that the floor no longer looks like it hasn’t been cleaned for twenty years – in fact, it looks almost brand new!
 
 
Source: Terracotta Tile and Stone Cleaning and Restoration Service in North-Essex

Transforming a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor

The new owner of this house in the very old and quaint English village of Penn, Buckinghamshire wanted to refresh the look of the Terracotta tiled kitchen floor before they moved in. It had suffered from a heavy soil build-up of dirt over time due to inadequate maintenance and ineffectual sealer.

Since Terracotta (which came into popular use in the West in the 19th century) is highly porous, large amounts of dirt can become ingrained very quickly if not taken care of. Restoring this floor would be a two-day job, including thorough cleaning and stripping, as well as the application of a fresh sealer to provide long-term protection.

Terracotta Tile Before Cleaning in Penn Bucks

Cleaning a Heavily Soiled Terracotta Tiled Floor

The first day was spent giving the tiles a deep clean. To begin, I mixed a strong solution of the heavy duty alkaline cleaner, Tile Doctor Pro Clean, which a versatile product suitable for tackling heavy soil build up on a range of natural stone floors.

The solution was spread evenly across the surface area of the floor, before being worked into the stone with a commercial rotary machine fitted with an abrasive scrubbing pad. This really helped to break down the layers of muck. Next, I paid particular attention to the grout lines, scrubbing them with the acid-based Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up to remove dirt and neutralise any grout haze and mineral salts that had built up. Thanks to this the stained grout lines were restored to their original colour.

The final task on day one was to strip away the remaining failed sealer using Tile Doctor Remove & Go, which is specially designed for this purpose. Similar to earlier, the product was worked in using the rotary machine and abrasive pad. Once the cleaning process was complete, I washed the floor to remove all chemicals and slurry, before leaving the floor to dry naturally overnight.

Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Floor

Returning to the house the next day, I firstly checked for any remaining moisture on the, which is important as it can negatively impact sealer performance. With everything in good condition I proceeded to seal the tiles using the solvent-based, topical sealer known as Tile Doctor Seal and Go.

I applied multiple coats in order to build up sufficient protection on the surface of the tiles to reduce the damage of future spillages and staining. The sealer will also provide a durable and aesthetically pleasing low sheen finish.

Terracotta Tile After Cleaning in Penn Bucks

As you can see from the before and after photographs, a remarkable difference was made to the condition and appearance of this Terracotta tiled floor. My customer was very pleased with the results, and I’m sure the new home owner will be even more pleased to find the floor looking great when they move in.
 
 
Source: Terracotta Tile and Stone Cleaning and Restoration Service in South-Buckinghamshire

Regualar Maintenance of Terracotta Tiles

As part of our service we advise customers on best practice for maintaining the appearance of the floor and I’m happy to report this client in Ampthill who has a Terracotta tiled floor that we had fully restored a few years ago had followed to the letter.

Having two dogs and two children, the floor gets a lot of traffic and as expected over a period of time the sealer does wear thin in the busier areas. Should the sealer become too damaged dirt can get underneath and gradually the seal will deteriorate to the point where restoration will be needed again.

Terracotta Floor Before Maintained Ampthill Terracotta Floor Before Maintained Ampthill

By keeping on top of the maintenance our client has kept a beautiful terracotta floor in great condition however as the sealer was wearing he called us back to do a maintenance clean and top up the sealer an activity which we are able to complete in one day rather than the several days needed to do a full restoration.

Terracotta Floor Maintenance Clean and Seal

To maintain the floor, I applied a Tile Doctor fine diamond burnishing pad fitted to a rotary machine and with a little water sprayed onto the tiles to lubricate the process the top was burnished, this took the dirt off the top of the tiles and left a clean surface to top up the seal. The floor was then rinsed to remove the soil generated by the process.

Having removed any damaged sealer an industrial air mover was switched on to get the floor as dry as possible, we then tested the damp levels at various intervals until the floor was dry for re-sealing.

To re-seal two coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go we applied to the floor allowing the first coat to dry before applying the second. Once the second coat had dried a white polishing pad was used to buff the tiles.

Terracotta Floor After Maintained Ampthill Terracotta Floor After Maintained Ampthill

 
 
Source: Terracotta Floor Maintenance Service in Bedfordshire

Reviatlising a Faded and Dirty Terracotta Conservatory Floor

Cranleigh is the self-proclaimed largest village in England, sitting about 8 miles southeast of Guildford in Surrey. One of its villagers contacted me recently to see if there was anything I could do to improve the state of their Terracotta tiled conservatory. They were in the process of completely redecorating the conservatory, having just replaced the wood and glass and I was called in to restore the tiled floor back to looking its best.

Terracotta is made from clay and is quite porous ceramic, and tends to be quite porous when made into commercial or residential tiling. Just like stone it needs to be sealed to ensure the pores don’t become ingrained with dirt, following that sealers do need to be maintained as they do wear off over time.

In this case, my client had moved into the property twenty years ago, and had only ever carried out a routine mop of the floor; as a result the floor was now ingrained with dirt and had lost its colour and would require a deep clean and seal to bring it back to life.

Terracotta Conservatory Cranliegh Before Cleaning Terracotta Conservatory Cranliegh Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Terracotta tiled conservatory

To begin with, I mixed a cleaning solution consisting of one part Tile Doctor Pro Clean to one part water. This was spread evenly across the floor and let to dwell for approximately ten to fifteen minutes. The solution was then agitated with a scrubbing pad fitted to my heavy-weight rotary machine, lifting away the initial layers of muck and any remaining old sealer.

However, I noticed after giving the tiles a rinse that some of the old sealer was still prevalent in some areas. To deal with this, I applied a solvent-based sealer stripper and left it to work its magic on the affected areas. After about an hour, I added a steamer to the mix, and this allowed me to thoroughly scrub away the old seal. This was followed up by another rinse of the floor, and left it to dry.

Terracotta Conservatory Cranliegh During Cleaning

Sealing a Terracotta tiled conservatory

I returned to the house five days later to complete the restoration. My immediate task was to carry out a moisture test to make sure the floor was completely dry and therefore ready to take the new seal, this is an important step as adding a sealer to a damp floor can result in problems.

Once satisfied, I proceeded to seal the floor with five coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer. This sealer is particularly effective at providing durable surface protection from within, and contains properties which enhanced the natural auburn shades in the Terracotta tiles.

Terracotta Conservatory Cranliegh After Sealing Terracotta Conservatory Cranliegh After Sealing

I’m pleased to say that my client was overjoyed with the quick transformation of their conservatory floor. They never knew quite how vibrant the colours in the stone could be, and better still, the floor now blends in with their newly painted lemon walls.


Terracotta Conservatory Cranliegh Before and After Cleaning

 
 
Source: Cleaning and Maintaining Terracotta Flooring in West Surrey

Dealing With Sealers On Terracotta Tiles

Sealers really do bring out the best in Terracotta tiles, however the catch is they will wear off over time and if you want to maintain that appearance you have to work out a regular maintenance plan. If you don’t maintain the sealer you will find that the sealer near the most heavily used areas such as doors etc. will wear away first and once that happens dirt will become ingrained in the tile and becomes difficult to clean resulting in a patchy appearance.

The remaining sealer on this Terracotta tiled kitchen floor at a house in the town of Wickford, Essex was no longer effective and had worn completely off in places. The solution was to strip off the old sealer, clean the Terracotta tile and gout and then re-seal with a fresh seal.

Terracotta Kitchen Floor During Cleaning Wickford

Stripping Sealers from Terracotta Tiles

I started by giving the floor a deep clean with Tile Doctor Pro Clean diluted 2 parts water to 1 part cleaner. This is quite a strong dilution designed to allow the removal of the sealer and 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. Surprisingly the sealer was proving difficult to shift in certain areas and I had to repeat the process a few times and made sure to give the grout a good scrubbing as well.

I managed to get rid of most of the sealer using this process and for the remaining stubborn areas I used a stronger product called Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a very effective coatings remover that is safe to use on tiles. This did the trick and the floor was now free of sealers and the grout was looking much better too, the resultant slurry was removed using a wet vacuum and I then rinsed the floor several times with water before leaving it to dry for weekend.

Terracotta Kitchen Floor During Cleaning Wickford

Stripping Sealers from Terracotta Tiles

Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that seeps into the pores of the tile to block them and prevent contaminates becoming ingrained in there and it also enhances the natural colours. Once this was dry I followed up with a number of coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is topical sealer that will protect the surface and adds a nice sheen to the floor and is a popular choice for Terracotta and Quarry tiles.

Terracotta Kitchen Floor After Cleaning and Sealing Wickford

I’m not sure my photographs do this post any justice however hopefully you can see that floor was quite transformed, the grout is much cleaner and the colours in the Terracotta have really come to life.
 
 
Source: Cleaning and Maintaining Terracotta Tiles in Essex

Treating a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor for Efflorescence

Here’s an interesting job I completed recently in the town of Lymington which is a lovely costal town within the New Forest and on the west side of the Solent. This Terracotta tiled floor was installed in the kitchen and was suffering from an efflorescence issue due to an ongoing leak which resulted in the salts in the water becoming deposited on the surface of the tiles as the water evaporated leaving a white bloom on the surface.

Terracotta Floor With Efflorescence in Lymington Before

This process is more commonly known as efflorescence and is particularly common in old properties which have no damp proof membrane under the floor and white staining by the cupboards is especially visible in the below photograph.

Terracotta Floor With Efflorescence in Lymington Before Enlarged

My client was eager to have the problem fixed, and so enlisted Tile Doctor to get the job done.

Removing Efflorescence from Terracotta

To remove the efflorescence, the Terracotta tiled floor was acid washed using a mild dilution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which is primarily sold to remove grout smears but is equally effective at removing mineral deposits such as the white salts left behind by efflorescence.

The solution was scrubbed into the tiles using a stiff scrubbing brush and was successful at removing the white staining. Naturally it’s not advised to leave acid too long on any surface so the floor was treated in sections and then rinsed off with water and the residue removed using a wet-vacuum.

Following this, the floor was power-scrubbed in combination with a diluted solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. Pro-Clean is a versatile cleaner that also contains stripping properties, allowing it to break down and remove old sealers, it also does a nice job getting the grout clean.

With the efflorescence treated and the floor now clean I was now happy with the condition of the tiles and give them a final rinse under pressure to ensure the floor was neutralised and any trace of products removed.

Sealing a Terracotta tiled floor

The Terracotta tiled floor was then left to dry overnight and I came back to seal the floor the next day. To seal the tiles I used three coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go Extra, which provides a robust surface seal, and is recommended for internal floors with the damp issues.

Terracotta Floor With Efflorescence in Lymington After

Hopefully this quick report has offered some useful advice on how to treat efflorescence which is quite a common problem; naturally if you have further questions Tile Doctor does offer a free advice service so do get in touch.
 
 
Source: Terracotta Tiled Floor Cleaning and Restoration service in Lymington

Stained Terracotta Tiled Conservatory Renovated in Lancashire

This Terracotta tiled floor was installed in the conservatory of a house in the old market town of Garstang, Lancashire, famous for being the world’s first ever ‘Fairtrade Town’.

There were quite a few problems with this floor; for one, my client had not re-sealed the tiles in many years and had therefore allowed the existing seal to become very worn and almost completely ineffectual. This had subsequently allowed the floor to become very dirty and marked with white blotches. These white blotches had occurred where the fertilizer held in decorative plant pots had started to eat away at the sealer.

Terracotta conservatory floor Before cleaning Garstang

Cleaning a dirty Terracotta Tiled Floor

The tiles were cleaned with a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a strong alkaline cleaner. The solution was liberally applied to the floor and left to dwell for a short period, allowing time for the cleaner to seep into the pores of the Terracotta and lift the ingrained dirt to the surface. The solution was then agitated using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a heavy rotary machine, making a marked difference to the appearance of the tiles within a matter of minutes.

Terracotta conservatory floor During cleaning Garstang

Tile Doctor Acid Gel was then used to spot treat the white marks, the acid content in the product breaks down the alkaline salts that had developed, left behind by the leaked plant fertilizer.

The entire floor was then rinsed several times to remove the soiled cleaning residue and the excess moisture was extracted using a wet-vac machine.

Terracotta conservatory floor after cleaning Garstang

Sealing a Terracotta tiled floor

The Terracotta tiles were left to dry for an entire week as there was no evident damp proof membrane in place at the property. I used damp testers to approximate when the tiles would be dry enough to seal, which was very important as any excess moisture can upset the performance of the sealer.

My first choice of sealer was Tile Doctor Colour Grow, an impregnating sealer that also intensifies the natural colours in the stone. A single coat of Colour Grow was applied, before I opted to follow this up with six coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go, which provides a very robust surface seal and also helped to give the Terracotta the aesthetically pleasing my client had requested.

Terracotta conservatory floor after cleaning Garstang

Before leaving the property with its newly restored Terracotta tiled conservatory, I made sure to give my client some tile maintenance advice. Needless to say, she was very pleased with the results.
 
 
Source: Terracotta Tile Cleaning and Sealing service in Lancashire

Cleaning Neglected Terracotta Tiles

Not too long ago, I visited a house in the town of Fulwood in Preston, Lancashire. My client had a Terracotta tiled floor which had been neglected for many years and in their attempt to improve it had unfortunately been given some very poor advice by tile retailers, all of whom sold him different products, and each of which was unsuitable. Using these different products in succession had resulted in the depreciation of the floor’s texture and smoothness, in turn making the clay difficult to clean and maintain.

As per my usual process I ran a small test clean to demonstrate what could be done to improve the floor and I was commissioned to restore the floor back to its former glory.

Terracotta Floor Before Cleaning Fullwood

Cleaning a badly neglected Terracotta floor

I started by mixing a strong cleaning solution consisting of one part Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to three parts water. The solution was applied to the floor and left it to dwell for a short period. The high alkaline cleaner seeps into the pores of the tile getting underneath and lifting out the ingrained dirt and breaking down the old sealers. Then, I agitated the floor using a scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor machine before using a wet vacuum to suck up the resulting soiled solution.

There were a few paint marks dotted across the floor, but these were not noticeable until after I had given the Terracotta a deep clean. To remove the paint marks I used Tile Doctor Remove & Go, which is specially formulated to break down paint stains, adhesives and coatings. This product was used in combination with a steamer which, when applied directly to the tiles, helped to lift the paint out. Following this, I rinsed the entire floor a couple of times to remove any trace of cleaning product, and vacuumed up the excess moisture.

Sealing a Terracotta floor

It’s always best to let the floor dry completely prior to sealing as applying sealer to a damp floor will affect the sealer. I left the house to allow this to take place overnight returning the next day. To get the best out of the Terracotta I sealed the floor using one coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is an impregnating sealer that soaks into the pores of the tile and acts as both as a bonding sealer enhancing the natural colours and darkening the clay (as requested by my client).

After the coat of Colour Grow had dried, I applied a further seven coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go, which achieves a nice, low sheen Satin finish. Before leaving my happy client to enjoy his newly restored Terracotta floor, I made sure to provide some professional cleaning and long-term maintenance advice.

Terracotta Floor After Cleaning Fullwood

 
 
Source: Tile, Stone, Grout Cleaning and Colouring 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

Restoring the Appearance of a Terracotta Kitchen Tiles

For this job, I travelled to a house in the town of Fifield, near the city of Windsor, Berkshire. My client’s problem was a heavily soiled Terracotta tiled floor. Terracotta tiles have been used for over two millennia, but are known to pick up dirt quite easily due to their porosity and a lack of natural surface glaze. This dirt can become ingrained if not removed quickly.

In this particular case, the tiles and grout lines were very dirty, with a small amount of grout haze blemishing some of the newly installed tiles. The affected area of the floor required a thorough clean. Additionally, most of the old sealer had worn away, further exposing the tiles to dirt and damage – this would need to be replaced.

Terracotta Floor Before Cleaning in Fifield

Cleaning dirty Terracotta tiles and grout lines

To clean the floor, I first used Tile Doctor Remove & Go, a strong multi-purpose stripper/cleaner which as its name suggests is designed to remove any old sealer left on the surface. Working in sections, I sprayed down a layer of Remove & Go, before leaving it dwell for roughly 5-10 minutes.

While Remove & Go was soaking into the Terracotta, I scrubbed the grout lines using a stiff grout brush. This helped to lift out the ingrained dirt and grout haze. After I was done with the grout my attention went back on the tiles, so I added a small amount of water to form a solution, which was then scrubbed into the affected area using a heavy weighted rotary machine and a stiff agitation pad.

Terracotta Floor Part Cleaned in Fifield Terracotta Floor Part Cleaned in Fifield

The floor was then rinsed using a high pressure hot water tile and grout cleaning extraction system to remove any remaining soils, pollutants, debris and old sealer. After cleaning, the floor was inspected to ensure all of the issues had been dealt with. Following this, it was treated to a final rinse.

Terracotta Floor After Cleaning in Fifield

Sealing Terracotta tiles and grout

The floor was then let to dry overnight. Thanks to the Aga cooker and damp proof membrane under the floor, the tiles and grout were clean and completely dry, ready for sealing the next day.

I sealed the floor with 6 coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go to provide a healthy, durable seal, which also gave the tiles aesthetically pleasing sheen.

Terracotta Floor After Sealing in Fifield

As you can see from the photograph, the clean and seal made a marked improvement to the condition of the tiles and grout – and my client was very pleased!
 
 
Source: Professional Tile, Stone and Grout cleaning services in Berkshire

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

Restoring the Appearance of Terracotta Brick Flooring

This is an interesting Terracotta brick tiled floor installed in a house in the village of Alderly Edge. The Terracotta tiles were made in a brick shape which was a popular design found in rural buildings in the 19th century. Although the floor was in good condition the sealer was starting to wear off and being clay Terracotta are porous and trap dirt if not sealed. You can see this in the before photograph below where you can see how the grout and Terracotta has darkened with ingrained dirt.

Terracotta brick tiled floor before cleaning in Alderly Edge

Cleaning Terracotta Brick Tiles

To get the Terracotta tiles clean and free of any remaining sealer I soaked tiles in a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and left it to dwell for twenty minutes, Pro-Clean is an alkaline product and so safe to use on tiled floors. Then using a large 17inch black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine and a stiff grout brush proceeded to work the cleaning solution into the tile and grout. The now dirty cleaning solution was removed using a wet vacuum and the floor rinsed down with hot water. Some stubborn areas were spot treated using the same process and once happy with the overall condition of the floor the tiles were thoroughly rinsed three times using hot water to remove any trace of cleaning product prior to sealing and then left to dry overnight.

Sealing Terracotta Brick Tiles

I returned the next day to seal the floor testing it first with a damp meter to make sure it had dried. I then started to seal the tiles and with Terracotta being a very porous material it took eight coats of sealer to do the job. I used Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a topical sealer that gives Terracotta a subtle gloss finish, it’s also water based so it doesn’t leave a smell as it dries.

Terracotta brick tiled floor after in Alderly Edge

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

Deep Cleaning Terracotta Kitchen Tiles

This was a rather dirty Terracotta kitchen floor located at a house in Winchmore Hill in Buckinghamshire, not to be confused with the Winchmore Hill in London. The sealer on the tiles had worn off some time ago and now the dirt was becoming trapped in the pores of the Terracotta making it impossible to clean.

Terracotta Kitchen Tiled Winchmore Hill Before

Deep Cleaning Terracotta Tile

To deep clean into the pores of the Terracotta a diluted solution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean, which is a strong tile cleaner sage to use on tiled floors, was applied to kitchen floor and left to soak in for around ten minutes. Then with the aid of a commercial rotary machine the solution was scrubbed into the tiles to release the many years of accumulated ingrained soiling which was removed from the floor using a wet vacuum.

Although this deep cleaned the tile the grout lines needed further attention and were treated with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up solution and then washed down with fresh water which was removed with a wet vacuum.

There was still evidence of sealer remaining on the floor in some areas so the next step in the process was to apply Tile Doctor Remove and Go again working it into the tile using a scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. Remove and Go as its name suggests is used to remove waxes and sealants from tile and stone. It certainly did the job and once the resultant slurry was vacuumed up and the floor given a final rinse to remove any chemicals used in the process the floor was looking much cleaner and left to dry overnight ready for our return

Sealing Terracotta Tile

The next day came back to do the sealing and checked the floor first for any spots we might had missed and also to ensure it had dried sufficiently. Tile Doctor Seal and Go was then applied in coats to fully seal the floor. As well as adding protection Seal and Go adds a nice subtle satin finish to Terracotta and being water based it doesn’t give off an odour when it’s drying.

Terracotta Kitchen Tiled Winchmore Hill After

 
 
Source: Professional Tile, Stone and Grout maintenance service in South-Buckinghamshire

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

Deep Cleaning New Terracotta Tiles

The owner of this Terracotta tiled floor installed in a house in the village of Osbourne St. Georges several years earlier contacted us as the floor had become ingrained with dirt and was now proving impossible to keep clean. We popped round to take a look and ran a small test clean to show what could be achieved, the test area came up really well and we were immediately booked to do the rest of the floor.

Terracotta Tiled Floor Before Cleaning in Osbourne St. Georges

Terracotta Tile Cleaning

We started by smothering the floor in a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and left it to dwell for about twenty minutes. Once the dwell time had been reached we scrubbed the grout lines by hand with a grout brush before scrubbing the whole floor thoroughly with a black pad fitted to a rotary machine. The cleaning solution soon became soiled with the released dirt and was removed the using a wet vacuum and rinsing with cold water.

At this point it became apparent that the edges needed attention, the machine always struggles here so we used a stiff hand brush to remove the ingrained dirt and also some paint spots with the aid of a razor edged floor.

Once we were satisfied we had removed all existing dirt and sealer we rinsed again thoroughly with clean water and a scrubbed with a deck brush several times to make sure we had removed all traces of cleaning product. The floor was then dried as much as possible using a wet vacuum and left to dry agreeing to return a week later to seal the floor.

Terracotta Tiled Floor After Cleaning in Osbourne St. Georges

Sealing Terracotta Tiles

Upon our return we tested the floor was dry with a moisture meter, the test came back fine so we proceeded to seal the floor using six coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which works really well on Terracotta and adds a nice subtle sheen to the tile.

Terracotta Tiled Floor After Sealing in Osbourne St. Georges

The customer was so happy to have her floor back to the appearance when it was first laid and before leaving I give her some cleaning advice to help prolong the life of the sealer. It’s a fact that a lot of commercial tile cleaning products are designed for cleaning ceramic tiles and contain acid which slowly erodes the sealer so to maximise the life of the sealer use a low alkaline/neutral PH product such as Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner.
 
 
Source: Professional Tile, Stone and Grout maintenance service in Wiltshire