Terracotta Floor Renovated in the Wye Valley Holiday Home

The pictures below are of a Terracotta tiled floor that was laid in a Farmhouse in Symonds Yat around twenty years ago when the house was being renovated. The Terracotta tiles had been installed throughout the kitchen, utility and downstairs cloakroom and were well overdue a deep clean and seal.

Symonds Yat is a beautiful location amidst the fields of Wye Valley and set on the famous River Wye and is very popular with tourists. The farmhouse has been rented out as a holiday home for some time and with the floor looking faded and dull it was not giving the best impressions with visitors which is not good when you are using the property as a business.

Terracotta Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Symonds Yat Holiday Home

I visited the property to survey the floor as the picture’s customers send you never show up all the problems. I could immediately see the tiles were indeed in need of some tender love and care, the old sealer had long since eroded away and now the Terracotta was susceptible to dirt becoming ingrained. I carried out a test clean on a small area so they could see what the result might look like. They were over the moon with the test area and amazed that how much it would bring the floor back to life. I quoted them a price which they were happy to accept, and we booked the job in for later in the month.

Cleaning/Repairing a Terracotta Tiled Farmhouse Floor

To put the life back into the floor it needed to be stripped of any remaining sealer, cleaned and then resealed. I began this process by spraying the floor with a medium dilution of
Tile Doctor Remove and Go and left it to soak into the tile and grout for ten minutes. This product is designed to strip off old sealers from tile which is important as you will find the sealer will be completely worn off in the busier parts of the floor but will still be present around the edges etc. If you don’t strip off the sealer and apply a new sealer on top you will find the result becomes inconsistent and leaves a patchy finish.

After ten minutes the Remove and Go was scrubbed into the Terracotta using a rotary floor machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. This action removed what was left of the old sealer and after rinsing and extracting I was able to move onto the cleaning process.

This process was repeated using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is tile and grout cleaning product that will remove ingrained dirt. As before the product was diluted, applied to the floor and after leaving it to dwell for a short while it was scrubbed in as before. Some of the grout and corners had to be done by hand as the rotary machine can struggle to reach in places. After rinsing off with water and extracting with a wet vacuum there were a few stubborn areas that required a repeat treatment, but we soon had the floor looking clean.

Terracotta Tiled Floor After Cleaning Symonds Yat Holiday Home

Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Farmhouse Floor

After leaving the tile and grout to dry off overnight I came back the next day and checked the floor was dry with the moisture meter. The readings were fine, so I began applying the sealer. I started with a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing product that seeps into the pores of the Terracotta protecting it from within. This was followed with seven coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go. Terracotta is very porous and does take a lot of sealer.

Terracotta Tiled Floor After Cleaning and Sealing Symonds Yat Holiday Home

Once the sealer had dried the floor had a lovely satin finish that wasn’t too shiny. The client was over the moon with the restored floor and was keen for his next clients to see it.

 

Source: Terracotta Floor Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in the Wye Valley

Uneven Saltillo Terracotta Tiled Hallway Renovated in Canterbury, Kent

Earlier this year I went to visit a property in Canterbury to look at restoring a Terracotta tiled floor. The floor was approximately 11m2 and made from the larger Saltillo type Terracotta tiles. It had been in situ for some time and being located in the hallway it was subject to the heavy foot traffic of a busy household.

Having taken a closer look at the Terracotta tiles I could see there were many high spots due to poor installation by the original tiler, on top of that it had then been sealed with linseed oil followed by a wax paste. Wax was traditionally used to seal Terracotta floors, but it scratches easily and can lead to a thick build-up. Since the introduction of modern sealers designed for the job, we don’t recommend wax treatments anymore.

Saltillo Terracotta Hallway Floor Before Renovation Canterbury Saltillo Terracotta Hallway Floor Before Renovation Canterbury

We discussed the process to renovate the floor, explaining that the best course of action would be to use milling pads to level the surface of the tiles which would improve the finish and remove the built-up wax. Once prepared in this way the floor would be sealed to protect it going forward. They were happy with my quotation and we agreed a date to return and complete the work.

Renovating a Terracotta Tiled Hallway Floor

The use of Milling pads can generate a lot of slurry to our first task was to protect the surrounding areas using protective sheeting. The area was quite tight to work in, so we used the smaller six-inch milling pads which are encrusted with coarse industrial diamonds. The pads we fitted to a handheld buffer and worked over the tiles gradually increasing the pads from coarse to finer grits. The machine we use has a water feed that keeps the surface lubricated and this also helps to reduce the dust. The fine slurry generated using this process is rinsed off and extracted with a wet vacuum.

The next step was to remove the old wax the floor had been treated with a dilution of Tile Doctor Wax Away which is designed for exactly this purpose. Its applied to the floor and then scrubbed in using a slow speed rotary machine. Afterwards the floor is rinsed with water several times and the waste removed with the wet vacuum. By the time we had finished that day we could see a big improvement in the floor surface. After the final rinse the floor was left to dry off overnight.

Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Hallway Floor

I came back the following day and using the moisture meter checked that the floor was dry. It was well within the accepted parameters, so I was ready to apply the seal.

To seal the Terracotta, I had selected to use Tile Doctor Colour Grow, this is a modern durable sealer that provides long lasting protection and ideal for busy hallways. Colour grow also also enhances the natural red and orange colours in the Terracotta leaving a nice subtle finish. Three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow were applied.

Saltillo Terracotta Hallway Floor After Renovation Canterbury Saltillo Terracotta Hallway Floor After Renovation Canterbury

The photographs I took don’t show the difference in the floor that well, however my customer was very happy with the improvement in the floor and glad that the potential trip hazard has been resolved.

 

Source: Terracotta Cleaning and Renovation Service in Canterbury, East Kent

Cleaning and Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor in Penrith, Cumbria

I have lost count of how many Terracotta tiled floors we have cleaned and sealed over the years and the one thing it has taught me is to wary of Mexican Terracotta. This type of Terracotta is extremely hard to work with, its porous and made of soft clay which has usually been badly fired. Even if you do have all the equipment, experience and the right products it can be a challenge.

Mexican Terracotta Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Penrith

If you look at these pictures of this Mexican Terracotta floor, we recently worked on in Penrith you will see the tiles looked very dull before we cleaned them. Testing indicated there was still a sealer present however we didn’t know what type it was. Knowing what your dealing with really helps narrow down the best cleaning products to use which for Terracotta tiles tends to fall into one of three different categories.

If you have the misfortune of having had Varnish laid on top of these tiles, then the job becomes significantly harder. Because of this we have to be flexible when pricing for the work, naturally if we give a quote and we use the wrong system then not only will we be out of product but also the extra labour time to get the job right for the customer.

Mexican Terracotta Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Penrith

Cleaning a Mexican Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor

On this occasion the sealer at this property in Penrith was of the more common acrylic type, so we used a combination of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and some Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel for the stubborn areas. The products are applied to the floor and then scrubbed in using a black pad fitted to a rotary buffing machine. This releases the old sealer and dirt from the tile resulting in a slurry that is then extracted off the floor using a wet vacuum. The floor is then rinsed with water and extracted again to make sure all the soil has been removed.

Last step the cleaning is to treat the tiles to an Acid Rinse to further clean the tiles and equalise the floors pH level after the use of alkaline cleaners. We used Tile Doctor Acid Gel for this which was first scrubbed in, then rinsed with water and finally extracted as before. The floor is then rinsed down again with water to remove any trace of product and the wet vacuum used to extract as much moisture from the floor as possible so it can have a better chance of drying out overnight.

Sealing a Mexican Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor

We called back the next day to seal the Terracotta first checking in several areas with a damp meter that the floor was nice and dry. All was well so several coats of a Tile Doctor Seal and Go were applied to the floor for a nice mid satin finish.

Mexican Terracotta Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Penrith

The finished floor looked fantastic and was doubly improved by the grout cleaning which had responded well to the Pro-Clean. The customer was over the moon with the transformation in their floor which now looked clean and bright.

Before leaving we left the customer with a bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral cleaner for aftercare. To get the best from their Terracotta tiles it’s important that customers use the correct product for regular maintenance cleaning from the start.

Mexican Terracotta Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Penrith

 

Source: Terracotta Cleaning and Sealing Service in Cumbria

Terracotta Kitchen Floor Renovated in Moulton, Northants

We were contacted by the owner of a property in Moulton with a problematic Terracotta tiled kitchen floor. She was seriously considering ripping up the entire area of tiling and replacing it as she was having a new kitchen installed. Both her and her husband were concerned that unless I could restore this floor to somewhere near to its original condition, they would need to replace it.

Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Restoration Moulton

I went over to inspect the Terracotta tiles and could see the entire surface was deeply ingrained with soiling and the grout lines were filthy. After carrying out a test it became obvious that the previous sealer had been applied very sparingly and had mostly worn away, leaving the stone prone to staining. Terracotta is a very porous tile and dirt had become ingrained in the pores leaving it looking very dull and difficult to clean.

Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Restoration Moulton

I completed the test on a small part of the floor and the customer could see the results which could be achieved. Happy with the result they agreed my quote and we set a date for my return to complete the floor.

Cleaning a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor

The tiles turned out to be made of a fairly soft Terracotta which meant that we were able to deep clean them extremely effectively using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. We used Tile Doctor Remove and Go in particularly stubborn areas.

The process I use is to spray the Pro-Clean onto the floor and leave it to soak in for about ten minutes before being worked in using a heavy rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The resulting slurry is removed using a wet pick up vacuum. All the dirt and virtually all of the old sealer was removed at this stage; the remaining patches around the edges of the area being finished by hand with a 200-grit burnishing block. The grout lines were then cleaned by hand with an angled grout brush.

Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor During Restoration Moulton Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor During Restoration Moulton

Finally, the deep-seated oil stains in front of the cooker were brought out using Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel which was left to dwell on the marks for an hour before being agitated with a diamond burnishing pad and rinsed away with a wet pick up machine. The floor was rinsed with water and allowed to dry off overnight.

Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor During Restoration Moulton

Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor

The following day I inspected the floor and checked it was ready to be sealed. All was well so I applied an initial coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that occupies the pores in the tile enhancing the natural colours of the Terracotta and provide a base layer of protection from staining.

Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor After Restoration Moulton

I returned at a convenient time once the kitchen was completely installed to finish the job. This involves carrying out a light maintenance clean with Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner and once the floor was dry, I applied 5 further coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which provides a pleasing satin finish which is really suited to this type of floor.

Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor After Restoration Moulton

The customer was very happy with the results and has left the following feedback.

“We were really pleased with the results, thank you!”

Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor After Restoration Moulton

 

Source: Terracotta Tile Renovation Service in Northamptonshire

Dealing with Grout Smears on a newly installed Terracotta floor in Yorkshire

I was asked to visit a property in the old Yorkshire village of Bramhope to view a Terracotta conservatory floor. The owners of the property been recently had the floor laid and were unhappy with its appearance. The Terracotta tiles looked faded and washed out and did not have the finish they were expecting; they were also finding it difficult to clean.

I viewed the floor and went through with them what the tiler had done. Apparently, he started ok by giving each tile two coats of linseed oil which is a traditional approach but not something I would recommend these days. He then laid the floor and grouted it and told the customer that it didn’t need further sealing and that a good wash the next day would get rid of the grout and the dull appearance of the floor. Unfortunately, despite the customer washing the floor nothing he could do improved the appearance of the tiles and they remained dull and un-inviting.

Terracotta Tiled Conservatory Floor Before Cleaning

I was asked my opinion and having come from a tiling background of many years I can tell you his advice was completely wrong. Linseed oil is like a pre-seal so even touching it with greasy or dirty hands will permanently stain the tile so now grout was stuck in the linseed oil ruining the appearance of the terracotta. To clean up the tile and give it the appearance it deserved I would have to remove the grout haze and then seal with a more suitable product. The client was relieved that the floor could be salvaged and was happy to go ahead with my quote.

Cleaning a Terracotta Tiled Conservatory Floor

To remove the grout haze, I applied a 400-grit coarse diamond burnishing pad to the floor which was run over the tiles with a dilution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up. The acidic nature of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up combined with the abrasive properties of the diamond pad dealt with the unwanted surface grout and helped close the pores of the tile improving its appearance.

After thoroughly rinsing with water and extracting the soil with a wet vacuum the floor looked immediately better. The floor was inspected, and any problem areas retreated using the same process until I was happy with the floor.

Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Conservatory Floor

I left the floor to dry out for two days and then returned to seal with Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is ideal for Terracotta and being a water-based product, it doesn’t leave a smell as it dries. Seal and Go is a specially formulated water-based blend of acrylic polymers that provides both a stain resistant surface seal and a durable low-sheen finish. It restored the natural colour of the terracotta and gave the floor the lovely sheen that the customer originally wanted.

Terracotta Tiled Conservatory Floor After Cleaning

The floor now looks as it should. The client was really pleased with the renovation, the conservatory is now a pleasure to use!

 

Source: Terracotta Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Bramhope, Yorkshire

Removing Varnish from a Terracotta Tiled Floor in Teddington

This Terracotta tiled floor in Middlesex had not been cleaned and re-sealed in twenty years. Deciding it was overdue a renovation the client asked us to come over and have a look at the floor and see what we could do to restore it to its’ former self. The property was in the heart of the town of Teddington, which is set on the north bank of the River Thames, with some lovely up market shops, restaurants and cafes.

The floor was indeed in need of some attention, this type of floor does need a deep clean from time to time to keep it looking good and twenty years is far too long. The terracotta had previously had a varnish applied to protect it which is not something we recommend as its easily scratched. I discussed with the client the work required and we carried out a test to show them how effective the clean would be. Satisfied that we could get a good result, they were happy to go ahead with our quote and we booked in the work to be done a few weeks later.

Terracotta Tiled Floor Before Renovation Teddington

It’s not unusual for customers to want to get a quote over the phone however there are so many factors that can affect the price we always prefer out a site survey first. That way we can ensure we give the client the best advice an accurate idea of the costs involved.

Cleaning and Restoring a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor

Using a combination of Tile Doctor Remove and Go combined with Pro-Clean, we managed to break through the varnish and remove the soiling within the stone. This combination creates a powerful stripper/cleaner that can simultaneously remove coatings and deep clean. It’s best to leave the product to dwell on the tile and grout for ten minutes before scrubbing it with a rotary floor buffer fitted with a black scrubbing pad.

Terracotta Tiled Floor During Renovation Teddington

A spinner machine was then used to flush the tiles through with warm water whilst simultaneously extracting all the soil and product residues. It’s important to fully rinse the floor clean as anything left on the tile can to upset a new sealer.

Once we were happy that all the residue had been removed and the floor was as clean as it could be, we left the floor to dry out fully overnight.

Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor

Returning the next day, the first task was to check the Terracotta tiles were dry with a moisture meter. I was satisfied with the reading and so was able go straight ahead with the sealing process. The best sealer I find for Terracotta is Tile Doctor Seal and Go which adds a very durable subtle sheen finish that make the floor much easier to clean going forward.

Terracotta Tiled Floor After Renovation Teddington

As you can see from the pictures, the colours were greatly improved, and the lustre restored. The client was over the moon with the result, they couldn’t believe how dirty the floor had been, but they were happy they would now be able to keep it clean.

For aftercare I recommended they use Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner. This is a lovely fresh smelling product that has a its’ pH neutral formula that’s designed for cleaning sealed floors. It’s sold in concentrated form so you only a small amount each time you clean the floor.

Terracotta Tiled Floor After Renovation Teddington

 

Source: Terracotta Cleaning and Restoration Service in Teddington, Middlesex

Renovating a Terracotta Tiled Floor in Maidford, Northamptonshire

This Terracotta tiled floor was installed in the kitchen of a cottage in the small village of Maidford near Towcester. The tiles were not looking their best and the owner of the property realised it was time to do something about it and contacted Tile Doctor to have the floor stripped and resealed. Stripping and Sealing tile and stone floors is our bread and butter so I was more than happy to pop round and survey the floor which was approximately 9m2.

The grout had darkened with dirt and the previous tile sealer was failing so dirt was now getting ingrained in the Terracotta making it difficult to clean in places and leading to a patchy appearance. We discussed the work involved, my quote was accepted, and a date agreed for me to return and complete the work which would take two days, one to clean and one to seal.

Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Maidford

Stripping Terracotta Kitchen Floor Tiles

After tidying up the Kitchen and removing the kickboards from underneath the kitchen units I set about working on cleaning and stripping the Terracotta floor of old sealers. To start I tested a small area with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Wax Away. Wax was quite often used on Terracotta so I figured this product would be a good place to start. My suspicions were proved correct, and I found this to be the best product for removing the many layers of sealant on the floor. Wax Away is a new alkaline product by Tile Doctor and ideal for cleaning clay-based tiles such as Terracotta.

Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor During Cleaning Maidford

With my sights set on the rest of the floor Wax Away was scrubbed into the tile using a 17” rotary floor scrubbing machine and a black scrubbing pad running on a slow speed which helps to reduce splashing. This activity soon brought the dirt off the floor and the soiled cleaning solution was removed using a wet vacuum and the floor was rinsed down with clean water. The cleaning process was repeated a couple of times until I was happy with the floor, a stiff hand brush was then used along the grout lines with a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to clean up the grout.

Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor During Cleaning Maidford

After rinsing and extracting the floor again the floor was inspected, and I noticed there were a few stubborn paint splashes on the tiles. I managed to remove these and these by spot treating the affected area with Tile Doctor Remove and Go and a steamer to lift the stain out of the clay tile. Once happy the floor was clean it was given a thorough rinse to neutralise it and remove any trace of cleaning products and then left it to dry.

Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Maidford

Sealing Terracotta Floor Tiles

I allowed the floor to dry for several days before returning to seal the Terracotta using numerous coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is an ideal sealer for Terracotta and provides durable stain protection together with a low sheen finish. Terracotta is by its nature very porous and so it’s not unknown for it to take up to nine coats of sealer, which can take some time to apply as like paint you have to wait until it’s dry before it will take the next coat.

Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor During Sealing Maidford

The customer was so impressed by the results I achieved in their kitchen they decided to go ahead and book me in to carry out this process throughout the whole of the ground floor which included lounge, study and hallway.

Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor After Sealing Maidford

 

Source: Terracotta Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Maidford, Northamptonshire

Renovating a Terracotta Tiled Floor in Poole, Dorset

The photographs below are of Terracotta tiled floor at a house in the coastal town of Poole, Dorset that had not been professionally clean in some time and having seen years of wear and tear from the active family who live there was not looking its best.

Terracotta Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Poole

The Terracotta had previously been treated with Wax which had now pretty much been worn off and the grout had gone dark with the dirt. We often find wax being used traditionally as a coating on Terracotta however a lot of science has gone into developing sealers in the last twenty years that do a much better job so Wax is not something we could recommend these days.

After surveying the floor and running several tests I was happy what was left of the wax could be removed and provided the customer with a quote for stripping the floor and resealing. The quote was accepted, and we arranged a date to return and carry out the work.

Terracotta Tiled Floor During Cleaning Poole

Cleaning Terracotta Tiles

The floor was covered in a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and this was left to dwell on the floor to allow it to soak into the tile and get to work on the dirt and breakdown the dirt and what was left of the wax. The solution was then worked into the tile and grout using a heavy 17″ rotary scrubbing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad and then rinsed off using a high-pressure tool that also extracts the soil at the same time.

The grout was cleaned using more Pro-Clean and a stiff brush that was run along the grout lines. After rinsing and extracting again the floor was inspected to look for any outstanding issues. This highlighted several areas where Wax residue was still present on the tile which were spot treated using a new tile product called Tiled Doctor Wax Away which as its name suggests is designed for the purpose.

After another rinse and extraction, the floor was inspected again and this time happy with the floor it was left to dry off fully overnight with the assistance of an air mover.

Sealing Terracotta Floor Tiles

Returning the next day, the floor was checked first with a damp meter to ensure it was dry and ready for sealing. The moisture readings were all good, so I set about sealing the Terracotta using three coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water-based sealer that adds a robust and deep finish to the tiles. This can take some time to apply as you have to wait thirty minutes to allow the first coat to dry before applying the next.

Terracotta Tiled Floor After Cleaning and Sealing Poole

I’m not sure the photographs do it justice, but the homeowners were “over the moon” with the difference in the floor and regretted leaving it so long before calling us in.

 

Source: Terracotta Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Poole, Dorset

1970’s Terracotta Floor Stripped of Wax and Restored in Kent

Recently I visited a 150-year-old cottage in the beautiful small village of Chilham near Ashford to restore/improve a terracotta tiled floor. As it turns out the floor had been laid in 1970 by the owner and was protected with a thick wax-based product called Bourn Seal. The owner had diligently applied the product with a cloth and polished in by hand every year for approximately 20 years and then applied it on a as when needed basis, in fact the original tin was still in there cupboard!

Over the years since the floor was laid the Terracotta tiles were now looking worse for wear due to the sealer being very patchy and flacking in areas not walked upon. Unprotected dirt had become ingrained in the pores of the clay tiles making them difficult to clean and very unattractive.

1970s Terracotta Tiled Floor Before Restoration Chilham Cottage

After surveying the floor first-hand, I recommend that the layers of old wax be stripped off, so the tiles could be deep cleaned and then resealed with a modern sealer. After agreeing on a quote for the work we set a date for my return to renovate the floor.

Stripping Wax from Terracotta Tiles

On my return the first task was to set about covering all the walls, timber and original finishes with protective tape to protect them from splashing during the cleaning process. Once this was done, I started stripping off what was left of the multiple layers of wax by applying a generous application of Tile Doctor Wax Away which as its name suggest is designed for the removal of wax from tiles. I left the product to soak in for ten minutes and then started scrubbing it into the Terracotta using a black nylon pad fitted to a slow speed rotary floor buffer.

The stripping process was done in sections scrubbing in the Wax Away and then rinsing it off thoroughly with water as we went. All the soils were then extracted with a wet vacuum and the process repeated when required until we were happy all the wax was gone, and we were back to the virgin tile.

The cleaning process can be quite rigorous so before continuing I checked the floor for loose tiles and cracked or missing grout. All was good, so I set about cleaning the tiles with a burnishing pad that was run over the floor using the rotary buffer and water which acts as a lubricant. The floor is then rinsed with water to remove the soil that is generated and then left to dry off overnight.

Sealing Mexican Terracotta Tiles

The next day I 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. Our choice of sealer for the Terracotta was several coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, which provides excellent surface protection along with an aesthetically pleasing deep sheen finish. Also, being water based it doesn’t give off an unpleasant odour as it dries.

1970s Terracotta Tiled Floor After Restoration Chilham Cottage

As you can see from the photograph above, the transformation was fantastic, and the floor looked like a new installation. My customer and I were very pleased with the result, I only wish I had taken more photographs.

 

Source: Terracotta Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Kent

Removing Wax from old Mexican Terracotta Tiles in Bucklebury

I was recently asked to survey the floors at a substantial property in Bucklebury which used to be a school. At some point in the 1970’s there was a major makeover and the property was converted into two houses. During the conversion a combination of Terracotta and Quarry tiles were installed throughout the ground floor and then sealed with what we believed was a wax-based product. Although Wax was a traditional sealant for Terracotta there are better modern sealers available now that are designed for the job and so we don’t recommend it. In this case the wax had deteriorated over the years and left the tiles looking tired and dirty.

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Bucklebury Before Cleaning Terracotta Tiled Floor Bucklebury Before Cleaning

After reviewing the flooring, I demonstrated cleaning the tile and grout which went well and impressed the customer who after living with the floor looking dirty for some time was eager for the job to be completed. I gave the customer a price for renovating the whole floor which was agreed, and we set a date for the work to commence.

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Bucklebury Before Cleaning

Cleaning Dirty Quarry and Terracotta Tiles

My first job was to strip off what remained of the wax sealer using Tile Doctor Remove and Go and a new Tile Doctor product called Wax Away which has been specifically designed for dealing with wax. Both products had very similar effects and together striped off the old coating with little issue. Of the two products my preference to use Wax Away as it foamed less when wet extracting with a spinner tool.

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Bucklebury During Cleaning

After applying the Wax Away, I left it to dwell for fifteen minutes re-applying more product when it began to dry out. Leaving it to dwell allows it to penetrate the wax and weaken it so it’s easier to remove. I then used a 17-inch black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor machine to scrub the solution into the tiles. Finally, I used a spinner tool fitted to a hot water pressure extraction system that is housed in my van to rinsed away and extract the resulting slurry.

Terracotta Tiled Floor Bucklebury During Cleaning

After the floor was clean, I set to work on the grout lines that still had traces of embedded wax sealer. The floor pads can struggle to reach into the recesses of the grout, so the solution is to use a stiff grout brush and scrub them clean by hand assisted with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is out go to grout cleaning product.

As a last step in the cleaning process I gave the floor and Acid Wash using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up. I did this to further clean the floor and to neutralise Its pH after using so many high alkaline cleaning products.

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Bucklebury After Cleaning Terracotta Tiled Floor Bucklebury During Cleaning

Sealing Quarry and Terracotta Tiles

I returned at the end of the week and checked that the moisture levels of the floor, we always do this to ensure the floor is dry before sealing and would not recommend sealing a damp floor as the results can be patchy. The readings were spot on, so I was able to get a started.

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Bucklebury After Sealing

The customer wanted to keep the rich terracotta colours in the tile and wanted a sheen, so I selected Tile Doctor Seal and Go as the sealer. To fully seal the tiles, I used six coats on the smaller Quarry tiles and nine coats on the large Mexican Terracotta tiles. Seal and Go is a modern water-based acrylic sealer that provides both a stain resistant seal and a durable low-sheen finish, also being water based it doesn’t give off a smell as it dries.

Terracotta Tiled Floor Bucklebury After Sealing

The result was a huge improvement, needless to say my customer was very pleased and left the following feedback.

”I had a large quarry/terracotta tiled floor in kitchen/conservatory badly in need of cleaning. Dennis did an incredible job. He was very efficient and the result is outstanding, very happy to recommend”

 

Source: Terracotta Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in Bucklebury, Berkshire

Renovating Mexican Terracotta Tiles in Stroud, Gloucestershire

We were called by a customer with a Mexican Terracotta floor who was looking at having it taken it up and replaced but before doing wondered what it would cost to have it renovated. I visited the property in the nearby market town of Stroud in the centre of Gloucestershire to survey the floor and advise on options. Stroud by the way is a lovely part of the county and sits within the Cotswolds which is an area of outstanding beauty.

Wax Sealed Mexican Terracotta Tile Before Cleaning Stroud

The customer had this floor laid thought the ground floor just five years earlier and had been was advised to seal it with wax. After three months the wax had broken down and started collecting dirt as you can see from the pictures. Unfortunately, he had not been advised the correct way to look after his floor and was now fed up with its appearance. Help was at hand and I was confident I could restore the floor for a lot less than replacing it, I explained what could be done, agreed a price which was accepted and agreed a date for carrying out the work.

Wax Sealed Mexican Terracotta Tile Before Cleaning Stroud

Stripping Wax Off Mexican Terracotta Tiles

So, the first job was to strip the layers of wax and sealant off using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and Remove and Go. I combined the products together to make a very effective cleaner and coatings remover and left them to soak into the Terracotta tiles for ten minutes, before scrubbing them in with a black pad fitted to a rotary floor machine. This process released a lot of dirt and waxes from the floor which I extracted with a wet vacuum and then retreated areas that needed more work until I was happy it was as clean as it could be.

After the floor was clean I set about on grout lines these were also in a bad state, they needed a lot of manual scrubbing with Pro-Clean which was worked in with a narrow stiff brush to get them clean.

Wax Sealed Mexican Terracotta Tile After Cleaning Before Sealing Stroud

Afterwards, happy with the result, I rinsed the floor three times with water to remove any trace of the cleaning products and soil from the floor. Because I had to use so much water and cleaning products to achieve a good result I left the floor for nearly a week, so it could thoroughly dry out. Mexican terracotta is very porous, and it would need to be dry before sealing so I figured five days should be enough time.

Sealing Mexican Terracotta Tiled Floor

I returned after five days and checked that moisture levels of the floor were satisfactory with my moisture meter. Once I was satisfied I was good to go ahead with the sealing. I decided to use two different types of sealant on this job. For the first coat I used Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnator that soaks into the pores of the clay tile protecting it from with and enhancing the natural colours in the process. I then applied six coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go letting it dry in between coats. Seal and Go is a water-based blend of acrylic polymers that provides both a stain resistant seal and a durable low-sheen finish, which the customer had requested on this job.

Wax Sealed Mexican Terracotta Tile After Cleaning Sealing Stroud

The customer was pleased with the result, he never expected it to look so good and had thought he was going to have to put a new floor down. Not only had we completed a great job for them, they had been saved significant expense too.

 

Source: Mexican Terracotta Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Stroud, Gloucestershire

Bleached Wax Stripped from Mexican Terracotta in Penwortham, Lancashire

My client from Penwortham, on the outskirts of Preston on the south bank of the River Ribble contacted me about their Mexican Terracotta kitchen floor as you can see from the photographs below was in a bit of a state.

Mexican Terracotta Floor Penwortham Before Cleaning

On the pictures you will see numerous white marks which have happened due to the use of bleach-based supermarket cleaning products on the tiles. The bleach has upset the original wax polish and over time layer after layer of new polish has been applied to try and hide it, but they had also continued to use the wrong cleaner, so the problem simply became worse. The floor was otherwise in good condition with very little damage, although the grout had also discoloured and needed deep cleaning.

Mexican Terracotta Floor Penwortham Before Cleaning

Stripping Wax off a Mexican Terracotta Tiles

Luckily Tile Doctor have recently brought out a new product called Tile Doctor Wax Away which is specifically formulated to remove layers and layers of compacted wax polish. It was the first time we had used it on a situation this bad before to it was in for a good test. I’m please to say Wax Away didn’t disappoint and is designed to melts the formula that makes the wax stick together. So, with the aid of a stiff deck brush the product was scrubbed into the floor and then extracted off the floor with an industrial wet vacuum.

Mexican Terracotta Floor Penwortham During Cleaning

With the old layers of wax removed the white markings that were spoiling the look of the surface disappeared. Stubborn areas had to be retreated but once all the wax slurry was removed using the wet vacuum you could see the improvement in the floor.

The grout was then cleaned using a Tile Doctor Pro-Clean scrubbed into the grout line using a stiff brush, one done the soiled cleaning solution was rinsed off the floor with water and extracted using the wet vacuum. The only thing we couldn’t fix was the damage done to the grout by the bleaching agent which hydrates grout and turns it white. It often cracks the grout as well with long term usage as in this case. We did offer to apply a grout colourant over this once the sealer had fully dried, but this was an added cost the client didn’t want to bare which was understandable. This is a service we could return in the future to complete if the client wished.

Sealing Mexican Terracotta Kitchen Floor

Once cleaned, we fully rinsed with water to remove any chemicals and left the kitchen floor to dry out overnight. Returning the following morning to seal the floor. Before starting the sealing process however I wanted to be sure the floor was indeed dry, so I ran a few checked with a moisture meter in different spots. Once satisfied we moved on to the sealing process.

Terracotta tiles being made of clay are very porous and so seven coats of sealer were applied before it was fully sealed. We used Tile Doctor Seal and Go for this, it’s an excellent choice for Terracotta as it brings out the true hue and texture of the clay as well as adding a nice subtle shine. The new sealer will make the floor much easier to maintain than the old wax polish they had previously been using.

Mexican Terracotta Floor Penwortham After Cleaning

For regular cleaning of sealed floors, we recommend using Tile Doctor Ph Neutral Tile Cleaner. Most supermarket cleaning products are acidic which will prematurely degrade the sealer over time.

As you can see from the after photos the floor was left looking much cleaner and brighter and the horrible white marks were no where to be seen. The client was very happy with the final result.

Mexican Terracotta Floor Penwortham After Cleaning

 

Source: Terracotta Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in Penwortham, Lancashire

Deep Cleaning Dirty Terracotta Tiling in Great Holm, Milton Keynes

The Terracotta tiled kitchen floor in the kitchen house of this house in the residential district of Great Holm, just outside of Milton Keynes had been laid some time ago and was now well worn and dirty. The houses in the area are not that old and so I suspect the floor may have been down since the house was built.

The Terracotta tiles had not been professionally cleaned for many years and the floor had lost its’ lustre where the sealant had worn away and dirt had become ingrained in the tile, the Grout had also darkened. I went over to look at the floor and perform a test clean, so I could give the owner an accurate quote for renovating the floor.

Terracotta Floor Before Cleaning Milton Keynes

The quote was accepted, and we agreed a date to do the work which would take place over a four-day period. One day to clean the tiles, two days between for it to dry and one day to seal the floor in order to protect it going forward.

Deep Cleaning Terracotta Kitchen Tiles

We started by applying a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to the floor. Pro Clean is a concentrated, multi-purpose high-alkaline cleaner, stripper and degreaser. It is ideal for heavily soiled and neglected floors. After about 10 minutes dwell time we used our scrubbing machine fitted with a black buffing pad to scrub the floor and loosen the ingrained dirt from the pores of the tile.

A wet pick up vacuum was then used to remove the now dirty cleaning solution, we then thoroughly rinsed the floor by hand to remove any trace of cleaning product and so we could inspect the tiles to see if more work was required. In this instance I felt the floor could do with more work, so the process was repeated, and the edges scrubbed by hand.

We let the floor dry a little over lunch but noted a few of the areas were not quite perfect. To get the best result on these areas we then used Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel, this is a stronger gel-based version of Tile Doctor Pro Clean which is perfect for spot cleaning specific stubborn areas.

With the floor clean it was time to turn our attention to the grout and for this we used more Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and a specialized narrow grout brush to meticulously scrub each grout line. The floor was then completely rinsed with water.

Terracotta Floor During Cleaning Milton Keynes

The floor was now spotless but before it could be sealed it would need to be dry, so we left specialised drying equipment in the room and allowed the floor two days to completely dry out.

Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor

After two days we returned, we used a moisture meter to test that the floor was dry enough to seal. It was thoroughly dry, so we were able to carry on with applying the sealer which can be quite time consuming as you have to wait for the first coat to dry before applying the next. In this case the Terracotta proved to be very porous which is not unusual for a clay tile and it took eight coats of sealer before I was satisfied the tiles were fully sealed. The sealer used to protect the floor was Tile Doctor Seal and Go which leaves a nice subtle satin finish on the tiles. Tile Doctor have a variety of sealers available and we select the sealant to suit dependent on the finish the client wishes to achieve.

The customer was absolutely delighted and left a great review (please see the feedback below)

“Andrew explained the process clearly and the floor looks absolutely stunning. It is hard to believe the difference between before and after. I would have no hesitation in recommending Andrew.

Fiona W, Great Holm”

Terracotta Floor After Cleaning Milton Keynes

 

Source: Terracotta Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Great Holm, Milton Keynes

Water Damaged Terracotta Kitchen Floor Renovated in Docking, Norfolk

Luckily for this client in the village of Docking in Norfolk, the water pipe under her kitchen sink burst the day before she left for a four-week holiday in the USA, so at least she was able to turn the water off at the mains and minimise the damage before leaving for the airport… every cloud, as they say!

On her return she found that the Terracotta tiled flooring had dried out perfectly but unfortunately, the acrylic sealer had suffered badly as the evaporating moisture came up through it and the entire surface of the floor had developed a milky-white bloom. Our client thought that complete replacement of the whole floor, which ran from a large kitchen diner through to a long utility room with separate storage cupboards and a WC would be the only option. Fortunately, before investigating that expensive option she gave Tile Doctor a call in the hope that the floor could be saved.

Large Terracotta Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Docking

Deep Cleaning Water Damaged Terracotta Floor Tiles

In order to remove the damaged acrylic sealer, we applied a strong dilution (1:2) of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed with a little Tile Doctor Remove and Go. This was scrubbed in along with a small amount of honing powder using our 17″ rotary machine fitted with a medium nylon brush before being power rinsed and extracted to remove all the chemicals and resulting slurry.

The grout lines, corners and edges where the original sealer had been applied more thickly were then further cleaned by hand with Tile Doctor Nanotech HBU Remover, HBU stands for Heavy Build-Up and this is a useful product for tackling stubborn areas.

The floor was then finished off with very fine honing powder applied with water and a black scrubbing pad before being rinsed and extracted again. Finally, the whole floor was acid washed with Tile Doctor Acid Gel to neutralise all remaining cleaning agents and counter act any efflorescence salts which may appear in the future before being left to dry thoroughly overnight with the assistance of our dehumidifier.

Sealing Terracotta Floor Tiles in Docking

On our return the following day, the floor was thoroughly damp tested and found to have dried extremely well enabling us to start applying the new sealer straight away. The client had specified a muted shine surface for her floor, so we chose to use Tile Doctor Seal and Go.

Terracotta is made from clay which is quite a porous material so seven coats were needed to completely seal the floor. This would provide optimum fluid resistance along with the mid-sheen finish she had requested.

Here’s what the client had to say when we’d finished:

I am delighted with the work carried out. The terracotta tile floor of my kitchen was in a terrible state following a flood and it has been restored to an excellent condition. A very professional and personal service which I am happy to recommend.

Large Terracotta Tiled Floor After Cleaning Docking

 

Source: Terracotta Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Docking, Norfolk

Renovating Dirty Terracotta Kitchen Tiles in Moretonhampstead, Devon

Earlier this year I was called to the Dartmoor town of Moretonhampstead in order to take a look at a large Terracotta tiled kitchen/dining room which the owners had ‘lived with’ for over a decade but were finding it harder and harder to keep clean. Upon arrival, I could see that any sealer that had been used previously was well beyond its best and the floor was holding in the dirt and grime because of how porous unsealed terracotta is.

Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Moretonhampstead

I conducted a test on a small area of the floor which not only helped me to identify the most suitable product to clean the floor with but also to show the customer how much of an impact a professional clean and seal of a floor is likely to have. The first product I tried was Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which although cleaned the tiles very well I could tell was going to be a problem when it came to rinsing because the floor was absorbing it almost as quickly as I was able to put it down! My solution came in the form of Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel which is a very similar product to Pro-Clean and is a very powerful stripper/degreaser but has the added benefit of being in gel form, so it sits on the tiles rather than becomes absorbed into them. It is also a very good option for riven stone, uneven tiles or undulating floors because unlike a liquid it will not run off the high spots.

The clients were thrilled with the test area and couldn’t believe how much lighter the tiles were and as soon as I sent them my quote they booked me in at my next availability.

Deep Cleaning Terracotta Tiles

When I returned to the property my first task was to protect the woodwork from splashing by dressing the skirting boards and kitchen plinths in a blue plastic covering. I then set to work applying Oxy-Gel to the tiles and allowing it to dwell for about five minutes before scrubbing it in with a stiff bristled brush fitted to a rotary buffer.

The scrubbing action released the dirt form the Terracotta and I was then able to extract it from the floor using a wet vacuum. I worked methodically in small areas at a time and when the whole floor was done it was given a thorough rinse to remove any trace of cleaning products from the floor. I also checked the floor carefully and spot treated any stubborn staining and used the wet vacuum to get the floor as dry as possible before leaving for the day.

Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Sealing Moretonhampstead

Sealing Terracotta Tiles

After I was satisfied that the tiles were all clean I then needed to wait for the floor to dry before I could seal. As I mentioned these tiles were very porous and so took longer than usual to dry out but once the moisture levels were at an acceptable level I returned to finish the job.

Once terracotta has been stripped it can reveal historic damage such as acid stains or from inappropriate cleaning products which look like lighter patches on the tiles. Upon my return I spent a while improving any areas like this by using diamond encrusted burnishing pads to resurface the tiles. In general, it is not recommended on terracotta because you lose the natural texture of the tiles and create a smooth finish but in this instance the customer decided that this was preferable to the stains remaining visible.

After both the customer and I were happy with the condition of the tiles I began to seal the floor with Tile Doctor Seal and Go, an acrylic based sealer which would give the tiles a slightly glazed or freshly mopped appearance. Because of the porosity of this particular batch of terracotta tile it took eleven coats before the floor was fully sealed!

The customer was very happy, and the tiles lit the room up, transforming it.

Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor After Cleaning and Sealing Moretonhampstead
 
 
Source: Terracotta Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Moretonhampstead, Devon

Deep Cleaning Spanish Terracotta Tiles in Swansea

This lovely old Spanish Terracotta tiled floor was installed at a house in Swansea. Over the years the sealer had worn down and dirt had become ingrained in the pores of the clay tile making it impossible to clean effectively. The owner called me in to give the tiles a really deep clean and bring the floor back to its former glory.

I went round to take a look at the floor and carried out a cleaning test of the tiles with a medium strength dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean scrubbed into the tiles by hand. This demonstrates to the customer how the floor could look, and it also helps me to work out which product will work best as well as the likely quantities required for the quote. The Terracotta tile and Grout in the test area came out well and after showing the customer the result and working out a price for the whole floor and he was happy to book me in.

Stripping and Re-Polishing Terracotta

On my return I continued with the cleaning process using more Tile Doctor Pro-Clean but this time I left it to soak into the floor for longer and was assisted by a Black Scrubbing pad attached to a rotary buffing machine. I like to use a slow speed buffing machine for this process as it makes less mess than a high speed and this keeps my customers happy.

Spanish Terracotta During Cleaning Swansea

It wasn’t long before the cleaning solution changed colour with the dirt that was becoming released from the floor. The dirt was then rinsed off the floor using water and a wet vacuum, and the process repeated until I was happy the tiles were clean.

The next step was to clean the grout lines, this task is best done by hand with a stiff brush and more Pro-Clean as the scrubbing pads struggle to reach into the recesses of the grout line. Once I had finished the cleaning I rinsed the floor down several times with water, to make sure all traces of Pro-Clean were removed.

The cleaning process took up most of the day and the Terracotta would need to be dry before being sealed so I before leaving it to dry off fully overnight I covered the floor with a clean linen dust sheet (not plastic) to protect it overnight. This allows evaporation to continue whilst protecting it from getting dirty again.

Spanish Terracotta After Cleaning Swansea

Sealing Terracotta Floor Tiles

The next day i came back and took some moisture readings to make sure the floor had dried out. Most of the readings were fine apart from a few edges and corners where the moisture must have settled; I used a heat gun on these areas to ensure these areas were dry before starting with sealing.

Terracotta is a very porous clay in its unsealed state, so I like to put down a coat of Impregnating sealer first called Tile Doctor Colour Grow. Colour Grow works by occupying the pores in the tile making a good base, it also has the added benefit of enhancing the natural colours in the clay tiles.

After leaving it to soak into the tiles for about ten minutes I removed the excess Colour Grow with a cloth and started to apply a Topical sealer Called Tile Doctor High Shine. The customer had requested a high sheen finish, so after several coats of this the job was completed and looking a million times better than before.

Spanish Terracotta After Sealing Swansea

I left the customer a complimentary bottle of Tile Doctor Concentrated Neutral cleaner for aftercare. We recommend using this product for the regular cleaning of sealed tiles, being pH neutral is doesn’t eat into the sealer prematurely reducing its longevity like your regular acidic cleaning products.
 
 
Source: Terracotta Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Swansea

Removing Layers of Wax from a Terracotta Tiled floor in Derbyshire

Terracotta Tiles have been around in certain parts of the world for over two millennia; in fact, the word Terracotta means burned earth. The ancient Romans used a variety of Terracotta tiles in their villas and palaces for many centuries.

Terracotta tiles are thicker than most modern tiles, giving them strength and durability. The one big downside to Terracotta, however, is that it has no glaze on the surface and can pick up and store muck and dirt very quickly. If you have ever owned a Terracotta floor before you will be able to relate to this problem.

Such was the dilemma facing our client in rural Hope Valley in the Peak District National Park of Derbyshire. Her Conservatory had been laid with Terracotta tiles around 25 years ago and over the years had been continuously covered with wax. Now, no matter how many times she mopped the floor it never looked clean because all the dirt over many years had been drawn in and sealed into the wax. She called in Tile Doctor to deep clean the floor and treat it with a gloss finish.

Terracotta Tiled Conservatory Before Cleaning Hope Valley

Cleaning a Terracotta conservatory floor

I started by removing the layers of wax with Tile Doctor Nano-Tech HBU (a heavy build-up remover that is designed to work where other cleaners won’t) and Tile Doctor Remove and Go, specially formulated to draw out ingrained stains and remove heavy grease build-up. I combined both products into a powerful cleaning cocktail and left them to soak into the floor for about twenty minutes. The solution was then scrubbed into the tile and grout using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. The resultant soil was rinsed off with water and then extracted from the floor using a wet vacuum.

After cleaning I inspected the floor and could see there was still some wax left in the grout between the Terracotta tiles, so I went over the floor with a hand-held steamer and scrub brush, it took some time, but the process was perfect to remove the last traces of wax. Finally, I washed the floor with clean water twice and left it to thoroughly dry overnight.

Terracotta Tiled Conservatory During Cleaning Hope Valley

Colour Restoring and Sealing a Terracotta tiled floor

The following day I went back to seal the floor but found there were still a few areas with higher levels of damp than I would have liked. My solution was to seal the tiles with Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This is a superb colour intensifying matt sealer that provides durable protection and enhance colour but importantly, it’s fully breathable therefore allowing any damp in the tiles to evaporate. I then left the floor to completely dry out, which took five days.

On my return I finished the sealing of the floor with four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go. This is a specially formulated water-based blend of acrylic polymers that provides a stain-resistant surface seal and a durable low-sheen finish that works really well on Terracotta.

Terracotta Tiled Conservatory During Sealing Hope Valley

The conservatory looked beautiful with its clean Terracotta tiles. The unsightly and grimy orange-brown floor had been restored to its original Terracotta colour with a very attractive sheen. And, of course, the floor was now correctly sealed to prevent the problem happening again and to make mopping easy. I left the house with good feeling!

Terracotta Tiled Conservatory After Cleaning Hope Valley

The customer was delighted and left this positive feedback:

“Henry did a brilliant job, friendly professional polite and efficient. He kept us fully informed of the procedures he was using. We would not hesitate to use him again or to recommend him to others.”

Terracotta Tiled Conservatory After Cleaning Hope Valley

 
 
Source: Terracotta Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Derbyshire

Soft Terracotta Renovated in Hales Village, Norfolk

How the Terracotta floor tiles at this property in the Village of Hales, Norfolk became quite so comprehensively dirty in so short a time, we will never know. We were contacted by the new owner, a lady who had become so distressed by the state of the floor in the house she had recently bought that she was seriously considering ripping up the entire area of tiling and replacing it. Remarkable particularly because the property had been restored only a couple of years ago, the kitchen and hallway being laid with new terracotta tiles.

The entire surface was deeply ingrained with soiling and the pointing lines were filthy, despite there being evidence of some kind of topical sealer having been applied at the time of installation. It quickly became obvious during testing that the sealer had been applied very sparingly and had mostly worn away, leaving a badly compromised fluid and soiling resistance with a dull and dirty finish which refused to clean up when mopped.

Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Hales

Deep Cleaning Terracotta Floor Tile in Hales

The tiles turned out to be made of a fairly soft terracotta which meant that we were able to deep-clean them extremely effectively using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean (one part Pro-Clean to two parts water). A strong dilution was required to remove what remained of the old sealer in the less used areas and strip the surface back to the bare tile.

The Pro-Clean was left to soak into the floor for about ten minutes before being worked in using our heavy rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The resulting slurry being power rinsed and vacuumed away with our 400psi Ninja machine. All the dirt and virtually all of the old sealer was removed at this stage; the remaining patches around the edges of the area being finished by hand with a 200-grit hand-held burnishing block. The pointing lines were then cleaned by hand with neat Pro-Clean and an angled grout brush.

Finally, the deep-seated oil stains in front of the cooker were brought out using Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel which was left to dwell on the marks for an hour before being agitated with a diamond burnishing pad and rinsed away with the Ninja machine. The floor was then left to dry thoroughly overnight with assistance from our dehumidifier.

Sealing Terracotta Floor Tile in Hales

Owing to the softness and consequently high porosity of the substrate, we realised that it could take up to ten coats or more of our chosen sealer in order to achieve the level of shine our client had requested so that the daily mopping would be effective.

Our usual solution to enable us to complete the work in one day would be to apply a coat of penetrating Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer to the tiles first, followed by up to five coats of topical sealer which would provide the finish, but because our client loved the new lighter colour of the cleaned tiles, Colour Grow was not an option as it is designed to enrich and thereby slightly darken the colour.

The solution therefore was to apply a single coat of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal which, like Colour Grow, is a solvent-based penetrating sealer but doesn’t alter the colour of the material. This was followed by five coats of Seal & Go to further improve the fluid resistance and provide the mid-sheen finish required.

Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Hales

At the end of the job we had a very happy client whose actual words were: “thank you so much for restoring my faith in my floor!”
 
 
Source: Terracotta Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Norfolk

Stripping Off an Old Terracotta Sealer in Knutsford

We were asked if we could restore the appearance of a large Terracotta tiled floor in a kitchen/dinner that had not been cleaned for many years. The sealer had mostly worn off in the high traffic areas but was still fairly thick under the table.

Terracotta tiles are made from soft clay making it very porous and likely to absorb anything that lands on it; as a result, it’s important to maintain the sealer to stop this happening. Now with the sealer worn off completely in the busy parts of the floor anything that landed on the floor was very quickly absorbed into it.

Terracotta Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Knutsford Terracotta Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Knutsford

The house was in Knutsford on the East side of Cheshire which was named as Best Place to Live in the North West” by the Sunday Times in 2017; being close to the Peak District and within easy reach of Liverpool and Manchester its easy to see why.

Deep Cleaning a Spanish Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor

My first task would be to completely remove the old sealer so the whole floor could be given a deep clean before resealing. It’s not a good idea to add a new sealer on top of another especially if you don’t know what was used before, it can also lead to a build of sealers on the tile which will darken their appearance.

To do this I soaked the tiles in a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a powerful stripping and cleaning solution that’s designed to removes old coatings on tiles and draw out ingrained staining. After twenty to thirty minutes the solution was worked into the tiles using a black buffing pad fitted to a rotary buffer machine. I also used a wire hand brush along the grout lines to make sure they were cleaned as the scrubbing pad can fail to reach into the recess. It wasn’t long before the old sealer and dirt was released from the Terracotta which was then washed off the floor using water and a wet vacuum.

Terracotta Tiled Floor During Cleaning Knutsford Terracotta Tiled Floor During Cleaning Knutsford

I inspected the floor at this stage and retreated any stubborn areas using the same process. I did have a few problems removing some greasy marks however I managed to get rid of these by applying Tile Doctor Wax Away worked in by hand with a scrubbing brush. Once I was happy that the floor was clean and free of old sealers it was given a final rinse to remove any trace of cleaning product, dried with the wet vacuum and left to dry out fully overnight.

Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor

On my return the next morning I took a few damp readings to check the floor was dry before starting with the next step of sealing the tiles. All was well so began to add the first of multiple coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water-based sealer that works really well on Terracotta and leaves a nice subtle sheen to the tile. Being was based it has the added advantage of not leaving a solvent smell as it dries.

Terracotta Tiled Floor After Cleaning Knutsford Terracotta Tiled Floor After Cleaning Knutsford

The Terracotta took some time to seal completely, in fact ten coats of sealer were required to fully seal the tile. You can always tell when a tile is sealed by adding a small drop of water to the surface, if it forms into a bubble then its’ fully sealed.

Terracotta Tiled Floor After Cleaning Knutsford Terracotta Tiled Floor After Cleaning Knutsford

I’m not sure you can appreciate the difference from my photographs but hopefully you can see that Terracotta tiles now look much fresher and the grout cleaner and lighter in colour.
 
 
Source: Terracotta Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Cheshire

Renovating a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor in Essex

We had a request to visit a beautiful Barn conversion on the Essex side of the market town of Bishop Stortford, the lady of the house was concerned about her Terracotta tiled Kitchen Floor which was dirty and had become difficult to maintain.

Terracotta Tiled Floor Before Clean and Seal in Bishop Stortford

After taking look I could see that the sealer had worn down and was no longer preventing dirt from becoming ingrained in the pores of the Terracotta tile. This is a common problem with Terracotta which needs a sealer in place if you want to keep the floor looking its best. I recommended we strip off what was left of the old sealer, give the floor a thorough clean and then re-seal it over the course of two days. As it turns out the floor had not been cleaned and resealed in ten years, so my client was happy for me to do the work.

Terracotta Tiled Floor Before Clean and Seal in Bishop Stortford

Deep Cleaning Terracotta Floor Tiles

The first step was to strip the floor off any remaining sealer using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. The solution was left so soak into the tiles for about twenty minutes before being scrubbed in with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor buffer. At this point I also ran a stiff grout brush along the grout lines to get those clean as well.

The now soiled cleaning solution was rinsed with water and mopped off the floor. Any stubborn marks were then retreated using the same process and when I was happy that the floor was clean the floor was given a thorough rinse to remove any trace of cleaning product.

Having removed the old sealer and cleaned the tile and grout the next step was to apply a new sealer however the tiles needed to be dry to do. I decided therefore to seal the floor the following day and left an industrial air mover in place overnight to help dry out the tiles.

Sealing Terracotta Floor Tiles

Returning the next day to seal the floor I checked the floor first to make sure it was dry. All was well, so I proceeded to seal the floor starting with a base coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that soaks into the pores of the tiles, protecting them from within whilst simultaneously enhancing the colours in the tile.

Terracotta Tiled Floor After Clean and Seal in Bishop Stortford

Once the Colour Grow had dried I followed up with three coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra which like Colour Grow is a fully breathable sealer that lets moisture rise through the floor. Colour Grow however is a Matt sealer whereas Seal and Go adds a gives the floor a nice sheen.

Terracotta Tiled Floor After Clean and Seal in Bishop Stortford

 
 
Source: Terracotta Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in North Essex

Deep Cleaning 20 Year Old Mexican Terracotta Tiles near Preston

Mexican Terracotta is quite a difficult tile to deal with, mainly due to the fact it is very porous clay and partly fired, unlike a Spanish or French equivalent which is fully fired and a lot less porous as a result. Although difficult to maintain they are full of character and colour so it’s understandable why they are so popular.

Mexican Terracotta Before Cleaning Elswick

This particular Mexican Terracotta floor was installed in the kitchen and garden room of a house in Elswick near Preston around twenty years prior. The house had recently changed hands and the new owner wanted the floor in the garden room renovating, it had been covered with a carpet in the past and had now lost all its colour due to ingrained dirt.

Mexican Terracotta Before Cleaning Elswick Mexican Terracotta Before Cleaning Elswick

Cleaning Mexican Terracotta Tiles

You can see from some of the photographs that the tiles were quite grubby, so I knew we would have to give this floor a really deep clean to get the dirt out. I felt the best way forward would be to apply Tile Doctor Oxy Gel to the Terracotta and leave it to soak in. This product is a very strong gel version of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, our popular tile and grout cleaner and needs a lot of dwell time to break down fully what was left of the sealer, carpet adhesive and extract the dirt from the pores of the clay.

The product was then worked into the tile and grout using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor buffer running at a slow speed. This action worked as predicted and the now soiled cleaning solution was extracted from the floor using a wet vacuum. A lot of rinsing with water was required after this to remove all the dirt and traces of product from the tiles. I wanted to ensure all traces of the alkaline cleaning solution were rinsed from the pores of the clay, if we left any of this in the clay it could cause issues with the new sealer.

Sealing Mexican Terracotta Tiles

The floor was left to fully dry out which can take some time with Terracotta so after returning to seal the floor damp meter readings were taken first so we could be sure it had dried completely. This is essential because excess moisture can cloud the sealer and damage its performance.

Our choice of sealer was Tile Doctor Seal and Go, which provides excellent surface protection along with an aesthetically pleasing deep sheen finish that the customer wanted. The sealer is also water based so you don’t get that solvent smell as it dries.

Mexican Terracotta Before Cleaning Elswick

As you can see from the photographs, the result was fantastic, and it just goes to show even a twenty-year-old Terracotta floor can be rejuvenated and make it look like almost new.

Excellent results on terracotta tiled floor that had had carpet laid on top so was covered with glue and pretty dirty! Wouldn’t hesitate to use them again.
Caroline M, Nr Preston

Mexican Terracotta Before Cleaning Elswick

 
 
Source: Mexican Terracotta Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Lancashire

Carpet Covered Terracotta Tile and Grout Restoration near Warrington

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

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

Carpet Covered Terracotta Tiled Floor Before Restortion in Appleton

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

Deep Cleaning a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor

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

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

Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor

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

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

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

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

Carpet Covered Terracotta Tiled Floor Before Restortion in Appleton

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

Renovating Mexican Terracotta Tiles in a new Redditch Kitchen

A customer in Redditch had recently had a new kitchen fitted and prior to that had tried to seal the Mexican Terracotta tiled floor themselves, however they were not happy with the results, so they contacted Tile Doctor to see if an improvement could be achieved. The sealer they used was matt which didn’t show off the Terracotta at its best and the tile and especially the grout were not as clean as they could have been. Getting the tile and grout clean before sealing is essential otherwise you end up sealing in the dirt.

Mexican Terracotta Tiles Before Grout Cleaning Redditch Mexican Terracotta Tiles Before Grout Cleaning Redditch

To get the best from the floor I recommended stripping off the sealer, giving the tile and grout a deep clean and then resealing with a satin sealer. The customer agreed and keen to get his new kitchen looking its best booked me in to do the work.

Mexican Terracotta Tiles Before Resealing Redditch

Cleaning Original Victorian and Mexican Terracotta Tiles

My first tasks was to protect the new kitchen units from splashing with plastic sheeting and by removing the kick boards. Once done I began the process of removing the existing sealer by applying Tile Doctor Remove and Go which as the name implies is a strong coatings remover that safe to use on Tile and Stone. The product was dilated with water, applied to the tile and grout and left to soak in for about ten minutes. The floor area between the kitchen units was quite tight so on this occasion I decided to scrub the tiles with a deck brush and hand brush as opposed to using a rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. The Remove and Go did the job and the sealer was removed and the floor rinsed off with water to reveal the original tiles.

Mexican Terracotta Tiles During Stripping Redditch Mexican Terracotta Tiles During Stripping Redditch

The next step was to give the Terracotta tile and grout a deep clean by scrubbing in a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. Mexican Terracotta can be difficult to clean due to the makeup of the tile, but the Pro-Clean scrubbed in with the brushes I used earlier worked well. The now soiled cleaning solution was rinsed off with water and then extracted using a wet vacuum.

The customer had laid some new tiles to fit in with the new units but asked me to grout them so with time to spare before leaving for the day I grouted them in with a flexible grout and polished off any grout smears. It’s important that tiles are dry before sealing so the floor was then left for two days so it could dry out.

Sealing a Mexican Terracotta Floor

Upon my returned to seal the tiles I first checked with a damp meter that they had indeed dried. All was well, so I began the process of applying Seal and Go which is a water-based sealer from the Tile Doctor range that leaves the satin finish the customer wanted, also being water based it doesn’t leave a smell as it dries. Mexican Terracotta is notoriously very porous, so numerous coats of seal are required and in fact this floor needed eleven coats. I applied a few more coats to the new tiles so they would blend in better with the existing tiles.

Mexican Terracotta Tiles After Grout Cleaning Redditch Mexican Terracotta Tiles After Grout Cleaning Redditch

The customer was very pleased with the results and I left them with a bottle of Neutral Tile Cleaner to help maintain the tiles appearance going forward.
 
 
Source: Terracotta Cleaning and Sealing Service in Redditch, Birmingham

Terracotta Kitchen Tiles Cleaned at Buckinghamshire Farm Cottage

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

Terracotta Tiles Before Cleaning Buckingham Farm Cottage

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

Terracotta Tiles Before Cleaning Buckingham Farm Cottage

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

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

Cleaning Stained and Dirty Terracotta Kitchen Tiles

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

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

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

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

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

Sealing Terracotta Kitchen Tiles

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

Terracotta Tiles After Cleaning Buckingham Farm Cottage

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

Terracotta Tiles After Cleaning Buckingham Farm Cottage

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

Renovating a Terracotta Tiled Church Floor in Norfolk

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

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

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

Terracotta Floor Tiles Before Renovation St Andrews Church Eaton Norfolk

Deep Cleaning Terracotta Church Tiles

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

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

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

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

Sealing Terracotta Church Tiles in Eaton village

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

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

Terracotta Floor Tiles After Renovation St Andrews Church Eaton Norfolk

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

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

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

Terracotta Conservatory and Kitchen Floors Renovated in Brighton

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

Terracotta Floor Before Cleaning Brighton

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

Terracotta Floor Before Cleaning Brighton

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

Cleaning a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor

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

Terracotta Floor During Cleaning Brighton Terracotta Floor During Cleaning Brighton

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

Terracotta Floor During Cleaning Brighton

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

Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor

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

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

Terracotta Floor After Cleaning Brighton

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

Terracotta Floor After Cleaning Brighton

 
 
Source: Terracotta Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Brighton

Renovating a Stained Terracotta Tiled Floor in North-Buckinghamshire

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

Terracotta Floor Files Before Cleaning Amersham Council Offices

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

Terracotta Floor Files Before Cleaning Amersham Council Offices

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

Cleaning Old Terracotta Floor Tiles

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

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

Sealing Old Terracotta Floor Tiles

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

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

Terracotta Floor Files After Cleaning Amersham Council Offices

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

Terracotta Floor Files After Cleaning Amersham Council Offices

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

Mexican Terracotta Tile and Grout Renovation in York

A few months back I posted a story about cleaning Catalan Terracotta tiles where I mentioned that Terracotta tiles are made all over the world. To prove the point I thought you might be interested to read about this Mexican Terracotta Tiled floor I cleaned recently at a house in York.

The customer actually had two floors they wanted me to clean, the other was a Victorian Tiled floor which is cleaned using a similar process but I’ll post about that separately. Both floors looked a bit tired but especially the Mexican Terracotta which looked dull and lifeless additionally the Grout had gone black when it should have been a Sandstone colour.

Mexican Terracotta Floor Before Cleaning York Mexican Terracotta Floor Before Cleaning York

Mexican Terracotta tiles are invariably hand made and made to the same standard as other makes such as Spanish, as a result the porosity levels between each tile can vary greatly which makes them harder to maintain.

Cleaning Mexican Terracotta Tiles

I cleaned the floor using a strong 1:3 dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean with water which is an effective alkaline Tile and Grout cleaner that will clean and strip old sealers from tiles when used in a strong dilution such as on this occasion. I left it to soak into the tile for about ten minutes before scrubbing it in with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor machine. This process made a different but the machine couldn’t cope with the “Bull Nose” edges to I had so spend a lot of time cleaning the old fashioned way using a scrubbing brush and a lot of elbow grease. I had the same issue with the grout which being slightly recessed wasn’t cleaned sufficiently by the machine; however I have narrow scrubbing brush that works well for this purpose.

Mexican Terracotta Floor During Cleaning York

The floor was rinsed with water and the soiled cleaning solution was extracted using a wet vacuum. I could then see those area’s that needed more work and spot cleaned them with more Pro-Clean until I was satisfied all the previous sealer was gone and the tile and grout was as clean as it could be.

The tiles were given a final rinse with water and the wet vacuum used again to extract as much moisture off the floor as possible. The next step would be to seal, however the tiles would need to be dry for that to happen and given Terracotta is notoriously porous and absorbs water quickly l decided after I’d leave the floor to dry out for two days.

Sealing Mexican Terracotta Tiles

Upon my return to the property I ran some quick damp tests, which revealed the tiles were ready to be sealed. I then applied four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which provides a satin finish and really improves the look of Terracotta.

Mexican Terracotta Floor After Cleaning York Mexican Terracotta Floor After Cleaning York

My customer was very happy with the transformation that had occurred to their floor and I think you will agree from the photographs the floor looks much healthier.
 
 
Source: Terracotta Floor Cleaning and Restoration Service in Yorkshire

Stripping Off Old Varnish from Terracotta Kitchen Tiles in Gloucestershire

Terracotta tiles are always a popular choice for Kitchens but being made from clay they are porous and need to be sealed to prevent dirt from becoming ingrained in the tile. Once sealed though you need to remember Kitchens are high traffic areas, so you can expect the sealer to wear off quicker than it would elsewhere.

I mention this as a customer from Bristol asked me to do a survey on her Varnish Sealed Terracotta Kitchen Tiles where the seal had worn down and were now dull, and the grout had darkened. I surveyed the floor and completed a test clean on a section of the floor which came out well impressing the customer who was happy for me to proceed with cleaning and sealing the floor.

Terracotta Kitchen Floor Tiles in Bristol Before Cleaning Terracotta Kitchen Floor Tiles in Bristol Before Cleaning

Traditionally Terracotta tiled floors have been sealed with a number of products over the years including Wax, Linseed Oil and on this occasion Varnish however all these products have their disadvantages and don’t compare to modern sealers which are designed for the job.

Terracotta Kitchen Floor Tiles Bristol Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Dirty Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor

The first day was spent trying to get the Varnish off the floor which somebody had used on the floor as a sealer; Varnish is easily scratched by furniture, so I certainly wouldn’t recommend it. I worked out however that it could be scrubbed off once coated in a combination or Tile Doctor products Pro-Clean, Remove and Go and Nano-Tech HBU which would be left to soak in for a while and then softened with steam.

Mechanical assistance from a buffing machine fitted with a large black scrubbing pad helped reduce the amount of elbow grease that was required and once I was happy the tiles were clean the now soiled solution was rinsed off with water and extracted using a wet vacuum.

The next day and with the floor now clear I was able to see those areas that needed further re-treatment and also turn my attention to the grout which was cleaned using more cleaning solution worked in with a stiff narrow grout brush that gets into the grout lines. Once I was completely happy with the floor its was given a final rinse with water to remove any trace of cleaning products and then dried with a wet vacuum to remove as much moisture as possible.

Terracotta Kitchen Floor Tiles in Bristol After Cleaning

Sealing a Dirty Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor

It’s important that the tiles are dry before sealing so I left the floor to dry out for three days before returning to seal them. No Varnish this time of course, Tile Doctor has a range of sealers for every type of situation and what I find works best on Terracotta tiles is a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow topped off with multiple coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go.

Terracotta Kitchen Floor Tiles in Bristol During Cleaning

Tile Doctor Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer that penetrates into the pores of the clay protecting it from within whilst enhancing colour whilst Seal and Go completes the sealing process and adds a nice sheen to the look of the tile.

Terracotta Kitchen Floor Tiles in Bristol After Cleaning and Sealing Terracotta Kitchen Floor Tiles in Bristol After Cleaning and Sealing

As you can see from the final photographs the floor looked really good and the customer gave me top marks for feedback.

Terracotta Kitchen Floor Tiles in Bristol After Cleaning and Sealing

 
 
Source: Terracotta Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Gloucestershire

Sealing Porous Spanish Terracotta Tiles in Alderley Edge

According to the Mirror Newspaper Alderley Edge with its restaurants and bars is a playground for footballers; well I certainly didn’t bump into any on a recent visit there to clean and seal this lovely Spanish Terracotta Tiled Kitchen floor.

Joking aside it is a very nice area and fortunately for me the residents are very partial to stone floors. Getting back to the post, we were asked for advice on cleaning and sealing ninety square metres of Spanish Terracotta tiles that had been installed in this kitchen four years prior. The sealer had since worn off and the floor was becoming difficult to clean effectively.

Terracotta tiles are made from soft clay making it very porous and likely to absorb anything that lands on it; as a result, it’s important to maintain the sealer to stop this happening.

Deep Cleaning a Spanish Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor

To clean the floor, I soaked the tiles in a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a strong stripping and cleaning solution which removes old sealers and also draws out ingrained stains.

Spanish Terracotta Floor Tiles During Cleaning Alderley Edge

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 Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and a grout brush until they were clean.

Spanish Terracotta Floor Tiles During Cleaning Alderley Edge

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.

Spanish Terracotta Floor Tiles After Cleaning Alderley Edge

Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor

The floor was left to dry off overnight and we returned the next day and tested the tiles with a damp meter making sure it was dry before we could seal it. To seal the floor I first applied a single coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which soaks into the pores of the tile to enhance its colours. Once this was dry it was followed up by multiple coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which adds further protection and adds a nice sheen to the tile.

I took some time to complete due to the porosity of the Terracotta requiring nine coats before the tiles were fully sealed but once done it was transformed and I left a very happy costumer. A quick tip here is that you can always tell when a tile is fully sealed by adding a small drop of water to the tile, if it forms into a bubble then it’s fully sealed.

Spanish Terracotta Floor Tiles After Cleaning and Sealing Alderley Edge

 
 
Source: Spanish Terracotta Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Alderley Edge