Sealers really do bring out the best in Terracotta tiles, however the catch is they will wear off over time and if you want to maintain that appearance you have to work out a regular maintenance plan. If you don’t maintain the sealer you will find that the sealer near the most heavily used areas such as doors etc. will wear away first and once that happens dirt will become ingrained in the tile and becomes difficult to clean resulting in a patchy appearance.
The remaining sealer on this Terracotta tiled kitchen floor at a house in the town of Wickford, Essex was no longer effective and had worn completely off in places. The solution was to strip off the old sealer, clean the Terracotta tile and gout and then re-seal with a fresh seal.
Stripping Sealers from Terracotta Tiles
I started by giving the floor a deep clean with Tile Doctor Pro Clean diluted 2 parts water to 1 part cleaner. This is quite a strong dilution designed to allow the removal of the sealer and was left to dwell on the floor for ten minutes before working it into the floor using a scrubbing machine fitted with a black pad. Surprisingly the sealer was proving difficult to shift in certain areas and I had to repeat the process a few times and made sure to give the grout a good scrubbing as well.
I managed to get rid of most of the sealer using this process and for the remaining stubborn areas I used a stronger product called Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a very effective coatings remover that is safe to use on tiles. This did the trick and the floor was now free of sealers and the grout was looking much better too, the resultant slurry was removed using a wet vacuum and I then rinsed the floor several times with water before leaving it to dry for weekend.
Stripping Sealers from Terracotta TilesTile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that seeps into the pores of the tile to block them and prevent contaminates becoming ingrained in there and it also enhances the natural colours. Once this was dry I followed up with a number of coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is topical sealer that will protect the surface and adds a nice sheen to the floor and is a popular choice for Terracotta and Quarry tiles.
I’m not sure my photographs do this post any justice however hopefully you can see that floor was quite transformed, the grout is much cleaner and the colours in the Terracotta have really come to life.
Source: Cleaning and Maintaining Terracotta Tiles in Essex