I was called to a large working farmhouse near Herne Bay to look at renovating a heavily soiled Terracotta tiled kitchen floor. Kitchen floors are one of the busiest in any house but even more so in a farmhouse where muddy boots and paws were frequent visitors.

Terracotta Kitchen Floor Tiles Before Cleaning Herne Bay

Having inspected the floor I asked if it would be ok to do a cleaning test, so they could see the potential improvement and I could work out which products would have the best effect. I was confident I could have a major impact on the floor so I chose an unobtrusive tile under one of the counter tops to do the test, this way if the family decided not to progress with the work, then a glaringly clean tile wouldn’t be centre stage!

Terracotta Kitchen Floor Tiles Before Cleaning Herne Bay Terracotta Kitchen Floor Tiles Before Cleaning Herne Bay

I cleaned the tile and demonstrated my results to the husband who would show it to his wife later that day. In the meantime, I put together a quote and emailed it through. Suitably impressed, they awarded the job to me but on the understanding that Christmas and New Year were to get in the way and that the work would need to happen in January.

Cleaning Dirty Terracotta Floor Tiles in Herne Bay

Dates were agreed upon and when they came about, I turned up at 9am sharp on the first day. Every floor is different, and I found that the best result for this particular floor was achieved by hand scrubbing the grout lines with a wire brush and a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, a powerful alkaline cleaner. The tiles were then cleaned individually using a six-inch carbide brush fitted to a handheld buffer.

I managed to extract a lot of ingrained dirt from the pores of the Terracotta, so It was clearly some time since the tiles had been sealed. The cleaning solution soon turned into a dark slurry which was rinsed off with water and extracted with a wet vacuum. The floor then needed washing with a mop and bucket and further cleaning with a 17-inch Black scrubbing pad fitted to a floor buffer to make sure the floor was as clean as it could be. After another rinse and extraction with the wet vacuum I was satisfied. The work was time consuming, but well worth the effort to see the tiles transformed.

Terracotta is made from clay and like a sponge very porous, the tiles were now dark with the water they had absorbed and needed to dry out before the final step of applying a sealer could happen.

I had already arranged to leave a full day in-between before returning to seal and left a damp meter with the owners so they could check the tiles themselves. A day of drying was sufficient however and I got a call the night before that the tiles were sufficiently dry.

Sealing Old Terracotta Floor Tiles in Herne Bay

When I arrived the following morning, the floor looked so much lighter and 100% cleaner. Having retrieved my damp meter, I checked the moisture levels in the floor and confirmed it was ready to be sealed.

Having discussed desired finish with the clients during my initial visit it was clear they wanted the tiles to have a subtle sheen. From this I chose to seal the Terracotta with Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra, this is a topical sealer which works very well on porous clay tiles and would produce the sheen finish they wanted.

Seal and Go Extra works by forming a breathable barrier over the tile, thereby keeping dirt on the surface where is can easily be removed through regular cleaning. Three coats were applied allowing each coat to dry before applying the next. The colour intensifier in the sealer, along with the sheen, totally transformed the tiles.

Terracotta Kitchen Floor Tiles After Cleaning Sealing Herne Bay Terracotta Kitchen Floor Tiles After Cleaning Sealing Herne Bay

The customers’ expectations were comfortably exceeded, and they were so happy with the result they left the following glowing review:

‘Our floor looks incredible, better than we could have hoped for. It has changed our whole kitchen for the better. Graham was really nice and did a thorough and efficient job with beautiful results’

On the subject of regular cleaning, I recommended they use Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner, this will ensure that the floor is cleaned without compromising the newly applied sealant. Household cleaners tend to contain strong chemicals such as bleach which will break down the sealer prematurely, so always check the label.

Terracotta Kitchen Floor Tiles After Cleaning Sealing Herne Bay


Source: Terracotta Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Herne Bay, Kent