The photographs below show a Terracotta Tiled floor we maintained that was installed in the kitchen and conservatory of a house in the Northamptonshire village of Holcot. The tile and grout was in good physical condition but had become ingrained with dirt and were now in need of a deep clean and reseal.
Cleaning Terracotta Tiles
First job was to protect the kitchen units, doors and skirting boards during the cleaning process for which I used blue plastic sheeting. Next a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is an industrial strength alkaline cleaning product that’s safe to use on tile and stone was applied to the floor using a mop. The solution was left it to dwell on the floor for twenty minutes in order for it to soak into the tile and get to work on the dirt. It was then worked into the floor using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad and stiff hand brushes were along the grout lines where the pad struggled to reach.
The soiled solution was picked up using our large wet and dry vacuum and the floor was then rinsed with clean water to neutralise the tile and allow us to see which areas need further attention. The process was repeated until I was happy that any old sealer and all the dirt had been removed and then the floor was given a final rinse, wet vacuum and then left to dry overnight ready for sealing the next day.
Sealing Terracotta Tiles
When I returned the next day I checked the floor had dried using a damp meter which it was and so proceeded to seal the Terracotta tiles with seven coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which will protect the tiles from staining and also add a nice subtle shine to the floor. Terracotta is a clay based product and so naturally quite porous.
I was contacted by the owner of a Terracotta floor at a house in the old village of East Tytherley near Salisbury, the floor was in good condition and was just in need of a regular deep clean and seal with extra attention along the grout lines which had darkened, additionally there appeared to be evidence of efflorescence that would need attention.
Terracotta Tile Cleaning
We started by smothering the floor with a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed 50/50 with Nanotech Ultra Clean leaving it to soak into the tiles for twenty minutes to give it time to eat through any dirt and remaining seal.
The solution was scrubbed into the grout using a stiff grout brush followed by the use of a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. We made sure each tile was scrubbed in this manner four times to remove all the dirt and remaining sealant. Then we removed all trace of slurry and product by using clean water and a deck brush several times using a wet vacuum to remove the water.
To treat the efflorescence we then applied a dilution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up to the affected parts of the floor and used a stiff deck brush to remove the salts again rinsing the floor with clean water afterwards and removing it with a wet vacuum. We then left the floor to dry for ten days as Terracotta is very porous and can take time to dry.
Terracotta Tile Sealing
When I returned ten days later the first thing was to test the floor with a damp meter which confirmed the floor was dry and good to seal which was done using ten coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which will protect the tile from stains going forward and also adds a nice subtle sheen to the terracotta.
This Terracotta tiled floor was laid in the kitchen of a property located in Horncastle, Lincolnshire. The tiles were well maintained and in reasonable condition compared to some floors I have worked on but they had started to look tired and dull in some areas and so the customer wanted them deep cleaned and resealed.
Cleaning Terracotta Tiles
I began the job using a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a heavy duty alkaline product ideal for cleaning natural products such as Terracotta and stripping off old sealers, this was scrubbed in with a black pad fitted to a rotary machine. We repeated the process a couple of times and also used a stiff hand brushes along the grout lines where the pads can often struggle to reach. Once happy the floor was clean it was given a thorough rinse to remove any remaining chemical and left it to dry.
Sealing Terracotta Tile
We left the floor to dry and then returned then next day to re-seal it. Tile Doctor Seal and Go was used to seal the floor, it’s a topical water based sealer that doesn’t give off an odour when it’s drying and also offers durable stain protection together with a low sheen finish which I think you will agree has added a nice shine to the floor. Terracotta is very porous and this floor actually took five coats of sealer before it was fully sealed. Applying a sealer does take a long time to apply as you have to wait for it to dry before applying the next coat.
The work took two days in all, you can see the difference for yourself.