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

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

Deep Cleaning Dirty Terracotta Tiles

This customer in North Chailey, near Haywards Heath and Uckfield, contacted me asking for her Terracotta tiled kitchen floor to be cleaned and sealed. To quote the customer she said the tiles were “horrendous” and upon inspection it was hard to disagree.

Terracotta Kitchen Floor North Chailey Before Cleaning Terracotta Kitchen Floor North Chailey Before Cleaning

However I thought that most of the floor could be greatly improved but several areas around the washing machine and dishwasher were particularly soiled. Once I spoke of my concerns the customer admitted that both the washing machine and dishwasher had flooded the floor twice and leaked on a regular basis. Washing powder is very caustic and causes permanent damage that cannot be fixed.

Terracotta Tile Cleaning

I stripped off what was left of the previous sealer using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a heavy duty alkaline cleaner/coatings stripper ideal for tiled surfaces. We let the solution dwell on the floor for 10 to 20 minutes before working it into the tiles by hand and deck brush, usually I’d use a rotary buffing machine with a scrubbing pad but it was quite a narrow kitchen. Once I’d washed it down and sucked up any excess water with the wet-vax I left it for two days to dry.

Terracotta Tile Sealing

I returned 48 hours later and sealed the Terracotta tiles using four coats of Tile Doctor Pro-Seal which is a water based (no smell) penetrating sealer recommended for food preparation areas such as kitchens. Sealers can take some time to apply as you have to wait for the first coat to dry before applying the next, fortunately however we were blessed by a warm windy day which blew through the kitchen and increased the drying time. You can see from the pictures on this page the amazing transformation that was achieved. Whilst I was waiting for the sealer to dry I noticed their patio was in need of attention so I gave that a blast from my industrial pressure washer.

Terracotta Kitchen Floor North Chailey After Cleaning Terracotta Kitchen Floor North Chailey After Cleaning

 
 
Source: Tile, Stone and Grout Cleaning Service in East Sussex