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