Uneven Saltillo Terracotta Tiled Hallway Renovated in Canterbury, Kent

Earlier this year I went to visit a property in Canterbury to look at restoring a Terracotta tiled floor. The floor was approximately 11m2 and made from the larger Saltillo type Terracotta tiles. It had been in situ for some time and being located in the hallway it was subject to the heavy foot traffic of a busy household.

Having taken a closer look at the Terracotta tiles I could see there were many high spots due to poor installation by the original tiler, on top of that it had then been sealed with linseed oil followed by a wax paste. Wax was traditionally used to seal Terracotta floors, but it scratches easily and can lead to a thick build-up. Since the introduction of modern sealers designed for the job, we don’t recommend wax treatments anymore.

Saltillo Terracotta Hallway Floor Before Renovation Canterbury Saltillo Terracotta Hallway Floor Before Renovation Canterbury

We discussed the process to renovate the floor, explaining that the best course of action would be to use milling pads to level the surface of the tiles which would improve the finish and remove the built-up wax. Once prepared in this way the floor would be sealed to protect it going forward. They were happy with my quotation and we agreed a date to return and complete the work.

Renovating a Terracotta Tiled Hallway Floor

The use of Milling pads can generate a lot of slurry to our first task was to protect the surrounding areas using protective sheeting. The area was quite tight to work in, so we used the smaller six-inch milling pads which are encrusted with coarse industrial diamonds. The pads we fitted to a handheld buffer and worked over the tiles gradually increasing the pads from coarse to finer grits. The machine we use has a water feed that keeps the surface lubricated and this also helps to reduce the dust. The fine slurry generated using this process is rinsed off and extracted with a wet vacuum.

The next step was to remove the old wax the floor had been treated with a dilution of Tile Doctor Wax Away which is designed for exactly this purpose. Its applied to the floor and then scrubbed in using a slow speed rotary machine. Afterwards the floor is rinsed with water several times and the waste removed with the wet vacuum. By the time we had finished that day we could see a big improvement in the floor surface. After the final rinse the floor was left to dry off overnight.

Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Hallway Floor

I came back the following day and using the moisture meter checked that the floor was dry. It was well within the accepted parameters, so I was ready to apply the seal.

To seal the Terracotta, I had selected to use Tile Doctor Colour Grow, this is a modern durable sealer that provides long lasting protection and ideal for busy hallways. Colour grow also also enhances the natural red and orange colours in the Terracotta leaving a nice subtle finish. Three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow were applied.

Saltillo Terracotta Hallway Floor After Renovation Canterbury Saltillo Terracotta Hallway Floor After Renovation Canterbury

The photographs I took don’t show the difference in the floor that well, however my customer was very happy with the improvement in the floor and glad that the potential trip hazard has been resolved.

 

Source: Terracotta Cleaning and Renovation Service in Canterbury, East Kent

Renovating Mexican Terracotta Tiles in Stroud, Gloucestershire

We were called by a customer with a Mexican Terracotta floor who was looking at having it taken it up and replaced but before doing wondered what it would cost to have it renovated. I visited the property in the nearby market town of Stroud in the centre of Gloucestershire to survey the floor and advise on options. Stroud by the way is a lovely part of the county and sits within the Cotswolds which is an area of outstanding beauty.

Wax Sealed Mexican Terracotta Tile Before Cleaning Stroud

The customer had this floor laid thought the ground floor just five years earlier and had been was advised to seal it with wax. After three months the wax had broken down and started collecting dirt as you can see from the pictures. Unfortunately, he had not been advised the correct way to look after his floor and was now fed up with its appearance. Help was at hand and I was confident I could restore the floor for a lot less than replacing it, I explained what could be done, agreed a price which was accepted and agreed a date for carrying out the work.

Wax Sealed Mexican Terracotta Tile Before Cleaning Stroud

Stripping Wax Off Mexican Terracotta Tiles

So, the first job was to strip the layers of wax and sealant off using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and Remove and Go. I combined the products together to make a very effective cleaner and coatings remover and left them to soak into the Terracotta tiles for ten minutes, before scrubbing them in with a black pad fitted to a rotary floor machine. This process released a lot of dirt and waxes from the floor which I extracted with a wet vacuum and then retreated areas that needed more work until I was happy it was as clean as it could be.

After the floor was clean I set about on grout lines these were also in a bad state, they needed a lot of manual scrubbing with Pro-Clean which was worked in with a narrow stiff brush to get them clean.

Wax Sealed Mexican Terracotta Tile After Cleaning Before Sealing Stroud

Afterwards, happy with the result, I rinsed the floor three times with water to remove any trace of the cleaning products and soil from the floor. Because I had to use so much water and cleaning products to achieve a good result I left the floor for nearly a week, so it could thoroughly dry out. Mexican terracotta is very porous, and it would need to be dry before sealing so I figured five days should be enough time.

Sealing Mexican Terracotta Tiled Floor

I returned after five days and checked that moisture levels of the floor were satisfactory with my moisture meter. Once I was satisfied I was good to go ahead with the sealing. I decided to use two different types of sealant on this job. For the first coat I used Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnator that soaks into the pores of the clay tile protecting it from with and enhancing the natural colours in the process. I then applied six coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go letting it dry in between coats. Seal and Go is a water-based blend of acrylic polymers that provides both a stain resistant seal and a durable low-sheen finish, which the customer had requested on this job.

Wax Sealed Mexican Terracotta Tile After Cleaning Sealing Stroud

The customer was pleased with the result, he never expected it to look so good and had thought he was going to have to put a new floor down. Not only had we completed a great job for them, they had been saved significant expense too.

 

Source: Mexican Terracotta Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Stroud, Gloucestershire

Terracotta Floor Deep Cleaned For New Owners

I was contacted just before Christmas by a couple who had bought a house in the southern resort of Bognor Regis that they hoped to spend the festive season in; apart from a new coat of paint and carpet their main concern was the state of the Terracotta tiled floor in the hall, kitchen and dining room. On my initial site inspection it was clear that there were years of grime build up caused by the previous owner’s dogs coming into the house onto a poorly sealed floor. After assuring the client that I was confident that the floor could be bought back to life a price was agreed and a date fixed. I estimated it would take two days to carry out the work with a gap of two days in between to allow the floor to fully dry out.

Terracotta Tiles Before Cleaning Bognor Regis Terracotta Tiles Before Cleaning Bognor Regis

Deep Cleaning Terracotta Tiles

On the first day I prepared a warm water dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and worked this into the tile surface and grout using a hand brush and then the buffing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. This lifted all the residual dirt, grime and remaining sealer if any. After vacuuming up the dirty solution using a wet Vac the floor was then rinsed several times with clean water to make sure that there was no cleaner or dirt left in or around the tiles.

There were a few stubborn areas where it was necessary to repeat the process and then the whole floor was given a final rinse using the wet vacuum and sponge to get the surface as dry as possible before being left to dry for two days. The tiles were covered with dust sheets in any area that was required for access in order to keep them clean whilst drying out.

Sealing Terracotta Tiles

After allowing the floor to dry out I returned to the property and using my moisture meter tested the floor in several areas to make sure that it was ready to be sealed (I had previously warned the clients that if it wasn’t then further time would have to be given). Satisfied that all was well I set about sealing it, first with a coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which was allowed to cure and then followed by five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go. Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer that seeps into the pores of the stone protecting it from the inside and as a bonus enhances colour whilst Seal and Go is a topical sealer that protects the surface and also adds a nice sheen to the tile. The end result was everything that I imagined it would be and the clients were very pleased with it also saying that they never thought it would ever look as good as it did. As I said to them ‘I’m no magician but I am a (Tile) Doctor!!

Terracotta Tiles After Cleaning Bognor Regis Terracotta Tiles After Cleaning Bognor Regis

 
 
Source: Tile, Stone and Grout Problems resolved in West Sussex

Removing ingrained dirt from Terracotta Tiles

This Terracotta Tiled Floor in the lounge of a house in Edinburgh was ingrained with dirt from what must have been years of use since it was last given a thorough deep clean and seal.

Terracotta Floor Tiles Edinburgh Before Cleaning

Cleaning Terracotta Tile and Grout

This floor was very dirty so to get them clean a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean was applied and left to soak into the pores in the Terracotta for a good while. More Pro-Clean was applied and then worked into the tiles using a rotary bonnet machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. This action saw the dirt coming out of the floor a

Removing Efflorescence from Terracotta Floor

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 Tiles in East Tytherley Before Cleaning

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 Tiles in East Tytherley After Cleaning

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.

Terracotta Tiles in East Tytherley After Sealing

Source: Residential and Commercial Tile and Stone Cleaning in Wiltshire

Deep cleaning dirty Terracotta tiles in a Kitchen

This Terracotta tiled floor was in the kitchen of a house in Didsbury near Manchester. The tiles had never been sealed before and so had become ingrained with dirt making them very difficult to clean.

Terracotta floor cleaning Didsbury before

Cleaning Terracotta Tiles

To get the Terracotta tiles clean I soaked tiles in a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and left it to dwell for ten minutes. Then using a large 17inch black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine and a stiff grout brush proceeded to work the cleaning solution into the tile and grout. This process soon turned the cleaning solution dark with the dirt that had been released from the tile and this was removed using a wet vacuum. The floor rinsed down with water and stubborn areas retreated, finally once happy with the condition of the floor the tiles were thoroughly rinsed to remove any trace of cleaning product prior to sealing and the floor left to dry overnight.

Sealing Terracotta Tiles

I returned the next day to seal the floor testing it first with a damp meter to make sure it had dried. I then started to seal the tiles using Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water based sealer so it doesn’t leave any smell as it dries. Terracotta is a very porous clay based material and so the floor took seven coats of sealer to do the job, this is not unusual and I’ve known some Terracotta to need even more coats of sealer.

Terracotta floor cleaning Didsbury after

 
 
Source: Residential and Commercial Terracota Tile Cleaning in Greater Manchester

Cleaning Terracotta Tiles in a Kitchen

This customer in Salisbury was having difficulty bringing their Terracotta tiled
kitchen floor
back to the condition it was in when it was first laid. Upon
inspection it was evident that the sealer on the floor had failed and dirt had become
ingrained into the pores of the tile making it difficult to clean and causing it to
become increasingly dirty over a period of time.

Terracotta Tiled Floor Salisbury Before Cleaning

Terracotta Tile Cleaning

We started by cleaning the floor with a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean
mixed 50/50 with Nanotech Ultra Clean which has the effect of adding tiny abrasive
particles to an already effective alkaline cleaning product that is safe to use on Tile,
Stone and Grout. The solution was scrubbed into the grout first using a stiff grout
brush and this powerful combination made the removal of ingrained dirt much
easier to achieve. The next step was to use a black scrubbing pad on a rotary
machine to clean the tiles. Once I was happy with that the tile and grout was clean
the now dirty cleaning solution was removed using a wet vacuum and he floor then
thoroughly rinsed with cold water using a deck brush to make sure that any product
residue was removed. We then repeated the process for any stubborn stains and
give the floor another cold water rinse to finalise the cleaning process again using a
wet vacuum to remove as much water from the floor as possible to reduce drying
times.

Terracotta Tile Sealing

We left the floor to dry for seven days due the porosity of the terracotta. Upon our
return we gave the floor a damp test to confirm that the floor was dry enough to be
sealed. The test confirmed the tiles had dried and so the Terracotta was sealed using
seven coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go which enhanced the colour and shine on the
floor but most importantly will give the floor the protection it needs.

Terracotta Tiled Floor Salisbury After Cleaning and Sealing

Before leaving I gave the customer some cleaning tips to prolong the life of the seal
and recommended in future they use Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner to clean the
floor going forward; unlike most acidic tile cleaning products you find in
supermarkets Neutral Clean does not degrade and reduce the life of the sealer with
use.
 
 
Source: Residential and Commercial Stone and Grout Cleaning in Wiltshire