Tile Staining

Terracotta Kitchen Floor Deep Cleaned and Sealed in Abingdon

The photos below are from a customer in Abingdon who had a Terracotta tiled floor in their Kitchen. Kitchens are high traffic areas and overtime the sealer had worn off and now dirt was becoming ingrained in the pores of the Terracotta. Once you get dirt in the pores of a clay tile or natural stone it becomes very difficult to remove and now the floor was not looking its best.

Terracotta Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Abingdon

Unhappy with the appearance of the tiles the owner of the property had been in touch requesting a deep clean and fresh sealer. It was a fairly straight forward job and I was able to provide a quick quotation which was accepted and a data agreed to do the work which would take two days.

Cleaning Terracotta Tile

I started cleaning the Terracotta by doing applying a 1:3 dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is our goto alkaline tile cleaner. For this floor I actually ended up using two litres of Pro-Clean diluted in six litres of water. The solution is left to soak into the tile for about ten minutes before being scrubbed in using a 180-grit silicon carbide brush attached to a weighted floor scrubber. These brushes are quite expensive however they do last a long time so well worth the investment for someone in my profession. If you were doing this work yourself a Black Buffing pad would do the trick.

This process worked well on the floor and the cleaning solution was soon dirty with the soil that had been released from the pores of the Terracotta tile. The slurry was rinsed off the floor with water and extracted using Numatic wet vacuum.

Final step of the cleaning process was to give the tiles an acid wash. This is done using a 10:1 dilution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which is applied to the tiles and then scrubbed in using a soft poly brush fitted to a floor scrubber. This process removes any old grout smears and traces of efflorescence and slightly roughens the surface of the Terracotta tile to ensure a better bond with the sealer. Once done the floor was rinsed with more water and extracted with the wet vacuum leaving the floor as dry as possible before leaving for the day.

Sealing Terracotta Tile

I left the floor to dry off overnight and I returned the next day to seal the floor first checking the tiles were dry by taking a few moisture readings with a damp meter. The readings came back fine so I need not have been concerned however Terracotta tiles being made from clay are very porous so it’s always a good idea to check.

The floor was dry, so I set about applying the first coat of sealer which for this floor I used Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra. You need to leave around thirty minutes in-between coats and this floor took five coats before it was fully sealed.

Terracotta Tiled Floor After Cleaning Abingdon

Once finished the Terracotta floor looked much cleaner, fresher and the sealer had given the tiles a nice subtle sheen. For aftercare I recommend Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner which is ideal for the regular cleaning of sealed floors.

 

Terracotta Floor Deep Cleaned and Sealed in Oxfordshire

Cleaning and Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Floor in Witney

I was called in by a client from the Cotswolds market town of Witney who had lifted up a carpet to discover a Terracotta tiled floor underneath. Although the floor was in good physical condition the carpet and underlay had been trapping moisture resulting in White efflorescence staining. Old floors like this one were laid before damp proof membranes became standard so covering them up can cause damp issues. It is important to allow moisture from underneath tiled floors to evaporate unimpeded otherwise moisture can reach out to the walls resulting in rising damp.

Terracotta Floor Before Cleaning Witney
Moisture can also penetrate the pores of the clay Terracotta tile potentially leading to its degradation over time and in this case resulted in the appearance of white efflorescent salts being deposited on the tile surface causing unsightly staining.

Cleaning Terracotta Tile

I started cleaning the Terracotta by doing applying strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is an effective alkaline tile cleaner. For best results I spread the solution on the floor and then leave it to dwell and soak in for up to twenty minutes. This gives the product time to eat into the dirt and old coatings before being scrubbed in with a black pad fitted to a rotary floor machine. This worked very well on the floor and the cleaning solution was soon dirty with the released soil which was removed using a wet vacuum and more water to rinse it away and dry the floor as much as possible.

To remove the white efflorescent staining the floor was given an acid wash using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up which is designed for removing grout and other mineral stains from tiling. This was brushed into the tile and grout by hand and left to fizz as it reacted with the efflorescence. After another rinse and extract with the wet vacuum the floor was left to dry out for a couple of days. The next step would be to seal the Terracotta and for best results the tile needs to be dry.

Sealing Terracotta Tile

On my return I checked the tiles were dry by taking a few moisture readings with a damp meter. The readings came back fine so I need not have been concerned however Terracotta tiles being made from clay are very porous so its always a good idea to check.

Given the previous issues with damp I knew I would need to use a fully breathable sealer, so I opted to use Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This product will cope well with the moisture and contains a colour enhancing formula that really brings out the red colour of the Terracotta.

Terracotta Floor After Cleaning Witney
Except for a few deep efflorescent stains in the grout, the floor responded very well to the treatment and made a massive improvement to the overall appearance. My client was pleased with the transformation and the newly restored floor matched well with the character of the property.

 

Terracotta Floor Cleaned and Sealed in the Cotswolds

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