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.
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.
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.