I was asked to visit a property in Crowthorne near Sandhurst to take a look at a Terracotta tiled floor that was installed twenty years prior and had now become dull and dirty. The client had recently had the house redecorated and attempted to clean the terracotta tiles themselves, however they quickly discover the process was difficult and rather time consuming and thus got in touch with Tile Doctor.
As part of my visit I carried out a cleaning test on a small patch of Terracotta flooring which they could clearly see made a huge improvement. It was also an opportunity for me to see which products would work best on the tiles which is useful as it means I can create a more accurate quote for renovating the floor. This is specially useful when quoting for Terracotta floors as many are protected with wax coatings which can be a struggle to remove.
They were more than happy to go ahead with my quote, and a date was arranged to carry out the work. This was just before the COVID-19 epidemic broke out and I manged to get the work done before the lockdown started. Its worth knowing that we have now changed our working practices since then including risk assessments, new PPE and social distancing measures.
Deep Cleaning a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor
To clean the floor and remove old coatings such as sealers etc a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go was sprayed onto the tiles and allowed to dwell for ten minutes. The grout lines were then given a good manual scrub with a stiff grout brush before turning my attention to the Terracotta tiles which were scrubbed mechanically. For this we use a black pad fitted to a rotary buffing machine adding more water as needed to help lubricate the process.
The scrubbing released the dirt from the tiles and the soil was extracted with a low-pressure extraction machine. The client was amazed how much dirt was coming out of the floor. Some of the grout lines and textured inserts needed double treatment due to heavy build-up of sealer. I continued this process until the floor was completely stripped back and clean.
Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor
Stripped back terracotta is very porous so I allowed the floor to dry out over the weekend to make sure it would be bone dry before sealing. Returning on the Monday I conducted a moisture test with a damp meter to check the floor was dry before starting to apply the sealer. Tile Doctor Seal and Go was used to seal the terracotta, a total of eight coats was applied leaving roughly twenty minutes between coats. Having air movers placed around the room helped with the drying time. Seal and Go is a water-based sealer so it doesn’t leave a smell as it dries, it works very well on Terracotta leaving a subtle sheen to the tile which puts new life in the floor.
The client was delighted with their new floor and left a lovely testimonial which I have copied below:
“Dennis was punctual, professional and proficient. He was a pleasure to have around. We are delighted with the result of his work and we would have no hesitation in recommending him to friends and family “
Before leaving we discussed recommendations to keep the floor clean and what products to use. To this end a complimentary bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Floor Cleaner was left for their use. This as its name implies is pH neutral so will ensure the newly applied seals stay in place unlike many acidic household cleaners that can strip the sealer from the floor. It is mild enough to use daily and has a nice fresh smell, so should ensure the integrity of the newly restored floor for some time to come.