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.
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.
This customer from the town of Horwich near Bolton had just had a new kitchen fitted and was considering ripping up the Terracotta tiled floor but thought they would contact Tile Doctor first to see if anything could be done. I went round to take a look and could see that the floor had lost its vitality and managed to convince the owner it was really just in need of a good deep clean and seal
Cleaning the Terracotta Tiled Floor
The Terracotta tiles still held some sealer so the first job was to remove that using a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was worked into the floor using a buffing machine fitted with a black buffing pad. Once the floor was clean and I was happy the sealer was removed I rinsed the floor three times using clean water to neutralise the floor and remove any remaining cleaning product before sealing. I may have mentioned this before but I highly recommend the use of a wet vacuum at this stage as it makes the job of removing liquids from floors much faster.
Sealing Terracotta Floor Tiles
The floor was left to dry overnight and I came back the next day to apply the sealer. For Terracotta floors I usually use Tile Doctor Seal and Go, its recommended for terracotta and as well as providing good stain protection adds a nice low sheen to the floor. Terracotta is very porous and as a result I had found it was necessary to apply seven coats of sealer before it had become fully sealed; this does take time as it’s necessary to allow each coat to dry before applying the next.
I thought the floor looked transformed after the work we did, certainly my customer was very pleased with the work and left the following remark:
First class professional job that brought the terracotta floors up better than new
Mr. D. Hall, Horwich
Cleaning and Sealing Terracotta Floor Tiles in Horwich