Dirty Mexican Terracotta Tile and Grout Deep Cleaned and Sealed in York


A few months back I posted a story about cleaning Catalan Terracotta tiles where I mentioned that Terracotta tiles are made all over the world. To prove the point I thought you might be interested to read about this Mexican Terracotta Tiled floor I cleaned recently at a house in York.

The customer actually had two floors they wanted me to clean, the other was a Victorian Tiled floor which is cleaned using a similar process but I’ll post about that separately. Both floors looked a bit tired but especially the Mexican Terracotta which looked dull and lifeless additionally the Grout had gone black when it should have been a Sandstone colour.

Mexican Terracotta Floor Before Cleaning York Mexican Terracotta Floor Before Cleaning York

Mexican Terracotta tiles are invariably hand made and made to the same standard as other makes such as Spanish, as a result the porosity levels between each tile can vary greatly which makes them harder to maintain.

Cleaning Mexican Terracotta Tiles

I cleaned the floor using a strong 1:3 dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean with water which is an effective alkaline Tile and Grout cleaner that will clean and strip old sealers from tiles when used in a strong dilution such as on this occasion. I left it to soak into the tile for about ten minutes before scrubbing it in with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor machine. This process made a different but the machine couldn’t cope with the “Bull Nose” edges to I had so spend a lot of time cleaning the old fashioned way using a scrubbing brush and a lot of elbow grease. I had the same issue with the grout which being slightly recessed wasn’t cleaned sufficiently by the machine; however I have narrow scrubbing brush that works well for this purpose.

Mexican Terracotta Floor During Cleaning York

The floor was rinsed with water and the soiled cleaning solution was extracted using a wet vacuum. I could then see those area’s that needed more work and spot cleaned them with more Pro-Clean until I was satisfied all the previous sealer was gone and the tile and grout was as clean as it could be.

The tiles were given a final rinse with water and the wet vacuum used again to extract as much moisture off the floor as possible. The next step would be to seal, however the tiles would need to be dry for that to happen and given Terracotta is notoriously porous and absorbs water quickly l decided after I’d leave the floor to dry out for two days.

Sealing Mexican Terracotta Tiles

Upon my return to the property I ran some quick damp tests, which revealed the tiles were ready to be sealed. I then applied four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which provides a satin finish and really improves the look of Terracotta.

Mexican Terracotta Floor After Cleaning York Mexican Terracotta Floor After Cleaning York

My customer was very happy with the transformation that had occurred to their floor and I think you will agree from the photographs the floor looks much healthier.
 
 

Mexican Terracotta Tile and Grout Renovated in Yorkshire



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Cleaning Student Shower Cubicle Tile and Grout at Oldham University


Earlier in the year we were contacted by the facilities manager of one of the student apartment blocks in Oldham which provides accommodation for the students of Oldham University. They were looking for a firm to revamp the student en-suite bathrooms during the summer recess. The building has 270 apartments and we had been asked to quote for the renewal of the ceramic tile and grout of around 45 shower cubicles (possibly more) which were judged to be in a bad state and beyond the ability of their in-house cleaning team.

The University runs degree courses from Accounting to Sports Coaching and as you can image Students are not known for their cleanliness so we knew we would have our work cut out completing the assignment on time.

Several companies competing for the work however after successfully demonstrating what we can do with a patch test in one of the bathrooms and comparing of quotes I’m pleased to say the facilities company awarded us the contract!

Student Shower Cubicle Before Cleaning in Oldham

Tile and Grout Cleaning

We returned in the summer and facing a time limit to complete the work we worked out a system whereby we would spray the Tile and Grout down with Tile Doctor Duo-Clean, let it soak in for about ten minutes and then scrubbed it in by hand with a stiff brush. Duo Clean is an effective double action grout cleaner and mould remover that can remove mould and blackspot from grout and silicone. It’s really useful for cleaning shower tiles as the spay attachment mixes the product with air as its spayed onto the surface allowing it to stick to vertical surfaces more easily. Once the tile and grout was clean it was rinsed off with water and stubborn areas re-treated until clean.

Duo Clean is effective at dealing with Mould on Silicone in most situations however some of the silicon sealant was beyond cleaning so in these cases the old Silicone was stripped out and replaced with new.

We were able to clean all the shower tile and grout using this process however I had brought a long a few Grout Colouring kits as a back-up solution just in case. Once the grout is clean the colourant is painted on using a small brush and makes a huge difference to the look of a shower. There also inexpensive and provide a barrier over the grout so it keeps its appearance for longer.

There were a lot of bathrooms to cover so once the cubicle was spotless we immediately moved onto the next one completing the whole project three days ahead of the due date.

Student Shower Cubicle After Cleaning in Oldham

The facilities manager was delighted with results and timing of our work and it just goes to show that using the right cleaning products can save you time and money compared to the alternative of re-grouting.
 
 

Commercial Shower Cubicle Cleaning at Oldham Student Accommodation



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Restoring Neglected Geometric Victorian Hallway Tiles in Barnstaple


Barnstaple in North Devon is known to be one of, if not the oldest boroughs in the whole of the United Kingdom. The area certainly has a rich history and many of the properties built in the 19th century still exist and are in use.

It’s not uncommon for the owners of houses built in this era to discover original Victorian tiled floors and hallways. They’ve usually been covered up at some point in the past, either by carpet or linoleum, but if maintained correctly they can be a real asset to any property.

I recently visited one such customer, who lives in Barnstaple, to restore a recently uncovered Victorian tiled hallway that had been tiled in a geometric pattern. This hallway had been neglected and covered for some time by carpet so the colours had faded and there were patches of carpet underlay firmly embedded in some of the tiles.

The property owner uncovered the floor after seeing a similar one in the entrance hallway of a neighbour and was thrilled with her find. After a bit of scrubbing and cleaning the customer decided to call in professional help after a recommendation for the Tile Doctor Devon from a friend. A home visit was conducted and a test patch was done to show what was possible and to talk through options. A quote was then produced which the customer was happy with and the work was arranged for the following week.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Barnstaple before restoration

Cleaning a Neglected Victorian Tiled Hallway

As the floor was really in quite a bad state, I opted to use Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU as my main cleaning product. HBU stands for ‘Heavy Build-Up’ – and that’s exactly what the product is formulated to tackle: heavy build-up of ingrained dirt and soil. It used nano-sized cleaning particles to penetrate deep into the pores of the stone and get underneath stains to lift them to the surface.

I applied NanoTech HBU to the entire hallway and left it to dwell for several hours, before scrubbing it as thoroughly as possible with a brush fitted to a rotary cleaning machine. The soil that was brought to the surface was subsequently rinsed away with fresh water and the resulting slurry was extracted using a wet vacuum.

Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway

Once finished with the cleaning process, I left the floor to dry out completely. This was important as older floors which lack a damp proof membrane can suffer from moisture issues, and these issues can damage the performance of the sealer.

Thankfully there were no problems with drying the floor. I was able to seal the tiles using a colour-enhancing impregnating sealer from our range, known as Tile Doctor Colour Grow. For extra protection – and to provide the finish the customer had requested – I also applied a topical sealer called Tile Doctor Seal and Go. This left the floor with a high-quality, long-lasting satin finish.

A properly sealed floor will be much more resistant to stain as well as easier to clean. As with every job a cleaning and maintenance guide was provided which gives handy tips and do’s and don’ts for the floor and that particular sealer.

The restoration reinstated this great Victorian tiled hallway as the showpiece upon entering the property and the customer was absolutely thrilled. You can see the final result below.

Victorian Tiled Hallway Barnstaple after restoration

The customer was thrilled with the floor and was very surprised at just how well the colour came back to the tiles and provided the following feedback:

“I am so pleased with the service Stuart provided. After the initial quote and patch test I felt under no pressure to ask him to proceed, but I was happy with the quote and he arranged a date convenient to me. I am chuffed with my floor, it looks great. The after care has been great also. Thank you Stuart.”
 
 

Professional Restoration of a Dirty and Neglected Victorian Tiled Hallway in North Devon



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