This Terracotta tiled floor was installed in the kitchen of a cottage in the small village of Maidford near Towcester. The tiles were not looking their best and the owner of the property realised it was time to do something about it and contacted Tile Doctor to have the floor stripped and resealed. Stripping and Sealing tile and stone floors is our bread and butter so I was more than happy to pop round and survey the floor which was approximately 9m2.
The grout had darkened with dirt and the previous tile sealer was failing so dirt was now getting ingrained in the Terracotta making it difficult to clean in places and leading to a patchy appearance. We discussed the work involved, my quote was accepted, and a date agreed for me to return and complete the work which would take two days, one to clean and one to seal.
Stripping Terracotta Kitchen Floor Tiles
After tidying up the Kitchen and removing the kickboards from underneath the kitchen units I set about working on cleaning and stripping the Terracotta floor of old sealers. To start I tested a small area with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Wax Away. Wax was quite often used on Terracotta so I figured this product would be a good place to start. My suspicions were proved correct, and I found this to be the best product for removing the many layers of sealant on the floor. Wax Away is a new alkaline product by Tile Doctor and ideal for cleaning clay-based tiles such as Terracotta.
With my sights set on the rest of the floor Wax Away was scrubbed into the tile using a 17” rotary floor scrubbing machine and a black scrubbing pad running on a slow speed which helps to reduce splashing. This activity soon brought the dirt off the floor and the soiled cleaning solution was removed using a wet vacuum and the floor was rinsed down with clean water. The cleaning process was repeated a couple of times until I was happy with the floor, a stiff hand brush was then used along the grout lines with a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to clean up the grout.
After rinsing and extracting the floor again the floor was inspected, and I noticed there were a few stubborn paint splashes on the tiles. I managed to remove these and these by spot treating the affected area with Tile Doctor Remove and Go and a steamer to lift the stain out of the clay tile. Once happy the floor was clean it was given a thorough rinse to neutralise it and remove any trace of cleaning products and then left it to dry.
Sealing Terracotta Floor Tiles
I allowed the floor to dry for several days before returning to seal the Terracotta using numerous coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is an ideal sealer for Terracotta and provides durable stain protection together with a low sheen finish. Terracotta is by its nature very porous and so it’s not unknown for it to take up to nine coats of sealer, which can take some time to apply as like paint you have to wait until it’s dry before it will take the next coat.
The customer was so impressed by the results I achieved in their kitchen they decided to go ahead and book me in to carry out this process throughout the whole of the ground floor which included lounge, study and hallway.
Renovating a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor in Northamptonshire
The photographs below are of a Marbled Tiled floor that was installed over much of the ground floor of a cottage that formed part of a large county estate near Reigate.
The Marble floor tiles were lovely however the polish and sealer had worn off some time ago and the were now looking much worse for wear, additionally the once white grout had turned dark with dirt and I`m not sure even the owner realised its full potential. I provided a quote for cleaning and applying a deep polishing to the floor which was agreed and set a date to do the work.
Marble Tile and Grout Cleaning in Reigate
After protecting the wooden skirting with tape, I started the cleaning process by applying a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was scrubbed into the tiles using a stiff brush to remove any loose dirt and debris from the floor but primarily along the grout lines. The soiled cleaning solution was then rinsed off with water and then extracted with a wet vacuum.
Next step was to deep clean the tiles and bring back the polish using a set of four Tile Doctor diamond encrusted honing pads which fit a weighted rotary floor buffer and are applied in sequence starting with the 400-grit pad lubricated with water. This is followed with the 800-grit and then the 1500-grit pads rinsing with water after each pad and removing the soil generated by the burnishing process with the wet vacuum as before.
This work took much of the day so after applying the 1500-grit pad and rinsing I left the floor to dry out overnight.
Sealing and Polishing Marble Tiles with Shine Powder
The next day I started by applying the 3000-grit pad which is the final pad in the polishing process and really helps bring up the polished appearance of the Marble. The pad is applied to the floor dry using a little water sprayed onto the floor using a process we call a spray burnish.
The last step was to seal the Marble tiles and build the polish even further by applying Tile Doctor Shine Powder which is diluted with water and buffed into the Marble tiles using a white buffing pad. The shine powder did an excellent job of building the shine on the floor and provides a tough durable finish that should last.
After two days work the Marble tiled floor looked transformed and I was especially pleased with the deep level of shine and restored white grout that I had managed to achieve.
Restoring Polish to Marble Floor Tiles in East Surrey
Looking at the pictures below you might think this Quarry Tiled kitchen floor at a cottage in Rotherfield was as old as the village which dates back to the 8th Century and is mentioned in the Doomsday book. It really was in a bad state with I don’t know what covering the tiles which had gone black as a result but were actually very pretty as you will see later.
The client was having a new kitchen fitted and wanted the tile and grout restored so as not to incur the cost of replacing it. This really is the best time to look at getting your tiles thoroughly cleaned as with many of the old units removed I could access most of the floor and of course I didn’t need to worry about protecting the units either.
Cleaning Dirty Kitchen Quarry Tiles
I could see this floor was going to be a challenge so decided to try a strong cocktail of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and Nanotech HBU, HBU stands for Heavy Build-Up so quite appropriate I thought. Working in sections the floor was soaked in the cleaning cocktail and left to dwell for some time in order to soften the dirt and grime.
The next step was to run over the tiles with a set of Burnishing pads which are encrusted with industrial diamonds. It took more than one attempt at this process but the abrasive pads had the desired effect and eventually revealed the beautiful quarry flooring below.
The pads are effective on the tiles but the grout sits a little lower and so to reach these a stiff brush was scrubbed into the grout by hand.
To remove the dirt that was released from the cleaning process and further clean the tiles I used a Spinning Tool through the process. The tool is powered from a large compressor that sits in my van which forces hot water under pressure onto the tiled floor whilst simultaneously extracting the dirty water back to a tank on the van. It’s an amazing tool that is very effective however you do need to have the van parked very close the house due to a limitation on the hose lengths.
With the tiles now clean and rinsed with water the floor was dried as much as possible with a wet vacuum.
Sealing Kitchen Quarry Tiles
The floor was left to dry for a couple of days before I returned to complete the restoration with the application of a sealer. I tested the floor with a damp meter on my return to ensure it was dry; all was well so I moved onto sealing. Sealer of choice on this occasion was Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water-based sealer which so it doesn’t leave a smell as it dries. The Quarry tiles were quite porous, which is not uncommon for Quarry Tiles and six coats of sealer were required in the end.
As the photographs show, the floor was transformed and my customer was elated with the results saying “wow it’s like new!”
Professional Restoration of a Dirty Quarry Tiled Floor in East Sussex