terracotta tiles

Badly Maintained Terracotta Professionally Restored in Twickenham

In our experience there is a general lack of good maintenance advice given when new tiled floors are installed which results in floors that looked fantastic following installation losing their appearance of the years that follow. Naturally Tile Doctor aims to fill this gap and this Terracotta tiled floor at a property in Twickenham, Middlesex is a good example. It had not been professionally cleaned since it was installed 18 years prior and due to a multitude of advice over the year’s various oils and sealers had been erroneously applied, leaving a build up of routine maintenance residues in the tile.

Terracotta Floor Before Deep Clean in Twickenham

Furthermore, due to its natural porosity, Terracotta tends to allow dirt and stains to become ingrained, making the tiles even more difficult to clean – and keep clean, for that matter. These types of floors need regular maintenance or the only remedy is to strip and deep clean the tiles followed by the application of a fresh seal which is exactly what we had to do in this case.

Deep Cleaning a Dirty Terracotta Tiled Floor

To restore the appearance of this floor I would need to strip off the old coatings; fortunately, we have a strong product just for that purpose so to start with I liberally covered the tiles in our heavy duty coatings remover, Tile Doctor Remove and Go. It helps break down old sealers and oils and I left it to soak in for ten minutes so it could get a good start. I then machine scrubbed the floor with a 17″ scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine which takes a lot of the hard work out of the job, although I still need to hand scrub in the corners and along the grout lines with a stiff brush.

Terracotta Floor Deep Clean During Grout Scrubbing in Twickenham

All of the resulting cleaning chemicals and soiled residue were then flushed and vacuumed away with our pressure rinsing system. This method leaves the Terracotta tiles completely fresh and clean, ready to receive a new sealer.

Sealing a Terracotta Tiled a Floor

I left the property overnight, giving the floor a full 24 hours to dry completely. As most who read my posts will already know, a floor with outstanding damp issues cannot be sealed as even the slightest quantity of moisture can cloud the sealer and damage its performance.

Terracotta Floor Deep Clean after grout scrubbing in Twickenham

Upon my return to the property I ran a few damp tests as a matter of precaution. Once satisfied that the floor was completely dry, I proceeded to seal the tiles using seven coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, which works really well on Terracotta providing an aesthetically pleasing sheen finish and forms a stain resistant layer on the surface of the tiles to protect them from dirt and stains. I should mention it’s also a water based sealer so there’s no solvent smell given off as it dries which is always a bonus.

Terracotta Floor After Deep Clean and seal in Twickenham

As you can see from the pictures, the restoration has restored the lustre and colour of the Terracotta and the grout looks much cleaner; the very happy customer can be assured that maintaining the condition of the Terracotta will be much easier in the future.

Stripping and Sealing a Dirty Terracotta Tiled Floor in Middlesex

Terracotta Tiled Floor Maintained in Shepperton, Middlesex

This Terracotta tiled floor was laid in the kitchen of a property located in Shepperton, Middlesex. It had been laid eight years prior and had an initial sealer applied. Over the years the customer had applied polish to help maintain a shine however the sealer and polish were now in a bad state and holding onto dirt. You can see this in the photographs below which show the tiles looking quite dull and the grout grey.

Terracotta Tiles Before Terracotta Tiles Before

Cleaning Terracotta Tiles

I started the job using a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a heavy duty alkaline product ideal for cleaning natural products such as Terracotta and stripping off old sealers and polish, this was scrubbed in with a black pad fitted to a rotary machine. We repeated the process a couple of times and also used a stiff hand brushes along the grout lines where the pads can often struggle to reach. Once happy the floor was clean it was given a thorough rinse to remove any remaining chemical and left it to dry.

Sealing Terracotta Tile

We left the floor to dry for 48 hours and then returned to re-seal it. Tile Doctor Seal and Go was used to seal the floor, it’s a topical water based sealer that doesn’t give off an odour when it’s drying and also offers durable stain protection together with a low sheen finish which really enhances the natural colour of the tile. Terracotta is very porous and in the end the floor actually took six coats of sealer before it was fully sealed. Applying a sealer does take a long time to apply as you have to wait for it to dry before applying the next coat.

Terracotta Tiles After Terracotta Tiles After

The work took two days in all and you can see the difference for yourself, the floor now looks much improved certainly the customer was very pleased with the end result and now has a floor that is easy to maintain for the future. I cover Shepperton and the surrounding areas so please feel free to contact me.

Kitchen Terracotta Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Middlesex

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