A local cleaning contractor called us in to work on the Terracotta tiled floors at a council building in Amersham. The Terracotta had not been deep cleaned and resealed for about ten years and the sealer had worn off leaving the tile vulnerable to dirt becoming ingrained in the pores of the tile. The grout had also suffered the same fate and had almost gone black in many areas.
This is a common problem with Terracotta which is quite porous and once those pores become ingrained with dirt the tile becomes difficult to clean effectively. The solution is to seal the tile however sealers wear off over time and this was basically the problem.
After discussing the issues we agreed on a plan of action to deep clean the Terracotta tile and grout and then re-seal to protect it. Due to the busy nature of the building we agreed to do the work between Christmas and New Year when we knew the building would be empty.
Cleaning Old Terracotta Floor Tiles
We started by applying a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel which is a strong tile cleaning product that being in a gel form ensures it sits on the tile for longer, giving it a longer effective dwell time so it can really eat into and loose the dirt. After approximately twenty minutes the gel was scrubbed into the tile with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. This broke down most of the dirt and removed any remaining sealer. Once the whole floor had been treated in this manner it was rinsed thoroughly with water which was then extracted using a wet vacuum.
With the soiled cleaning solution removed I could see the next step would be to spot clean stubborn staining and clean the grout. For this task I used a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean scrubbing it in by hand using stiff brushes and aided with a hand-held steamer to help treat the stubborn staining. Once done the floor was given a final rinse and then as much moisture as possible removed with the wet vacuum.
Sealing Old Terracotta Floor Tiles
We then left the floor to dry off completely and came back a couple of days later to seal the Terracotta tile.
I mentioned earlier that Terracotta is porous; in fact it’s probably the most porous material I deal with, so to fully seal the floor I had to apply eight coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which will provide complete and long lasting protection against staining and dirt. Seal and Go also adds an appealing satin sheen to the tile and the new seal will make it much easier to clean in future.
The floor tile and grout now look much healthier and I’m sure the council will be very impressed when they go back to work after the holidays.
Happy New Year…
Professional Terracotta Tiled Floor Renovation in Buckinghamshire
This Porcelain tiled floor had been laid in the hallway and kitchen of a house in Leighton Buzzard five to six years earlier. During that time the floor had become very dirty and the grout was discoloured to the point where it had turned black and no matter how hard the customer tried they were unable to get the grout clean.
On my initial visit to the property we discussed the options with the customer and decided that the best thing to do would be to thoroughly clean the grout and then seal it with grout colorant saving a messy and costly replacement of the grout.
Cleaning Porcelain Tiles and Grout
To get the porcelain tiles clean and deal with the worst of the grout I treated the floor with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. The product was mopped onto the floor and then left to dwell for 20 minutes. It was then scrubbed into the tiles with a black pad fitted to a rotary machine running on a slow speed. I also ran a stiff grout brush along the grout lines to get the grout as clean as possible.
The floor was then rinsed with water under high pressure and the slurry extracted using a wet vacuum. As we were grout colouring later I gave the grout a further scrub using Grout Colourant Pre-Treater which ensures a better bond between the grout and the colourant, this was then rinsed off with more water and also extracted using the wet vacuum.
Once the grout was dry I started applying the Grout Colourant in a colour that best matched the original grout and colour of the tile. The process is quite straight forward and involves using a small brush to carefully apply the colorant along each grout line. When I was finished, I made sure to clean any excess product off the tiles before it had time to dry.
My photographs probably don’t do the floor justice but hopefully you can appreciate how the grout is now uniform in colour and with the protection of the grout colourant which forms a barrier over the grout it will stay that way for a long time to come.
Restoring the Appearance of Porcelain Tile and Grout in Buckinghamshire
This customers Terracotta tiled floor was installed in the kitchen of a house in Great Missenden and had become ingrained with dirt and soiling over the last twenty years leaving an unsightly black greasy appearance which was impacting the sale of the property.
Cleaning Terracotta Tiles
On the first day we covered the floor with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean which is a heavy duty Tile Stone and Grout Cleaner mixed 50/50 with Tile Doctor Ultra Clean which adds abrasive particles into the mix. The resulting combination provides a powerful cleaning agent that penetrated deep into the tile and in conjunction with a rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad managed to remove several layers of soiling. We then rinsed the floor with fresh water and removed the vast amount of slurry with a wet vacuum.
The next step of our cleaning process was to apply Tile Doctor Remove and Go across the tiles and let it soak in as before; Remove and Go is a coatings remover that will strip the floor of any seal or wax coatings which had been applied to the floor over the years, again the product was worked in using a scrubbing pad and then washed off.
Once we were happy with all cleaning and seal and wax removal and the floor had returned to its original condition we left the floor to dry.
Sealing Terracotta Floor Tiles
Once the floor was dry we started to seal it in order to protect it and for this we chose Seal and Go which not only leaves a surface protection but also brings though the true colour of the stone returning the floor to its original beauty, Terracotta is very porous and it took seven coats before it was fully sealed.
Our customer was very happy with the difference and I have since been informed they have received a first offer on the property.
Terracotta tiles deep cleaned in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire.
This Limestone tiled floor with Slate Inlays was installed in a house in Little Chalfont, Buckinghamshire; the previous sealer had failed and was no longer offering any protection allowing dirt to become ingrained in the stone and become dull from soiling.
Cleaning and Polishing Limestone Tiles
To get the Limestone Tiled floor back to its original condition we used a set of diamond encrusted 17” Burnishing Pads fitted to a heavy rotary buffing machine. It’s important to give the floor a quick clean first to prevent grit from getting trapped in the pads and leading to deep scratches on the surface. You start off with the coarse red pad together with a little water which can remove sealers before moving onto the other pads.
At this point we gave the floor a deep clean using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a heavy duty alkaline cleaning product that’s safe to use on Stone floors mixed 50/50 with NanoTech Ultra-Clean which adds tiny abrasive particles into the solution; this combination is especially effective on grout so we took the opportunity to get into the grout lines as well. The resulting soiled solution was removed using a wet vacuum and the floor washed down with clean water before continuing the burnishing process with the White cleaning pad followed by the Yellow Polishing pad which smooth’s the surface and finally the Green pad which gives that high shine finish.
Sealing Limestone Tiles
The floor was washed down to remove any particles left over from the polishing and left to dry before we set about sealing using three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. Colour Grow is recommended for a number of stone surfaces and does well to lift the natural colours in the stone as well as providing on-going surface protection.
Before leaving we recommended that the customer use Tile Doctor Concentrated Tile & Stone Cleaner for cleaning going forward, like Pro-Clean it’s an alkaline cleaning product that will clean the stone without eating into the sealant. The house owner was very satisfied with the results and promised to recommend our services to family and friends.
Details below of a newly laid Travertine Honed & Filled floor in Aylesbury that needed stripping and re-sealing. The work was done at the request of a building company who had just completed a pair of semi-detached houses laid with Travertine tiles on the ground floor. Unfortunately the tiling contractor had failed to clean the tile surface properly before sealing and had trapped particles of dust and debris into the sealer, as a result the whole floor was as rough as sandpaper and needed to be stripped and re-sealed prior to their clients moving in the following week.
Cleaning Travertine Tile
To remove the existing sealer and to polish the stone we used the Tile Doctor diamond burnishing system. This involves burnishing the floor with diamond encrusted pads fitted to a heavy rotary machine, the system consists of a set of four seventeen inch coloured pads and you work your way through the pads from red (sealer removal) through to green (final polishing). This work returned the stone to its original condition ready for sealing.
Sealing Travertine Tile
We sealed the floor with three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which provides excellent stain protection whilst enhancing the natural colours in the stone. The building company was pleased that we had managed to resolve the problem before the owners moved in as it had avoided an embarrassing situation for them. Interestingly we have since completed three other jobs with this same type of problem.
Sealing Honed and Filled Travertine tiled floors in Buckinghamshire