The new owner of this house in the very old and quaint English village of Penn, Buckinghamshire wanted to refresh the look of the Terracotta tiled kitchen floor before they moved in. It had suffered from a heavy soil build-up of dirt over time due to inadequate maintenance and ineffectual sealer.
Since Terracotta (which came into popular use in the West in the 19th century) is highly porous, large amounts of dirt can become ingrained very quickly if not taken care of. Restoring this floor would be a two-day job, including thorough cleaning and stripping, as well as the application of a fresh sealer to provide long-term protection.
Cleaning a Heavily Soiled Terracotta Tiled Floor
The first day was spent giving the tiles a deep clean. To begin, I mixed a strong solution of the heavy duty alkaline cleaner, Tile Doctor Pro Clean, which a versatile product suitable for tackling heavy soil build up on a range of natural stone floors.
The solution was spread evenly across the surface area of the floor, before being worked into the stone with a commercial rotary machine fitted with an abrasive scrubbing pad. This really helped to break down the layers of muck. Next, I paid particular attention to the grout lines, scrubbing them with the acid-based Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up to remove dirt and neutralise any grout haze and mineral salts that had built up. Thanks to this the stained grout lines were restored to their original colour.
The final task on day one was to strip away the remaining failed sealer using Tile Doctor Remove & Go, which is specially designed for this purpose. Similar to earlier, the product was worked in using the rotary machine and abrasive pad. Once the cleaning process was complete, I washed the floor to remove all chemicals and slurry, before leaving the floor to dry naturally overnight.
Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Floor
Returning to the house the next day, I firstly checked for any remaining moisture on the, which is important as it can negatively impact sealer performance. With everything in good condition I proceeded to seal the tiles using the solvent-based, topical sealer known as Tile Doctor Seal and Go.
I applied multiple coats in order to build up sufficient protection on the surface of the tiles to reduce the damage of future spillages and staining. The sealer will also provide a durable and aesthetically pleasing low sheen finish.
As you can see from the before and after photographs, a remarkable difference was made to the condition and appearance of this Terracotta tiled floor. My customer was very pleased with the results, and I’m sure the new home owner will be even more pleased to find the floor looking great when they move in.