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 was a rather dirty Terracotta kitchen floor located at a house in Winchmore Hill in Buckinghamshire, not to be confused with the Winchmore Hill in London. The sealer on the tiles had worn off some time ago and now the dirt was becoming trapped in the pores of the Terracotta making it impossible to clean.
Deep Cleaning Terracotta Tile
To deep clean into the pores of the Terracotta a diluted solution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean, which is a strong tile cleaner sage to use on tiled floors, was applied to kitchen floor and left to soak in for around ten minutes. Then with the aid of a commercial rotary machine the solution was scrubbed into the tiles to release the many years of accumulated ingrained soiling which was removed from the floor using a wet vacuum.
Although this deep cleaned the tile the grout lines needed further attention and were treated with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up solution and then washed down with fresh water which was removed with a wet vacuum.
There was still evidence of sealer remaining on the floor in some areas so the next step in the process was to apply Tile Doctor Remove and Go again working it into the tile using a scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. Remove and Go as its name suggests is used to remove waxes and sealants from tile and stone. It certainly did the job and once the resultant slurry was vacuumed up and the floor given a final rinse to remove any chemicals used in the process the floor was looking much cleaner and left to dry overnight ready for our return
Sealing Terracotta Tile
The next day came back to do the sealing and checked the floor first for any spots we might had missed and also to ensure it had dried sufficiently. Tile Doctor Seal and Go was then applied in coats to fully seal the floor. As well as adding protection Seal and Go adds a nice subtle satin finish to Terracotta and being water based it doesn’t give off an odour when it’s drying.
Terracotta Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Buckinghamshire
A customer recently purchased a property the village of Chesham and hoped we could improve the appearance of her textured marble tiled floors which had over a number of years become dull and lost the polished marble look one would expect from a floor of this quality.
Marble Tile Cleaning and Polishing
For polished stone like Marble and Limestone the only way to restore the finish is to burnish the floor and this floor was no different. The burnishing pads are diamond encrusted and come in a setup of four seventeen inch pads for use with a heavy rotary machine, each pad having a different purpose.
So we started with the Red pad which is designed to remove sealers together with a little water, we then took the opportunity to clean up the grout by applying a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and scrubbing it into the grout lines to get them clean. Next step was to remove the soiled cleaning solution and wash the floor down with water before moving onto the white burnishing pad which will grind off ingrained dirt and is the first step in polishing the floor. We then completed the floor polishing using the Yellow then Green polishing pads which smooth down the surface and produce a shiny finish.
We were asked to improve the appearance of this Ceramic tiled floor and Grout installed in a kitchen in Chalfont St Giles which over a few years had become difficult to keep clean and the grout lines had become stained and discoloured.
Cleaning Tile and Grout
Our first task on day one was to clean the Ceramic tiles and Grout so we created a diluted 50/50 mixture of tile doctor Pro-Clean and Nanotech UltraClean, the two products combine to provide a very powerful tile friendly alkaline cleaner with tiny sized abrasive particles. This was left to soak into the tile and grout before being agitated and scrubbed with a scrubbing machine running on low speed. We also used stiff grout hand brushes along the grout lines. Once we were happy with the overall condition of the tile and grout it was washed down using clean water and the resultant soiled solution extracted from the floor using a wet vacuum. I’m pleased to say that using this method we were able to return the tile and grout back to its original colour.
Whilst this was a fantastic transformation the grout lines being porous would untreated soon become dirty and discoloured. The only answer to this problem is a permanent colour seal to the grout lines which not only aids the future floor cleaning, but improves the whole appearance of the floor.
Applying the Grout Colour
Before applying a Grout Colour it’s important to ensure the grout is clean of grease and dirt naturally we had just cleaned this floor so this was not a problem I only mention it in case you were considering taking on a similar task yourself.
Once the grout has dried you can start applying the colourant which is a relatively straightforward process of squeezing the product onto a toothbrush and running it onto the grout. Don’t be tempted to use an old toothbrush for this purpose as it may contaminate the colourant leading to discolouration in the finish.
We completed the project the next day using an Aqua Mix sand coloured Grout Colourant; the customer was extremely pleased and commented how whole clean and efficient the process was.
Tile Cleaning and Grout Colouring in 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.