Sealing Terracotta

Renovating a Flood Stained Terracotta Kitchen Floor in Gloucester

Earlier this year a customer from Gloucester got in touch with Tile Doctor through Home Services following a flood that had affected his Terracotta Kitchen floor. It’s difficult to tell from the pictures but the Terracotta floor was badly stained and marked following the flood, it now looked flat and dull and my customer wanted its appearance restored to the way it looked before.

Flood Stained Terracotta Floor Before Cleaning Gloucester

I visited site to survey the tiles a recommend a was way to improve the appearance of the floor. Although now completely dry the floor was not looking its best, but there was nothing we couldn’t remedy. To resolve, I recommended deep cleaning the floor, stripping off any dirt and what was left of old sealers and then applying a new sealer. I gave them a formal quote which they could pass on to their insurance company and a not long after we received a call to say they were able to go ahead with the work.

Deep Cleaning a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor

My first job was to prepare the floor for cleaning by removing the kickboards under the kitchen units and sweeping away any grit. Next the floor was deep cleaned using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was left to soak into the Terracotta tiles for ten minutes. This gives time for the Pro-Clean to get to work breaking down the old sealers and dirt trapped in the pores of the tile. The Pro-Clean was then scrubbed into the tile using a black buffing pad fitted to a rotary machine.

After scrubbing the floor soiled cleaning solution was rinsed away with water and extracted from the floor using a wet vacuum. The tiles were then inspected to see if more work was required, there were a few areas I was not happy with, so the process was repeated where needed.

I then turned my attention to the grout lines which were really ingrained with dirt. I cleaned these with Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a stronger product that is really designed for removing stubborn sealers but is also a powerful cleaning agent in its own right. Again, I left the product to soak into the grout for ten minutes before scrubbing it by hand with a stiff brush to really get the grout clean.

After rinsing and extracting one more time the Terracotta and Grout were as clean as they could be, and I left the floor to dry off fully for four days. Terracotta is very porous, so it absorbs the water and takes longer to dry than other tiles.

Flood Stained Terracotta Floor After Cleaning Gloucester

Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor

On my return I first checked the floor for moisture using a damp meter taking several readings around the floor to satisfy myself it was dry. Applying a sealer to a damp tile would lead to an inconsistent result so it’s always best to be sure.

Eight coats of sealer were needed to ensure the floor was fully sealed, again Terracotta is very porous, and it can really drink the sealer. For this floor I chose Tile Doctor Seal and Go which works really well on Terracotta it added a nice subtle shine to the tiles and will ensure the floor is protected going forward. It’s also water based so you don’t get a smell as it dries.

Flood Stained Terracotta Floor After Cleaning Sealing Gloucester

Afterwards the floor looked great and the customer was very happy. They are just hoping there will not be a repeat of the floods that caused the previous damage.

 

Professional Restoration of a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen in Gloucestershire

Wax Sealed Mexican Terracotta Floor Stroud

We were called by a customer with a Mexican Terracotta floor who was looking at having it taken it up and replaced but before doing wondered what it would cost to have it renovated. I visited the property in the nearby market town of Stroud in the centre of Gloucestershire to survey the floor and advise on options. Stroud by the way is a lovely part of the county and sits within the Cotswolds which is an area of outstanding beauty.

Wax Sealed Mexican Terracotta Tile Before Cleaning Stroud
The customer had this floor laid thought the ground floor just five years earlier and had been was advised to seal it with wax. After three months the wax had broken down and started collecting dirt as you can see from the pictures. Unfortunately, he had not been advised the correct way to look after his floor and was now fed up with its appearance. Help was at hand and I was confident I could restore the floor for a lot less than replacing it, I explained what could be done, agreed a price which was accepted and agreed a date for carrying out the work.

Wax Sealed Mexican Terracotta Tile Before Cleaning Stroud

Stripping Wax Off Mexican Terracotta Tiles

So, the first job was to strip the layers of wax and sealant off using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and Remove and Go. I combined the products together to make a very effective cleaner and coatings remover and left them to soak into the Terracotta tiles for ten minutes, before scrubbing them in with a black pad fitted to a rotary floor machine. This process released a lot of dirt and waxes from the floor which I extracted with a wet vacuum and then retreated areas that needed more work until I was happy it was as clean as it could be.

After the floor was clean I set about on grout lines these were also in a bad state, they needed a lot of manual scrubbing with Pro-Clean which was worked in with a narrow stiff brush to get them clean.

Wax Sealed Mexican Terracotta Tile After Cleaning Before Sealing Stroud
Afterwards, happy with the result, I rinsed the floor three times with water to remove any trace of the cleaning products and soil from the floor. Because I had to use so much water and cleaning products to achieve a good result I left the floor for nearly a week, so it could thoroughly dry out. Mexican terracotta is very porous, and it would need to be dry before sealing so I figured five days should be enough time.

Sealing Mexican Terracotta Tiled Floor

I returned after five days and checked that moisture levels of the floor were satisfactory with my moisture meter. Once I was satisfied I was good to go ahead with the sealing. I decided to use two different types of sealant on this job. For the first coat I used Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnator that soaks into the pores of the clay tile protecting it from with and enhancing the natural colours in the process. I then applied six coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go letting it dry in between coats. Seal and Go is a water-based blend of acrylic polymers that provides both a stain resistant seal and a durable low-sheen finish, which the customer had requested on this job.

Wax Sealed Mexican Terracotta Tile After Cleaning Sealing Stroud
The customer was pleased with the result, he never expected it to look so good and had thought he was going to have to put a new floor down. Not only had we completed a great job for them, they had been saved significant expense too.

 

Professional Restoration of Mexican Terracotta Tiles in Gloucestershire

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