A landlord contacted to have the Terracotta floor tiles in the Kitchen of a rental property in Dormansland, near Lingfield, cleaned and sealed after Tenants moved out. There are plenty of “end of tenancy cleaning” companies around however they don’t specialise on tile and grout and therefore won’t have the equipment to deep clean them properly.
Terracotta is a porous material so it has to be protected with a sealer to prevent dirt from becoming ingrained in its pores, as once this happens it’s a real struggle to remove. Pitfalls including using the wrong cleaning method which can result in scratching and not allowing the tile to dry before sealing which can result in an uneven finish.
Before quoting for the work, I visited the property and carried out a small test clean. For this I used both a black nylon pad and then a 400-grit diamond pad. The result from the black pad was ok but not exceptional but the result from the 400-grit pad was much better. The diamond pad uses industrial diamonds to cut through and loosen the dirt however the pads are expensive, so I like to try an alternative first. The client was happy for me to go ahead, he just wanted me to ensure the floor was nice and tidy and was easy for the new tenants to keep clean and maintain.
Deep Cleaning Terracotta Tile and Grout
On arrival first I taped up the kitchen plinths and the skirting boards to protect them from the cleaning solutions I would be using which can be quite messy. I started by cleaning the grout first then the tiles. With the grout being recessed it tends to gather dirt easily and is best cleaned by hand using a wire brush and Tile Doctor Pro-Clean.
After the grout I turned my attention to the Terracotta tiles which were pre-wetted in Tile Doctor Remove and Go and then scrubbed using the 400-grit diamond pad mentioned earlier. Once the whole floor was treated in this way it was rinsed with water and the soiling removed with a wet vacuum.
Once done the floor was inspected and stubborn areas were retreated until I was satisfied with the condition of the Terracotta and grout. Then after a final rinse and extraction the floor was left to dry off overnight.
Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor
Returning the next day, I tested the floor with the damp meter to check for remaining moisture. The tests confirmed that the floor was dry enough to seal, I applied three coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra. The customer wanted a strong sealer but not too glossy. The alternative Tile Doctor Seal and Go can be thought to be too glossy so Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra is a good compromise.
I suggested leaving a bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner for the incoming new tenant. Hopefully if they use it regularly, they will keep the floor in good condition. It is pH neutral and mild enough to use every day but will not compromise the newly applied seal. Standard household cleaners tend to be too strong and will break down the sealer which will take the floor back to square one.
He was delighted with the overall finish and agreed encouraging them to use the cleaner would be a good plan.