terracotta tiles

Removing wax from a Terracotta tiled floor in Battersea

Traditionally Terracotta tiled floors were protected using wax and this floor at a house in Battersea had been protected with a number of treatments including wax and other sealers, without a full history of the floor it’s not that easy to tell what you’re dealing with. Wax isn’t an ideal sealer as it can scratch easily which allows dirt to become ingrained and modern sealers outperform it in many ways.

Terracotta Tiles Before Cleaning in Battersea Terracotta Tiles Before Cleaning in Battersea

Cleaning Terracotta Tile

To get the floor clean I started the job using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was scrubbed into the tiles using a rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad. Pro-Clean is a heavy duty alkaline cleaner which can be used to remove wax residues and old sealants and being an alkaline product its safe for use on tiles. Unfortunately because there was so much old sealer and wax in the tiles it took several attempts to get the tiles clean and in the end it took five days to get them back to their natural state. Once this was done the floor was given a thorough rinse to remove any trace of cleaning product and allowed left to dry.

Terracotta Tiles Before and After Cleaning in Battersea

Sealing Terracotta Tile

Tiles need to be bone dry before sealing or it will upset the final effect of the sealer and in the end I had to wait three weeks before I was happy to start sealing, Terracotta being clay based is very porous so this is not that unusual.

To seal the tiles I used eight coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water based topical sealer which leaves no smell as it dries and also adds a nice sheen to the floor, eight coats is not unusual for Terracotta again due to its porosity.

Terracotta Tiles After Sealing in Battersea Terracotta Tiles After Sealing in Battersea

The customer could not believe the transformation and even though it took a lot longer than first anticipated he was really pleased, especially when he got his invoice, because he was expecting to be charged for the extra time it took to complete. I told him that once I had given him my price I do not add extras.

Terracotta Tiles Before and After Sealing in Battersea

Terracotta Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Surrey

Terracotta Tiled Floor Sealing

We were consulted on this Terracotta Tiled floor because the owner complained that whenever she cleaned and sealed them they always got dirty quickly. I asked how many coats of seal was used on the floor and as it turns out only two coats were used because that was the instructions on the bottle. I suspect the bottle hadn’t listed Terracotta specifically and I informed the owner that with this type of floor the minimum amount of coats would be seven, she was very surprised by this but the fact is Terracotta is very porous.

Cleaning Terracotta Tile

I started the job using a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a heavy duty alkaline product ideal for cleaning tiles, scrubbed in with a black pad fitted to a rotary machine. I had to repeat this about five times and also used a steamer to clean out the grout lines and any bits left on the tiles, once this was done I thoroughly rinsed the floor to remove any remaining chemical and left it to dry overnight.

Terracotta Tile Before Cleaning

Sealing Terracotta Tile

I left the floor to dry overnight and the next day came back to do the sealing. There were a couple of spots that needed further attention which were tackled using the steamer which has the added advantage to neutralising the floor and evaporating leaving the floor dry again. Tile Doctor Seal and Go was used to seal the floor, it’s a water based sealer so it doesn’t give off an odour when it’s drying and also offers durable stain protection together with a low sheen finish. In the end the floor actually took nine coats of sealer before it was fully sealed, which naturally took a long time to apply as you have to wait for it to dry before applying the next coat.

Terracotta Tile after cleaning and sealing
The lady was extremely happy and said it turned out exactly as she had always wanted it to.

Terracotta Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Surrey

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