Terracotta Kitchen Tiles Restored for New Homeowners in Brighton

This couple, who live in the seaside resort of Brighton, had purchased their house four months before Christmas and wanted to have the fantastic Terracotta tiled floor in the kitchen and conservatory looking its best before the festive period, since they had family visiting. The floor was looking washed out and it was clear the sealer had failed in the high traffic areas and was now allowing dirt to penetrate into the pores of the tile making it difficult to clean.

Terracotta Floor Before Cleaning Brighton

We often get calls from new home owners keen to put their own stamp on a property shortly after moving in; stone floors rarely come with cleaning instructions so if you have a stone floor it makes sense to get in touch, so we can advise you on how best to maintain it.

Terracotta Floor Before Cleaning Brighton

We provided a quote which included stripping the floor of old sealers, cleaning, oiling and then sealing it again to restore cleanliness and character to the Terracotta. There was a lot to do and two areas to clean so I anticipated it would take four days to complete.

Cleaning a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor

Having accepted the quote our first task upon returning to the property was to give the Terracotta tiles a deep clean and remove any remaining sealer present on the tile. This was achieved by applying a strong combination of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU to the tiles and then covering it in a plastic sheet, so it wouldn’t dry out. This method allows the products to really soak into the pores of the Terracotta and draw out the dirt. I should also mention that Pro-Clean is a very effective Tile and Grout cleaner whilst HBU enhances it by adding nano-sized cleaning particles.

Terracotta Floor During Cleaning Brighton Terracotta Floor During Cleaning Brighton

The plastic blanket was left in place for a few hours before being peeled off and then the cleaning products scrubbed into the tile and grout using a black pad fitted to a rotary floor machine and hand brushes. The now soiled product was rinsed off with water which was then extracted using a wet vacuum. The floor was inspected, and stubborn marks spot treated until the floor was clean.

Terracotta Floor During Cleaning Brighton

After thoroughly cleaning the Terracotta over two days, we left the floor to completely dry off over the weekend. The tiles would need to be sufficiently dry to receive fresh sealant, as excess moisture can cloud the sealant and prevent it from working correctly.

Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor

When we returned to the property, we proceeded to apply Tile Doctor Stone Oil to the tiles. Stone Oil is a sealer which restores the colour and texture of tiled floors, as well as mechanical strength once cured.

We applied a single coat of the Stone Oil before topping it up with multiple coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, a topical sealer which provides a high-quality sheen finish to help accentuate the appearance of the Terracotta tiles as well as adding protection.

Terracotta Floor After Cleaning Brighton

You can see the results of the restoration below. The couple were so impressed that they have now agreed to have Tile Doctor visit once a year (at a fraction of the cost of the original restoration) to complete a maintenance clean. This will make sure this Terracotta is always looking at its best!

Terracotta Floor After Cleaning Brighton

 
 

Kitchen Floor Restoration in New Homeowners in Brighton

Clean and Seal For a Dirty Terracotta Tiled Floor in Wadhurst

This client in the East Sussex town of Wadhurst, was selling her country cottage and wanting to achieve the best price decided to have the Terracotta tiled kitchen floor restored before she put property on the market. Personally I think this is a great idea as you want to show the house at its best; I guess Estate Agents and Sarah Beeny would call it staging the property, although she should do well as it was a lovely cottage and Wadhurst is an old, quiet market town lying on a high ridge in the area known as the Weald, between the North and South Downs and so should prove popular.

The Terracotta tiled floor was in real need of a good clean and seal which is not surprising considering that the kitchen is generally a very high traffic area in most houses and, in this case, the family Labrador loved to use it as a play area. Terracotta tiles have been used for over 2000 years, having been first popularised by the ancient Romans. However, one downside to them is that, due to the lack of surface glaze, they can pick up dirt very quickly, which can become ingrained in the tiles if not removed quickly.

Terracotta tiles before cleaning in Wadhurst Terracotta tiles before cleaning in Wadhurst

Cleaning a Terracotta tiled floor

After removing the client’s Labrador from the kitchen, I set to work cleaning the floor using a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. I applied a layer of the solution to the floor, before leaving it for a short period to dwell and soak into the pores of the Terracotta. I then set to work scrubbing the cleaning solution into the tiles and, since Pro-Clean acts as both a cleaner and a stripper, the any remaining old sealer quickly came off.

The Pro-Clean successfully lifted the ingrained dirt out of the tiles leaving the colourful terracotta looking much cleaner. It also had a dramatic effect on the colour of the grout, transforming it from a mucky shade of tan to cleaner looking yellow.

Sealing a Terracotta tiled floor

After cleaning and a thorough rinse, I left the floor to dry over the weekend, but not before instructing the client to keep the dog out of the kitchen during this time. It was important to allow the floor sufficient time to dry completely, as any excess moisture left over from cleaning could affect the performance of the sealer.

Terracotta tiles after cleaning in Wadhurst Terracotta tiles after cleaning in Wadhurst

My sealer of choice was Tile Doctor Seal & Go, which I applied to the floor to provide it with not only a nice low-sheen finish, but also a stain resistant surface seal that will protect the tiles against dirt in the long-term. Seal & Go is a suitable sealer for unsealed porous surfaces like Terracotta, Victorian tile, textured Quarry and Slate.

My client was very pleased with the results of the clean and seal, and so was I. The Terracotta tiled floor in the kitchen of her house is a fantastic feature, and I’m sure whoever buys the country cottage will love it as well.
 
 

Terracotta Tiled Floor Restored in Wadhurst

Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor Deep Cleaned and Sealed in Henfield

This customer in Henfield was contemplating digging up her Terracotta kitchen floor and replacing it, the tiles were ingrained with dirt which had proved impossible to remove and as a consequence were left looking flat, dull and very un-appealing. Additionally she had an elderly dog that had been ill several times in the corner area and she really struggled to make it look decent again. Following a quick test I was able to persuade her to try a clean and re-seal first.

Terracotta Kitchen Tiles Before Cleaning in Henfield

Terracotta Tile Cleaning

The first step was to deep clean the floor to remove the ingrained dirt and any previous sealers. As well as the dog I had two rugby playing sons to deal with so to make it easier for the family I split the floor up into areas and worked on one area at a time.

Terracotta Kitchen Tiles Before Cleaning in Henfield Terracotta Kitchen Tiles Before Cleaning in Henfield

The tiles were first soaked in a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean before scrubbing it into the tile and grout with a black pad fitted to a buffing machine. The tiles were rinsed, the now dirty cleaning solution extracted and the process repeated until I was happy that the Pro-Clean had done its trick and the floor was as clean as it could be.

The Terracotta tiles now looked clean but completely washed out so I assured the customer that once the tiles had been sealed the colour would return and more. Unsealed Terracotta marks easily so given I left the customer dust sheets to walk on.

Terracotta Tile Sealing

I returned after two days to ensure any moisture had left the tile and proceeded to seal with six coats of Tile Doctor Pro-Seal which is highly recommended for use in food preparation areas and gives a high gloss finish whilst providing maximum stain protection. As each coat takes 40 minutes to dry I took the opportunity to clean her slate front door step as well.

Terracotta Kitchen Tiles After Cleaning and sealing in Henfield

The customer was very happy with the finished floor and I’m glad to report she has decided to keep the floor.

Terracotta Kitchen Tiles After Cleaning and sealing in Henfield

 
 

Terracotta Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Henfield

Horrendous Terracotta Tiled Floor Restored in North Chailey

This customer in North Chailey, near Haywards Heath and Uckfield, contacted me asking for her Terracotta tiled kitchen floor to be cleaned and sealed. To quote the customer she said the tiles were “horrendous” and upon inspection it was hard to disagree.

Terracotta Kitchen Floor North Chailey Before Cleaning Terracotta Kitchen Floor North Chailey Before Cleaning

However I thought that most of the floor could be greatly improved but several areas around the washing machine and dishwasher were particularly soiled. Once I spoke of my concerns the customer admitted that both the washing machine and dishwasher had flooded the floor twice and leaked on a regular basis. Washing powder is very caustic and causes permanent damage that cannot be fixed.

Terracotta Tile Cleaning

I stripped off what was left of the previous sealer using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a heavy duty alkaline cleaner/coatings stripper ideal for tiled surfaces. We let the solution dwell on the floor for 10 to 20 minutes before working it into the tiles by hand and deck brush, usually I’d use a rotary buffing machine with a scrubbing pad but it was quite a narrow kitchen. Once I’d washed it down and sucked up any excess water with the wet-vax I left it for two days to dry.

Terracotta Tile Sealing

I returned 48 hours later and sealed the Terracotta tiles using multiple coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water based (no smell) which is ideal for Terracotta. Sealers can take some time to apply as you have to wait for the first coat to dry before applying the next, fortunately however we were blessed by a warm windy day which blew through the kitchen and increased the drying time. You can see from the pictures on this page the amazing transformation that was achieved. Whilst I was waiting for the sealer to dry I noticed their patio was in need of attention so I gave that a blast from my industrial pressure washer.

Terracotta Kitchen Floor North Chailey After Cleaning Terracotta Kitchen Floor North Chailey After Cleaning

 

Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor Cleaned and Sealed in North Chailey

Terracotta Tiled Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Ringmer

This Terracotta Tiled floor was located in a house in the town of Ringmer, East Sussex, it had been a while since it had last been thoroughly cleaned and re-sealed and was now well overdue for some extra attention.

Terracotta Tile Cleaning

To get the tiles clean we applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a heavy duty alkaline cleaner/coatings stripper ideal for tiled surfaces. We let the solution dwell on the floor for 10 to 20 minutes before working it into the tiles with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The photograph below shows the floor half way through this process with the top section cleaned and the bottom section still to do.

Terracotta Ringmer During Cleaning

The soiled solution was removed from the floor using a wet vacuum and any stubborn areas re-treated before thoroughly rinsing the tiles down with clean water to remove any remaining product and neutralise the floor prior to sealing.

Terracotta Tile Sealing

Once the floor was dry the floor was sealed with TIle Doctor Seal and Go which took some time to do as you need to wait until the first coat dries before applying the second. Terracotta is very porous so seven coats were required to completely seal the floor.

Terracotta Ringmer After Cleaning

I thing you would agree from the photographs the floor is much improved and the sealer should keep the Terracotta tiles looking good and much easier to keep clean going forward.
 
 

Terracotta Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Ringmer

Mexican Terracotta floor tiles in Lewes, East Sussex

Mexican Terracotta is a lot more porous than typical Spanish or Italian clays, because of this it’s more prone to trapping dirt and needs to be sealed to protect it. These Mexican Terracotta floor tiles installed in a house in Lewes, East Sussex were no different and were proving difficult to keep clean; apologies in advance for the photographs, on refection they are not my best.

Terracota Tiles Before Cleaning

Cleaning Mexican Terracotta Tiles

The dirt was quite engrained and so a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed one part Pro-Clean to ten parts water was applied to the terracotta tile and grout and left to soak in. The solution was then agitated using a floor buffing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. It’s important to make sure you use the right concentration of floor cleaning product, too little and if won’t be effective and too much will mean your having to wash the floor down more as if you leave any on the floor tile it can upset the sealer. It’s recommended therefore to do a small test before cleaning the entire floor. Once we were happy with the condition of the tiles we used stiff hand held brushes on the grout to give that also a scrub before removing the all the solution with a wet vacuum, rinsing the floor down and then left it dry overnight.

Sealing Mexican Terracotta floor tiles

Once cleaned and fully dried we came back and applied nine coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a durable low sheen sealer that will protect the grout and tile from staining. We advised the customer that due to its softer clay further top up coats may be necessary. We left what was remaining of the Seal and Go for this purpose and advised them that if the seal faded slightly then this was then the best time to apply a further coat.

Terracotta Tiles After Cleaning
 

Cleaning and Sealing Mexican Terracotta floor tiles in Lewes