Terracotta Kitchen Tiles Given New Lease of Life in Kingston Upon Thames

It’s very surprising how often I hear from home owners who are considering completely replacing tiled floors that can be easily be salvaged. While some people might believe that replacement is cheaper and quicker than cleaning, this is emphatically not true in most situations.

Thankfully, one of my recent customers, who lives in Kingston Upon Thames had been persuaded by her husband not to completely strip out the original Terracotta tiles in their kitchen. While the couple had just had new kitchen units installed, it seemed unnecessary to completely replace the Terracotta floor tiles even though they certainly needed a deep clean.

Terracotta Floor Tiles Before Cleaning Kingston on Thames

Instead, they contacted their local Tile Doctor to rejuvenated the tiles to complement the new kitchen design.

Cleaning Original Terracotta Kitchen Tiles

Before beginning, I covered all the new kitchen units with protective sheeting to prevent them from encountering water and splashes from the cleaning products. I could see that the tiles had been left unsealed for many years and this had allowed dirt and general muck to become deeply ingrained.

To clean the tiles, I applied a covering of our strong alkaline-based cleaner, known as Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, and left it dwell for a short period. I then attached a coarse, 200-grit diamond encrusted burnishing pad to my buffing machine and began working the product into the tiles. The burnishing pad milled away the dirty top layer of the tiles. Contrary to what some might believe, this doesn’t harm the tiles in any way, but instead polishes them.

Any old sealer and dirt that the buffing machine could not reach in the corners of the room was removed by hand using diamond encrusted burnishing blocks. The burnishing process does, in fact, make quite a mess, so I promptly rinsed off the resulting slurry with more water and a wet vacuum to clear the area and leave it clean and ready to be dried.

Sealing Original Terracotta Kitchen Tiles

A lot of water was used during the cleaning process, so I had to leave the property for 48 hours to let the tiles dry completely. Returning to the property after those two days, I sealed the tiles using six coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go. Following years of next to no protection, the floor desperately needed an effective sealer to put new life in the Terracotta and Seal and Go does that in spades by adding a lovely sheen to the tile.

Terracotta Floor Tiles After Cleaning Kingston on Thames

The photo above shows the amazing difference made by cleaning the floor instead of choosing to replace. The customer’s testimonial speaks for itself:

“Excellent service and we are delighted with the work. Would definitely use Rupert again.”
 
 

Professional Tile Cleaning and Sealing for a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen in Surrey

Terracotta Tiled Conservatory in Cranleigh Deep Cleaned and Sealed

Cranleigh is the self-proclaimed largest village in England, sitting about 8 miles southeast of Guildford in Surrey. One of its villagers contacted me recently to see if there was anything I could do to improve the state of their Terracotta tiled conservatory. They were in the process of completely redecorating the conservatory, having just replaced the wood and glass and I was called in to restore the tiled floor back to looking its best.

Terracotta is made from clay and is quite porous ceramic, and tends to be quite porous when made into commercial or residential tiling. Just like stone it needs to be sealed to ensure the pores don’t become ingrained with dirt, following that sealers do need to be maintained as they do wear off over time.

In this case, my client had moved into the property twenty years ago, and had only ever carried out a routine mop of the floor; as a result the floor was now ingrained with dirt and had lost its colour and would require a deep clean and seal to bring it back to life.

Terracotta Conservatory Cranliegh Before Cleaning Terracotta Conservatory Cranliegh Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Terracotta tiled conservatory

To begin with, I mixed a cleaning solution consisting of one part Tile Doctor Pro Clean to one part water. This was spread evenly across the floor and let to dwell for approximately ten to fifteen minutes. The solution was then agitated with a scrubbing pad fitted to my heavy-weight rotary machine, lifting away the initial layers of muck and any remaining old sealer.

However, I noticed after giving the tiles a rinse that some of the old sealer was still prevalent in some areas. To deal with this, I applied a solvent-based sealer stripper and left it to work its magic on the affected areas. After about an hour, I added a steamer to the mix, and this allowed me to thoroughly scrub away the old seal. This was followed up by another rinse of the floor, and left it to dry.

Terracotta Conservatory Cranliegh During Cleaning

Sealing a Terracotta tiled conservatory

I returned to the house five days later to complete the restoration. My immediate task was to carry out a moisture test to make sure the floor was completely dry and therefore ready to take the new seal, this is an important step as adding a sealer to a damp floor can result in problems.

Once satisfied, I proceeded to seal the floor with five coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer. This sealer is particularly effective at providing durable surface protection from within, and contains properties which enhanced the natural auburn shades in the Terracotta tiles.

Terracotta Conservatory Cranliegh After Sealing Terracotta Conservatory Cranliegh After Sealing

I’m pleased to say that my client was overjoyed with the quick transformation of their conservatory floor. They never knew quite how vibrant the colours in the stone could be, and better still, the floor now blends in with their newly painted lemon walls.


Terracotta Conservatory Cranliegh Before and After Cleaning

 
 

Terracotta Tiled Conservatory Floor Refreshed in Surrey

Saltillo Tiles in Shirley

Successful Restoration of Saltillo Tiles

We went and had a look at a floor in a house in Shirley recently to find a dull Saltillo Terracotta tiled floor that was in need of some Tile Doctor TLC. Saltillo tiles are typically made in a region of Mexico; they are very porous and can scuff and stain quite easily if not protected so it’s important to maintain a sealer.

Saltillo Tiles before cleaning Saltillo Tiles before cleaning

Cleaning Saltillo Tiles

We advised the customer that we would probably not be able to get the tile in the traffic lanes back to the same colour due to the excessive wear from foot traffic but we would certainly try our best. We find it best to be honest about what we can achieve and set the customer’s expectations up front. They were happy for us to continue and accepted our very reasonable quote for the amount of work involved so we about cleaning the floor. This we did using a solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean tile and grout cleaner. To clean the tougher areas that were heavily stained we mixed the Pro-Clean with a little Tile Doctor NanoTech Ultra-Clean which helps to enhance the cleaning power.

Saltillo Tiled Floor before cleaning

Grout Re-Colouring

We left the floor to dry for 2 days then we went back and re-coloured the customer’s grout which as you can see from the pictures made a huge difference to the look of the floor. Grout Colourant can make a old tired looking floor look totally different and when applied properly forms a barrier that protects the grout from dirt engraining into the grout.

Saltillo Tiled Floor after cleaning Saltillo Tiled Floor after cleaning

Sealing Saltillo Tiles

Terracotta tile are extremely porous and so it came as no surprise that we needed to apply nine coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go. After the last coat we waited for fourty minutes and then buffed the floor to bring out the shine and harden the sealer, the customer was very pleased with the results and made the following comment:

Thank you very much for doing such a wonderful and professional job my wife and I are very impressed with the results.

 
 

Saltillo Tiles Restoration in Shirley

Courtyard Cleaning

Surrey Courtyard Cleaning

Please read Cleaning Terracotta Floors before you proceed on this post.

Courtyard Tiles Cleaning Courtyard Tiles Cleaning

Courtyard Cleaning Method

At the request of the customer we returned to the property to clean the courtyard area, which we deep cleaned with a jet wash machine and Tile Doctor Pro-clean solution. We started by mixing the Pro-clean with water and spread it over the surface scrubbing it with a black scrubbing pad on our rotary machine. This was left to dwell for 30 minutes then we fitted our patio spinner to our jet wash and thoroughly cleaned and rinsed the complete area.

Courtyard Cleaning Courtyard Tiles Cleaning
Courtyard Cleaning

Once again the customer was absolutely delighted with the result and as a result they now want me to maintain their floors on a yearly basis. They have also asked me to clean some other stone, wood and carpeted areas in their property, which will be done later this year.

The customer’s comments were:

“Thanks again Paul for another amazing job, we will be in touch soon with our next project for you to do, we now know that your standard of work is excellent and that you are honest, trustworthy and very hard working.”

Courtyard Cleaning in Surrey

Cleaning Terracotta Floors

Cleaning Terracotta Floors in Surrey

This customer had a terracotta tiled floor in the kitchen, utility room and toilet, which hadn’t been sealed for 8 years and was was in needed of restoration. On full inspection we also found that there was loose and missing grout some of which was in different colours.

Cleaning Terracotta Floors in the Kitchen Terracotta Floor Cleaning in the Kitchen

The tiles were also stained with olive oil from cooking spillages.

Terracotta Floor in the Kitchen Terracotta Floor in the Kitchen

Cleaning Terracotta Floors

We started the cleaning process by giving the terracotta floor a deep clean by using Tile Doctor Pro-clean agitated with scrubbing with deck brushes to remove soil build-up and old sealer residue. We then thoroughly rinsed the floor using our truck mounted machine and spinner tool. Cleaning Terracotta Floors can be difficult and we experienced difficulty removing the oil stains from the tile as terracotta is very porous and had absorbed the oil like a sponge.

We then applied Tile Doctor Remove and Go to the stained areas then sprayed with a light spray of water to help keep it moist and stop it drying out, we left this solution on the tiles for 90 minutes. After the dwelling time we steamed the floor as we rinsed off the Remove and Go. The next step was to rinse the complete floor with our truck mount cleaning system and a tile cleaning spinner tool. This thoroughly rinses and thoroughly cleans the floor with very hot water and high pressure.

Next we had to then tackle the grout problem, so we removed all loose and old grout, where needed and re-grouted the floor. This was left to for 48 hours to completely dry.

Sealing Terracotta Floors

Terracotta is very porous and for this floor we applied 8 coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, leaving it to dry for 40 minutes between each coat. We returned the following day and re-coloured the grout with Tile Doctor beige grout re-colourant. This was then left to dry and a further 3 coats of Seal and Go applied.

Once this had dried we buffed the floor to harden the sealer and polish it. We used a white buffing pad fitted to a rotary cleaning and polishing machine to bring out the shine on the floor as shown in the pictures below:

Sealing Terracotta Floor in the Kitchen Terracotta Floor in the Kitchen

The customer was on holiday when we carried out the work, we had been dealing with the manager of the property, who when the customer returned was made to phone me, so the customer could thank me personally.

The customer’s comments were:

“I can’t believe how nice our floor looks and never thought it could look so good! “

They spoke to the manager of their property and have asked him to arrange with me another appointment as they wanted me to clean their courtyard area as well as they were absolutely delighted with their terracotta floors.

Cleaning Terracotta Floors in Surrey