This client had acquired a 400-year old cottage in Leatherhead as part of his divorce agreement. The front room was tiled with Terracotta which is a soft stone and particularly porous. The tiles had seen a lot of wear and use over the years and were now in need of some love.
He emailed over some photographs however it’s difficult to tell the best remedy without doing any testing, so I arranged visit the property and take a proper look. It was immediately clear the Terracotta had become badly discoloured in places some of which was from burning logs which had previously fallen from the fireplace onto the tiles. There was also a considerable amount of red paint around the edges that would need removing.
This work would take two days with at least 48 hours in-between days to allow for evaporation as a wet tile cannot be sealed. The client was happy to go ahead with my quote and we arranged a suitable time to complete the work for him.
Cleaning a Terracotta Tiled Living Room Floor
Firstly, as the terracotta is soft and more importantly red it can make a mess of the woodwork when cleaning with water, so I covered the kickboards with sticky plastic coating to ensure they were protected.
Then I removed the edging paint by softening it with an application of a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go. Once left for half an hour the paint starts to soften and this makes it easier to remove, although this is a manual process carefully scrapping the remains of the paint away.
Next, I coated the floor with Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel. This strong cleaning product is left for half an hour to work into the pores of the Terracotta. With some water I gently cleaned the floor with a rotary machine fitted with a nylon pad. This is a wet process, so no dust is created.
For the next few hours, I cleaned the whole room. The areas damaged by burning wood were worked on with a diamond encrusted pad to get deep into the tile. When finished, the tiles were clean and more consistent in appearance and colour. I left the floor for the weekend to fully dry.
Sealing a Victorian Tiled Hallway Floor
On the Monday I returned to seal the Terracotta first checking the tiles had dried out using a damp meter. The customer didn’t want either a shiny finish or a matte finish. He did want a strong, protective sealer so we agreed on using Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra which leaves a sheen finish and will last for years. The floor was now fully protected and should be durable for the foreseeable future.
The client was very happy with the work we had carried out, it had really transformed the room and he was looking forward to getting the furniture back in to position.