Terracotta Tile Cleaning

Terracotta Floor Tile Restoration in Clapham SW9

We had our work cut out for us restoring this Terracotta floor installed in the kitchen of a house in Clapham, south west London. Over the years it had been covered with many layers of metallised emulsion polish, this had been put on without a primer and Terracotta being porous it had soaked into the tile. Various efforts to remove it in the past had not been successful and had resulted in some damage to the floor. This had been covered by yet more layers of metallised emulsion which had yellowed and oxidised over time.

Terracotta Floor Before

Cleaning Terracotta Tiles

Working in stages, I laid down Tile Doctor Remove and Go, which is a powerful coating remover, to break down the layers of metallised emulsion and then steamed the tiles and scraped and wire-brushed the remnants of it away. Once this was done more Remove and Go was applied to the terracotta tile to remove the polish that had sunk deep into the tile when it was first applied more than twenty years before. Again a steamer was required to help bring out what was left of the original misused sealer! Once I was happy this was followed by a thorough clean with a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean scrubbed in with a black buffing pad fitted to a Numatic floor buffing machine. Last step was to give the floor a thorough rinse with water in order to remove any remaining chemical and neutralise the Terracotta.

Terracotta Floor During

Sealing Terracotta Floor Tiles

After two days work cleaning the floor I left it to dry out overnight and returned to seal on the third day using six coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which will protect the floor and also gives the surface an attractive low sheen. You can see the transformation in the floor and the customers were very impressed and preferred the lightened natural look compared to its previous appearance.

Terracotta Floor After

Terracotta Tiles Transformed in South London.

Terracotta Tiled Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Tooting

We were asked to take a look at this Terracotta Tiled floor in Tooting, South London which were becoming difficult to clean and in need of a good clean and seal.

Cleaning Terracotta Tile

We started the task by applying a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a heavy duty alkaline product designed for cleaning tiles; this was scrubbed in with a black pad fitted to a rotary machine. I had to repeat this process a couple of times and also use a stiff brush along the grout lines which cleaning pads often struggle to reach. Once we were happy the floor was clean it was thoroughly rinsed the floor with clean water to remove any remaining chemical and it was left to dry overnight.

Terracotta Tile Before Cleaning in Tooting

Sealing Terracotta Tile

The following day we checked the floor was clean and dry and took care of any ugly spots that we have overlooked the day before and then proceed to seal. For Terracotta I recommend Tile Doctor Seal and Go, 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. Terracotta is a very porous material and in the end the floor actually needed seven coats of sealer applied with a paint pad before it was fully sealed, which naturally takes a long time to apply as you have to wait for it to dry before applying the next coat.

Terracotta Tile After Cleaning in Tooting
The customer delighted with results.

Terracotta Floor Cleaned and Sealed in London


Central London Tile Doctor

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