Unsealed Terracotta Kitchen Tiles Treated for Grout Haze in Malvern

Newly built properties are not without their problems and often take a while to resolve all the snagging which occasionally extends to resolving problems with newly laid tiled floors. At this new property in the village of Malvern, and overlooked by the Malvern hills, the builders had left the Terracotta tiled kitchen floor covered in grout smears (also known as Grout Haze) following installation. They had also neglected to seal the tiles, which was actually quite fortunate in this case as they would have sealed in the grout haze, making it more difficult to remove.

Naturally, the property owner wanted the problem to be resolved as soon as possible, and for me to make the tiles easy to keep clean in future, which can be achieved by sealing the tile.

Grout Haze Removed from new Terracotta Tiles at Malvern Village

Removing Grout Haze from a Terracotta Tiled Floor

Before starting work, I made sure to fully protect any exposed woodwork with a plastic sheet covering to protect them from potential damage. I then proceeded to give the floor a thorough clean, using Tile Doctor Remove and Go to clean the floor and eradicate some stains that had been left behind as a result of the building work.

Grout Haze Removed from new Terracotta Tiles at Malvern Village Grout Haze Removed from new Terracotta Tiles at Malvern Village

Next, I paid special attention to the grout, where the very visible problem of grout haze had arisen. To neutralise these smears I used Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up, a concentrated phosphoric acid cleaner that can also remove alkaline mineral deposits and efflorescence. Grout Clean Up is only to be used on acid resistant stone, as sensitive stone can suffer from irreparable etching if it comes into contact with the product.

Once completely clean and free of grout smears the floor was thoroughly rinsed with water to remove any trace of product and then dried as much as possible with a wet vacuum, afterwards an air mover was installed to speed up the drying process.

Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Floor

Later that afternoon the floor was dry and I was able to apply a sealer. To do this I opted to use several coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra, a topical, fully breathable sealer that works really well on Terracotta.

Grout Haze Removed from new Terracotta Tiles at Malvern Village

The sealer builds up a layer of protection on the surface of the tiles, protecting against ingrained dirt and stains. Seal and Go Extra also provides a high quality sheen finish which really did well to enhance the look of the Terracotta.

Grout Haze Removed from new Terracotta Tiles at Malvern Village

The property owner was exceptionally pleased with the results, and to have this problem dealt with quickly and efficiently, additionally the sealer will ensure the Kitchen floor is easy to keep clean in the future.
 
 

Grout Haze Removal on Terracotta Tiles in Worcestershire

Dirty Terracotta Tiles Deep Cleaned in Warwick

These photographs are from a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen at a house in the historic town of Warwick. You should be able to see from the photographs that the tiles had a heavy build-up of wax and oil coating which besides being very unsightly made them difficult to clean.

Terracotta Deep Clean Warwick before Terracotta Deep Clean Warwick before

Removing Wax and Oil from Terracotta Tiles

I knew I was going to struggle to remove the build-up of wax and oil so I decided to go apply Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a product specifically designed to safely remove sealers and coatings from Tile and Stone. It was diluted and applied to the floor where it was left to soak into the tiles for a good twenty minutes before being worked in with a rotary machine fitted with a scrubbing pad.

The resultant soiled solution was removed using a wet vacuum and the floor washed down with clean water. At this point I could see more work was required so as well as applying more Remove and Go I also applied steam from a heavy duty steamer. Slowly but surely using a combination of the above tools and product the wax and oil was stripped from the floor.

Terracotta Deep Clean Warwick Wax Stripping

The next job was to give the floor a deep clean using a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was worked into the pores of the Terracotta tile and grout using a slow speed rotary machine fitted with another scrubbing pad. The dirty solution was removed and the floor rinsed thoroughly with water, again we used the wet vacuum to remove the water and get the tile as dry as possible.

Terracotta Deep Clean Warwick After Cleaning Terracotta Deep Clean Warwick After Cleaning

Sealing Terracotta floor tiles

I left the floor overnight to dry overnight with the assistance of an air blower and then came back next day to seal the floor; I used a damp test meter first to verify the floor was dry and ready for sealing. Once happy I proceed to apply three coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is a no-sheen, natural-look penetrating sealer that provides maximum stain protection by occupying the pores in the tile. It’s also highly recommended for use in in food preparation and serving areas

Terracotta Deep Clean Warwick After Sealing

It was a tough job but the results were well worth the effot.
 
 

Terracotta tiled floor stripped, cleaned and sealed in Warwick

Matching mixed Terracotta Kitchen tiles in Paxford

This job was a Terracotta Tiled kitchen floor in Paxford near Chipping Camden, the Terracotta tiles were in a large kitchen/diner which had a mix of different types of Terracotta due to the replacement of some damaged tiles. The recently fitted tiles were slightly darker than the older tiles in the kitchen area and the customer wanted a closer match but at the same time didn’t want the floor looking new (with all the wax and oil removed) just the old tiles made darker. You can clearly see the problem in the first photograph below.

Paxford Terracotta Floor Before

Cleaning Terracotta Tiles

The floor had a heavy build of a wax and oil coatings which we tackled with a Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mixed with two parts NanoTech Ultra-Clean; this combines the strong cleaning power of the alkaline Pro-Clean with the nano sized abrasive particles in the Ultra-Clean to make a powerful cleaning agent. We left the solution to dwell and soak into the tiles for twenty minutes before working it in with a heavy floor buffing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad, some areas had experienced little foot traffic and so had a thicker coating needed up to three cleans. All the edges were done by hand using wire wool pads and brushes. The soiled water was picked up by a wet and dry vacuum and then the floor was thoroughly rinsed with water using a high pressure spinning tool.

Paxford Terracotta Floor after cleaning

Terracotta Tile Sealing

We let the floor dry overnight and returned the next day to seal it for which we used a combination of Tile Doctor sealers. The first step was to darken some of the lighter tiles so they would match the others in the dining room we did this using a sealer called Colour Grow which brings out the colour in a Tile. Once we were happy with this floor was fully sealed using five coats of Tile Doctors new formula High Shine sealer to give a uniform look.

Paxford Terracotta Floor after sealing

 
 

Replacement Terracotta tiles sealed to match existing floor

Removing Linseed Oil from Terracotta in Leamington Spa

This Terracotta floor in Leamington Spa had been sealed previously with Linseed Oil; apparently the tiler had dipped the Tile into the oil to make sure he had an even coverage. Linseed Oil is a traditional way of sealing terracotta however it makes the tiles significantly darker and over the years it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain.

Terracotta Floor Before Terracotta Floor Before

Cleaning Terracotta Tiles

To remove the oil and clean the floor we used a 50/50 mix of Pro-Clean and NanoTech Ultra-Clean, the strong cleaning power of the alkaline Pro-Clean mixed with the tiny abrasive particles in the Ultra-Clean combine together to make a powerful cleaning agent. We left the solution to dwell and soak into the tile for twenty minutes giving it time to break down the oil before working it in with a rotary buffing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. We then scrubbed and cleaned the grout lines by hand using stiff grout brushes and picked up the soiled cleaning solution using a wet vacuum. Last step was to rinse the floor down to remove any remaining chemical and effectively neutralise the floor before sealing; to do this we used a high pressure spinner tool which is an industrial system fitted into our van that delivers high pressure hot water to a lance whilst simultaneously removing the resulting water with a secondary suction action.

Terracotta Tile Sealing

We let the floor dry overnight and returned the next day only to notice that in a number of places linseed oil had dried on the surface to form some oil spots. These had to be removed before we began the sealing process so the spots were treated with a strong sealer remover product called Remove and Go and the floor was re-cleaned using an industrial steam vacuum.

We left the floor to dry again overnight and came back the third day to seal it, this time I’m pleased to say the floor was clear of the Linseed Oil and so we began to seal it using Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a breathable colour intensifying sealer which brings out the natural colours in the tile surface as well as providing durable stain protection; Four coats were sufficient to seal the floor, it is a time consuming task however as you need to make sure the sealer has dried before applying the next coat.

Terracotta Floor After Terracotta Floor After

This job had taken three days and I had only quoted for two however we stuck to our original quote and only charged for the two days.

Terracotta Tiles Cleaned of Linseed Oil and Resealed