Dirty Wax Sealed Quarry and Terracotta Floor Renovated in Bucklebury

I was recently asked to survey the floors at a substantial property in Bucklebury which used to be a school. At some point in the 1970’s there was a major makeover and the property was converted into two houses. During the conversion a combination of Terracotta and Quarry tiles were installed throughout the ground floor and then sealed with what we believed was a wax-based product. Although Wax was a traditional sealant for Terracotta there are better modern sealers available now that are designed for the job and so we don’t recommend it. In this case the wax had deteriorated over the years and left the tiles looking tired and dirty.

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Bucklebury Before Cleaning Terracotta Tiled Floor Bucklebury Before Cleaning

After reviewing the flooring, I demonstrated cleaning the tile and grout which went well and impressed the customer who after living with the floor looking dirty for some time was eager for the job to be completed. I gave the customer a price for renovating the whole floor which was agreed, and we set a date for the work to commence.

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Bucklebury Before Cleaning

Cleaning Dirty Quarry and Terracotta Tiles

My first job was to strip off what remained of the wax sealer using Tile Doctor Remove and Go and a new Tile Doctor product called Wax Away which has been specifically designed for dealing with wax. Both products had very similar effects and together striped off the old coating with little issue. Of the two products my preference to use Wax Away as it foamed less when wet extracting with a spinner tool.

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Bucklebury During Cleaning

After applying the Wax Away, I left it to dwell for fifteen minutes re-applying more product when it began to dry out. Leaving it to dwell allows it to penetrate the wax and weaken it so it’s easier to remove. I then used a 17-inch black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor machine to scrub the solution into the tiles. Finally, I used a spinner tool fitted to a hot water pressure extraction system that is housed in my van to rinsed away and extract the resulting slurry.

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Bucklebury During Cleaning

After the floor was clean, I set to work on the grout lines that still had traces of embedded wax sealer. The floor pads can struggle to reach into the recesses of the grout, so the solution is to use a stiff grout brush and scrub them clean by hand assisted with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is out go to grout cleaning product.

As a last step in the cleaning process I gave the floor and Acid Wash using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up. I did this to further clean the floor and to neutralise Its pH after using so many high alkaline cleaning products.

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Bucklebury After Cleaning Terracotta Tiled Floor Bucklebury During Cleaning

Sealing Quarry and Terracotta Tiles

I returned at the end of the week and checked that the moisture levels of the floor, we always do this to ensure the floor is dry before sealing and would not recommend sealing a damp floor as the results can be patchy. The readings were spot on, so I was able to get a started.

Quarry Tiled Kitchen Floor Bucklebury After Sealing

The customer wanted to keep the rich terracotta colours in the tile and wanted a sheen, so I selected Tile Doctor Seal and Go as the sealer. To fully seal the tiles, I used six coats on the smaller Quarry tiles and nine coats on the large Mexican Terracotta tiles. Seal and Go is a modern water-based acrylic sealer that provides both a stain resistant seal and a durable low-sheen finish, also being water based it doesn’t give off a smell as it dries.

Terracotta Tiled Floor Bucklebury After Sealing

The result was a huge improvement, needless to say my customer was very pleased and left the following feedback.

”I had a large quarry/terracotta tiled floor in kitchen/conservatory badly in need of cleaning. Dennis did an incredible job. He was very efficient and the result is outstanding, very happy to recommend”

 

Professional Renovation of a Large Quarry and Terracotta Floor in Berkshire

Dirty Terracotta Tiles and Grout Cleaned and Sealed in Fifield

For this job, I travelled to a house in the town of Fifield, near the city of Windsor, Berkshire. My client’s problem was a heavily soiled Terracotta tiled floor. Terracotta tiles have been used for over two millennia, but are known to pick up dirt quite easily due to their porosity and a lack of natural surface glaze. This dirt can become ingrained if not removed quickly.

In this particular case, the tiles and grout lines were very dirty, with a small amount of grout haze blemishing some of the newly installed tiles. The affected area of the floor required a thorough clean. Additionally, most of the old sealer had worn away, further exposing the tiles to dirt and damage – this would need to be replaced.

Terracotta Floor Before Cleaning in Fifield

Cleaning dirty Terracotta tiles and grout lines

To clean the floor, I first used Tile Doctor Remove & Go, a strong multi-purpose stripper/cleaner which as its name suggests is designed to remove any old sealer left on the surface. Working in sections, I sprayed down a layer of Remove & Go, before leaving it dwell for roughly 5-10 minutes.

While Remove & Go was soaking into the Terracotta, I scrubbed the grout lines using a stiff grout brush. This helped to lift out the ingrained dirt and grout haze. After I was done with the grout my attention went back on the tiles, so I added a small amount of water to form a solution, which was then scrubbed into the affected area using a heavy weighted rotary machine and a stiff agitation pad.

Terracotta Floor Part Cleaned in Fifield Terracotta Floor Part Cleaned in Fifield

The floor was then rinsed using a high pressure hot water tile and grout cleaning extraction system to remove any remaining soils, pollutants, debris and old sealer. After cleaning, the floor was inspected to ensure all of the issues had been dealt with. Following this, it was treated to a final rinse.

Terracotta Floor After Cleaning in Fifield

Sealing Terracotta tiles and grout

The floor was then let to dry overnight. Thanks to the Aga cooker and damp proof membrane under the floor, the tiles and grout were clean and completely dry, ready for sealing the next day.

I sealed the floor with 6 coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go to provide a healthy, durable seal, which also gave the tiles aesthetically pleasing sheen.

Terracotta Floor After Sealing in Fifield

As you can see from the photograph, the clean and seal made a marked improvement to the condition of the tiles and grout – and my client was very pleased!
 
 

Reconditioning the Terracotta Tiles