This customer in Maidenhead had contacted numerous companies about the renovation of their Terracotta tiled Steps but no one was interested in. Fortunately, he finally found Tile Doctor and this sort of work is exactly what we do.
I went over to take a good look at the problems and it turns out they had a long history and were only recently discovered during some improvement works. The property was Victorian and located on the banks of the river Thames, at some point the steps had been covered with both plywood and then carpet on top.
Once removed it was clear the steps were in a sorry state and this may explain why they were covered up in the first place. Undeterred I ran a few cleaning tests and came up with a renovation plan and provided a quote for the work. Keen to have the steps restored my quote was accepted and we agreed a date for the work to start.
Deep Cleaning a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor
Before starting I covered the paintwork to protect it during cleaning as we knew it was going to be a messy job. Next, we turned our attention to the steps and removed the remaining carpet clips, nails, and grippers.
Given the state of the Terracotta I knew I would need a very strong product so opted to apply Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a coatings remover which I have used many times before to effectively remove old sealers, paint, and adhesives from tiles.
Remove and Go was applied neat to the steps and then covered with plastic sheeting so it could sweat the tile and not dry out too quickly. The steps were left like this for about thirty minutes so the Remove and Go could get to work breaking down the old carpet glue and adhesive. After this the plastic sheet was removed and the floor then scrubbed the tile and grout with a handheld rotary buffer fitted with a Black abrasive stripping pad and plenty of water.
The scrubbing action released the dirt and other contaminates from the tiles and the soil was extracted with a low-pressure extraction machine. The floor was inspected and I re-treated the areas that needed more work. The inspection also allowed me to see all the small holes that were left behind from the removal of nails and staples etc. I had anticipated this however and once the cleaning was completed, I moved on to filling the holes using Terracotta repair putty.
Terracotta being made from clay is known to be quite porous and I needed it to be dry before continuing with the next step of sealing so I left the tiles to dry out over the weekend.
Sealing Terracotta Tiled Steps
When I returned on the Monday I began by checking the moisture levels of the tiles by taking a few damp readings. Fortunately the weekend had been enough to get the tiles dry and I was able to proceed with the sealer application.
My customer wanted a soft sheen to the appearance of the tile so I applied Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra. The Terracotta really soaked in the sealer so I applied a total of eight coats leaving roughly twenty minutes between each coat. Air movers were deployed around the room to help reduce the drying time.
Once complete the dark and stained Terracotta steps looked fabulous and were completely transformed by the restoration. Before leaving I took time to discuss aftercare cleaning and as usual, I recommended they use Tile Doctor Neutral Floor Cleaner. This product has is pH neutral so will ensure the newly applied seals stay in place unlike many strong household cleaners you find in supermarkets that can strip the sealer from the tile.