These photographs are of a Stained Terrazzo Tiled floor from an old Fish and Chip shop in Wigan which had been closed for several months due to the owner being ill. The shop had then been sold and the new owners asked us to call in and re-furbish the tired and badly stained tiles rather than go to the expense of re-tiling or re-surfacing the Floor area, which would have cost a lot more than what we charged.
Terrazzo is a composite tile made up of Marble and Limestone chippings, sometime Granite, all mixed into a clear cement resin and then made up into tiles of all sizes. We estimated these tiles we laid more than fifty years prior and were not looking their best after being stained with rust stains from heavy equipment, cooking oil and grease, ingrained dirt and grime. Although a tough job to tackle it didn’t put us off and as you will see we still managed to get them clean again.
Cleaning Terrazzo Tile
The method we used to restore the surface was to cut them back using a set of burnishing pads which take off a few millimetres off the tile surface and regrinds to make them look as good as new, this is something you can’t do with Vinyl Tiles or Ceramic and Porcelain. The pads are encrusted with diamonds and are used in conjunction with a little water; you start with a coarse pad and work through the set of pads which become finer in grade as you progress until your polishing the surface. Once this process is complete the floor was given a good wash down to remove any soil and allow us to spot any areas that needed further attention.
Sealing Terrazzo Tile
When the Terrazzo tile was dry it was sealed sealing with two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating matt sealer that brings out the colours in natural stone, the client had also specified they didn’t want a shiny finish as they had a concern about slippery surface that could lead to slips and falls. Once the sealer was dry it was buffed using a white buffing pad.
The results are quite satisfying given the age of the floor and the stains we had to deal with not only that but the owner had engaged a number of other cleaning companies who had tried a test clean and he had even tried cleaning it himself but the results were poor.
This Travertine tiled floor was laid in the kitchen, utility and hallway of a residence in Southport. The floor was in need of a clean and seal and there was an added complication that the customer had dropped a heavy Iron on the Travertine tile which had cracked and in turn had become loose causing it to catch under the door. To add to the complication the floor was fitted with electric under floor heating throughout. Normally I’m a big fan of under heated floors as it can speed up the drying process no end however I was concerned there was a chance that we might damage the cable. Given the situation the customer agreed to sign a waiver in case we damaged the wires whilst trying to replace the damaged stone.
Replacing the Cracked Travertine Tile
Normally to replace a tile it’s necessary to use an Angle Grinder or similar to remove the grout and then chip gingerly away at the tile until you have removed all the pieces, in this case however the Iron had done a good job of smashing the tile so it was just a case of carefully removing the pieces and then cleaning up the grouted edges. Naturally we had to take extra care due to avoid damaging the cable however once this was done we were soon onto re-applying tile adhesive, fitting a replacement tile and re-grouting. Whilst the tile adhesive was setting we were able to get on with the job of cleaning the remainder of the Travertine tiled floor.
Stripping and Re-Polishing Travertine
To strip any remaining sealer from the floor and get it back to its original condition we used a set of diamond encrusted Burnishing Pads fitted to a rotary machine. You start with a Red stripper pad with water to remove the sealer and the move onto the White, Yellow and Green pads which polish the floor. Once the surface was restored we applied two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is a natural-look penetrating sealer that is recommended for food preparation areas such as a kitchen.
No damage was done to the under floor heating and the customer was once again happy to show off her floor, as it turns out we were the only company that was willing to take the problem on.