This Terracotta tiled floor was installed in the conservatory of a house in the old market town of Garstang, Lancashire, famous for being the world’s first ever ‘Fairtrade Town’.
There were quite a few problems with this floor; for one, my client had not re-sealed the tiles in many years and had therefore allowed the existing seal to become very worn and almost completely ineffectual. This had subsequently allowed the floor to become very dirty and marked with white blotches. These white blotches had occurred where the fertilizer held in decorative plant pots had started to eat away at the sealer.
Cleaning a dirty Terracotta Tiled Floor
The tiles were cleaned with a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a strong alkaline cleaner. The solution was liberally applied to the floor and left to dwell for a short period, allowing time for the cleaner to seep into the pores of the Terracotta and lift the ingrained dirt to the surface. The solution was then agitated using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a heavy rotary machine, making a marked difference to the appearance of the tiles within a matter of minutes.
Tile Doctor Acid Gel was then used to spot treat the white marks, the acid content in the product breaks down the alkaline salts that had developed, left behind by the leaked plant fertilizer.
The entire floor was then rinsed several times to remove the soiled cleaning residue and the excess moisture was extracted using a wet-vac machine.
Sealing a Terracotta tiled floor
The Terracotta tiles were left to dry for an entire week as there was no evident damp proof membrane in place at the property. I used damp testers to approximate when the tiles would be dry enough to seal, which was very important as any excess moisture can upset the performance of the sealer.
My first choice of sealer was Tile Doctor Colour Grow, an impregnating sealer that also intensifies the natural colours in the stone. A single coat of Colour Grow was applied, before I opted to follow this up with six coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go, which provides a very robust surface seal and also helped to give the Terracotta the aesthetically pleasing my client had requested.
Before leaving the property with its newly restored Terracotta tiled conservatory, I made sure to give my client some tile maintenance advice. Needless to say, she was very pleased with the results.