The owner of this property in Colchester got in touch to have their Terracotta Kitchen floor tiles renovated after they were marked with bleach. If you look closely at the before pictures you will see the terracotta tiles have white lines running across them.
Intrigued, I arranged to visit the property and take a look at the problem. I suspect the Terracotta had been protected with some sort of sealer and the bleach being very acidic had basically cut through it leaving the conspicuous lines in the floor.
I was very confident that the floor could be deep cleaned and once a fresh seal had been applied the problem would be resolved and the tiles would look great. My client was happy to go ahead with the quotation and we arranged a mutually convenient time to carry out the renovation.
Deep Cleaning a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor in Colchester
First, I applied tape to all the the plinths and around the doorways to protect the wood from the cleaning products we would be using. To get the tiles clean a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean was sprayed on to the tiles and left to soak in for roughly ten minutes. This dwell time allows time for the cleaner to breakdown the old sealer and ingrained dirt so its can be removed easier.
Next a Black scrubbing pad was fitted to a rotary buffing machine and was slowly worked over the floor to scrub the solution into the Tile and Grout to release years of dirt. More Pro-Clean was scrubbed in along the grout lines with a stiff brush to get them clean. In total two litres of Tile Doctor Pro Clean was used during the cleaning.
The cleaning solution went black with the dirt and the soiling was rinsed with water and extracted using a wet vacuum. Rinsing with water helps to neutralise any remaining cleaning solution and the wet vacuum is used to get the floor as dry as possible. At this point the floor looked a whole lot better and was left to dry out overnight.
Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor in Colchester
The following morning, I used the damp meter to check the floors moisture readings and I was pleased to see the readings were acceptable and the tiles could be sealed. If the floor was still damp the seal would not cure properly so this is an important step.
Terracotta is a porous material so four coats of sealer were applied allowing each coat to dry before applying the next. On this floor I used Tile Doctor Seal & Go Extra which is a water-based sealer manufactured using a special acrylic-based formula that leaves a subtle sheen, Terracotta is quite a porous material so two litres of sealer were used in total.
Once complete the tiles looked much lighter and cleaner with no staining. Additionally, the new sealer will make the floor easy to maintain and my client was very pleased with the transformation.
On the topic of maintenance, I recommended they use Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner to clean the floor. It is a pH neutral product which will not compromise the newly applied seal, which can be the problem with many household cleaning products which are simply too strong for use on a sealed floor. This will ensure the longevity of the seal and will make the floor easy to maintain which is of course a bonus.