This Terracotta tiled kitchen floor at a house in the small hamlet of Hoo near Woodbridge is a great example of an unmaintained floor. Terracotta is a very porous material and will easily absorb fluids and dirt if left unprotected and by unprotected, I mean sealed. Sealers prevent dirt from becoming ingrained in the pores of the tile however they do wear off over time and once that happens, they become very difficult to keep clean. The same thing happens with the top layer of grout and so it’s important to maintain the sealer on both the tile and grout especially in a kitchen environment where spills and therefore staining is more likely to occur.
I visited the property to survey the Terracotta floor and I could see the whole floor, including the grout, needed a deep clean and application of a fresh sealer. Due to its size and the logistics of furniture moving I could see it would need to be done in two halves. I explained the process and conducted a small demonstration so they could see the results. Happy to proceed with my renovation plan we scheduled a date for the work to be done a few weeks later.
Cleaning a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor
Cleaning started with the spraying the Terracotta floor with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. After sprayed onto the tiles and grout it is then then left to soak in for around ten minutes. Normally I would use a stronger product to remove a sealer but when a lot of it has been worn off anyway, I find a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean does the job.
The floor was then scrubbed using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. This process took some time and in all, five litres of Pro-Clean was consumed in the cleaning process to remove the many years of dirt that had built up in the floor. A wet vacuum was then used to remove the soiling and water used to rinse the floor after scrubbing. Pro-Clean is an alkaline product so it is a good idea to give the floor a good rinse following its use to neutralise the pH of the floor after cleaning.
Sealing a Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor
The floor was left to dry out overnight and after checking moisture levels the following day it was sealed with five coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go which is a water-based sealer that adds a subtle sheen finish. With it being such a large area, it took five litres of sealer to seal both areas and in total we spent four days at the property.
For maintenance cleaning I recommended Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which is a pH neutral tile cleaning product but can be used daily if required. It’s a mild cleaning product that won’t strip the tiles of the newly applied sealer like many strong household cleaners can. It’s a concentrated cleaner that has a nice fragrance and being concentrated a small amount goes along way so a bottle should last a while.
The floor now has a nice, easy to maintain sheen which should last for many years to come.