terracotta tiles

Victorian Tiled Hallway and Terracotta Kitchen Floor in Shrewsbury

For this old terraced house in Shrewsbury I was asked to clean and seal two areas which included a Victorian tiled hallway and Terracotta tiled kitchen; I’ve copied below the original request so you can better understand that there was a fair amount of work that needed doing.

“I have 2 areas of quarry tiles that need a serious make over, in the hall and the back room. There are patches of red paint and areas of mineral deposit and lots of ingrained filth!””

As it turned out the customer had only recently bought the property and told me that the previous owner had rented the property out and that the last tenants kept snakes, rats and all sorts of animals there and the remaining smell was one of the concerns of the customer.

After inspecting the Victorian tiled hallway I suspected it had probably been re-laid at some point in the past as the grout line were different in places and there were several new replacement tiles visible. The terracotta floor was more recent and had showed no signs of a sealer being applied which would explain how they had become so dirty.

Victorian Tiled Floor Before Cleaning in Shrewsbury Terracotta Tiled Floor Before Cleaning in Shrewsbury

Cleaning a Victorian and Terracotta Tiled Floors

To clean both floors I applied a dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go leaving it to soak in before scrubbing it in using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. I was banking on the Remove and Go to deal with any remaining sealer and also to loosen the paint spots. The resultant slurry was washed away using more water and a wet vacuum and the process repeated until I was happy with the condition of the tiles. I also had to use a steamer on the hallway tiles as the dirt was ingrained in the mainly light coloured tiles and it needed the steam to lift it out. it was then given a final rinse to remove any cleaning products and then left to dry.

Sealing Terracotta and Victorian Floors

I left both floors to dry out overnight and returned to seal them the next day checking first with a damp meter that they were dry. To seal the Terracotta tiles in the kitchen two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow was applied, Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer that enhanced the colours and leaves a matt finish which is what the customer wanted. For the hallway however the customer wanted a shine so five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go were applied. The one advantage of having two floors to seal was that I could be adding a coat of seal on one floor whilst the other was drying.

Victorian Tiled Floor After Cleaning in Shrewsbury
Apologies for not taking a final photograph of the Terracotta tiles after they were sealed, however the customer was really happy with the job and left a nice testimonial:

“Jozsef was a pleasure to deal with – professional, hardworking and friendly. He was quick to contact me, give me the quote and to schedule the work. He clearly explained what my options were and I am really happy with the work done – both tiled floors look great!”

Cleaning and Sealing Tiled Floors in Shropshire

Sprucing up Terracotta Tiles in Shrewsbury

Details below of a Terracotta tiled hallway and kitchen at a house in the historic town of Shrewsbury. The floor had been laid a couple of years previously but the customer had found it difficult to maintain the appearance especially in the kitchen in fact the customer’s description on their enquiry form was “Need to spruce up the hallway and kitchen floor.”

Terracotta Tile Before Cleaning in Shrewsbury Terracotta Tile Before Cleaning in Shrewsbury

Cleaning a Terracotta Tiled Floor

I cleaned the Terracotta floor with strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean scrubbed into the tile and grout with a black pad and then rinsed off with clean water which was then removed with a wet vacuum. After rinsing the floor there were a couple stubborn spots left behind so they were spot treated using Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a strong coatings remover that is safe to use on tile and stone and usually takes care of most issues and certainly worked in this case. The floor was then thoroughly rinsed to remove any cleaning product prior to sealing and then left to dry.

Terracotta Tile After Cleaning in Shrewsbury Terracotta Tile After Cleaning in Shrewsbury

Sealing a Terracotta Floor Sealing

I’d agreed with the owner to return a week later to ensure the tiles were bone dry and ready to be sealed and on my return I checked the floor for any problem areas in need of further cleaning and also for dampness. The Terracotta was dry enough to take the sealer so I sealed it using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which was chosen as the customer didn’t want a shine on the floor.

Terracotta Tile After Sealing in Shrewsbury Terracotta Tile After Sealing in Shrewsbury

Out of interest I’ve included the photograph below which shows how the sealer causes water to form on the surface of the tile due to the surface tension provided by the sealer.

Terracotta Tile After Sealing in Shrewsbury
The customer was very happy with the result and left the following testimonial on the Tile Doctor feedback system:
“Very pleased with the work carried out by Jozsef. He is a pleasant and hard working individual and very conscientious about his work. No hesitation in recommending his work.”

Cleaning and Sealing Terracotta tiles in Shrewsbury

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