How to clean terracotta tiles thanks

Ian Morton

Cleantalk Regular
...Richard, can’t see anything on your profile regarding training. Have you covered anything for hard floors...???
 

Andrew Evans

Savvy Cleantalker
Hi Richard That is a very hard question to answer, firstly you need to look at the condition of the tiles do they need cleaning or do they need stripping and re sealing. If the first then a weak dilution of STS then brushed in with something like a floor mac or light rotary, use a grout brush and that will clean the surface.

On the other hand from experience the client will say cleaning but in reality they mean stripping and re sealing. The issue with that is to find out what they have been sealed with in the first place. Because of the very porous nature of Terracotta one of the biggest problems is the drying time between strip/clean and re seal. If you have never done this before or been on a course then I would suggest you do train first.

If you seal too soon, and depending on the sub floor it can take several days, you will trap moisture and enter a whole new level of pain.

If you post some pictures then I am sure someone will advise on whats needed.

Best wishes
Andrew
 
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Tom Chorazyk

New Cleantalker
Hi Richard That is a very hard question to answer, firstly you need to look at the condition of the tiles do they need cleaning or do they need stripping and re sealing. If the first then a weak dilution of STS then brushed in with something like a floor mac or light rotary, use a grout brush and that will clean the surface.

On the other hand from experience the client will say cleaning but in reality they mean stripping and re sealing. The issue with that is to find out what they have been sealed with in the first place. Because of the very porous nature of Terracotta one of the biggest problems is the drying time between strip/clean and re seal. If you have never done this before or been on a course then I would suggest you do train first.

If you seal too soon, and depending on the sub floor it can take several days, you will trap moisture and enter a whole new level of pain.

If you post some pictures then I am sure someone will advise on whats needed.

Best wishes
Andrew
Hi Andrew,
Hi Guys,

I'm new to all this.. Got a rotary as we needed for a separate contract we've been working on.
Then we've done few stone floors, using STS for our regular customers, just a clean. With great results.

Not done any training yet, there seems to be nothing about. Hopefully next year will do!

My question now is about the terracotta floor. Our customer's got this in the kitchen. Around 10m2.
Done a bit today to see how it responds to sts. It cleaned it nicely. Seems like sealant's gone. It's v dull and mega absorbing.

From what I understand I should clean the whole floor. Wait around a week, then seal. With what? Using what method?

Thank you for your advices in advance.
With best wishes,
Tom
 

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Andrew Evans

Savvy Cleantalker
Hi Tom you need to find out if it has a seal and then if it has what seal has it got.

By your description it sounds like if it has got a seal then it is likely to be an impregnating one.

You need to ask questions and do tests also buy a damp metre.

In general terms after testing plan a course of action. After cleaning use blowers.

If you keep the moisture to a minimum you may be able to clean and seal the same day but you would need to check the damp levels. To be safe I would clean one day then seal 4 days later.

Terracotta are meant to look dull although somepeople like them shiny.
You would need a topical seal for that and it would need maintenance.

There are several courses Solutions do one, tile doctor do one as does tile master and tiling logistics.

All of these trainers will give you a good understanding of how to do it properly and safely.

Well worth doing a course before tackling tiled or stone floors.
Hope this helps Andrew
 
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Paul White

Cleantalk Member
One of the most important things with hard floors/tile & grout is to know what your customers expectations are for the finished result. Here that is gonna affect your choice of with what & how. Impregnating for a natural finish or a topical finish for anything up to glossy. Nick probably sells both.

Amongst the many things to consider when evaluating a floor to clean is the skirting boards. I only mention this as cheap MDF skirting is becoming something I see more & more and I'm sure you can see the issues that might arise when introducing water to the unsealed, unpainted bottom of the skirting.
 
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Tom Chorazyk

New Cleantalker
@Andrew Evans, @Paul White,

Thank you Guys for your replies.

Seems like I shouldn't have tried it at all, at first.

I thought, I'd just try, see how it cleans. Happy with the results of how it looks. It's also quite surprising that it seems it has actually taken the seal off. They haven't been touched for years, so I'm - guessing - there isn't much or close to none of any seal on them. The gloss is probably the residue of an old seal mixed with daily dirt and standard floor cleaners...?

By using very weak sts mix I managed to strip it with no problem.
I've got no choice now really but go for it! And try.
Wash it all, wait a week. (there is an Aga in the kitchen, so it will dry, no problem) and try to seal it. She like it glossy, and she likes the colours.. So at least that what we know..

So, fingers crossed - very much so..
 
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Gary Richard Coles

Cleantalk Member
From the pictures, just to be safe I would start with a stripper to ensure there is no topical sealer left anywhere. Then thoroughly rinse and clean as before. Drying times can vary depending on conditions but you'll only know by doing a moisture reading. (most tile shops will sell basic moisture meters)

Persoanlly I'd first seal with a water based impregnating sealer, wait for it to dry and then finish with your topical dressing/sealer to create the shine, probably a few coats.

I'd make sure to mention to customer that topicals do wear and require maintenance and correct daily cleaning methods or they won't stay looking good for long.
 
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Alex Rosca

Cleantalk Member
Hi

Well i have that finish in matt, satin or gloss. Check out Faber MA90/V or Faber MA90. It lasts for over 2 years under a lot of traffic. We have a contract with a chain of natural products shop, over 30 shops in Ireland And NI, we re-seal the floor every 24 months
 

Alex Rosca

Cleantalk Member
Hi

There are fre distributors in UK. All Faber products are amazing. There is another one Faber AS 930, amazing for terracotta or uneven travertine. Money making products. Because is like a gel, the stone can`t absorb it fast. 1 coat to seal & 1 more coat to glaze. A bit smelly but ....
 

Alex Rosca

Cleantalk Member
This terracotta tile was finished with Faber AS 930 x 2 coats. I think it looks great. Faber products are very expensive, but if you have done a terracotta floor before, you know how long it takes to saturate a terracotta tile. Well, with a Faber product, you can do it 90% faster. The picture you can see, was a kitchen 10 sq meters, i charged 400 euro and i did it in 3 hours. The product to seal it has costed me 75 euro. 325 euro profit

Some people will call you mad charging so much, but if they get it done once, they will call you again. It lasts for years and it looks amazing

Window Cleaning Dublin
 

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