I received a request from the owner of an old barn conversion in Hawkinge who was having their kitchen replaced to deal with their expansive terracotta and quarry tiled floor that was installed throughout the ground floor. There were so many issues with the floor my client was planning to have all the tiles ripped out and replaced. Fortunately, she contacted Tile Doctor before doing so and I got a call to pay them a visit first.
I went over to the property and surveyed the floor compiling a list of the issues as I went round. The main issues being dirty tiles and missing, cracked or very dirty grout. I explained the different steps to getting the floor restored conducted a small demonstration. Impressed with the difference that could be achieved and aware of the expense involved in replacing the floor I was asked to quote for renovating.
The client was happy with my quote, and they decided it made sense to try renovating the tiles and I was given the go ahead.
Deep Cleaning and Restoring a Quarry and Terracotta Tiled Floor
Restoring such a large floor would be very time consuming with many stages, so I recommend spreading the work over the course of a month to allow plenty of time for drying between stages. This is especially important when dealing with old porous tiles like Terracotta.
Working in sections and focusing on the kitchen area first the first task was to perform a deep clean of the floor to remove deep seated soiling and to strip off old coating such as sealers. For this a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a cleaning/stripper that’s designed for use on tile and stone was scrubbed into the tile and grout using a black pad fitted to a rotary machine. This process releases the dirt from the tile, and I then used a van mounted high pressure cleaning system to give the tiles a high pressure clean and extract the dirt.
The loose and cracked grout was raked out and the floor was left for a day to allow it dry out. Once dry the tiles were given their first coat of sealer which was an impregnating Tile Doctor Ultra Seal. Once this was done, I moved onto refixing a couple of loose tiles and regrouting the floor.
When the grout had gone off the floor was given a second clean with a light brush followed by an acid wash with Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up. This action removes the last remnants of grout haze and cleans up the tile further. This was then rinsed off with the high-pressure cleaning system and the soils extracted.
Sealing a Quarry Tiled Barn Conversion Floor
The floor was left to dry out again, and on my return, a further five coats of sealer were applied to give the coarse floor a level of maintainability. On this occasion I chose Tile Doctor Seal and Go which adds a nice subtle shine to the tiles and is compatible with Ultra Seal.
It was a tough project, but I rather enjoyed bringing this old and challenging floor back to life, it was very satisfying and even more so when the feedback received greatly justifies the amount of effort expended in producing the result.