Terracotta Tile Cleaning

Welcome to my Work History archive where you will find detailed examples of the cleaning and renovation of Terracotta tiles carried out in Edinburgh

Cleaning and Renovating Terracotta Tiles

Terracotta tiles have been around in certain parts of the world for over two millennia, in fact the word Terracotta means burned earth. The ancient Romans used a variety of terracotta tiles in their villas and palaces for many centuries. Terracotta tiles are thicker than most modern tiles giving them strength and durability.

The one big downside to Terracotta is the fact that it has no glaze on the surface and being very porous can soon pick up and store muck and dirt very quickly. If you have ever owned a Terracotta floor before you will be able to relate to this problem however the answer is to ensure you have the correct sealer in place.

Traditionally Wax was used to protect terracotta tiles however with the advent of modern purpose made sealers we don’t recommend it. Not only is it troublesome to remove but it scratches easily and we have seen situations in kitchens where dirt and oil trapped in the wax turns black and becomes very unsightly.

For sealing Terracotta we actually recommend Tile Doctor Seal and Go which works well on clay tiles such as Terracotta and is also water based so doesn’t give off a smell as it dries. When applying a sealer always make sure the floor is dry first as applying a sealer to a damp floor can lead to inconsistent results. Because of this we typically clean and seal Terracotta floors over two days so we can clean on day one and then apply the sealer on day two having let the floor dry off overnight.

Below you will find detailed examples of work we have carried out in the past, it should give you some idea of what’s involved and what can be achieved with the right techniques and products.

Terracotta Floor Tiles Edinburgh Before and After Cleaning

Terracotta Tiled Floor Cleaned in Edinburgh

This Terracotta Tiled Floor in the lounge of a house in Edinburgh was ingrained with dirt from what must have been years of use since it was last given a thorough deep clean and seal.

Terracotta Floor Tiles Edinburgh Before Cleaning

Cleaning Terracotta Tile and Grout

This floor was very dirty so to get them clean a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean was applied and left to soak into the pores in the Terracotta for a good while. More Pro-Clean was applied and then worked into the tiles using a rotary bonnet machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. This action saw the dirt coming out of the floor and it was rinsed away with water using a wet vacuum to extract the soil.

The process was repeated three times before the Terracotta tiles were clean; we also used a stiff grout brush along the grout lines during this process and then at the end the floor was given a good rinse down with more water again a wet vacuum was used to extract the water and get the floor as dry as possible.

Terracotta Floor Tiles Edinburgh After Cleaning

Sealing Terracotta Tiles

The photograph above shows the floor after cleaning as on this occasion and despite being advised against it the client didn’t want the floor sealed so we gave the floor a final wipe with Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner with cloths to leave a clean finish. Terracotta is a very porous material and so it’s highly recommended that you seal it, leaving it un-sealed will soon see dirt becoming ingrained into the pores of the tile and once there it’s very difficult to remove without going through the deep cleaning process above.

When sealing Terracotta I would recommend Tile Doctor Seal and Go which gives the floor a nice sheen, if you prefer a more natural look however then choose Colour Grow which has the additional benefit of bringing out the natural colours in the tile.

Terracotta Tiled Floor Deep Cleaned in Edinburgh


Edinburgh Tile Doctor

Scroll to Top