Similar to Terracotta these clay floor tiles had been installed throughout the ground floor of this house in Billingshurst including the hall, utility, WC and kitchen. The owner of the property had recently moved out into a new house and was planning on renting it out however none of the tiles had seen any sealer in a long time and although the tiles were in good condition they had a rough finish which had resulted in patchy grout smears as well as the general grime and old sealer build up that needed to be deep cleaned to get the tiles back to their former glory.
Cleaning Old Clay Tiles
To clean the floor I first applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and worked it into every nook and cranny using a hand brush and deck broom. After 10 minutes I used a buffing machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad and worked it over the areas until satisfied that all was clean. After washing the floors down several times to neutralise the cleaning agent and extracting with a wet vacuum I checked the entire area for any problem spots. There were a few stubborn areas that needed re-treating but the main issue was the grout smears which must have been then since the floor was laid. Fortunately we have a solution for most problems and in this case we have a product called Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which is very good at removing grout from tile, it an acid based product so you can’t leave it on the tile too long and once it’s worked its magic you need to wash the floor down again to remove any trace of chemical.
Sealing Old Clay Tiles
I left for the evening and returned two days later to ensure the floor would be dry which it was. The tiles need to dry to achieve the best results with the sealer which in this case was Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water based sealer that adds a subtle shine effect as well as providing lasting stain protection. Four coats of sealer were required and as you can see from the photographs the difference is quite remarkable.