Terracotta Floor Cleaning | Terracotta Floor Sealing

By in
Terracotta Floor Cleaning | Terracotta Floor Sealing

Terracotta Floor Cleaning | Terracotta Floor Sealing


Most people have a fair idea what a terracotta floor it is. Even if terracotta floors are not as popular these days, many old schools, old Georgian houses, churches, museums, restaurants etc. still have terracotta floors within their premises. A terracotta floor commands respect and gives a unique feeling of superiority. Even old and neglected terracotta floors can look amazing. So, if you have terracotta floors or if you manage a premises that has terracotta floors, you can find out some very useful information by reading this article.


Terracotta Floor Cleaning | Terracotta Floor Sealing | What is terracotta?


Terracotta floor is one of the oldest types of floor. It comes from the Italian word Terra (earth-soil) and cotto (cooked). So a terracotta floor is baked earth. A fine quality type of soil is mixed up and then shaped in different sizes and models and then essentially cooked in very hot ovens. The heat helps evaporate the water and it creates a compact surface. That’s it. This is terracotta. Then of course, there are many types of glazings possible, different types of colorants that can be added to create cooler colors and so on. But the base material is cooked soil.




Terracotta Floor Cleaning | Terracotta Floor Sealing | Is terracotta sealed?


It all depends on what you are looking for. Some types of terracotta floors are sold with a smooth top coat but not sealed while others are sold with a thick glass like glazing over the top. It all depends on the future usage. It is highly recommended to have your terracotta floor sealed and impregnated with proper heavy duty sealers to prevent staining and dirt from penetrating it. All terracotta floors, regardless of type or colors, will eventually have to be re-glazed. The top coat will wear off over time and it will leave the base floor exposed to humidity.


Terracotta Floor Cleaning | Terracotta Floor Sealing | Is high humidity bad for terracotta?


A terracotta floor is like a sponge. It absorbs moisture from everywhere. People that have mopped unsealed terracotta tile can tell you that the floor absorbs the cleaning product before you even get a chance to mop the floor. Humidity is a major issue for terracotta floors but rising water is also problematic. Some terracotta floors can look beautiful for a while until the rising water comes up and it creates salt and mineral effervescentes under the glazing. Of course, there are ways of stopping the riding water from rising and the top water from penetrating. We will detail below.


Terracotta Floor Cleaning | Terracotta Floor Sealing | Unsuitable sealers


Terracotta floor cleaning and terracotta floor sealing is not cheap at all. Removing old sealers, cleaning the grout lines and resealing a terracotta floor is very time consuming and very hard to do. Besides that, 90% of the terracotta floors in Ireland were sealed with solvent based floor lacquers or heavy duty solvent based concrete sealers. These sealers are nearly impossible to remove with standard terracotta floor strippers and wax removers. Many terracotta contractors have to sand the floor to be able to remove the sealer in full. Imagine the kind of work required where you have to wet sand a floor that absorbs all the water it can! Not easy at all.


Things have improved dramatically over the past 20 years and better sealers and impregnators were invented. These new sealants can be removed much easier and re-applied hassle free. But even today when better sealers are widely available, many people still use cheap solvent coating because it is cheap and durable.


Terracotta Floor Cleaning | Terracotta Floor Sealing | What sealers are the best?


Floor Cleaning Dublin, unlike other terracotta floor cleaning contractors, prefers to use impregnators. An impregnator will fully penetrate the terracotta tile and it will harden up somewhere in the middle of it. Applied in 3 coats, it will very slightly glaze the tile to create a smooth finish. An impregnator like the amazing Faber AS 930 Terracotta Sealer works in two different ways. Firstly, it does not allow the rising water to rise at all and it will not allow the top water to penetrate. Because the terracotta impregnator penetrates deep inside the tile, it cannot be scratched by people or pets. An absolutely amazing sealer & impregnator.


Terracotta Floor Cleaning | Terracotta Floor Sealing | Maintenance


If the floor is sealed with a matt finish impregnator, it does not require a lot of cleaning and maintenance. But if the terracotta top coat is very glossy, it will require a self evaporating cleaning product to avoid streaking the high gloss. We recommend Faber Neugel, Faber Algafloor or Cleanfast Multi-Shine Maintainer as the main cleaners. If the floor is washed every day, then the dirt does not get a chance to build up so a soft neutral PH floor cleaner will provide amazing results. Once in a while use a heavy duty floor cleaner like Faber Deterfug to degrease and remove stains from your terracotta floor & then maintain it daily with one of the products listed above. You can use a standard mopping system or a flat mopping system. Some terracotta floors are very uneven so a flat mopping system might not be able to reach the grout lines.


Terracotta Floor Cleaning | Terracotta Floor Sealing | What can we do for you?


Floor Cleaning Dublin is one of the most well established and most highly recommended terracotta floor cleaning companies in Ireland. We specialize in deep floor cleaning services, grout cleaning & sealing. Floor Cleaning Dublin uses innovative floor cleaning technology and only the best sealers and refreshers. We provide free no obligation estimates for commercial terracotta floor cleaning & residential terracotta floor cleaning.


Stripping | Sealant Removal


You have hired Floor Cleaning Dublin because obviously you are not happy with the condition of your floor. Your terracotta floor looks dull, patchy and tired because the sealer has worn off and the floor is no longer protected. This can happen for a number of reasons like high traffic, unsuitable cleaning products, poor maintenance or just because years have passed since it was last sealed and nothing in the world is permanent. So the first thing we do is to remove the old sealers and waxes to expose the base floor itself and make a plan to restore it.


We can remove the top coat with a mixture of floor strippers, alkaline floor cleaners & heavy duty floor pads or we will have to lightly sand the top of the terracotta floor to expose the tile. Assuming that the floor was sealed with proper terracotta sealers, the first option should work well and the floor will be exposed in no time. But if the floor was sealed with a floor lacquer or some type of solvent based concrete sealer, then we will need to sand the floor. It is for this reason that prices can change dramatically when doing terracotta floor cleaning. An easy looking project can take a lot of time and a lot of effort to complete.


Either way, the top coat of the floor will be fully stripped off, the grout lines will be scrubbed with heavy duty grout brushes & the tile will be exposed. Floor Cleaning Dublin will apply up to 4 coats of solvent impregnator from Faber. This product will be applied in stages with good drying times between the coats. The first 2 coats will pretty much disappear below the top of the terracotta. But there is a clear plan for this to happen. As the impregnator penetrates deep, it seals the terracotta inside and outside. All sides of the tile will be sealed and waterproofed. The final coat will fully seal the top of the tile but it will not create an artificial glazing. Pretty much the same process applies for commercial & residential terracotta floor cleaning projects.


Terracotta Floor Cleaning | Terracotta Floor Sealing | Pricing


The main reason that there are not a lot of terracotta floor cleaning & polishing companies out there is because this kind of work is very demanding, very complicated to assess and very time consuming. You just never know what people have used to seal and attempt to waterproof the tile. But Floor Cleaning Dublin is one of the most highly recommended and regularly booked terracotta floor cleaning companies in Ireland. We usually charge per square meter up to 30-40 sq meters and then we price per job for projects over 40 sq meters. But do not worry, our prices are highly competitive and we are 100% clear on what we do and how much we will charge before we even start.



Terracotta Floor Cleaning | Terracotta Floor Sealing

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *