Terracotta Tiled Kitchen Floor with Severe Grout Haze Problem Treated in Cogenhoe

This newly installed Herringbone-style Terracotta tiled floor in a refurbished kitchen was heavily covered with patches of grout haze. The customer, who lives in the town of Cogenhoe, Northampton informed me that the tiler had supposedly sealed the floor before grouting. If this was true, the grout haze should have been very easy to remove.

However, the tiler had clearly not been entirely truthful as, when I arrived at the property to carry out a test clean, I found very little evidence of any sealer whatsoever. Nonetheless, I found that the grout haze was easily removed using a solution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean Up, a concentrated phosphoric acid cleaner which is designed specifically for the removal of haze, mineral deposits and efflorescence.

Herringbone design terracotta floor before Cogenhoe Herringbone design terracotta floor before Cogenhoe

These Terracotta tiles were very pitted and the original tiler was correct to fill the small holes with grout to complement the rustic look of the tiles, but he should have taken the correct measures to ensure that a white misty grout haze didn’t appear over the whole area!

The customer was happy for me to proceed with restoring the floor, but also very concerned that her newly installed hand painted kitchen units would be damaged by the chemical cleaning products. I assured her that I would cover them up completely and carry out all work along the plinths by hand.

Removing Grout Haze from Terracotta Tiles

Once on site, I covered the kitchen units to protect them and proceeded to mix up a solution of Grout Clean Up. This was applied firstly around the edges of the floor and scrubbed into the stone by hand using a stiff brush.

Working in areas of four square metres each so as to not the leave the product on the floor too long, I applied the solution to pre-wet the floor ready for the next part of the process. This was to apply Tile Doctor Acid Gel, our blend of phosphoric and hydrochloric acids, leave it to dwell for a few minutes has then agitate it to neutralise and remove the copious grout haze. Once each area had been treated I rinsed it with water to remove any chemicals.

Herringbone design terracotta floor during Cogenhoe Herringbone design terracotta floor during Cogenhoe

Sealing Terracotta Tiles

With the entire floor treated, I installed a dehumidifier to help the tiles to dry quickly overnight. The next day I returned to the property to apply two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer. This is an impregnating sealer which provides robust protection while also lifting the natural shades in the Terracotta.

Each coat was polished in by hand, leaving an hour for drying between coats. I then waited another hour before giving the whole floor a final polish with a buffing machine to remove any excess sealant.

Herringbone design terracotta floor after Cogenhoe Herringbone design terracotta floor after Cogenhoe

The result achieved in the space of 24 hours was fantastic and the customer was exceptionally pleased. Despite the severity of the grout haze problem, the combination of the right products allowed me to handily resolve it. The addition of a properly applied and top quality sealer will help to ensure the floor is protected from staining, something which is essential in a kitchen.
 
 

Resolving Installation Issues with a newly installed Terracotta Tiled Floor in Northamptonshire

Kitchen Terracotta Tile Cleaning and Sealing in Holcot

The photographs below show a Terracotta Tiled floor we maintained that was installed in the kitchen and conservatory of a house in the Northamptonshire village of Holcot. The tile and grout was in good physical condition but had become ingrained with dirt and were now in need of a deep clean and reseal.

Terracotta tiles Before Cleaning in Holcot Village

Cleaning Terracotta Tiles

First job was to protect the kitchen units, doors and skirting boards during the cleaning process for which I used blue plastic sheeting. Next a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is an industrial strength alkaline cleaning product that’s safe to use on tile and stone was applied to the floor using a mop. The solution was left it to dwell on the floor for twenty minutes in order for it to soak into the tile and get to work on the dirt. It was then worked into the floor using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad and stiff hand brushes were along the grout lines where the pad struggled to reach.

The soiled solution was picked up using our large wet and dry vacuum and the floor was then rinsed with clean water to neutralise the tile and allow us to see which areas need further attention. The process was repeated until I was happy that any old sealer and all the dirt had been removed and then the floor was given a final rinse, wet vacuum and then left to dry overnight ready for sealing the next day.

Terracotta tiles Being Cleaned in Holcot Village

Sealing Terracotta Tiles

When I returned the next day I checked the floor had dried using a damp meter which it was and so proceeded to seal the Terracotta tiles with seven coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which will protect the tiles from staining and also add a nice subtle shine to the floor. Terracotta is a clay based product and so naturally quite porous.

Terracotta tiles Cleaned and Sealed in Holcot Village

 
 

Terracotta Tile Maintenance in a Holcot Kitchen