Heavily Soiled Terracotta Kitchen & Conservatory, Whitstable, Kent
Three, centuries' old, terraced workman's cottages had been knocked through to make one house in Whitstable. Thick walls and small windows gave the home a charm on a quiet back street.
The floors had been neglected for years and this was, in my experience, probably the most ingrained dirt that I had come across.
No matter, this was something that I could improve and took on the job.
Cleaning the grout was the first job of the day. The wide grout lines made for plenty of scrubbing with a stiff brush and a strong alkaline cleaning solution.
Terracotta is a very soft stone and burnishing/hone is not possible.
Using only one diamond pad with the same, industrial-strength alkaline cleaner is needed (and plenty of water!).
Soon, we were ankle deep in a very red, watery slurry that had to be vax'd up before it dried back in the cleaned grout lines.
Normally, a day to leave the tiles to dry is sufficient before sealing but with terracotta, it is like a sponge so a Friday/Monday combination is preferred by me.
The customer opted for a matt finish, so a solvent-based matt finish sealer was used with a colour intensifier component.
Although it is a clear liquid, the colour intensifier makes the reds redder and the oranges more orange, adding depth and vibrancy to a matt floor.
Three coats were applied. I left a neutral Ph cleaner to clean the floors which should allow for a maximum protection time of 3 years.
Graham did an excellent job thank you