I do enjoy breathing new life into old floors as was the case with this Terrazzo tiled hallway floor in Southbourne near Bournemouth, installed in 1924 it had been knocked about by various building alterations and then finally covered in a carpet which had been glued to the floor.
Removing Adhesive from Terrazzo tiles
Stubborn remnants of the carpet adhesive were removed using Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU Remover which is applied to the tiles and then left to soak in for a before being scrubbed in with a black buffing pad and a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. HBU actually stands for Heavy Buid-up Remover and it’s a great problem solver that penetrates through tough stains and coatings so they can be easily removed. The floor was then washed down with clean water and any areas that needed further attention were retreated until I was satisfied with the floor was clean and free of glue.
The next step was to re-polish the Terrazzo using a set of of Tile Doctor burnishing pads which are applied in sequence from Coarse through to Super Fine with a little water to help lubricate. The coarse pad removes any surface grime and old sealant and the remaining pads build up the polish to bring back the original shine. The floor is washed down between each pad to remove the soil generated during the process.
Sealing Terrazzo Tiles
Cleaning took most of the day so I returned the next day to apply the sealer testing the floor first to ensure it was dry. To seal the floor I used a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing sealer that impregnates into the pores of the stone and prevents contaminates staining the floor.
The customer decided that she would conceal the concrete patches at the edges of the floor using Colours Stone Effect speckled spray paint which is available in B&Q in her own time.
As you can see from the photos the floor looked a hundred times better and the customer was very satisfied with the result.
These photographs are taken from an old Terrazzo floor in the kitchen of a house in the busy market town of Oakham, Rutland. The floor was looking rather grubby and now overdue a deep clean to remove dirt and grease from the floor and being a hard polished stone it would also need to be burnished to restore the appearance of the Terrazzo.
Stripping the Terrazzo Tiled Floor
To resolve we deep cleaned the floor by applying a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was left to soak in for a good fifteen minutes before being worked in using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The cleaning solution soon became soiled as the dirt was lifted out of the floor and this was removed with a wet vacuum and the floor then rinsed with water.
The next step was to strip back the surface of the Terrazzo so it could be polished. This is done using a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pads which come in a set of four grades from Coarse to Super Fine. We started with the coarse pad which can remove dirt, sealers and other coatings before moving onto the medium, fine and super fine pads which polish the floor and bring up the surface. The pads use a little water which needs to be rinsed away after each pad followed by a thorough rinse at the end of the process.
At this stage we would normally wait for the floor to dry and then seal it using a product recommended for the particular surface, location and desired appearance however on this occasion the owner was happy to leave the floor the way it was so we were able to complete the job in a single day.
Just to prove we take on any job large or small I thought I would post the details of this small Terrazzo Vestibule that we recently cleaned at the entrance to a house in Glasgow. The Terrazzo was not looking its best which is hardly surprising being in front of the main entrance to the house it must have seen a lot of foot traffic over the years.
Cleaning and Burnishing a Terrazzo Floor
Terrazzo is a very hard surface and as a result it has to be treated in the same way as other hard surfaces such as Travertine, Limestone and Marble which typically involve burnishing the surface to remove the dirt and restore the appearance.
Before burnishing the floor was cleaned using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was left to dwell on the Terrazzo for a while before being scrubbed in by hand due to it being such a small area; following that the floor was given a quick rinse with water and a quick clean with Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner to remove any trace of strong cleaning product.
The next step was to burnish the floor using a set of four diamond encrusted burnishing pads. You start with a coarse 400 grit burnishing pad which is run over the surface with a little water to help lubricate and this removes surface dirt and coatings such as sealers. Once that was finished we moved onto the medium 800 grit pad which is the first step of the polishing process and also removes ingrained dirt. The surface of the Terrazzo is still quite rough at this stage so once complete with the medium pad the fine (1,500 grit) is used smooth down the surface and continue to build up the polish in the floor. The last pad is a very fine (3,000 grit pad) and this pad builds on the existing polished effect to create a high shine finish.
All these pads are applied with water and the resultant slurry needs to be cleaned off during the process with the final step of giving the floor a thorough rinse with clean water.
Sealing a Terrazzo Floor
Once the floor was completely dry it was sealed using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer designed to bring out the natural colours in the stone and penetrate into the pores of the tile preventing dirt from getting in there and providing maximum on-going stain protection. The floor was then buffed using a white buffing pad to bring up the shine further and remove any smears left from sealing.