The English owner of a French Chateau contacted Tile Doctor about the hard floors at their property in Béziers in the South of France. There were several floors at the property including Terrazzo, Limestone and Black and White Encaustic tiles all around a hundred years old and in a bad state of repair. There was a lot to cover so for this post we will focus on the Terrazzo flooring.
We have been known to carry out tile renovation work in other counties so we were more than happy to consider a visit to the South of France and help bring the floors back to life. Previous overseas projects have included a hotel restaurant in Addis Ababa, holiday cottages in Ireland and a villa in France.
Luckily for us the customer had invested in some machinery that he had found on eBay but he didn’t have the technical knowledge to do the work and so had decided to seek help. Having discussed each of the floors in detail over the phone and with photographs sent via email I worked out a restoration plan for each floor.
We supplied the products he needed and we were flown down from Manchester to Béziers Cap d’Agde Airport where we were picked up by the client, (very Hollywood). If you have never been to Béziers before it’s well worth a visit, it’s a beautiful area, well laid out, with parks and rivers, an old 12th Century Monastery and the property had great views all around.
Deep Cleaning and Filling Terrazzo Flooring in Béziers France
On arrival at the property work started with setting up the machinery and conducting some preliminary cleaning tests to work out the best approach. After that however our host insisted on showing us round Béziers, it was a Saturday afternoon and we were in the South of France so why not, they certainly know how to live properly down there.
So, work started on the Sunday with the application of a 200-grit Milling pad and Oxy-Gel cleaning solution. I was concerned (due to some hairline cracks in the Terrazzo) that water would seep through into the rooms below (this was a big old townhouse set on four levels) so by using a gel-based product it would be easier to control and the moisture would be kept to a minimum.
The resultant soiling was then extracted with a wet vacuum and attention moved to filling the cracks in the Terrazzo with a resin filler. Once the resin had cured the floor was cleaned again, this time with a 200-grit DRB Milling pad which contains diamond segments. The process was lubricated with water and progress was checked underneath several times to ensure the pad was working as expected.
Polishing a Terrazzo Floor in Béziers France
This work continued with increasingly finer diamond encrusted burnishing pads starting with a 400-grit Diamond burnishing pad and moving up to an 800-grit and finishing with a 1500-grit pad. Only water was used for lubrication and the soiling was extracted with a wet vacuum after each pad was applied. This method slowly improves the surface of the Terrazzo adding a long-lasting polished appearance.
The floor was left to dry overnight and the following day treated to a spray burnish using a very fine 3000 grit burnishing pad; the pad is applied dry to the floor with only a little amount of water which is sprayed onto the surface.
Sealing Terrazzo Flooring in Béziers France
This final 3000-grit pad leaves the floor dry and allows the floor to be sealed shortly afterwards. The sealer chosen for the Terrazzo was Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing impregnator which works by soaking into the pores preventing dirt from residing there. Sealing the floors keeps the dirt and other contaminates on the surface where it can be easily removed.
Two coats of Colour Grow were applied and this brought out the lovely pink tones in the Terrazzo which together with the polished appearance really transformed the appearance of the floor.
For aftercare cleaning I got the customer to purchase a five-litre bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner along with the other products. You must be careful what you clean sealed floors with as many products contain bleach and are simply too strong resulting in the premature degradation of the sealer.
We spent the whole week at the property and as well as working on the other floors did find time to do some more sightseeing before flying back the following weekend.