Terracotta Tiles- are made from clay and “Terracotta” exactly means “cooked earth”. Terracotta has been used in floors and walls for centuries. As it is a natural material, these tiles would require certain level of care. Terracotta tiles vary in color, texture and appearance also available in various shapes and sizes.
Here you can look into this step approach to cleaning, protecting and maintenance:
- Allow your newly installed or existing Terracotta floor to cure for 72 hours and try to avoid of stepping on it too.
- Vacuum the floor to remove traces of dust, dirt and sand and clean the corners with a microfiber cloth.
- To protect from the sealant apply masking tape to baseboards, kick board panels and other areas you wish to protect.
- In a bucket of warm water add some mild dish soap then wash the floor with a mop or sponge and let it dry thoroughly.
- Apply moderately but flat coat of sealant with an extended roller or brush starting from a corner till the exit point. Then, apply the sealant in cross sections moving horizontally over the same area moving vertically to ensure a smooth consistent coating. Sealer should cure within 72 hours; however follow all instructions on the sealer label.
- Look over the floor periodically and it’s inevitable that some dust would fall on the floor, most of which you probably won’t notice.
- To remove the dust, dampen a rag with some sealer and gently rub the tile until the dust is disappeared.
- Vacuum your Terracotta floor regularly to keep it clean. Depending on wear and tear on the floor eventually sealant may break down which normally happens after two or three years due to dust, dirt and sand.
- Keeping your floor clean will lengthen the amount of time between sealant applications.
- Finally, wash your tile floor weekly with a damp sponge for light glow in your floor. For deep glow, clean with mild dish soap and warm water.
- Remove the spills as soon as you notice it, so that the tiles do not become stained.
Precaution- Avoid using cleaners that contain acids, vinegar or ammonia as these may damage or discolor terracotta tile flooring.
Maintenance of Terracotta Tile Flooring-
The main hitch with Terracotta flooring is that, as it has no glaze on the surface it can pick dust very quickly. However, you can seal them if you ensure which sealants you choose. You can get some advice from the tile stores for the best sealant to be used, as these tiles are most problematic to seal. Wax sealants tend not to soak all the way into the tile and residue will be left on the surface somehow, eventually at high traffic area where it gets discolored. Outside edges will be clean due to less traffic.
Water- based sealants are best to overcome the problem through discoloring or with dust particles. As these water- based sealers are thin than acrylic sealers and therefore soak much deeper into the tile.
Cleaning tips for Terracotta tile flooring-
- Do not use acids, vinegar, ammonia contain solutions as it may break down the sealant and not good for the surface.
- Make use of neutral cleaner specially formulated for clay surfaces.
- Avoid applying to much water to the surface.
- Change the water or cleaning solution often enough.
- Remove the cleaner or chemical residue until get rinsed.
- Make sure to dry mop thorough with a towel or rag with no residual moisture left on the floors (especially in the grout joints).
These tips would positively help you and of course a time consuming method, also make sure to follow the instructions on the label mentioned to not have any breaks on your floor. Phoenix tile flooring provides you the best tile products with proper installation in Arizona region.