A property company contacted me regarding a large Victorian tiled hallway at their head office which dated from the late 1800’s. The floor had been neglected for some years and recent restoration to the building had taken its toll making the once glorious floor look very tired. I visited the
Concrete flooring is a beautiful and nearly maintenance free choice for the interior of your home. Popularity of these floors is increasing and rightfully so. Concrete floors are beautiful and with the treatments available today, you don’t have to be left with a solid gray finish. Decorative polymer overlays, colored glazes, and paints can add color and detail to a concrete floor. However, an oil stain or two can damage the look of your concrete floor. There are a number of chemical products on the market that claim they remove stains from concrete. While that may be true, these products are usually very dangerous and not suitable for use around children and pets. As long as you act quickly, you can remove oil from concrete flooring with soap and water.
Tools and Materials Needed:
- Dish washing liquid
- Nylon bristle scrub brush
Step1—Apply the Soap and Water
Apply the dish washing liquid to the soap and add water. When choosing your dish washing liquid, make sure to use the best one you have on hand. The cheaper brands don’t usually cut grease as well. You want to create a dense lather that will lift the oil out of the concrete. As the stain lifts out, oil carried with the soap can cause a secondary stain. To prevent this, wet down the surrounding area. If the surrounding concrete is wet it shouldn’t absorb the excess oil. Grab the scrub brush and get to work! Don’t use a metal bristle scrub brush. This type of brush will remove the oil but it will surely damage your floor in the process. If you have a floor with a smooth finish, a metal bristle brush will leave a large scar that cannot be repaired.
Step 2—Blot Up the Soap and Oil Residue
Because the concrete floor is inside your home, hosing the area down isn’t really an option. Instead, use towels to blot the water/soap/oil mixture from the floor. Cleaning the residue this way also eliminates the chance of oil getting on your rugs or furnishing. If your oil stain was rather large, you can blot up the residue with fresh cat litter. This dry compound will absorb all of the moisture left on the floor and can be swept up and thrown in the garbage once it is completely dry. Simply lay a layer of the cat little on the wet areas and rope off to eliminate foot traffic. The litter is usually dry and ready for disposal in no more than 24 hours.
This method of removing oil from concrete is easy and environmentally friendly. Not to mention it is safe to use around your children and pets. This method also works well on the porous concrete found in patios and driveways. However, the slicker finish of interior concrete makes it all the more effective. With a scrub brush and a few minutes your concrete floor will be oil free and beautiful!
I recently helped a homeowner from my home town of Dursley who got in touch about her kitchen Flagstone floor. The problem revolved around an accident she had with raspberries which had stained the flagstones and the problem became compounded when a house hold clearing product was applied neat to clean up the mess. If you follow any of our Tile Doctor blogs, you will know that using strong household cleaning products can damage the sealer and, in this case, it had left white marks on the
Recently I visited a 150-year-old cottage in the beautiful small village of Chilham near Ashford to restore/improve a terracotta tiled floor. As it turns out the floor had been laid in 1970 by the owner and was protected with a thick wax-based product called Bourn Seal. The owner had diligently
Portfolio of Tile Cleaning work completed by Tom Wright
Recently I visited a 150-year-old cottage in the beautiful small village of Chilham near Ashford to restore/improve a terracotta tiled floor. As it turns out the floor had been laid in 1970 by the owner and was protected with a thick wax-based product called Bourn Seal. The owner had diligently applied the product with a cloth and polished in by hand every year for approximately 20 years and then applied it on a as when needed basis, in fact the original tin was still in there cupboard!
Over the years since the floor was laid the Terracotta tiles were now looking worse for wear due to the sealer being very patchy and flacking in areas not walked upon. Unprotected dirt had become ingrained in the pores of the clay tiles making them difficult to clean and very unattractive.
After surveying the floor first-hand, I recommend that the layers of old wax be stripped off, so the tiles could be deep cleaned and then resealed with a modern sealer. After agreeing on a quote for the work we set a date for my return to renovate the floor.
Stripping Wax from Terracotta Tiles
On my return the first task was to set about covering all the walls, timber and original finishes with protective tape to protect them from splashing during the cleaning process. Once this was done, I started stripping off what was left of the multiple layers of wax by applying a generous application of Tile Doctor Wax Away which as its name suggest is designed for the removal of wax from tiles. I left the product to soak in for ten minutes and then started scrubbing it into the Terracotta using a black nylon pad fitted to a slow speed rotary floor buffer.
The stripping process was done in sections scrubbing in the Wax Away and then rinsing it off thoroughly with water as we went. All the soils were then extracted with a wet vacuum and the process repeated when required until we were happy all the wax was gone, and we were back to the virgin tile.
The cleaning process can be quite rigorous so before continuing I checked the floor for loose tiles and cracked or missing grout. All was good, so I set about cleaning the tiles with a burnishing pad that was run over the floor using the rotary buffer and water which acts as a lubricant. The floor is then rinsed with water to remove the soil that is generated and then left to dry off overnight.
Sealing Mexican Terracotta Tiles
The next day I returned to seal the floor, but not before checking first with a damp meter that it had dried completely. This is essential because excess moisture can cloud the sealer and damage its performance. Our choice of sealer for the Terracotta was several coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go, which provides excellent surface protection along with an aesthetically pleasing deep sheen finish. Also, being water based it doesn’t give off an unpleasant odour as it dries.
As you can see from the photograph above, the transformation was fantastic, and the floor looked like a new installation. My customer and I were very pleased with the result, I only wish I had taken more photographs.
The anti-slip nature of Textured Ceramic tiles make them a popular choice for public areas such as in this case a shop floor in my local city of Stirling. They do have a major drawback though, in that the rough textured surface which gives the tile its anti-slip property traps dirt over time