Monthly Archives: December 2013

Terra cotta tile floors or walls are practical and these tiles may also be used to decorate various items of furniture. The surface of a terra cotta tiles may deteriorate in time, especially if the tiles are kept outdoors, but you have the choice of painting over them.

What you’ll need
Mild detergent
Oil based primer
Oil based paint

Step 1 — Clean and Prepare the Tile
Clean the terra cotta tile, making sure to remove mold, moss or other debris. Use a mild detergent or a tile cleaner with a soft brush. Allow the tiles to dry completely before going to the next step. Use a sander and 220 grit sandpaper to remove any remains of paint, glaze or gloss from the surface of the tile. Remove the dust that forms after sanding the surface using a clean piece of cloth or a soft brush.

Step 2 – Apply the Primer
Choose a highly adhesive, oil based primer and apply it on the surface that will be painted. Apply 1 coat and allow to dry. You may also apply a second coat.

Step 3 – Apply the Paint
Get an oil based paint and apply a thin coat. Allow the area to dry and apply a second coat.

This Terracotta tiled floor installed in a conservatory in Kidlington Oxfordshire was in the worst condition I have ever seen, you should be able to make out a large amount of stains quite easily yourself in the photograph below. The conservatory had been used as a greenhouse with many plant pots sitting directly on the tile which over the years had led to the staining and a build-up of white salts on the surface.

Abused Terracotta Conservatory Tiled Floor Kidlington Before

Cleaning Terracotta Tile

My first step was to give it a good hoover to remove any loose detritus; I then covered the floor in a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean which was left to soak into the Terracotta tile for a few minutes. Pro-Clean I should add is a heavy duty alkaline cleaning product designed for cleaning tile, stone and grout. The next step was to scrub the floor with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine; after the scrubbing was done I rinsed with water and removed the waste with a wet vacuum. I then repeated the process again tackling the grout this time with a stiff brush before thoroughly rinsing with a high pressure spinner tool to totally flush the floor. The next step was to rinse the floor with Grout Clean Up which is an acid wash to remove all the salts in the floor, after that I rinsed the floor with the spinner tool again.

Sealing Terracotta Tile

I left the floor to dry overnight and the next day came back to do the sealing taking care to use a moisture meter of the floor first to ensure it had dried sufficiently . I used Tile Doctor Seal and Go to seal the floor, it’s a water based sealer so it doesn’t give off an odour when it’s drying and also offers durable stain protection together with a low sheen finish. It’s also a breathable sealer which will allow moisture to rise up through the floor and evaporate on the surface rather than trapping it beneath the seal.

Abused Terracotta Conservatory Tiled Floor Kidlington After

The floor was transformed by this process and I think you will agree this is confirmed by the before and after photographs above which really speak for themselves.

Source: Terracotta Tile Cleaning Advice

Black slate tiles are natural stone tiles which will look gorgeous in any room in your house. Its anti-slippery surface makes it ideal for use in kitchens and bathrooms. Proper cleaning and care is necessary to keep them looking new for years to come. You can keep your black slate tile floor look new, with some basic floor cleaning methods.

What you’ll need
Warm water
Soft broom
Sponge or microfiber mop
Soft towels
Dish soap
Cotton string mop
pH balanced cleanser
Baking soda
Small bowl
Wax or tile sealer
Vacuum cleaner with brush attachment

Step 1 – Sweep Your Floor

The first step in cleaning a black slate tile floor, is sweeping with a soft broom. Sweep the whole room, starting from 1 corner to the other. Make sure you sweep away all the dust and dirt on the surface of the floor.

Step 2 – Vacuum Your Floor

Attach the brush to the vacuum cleaner. Vacuum the entire floor. Also, remove any dust or dirt that was missed out during sweeping.

Step 3 – Mop Your Tiled Floor

Now, fill the bucket with plain water, and use this to mop the entire floor. You can either use a sponge mop, or a microfiber mop to clean the floor.

Step 4 – Clean Your Floor with the Dish Soap

Add a little bit of dish soap to warm water and mix it. Dip a sponge mop or microfiber mop in the soap solution, and squeeze out excess water. Use this to mop the entire black slate tile floor, starting from 1 corner. This will remove all the dirt and stains which cannot be removed by moping with plain water.

Step 5 – Making Baking Soda Mixture

If there are any stubborn stains on the floor, you can use this mixture to clean it. Take a bowl and mix baking soda with a little bit of warm water. Mix the water and baking soda well and make a paste.

Step 6 – Clean Your Black Slate Tile Floor Using Baking Soda Mixture

Take a little bit of the paste on a tooth brush, and spread it evenly on the stain. Scrub the stain with the tooth brush. Leave it there for a few seconds, and wipe it off with a soft towel. Clean it again, using a damp soft towel. Remove excess water from the surface, and let it dry.

Step 7 – Clean Your Slate Floor Using pH Balanced Cleanser

A pH balanced cleanser can be used to remove stubborn stains. Use it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Always remember not to use any acid containing cleaning products on your slate tile, as the acid will react with the stone and damage the surface. So, check the ingredients list carefully.

Step 8 – Clean the Tile Grout

Once you have finished cleaning your black slate tile, clean the grout using dish soap. Rub with a toothbrush.

Step 9 – Seal the Tile

Finally, seal your tile with a tile sealer. Add one or two coats as necessary. This will keep your black slate tile floor looking good.

Pebble flooring is a very unique type of flooring to bring to the outside. When you want to hang out with friends or family outside, pebble flooring makes for an inviting atmosphere in your home. Pebble flooring installed on the outside is especially inviting if there is a pool, spa or an outdoor fountain. One thing about installing pebble flooring outside, is that you can expand them out as far as you want. They can even be used to connect a patio or sunroom. A lot of people who do not wish to upkeep a large grass lawn will install pebble flooring. This especially pertains to back yards. A lot of homeowners will make this a do-it-yourself project. The tools and steps needed to install pebble flooring outside are listed below.

What you’ll need
Black plastic edging (for landscaping)
Quick set concrete mix
Mixing trough
2 by 4 by 8 lumber
Epoxy (UV resistant)

Step 1 – Shape out a Design

It is best to already know what shape or design you will want your outside flooring layout to be before digging out the flooring depth. Use the black edging to form an outline of the shape. Make sure the depth dug out is leveled even.

Step 2 – Mixing the Concrete

Mix up enough concrete to fill the outline of the flooring base within 2 inches of the top of the black edging.

Step 3 – Mix the Concrete and the Pebbles

Mix the pebbles and the concrete together. If a cement mixer is available, it is better to use that. The mixer will ensure that the concrete to gravel ratio is consistent. If a mixer is not available, a mixing trough will work.

Step 4 – Pouring in the Mixture

Slowly pour the mixture inside of the base you formed. Smooth it out as it is poured so that it will level even. Pour the mixture until the depth reached is approximately 2 inches. Add more pebbles while the concrete is still wet. This helps fill the top two inches of the edging.

Step 5 – Leveling the Mixture

Use the 2 by 4 by 8 lumber to smooth the extra concrete away. This will push the pebbles down into the concrete. More pebbles can be added if they sink down too far. This mixture will need a few hours to cure. The instructions should give you the curing time needed.

Step 6 – Adding the Epoxy

Pour the epoxy on the very top of the flooring you just created. The epoxy needs to stay in the border of the edging. Let it fill in all the spaces of the pebbles. Wait 24 hours and add another layer of epoxy to the flooring. This will confirm that all pebbles are sealed.

Step 7 – Curing the Seal

The seal needs to cure before the flooring is used. Usually the label will let you know how long the epoxy will need to cure.

Marble flooring is a beautiful and unique fixture in any home. However, as any person with this type of flooring can attest, it requires careful maintenance and care in order to maintain its appearance and aesthetic. One of the best ways to keep your marble floor smooth and gleaming is by regularly buffing it. This process is quite easy and requires minimal time and effort. However, you must repeat it frequently in order to ensure that your marble flooring always looks its best. Read on for a brief guide on how to buff marble flooring.

What you’ll need
Tape measure
Broom and dust pan
Wet mop
Buffing machine (available at many home improvement stores or at rental agencies as well)
Marble cleaner solution

Step 1 – Determine which Machine to Use

Before you rent or buy a cleaning machine, you’ll need to know how much area you’ll be buffing out. Larger areas typically require larger machines. While a smaller machine will work for any job, you can save yourself time and effort by measuring out your space first. Take the square footage of the marble flooring in with you to the home improvement store or rental agency so that you can find the best machine for your needs.

Step 2 – Clean Off the Floor

Before you can properly buff the marble flooring, you’ll need to completely clean off the floor. Begin by removing any furniture, carpeting, debris or other objects that may be covering the marble floor. Use a broom and dust pan to thoroughly clean up any smaller debris or dirt from the floor. Double check that the flooring is completely clean before you plan to begin buffing the floor. If there is any debris remaining, it may be worked into the floor and may cause problems for the appearance of the marble.

Step 3 – Mop the Floor

After cleaning up any debris that might exist on the floor, use a wet mop to thoroughly clean up any sticky stains or other liquids that may have spilled since you last buffed the floor. You need not use cleaning solution at this point, but it’s important that you remove any dried liquids that have previously spilled in this area.

Step 4 – Buff the Floor

Set up the buffing machine according to the instructions for that equipment. Insert the cleaning solution into the buffing machine and carefully run the machine over the marble floor. If you are new to the process of buffing the floor, follow any instructions as provided to you be a representative at the rental agency or the home improvement store where you acquired the buffing machine.

Be sure to allow the cleaning solution time to dry before you walk on the floor again. If you’d like, you can mop up the floor once again after the cleaning solution has dried so that you can eliminate any shiny spots or uneven areas on the floor.