Removing Efflorescence From a Terracotta Tiled Floor in Lymington

Here’s an interesting job I completed recently in the town of Lymington which is a lovely costal town within the New Forest and on the west side of the Solent. This Terracotta tiled floor was installed in the kitchen and was suffering from an efflorescence issue due to an ongoing leak which resulted in the salts in the water becoming deposited on the surface of the tiles as the water evaporated leaving a white bloom on the surface.

Terracotta Floor With Efflorescence in Lymington Before
This process is more commonly known as efflorescence and is particularly common in old properties which have no damp proof membrane under the floor and white staining by the cupboards is especially visible in the below photograph.

Terracotta Floor With Efflorescence in Lymington Before Enlarged
My client was eager to have the problem fixed, and so enlisted Tile Doctor to get the job done.

Removing Efflorescence from Terracotta

To remove the efflorescence, the Terracotta tiled floor was acid washed using a mild dilution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which is primarily sold to remove grout smears but is equally effective at removing mineral deposits such as the white salts left behind by efflorescence.

The solution was scrubbed into the tiles using a stiff scrubbing brush and was successful at removing the white staining. Naturally it’s not advised to leave acid too long on any surface so the floor was treated in sections and then rinsed off with water and the residue removed using a wet-vacuum.

Following this, the floor was power-scrubbed in combination with a diluted solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. Pro-Clean is a versatile cleaner that also contains stripping properties, allowing it to break down and remove old sealers, it also does a nice job getting the grout clean.

With the efflorescence treated and the floor now clean I was now happy with the condition of the tiles and give them a final rinse under pressure to ensure the floor was neutralised and any trace of products removed.

Sealing a Terracotta tiled floor

The Terracotta tiled floor was then left to dry overnight and I came back to seal the floor the next day. To seal the tiles I used three coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go Extra, which provides a robust surface seal, and is recommended for internal floors with the damp issues.

Terracotta Floor With Efflorescence in Lymington After
Hopefully this quick report has offered some useful advice on how to treat efflorescence which is quite a common problem; naturally if you have further questions Tile Doctor does offer a free advice service so do get in touch.

Treating Efflorescence on a Terracotta tiled floor in Hampshire

Cleaning & Polishing Travertine Floor Tiles in Lymington

The photographs below are from a house in Lymington where the Travertine Tiled floor had become dull and were now in need of a re-polish. It’s a fact that depending on the amount of foot traffic they receive all polished stone floors will lose their shine over time and require a re-polish.

Polished Travertine Lymington Before Cleaining

Cleaning Travertine Floor Tiles

To get the shine back on the floor we use a process called burnishing which is done using a set of four diamond encrusted pads, each one has a different grade from coarse through to super fine.

We gave the floor a quick sweep and wash down first to ensure any surface grit and other detritus was removed and then stated the burnishing process with the coarse pad fitted to a rotary machine with a little water. The burnishing pads are very good at removing dirt and sealers from hard stone including Marble; the surface water and loose dirt was removed used a wet Vacuum. And the process was repeated using the Medium and Fine pads. Before moving onto the superfine polishing pad we gave the grout a good scrub using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean worked in using a stiff grout brush. The final Super Fine polishing pad was then applied and the floor given another wash down to ensure any dirt had been removed, the water being extracted from the floor using the wet vacuum.

Sealing Travertine Floor Tiles

The floor was still quite wet at this point so rather than sealing the floor we left it to dry naturally and came back the next day to seal it. It’s important the floor is dry before sealing so we test first using a damp meter in several locations to be sure. Once we were happy the floor was dry we proceeded to seal the Travertine tiles using two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is a natural look sealer that doesn’t alter the look of the tiles but provides the necessary surface protection by filling the pores in the tile so dirt cannot penetrate.

Polished Travertine Lymington After Cleaining and Polishing

Travertine Floor Tiles Maintenance in Lymington

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