Terracotta Tiled Church Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Eaton, Norwich

St Andrews church serves a large congregation in Eaton Village which is located just outside the city of Norwich on the south side. A sizeable extension was built onto the old church in the 1980s to accommodate the ever-increasing number of people wanting to attend and it was in this part of the building where a problem had developed with the Terracotta tiled flooring.

The tiles chosen by the architect were made from a surprisingly soft terracotta clay which had been sealed with an oil-based product (probably Osmo Polyx Oil or similar) but the coating generally had worn away badly, particularly along the main foot traffic lane up the aisle to the altar. The overall appearance was extremely tired and dull with wide lanes of ground-in dirt.

The clients asked us to clean the floor and replace the thin oil finish with something more durable and easy to maintain.

Terracotta Floor Tiles Before Renovation St Andrews Church Eaton Norfolk

Deep Cleaning Terracotta Church Tiles

Our first job was to remove the now very patchy finish and deep-clean the entire surface of the floor. This was achieved using a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean mixed with a generous quantity of Tile Doctor Remove & Go. The combined solution was left to soak into the Terracotta tile and grout for about twenty minutes before being agitated with a green scrubbing pad fitted to our rotary machine. The tile was so soft I felt that a black pad would probably have been too harsh and may have damaged some of the religious symbols which had been moulded into a number of individual tiles.

The resulting clay, dirt and sealer slurry was then power rinsed and vacuumed away with our Ninja machine. These machines force hot water under high pressure onto the floor and then extracts the resulting soiled water away with suction. It was an expensive investment for the company, but it certainly makes work like this much easier.

Any remaining soiling in the grout lines was removed by hand using Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel which is a more powerful but manageable gel form of Pro Clean. Also, there were a few really stubborn areas in the corners where the oil finish had pooled and hardened during application. To deal with these and completely remove the shiny patches it was necessary to use a 100-grit hand-held diamond block.

After a final rinse to remove any trace of cleaning product the whole floor was left to dry off overnight, assisted by two industrial fans and a commercial dehumidifier.

Sealing Terracotta Church Tiles in Eaton village

On returning to the church after the previous day’s cleaning, we spot tested the tiles across the whole floor area and found that the fans and dehumidifier had done their job and the substrate was easily dry enough to accept a sealer. We knew that a damp proof membrane had been laid under the floor at the point of installation, so moisture ingress wasn’t going to be a problem. What was an issue however was the high porosity of the clay tile now that it had been stripped of ingrained dirt and the old sealer.

I usually apply Tile Doctor Seal and Go to Terracotta tiles as it leaves the floor with an attractive subtle sheen, however we realised that the floor would probably soak up around a dozen coats or more if applied directly. With this in mind we decided to start with the application of two base coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. Colour Grow is a penetrating sealer that would occupy the pores of the Terracotta tile, protecting it from within whilst enhancing the natural colour of the clay at the same time. This was then followed by six coats of Seal and Go which enabled us to achieve the desired level of durability and sheen.

Terracotta Floor Tiles After Renovation St Andrews Church Eaton Norfolk

When we had finished the work, this is what the client had to say:

“After careful consideration of several contractors, it was decided that Nicholas White provided the most sympathetic solution to our flooring needs and at a competitive price. The work was completed as promised with minimum fuss. At all times Nicholas and his staff worked in a professional manner and were totally respectful of their sensitive surroundings.

We were very satisfied with the final work and would have no hesitation in recommending this contractor to other potential clients. J Holmes, Warden St Andrews Eaton.”
 
 
Source: Terracotta Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in Norwich, Norfolk

Deep Cleaning Church Floors in Northamptonshire

The following job was a bit different from the kitchen and hallway restorations we normally get asked to do, in fact this request came from the vicar of St. Mary’s Church in Far Cotton who wanted us to restore some beautiful old Quarry tiles which lead up to the main aisle. The church dates back to 1885 and given the wear on some of the tiles I can only assume they date back to the same Victorian period; the church is a really welcoming, community-focused place, so it was a pleasure for me to be asked to complete the work.

The vicar’s main concern was the large amount of melted candle wax around the font – so much so that this his normal cleaners had been unable to remove it. He also wanted to know if the floors could be sealed to make ongoing maintenance easier – and this was certainly something we would be able to provide. The following photos show the condition of the floor before we started.

Victorian quarry tile cleaning St. Marys church Victorian quarry tile cleaning St. Marys church

Cleaning Victorian Quarry Tiles

The next photo shows the work in progress from halfway down the aisle. We started by breaking down any old sealer and the troublesome candle wax, using a black stripping pad in combination of Tile Doctor Pro Clean to deep clean the floor. Since Pro Clean, a high alkaline cleaner, is highly versatile and can be used on all kinds of natural stone and tile.

While the church has cleaners that come in regularly to keep the building tidy for the parishioners, the old tiles really benefitted from a deep clean which tackled the stubborn ingrained dirt and staining that had built up over many years.

Victorian quarry tile cleaning St. Marys church

Sealing Victorian and Quarry Tiles

Once I was satisfied that the tiles had been cleaned to the best of my abilities, they were then left for two weeks to fully dry as it is an old church and, understandably, there were some inherent damp issues. As aforementioned, the vicar was keen to have the tiles sealed to make them easier to keep clean and protect them against ingrained dirt and staining for the future. There are only a few situations in which we wouldn’t recommend sealing tiles, such as if they are patio tiles which will already be under constant exposure to the weather.

The best choice of sealer for this particular situation was Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is an impregnating, breathable sealer that won’t trap moisture in the floor and will provide great protection against further staining. Additionally, as an impregnating sealer, Colour Grow penetrates into the pores of the tile protecting it from within and with the added benefit of enhancing the natural colours and restoring the life and character back in the old, dull tiles. I applied it using a paint pad, before polishing it off.

I’m pleased to report that the restoration was a great success. The vicar was very impressed with the work, and I’m sure the church community will also be very happy with the new, vibrant tiles.

Victorian quarry tile cleaning St. Marys church Victorian quarry tile cleaning St. Marys church

 
 
Source: Quarry Tile Cleaning and Maintenance Service in Northamptonshire

Quarry and Marble Floor Tiles Renovated at a Wantage Church

Did you know that Wantage, the town in Oxfordshire where I completed this job, is the birthplace of Alfred the Great? The town is certainly a historic area – in fact, I was contacted by the warden of a church dating back to the 12th century, who asked Tile Doctor Oxfordshire to help restore the building’s flooring, consisting of Quarry and Marble tiles.

This is an interesting mix of hard wearing and high end tiles, and while the floor was in
dire need of a deep clean, it could be restored back to looking fantastic once again.

12th Century Church Tiled Floor Wantage Before Renovation

The church has recently undergone a complete refurbishment with the help of a grant from lottery money. We were called after the builders had finished their work, to restore the floor to the finish required by the church warden.

12th Century Church Tiled Floor Wantage Before Renovation

His specification was to provide the Marble with a Matt finish and the Quarry tiles with a sheen finish. The floor was, at one point in its history, covered in carpet which had been taken up, no doubt exposing many years’ worth of muck.

Cleaning Dirty Quarry and Marble Tiles

My first task was to clean the floor with a diluted solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, a high alkaline cleaner safe to use on tile and stone. This was left to dwell for a short period to seep into the tile, before being scrubbed in to remove the initial layers of muck. The resulting residue was promptly vacuumed away.

To tackle the tougher areas of soil buildup, I opted to use Tile Doctor Nanotech HBU which was spread over the floor and left to dwell for about 30 minutes. This product differs from most cleaners in that it uses nano-sized cleaning particles to deal with difficult to reach dirt ingrained in the stone. I then rinsed the area with water and vacuumed this up.

Due to the substantial size of the church floor I had to work in multiple sections, and so the cleaning process took three days to complete. After finishing, I left the church for a few days to allow the floor time to dry.

Sealing Quarry and Marble Tiles

When I returned to the church I checked the floor with a damp meter and was satisfied that it was dry enough to seal.

First, I sealed the Marble tiles with Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is a colour enhancing impregnating sealer suitable for use on high end stone such as Marble and Limestone. I applied two coats, leaving a few hours between coats; this brought the colour back without a high shine, as per the church warden’s request.

12th Century Church Tiled Floor Wantage After Renovation

The next day I returned to seal the Quarry tiles, this time using Tile Doctor Seal & Go Extra which is a topical sealer specially formulated to lea e a nice sheen as requested. I applied several thin coats of the sealer to build up solid protection on the floor.

12th Century Church Tiled Floor Wantage After Renovation

The warden was extremely pleased with the finished floor, leaving the following feedback:

“We found the Tile Doctor online and watched some of the very helpful slideshows on YouTube. The Victorian Quarry tiles in our 12th century church had been covered with carpet for many years and needed a thorough clean and polish at the end of our major restoration project. Barry was very quick to respond to our enquiry and over the course of a week he did a brilliant job on our tiles. We’re delighted with the results, just in time for our reopening service with our bishop and MP.”
 
 
Source: Church Floor Tile Renovation service in Oxfordshire