Terrazzo Floor Cleaning

Welcome to my Work History archive where you will find detailed examples of the cleaning and renovation of Terrazzo flooring carried out in Bedfordshire

Cleaning and Polishing Terrazzo tiles

Terrazzo is actually the by-product of broken pieces of stone often Marble, Limestone and Granite, which rather than being wasted are set into to a cement screed and poured onto the floor. Then once the screed is set it is grinded to a polish. Because of this we find the best way to maintain Terrazzo is with the use of Burnishing Pads which hone the floor and restore its appearance.

Terrazzo has actually been around for a long time, but mainly became popular in the 1920s when the first electrical grinders showed up on the building sites making the process of polishing much easier. With this new variation of Terrazzo the builder/tiler was able to create new set designs and pieces which fitted perfectly with the demands of the “Roaring Twenties” as the flooring of choice for hotels, railway stations and offices wishing to add that wow factor to a hallway or entrance.

One of the big issues we find with older Travertine floors is cracking due to settlement in the sub floor. These floors are poured in sections so any cracks need to be filled with a matching resin and then cleaned, polished and sealed.

Below you will find detailed examples of work we have carried out in the past, it should give you some idea of what’s involved and what can be achieved with the right techniques and products.

Terrazzo tiles etched with vinegar before after restoration

Acid Damaged Terrazzo Tiled Floor Restored in Luton

We visited a lady in Luton who had just had a brand new Terrazzo tiled floor installed and had chosen not to have it sealed. Terrazzo is a beautiful tile made from natural stone and as such is very sensitive to acid.

Terrazzo tiles etched with vinegar before restoration
Although this is common knowledge within the tiling industry, the builder who completed the initial installation of the Terrazzo floor did not make the client aware of the stone’s acid sensitivity. What’s more, he actually advised against sealing the floor. This resulted in the client unknowingly using an unsuitable cleaner and left what looked like water splashes all over the floor.

In a desperate attempt to remove the stains she applied vinegar to the floor. Since vinegar is an acid it caused a deep etching and immediately took away the shine of the tile, leaving in its place a dull mark. At this point she decided to contact the Bedfordshire Tile Doctor, and I came along to her rescue!

Terrazzo tiles etched with vinegar before restoration

Burnishing an Acid Damaged Terrazzo Tiled Floor

To remove the etching I used a set of Tile Doctor Diamond encrusted burnishing pads. Since the marks were particularly severe I opted to take the tile right back using an extra fifth pad rather than the usual four. The pads are applied in sequence from Coarse to Extra fine with a little water and a rinse between each pad. After the burnishing process was completed, all of the marks had been removed and were replaced by a beautiful polished shine.

Terrazzo tiles etched with vinegar after restoration

Sealing a Terrazzo tiled floor

We then sealed the floor using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that penetrates deep into the pores of the stone, providing a durable seal from within. This will help protect against dirt and stains in the future, and will also help to lessen the impact of mishaps should the floor become exposed to acidic products again. In addition, Colour Grow is a colour intensifying sealer so, as you can see from the photos, the lovely natural shades of the Terrazzo were accentuated.

Terrazzo tiles etched with vinegar after restoration
With the floor restoration a success, my client was very happy and before leaving I advise her to use Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner or Tile Doctor Stone Soap for regular cleaning as these products will maintain the floor without affecting the appearance of the floor or degrading the sealer.

Terrazzo tiled floor restoration in Bedfordshire

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