Local Service

Find a Tile Doctor Near you

Tile Doctor is the largest specialist Tile and Stone maintenance network operating throughout the UK. We offer a free no obligation consultation service for home owners so if you need assistance do get in touch. Click the map to arrange a visit to your home or premises.

Join our Mailing List

 Free Tile, Stone and Grout Maintenance Tips

We respect your email privacy

Wall Grout Pen
Easy to use water based non toxic grout colouring pen, ideal for quickly touching up and restoring wall grout.
Kent West Tile Doctor
With a background in tiling Jason Gates covers the West side of Kent and is you local specialist for tile cleaning, stone cleaning, grout cleaning and tile, stone and grout sealing covering the restoration of all types of stone and tiled flooring.
Terracotta Tile Cleaning Information
Help with Tile and Stone  >  Terracotta Tile Cleaning
Terracotta Tile Cleaning

Terracotta Tiles have been around in certain parts of the world for over two millennia, in fact the word Terracotta means burned earth. The ancient Romans used a variety of terracotta tiles in their villas and palaces for many centuries. Terracotta tiles are thicker than most modern tiles giving them strength and durability.

The one big downside to Terracotta is the fact that it has no glaze on the surface and can pick up and store muck and dirt very quickly. If you have ever owned a Terracotta floor before you will be able to relate to this problem however the answer is to ensure you have the correct sealer in place.

The photographs at the top of this page were taken from a job we did at a restaurant in Ethiopia where the tiles were ingrained with black dirt and proved most difficult to clean; normally we only recommend 9 coats of sealer for Terracotta but in this case used 12 coats for this floor due to the high traffic.

Deep Cleaning Terracotta

Use Tile Doctor Pro-Clean Tile & Grout cleaner to effectively clean tiles, highly effective against wax and topical acrylic sealers, Grease, Grime and general dirt build up (Mix with 3 parts warm water). This product is especially formulated to strip off synthetic and acrylic waxes and floor finishes. Pro-Clean can be applied using a deck brush or a buffing machine fitted with a black pad.  For stubborn areas of heavy build-up of dirt or sealer we would recommend following up with NanoTech HBU (please ensure the tile is wetted before applying

Tile Doctor Remove and Go is very effective at removing impregnating sealers and can be applied undiluted and used in the same way as Pro-Clean. It's worth noting that Pro-Clean is better with the removal of topical sealers however if you are unable to determine which sealer has been used previously then you may need to utilise both products.

After cleaning it is important to remove any trace of cleaning solution and effectively neutralise the floor before sealing by rinsing with water and extracting with a wet vacuum; any cleaning product left on the surface may impact the sealer during curing.

Sealing Terracotta Tiles

The best sealant we find for Terracotta is a topical sealer called Seal and Go that generally leaves a satin finish that coats the tiles to stop dirt and grime penetrating into the clay. An impregnating sealer (that generally leaves a matt finish) does not work particularly well with a soft clay such as Mexican Terracotta due to the high porosity of the clay. Tile Doctor recommends that Terracotta in particular requires a regular top up of sealer in high traffic areas once or twice a year.

MEXICAN (hand-made)

This type of clay is not made to a great standard and thus the porosity levels between each tile can vary greatly, this makes them hard to clean, hard to seal and generally harder to maintain. UK Tile Doctors have been trained to cope with these issues however it should be noted even with the right equipment, products and experience no guarantee can be made on a satisfactory outcome of what we at Tile Doctor and a customer would call a great finish given the low quality of this product.

Once the floor has been cleaned and dried apply Tile Doctor Seal & Go sealer with a paint-pad applicator and tray. Spanish or Mexican terracotta tiles are very porous and may require up to 8 or 9 coats of sealant, always allow to dry before applying the next coat.


These tiles are generally made in a factory with some artizan involvement however the quality of the kiln is far better than Mexican and so are easier to clean, to seal and to maintain; naturally this results in a higher production cost. 

Once the floor has been cleaned and dried apply Tile Doctor Seal & Go sealer with a paint-pad applicator and tray. terracotta tiles typically require between 6 and 8 coats of sealant, always allow to dry before applying the next coat.

Maintenance Cleaning

Sealers will break down after 2-3 years (depending on usage and cleaning products used) so for regular cleaning use a sealer friendly cleaning product such as Neutral Tile Cleaner which has been especially formulated for the regular cleaning of Sealed Stone and Tile surfaces keeping them fresh with a pleasant lemon scent.


Efflorescence problems usually occur when salts are in contact with the tile from an outside source. This is most evident in porous tiles such as Terracotta where the efflorescence can rise through. For example we have come across a number of jobs where the contractor has used a sand and cement mix with terracotta tiles and over a short period of time the salts that are evident in the sand and cement crystallise into the tile and a whitish bloom develops on the surface of the tile often cracking the sealer. If a cement based adhesive was used from a reputable tile shop this problem would never have occurred.
A solution of Grout Clean-up diluted with 3 parts water will ease the problem temporarily, but you will find in most cases the efflorescence will repeat itself until all the salt crystals have evaporated on the surface, and this can take several weeks in some instances. In worst case scenarios Tile Doctor has developed a new product called Acid Gel to combat efflorescence issues which is applied neat.

Recommended Products for Terracotta

When using our products please take time to familiarise yourself with the directions on the back of the bottle before use.

Sort By  View 
17 inch Buffing Pad Black
Black Buffing pad 17" (44cm), for heavy duty wet scrubbing, use with with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to remove wax layers and most synthetic sealers, also use on heavily built up grime and dirt.

Tile Doctor Acid Gel 1 Litre
PH1 blend of Phosphoric and Hydrochloric acids in a gel form for the treatment of grout haze (grout smears) and efflorescence on wall and floor tiles. The gel is especially effective on vertical or sloped surface where where more dwell time is required.

Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up 1 Litre
Grout Clean-Up contains concentrated phosphoric acid and cleaner designed to penetrate below the surface to remove light grout smears (grout haze), mineral deposits, rust stains and efflorescence.

Tile Doctor High Shine Sealer 1 litre
Tile Doctor High Shine Sealer is a specially formulated water-based blend of acrylic polymers that provides both a stain resistant surface seal and a durable high-sheen finish eliminating the need for two products.

Tile Doctor Nanotech HBU Remover 1 Litre
NanoTech HBU (formerly known as Ultra Clean) is a Heavy Build-Up Remover designed to work where other cleaners won’t. It utilises nano-sized particles to penetrate below tough stains, dissolve and lift them out.

Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner 1 litre
Most tile cleaning products sold on the market today are designed for cleaning ceramic rather than stone surfaces, as a result they can slowly etch away at the sealed surface of your stone floor reducing the life of your sealer.

Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel 1 Litre
Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel is a Strong Alkaline Based Gel cleaner and degreaser which works well on Vertical surfaces where a long dwell time is required.

Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel 5 Litre
Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel is a Strong Alkaline Based Gel cleaner and degreaser which works well on Vertical surfaces where a long dwell time is required.

Tile Doctor Pro-Clean 1 Litre
A concentrated, multi-purpose high-alkaline cleaner, stripper and degreaser. Best for Heavily Soiled & Neglected Tile, Stone or Grout.

Tile Doctor Remove & Go 1 Litre  ( with trigger spray )
Tile Doctor Remove and Go is a non-flammable, multi-purpose stripper formulated with a long dwell-time to remove most sealers, epoxy grout haze, urethane coatings, synthetic finishes, adhesives and paints.

Tile Doctor Seal & Go 1 litre
A specially formulated water-based blend of acrylic polymers that provides both a stain resistant surface seal and a durable low-sheen finish.

Tile Doctor Seal & Go Extra 1 Litre
A special acrylic based formula which allows moisture vapour transmission making it partially breathable and ideal for situations where no damp proof membrane has been installed and where there is a low risk of Efflorescence occurring.

Tile Doctor Wax Away 1 Litre
Easy to apply Wax Remover with a fast and effective formula that is designed for the safe removal of wax and polish from tile and stone including Marble, Slate, Quarry, Terracotta and Travertine.

Ask the Tile Doctor
If you have a problem with your Tile and Stone why not ask the Tile Doctor for advice.

Contact us for a personal solution to your tile installation problem by calling us on 0345 512 0122 or e-mail Please include as much detail about your issue as possible and if you feel it will help attach a photograph. Our Tile Doctor have many years of experience of dealing with the typical issues that people experience and were confident we can find the right solution.

Alternately take a look at one of our dedicated sites below where we detail real examples of issues faced by our customers and how they were resolved.

Ceramic Tiles | Church Floors | Encaustic Cement | Stone Fireplaces | Grout | Limestone | Marble | Pamments | Patios | Porcelain Tiles | Quarry Tiles | Sandstone Flagstones | Shower Tiles | Slate Tiles | Swimming Pools | Terracotta Tiles | Terrazzo | Travertine | Victorian Tiles | Vinyl | Stone Worktops

All the information you need to be able to clean and maintain Terracotta floor and wall tiles.
    Telephone/Fax: 0345 512 0122, E-Mail Tile Doctor - tile, stone and grout cleaning & sealing specialists
© Copyright TileDoctor 2015

ASP.NET Shopping Cart Software