Help with Tile and Stone > Terrazzo Tile Cleaning
Terrazzo is 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 pored onto the floor. Then once the screed is set it is grinded to a polish. 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 and new office establishments wishing to add that wow factor to a hallway or entrance.
We recently completed a commission to restore the Terrazzo floor in the entrance of a grand hotel in Llandudno which was built in 1923. After nearly 100 years of neglect and disrepair the floor was in a poor state, fortunately the whole Hotel was undergoing a significant renovation and they were keen to have the floor restored. Tile Doctor was able to put good use of our experience in tile and stone cleaning and polishing techniques to restore the floor so it almost looks new.
Terrazzo’s other unique properties are that it is seamless so no grout lines to get dirty, it has anti static properties and is extremely hard wearing. These days Terrazzo can also be bought as a pre-made tile and has all the benefits of original Terrazzo except the tiles will of course need to be grouted.
Deep Cleaning and Polishing Terrazzo
We find once polished, Terrazzo will keep its appearance for a long time however like all polished surfaces will eventually need re-polishing. To do this you will need a buffing machine capable of 150 rpm (or slightly higher) and a set of Tile Doctor Burnishing pads (see below). The pads are applied in sequence and will restore the honed finish.
Sealing Terrazzo Tiles
When the tiles are fully dry apply either one coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow to enhance the natural colours of darker Terrazzo’s. If however you area sealing a white or off-white Terrazzo and you not wish to darken the stone apply a single coat of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal which provides a natural look finish. A second coat of sealer may be required if the stone is very porous.
For architecturally specified sealers we recommend Tile Doctor Pro-Seal which is a water based impregnating sealer suitable for all types of honed stone including Terrazzo.
Regular Maintenance of Terrazzo
For regular cleaning use a sealer friendly cleaning product such as Tile Doctor Stone Soap diluted 1 part cleaner to 100 parts water, this will not only clean the Terrazzo but add lustre and brightness to the stone thus adding to what we call the patina. To remove heavy soiling use a stronger dilution of 1 part stone soap to 5 parts water.
If you have applied a burnishing pad system it makes it much easier to keep these tiles clean by using a No. 4 Green burnishing pad on the stone every two to three months depending on wear. This process will improve surface tension (which is not to be confused with the amount of sealer residing in the stone), thereby tightening the pores in the stone to improve the overall appearance and finish of the floor.
PLEASE NOTE: Sealers break down after 2-3 years (depending on usage) and will need to be re-applied.
Further Reading: For many more examples and photographs of of Terrazzo cleaning and sealing activities carried out by UK Tile Doctors please visit http://Terrazzo.tilecleaning.co.uk
Recommend Terrazzo Cleaning Products
When using our products please take time to familiarise yourself with the directions on the back of the bottle first.
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.
Contact us for a personal solution to your tile installation problem by calling us on 0845 652 4652 or e-mail Info@TileDoctor.co.uk. 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.
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