Restoring Terrazzo Floor in a Surrey Church

Every so often I will get the chance to undertake tiled flooring restoration work in public buildings, and late last year I was asked to clean and seal a Terrazzo floor at a church in Redhill. The floor wasn’t in great condition; not only was it suffering from a significant amount of dirt due to a lack of proper maintenance, but it was also marked by several cracks. Overall, the appearance of the floor was very displeasing and the church was keen to have me in to complete some repairs, along with a deep clean and seal.

Terrazzo Flooring Redhill Church Before Restoration Terrazzo Flooring Redhill Church During Crack Repair

Cleaning and Burnishing a Terrazzo tiled floor

Upon initial inspection of the floor, I was unable to say for certain whether there was any old sealer remaining on the tiles so to ensure it was removed I began the cleaning process by applying a layer of Tile Doctor Remove & Go, which is a powerful cleaner/stripper designed to both break down old layers of sealant and lift out any ingrained dirt.

I then gave the floor a rinse with water to remove any excess cleaning product, before moving onto a different cleaning process, known as burnishing. Burnishing involves polishing the surface with to achieve an aesthetically pleasing sheen finish. The Tile Doctor burnishing system consists of four diamond encrusted burnishing pads with different levels of grit.

Terrazzo Flooring Redhill Church Part Cleaned Terrazzo Flooring Redhill Church Part Cleaned

I began by applying a Coarse burnishing pad, before working my way through the system with Medium, Fine and finally Very Fine pads to achieve a very refined, high quality polished finish, you need to use a little water to help lubricate the burnishing and you need to rinse the floor after each pad to remove the slurry.

Terrazzo Flooring Redhill Church Cleaning in Progress Terrazzo Flooring Redhill Church During Burnishing

Once the floor had been allowed to dry completely following both cleaning processes, I set about filling the cracks in the tiles with two part resin stone filler.

Terrazzo Flooring Redhill Church During Crack Repair Terrazzo Flooring Redhill Church Crack Filled

Then, once the filler had dried, I re-polished the floor using only the extra fine burnishing pad, focusing my attention along the crack lines. This really helped to reduce the evidence of cracks and left instead a smoothed surface.

Sealing a Terrazzo tiled floor

The final stage of the restoration involved sealing the Terrazzo tiles with Colour Grow, which is Tile Doctor’s colour intensifying sealer that impregnates the stone seeping into its pores to provide protecting the floor from within with a robust seal capable of withstanding the high amount of traffic experienced by church floors. The last step was to buff the entire area with a soft white buffing pad.

Terrazzo Flooring Redhill Church After Terrazzo Flooring Redhill Church After

The church was very pleased with the results, especially that they were able to show it off for last year’s Remembrance Sunday and left the following comment on the Tile Doctor feedback system:

“Many thanks for the work on our Terrazzo floors. It’s only when you see the before and after that you realise how grubby they had become. We have had loads of complimentary comments as to how good they look. Bill Bailey was a very personable and professional contractor who put himself out to work around our requirements and others working in the buildings at the same time. More than happy to recommend the company and Bill personally. Many thanks for a job well done.”

Terrazzo Flooring Redhill Church Before and After Restoration

 
 
Source: Cleaning and Maintaining Terrazzo Flooring in Surrey

Tiled Floor Restoration at 13th Century Church

These beautiful Quarry tiled floors belong to a 13th century church in the heart of the old village of Frankton. I did some research on the internet and discovered that the church had gone through a major restoration in 1872 so it’s most probable the tiles date back to that time.

Victorian Floor Tile Cleaning Frankton Church

Cleaning Victorian Tiles

There were multiple quarry tiled floors that were all in need of a deep clean and seal; however there was concern that cleaning the tiles using conventional cleaning methods requiring a lot of water could result in damp permeating into the structure of the building and considering the age of the building may this could cause damage. With this in mind I ran some tests to work out an alternative and I worked out that the best alternative would be to use Acid Gel which would stay in place followed by a steam clean.

Victorian Floor Tiles Frankton Church Before Cleaning Victorian Floor Tiles Frankton Church Before Cleaning

There was quite a lot of floor to cover and I need to work in relatively small sections so it took two days to complete the cleaning. I used the method I worked out earlier applying Acid Gel, and then leaving it to dwell for ten minutes before working it in with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a buffing machine. The gel and resultant soil was then removed with a wet vacuum and then the section was steam cleaned to lift out any further dirt and neutralise the acid.

Victorian Floor Tiles Frankton Church During Cleaning

Sealing Victorian floor tiles

On the third day I returned to seal the floors; there are a number of sealers I could have used for this type of floor however with the building being as old as it was I wanted to ensure the tiles could breathe and any damp could rise up through the tiles. Additionally I wanted the sealer to bring out the best in the tiles so with these points in mind I sealed the floor using four coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go extra which covers all these points and is the recommended sealer for Victorian and Quarry tiles.

Victorian Floor Tiles Frankton Church After Sealing Victorian Floor Tiles Frankton Church After Sealing

I think you will agree the floors now look fantastic and with the sealer to protect them they should stay this way for some time to come, although give the amount of traffic these floors receive I will be working out a maintenance plan for them.
 
 
Source: Church Floor Restoration Service in Warwickshire

Restoring old Church floor tiles

The photographs below are from the Lyle Kirk Church of Scotland in Greenock where we asked to clean the Quarry tiles in the main entrance of the church. As you can imagine the floor is very busy and is constantly in use from parishioners and had now become very unappealing from ingrained dirt and was proving impossible to clean effectively.

Lyle Kirk Church Quarry Tiles Before Cleaning Greenock Lyle Kirk Church Quarry Tiles Before Cleaning Greenock

Cleaning Old Quarry Tiles

With such an old floor we had to take a lot of care and so using a buffer machine to speed up the process was out of the question. As a result so we cleaned the whole tiled floor including the grout by hand using various strength dilutions of Tile Doctor Remove and Go and then Pro-Clean to remove the years of wax and coatings from the tiles, both products I should mention are safe to use on tile, stone and grout. It was arduous and slow work taking us four days to complete and the floor was given a thorough wash down once clean to remove any trace of cleaning product before sealing.

Dealing with Efflorescence

Whilst cleaning the floor we noticed some signs of efflorescence which is where salts from the ground below evaporate up through the pores in the tile and leave white deposits on the surface of the tile above. The efflorescence was removed easily using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up but it alerted us to the fact that normally old floors were traditionally laid directly on compacted earth with no damp proof course and that damp could be an issue that could affect the sealer.

Lyle Kirk Church Greenock

Sealing an old Quarry Tiled Floor

We left the floor to dry off and when we returned being cognizant of the damp issue we chose Tile Doctor Seal and Go Extra to seal the floor, this a new sealing product which is highly breathable and ideal for sealing external tiles or internal tiles where there is a damp problem. Four coats were sufficient and once done the floor looked completely transformed.

Lyle Kirk Church Quarry Tiles After Cleaning Greenock Lyle Kirk Church Quarry Tiles After Cleaning Greenock

 
 
Source: Professional Tile, Stone and Grout restoration service in Glasgow