Ceramic… fired at 1200⁰, glazed
Porcelain… fired at 1800⁰, some unglazed tiles are suitable for outdoor use
Terrazzo… Pictured are 4 different blocks. Made of 70% marble chips/30% cement or resin. Should be polished & sealed, but may have topical finish
Saltillo… AKA Terra Cotta, Soft clay tiles which will bleed if mopped, so be sure to keep sealed or finished with multiple coats. Low PSI (<500) when cleaning to prevent pitting
Clay, Saltillo and Terrazzo Tiles, as well as the Grout, is very porous and needs to be sealed. Tile & Grout (T&G) usually collect dirt due to improper cleaning processes and the use of improper cleaners. We will determine if the T&G has a topical coating or a finish (wax, acrylic, polymer or urethane) applied. If so, efforts should be to clean and maintain this, not the T&G. If you’re beyond cleaning and maintenance on this floor, then restoring the T&G is in order.
The first step to restoring this floor is to strip away any finish. Our services would be limited to stripping waxed or water based urethane floors prior to cleaning. Other floor coatings require some knowledge of the coating and safely stripping it would be critical to maintaining the T&G’s appearance.
We routinely provide cleaning and sealing services:
Cleaning is essentially 4 step process-
Finally, we apply a penetrating sealer (not a topical sealer). This provides stain guarding while maximizing the T&G’s appearance and allowing the T&G to “breath” (vapor permeable). Penetrating sealers should be applied every 2-3 years after proper cleaning. Topical sealers used to supply a “glaze” will require greater maintenance, so we do not recommend those. If requested however, we will apply an appropriate sealer to meet your need.
See a related article on Tile and Grout cleaning.