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Unread 04-10-2012, 07:34 PM   #1
lzena
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Restoring terracotta floor (Mexican tile)

I very little experience with tiles and none with restoration, but I am sure you get that all the time in here... I am obsessed with my kitchen tiles and determined that they will look like new when I am done, regardless of how much work it will take.

I moved into a 20 year old house with a 300' kitchen that has terracotta tiles. I have no idea how long the tiles have been here, but they look terrible.

The tiles themselves is sealed someway or another, when I do the absorbency test the drop gets absorbed into the tile after about ten minutes on the bad spots, the good spots take much longer, but the tile still absorbs some of the water.

This is my first question: How do I determine whether the tile was sealed with linseed oils and wax, or whether a synthetic sealant was used?

Second question: Does it matter?

The surface of the tiles have been scratched by fridges and stoves. I am set on using the Rhino diamond pads to remove the worst of the scratches.

Question 3: Has anyone use Rhino pads?

The tiles are also stained. It seems like oil staines.

Question 4: I have read some of the posts here and have looked at the Aldon products. Considering that I am effectively removing a thin layer of the top of the tile, is there any benefit to using a stripper?

The grout is grimy and I have scrubbed for hours using a heavy duty stone cleaner with no success.

Question 5: How can I clean the grout?

Other considerations: there are also efflorescence stains.

At this stage I am just trying to clean and restore the tile. After I figure out how to go about this, my next set of questions will relate to sealing the, again.

Thanks for reading!
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Unread 04-10-2012, 07:41 PM   #2
Davestone
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If you look at the resto pics above you will see me restoring saltillo.I've done it quite a few times.

First off do not over sand the face of your tiles.I only lightly sand the face with 220 to smooth it,any more and you will uncover air holes and ruin the finish.You may have more sealer on the grout than you realize,it's very porous and piles up on them.Usually a paint stripper is used.Sometimes it's a two or three step process to strip,clean, and remove effloresence.
Post some pics and maybe one of us can recommend something.
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Unread 04-10-2012, 07:52 PM   #3
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Quote:
If you look at the resto pics above you will see me restoring saltillo
Wow... That looks awesome.
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Unread 04-10-2012, 08:01 PM   #4
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Pictures

Quote:
Post some pics and maybe one of us can recommend something.
Here are some pictures.

Quote:
First off do not over sand the face of your tiles.I only lightly sand the face with 220 to smooth it,any more and you will uncover air holes and ruin the finish.
Okay, good to know. I will not go to deep, thanks for the heads up.

This is the website with the pads I plan to use: Rhino Diamond Polishing Pads
I will be using the course and medium pads as I want a matt look when I am done.

Quote:
You may have more sealer on the grout than you realize,it's very porous and piles up on them.Usually a paint stripper is used.
That is exactly what I was thinking... So even though I am smoothing the tile, you think I should still use a stripper?

Thanks for reading!
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Unread 04-10-2012, 08:25 PM   #5
Davestone
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I wouldn't use those pads.They are aggressive,and you won't be able to control them over an uneven surface.The tops of the tiles will be sanded and the other parts won't be touched,saltillo isn't flat.I sand by hand.I watched the video and you can see the tops sanded off.

I would use the pink citrus paint stripper from HD.If it bubbles up and turns colors after a few minutes it is removing sealer.Follow directions,and after scraping off the sealer check to see if you need to reapply,or use the mineral spirits to final clean the tiles.A stainless steel brush helps with the grout joints.This cleaning will also remove what you think is effloresence,or whitish sealer ruined from moisture.The few spots you have may be effloresence, or something spilled on the grout.Then clean the tile with an acidic bath cleaner and brush,wevac it up, then rinse well.The grout and tile should be absorbing water,if not you need to strip again.

If you want a matte look use a matte sealer.

If the stripper isn't doing anything you probably don't have sealer on there and a high alkaline cleaner may be all you need.
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Last edited by Davestone; 04-10-2012 at 08:34 PM.
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Unread 04-10-2012, 08:41 PM   #6
lzena
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Quote:
I wouldn't use those pads.They are aggressive,and you won't be able to control them over an uneven surface.The tops of the tiles will be sanded and the other parts won't be touched,saltillo isn't flat.I sand by hand.
Not what I wanted to hear... Since I already ordered them. Maybe the guy will let me cancel, I can only try.

Quote:
I would use the pink citrus paint stripper from HD.
What is HD?

Okay... So the steps are:

1. Sand lightly by hand with 220 sand paper, only on tiles that are damaged.
2. Strip
3. Clean
4. Maybe strip again.
5. Maybe clean again ???

Acidic batch cleaner? I was told acid would strip the color fom the tile. Was I told wrong?

Thanks!
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Unread 04-10-2012, 08:52 PM   #7
Davestone
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No sanding till you strip and see what you have.Typically you don't strip by sanding,unless the area is flat and the sealer is thin.Some resto guys are doing it but they are experienced and frankly the jobs look crappy i think.They used an enhancing sealer to cover up the problem areas.I also do this if needed,so it's not a crime if you are not gonna add a thick sealer over it.Your tile looks like it either had a water based sealer or not much at all.

HD = home depot

1 strip(brushes,stainless steel brushes, then paper towels,mineral spirits
2 restrip or begin cleaning with an acid cleaner to get rid of grease stains and effloresence.Acid cleaners won't harm it.
3 Rinse with a little ammonia water to cut acid

Tiles must be completely dry before resealing with a sealer.
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Unread 04-10-2012, 08:59 PM   #8
lzena
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Great! Thank you very much. You have answered so many questions.

I saw in a separate thread that recommend Aldon products.

Considering I want a matte finish, am I correct to choose the sbs sealer? Or is there something from hom depot that I can use instead?
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Unread 04-10-2012, 09:08 PM   #9
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Welcome, lzena. Please change that permanent signature line to a first name for us to use.
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Unread 04-10-2012, 09:14 PM   #10
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Ok ... CX ...
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Unread 04-10-2012, 09:17 PM   #11
lzena
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Canada HD does not have the pink citrus paint stripper... Sigh... Figures

Would BEHR PREMIUM Concrete & Masonry Paint Stripper work?

http://www.homedepot.ca/product/behr...r-379-l/924136
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Unread 04-11-2012, 05:35 AM   #12
Davestone
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Yes i think so.I see it's water cleanup.Be sure to follow the instructions as to what to use to clean it up after the stripper is removed.This is important because if you don't do the right follow up cleaning the new sealer won't adhere to the surface.This is also true of acid cleaning.If you don't neutralize the acid sealer won't stick well.
I'm not familiar with that sealer.You want a sealer that is recommended for saltillo,and recommended for exterior use if it's gonna see water on it.These are usually water based sealers.
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Unread 04-12-2012, 08:50 PM   #13
lzena
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Update and question on water stain

Hi,

Thanks again for all the advise the other night.

I finally decided on a product from TileLab and tested it on stripping strength on a few tiles that were very badly stained. The attached image is before on top and now below... in case it isn't obvious.

The water stain has not completely dissapeared. Should I worry about it? I.e. will the sealer hide it?

Will the acid cleaner remove it?

Any other ideas?

Thanks!
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Unread 04-14-2012, 08:14 PM   #14
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Question New thread?

Hi, Should I have posted my question above in a new thread. I know no-one is obliged to answer, I am just wondering if reposting will increase the chances of an answer. In the section for new comers it said you should stay on the old thread.
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Unread 04-14-2012, 08:56 PM   #15
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