Terrazzo Floor Cleaning

Welcome to my Work History archive where you will find detailed examples of the cleaning and renovation of Terrazzo flooring carried out in South Essex

Cleaning and Polishing Terrazzo tiles

Terrazzo is actually 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 poured onto the floor. Then once the screed is set it is grinded to a polish. Because of this we find the best way to maintain Terrazzo is with the use of Burnishing Pads which hone the floor and restore its appearance.

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, railway stations and offices wishing to add that wow factor to a hallway or entrance.

One of the big issues we find with older Travertine floors is cracking due to settlement in the sub floor. These floors are poured in sections so any cracks need to be filled with a matching resin and then cleaned, polished and sealed.

Below you will find detailed examples of work we have carried out in the past, it should give you some idea of what’s involved and what can be achieved with the right techniques and products.

Damaged Terrazzo Southend

Damaged Terrazzo Tiled Floor Repair In Southend

A few months ago I was called down to the coastal town of Southend to restore a damaged Terrazzo tiled floor. Terrazzo is a very beautiful type of stone of Italian origin, and has been used for hundreds of years for residential flooring. The problem with this floor was a significant crack in the surface that was not only spoiling the appearance of the Terrazzo, but also posed a potential hazard for anyone walking in and around this area. I was also commissioned to give the floor a thorough clean and seal .

Cracked Terrazzo floor Before Repair Southend

Repairing a crack in a Terrazzo flooring

To begin the repair, I first mixed a strong solution of one part Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to three parts clean water. I then applied this solution to the hole and the surrounding area, making sure that any dirt and muck had been completely removed before filling. Pro-Clean is a versatile, alkaline cleaner recommended for cleaning natural stone floors.

The damaged area was then dried using an air blower to remove any moisture from in and around the hole, paying special attention to the tricky cracks that were not so easy to dry. The cracks were then filled with a stone glue and hardener. Once the filling had been completed I gave the area a coat of acrylic paint mixed with glue to match the original colour of the floor as much as possible. The final stage in the repair process was sanding down the treated area to achieve a smooth surface that was consistent with the rest of the floor. As you can see from the photograph, the finish came out very nicely however I apologise for the photograph which I appreciate could have been better.

Cleaning a Terrazzo tiled floor

As aforementioned, I was also commissioned to give the floor a thorough clean. I did this using a similarly diluted solution of Pro-Clean and water. The solution was worked into the stone using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor scrubbing machine. After completing the clean I rinsed the floor and removed the resulting soil with a wet vacuum, I then left the property to allow the floor plenty of time to dry before being sealed.

Sealing a Terrazzo tiled floor

I returned the next day to seal the floor using Tile Doctor Shine Powder. The crystallised powder is applied directly to the floor and then worked in with a buffing pad. The result is a nice durable shine which had previously become dull over time due to high usage and the breakdown of an old surface seal.

Cracked Terrazzo floor After Repair Southend


Terrazzo tiled floor repaired and polished in Esses

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Terrazzo Restoration Dagenham Food Hall

Terrazzo Floor Cleaned in Dagenham Food Hall

The photographs below are from a large commercial premises we were asked to clean recently in Dagenham, East London. The property had been used as a large furniture retail outlet and the 250m2 Terrazzo floor was in need of a deep clean before the new tenants moved in. The customer had struggled to clean and improve the condition of the floor and the tenant was going to use the premises as a food hall so it was important to get it clean. Time was tight so we completed the clean over a weekend between the old tenant leaving and the shop fitters moving the following week with fridges, counters and shelving etc.

Terrazzo Tiles Dagenham Food Hall Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Terrazzo Floor

To clean the floor we used Tile Doctor Pro-Clean diluted 1 part cleaner to 2 parts water, Pro-Clean is a heavy duty alkaline cleaning product and this was left to soak into the Terrazzo tile for thirty minutes to help soften the ingrained dirt. We then started working the solution into the floor using black scrubbing pages fitted a Numatic buffing machine. This activity was continued for the weekend over and over until we were happy with the condition of the floor.

Terrazzo Tiles Dagenham Food Hall During Cleaning

There were a few stubborn stains in places and we tackled those using Pro-Clean again but this time mixed 50/50 with NanoTech Ultra Clean which adds tiny abrasive particles into the cleaning solution; again this was left to dwell on the Terrazzo for up to one hour in order to penetrate deep into the surface and soften the ingrained dirt before being worked in with a machine. Remove and Go was also used in some areas of the floor to tackle some of the stubborn areas and we also brought in rotary machines with a faster RPM to progress the work as we found the heavier and faster machines made a difference.

For some of the really stubborn stains we concocted a poultice made up of a strong dilution of Pro-Clean and NanoTech Ultra Clean which we covered in a plastic sheet and left on the floor surface overnight; it did improve the stain quite a bit, not perfect but a big improvement. The end result was good and can be seen in the photograph below . There were some rust stains that we could not remove in places, but the customer was ok about this given the deadline.

Terrazzo Tiles Dagenham Food Hall After Cleaning


Terrazzo Tiles Deep Cleaned in East London

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South Essex Tile Doctor

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