Terrazzo Floor Cleaning

Terrazzo Reception Room Restoration for Business in Oldbury

We recently took a call from a company based in Oldbury asking if we could restore a natural stone floor that had been covered for over many years. The company were unsure exactly what type of stone the floor was made of, so I agreed to visit the site to survey the situation and quote a price for restoring the floor.

Oldbury is a town in the West Midlands, not far outside of West Bromwich, which has a history dating back over 1,000 years. It has historically been home to several notable businesses include Lloyds Bank who opened their first branch here back in 1864.

Upon visiting the company, I quickly identified the floor as Terrazzo, which is made from a process that was originally invented in Italy and popularly used in the UK during the 1920s. One of the most famous examples of Terrazzo stone in use is the Hollywood Walk of Fame in California. The floor was stained around the edges with what appeared to be paint smears from decorating and judging on its current appearance I could see it had been some time since it had been professionally cleaned. The floor was structurally sound however and I was confident however that a good finish could be achieved.

Terrazzo Floor Before Cleaning Oldbury West Bromwich
The floor was in a big open reception area of the building with a couple of hallways leading off it. We decided to clean the floor on a Friday afternoon when the workforce was not in the building to minimise the disruption.

Terrazzo Floor Before Cleaning Oldbury West Bromwich

Cleaning a Dirty Terrazzo Reception Room Floor

To begin the restoration, we covered the floor in Tile Doctor’s alkaline-based cleaner, known as Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, mixed in medium strength solution as the floor was quite dirty in places. The solution was left to dwell on the floor for about twenty minutes and we then processed to carefully scrape off the paint a process made easier by the Pro-Clean.

The cleaning solution was then scrubbed thoroughly into the tiles using a rotary machine fitted with a large black scrubbing pad. The resultant slurry was then rinsed with water and extracted using a wet vacuum.

With the floor clear of surface dirt, the next step was to burnish and re-polish the floor using a set of Tile Doctor burnishing pads. The system consists of four diamond encrusted burnishing pads of varying levels of grit, which are fitted to a rotary floor machine. The pads are used sequentially, starting with the coarsest 400 grit pad and ending with the finest. A small amount of water is used for lubrication with each pad and the floor is rinsed in-between each pad.

After the 1500 grit pad had been applied the floor was given a final rinse with water which was then extracted using the wet vacuum. The floor was then left to dry off fully overnight.

Sealing a Terrazzo Reception Room

We returned to the building the next day (Saturday) and immediately ran a damp test on the floor to check if it was dry enough to be sealed. The floor proved to have dried completely, but before sealing the last very fine 3000 grit burnishing pad was applied with a little water spayed onto the floor to really bring out the shine in the Terrazzo.

Once this had been done, we applied two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow to seal the tiles and then allowed them to dry off. Colour Grow is an impregnating, colour intensifying sealer that helps to compliment the polished finish. Once the floor was dry, we buffed up the floor with a soft white pad.

Terrazzo Floor Before Cleaning Oldbury West Bromwich
Before leaving, we gave the customer a complimentary bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner, a product which is ideal for routine cleaning of sealed floor to help keep the floor looking great. The customer was very happy with the results! You can judge them yourself by comparing the photos above with the ones below.

Terrazzo Floor Before Cleaning Oldbury West Bromwich

Professional Renovation of a Terrazzo Reception Floor in Oldbury

100+ Year Old Terrazzo Hallway Rejuvenated in Dudley

This post follows on from the Victorian Tiled floor article I published earlier, if you recall I was asked to restore a Victorian Tiled Hallway at a house in Dudley and there was a section that was Terrazzo, so I thought it would make sense to write about this separately as the cleaning method is different.

Both period floors were original, having been installed when the house was built over 100 years prior and whilst Victorian tiles are quite the norm in these properties it’s quite unusual to find Terrazzo as this was mostly used in large public buildings.

There was a crack running across the floor which is quite a common problem with Terrazzo as it’s laid in one piece like concrete and any movement in the ground will cause stress leading to a crack. Unfortunately, the only way to resolve this properly is to have a Terrazzo expert relay that section of the floor which would prove expensive.

Terrazzo Hallway Floor Before Cleaning Dudley
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 poured onto the floor, then once the screed is set it is grinded to a polish.

Cleaning Original Victorian and Terrazzo Tiles

The polish on Terrazzo will eventually wear down with use and to restore the appearance it needs to be burnished with a series of pads with different grits from coarse to fine.

So, to start the renovation I gave it a general clean with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean mainly to remove any grit before burnishing. Next, the Terrazzo tiles were cleaned using a coarse 400 grit pad fitted to a rotary machine and lubricated with water. This process removes dirt and any coatings such as sealers and the floor needs to be rinsed afterwards to remove the slurry that is generated.

Then to build back the polished appearance, the floor is burnished with an 800 grit medium pad followed by a 1500 grit fine pad. Less water is used this time, but you do need to rinse the floor again after each pad to remove any slurry gets generated during the process. Once this was done the floor was dried with a wet vacuum and left to dry off fully overnight.

Sealing a Terrazzo Floor

The next day, I returned to the property and started with a damp test to make sure the floor was dry and ready for sealing. The floor was dry so I finished the Burnishing process by applying the last pad in the set which is a 3,000 grit (very fine) pad that adds the final polish to the Terrazzo.
To protect the floor from staining and dirt becoming ingrained in the pores of Terrazzo it was then sealed with two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing impregnating sealer that protects from within. Once the sealer had dried the floor was buffed with a white pad.

Terrazzo Hallway Floor After Cleaning Dudley
The floor looked a lot cleaner and shiner at the end and the customer was very happy with the transformation.

Deep Cleaning and Polishing an Old Terrazzo Floor in Dudley


Birmingham Tile Doctor

Scroll to top