Encaustic Cement Tile Cleaning

Renovation of Encaustic Tiled Bathroom in Histon

These photographs were taken of a bathroom and WC in a property in Histon The client had just had these modern Encaustic tiles laid a couple of months prior. The owner had never been happy with the final look of them and from the markings on the surface it looked like had been damaged in storage or left outside and neglected. They are a pretty unusual design so I can only assume the tiler thought their appearance was perfectly normal at the time of installation.

Encaustic Tiled Bathroom Floor Before Renovation in Histon

I was confident I could improve the appearance of the tiles and gave the client a quote for the work. Whilst she didn’t want to spend more money on her new floor, she did want it to look as it should, so rather reluctantly she agreed to go ahead.

Encaustic Tiled Bathroom Floor Before Renovation in Histon

Histon is next to Impington, they are small villages in Cambridgeshire, over the years the two villages have grown and have entwined together. Many villagers in fact do not know where one village starts and the other ends. The have 6 pubs in total!

Cleaning/Repairing an Encaustic Tiled Bathroom Floor

I wasn’t sure what had been applied to the tiles so after adding protective tape to the wooden skirting I gave them a deep clean with Tile Doctor Remove and Go which was worked into the tiles with a black scrubbing pad. Then to renovate the surface and remove the markings I honed the surface with 400-grit and then 800-grit burnishing pad using water to lubricate the process and rinsing and extracting the soil away after each pad with the wet vacuum.

Sealing an Encaustic Tiled Bathroom Floor

There were two areas that needed work so whilst one area was drying, I was able to get to work on the second and then return to the first later to apply a sealer. My product of choice for this floor was Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer which improves the colour and works by penetrating the pores of the tile and protecting it from within. I applied three coats allowing each one to dry before applying the next. The bathroom now looked as it should have done from the beginning.

Encaustic Tiled Bathroom Floor After Renovation in Histon

My client was very happy with the improvement and left the following 5-Star review.

I only had my floor tiles fitted a few months or so ago and was so disappointed with them. I called Tom and within a few hours, he had transformed them! They look absolutely fantastic! Great value for money as well!

I recommended that in order to maintain the tiles, she should use Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner, this is a pH neutral cleaner which will keep the floor without harming the sealer. Many tile cleaning products are only designed for Ceramic or Porcelain tiles and are too strong for use on sealed floors where they will strip the sealer off with time.

Encaustic Tiled Bathroom Floor After Renovation in Histon


Professional Renovation of an Encaustic Tiled Bathroom Floor in Cambridge

Encaustic Tiled Hallway Cleaned and Sealed in Waterbeach

I was called out to renovate this Encaustic tiled hallway in the Cambridge suburb of Waterbeach. It’s difficult to appreciate from the photographs but the floor was showing signs that the sealant had failed, and no amount of cleaning would get it too look as clean as it used to. Sealers prevent dirt from becoming ingrained into the pores of the tile which leads to a dulling of the overall appearance. My customer was keen to have the floor renovated and asked if I could give it a deep clean and seal.

Encaustic Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Waterbeach Encaustic Tiled Hallway Before Cleaning Waterbeach

Traditional Encaustic tiles resemble ceramic tiles but are in fact made from multiple layers of compressed cement and usually feature intricate geometric shapes and patterns which are hydraulically pressed into the surface. The process first appeared in medieval times and these tiles can often be found in very old buildings.

Modern production methods have seen a resurgence and you can now find these popular patterns reproduced with ceramic tiles. Ceramic tiles don’t usually need sealing and are therefore very low maintenance. Encaustic tiles however being cement based do need sealing and when used as a floor tile you will need the sealer replacing every three to five years depending on wear. If you like the look of these tiles and live in the local area its worth giving Cambridge CTD Tiles a visit as their local showroom stock several similar styles in Ceramic.

Removing Old Sealers from Encaustic Cement Tiles

After protecting the skirting boards with tape, I set about getting the floor clean and free of what was left of the old sealer. Removing old sealers first is important as to apply new sealer on top of the old will result in different thicknesses and the floor looking patchy. To do this I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which is a coatings remover and cleaner. It’s sprayed onto the floor, left for ten minutes and then scrubbed in with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The floor was then rinsed with water and the soil extracted.

To bring up the appearance of the encaustic tiles I polished the floor with an 800-grit and then 1500-grit diamond burnishing pads using a little water to help lubricate the process. I rinsed the floor with a little more water and extracted the fine slurry generated after each pad was applied. The floor looked much better already.

Sealing Encaustic Floor Tiles

I gave the stone a few hours to dry off and due to the warm conditions, I was able to apply two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow impregnating sealer on the same day. Each coat was left to dry off before applying the next. Tile Doctor Colour Grow is a colour intensifying impregnating sealer that provides durable protection by occupying the pores in the tile so dirt can’t become ingrained there.

Before leaving I finished off the floor by removing any excess sealer residue with a 3000-grit polishing pad.

Encaustic Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Waterbeach Encaustic Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Waterbeach

The client was very happy with the floor restoration once completed. I discussed with them the best aftercare and recommended they should use Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which is pH neutral so will maintain the integrity of the newly applied seal and will ensure the floor is protected for some time to come. It is suitable for regular use, has a nice fresh fragrance and a small amount goes a long way.

Encaustic Tiled Hallway After Cleaning Waterbeach


Professional Renovation of an Encaustic Tiled Hallway Floor in Cambridgeshire


Cambridge Tile Doctor

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