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 Cambridge

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.

Victorian Terrazzo Floor Tiles Before After Renovation Newmarket

Restoring a Victorian Terrazzo Tiled Hallway, Newmarket

The owner of an older property in Newmarket got in contact with us about restoring his Victorian Terrazzo Tiled Hallway. We like to do a site survey to ascertain the condition of the floor and give the client a fixed price for the works, so we organised a time to pop over and look at the floor.

Adhesive Covered Victorian Terrazzo Hallway Before Cleaning Newmarket Adhesive Covered Victorian Terrazzo Hallway Before Cleaning Newmarket

The floor had taken a battering over the years and was completely unrecognisable after being completely covered up with carpet that had been secured in place with a lot of adhesive. Removing the glue and restoring an old floor like this is a difficult task but something we are familiar with and we were confident it could be restored to a reasonable standard. We discussed with the client the process and agreed a price to carry out the restoration.

Cleaning and restoring a Victorian Terrazzo Tiled Hallway Floor

The first day consisted of adding protection to the wooden skirting and then carefully scraping off as much excess adhesive as possible. To remove the rest of the glue a thick coat of Tile Doctor Nano Tech HBU remover was applied. I had tried applying this product on the floor first, but it struggled to make any impact given the huge amount of adhesive that was present. Incidentally HBU stands for Heavy Build-Up which pretty much described the problem with the floor. I left the HBU to dwell for about fifteen minutes, scrubbed it in and then rinsed off the soil with water and extracted with a wet vacuum.

To finish the job, I then repeated the process with a coat of Tile Doctor Remove and Go which was scrubbed it in to the floor to release the last bits of adhesive. Again, the floor was rinsed with water and the soil extracted with a wet vacuum. The floor was then inspected to ensure all the adhesive had been removed and stubborn areas were spot treated using a mixture of techniques until I was happy.

Removing the adhesive was hard work and took up the whole of the first day but was well worth the effort as the Terrazzo was now visible and the end goal was in sight. So, returning the next day we proceeded to build on the restoration by honing and polishing the Terrazzo with 100 through to 3000-grit diamond encrusted burnishing pads. They are applied in sequence i.e. 100, 200, 400, 800, 1500 and finally 3000 grit, using water to lubricate and then more rinsing and extracting between each pad.

With the glue was removed and the Terrazzo renovated a large crack was clearly visible across part of the hallway floor, whilst it’s not possible to repair this without taking up the floor I was able to improve its’ appearance by applying a matching filler to the cracks whilst the floor dried.

Sealing a Victorian Terrazzo Tiled Hallway Floor

The final stage was the application of an impregnating sealer. We selected to use Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing product that soaks into the pores of the stone protecting it from within. It had been some time since the Terrazzo had been sealed so it took more coats then usual to properly seal the floor.

Adhesive Covered Victorian Terrazzo Hallway After Cleaning Newmarket Adhesive Covered Victorian Terrazzo Hallway After Cleaning Newmarket

As you can see the floor looked a lot better once completed, the client was very happy with the final result and left the following feedback:-

”We knew that restoring our Victorian Terrazzo floor was going to be a very difficult job, so we were heartened when Tom was so positive about doing a good job and his quotation was very reasonable. He tackled the work very professionally, always turned up on time, explained exactly what he was doing and minimised our inconvenience. We are delighted with the finished job (at the quoted price!) and would have no hesitation in recommending Tom to anyone who needs a similar service.” Des B, Newmarket

Adhesive Covered Victorian Terrazzo Hallway After Cleaning Newmarket


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