terracotta tiles

How to Make Terracotta Tiles Shine

Terracotta tiles are a classic addition to your home, whether in the kitchen, the bathroom, or anywhere else around the house. 

They’re easy to keep clean on a day-to-day basis—just a quick sweep and occasional mop will do the trick. 

But what do we do when it comes to giving them a deep clean? Even if your tiles are years old, use the method below and they’ll look brand new!

There are 5 main steps to follow, which we’ve outlined below.


1. Determine the Condition of the Tiles

wet terracotta tiles

The aim of the game here is to establish whether the sealant is still intact. It is likely that if the flooring looks discoloured, stained or has white patches on it then the sealant is no longer working. 

The easiest way to check the state of the sealant is to splash some water on a section of flooring. If the water starts to form little beads it means that the sealant is still intact.

However, if the water spreads out, or forms a puddle, and is eventually absorbed by the tiles, the sealant is no longer intact. 


2. Clean and Strip the Tiles

cleaning terracotta tiles

What we need to do here depends upon whether the sealant is still intact. 

If it is still intact then use a multi surface stripper to remove old wax and synthetic based polish. 

If the sealant isn’t intact then you’ll need a heavy-duty stripper to get rid of the old finish and get down to the bare tiles. 

Remember to read the product instructions before mixing in a bucket of water (the instructions will tell you what quantities are needed). 

Use a mop to wipe the solution over the tiles and leave for approximately 30 minutes. Rinse the tiles with warm water first, followed by cold water. 

Once the flooring has dried, use a vacuum to collect the last bits of stripper.


3. Spot Clean Tiles and Grout

cleaning tiles and grout

Scrub any tiles or areas that appear stained or discoloured using a tile and grout cleaner. Wipe away the tile and grout cleaner before using a vacuum to get rid of any dirt or residue.


4. Apply Tile Sealant

applying tile sealant

If you are currently left with bare tiles (i.e., the sealant wasn’t intact so you opted for the heavy-duty stripper) then now is time to apply some more sealant. 

Start by sanding the flooring and sweeping/vacuuming any residue. 

Next, use a fibre mop to evenly spread a thick layer of sealant over the tiles. 

Leave for 2 hours. Once the 2 hours is up, use a buffer to shine the flooring. 

Allow 1 hour and then apply the second coating of sealant. Wait 2 hours before buffing again.  


5. Get That High-Gloss Shine!

shiny terracotta tiles

Use a power buffer once or twice a week on your terracotta tiles to maintain a glossy finish. 

Ensure to avoid any pastes or typical floor cleaners, as they have the potential to damage the flooring and take away its shine.

There you have it. Immaculate results that are worth the effort!