Installing and Grouting Terracotta Floor Tiles
When laying terracotta floor tiles, you should always use tile adhesive. Using a notched trowel, glue should be put on the floor at least 5 mm thick. Before putting the tile down, a thin coat of tile adhesive should be put on the back. Before tapping with a rubber mallet, you should twist the tile into the wet tile adhesive to get rid of any trapped air. Using a mallet with white rubber instead of black rubber will help prevent marks on porous tiles that won’t come off.
Acid-based cleaners like Stoneshield Grout-Lift™ and Stoneshield Brick & Masonry Cleaner™ can be used to remove grout and cement residues from terracotta tiles with low porosity.
After cleaning with an acid-based cleaner, use Stoneshield Deep-Clean™ to make the surface neutral again. Neutralising helps keep sealers from not working.
Why Porous Tiles Need Sealing?
Sealers are meant to protect the tile or surface they are used on.
There are several reasons why terracotta floor tiles need to be sealed:
- Sealing makes the tile or stone less porous, which makes it less likely that stains will stay.
- Sealing keeps acids like wine, vinegar, coffee, sugar or soda from penetrating the tile surface and causing damage.
- Sealing strengthens the surface, making it more resistant to wear and tear and better able to protect itself.
- Sealing often makes the finish look better.
Recommended Products for Sealing Terracotta Floor Tiles
Depending on the type of floor or tile, you need different ways to protect it. Some surfaces only need to be protected from stains, while other surfaces need to be protected from both stains and wear and tear.
In the case of terracotta floor tiles, a penetrating sealer or repellent would be the best choice, since the main reason to seal is to protect against oil and water stains. Use Stoneshield Daily-Clean™ to make the sealer last longer. If the surface gets dirty or hard to clean, reapply the appropriate Stoneshield sealer.
Stoneshield Quarri-Seal Matt™
Stoneshield Quarri-Seal Matt™ is a high-quality, solvent-based resin sealer that doesn’t turn yellow and gives surfaces a satin finish, better stain resistance, and better protection. The sealer goes deep into the wood and gives it a ‘wet look’. Protects against both water-based and oil-based stains, suitable for use both inside and outside. Can be used on tiles with low permeability, such as terracotta, natural stone, and quarry tiles.
The high-quality, solvent-based, penetrating, no-shine, no-surface-film, natural-looking water and oil repellent that protects against general stains. Stoneshield Natural-Look™ is a sealer that allows water vapour to pass through. Suited for use inside and outside. Can be used on tiles with low permeability, such as terracotta, natural stone, and quarry tiles.
Stoneshield Marble, Granite, and Travertine Sealer
Stoneshield Marble, Granite and Travertine Sealer is a high-quality, solvent-based, penetrating, no-shine, no-surface-film, natural-looking oil and water repellent that protects against stains the best. Can be used on cleaned surfaces at least six hours prior to grouting as a pre-grouting sealer. The sealer lets vapour pass through. For indoor and outdoor use. Can be used on tiles with low permeability, such as natural stone, terracotta, and quarry tiles.
Stoneshield Product Limitations
For the best results when sealing terracotta floor tiles, only use Stoneshield products as advised on the product instructions.
Here are a few limitations and usage guidelines to keep in mind:
- Do not put on tiles or surfaces that are wet.
- Give the grout and tile adhesive enough time to dry completely before you seal them.
- Check the label to find out how long the sealer should dry.
- After sealing, don’t get tiles or surfaces wet for at least 24 hours.
- Depending on the sealer chosen, give the floor at least 4 to 8 hours to dry before walking on it.
- Do not apply sealer outdoors if it is going to rain in the next 12 hours.
- Only use or store between 16°c and 32°c.