Step 1: examine the terracotta tilesFirst of all, it is important to carefully examine the terracotta tiles in question. It is also necessary to be aware that any type of treatment has been carried out in previous years and, in this case, try to ascertain which type of treatment has been used. It is also important to examine the type of sealant used. The finish and any polish or sealant all contribute to discoloration; therefore they must be removed to deal with the discoloring effect.
Step 2: remove the old finishesIf a type of finish has been applied on the terracotta tiles, the first step is to remove that finish. Depending on the type of finish, it is necessary to choose the most suitable type of solvent with which to remove it. Apply the solvent on the tiles and rub carefully with a scrubber. Make sure to mix it with water according to the instructions on the package in order to get the best consistency and the best balance of chemicals. Usually, a concentrated phosphoric acid solution is recommended. Choose a scrubber that is strong enough to remove the polish, but not too hard to cause abrasion or other damage to the terracotta tiles.
Step 3: emptyUse a vacuum cleaner to collect all dust particles and other debris left behind by the washing process. Vacuum can also dry the floor slightly.
Step 4: dry the floor
Use a clean, soft floor cloth to dry and clean the floor.
Step 5: apply the sealAt this point, the terracotta tiles have been well cleaned and have ideally reached their true natural finish. Now you can apply the seal on the grooves of the tiles. Make sure to select an appropriate type of sealant, both in terms of color and quality. Usually, water-based sealants are recommended. The sealant can be combined with the color of the tiles in order to make your floor more attractive. It may be necessary to apply more than one coating to obtain good results.
Step 6: apply polishFinally, you can choose to leave the tiles in their natural color or apply some polishing. Polishing can obviously help to improve the shades of terracotta tiles while also protecting the tiles a little. Make sure you choose a high quality polish.
Try to follow these basic guidelines in order to restore a more attractive appearance of your terracotta tiles, prolonging their life.