Cleaning Saltillo Tile
Clean, Polish, and Restore Saltillo Tile
Cleaning Saltillo Tile Cleaning Saltillo tile is one of the most complex services that the Floor Cleaning Experts provides. Saltillo tile is a sun baked clay that has a very porous acrylic painted face. To protect the tile and to provide a shiny consistency to the surface of the tile is coated with a Saltillo tile sealer.
Over the years many coats can build up on the floor. Old acrylic wax starts to yellow after a few years and needs to be stripped from the tile and grout without damaging the acrylic face of the tile. The key to restoring a Saltillo tile floor is stripping all of the old sealer from the floor without damaging the delicate face of the tile. This challenge can be exacerbated by the many different types of sealers that have been used on the floor over the years. Some solvent acrylic sealers and urethanes need harsh volatile solvent strippers to break them down.
Whatever the case may be the Floor Cleaning Experts can safely restore the Saltillo tile back to its former beauty. When stripping a Saltillo tile floor it is very important to carefully protect the surrounding walls, baseboards, cabinets, and trim. Plastic wrap and delicate surface blue tape are used to keep any stripper from getting on delicate surfaces. Areas that are at more risk of damage also get a layer of duct tape over top of the delicate surface blue tape. This provides better abrasion resistance and helps keep the stripper from soaking through the tape.
Once the area to be serviced is properly protected it is ready to strip. A scrub free rinse free stripper is mopped onto the floor so the floor is saturated with the stripper. The stripper is allowed to sit andbreak down the layers of sealer on the floor. After sitting for 15-20 minutes the floor is scrubbed with a 175rpm scrubber with a medium brush. This starts breaking down the layers of finish on the surface of the tile and works the stripper into the grout lines. The slurry created from the stripper breaking down the wax gets sucked up with a shop-vac and the floor is re-saturated with fresh stripper.
The floor is then scrubbed with the rotary 175rpm scrubber using a black stripping pad. The black pad is very effective at removing stubborn stripper on the face of the tile. After the stripper has been broken down and the slurry removed the floor is cleaned with a truck mounted hot water extraction machine. This uses pressurized water under a contained wash head to thoroughly rinse the face of the tile and the grout. This step is what gets the grout back to a consistent color. The floor is then inspected to see how completely the tile and grout cleaned and stripped.
If there are any areas that don’t strip completely we repeat the process until all the wax is gone. If the wax isn’t breaking down with the normal stripper we test it with a solvent stripper. Before coating the Saltillo tile the floor gets a final damp mopping with ammonia to make sure any sealer residue is cleaned from the floor. Protective coverings are removed and base boards, walls, and trim are inspected to see if they need cleaning. Now that the floor is stripped bare of sealer and very thoroughly cleaned it is ready to coat with a sealer. If the floor is inside the floor in coated with a water based urethane reinforced floor finish. Outside a solvent acrylic is used due to the harsh conditions outdoors in Florida. Water based coatings quicklybreak down under the intense UV exposure and the pulverizing action of heavy rain. Solvent sealers should never be used inside as the carriers are very unhealthy in enclosed areas. Solvent sealers also need extremely unhealthy destructive strippers.
Sealer is applied to the floor using microfiber mops. The sealer is spread over the tile and grout in thin even coats. Excess sealer is pulled out of the grout line to give a more consistent color. Three or four coats of floor wax are allied to give good protection and a deep beautiful luster from the floor. To keep your Saltillo tile floor nice and clean we recommend using a microfiber mopping system. You can get them almost anywhere. They create a natural static cling for dry dusting and will effectivelyclean the tile with just plain water.