Tile and Stone Restoration Products  

clean, protect, seal tile - stone - pavers - brick

   How to:  Clean  |  Seal  |  Restore

                Terracotta (terra cotta) Tile           

Sealing - Cleaning - Problem Solving - Protection - Care

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french terracotta rustic  terracotta tile floor terracatta tile patio  Terracotta Tile - Cleaning and Sealing
This tile is marketed as "Terracotta Tile", not "Mexican Tile".  The term "Old World" definitely describes this tile.

A "Mexican Tile" is a type of terra cotta (terracotta) tile, however, it has its own unique characteristics that requires another special page.  You might want to review that page also. 

This page is specific for the non-Mexico made terra cotta tile (from Brazil, France, etc.) and these have different and specific requirements. 

See below for ways to identify these "terracotta" tile from "Mexican" tile.

If your tile has been sealed by the supplier - it is a different tile.  See the "Factory Sealed Surfaces" page instead.

There is no need for confusion or problems brought about by misidentification of a surface type, yet it happens all too often. If you would like to see why this is the case and how to properly identify a surfacing material ..... Click here

If you are concerned about doing it yourself - consider that the satisfaction of a project is directly related to your knowledge of what needs to be done and how. Who actually does the work is less important. We estimate that 25% of the usage of Aldon products is by "do it yourself" homeowners and we know they are happy because we hear from them.

MATERIAL DESCRIPTION - With Identifying Characteristics
Typical absorption range = high to very high

Testing your surfacing for absorption rate

Testing for acid sensitivity

Note this on your worksheet for later reference

  • Approximately 3/4 inch high.
  • Colors typically in the light beige/peach range
  • Shape is usually square or rectangle
  • More flat and precise than a Mexican tile
  • Some batches of this surfacing can be very absorbent and will tend to soak up a lot of sealer if you just keep pouring it on. Too decrease the amount of sealer required - click here
terracotta tile kitchen floor
  • Traditional old world beauty
  • Creates a rich, soft feeling
  • Many choices for finishing gloss - from none to high gloss
CONSIDERATIONS      (All Are Preventable!)

(Click links for Aldon's solutions to these issues!)

  • This tile has to be installed in a more careful manner due to its tendency to stain easily.  We have seen permanent stains from an installers shoe and a plain water drop.
  • Prevent grout smears, surface scratching and keep grout residue out of surface texture by coating with Aldon "Grout Easy" before grouting. "Grout Easy" is a water soluble coating that comes off easily while grout is being cleaned up with water and a sponge.
  • Do not soak the tile before setting. Do not use a sealer as a grout barrier (pre-seal) - except as explained next.
  • Some of these tile will stain so easily that a water drop will leave a permanent mark. If this is the case with your tile, the above recommendation does not apply because even "Grout Easy" might stain a sensitive tile. Therefore, the only choice is to pre-seal the tile instead. However, be sure to see the  clean, protect, seal tile - stone - pavers - brick section on pre-sealing so you can determine how to pre-seal well enough to offset its risks.
  • Efflorescence (subsurface originating white powdery stains) is common with Terracotta Tile. This can occur even before installation. However, this is easily cleaned. Because of the stain risk, if efflorescence occurs, it can be treated with Aldon Efflorescence Treatment, but the treatment will darken the tile and must be done very evenly over the entire floor.
  • Grout colors can "fade". Actually the iron oxide pigments used in concrete products do not fade. Nor do the colored clays in clay products. The appearance of fading is actually from light efflorescence and can be stopped by sealing with the appropriate Aldon sealer.

Following are recommendations for products you may need (in sequence of use ) for whichever of the categories applies to you. Please review each and mark your printed worksheet accordingly.

Layed, But Not Grouted

  1. clean, protect, seal tile - stone - pavers - brick Grout Easy
  2. clean, protect, seal tile - stone - pavers - brick Efflorescence            Treatment       
  3. clean, protect, seal tile - stone - pavers - brick Grout Residue
    (should not be needed after using Grout Easy)     
Grouted, But Not Sealed
  1. clean, protect, seal tile - stone - pavers - brick Grout Residue
  2. clean, protect, seal tile - stone - pavers - brick Efflorescence            Treatment       
  3. .............Sealer ( see below )
  4. clean, protect, seal tile - stone - pavers - brick Lifeguard
  5. Care ........... clean, protect, seal tile - stone - pavers - brick

Sealer Has Been Applied

Important! - First - Click here!

  1. Aldon Products Premium Stripper
  2. ...........Cleaners   ?
  3. ...........Sealer ( see below )
  4. clean, protect, seal tile - stone - pavers - brick Lifeguard
  5. Care .......... clean, protect, seal tile - stone - pavers - brick

Regarding sealing:

The recommended sealers and effects will be the same as you see on the Mexican tile page.  You can see them here.

An Aldon sealer does far more than just bead water and look pretty! To see what that is click here.

(Important: If your project has had any sealer applied in the past, it must be evaluated differently. To see why, Click here!)


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Other care products you might need for this surface type

clean, protect, seal tile - stone - pavers - brick
clean, protect, seal tile - stone - pavers - brick
clean, protect, seal tile - stone - pavers - brick
Dust Whiz

    clean, protect, seal tile - stone - pavers - brick * Note: Lifeguard will add another level of gloss to any of the above sealed surfaces.
It also prevents traffic wear to the sealers finish.

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