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Problem and Solution:
Wax is difficult to remove, especially from a porous material such as terra cotta. This floor of machine made terra cotta had been waxed, which both protects the tile and reflects a modern sheen. As with most waxes, dirt had become imbedded and created a permanently dirty floor. HartzStone used special, environmentally friendly cleaners to strip the wax, and natural bristle brushes on powerful floor machines to work the cleaners deep into the porous surface. Wastewater was immediately removed before it penetrated the terra cotta. HartzStone craftsmen scrubbed the edges and grout by hand.

Following several rinses with neutralizer and water, the floor was allowed to air dry thoroughly. HartzStone applied a penetrating sealer and allowed it to thoroughly dry, at which point it becomes invisible while facilitating cleaning and protecting the terra cotta from stains.

In order to provide the homeowner with the desired glossy finish, HartzStone applied a second, enhancing sealer that dries with a thin, shiny coating but does not trap dirt as the wax did. Because this terra cotta is a dense, machine manufactured variety, several glossy sealers were tested to determine which one would coat evenly. As it was, several applications were necessary to achieve an even sheen.

Terra Cotta can be hand made: irregular and rustic. Or it can be machine made: smooth and square. When it is machine made, terra cotta can be more dense and heavy. Because of expertise accumulated using a variety of products, HartzStone was able to restore difficult machine manufactured terra cotta and provide the infrequently requested glossy finish without employing the older practice of applying a soft wax that would trap future dirt.


For more information on terra cotta restoration and care, contact us at 203.885.3717.

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