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Problem and Solution:

Some floors have had a hard life. This was once a beautiful floor of French terra cotta with blue and white ceramic tile ac-cents. Because of the French clay and the traditional firing methods used, French terra cotta is slight-ly more dense and harder than the more familiar Mexican or Brazilian tiles. It is more difficult to work on the harder terra cotta, so when soils are ground into the French terra cotta, they are somewhat more difficult to remove. About 6 years ago, another company unsuccessfully attempted to clean the terra cotta, leaving a residue of cleaners and soil in the tiles. The previous cleaning company did not even attempt to clean the grout, which was now mostly black with grungy accumulations. The dirt and stains accumulated over the 25 year life of this floor prompted the homeowner to consider removing the terra cotta and installing a new floor.

HartzStone works with many different types of cleaners from several manufacturers. With the extensive experience gained over a decade of cleaning floors from restaurant kitchens to penthouse powder rooms, HartzStone was able to select a sequence of cleaners and techniques to remove the quarter century of accretions from this difficult terra cotta. HartzStone did not ignore the grout. Using special cleaners for the cement grout and a lot of effort with hand tools, HartzStone craftsmen patiently
scrubbed the grime out of each inch of grout. The ceramic accent tiles could have been damaged by an aggressive approach to cleaning the terra cotta, so HartzStone carefully cleaned the combined terra cotta and glazed ceramic tiles with cleaners that neither scratched the glazed tiles nor artificially smoothed the terra cotta. HartzStone is sensitive to health and environmental concerns when making a choice of floor cleaners for a kitchen. The cleaners used are safe for food preparation, pets and children.

After revealing the inherent beau ty of the clean terra cotta, and repairing the grout in a few places, HartzStone sealed the floor to protect it from future stains and to ease routine cleaning. The beautiful floor of distinctive French terra cotta was preserved for the enjoyment of another generation, at far less than the cost of removing and replacing the floor.

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

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