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Strip stone tile floors

If there is one project that instantly refreshes a home, it's stripping excess wax build up from natural stone tiles and applying a fresh coat of sealer. Over time the build up of wax on stone tiles dulls the finish and looks drab. Simply by stripping and resealing tiles you up the shine and refresh any space.

 

The purpose of stripping a floor is to remove built-up layers of sealer or wax to restore it to its original state, or as close to it as possible. Most commonly, this is done in order to reseal the tiles.

YOU WILL NEED:

Large, stiff bristle scrubbing brush or broom*
Mop
2 large buckets
TFC polish stripper (Tile & Floor Care products are available at Builders)
Rags

*I used a broom - easier on the knees and much faster

 

HERE'S HOW:

How to strip tiles
  • Remove all furniture from the room. This is a great opportunity for you to take upholstered chairs outdoors and give them a good cleaning.
  • Use wide masking tape to cover skirtings and trim, especially metals, to prevent the stripper from damaging the finish.
  • Open doors and windows to let in fresh air and keep the space well ventilated. You will find the TFC range of strippers quite refreshing - no toxic fumes that overpower you.
  • It's better to only strip a small area at a time since it is very important that the stripper does not dry on the floor. Apply a liberal coat of stripper to the area and let this sit for 5 minutes. Bear in mind that the more wax build up, the longer it will take for the stripper to work. It may even be necessary to strip the same area twice if you haven't stripped the floor for a long time.

GOOD TO KNOW
The floor is extremely slippy with the stripper applied, so be very careful to avoid at all costs.

  • Dip the scrubbing brush or stiff broom into a bucket of clean water, tap of excess water and start scrubbing the surface. Keep the surrounding area dry as you work. The stripper goes milky-white as the water neutralises the stripper. You will need to dip and brush a few times.
  • With a fresh bucket of water, use a mop to wipe the area and then wipe clean with a damp rag. At this stage you can check the ensure that the tiles are stripped clean, or repeat the process if necessary. There should be no opaque or whitish areas on the surface of the tiles.

Empty out the bucket and add clean water and then move onto the next area to repeat the process until the entire floor has been stripped. Allow the floor to dry overnight before applying TFC Natural Stone Sealer (matt or satin) in accordance with the instructions.

 

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