How To Fix & Seal Hand Made Terracotta

Terracotta is a natural product, so you can expect it will have colour tone variation, minor structural deficiencies such as pitting, and other marks all of which make each terracotta floor unique.

Terracotta will arrive in its natural form, which can be much paler than the sealed finish, this is due to the sealing process.
There are other ways in which you can seal terracotta please visit LTP to see other options, this guide covers the traditional way of sealing terracotta.

Teatree Handmade 20x20-left unsealed, right sealed with LTP Boiled linseed oil & Antique wax

Teatree Handmade 20×20-left unsealed, right sealed with LTP Boiled linseed oil & Antique wax

The process of laying terracotta begins with spreading out your adhesive on your primed concrete or timber floor using a notched trowel, make sure to spread out the adhesive evenly and at the same thickness. Always work in manageable areas.

Then lay the terracotta into the adhesive, be careful not to get any adhesive on the top surface of the terracotta. Allow for a 5-10mm grout joint.
Leave the adhesive to set as per the manufactures instructions.

Once the adhesive has set, apply one even coat of LTP Boiled Linseed Oil and leave for at least 4 hours before applying the second coat. (remove any excess that is on the tile after 1 hour). Apply Boiled Linseed Oil until the terracotta is fully saturated.
Allow 24 hours for the final coat to cure.

Once the final coat has hardened apply a coat of LTP Antique Wax, leave for 20-30 minutes and the buff to a shine with a stiff brush or buffing machine.

After the wax has be buffed apply the grout in with a grout float, leave for the recommended time and sponge off the residues.
Once dry, dust of any remaining residues and then apply another coat of LTP Antique wax and leave to dry overnight.

For additional protection and to give the terracotta a shine, apply 2-3 coats of LTP Ironwax Gloss.

For more information please follow our video guide.

Please note that this information is offered as general guidance only and without guarantee. Your specific circumstances may need an alternative approach. In case of doubt, any process should be tried out in an inconspicuous area before general application.

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How do I clean my external paving?

Patio’s can give that refined and uniform look to a garden area, a clean cut from grass to stone, and when newly laid they look fantastic.

olive-limestone

If you had them laid before the winter months however they probably won’t look the same now as they once did. With the amount of rain that we have had over the last few months, the probability is that you will have some form of green growth on the tiles.

This green growth is a mix of Algae, moss and lichen which builds up on the tiles, normally more common in areas of higher rainfall, as this is the perfect place for algae to grow, high rainfall and with areas for the algae to cling to.

However this isn’t the end of your patio, as this can be easily fixed with the correct tools.

Cleaning Patios With LTP Mouldex

Firstly you will want to brush the stone with a stiff bristle deck brush to remove any leaves, dirt or debris from the surface of the stone.

Making sure the area is now free of loose debris, pour LTP Mouldex direct on to the stone and spread out over the area with a brush or sponge. (Garden sprayers can be used)

Black limestone with LTP mouldex applied on it with a sponge.

Leave for a minimum of one hour, then add a little water and agitate with a emulsifying pad or stiff deck brush to help loosen algae, dirt and grime.

After a minimum of 1 hour, agitate with emulsifying pad.

After a minimum of 1 hour, agitate with emulsifying pad.

Rinse thoroughly with water. Garden hoses and jet washes can be used. Be careful though as jet washes force water at the surface at high pressures and can cause damage to some stones.
Some stubborn stains and black spot will require longer treatment, in which case apply and leave overnight.

Rinse well with plenty of water

Rinse well with plenty of water

Once fully dry, (normally 24 hours) we recommend sealing with LTP Mattstone H20, this will prevent moisture and organic molecules from absorbing into the surface.

Black Limestone once cleaned and sealed

Black Limestone once cleaned and sealed

LTP Mouldex is a highly effective HSE registered product which has been developed to Help restore natural stone and paving to its original colour.

Grey Limestone with LTP moudlex.

Grey Limestone with LTP moudlex.

KILLS & REMOVES:

  • Algae
  • Black Spot
  • Mildew
  • Mould
  • Lichen
  • Fungus
  • Pollution
  • Pollen stains

Anti-bacterial action helps prevent re-growth.

Suitable for use on all external stones and concrete paving.

Simple to use….apply and leave….scrub and rinse.

The fast acting formula will restore external paving and help prevent re growth.

Protecting stone surfaces after treatment with LTP Mattstone H20 will further reduce the possibility of black spot and mould spores from returning. It will also help prevent deep staining from falling organic matter and make any future cleaning much easier.

Grey Limestone After cleaning and sealing.

Grey Limestone After cleaning and sealing.

One 5ltr can will treat up to 50 sq.m deepending upon the extent of soiling.

LTP Mouldex 5ltr only £39.54 Inc VAT.  (click here to buy or find your nearest stockist)

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For further information on the application of LTP Mouldex watch the video below.

Please note that this information is offered as general guidance only and without guarantee. Your specific circumstances may need an alternative approach. In case of doubt, any process should be tried out in an inconspicuous area before general application.

The Devon County & Dunster Show 2016

With the temperatures still so low Spring & Summer seems a long way off, but we have already booked trade stands at two shows for this year, fingers crossed for good weather!

Mid May sees us at The Devon County Show for the first time http://www.devoncountyshow.co.uk  19th, 20th & Saturday 21st May so come and see us at Devons premier show on Avenue C.

Andy Thorne our Senior Salesman will be there on the stand to answer questions and give advice about tiles, along with various stands showing just some of our ranges and options available, including underfloor heating systems.
Andy will be joined on the stand by our sister company LTP. Experts in Cleaning, Sealing and Aftercare Solutions for all types of polished and unpolished  natural and artificial stone, paving, porcelain and ceramics.

Stoneshow

LTP Stand at the ExCeL London 2015

James Doody the newly appointed representative for the area will be attending on all 3 days.

 

Honiton ShowHoniton Show1

 

 

Our stand at the Honiton show last year.

 

 

 

Later in the year we will be attending The Dunster Show http://www.thedunstershow.co.uk  on Friday 19th August where last year our display of Terracotta and other domestic tiles generated a lot of interest with members of the public, watch this space for further details of both shows as they become available.

 

The Pictures show the lovely weather we had at last years Dunster Show something to look forward to later in the year.

Dunster Show 2015

Understanding Slate

Brazilian Black Slate

Brazilian Black Slate

In our showroom in wellington, somerset. We have noticed an increase in customers wanting to know the ins and outs of slate and the process in how they are made and what the different finishes before being sealed really mean.

We are finding that the most popular slate at the moment is Brazilian.

Available in grey/greenish and black often used for Wet-Rooms both on the wall and floorDSC_1075 and available from stock in sizes of 900×900, 900×600, 600×600 and 300×300 though other sizes are avalible to order.

Slate

Slate is a fine-grained, foliated, homogeneous metamorphic rock.  Foliation is caused by strong compression causing fine grained clay flakes to regrow in planes perpendicular to the compression. When expertly “cut” by striking parallel to the foliation, with a specialized tool in the quarry, many slates will form smooth flat sheets of stone which have long been used for roofing and floor tiles and other purposes.

Because slate was formed in low heat and pressure, compared to a number of other metamorphic rocks, some fossils can be found in slate, sometimes even microscopic remains of delicate organisms.

Slate that comes from the UK, China, Spain or Canada are produced by metamorphism. These seams can contain twists produced by geological activity.

Brazilian slate is actually a sedimentary rock or mudstone, with significantly different properties. It cleaves very cleanly, and all rock deposits are naturally very flat. This gives a very consistent appearance.

Slate can be Hand split or calibrated,  Honed or Riven.

Honed slate is when the surface of the slate has been ground to a smooth, flat, consistent surface. It also means, in the case of normally shiny stones such as granite or marble, that the polish or shine has been removed leaving a matte (unpolished) surface.

Riven Slate is a natural cleft face of stone, achieved by splitting blocks of stone along natural laminations, formed by strong compression of fine grains forced to grow perpendicular to the compression. Here is a link to a video to see hand splitting being done. Hand Splitting slate.

Calibrated slate is machined on the underside to give a consistent thickness making it uniform in depth.

We recommend cleaning, sealing and maintaining with LTP Products, and the link here will help you identify what surface you have, what finish you would like to achieve and what sealers you will need.

Different methods of sealing can achieve different looks.

honed_brazilian_grey_slate_600x300_x_10-01-70265120302

Cleaning tips for slate wall and floor tiles

When is sealing or deep cleaning required?

  • As an important stage in the installation process of wall and floor tiles.
  • Where poorly maintained slate floors need a top up seal.
  • When restoring slate wall or floor tiles.
  • For routine cleaning of unsealed external patios and paved areas.

Why would newly installed wall or floor tiles require intensive cleaning?

Keeping slate wall and floor tiles scrupulously clean before and during the fixing process, is vitally important.

Intensive cleaning of slate floors and walls before application of the correct protective sealing product will make sure the result does not disappoint. Installing slate flooring and worktops by nature creates grit, dirt and adhesive residues. Ensuring that a vacuum is used (being careful not to scratch the surface) to remove loose dirt from your new slate floor or worktop will not address stains and residue marks.

Simply washing slate flooring in water will not be effective in removing ingrained marks or adhesive. Using standard household cleaning products that often contain bleach is likely to damage the surface of your newly installed natural stone floor or wall. You should make sure that the correct cleaning product is used for the slate being installed. Need more information about surfaces? Visit our identify your surface selector.

Sealing of slate guide can be downloaded here: LTP application guide.

Please note that this information is offered as general guidance only and without guarantee. Your specific circumstances may need an alternative approach. In case of doubt, any process should be tried out in an inconspicuous area before general application.

 

Understanding Natural Stone

LIMESTONE, MARBLE AND TRAVERTINE.

In our showroom in wellington, somerset. We have noticed an increase in customers wanting to know the ins and outs of these natural stones and the process in how they are made and what the different finishes before being sealed really mean.

Limestone

Olive Flagstone

Olive Limestone Flagstone

Limestone is a sedimentary rock formed largely of the minerals calcite and aragonite and the consolidation of sediments, and other organic matter. Each limestone exhibits its own characteristic colours and markings, and can vary in density. Some limestones also have a similar appearance to marble and can often lead to mis-classification.

Some degree of edge chipping should be expected along with occasional surface pitting, fossilized shells, fissures, mineral striations and resin fill.

Limestone is an acid-sensitive material and so care should be taken to use the correct products when cleaning.

Marble 

Marble

Marble is defined as Limestone which has been subjected to metamorphism.

When limestone is exposed to high temperatures and pressures, Marble forms under such conditions because the calcite forming the limestone recrystallises forming a denser rock consisting of roughly equigranular calcite crystals.

This process leads to a dense, closed surface although some material may have slight open veining or surface pitting. Marble is a very dense stone that readily lends itself to a polish but is also available in Honed and tumbled finishes.

Travertine 

 

 

Travertine It is formed by a process of rapid precipitation of calcium carbonate, often at the mouth of a hot spring or in a limestone cave. In the latter, it can form stalactites, stalagmites, and other speleothems. It is frequently used in Italy and elsewhere as a building material.

After cutting the travertine is either filled with a colour matched filler or resin, or left unfilled and form voids.

Generally voids are only left unfilled in tumbled or brushed finished, where these voids are filled during the grouting process. Although filling the voids gives a smoother surface, through general usage some small areas of fill may dislodge or previously unexposed holes may become visible. This is not unusual and the holes should be re-filled with a suitable filler or grout.

There are three grades of Travertine, so keep this in mind when buying online.

Grade 1 or Premium Grade, Grade 2 or Standard and Grade 3 or commercial.

For more information on this see this post.

Travertine tiles may requite additional adhesive to be applied to the rear of the tile in order to fill any larger voids.

Limestone, Marble and Travertine are all porous and require sealing. Different methods of sealing can achieve different looks.

We recommend cleaning, sealing and maintaining with LTP Products, and the link here will help you identify what surface you have, what finish you would like to achieve and what sealers you will need.

Cleaning tips for natural stone wall and floor tiles

When is intensive stone or deep cleaning required?

  • As an important stage in the installation process of wall and floor tiles.
  • Where poorly maintained natural stone floor tiles need a top up seal.
  • When restoring natural stone wall or floor tiles.
  • For routine cleaning of unsealed external patios and paved areas.

Why would newly installed wall or floor tiles require intensive cleaning?

Keeping natural stone wall and floor tiles scrupulously clean before and during the fixing process, is vitally important.

Intensive cleaning of stone floors and walls before application of the correct protective sealing product will make sure the result does not disappoint. Installing stone flooring and worktops by nature creates grit, dirt and adhesive residues. Ensuring that a vacuum is used (being careful not to scratch the surface) to remove loose dirt from your new stone floor or worktop will not address stains and residue marks.

Simply washing stone flooring in water will not be effective in removing ingrained marks or adhesive. Using standard household cleaning products that often contain bleach is likely to damage the surface of your newly installed natural stone floor or wall. You should make sure that the correct cleaning product is used for the natural stone material being installed. Need more information about surfaces? Visit our identify your surface selector.

Sealing of Natural Stone guide can be downloaded here: LTP application guide.

Sealing of polished Natural stone can be downloaded here: LTP application guide.

The different finishes available as described above are explained in more detail here;

Honed- A smooth but not polished finish to the face of the stone, edges are either straight or bevelled which gives a contemporary yet classic look. Formed by the surface of the stone being ground to a smooth, flat, consistent surface.  For normally shiny stones such as granite or marble, the polish or shine has been removed leaving a matte (unpolished) surface.

Polished- A highly reflective, gloss finish to the surface of the stone with either straight or bevelled edges. Formed when honed limestone is further worked by polishing pads to create a reflective, glass like sheen.

Tumbled- A method of ageing stone, in which the tiles are “tumbled” to give them a rounded, antique edge-finish. On certain stones this may also leave the surface more open and slightly textured.

Brushed- A method of finishing stone which gives a slight surface texture and can give a subtle softened edge. The effect of brushing and the edge finish can differ depending on the type of stone. Created by working the surface to a patina that softly texturises the stone.

Please note that this information is offered as general guidance only and without guarantee. Your specific circumstances may need an alternative approach. In case of doubt, any process should be tried out in an inconspicuous area before general application.