need to varnish ancient earthen floor tiles


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Old 04-23-21, 02:06 AM
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need to varnish ancient earthen floor tiles

Hello, I have a 50-year-old tile floor. I guess it is some kind of baked earthen tiles.
Can you tell from the pictures what they are? This is in Spain where a lot of old floors are made of this material.

I would like to varnish the damaged areas you see in the photo. Rain water had seeped into the house and sat there for a long time when the house was vacant. It's totally dry now but the varnish is gone.

What should I do? I mean vanish alone is enough or preperation is necessary?

Many thanks in advance.




What the non-damaged tiles look like. They have a glossy sheen.

Some of the damaged area also still has speckles of the old varnish.

 
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Old 04-23-21, 02:40 AM
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That looks like terracotta tile.
I've applied poly to new terracotta before but never to anything in that shape. Wetting the tile with water and while the tile is wer would give you an idea of how it will look with just a coat of poly/varnish.
I'd suggest going to a local flooring shop and get their input.
 
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Old 04-23-21, 05:17 AM
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Yes, preparation is needed. How much you do will depend on how much work you want to invest. Removing all of the old would be the best and allow your new poly to have the best appearance. Or, you can remove the finish from the damaged high traffic area and coat with new poly but you might notice the transition between the new and old.
 
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Old 04-23-21, 05:45 AM
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I'm not an expert on the subject but I think you would want to use a non-fired ceramic glaze... not a polyurethane. And it wont likely match because I'm pretty sure the original kiln fired glazing was tinted.
 
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Old 04-23-21, 06:05 AM
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Most of the terracotta tiles I was around 30-40 yrs ago came unfinished. Ideally a finish was applied before installation [to make grouting easier] and then another coat after installation. The ones I got involved were installed bare and then I sealed them. Normally we didn't use poly but an oil base sealer that I've long ago forgotten the name of. I had several boxes of terracotta tile given to me so I used them on my dining rm floor and sealed them with poly - it still looked good when I sold the place 5-6 yrs later.
 
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Old 04-23-21, 06:18 AM
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Interesting... Must be the old world way of doing things.

Could it be a tile sealer followed by floor wax? Polyurethane just seems wrong. I stripped a lot of terrazo when I was a kid working at schools, they were always sealed and waxed so that you could always strip and refinish the tile.
 
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Old 04-23-21, 06:28 AM
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I stripped a lot of terrazo when I was a kid working at schools, they were always sealed and waxed so that you could always strip and refinish the tile.
The terrazo I'm familiar with is a continuous [not tiles] product that is applied over concrete. Very durable and never needs anything other than cleaning waxing.
 
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Old 04-23-21, 07:18 AM
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thank you for you to all. I will try to find local info and will report back.
 
 

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