Treatment and maintenance of cotto

The surface of cotto is not finished until it has been properly treated and protected. For certain types of cotto, this treatment is applied before the materialleaves the factory, and the tile is supplied as a finished product. All other cotto products are untreated, and the operation of treating
and protecting the surface is done on site. This is essential indoors, whereas outdoors it is not necessary and even inadvisable, as it robs the material of its natural breathability and prevents potentially damaging moisture trapped under the floor from evaporating freely.

“Treatment” is an exact processinvolving certain distinct steps: 
The first two steps are carried out generally by the flooring contractors, once only, whereas the third is a simple operation repeated periodically by the user throughout the life of the cotto surface, and will serve also to keep the floor clean.


This operation is fundamentally important to the success of the following treatment step

Must not be carried out until the bo nding interface has dried (20-30 days are needed typically for cement mortar, and 10-15 days for tile adhesive, depending on weather and seasonal conditions.

1) Wet the floor with water and wash down, then proceed to rub the surface
with a Buffered Acid for a few minutes. Be sure to remove all traces of lime,
cement or adhesive from the tiles.
2) Rinse the surface thoroughly (until the water runs off clean), and before the
floor has time to dry after being cleaned with acid.

Treatment is carried out
on the floor when dry*

The floor will need between 3 and 10 days to dry after being washed,
depending on the season, the type of cotto and the method of installation.
There are many types of treatment, and no lack of good proprietary products
available, traditional and modern alike.

Traditional treatment using paste wax:
1) Using a sponge or flat brush, spread a first coat of wax (liquid consistency, serving to impregnate and level the tile surface)
2) Wait 24 hours, then apply a more creamy coat of wax, this time working-in with a brush to ensure the product is absorbed by the tiles.
3) Wait 48 hours, then apply a second creamy coat of wax.

Treatment using liquid waxes: the procedure is much simpler than with
traditional paste waxes. Liquid waxes are self-levelling and self-polishing
water emulsions applied in successive coats with a brush or rag.

(the room should be well aired during these operations, even in winter, so that moisture can evaporate more easily)



For normal cleaning purposes, use neutral detergents or simply wash with clean water.

The floor will now need no further treatment, but it can be freshened up
periodically, depending on the level of wear and tear, with a proprietary liquid wax available from stores everywhere. 

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