This customer who lives in Eaton near Congleton had a new barn conversion built with a 120 sq. meters of polished Travertine floor tiles. Unfortunately, he was unable to appreciate the beauty of the floor due to builder’s walking all over them for a few weeks without any protection. With dirt being trodden into the tile they were now in need of a deep clean and polish to bring back the shine and restore the real beauty of the tiles.
Cleaning and Burnishing Polished Travertine Tiles
After giving the floors a good brush to remove grit etc. the next stage was to apply a set of tile doctor diamond encrusted burnishing pads to take off the ingrained dirt and restore shine to the tiles.
The first pad was a coarse 400 grit which fits onto a rotary machine with water spread on the floor as lubrication. The pads literally scratch off the dirt and the resultant slurry is then removed with a wet vacuum. The floor is then washed and the process was repeated with the next two pads which are 800 and 1500 grit. These pads are much finer and restore the finish of the stone, again the floor is rinsed in between each pad to remove the slurry each time.
The floor is then left to dry off overnight which is much quicker when underfloor heating has been installed.
Sealing a Travertine Tiled Entrance Hall
When I came back the next day I finished off the burnishing process using the last floor pad which is applied dry to the floor with a few squirts of water. This final pad is 3000 grit which is super fine and builds up a high gloss shine on the Travertine.
To finish off the process I then sealed the floor using a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that soaks into the Travertine occupying the pores and preventing dirt from becoming ingrained into the stone. Colour Grow also enhances the natural colours in the stone and in this case, it did a great job of bringing out the brown shades in the Travertine.
The customer was over the moon with the finish and asked if I would come back in three weeks to buff the whole floor to a high shine ready for a party that evening.
This Travertine Tiled kitchen floor was in a farmhouse close to the village of Newnham near Daventry. The client had called us in because she was concerned that her floor was becoming increasingly difficult to keep clean which was due to the small holes and pits becoming ingrained with soil and it was becoming difficult to remove as the original sealant had worn off.
Hopefully you can see from the pictures the results that can be achieved on a badly stained and pitted Travertine floor. The first photo below shows the extent of the problem due to many holes in the floor, this is a characteristic of Travertine and normally these holes are filled in the factory but the filler does come out over time leaving holes.
Cleaning a Pitted Travertine Tiled Floor
The floor was cleaned using a combination of Tile Doctor Burnishing Pads to re-surface the tile and the application of Tile Doctor Grout Pro-Clean agitated with a stiff brush to clean out embedded soil in the pits and grout lines. The Burnishing pads fit a rotary floor polishing machine and come in a series of different grits which are applied from Coarse through Medium and then Fine and lubricated with a little water.
I also carried out some repairs to the larger holes with a travertine filler that was mixed to match the existing colours. The second picture shows the repairs in progress, the filler is mixed and applied before leaving an hour and then polishing off any excess filler with dry cloth, the floor was then vacuumed and allowed to fully dry overnight allowing the product to harden.
Sealing a Travertine Tiled Floor
The floor was polished and sealed the following day using 2 coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal sealant to protect the grout lines and stone from any staining in future, it leaves a no-sheen natural look which worked very well in the kitchen area.
I waited a for the sealant to dry and then carried out a water repellency test to check it was fully sealed before giving the floor a final polish using a Tile Doctor Polishing Pad.
I was asked to clean and reseal this Honed Travertine flooring in Kensington, London which ran through the ground floor area and to a small area in the basement. The floor had been laid nine years prior and had only had regular washing by the housekeeper and was now overdue a deep clean and re-seal..
Deep Cleaning Travertine Tiles
It was a large area so it was necessary to work in sections which had the added complication of having to move the customer’s furniture around.
With each area I scrubbed the floor with a rotary machine fitted with a medium brush head and a hot 3:1 dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. I scrubbed it in and left it for 10 minutes before scrubbing again then vacuumed it away with a wet vac. I then checked all the grout lines were clean in case the brush head had missed any.
Next I fitted a pad holder to the rotary machine and using a medium grade burnishing pad scrubbed the area again, I then followed this up with the fine grade pad to build a nice sheen on the stone to match the customers’ requirements.
During the cleaning process it became evident that some of the Travertine tiles had holes in them, it’s possible they had been this way when supplied but it’s also possible that they had been worn through by the use of an acidic cleaning solution. so after once the tiles were cleaned and polished I filled in the holes with a matching filler.
Sealing Travertine Floor Tiles
The next step was to seal the Travertine to protect it from future staining and for this I used Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing impregnating sealer that occupies the pores in the stone. In total I had to use three coats on sealer on the stone due to its porosity. I finally buffed the floor using a white soft buffing pad; this was to take off any seal left sitting on the surface of the stone and helps to work it in.
In total it took four days to do this job and the customer was really happy with the result and left a very nice testimonial on the Tile Doctor website.