Close-up photo below of a Travertine tiled floor installed in a house in the former mill town of Blackburn where simply put the polished appearance had worn off and was now looking dull and unappealing.
I popped round to the house to take a look and could see that the tiles would need to be burnished to restore the polished appearance. To demonstrate the difference this would make I polished one of the tiles using the Tile Doctor burnishing pad system which consists of the application of four 17 inch diamond encrusted pads applied in sequence from coarse to very fine with a rotary buffer. The customer was amazed at the difference and we agreed a date to come in and complete the whole floor in time for the Christmas holidays.
Stripping and Re-Polishing Travertine
On my return I repeated the burnishing process across the entire floor starting with the 400 Grit Coarse Red No.1 Burnishing Pad which strips off old sealers and dirt from the tile. You use a little water to help lubricate and once complete it’s necessary to rinse the area with water to remove the soil that is generated. The next step is to start building back the polish with the 800 and then 1500 grit pads which are applied in the same manner.
The floor was then rinsed again with water and I turned my attention to the grout which was scrubbed by hand using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and a stiff brush. The floor was given another rinse and then inspected to ensure I hadn’t missed anything. Before leaving for the day I used the wet vacuum to extract as much moisture from the floor as possible.
At this point the customer commented that the floor looked amazing and that the floor never looked this good, even after it was first installed.
Sealing Travertine Floor Tiles
On the second days we used the 4th burnishing pad which is a 3000 grit pad to burnish and polish the surface until it came up looking gorgeous and glossy. With this pad you simply spray a little water on the floor during the polishing process, something we call a spray burnish.
The last step was to seal the tiles using a single coat of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal which was applied and then buffed in with a white pad to remove any excess. Ultra-Seal is a premium, no-sheen, natural-look, penetrating sealer formulated to provide maximum stain protection.
The customer was really pleased with the difference we had made to the floor and before leaving we advised the customer of the best way to maintain the floor using neutral PH cleaners and to avoid strong cleaning products which can erode the life of the sealer prematurely.
Details below of another Travertine tiled floor that we re-furbished recently in the kitchen of a house in Lutterworth which is a market town located in southern Leicestershire. The floor was looking dull and flat and the colours had become washed out, it now needed burnishing to strip off the dirt and bring back the polish; another problem were the natural holes which you find in Travertine had not been filled and were now trapping dirt and proving difficult to clean.
Filling Holes in Travertine
To deal with the ingrained dirt and to remove any surface coatings the floor was cleaned with a dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go, this is quite a strong product normally reserved from stripping sealers and other coatings but it’s also an effective cleaning product so to save time I decided to use this first giving the floor a thorough wash down and rinse afterwards. The grout was also given a thorough scrub during this activity and once that was done the soiled waster extracted the floor was inspected and the holes in the travertine filled using a special Travertine filler product.
Burnishing Travertine Tiles
The next step was to burnishing the entire floor using a set of burnishing pads which strip back any surface dirt from the stone using a coarse diamond encrusted burnishing pad and then building up the finish with a medium, fine and super fine pad until you have restored the polish and appearance. This process blends the Travertine filler added earlier into the stone so it’s impossible to tell the holes had been filled; I should mention you need to use little water which is used to lubricate the process and in-between each pad the resultant slurry is rinsed away. Once this is done the floor is given a thorough rinse which is then extracted and then left to dry overnight.
Sealing Travertine Floor Tiles
On our return the floor was checked to ensure it had dried out using a damp meter in a few different spots. The floor was dry so it was sealed using a tow coats to Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that gets into the pores of the stone to prevent dirt from becoming ingrained there; Colour Grow also enhances the colours in the stone and this works well on Travertine as it brings out the brown colours.
This job was a Travertine tiled Kitchen floor in West Disbury, the customer ask me to have a look at the tiles which had been down for three years and had quite a lot of cracks in, on top of that it had not been sealed very well when it had been laid which had allowed dirt to become ingrained into the tile leaving it looking dull.
Maintaining Travertine Tiles
The first job was to wash the floor down to remove any grit from the floor and then remove what remained of the old sealer, now with Travertine being a very hard stone it has to be removed using of a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pads fitted to a rotary machine. Once this was done all the cracks in the Travertine were filled in using a flexible grout which was a blend of three different grout colours in order to get a shade that matched the colour of the travertine. The tiled area was quite confined and tricky to work in so this process including the sealer removal took two days in all.
Polishing and Sealing Travertine Tile
On the third day I used the fine burnishing pad to give the final polish and then to protect the floor from stains it was sealed with two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing sealer that brings out the colours in natural stone. Once the sealer was dry it was buffed using a white buffing pad to make sure that I hadn’t left any residues from the seal.
The customer was very pleased with the finish and found it very hard to spot the cracks I had filled.