Renovating Grade A Tumbled Travertine Tiles in Ripon, Yorkshire

My client gave Tile Doctor a call to discuss their hallway floor which was in a poor state, they thought the tiles were Travertine but weren’t 100% sure as it was installed before they acquired the property. I arranged a time to do a site survey to see what we could do for them.

The property was in Ripon which is a lovely Yorkshire cathedral city just North of Harrogate. I took a look at the floor and confirmed the tiles were indeed Travertine, in fact I identified it as Bullnose Grade A Tumbled Travertine which is a premium product and well worth renovating. Travertine is a natural stone material that has unique features and colouring that no other stone can offer. The distinctive design and natural patterns found within the stone make it very popular as a flooring material and is often used as bathroom wall tiles too. Travertine’s durability makes it ideal for all manner of projects and it is often used externally.

Like any stone floor it’s important to maintain the sealer if you want it to look its best and from what I could see the sealer had now failed and was letting dirt get into the pores of the Travertine making it very difficult to keep clean. The owners also had two dogs which may have contributed to the wear and tear. I discussed with them the prognosis and we agreed a quote for completing the work to renovate the tile and grout.

Tumbled Travertine Ripon Before Cleaning Tumbled Travertine Ripon Before Cleaning

Cleaning Tumbled Travertine Floor Tiles in Ripon

I arrived the following week and started by protecting the skirting boards etc. with tape to protect them from splashing during the cleaning process. Once that was done I started burnishing the Travertine with a set of diamond burnishing pads which are run over the floor with water to remove dirt, old sealers and restore the polished appearance of the stone. Using a rotary floor machine, you start with the coarse 400-grit pad before moving onto the 800 and 1500 grit pads rinsing the floor in between each pad to remove the slurry that is generated.

My next task was to tackle the cream coloured grout which had become dark with dirt. To do this I used a cleaning product called Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a concentrated, multi-purpose high-alkaline cleaner that’s particularly good on heavily soiled and neglected grout. You dilute it into different strengths depending on the nature of the problem and it works best when left to dwell and soak in for about ten minutes first. I scrubbed all the grout lines by hand with a scrubbing brush to get them really clean and then rinsed with water and removed the slurry with a wet vacuum.

Finally, the cleaning process was completed using the last of the four burnishing pads which is a 3000-grit polishing pad which is applied dry with only a little water sprayed on the tile.

Tumbled Travertine Ripon During Cleaning

Given the size of the floor I had to work in sections and the photograph above shows the difference in the tile and grout between two of the sections. Once done the floor was left overnight to completely dry out, the warm weather made this a quick process.

Sealing a Tumbled Travertine Floor in Ripon

Returning the following morning, I used my moisture meter to test the moisture levels in the floor. Applying the sealant to a floor that is still damp prevents it from curing. I had selected to use the Tile Doctor Ultra Seal on this job, this is a premium product, which gives a no-sheen, natural-look, penetrating sealer made to provide maximum stain protection. You can also use it as a pre-grouting sealer. The customer didn’t want the floor to be shiny, so this was the perfect product for them.

The customers were really satisfied with the massive transformation in the floor returning the floor to almost new. They were so pleased that the floor didn’t look tired any longer and it would now be able to withstand the traffic of their two dogs. The floor would be much easier for them to clean and maintain.

Tumbled Travertine Ripon After Cleaning Tumbled Travertine Ripon After Cleaning

 

Source: Travertine Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in Ripon, Yorkshire

UV Stained Bullnose Travertine Tiles Renovated in North Yorkshire

The photos below show a beautiful Bullnose Travertine tiled kitchen floor at a property in Pateley Bridge which needed professional attention as a consequence of being protected by a cheap and ineffectual sealer.

The problem was that sealer that had been applied did not provide resistance to UV rays, and the exposure to the sunlight had turned the Travertine tiles an unnatural yellow colour. Over time the sealer had gradually worn away in the busiest areas, so it was less noticeable but of course without the protection of the sealer the stone then became exposed to ingrained dirt and stains.

Bullnose Travertine Before Cleaning Patley Bridge Bullnose Travertine Before Cleaning Patley Bridge

I took some pictures however they don’t really show the problems that well but needless to say, the property owner was very keen to have the situation rectified – which of course is where I came in. I travelled to Pateley Bridge, a small market town in Nidderdale in the Borough of Harrogate, North Yorkshire.

What is a ‘Bullnose’ tile, you say? Well, it simply refers to the trim of the tile. While traditional tiles will have a straight edge, a Bullnose tile will have a slightly rounded or curved edge.

Cleaning Yellow Stained Travertine Tiles

To begin the restoration, I deep cleaned the tiles mechanically using Tile Doctor diamond burnishing pads starting with a coarse grit. These pads served the purpose of grinding away the very top damaged layer of the stone, effectively removing the yellow staining, grease marks and any old sealer. You use a little water to help lubricate the process and this soon becomes soiled and needs to be rinsed away and removed after each pad is applied.

Next, I cleaned all of the stained grout lines by hand. I did this using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a reliable, alkaline-based cleaner for use on both natural stone tiles and grout. I mixed the Pro Clean into a solution of one part cleaner to three parts fresh water and worked it in by hand using a stiff brush along the grout lines. Once done the now dirty cleaning solution was rinsed off the floor and extracted leaving the grout fresh and clean.

Bullnose Travertine During Cleaning Patley Bridge

To finish the cleaning process, I polished the floor with a 3000 grit (very fine) burnishing pad to leave the tiles with a silky satin finish. This pad is applied mechanically with a little water in a technique we often call a spray burnish.

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor

Once the floor was dry it needed protecting to ensure that dirt could no longer penetrate the pores of the stone. So to guarantee that this wonderful satin finish would last, I sealed the tiles with two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal.

Ultra-Seal is Tile Doctor’s premium impregnating sealer which is formulated to provide maximum stain protection, especially in food preparation and serving areas such as the kitchen.

Bullnose Travertine After Cleaning Patley Bridge Bullnose Travertine After Cleaning Patley Bridge

The photos above show the outcome of the restoration, I appreciate my photograph skills are not the best but hopefully you can notice how much healthier the stone looks now, compared to the yellow, sickly appearance of the stone before.
 
 
Source: Travertine Tile Cleaning and Renovation Service in North Yorkshire

Restoring a Luxury but Leaking Travertine Wet Room in North Yorkshire

Travertine is a distinct and highly aesthetic material which offers unique characteristics and colouring that not many other types of stone can offer. It looks great when used on tiled floors and in this case shower cubicles however like any natural stone it does need maintenance.

Travertine WetRoom Harrogate Before Cleaning

A good example of this point was this Travertine wet room in Harrogate, which comprised of large format Travertine tiles on the floor and Travertine mosaic tiles on the walls. It was in poor condition and to make things worse had been leaking for years. A local plumber had tried to resolve the leak, but to no avail. At this point, the property owner was desperately searching for a solution, and decided to contact me to see what could be done both to restore the appearance of the wet room and fix the leakage.

Travertine WetRoom Harrogate Before Cleaning

Cleaning a Travertine Tiled Wet Room

On first inspection of the wet room, l couldn’t see any obvious problems that might be causing the leak, however the white silicon did look a bit questionable and had already decided that would need replacing. To start I turned my attention to cleaning the whole shower cubicle, including the tile and grout.

I did this by applying Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a high alkaline cleaner, to remove the mould, soap scum and dyes caused by daily exposure to acidic soap and shampoos. These issues can build up exceptionally quickly if care is not taken to regularly rinse down the shower after each use.

During this process, I noticed grout haze had been left on the surface of the tiles following installation and so treated the problem with Tile Doctor Acid Gel, which is a blend of hydrochloric and phosphoric acid in gel form. Being a gel, this product works particularly well on vertical surfaces because it is easier to control.

The next step was to resolve the leakage problem, starting by removing all the old and unattractive white silicon. When l removed the silicon, I could see that it was black with mould at the back. It was clear to me then that water was getting behind it and this was the cause of the leak. Also, this revealed a 2-3mm gap between the wall and the base of the shower. The gap was damp and mould had collected there, so this needed to be scraped out manually and the gap dried with a heat gun. Finally, l filled the gap with grout to seal it and left the wet room to dry overnight.

Travertine WetRoom Harrogate Before Cleaning

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Wet Room

The next day, I returned to the property and sealed the grout with Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal. This is a premium, natural-look, penetrating sealer formulated to provide maximum stain protection and allow moisture vapour transmission. To finish the restoration, I applied fresh, clear silicon around the base.

Travertine WetRoom Harrogate After Cleaning

In my opinion, white silicon should never have been used with stone, as clear silicon is far more suitable and more pleasing to the eye. Certainly, my customer agreed – and she was very pleased with the result and no more leak.

Travertine WetRoom Harrogate After Cleaning

 
 
Source: Travertine Cleaning and Sealing Service in North Yorkshire