This shower cubicle at a house in the historic market town of Abingdon on Thames was tiled with Travertine which with use had become grubby and the grout darkened. The properties in the road were of a similar age and many bathrooms had been upgraded in recent years to make them more modern. This one was no different having been fitted a few years prior.
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 Travertine make it very popular choice in bathrooms, where it gives a luxury hotel style feel. It does however need to be maintained if you want it keep that luxury appearance and unfortunately due to the English climate and a general lack of adequate ventilation its quite common for them to attract mould and become stained with dyes from soaps and shampoos. The good news is we have a number of tools and products that we can use to restore their appearance, so they look like a new installation.
Deep Cleaning Travertine Shower Tiles
The main problem was the grout which was badly discoloured. To tackle this the Travertine and grout was sprayed with Tile Doctor Duo Clean and then scrubbed in with a hand brush to remove the mould and ground in dirt from the grout, I then rinsed with water. Duo Clean is a fast and effective double action grout cleaner and mould remover. It cleans up grout and can also remove mould and blackspot from the grout and silicone and it is versatile as it suitable for use on plastic and enamel baths and showers and will not cause any damage to them.
To restore the appearance of the stone I set about re-honing the Travertine tiles using six-inch diamond burnishing pads fitted to a hand buffer. The pads are applied in sequence starting with 400-grit, moving onto 800-grit and finishing with 1500-grit. Applied with water which acts as a lubricant, the process deep cleans and tightens the pores in the stone to improve overall appearance. The tiles are rinsed with water after each pad is applied to remove the soil that is generated.
Sealing a Travertine Tiled Shower Room
Another issue was the silicone strip between the wall tiles and the shower tray which was looking very mouldy and black. Using a sharp knife this was removed and replaced with fresh white mould resistant silicone.
Once the shower area was dry the Travertine wall tile and grout were then sealed with a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This adds a preventative barrier over the tile and grout allowing water to easily run down the wall, it also improved the appearance of the stone and enhanced the natural brown colours in the Travertine. The customer was very happy with the shower room, it looked much more inviting and they were surprised that I had managed to restore it to the way it looked when it was originally installed.
Source: Travertine Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Abingdon, Oxfordshire
The photograph below taken at a house in Henley-on-Thames shows a Travertine tiled floor covered with grout haze smears across the surface of the tile. The tiler should of dealt with this after laying the floor however removing grout smears from natural stone is tricky as normally you would use acid but Travertine is very sensitive to acid so I suspect the tiler decided against it in-case the tiles were ruined.
Refurbishing Travertine Tiles
The first step was to give the floor a general wash to remove any grit and to get the grout clean so we started by applying a mild dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was spread over the floor with particular attention paid to getting the solution into the grout lines where it was scrubbed in with a stiff brush. Next we removed any trace of product by using a wet vacuum and rinsing thoroughly with clean water. To remove the grout haze and restore the surface polish the floor needed to be burnished which is done using four diamond encrusted burnishing pads applied in the correct sequence of grits from coarse through to super fine. First using coarse pad number 1 we put some clean water on the floor and using our rotary machine slowly burnished the area making sure that we passed over each tile around four times. The coarse pad cuts into the surface grime of the floor and also removes sealers and in this case the grout haze. The resultant soiled water is rinsed away with clean water which in turn is removed using a wet vacuum. This process is then repeated with the remaining pads to hone and polish the floor, rinsing between each pad until a nice polish is built up on the tile. The floor is then given a final rinse and once we were satisfied that all the slurry had been removed we left the floor to dry.
Cleaning Travertine and Limestone Tiles
I returned the next day to seal the Travertine Tile for which I used two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that will occupy the pores in the stone preventing contaminates getting in there; Colour Grow also brings out the colours in the stone and in this case has done well to bring out the deep brown colours.
The floor now looks 100% better and how it should have looked in the first place. Source: Tile, Stone and Grout Maintenance Service in Oxfordshire
This Travertine tiled floor had been laid in a house in the picturesque village of Brightwell-Cum-Sotwell in south Oxfordshire and the owner had decided it was time to have it properly cleaned and re-sealed.
Cleaning Travertine Floor Tiles
The floor was given a wash with Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner to remove any surface grit and we then filled the small holes, which are quite a common feature of natural travertine, with a matching coloured grout.
This was then followed by the use of the Tile Doctor burnishing system which involves the use of a set of four Burnishing pads fitted to a rotary machine. There are four pads and you start off with a course stripper pad with a little just water and then carry on with the white pad and then the yellow pad until the floor is thoroughly cleaned and any previous sealer removed. Next step was to use Tile Doctor Pro-Clean along the grout lines with a stiff brush to get the grout cleaner.
To bring up the polish on the Travertine tile you then apply the last of the four burnishing pads with gives a final polish.
Sealing Limestone Floor Tiles
To seal the floor and protect it from staining two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow as applied; Colour Grow is a colour enhancing sealer which enhanced the natural colours in the stone. Once dry the last step was to buff the floor to a nice shine with a rotary machine fitted with a white pad..
Source: Travertine Maintenance Specialist in Oxfordshire