Unfinished Travertine Floor Polished and Transformed in East Sussex

Travertine is known on the international market for being very distinctive in character and very durable, making it a very popular choice for tiled flooring in properties worldwide. However, the stone does require regular professional maintenance and polishing to keep it looking it top shape.

I recently visited a nice property in Polegate, a town not too far away from the seaside resort of Eastbourne, in which a large Travertine tiled floor had been recently installed in the lounge and kitchen, but not finished to the standard that the customer had wanted. The customer had visited our website and, upon seeing some of our other work, asked us to finish to a high standard the job the other company had started.

Travertine floor before honing and polishing Polegate Travertine floor before honing and polishing Polegate

Cleaning a Travertine Tiled Floor

The first part of the job involved giving the floor a thorough clean to remove and debris and dirt that had built up since the initial installation. Before beginning we removed the kickboards under the kitchen units and covered the skirting boards and walls with a plastic sheet to protect them during the cleaning process.

The product we used to clean the tiles and grout is known as Tile Doctor Pro Clean, a high alkaline solution that always provides reliable and consistent results when tackling soiled floors. The solution was applied liberally across the floor and left to dwell for a short period before being worked in with a scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine – as well as a specialised grout brush for the grout. We then thoroughly rinsed off the floor using a state of the art truck-mounted pressure washer, resulting a spotless floor.

Next, we addressed the many small porous holes that commonly occur in Travertine due to a natural corrosion process called ‘pitting’. These pitted holes not only spoil the appearance of the tiles, they also act as natural habits for ingrained dirt! It’s important therefore that we filled them with a resin to smoothen the appearance of the floor and protect it against ingrained dirt.

Burnishing and Sealing a Travertine Tiled Floor

Following this, we moved on to a process we know as burnishing, which involves the application of diamond encrusted pads to remove old sealers, smoothen the rough surface of the floor, and hone the stone to provide it with a polished appearance.

Travertine floor during honing and polishing Polegate

We started with a Coarse 400 grit pad to strip away any old sealers and level off the rough surface, before refining this with the Medium 800 grit pad for an initial polish, Fine 1500 grit pad for the second polish, and Very Fine 3000 grit pad for the final polish. Each pad is used with a small amount of water as lubricant.

Finally, we applied Tile Doctor Shine Powder, which is a crystallising powder sealer that ensures a very high shine and a tough, durable finish. This powder is applied directly to the tiles in combination with at least ½ a litre of water and a soft white buffing pad.

Travertine floor after honing and polishing Polegate Travertine floor after honing and polishing Polegate

The customer was ecstatic with the results, being particularly pleased that she got the floor looking the way she originally wanted without significant expense, not to mention stress.
 
 
Source: Travertine Floor Cleaning and Polishing in in East Sussex

Deep Cleaning a Travertine Kitchen Floor in the Cotswolds

Details below of an unusual Travertine tiled kitchen floor in Greet, Gloucestershire where we were asked to restore the appearance of the tiles and leave a natural as opposed to shiny finish. Greet is a lovely little village at the edge of the Cotsworlds and famous for being a short walk to Winchcombe station on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway which is run by volunteers and often has steam trains running on its line.

Travertine Kitchen Floor in Greet Before Cleaning Travertine Kitchen Floor in Greet Before Cleaning

Burnishing a Travertine Tiled Floor

Travertine responds well to burnishing which is an abrasive cleaning method as opposed to chemical. Basically, it involves the application of several different grades of diamond encrusted pad to the stone lubricated with a small amount of water. You run the pad over each tile and then give the floor a quick rinse before moving on to the next pad, I started with the first of the four burnishing pads which is a coarse 400 grit pad that designed to grind away the dirt and old sealer on the surface of the floor.

After applying the first pad, I moved my way through the medium 800 and fine 1500 grit pads to gradually restore the appearance of the Travertine. Normally I would of also applied the fourth pad in the series but if you recall the customer did not wanted a polished appearance so I stopped after the 1500 grit pad.

Travertine Kitchen Floor in Greet During Cleaning

The pads work well on tile but struggle to reach recessed grout so to clean that I applied a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and scrubbed it into the grout lines manually using a stiff grout brush. Once I was happy with the appearance of the grout the soiled cleaning solution was rinsed away with water and extracted using a wet vacuum leaving the floor to dry off overnight.

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Floor

The next day I returned to finish the floor and first task was to run a Tan buffing pad over the floor to ensure the floor was clean and any residue from the diamond pad burnishing had been removed.

Travertine Kitchen Floor in Greet After Cleaning Before Sealing

Once I was happy with the tiles I proceeded to apply two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that protects from within by occupying the pores in the stone so dirt can penetrate and lifts the natural colours in the stone in the process.
I should mention that normally only one coat of Colour Grow is usually required to seal Travertine however on this occasion the stone was quite porous.

Travertine Kitchen Floor in Greet After Cleaning and Sealing Travertine Kitchen Floor in Greet After Cleaning and Sealing

The colours in the Travertine were so much more vibrant after the job was completed and the customer was happy with the result, although personally I would have preferred to have applied the fourth pad to build up the shine however I delivered what the customer had asked for so I was happy with that.
 
 
Source: Travertine Tile Cleaning and Restoration in Gloucestershire