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

Polishing Dull Travertine Floor Tiles in Swansea

This customer from Swansea was unhappy with the look of her Travertine floor tiles and so decided to call in tile doctor after she had seen pictures of other travertine floor tiles on one of our websites and wanted hers to look the same. The natural brown shades of her own Travertine tiles had become very dark and were looking dull and lifeless in comparison.

It was clear to me that the Sealer was wearing thin with use and dirt had now penetrated the pores of the stone making it difficult to clean effectively. This is a common problem with stone floors and this is why Tile Doctor offer a maintenance service where we pop round once a year to top-up the sealer on your floor.

Travertine Floor Swansea Before Cleaning Travertine Floor Swansea Before Cleaning

Stripping and Re-Polishing Travertine

To restore the polished appearance of the floor the stone would need to be stripped of any remaining sealer and dirt, re-polished and then sealed; we find the best way to achieve that is through the application of a set of Diamond encrusted burnishing pads.

I started the burnishing process by fitting a coarse 400 grit no.1 burnishing pad to a floor buffer and running at a slow speed ran the pad across the whole floor. This coarse pad is designed to strip 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.

Sealing Travertine Floor Tiles

On the second day I finished the banishing process with the application of the final of the four pads which is a very fine 3000 grit pad which adds a final polish to the surface leaving it looking shiny. This last pad is applied with a small amount of water spayed onto the tile in a process we call a spray burnish. The use of water is so small the floor remains dry enabling us to apply a sealer shortly afterwards.

There are some beautiful brown shades in Travertine and so to really make them standout I sealed the floor using a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing impregnating sealer that soaks into the pores of the stone protecting it from within. The sealer will also make ongoing cleaning and maintenance easier for the customer.

Travertine Floor Swansea After Cleaning

The customer was very pleased with the result and commented on how clean and deep the shine had come out using the Diamond pad system.

Travertine Floor Swansea After Cleaning

Before leaving I recommended the use of Tile Doctor Stone Soap as an aftercare cleaner, this produce is specially designed for cleaning polished stone, not only does it helps build patina, but it won’t prematurely erode the sealer like many acidic cleaners you find in the supermarket which should really only be used on ceramics and Vinyl tiles.
 
 
Source: Travertine Tile Cleaning and Polishing Service in Swansea

Puting the Polish back on Travertine a Tiled Floor in Blackburn

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.

Travertine Tiled Floor Before Polishing Blackburn

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.

Travertine Tiled Floor During Polishing Blackburn

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.

Travertine Tiled Floor After Polishing Blackburn

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.
 
 
Source: Travertine Tile Cleaning and Polishing Service in South Lancashire