Late last year I was called to a property in Stocksbridge, near Sheffield, to survey a Travertine tiled floor which had become dull, grubby and had completely lost its appeal. Over the years the floor had lost its shine, the grout lines were filthy and worse still holes had appeared in the stone which had then filled with dirt making it difficult to clean.
I discussed with the client what we could do to restore the Travertine floor back to its’ former glory. I explained holes or pitting as it’s known is quite common with Travertine and is normally sold with the holes filled with a colour matching resin. In this case it’s possible the filler had come loose, or the Travertine had become eroded due to the constant use acidic cleaning products. To restore the floor, I would re-fill the holes, hone the floor and polish it and then finally seal it. I showed them a small test area and they were suitably impressed and were happy to go ahead with my quote. We arranged a convenient time for the work to be carried out.
Cleaning and Repairing a Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor
We started by preparing the Kitchen for floor cleaning which involves removing the kick boards under the units and protecting any exposed areas from splashing. Next, I sprayed the stone tile and grout with a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, left it to soak in for then minutes and then scrubbed the area with a rotary machine fitted with a black pad. This action was designed to get the dirt out of the holes and give the grout lines a good scrub. Once done the floor was rinsed with water and the soil extracted with a wet vacuum.
I then set about filling the many holes that had appeared in the floor, a colour matched epoxy resin is used to fill the holes so once filled they’re almost invisible. When the resin had set, we began honing and polishing the floor using the Tile Doctor burnishing system which involves the application of specialist floor pads encrusted with industrial diamonds.
Four burnishing pads are used for this, each of a different grade from coarse to extra fine which slowly refine the stone. The first pad which is coarse 400-grit pad removes old sealers, grime and stains. We then start building the polish of the stone back up with the 800 and 1500-grit pads. You need to lubricate the process with water and then extract the fine slurry that is generated with a wet vacuum after each pad. This always makes a huge overall difference to the look of the floor and by the end of the first day the floor was starting to get its appearance back.
Sealing a Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor
The floor was then left overnight to dry out and we returned the following morning to finish off polishing the floor with our highest grade 3000-grit diamond pad. This last pad is applied with a little water which is sprayed on to the floor during application. This process leaves the floor dry, polished and ready for sealing.
To seal the floor three coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow were applied to the floor, you have to wait for the sealer to dry (usually 30 minutes) before applying the next so this took some time to complete. Colour Grow is an impregnating sealer that protects the floor from staining from within by soaking into the pores of the stone thereby preventing dirt from becoming ingrained. It contains a colour enhancing formula that improves the colour and tone of the stone, additionally it will protect the floor against grime and stains and will ensure the floor is easier to keep clean.
For aftercare I recommended they should use Stone Soap for day to day cleaning. Unlike everyday household cleaners it has a pH neutral formula so will not prematurely erode the newly applied seal. It can be used regularly and will also help maintain the patina.
My client was over the moon with the new floor, the kitchen area had been transformed and they said they would happily recommend Tile Doctor to their friends.