This is a Tumbled Travertine floor with a Honed finish that was installed some years prior in the hallway and kitchen of a house in the village of Welton near Daventry. Kitchens and hallways have the highest foot traffic of any room in a house and without regular maintenance the sealer started to wear down allowing dirt and staining to reach the pores of the tile and grout lines. Travertine is known for its small depressions known as pitting and without the protection of the sealer those areas became heavily soiled. The grout had also darkened with ingrained dirt turning what was a light grey colour into a contrasting black.
After visiting the property and surveying the floor I recommended burnishing the floor with a set of abrasive pads to remove the dirt and then resealing with a more durable product. To prove my point, I ran a small test clean on the floor so they could see the potential difference this could make. Happy with the result they asked for a quote which was accepted, and the job was booked in.
Cleaning a Tumbled Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor
I started the cleaning process by sweeping and vacuuming the floor to remove any grit and other debris. Then it was cleaned with a 3:1 dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, spraying it onto the floor and allowing it to dwell and make a start breaking down the soiling. The product was then worked into the floor using a stiff brush paying particular attention to the pitted areas and along the grout lines to get them clean. This was followed by rinsing the floor with more water and extracting the soiling with a wet pick-up machine.
The next step was to use the burnishing pad system starting with the coarse pad fitted to a rotary machine and worked into the tiles with a small amount of water for lubrication. The set of pads come in various grits and are actually made from industrial diamonds.
This first 400-grit pad cleans the tiles and removes any remaining sealant that may have been present on the tiles. This was continued with the finer 800-grit pad, again using nothing but water and then rinsing the floor of any slurry generated by the process after each pad.
When the floor had dried, I applied a fine 1500-grit pad to bring up the polish on the Travertine until it had a silky honed finish. There is a fourth 3000-grit pad in the system that brings up the polish even further to achieve a high shine finish, but my client didn’t want that look.
Sealing a Tumbled Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor
To protect the travertine, it was sealed using three coats of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal sealant which is an impregnating invisible sealer resulting in a very natural finish. Once dry the floor was buffed using a soft white buffing pad.
You can see from the photos how much cleaner and lighter the Travertine tiles look and that the light grey colour of the grout has been restored. The new sealer will make it much easier to maintain now and with the correct cleaning regime in place the sealer should last a long time. My client was very happy with the work and left the following feedback for me:
For the regular cleaning of a floor like this I recommend Tile Doctor Stone Soap which is a mild cleaning product that’s designed for use on sealed and polished stone. You must be especially careful when choosing a cleaning product for sealed tiles as many of the products you find in supermarkets are simply too strong and can degrade the sealer prematurely.