Incredibly this Travertine tiled floor had been laid just two weeks prior and unfortunately the tiler had not cleaned the floor prior to sealing thus trapping in dirt and dust that were present on the floor and now the tiles looked dull and dirty. Sealing floors can be a minefield and it’s possible the dirt was not that obvious and by sealing the floor it magnified the issue literally; whatever the reason the only solution would be to strip the floor of its sealer, clean the floor and then reseal.
Maintaining Travertine Tiles
To strip the floor of the sealer and clean it requires the application of a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pads which are fitted to a rotary machine in a set sequence and run over the floor lubricated with a little water. There are four pads in the set, you start with a coarse pad which will remove ingrained dirt and sealers before moving on to the medium, fine and very fine polishing pads which are a much finer grit and restore the polished finish of the stone. The floor needs to be rinsed down between each pad application to remove the soil that is produced and then given a final wash at the end to make sure the floor is clean before sealing.
Polishing and Sealing Travertine Tile
The floor must be dry before sealing so it was left to dry overnight and I came back the next day to seal it using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that occupies the pores in the stone so dirt cannot become ingrained there and in the process it also enhances the natural colours in the stone. Once the sealer was dry it was buffed using a white buffing pad to make sure that I hadn’t left any residues from the seal.
The customer was very happy with work and they now have the floor that they wanted.
This Travertine tiled floor was installed in the kitchen of a house in Oadby, Leicestershire. The sealer on the floor was starting to fail letting dirt become ingrained into the Travertine; it was now due a deep clean, burnish and re-seal which would improve the look of the stone and keep it that way for years to come.
Cleaning and Stripping a Travertine Tiled Floor
The first job was to give the floor a thorough clean with a particular focus on the grout, this was done using Tile Doctor Remove and Go which was left to soak into the floor before being worked into the stone using a scrubbing pad attached to a rotary machine. The soiled cleaning solution was then extracted using a wet vacuum and we set our rotary machine up to burnish the floor
Burnishing the floor involves stripping back the stone using a coarse diamond encrusted burnishing pad and then building up the finish with a medium, fine and super fine pad until you have restored the polish and appearance. A little water is used to lubricate the process and in-between each pad the resultant slurry is rinsed away. Once this was done we left for the day and we didn’t come back for three days so the floor could dry out thoroughly.
Sealing Travertine Floor Tiles
On our return the first thing to check was to ensure the floor had dried out enough which is done using a damp meter and checking in a few different areas. The floor was bone dry so it was sealed using a number of coats to Tile Doctor Pro-Seal which is a water based impregnating sealer. The water acts as a carrier for the sealer allowing it to flow into the pores of the stone and prevent dirt from becoming ingrained there, that water evaporates as the floor dries and being water there is none of that usual smell you get with other solvent based products.
Occasionally I get a call to pop down to Sandbanks on the Dorset Coast which is well known for containing the most expensive property in the UK outside of London. This particular residence had a Travertine tiled hallway which was badly in need of renovation, it had become very soiled and dirt had become trapped in holes that has opened up in the stone over time and now needed cleaning and filling.
Cleaning and Filling a Travertine Tiled Floor
I began by applying a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was left to soak into the floor for ten minutes before being worked into the tile and grout using a Numatic buffing machine fitted with a medium brush. I then dried the floor using a hot air gun and filled the holes with Harbro Stone Filler which is an epoxy filler as hard as the stone itself. I carefully scraped off the excess filler before leaving it to set overnight.
Burnishing Travertine Tiles
The next day I used 17″ wet and dry paper to remove the excess filler and to cut out some of the deep scratches in the travertine. This I followed by honing and polishing the floor using Tile Doctor burnishing pads which are diamond encrusted and come in a setup of four pads which are applied one after the other from Coarse, Medium, Fine and then Super Fine to restore the surface polish.
Sealing Travertine Tiles
On the third day I returned to seal the Travertine tiles using Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing impregnating sealer that soaks into the pores of the stone occupying them and in doing so preventing dirt and soil from becoming ingrained into the stone. Colour Grow is also a colour enhancing product that brings out the colour in the stone
Unfortunately I didn’t remember to take a photo of the floor until after the initial clean but the effect of the filling and burnishing pad treatment should be visible.
These photographs are from the cleaning of a Travertine tiled floor installed in an old house in Dunmow that had been used as offices by employees of a Ford dealership. The house was empty when we started the cleaning process and you could see that the dirt had become ingrained into the tile and any sealer that had been present had now been worn away.
Cleaning Travertine Tile and Grout
We tackled the grouting first by applying Tile Doctor Pro-Clean (diluted 1 part cleaner to 3 parts water) which was left to dwell on the grout for about fifteen minutes before being scrubbed in using small stiff hand brushes. As you imagine this was time consuming but the grout came up really well so the end result was well worth the effort. The tiles were then cleaned using more Pro-Clean (diluted 1 part cleaner to 2 parts water) but this time we were able to use a scrubbing machine fitted with black pads. We scrubbed the tiles several times in order to bring them up to a good standard. The floor was also washed down at this point to remove the soiled cleaning solution, all liquids being removed using a wet vacuum.
Burnishing Travertine Tile
The Pro-Clean worked well to clean the Travertine but if you want to restore the original appearance it needs to be burnished using a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pads. The pads come in a set and you start with the coarse pad and a little water and move on through to the very fine pads until the surface is pristine.
To protect the floor and bring up the appearance even further Tile Doctor Shine Powder was polished into the floor using a buffing pad, the powder add a deep finish to the appearance of the travertine and hardens on the surface to provide durable surface protection.
I think you will agree we have managed quite a transformation; certainly the customer was very happy with the work.
Following on from a referral I agreed to travel down to Stratford upon Avon and deep clean this Travertine tiled floor which had not been professionally cleaned for over eight years and was now looking rather dull as you can see in the photograph below, additionally the holes in the travertine had not been filled and was allowing dirt to get trapped into the tile.
Cleaning, Filling and Polishing Travertine Tiles
The first job was to wash the floor down with Pro-Clean to give it a general clean and remove any surface dirt and grit from the floor and then fill the holes with a colour matching grout; there were quite a few holes to fill so this task took some time to complete. Polished Travertine is a very hard stone so restore its finish it needs to be cut back and polished using of a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pads fitted to a rotary machine. You start with a coarse pad with a little water, then a medium pad, fine pad and finish with a very fine polishing pad, this takes some time but the effect it quite transforming, it does build up slurry on the floor so it all needs to be washed down again at the end.
Sealing and Buffing Travertine Tile
To keep the floor looking good for longer and protect it from stains it does need to be sealed so once it was dry it was sealed using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing sealer that brings out the colours in natural stone. Then once the sealer was dry it was buffed using a white buffing pad to make sure that I hadn’t left any residues from the seal.
The job took three days to complete in total and I think you will agree it’s now looking much healthier.
I do like a beautiful Travertine Tiled floor however they do need regular maintenance to keep them looking good. This travertine floor installed in the kitchen of a house in Fareham was no different as the tiles were looking dull and the grout was tarnishing.
Cleaning Travertine Kitchen Tiles
To protect the kitchen units from water a protective tape was applied around the base and once done we gave the tiles a quick clean using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean working it in with a scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine and then into the grout lines with a stiff hand brush. The dirty solution was then removed using a wet vacuum and we moved onto burnishing the whole tiled floor.
We stated the burnishing process with a red fitted to a rotary machine with a little water. The burnishing pads are encrusted with diamonds and are very good at removing dirt and sealers from hard stone including Travertine and Marble; the surface water and loose dirt was removed used a wet Vacuum. There are four pads in the burnishing system and they are applied to the stone floor in sequence starting with a course pad with a little water and then moving onto the finer polishing pads one after the other until we were left with a high shine finish.
Sealing Travertine Tiled Floor
We left the floor to dry overnight and came back the next day to seal the floor. The floor must be dry before sealing otherwise the results can be unpredictable. Once we were happy the floor was dry we proceeded to seal the Travertine tile using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Ultra-Seal which provides a natural look to the stone as well providing excellent stain protection. Two coats of sealer were sufficient to seal the floor.