Uneven Travertine Floor Levelled and Polished in Ombersley

I was contacted regarding a Travertine tiled floor which had been installed throughout a bungalow in the old Worcestershire village of Ombersley near Droitwich. The owner was unhappy that the tiles had not been laid completely flat and as such many were so uneven they presented a trip hazard. They were very disappointed with the floor and not sure if anything could be done about it.

Travertine Floor Before Lippage Removal Ombersley

I went over to the property to survey the floor and discuss potential solutions with the client. Having seen the problem for myself I was able to confirm this issue is know in the trade as “Lippage”. Had the tiles been made of Ceramic or Porcelain then the whole floor would have had to have been re-laid. Fortunately, being Travertine its possible to grind down the stone using a process Tile Doctor has devised we call Milling. Not only will this rectify lippage problem, but it will also restore the appearance of the stone.

The quote I provided was excepted and dates were arranged to complete the work.

Levelling a Travertine Tiled Floor

On the first day I started by adding protection to any vulnerable surfaces. This included adding a silicone bead to the bottom of the fixed kitchen units to avoid water damaging the wood and to shrink wrap any exposed kitchen appliances and white goods. Preparation is always vital as we do not want to damage anything during the renovation process.

I then started the process of lippage removal. This is done with a weighted rotary buffer machine fitted with a series of large diamond pads of increasingly higher grits. The first a very coarse 50-grit pad that is segmented. The pad is worked over the area and each section is timed, water is used to lubricate the process and checks are made after the specified time to check the lippage has gone. This pad is run over the whole floor and the floor then rinsed with water and extracted using a wet vacuum to remove the slurry that is created during the process.

Travertine Floor During Lippage Removal Ombersley

On day two I worked through the other pads in the system including the 100 and 200-grit segmented pads to further the resurface the stone. Again, water is used to lubricate the process and there is a lot of rinsing and extracting required. Again, the process is applied over all the Travertine tiles and is very time consuming. No other products are needed at this stage just water and sweat.

Travertine Floor During Lippage Removal Ombersley

Polishing a Travertine Tiled Floor

Once the lippage issue was resolved and the floor level the next step was to further refine the surface of the Travertine to fully restore its polished appearance. This is done using a set of four non-segmented burnishing pads which range from 400 through to 3000 grit. Again, the pads are applied in increasing grits from coarse to very fine rinsing and extracting in-between.

The last 3000 grit pad is applied dry using a small amount of water which is sprayed onto the Travertine using a process we call a ‘Spray Burnish’, this pad really brings out the shine in the stone.

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Floor

The last step in the restoration process was to apply a durable surface protection to the stone so it would keep its appearance for some years to come. For polished stone where you want to bring up the shine, I recommend applying Tile Doctor Shine Powder.

Travertine Floor After Lippage Removal Ombersley

The powder is applied to the floor and worked into the stone using a white buffing pad fitted to a rotary floor buffer. It provides a very high shine and tough durable finish which is exactly what my customer wanted. As you can see from the pictures the result was quite dramatic and I can confirm my client was delighted with the result. Finally, the uneven stone tiles were now polished and level and no longer presented a tripping hazard.

For aftercare I recommended the use of Tile Doctor Stone Soap which is a sealer friendly cleaning product which has been especially formulated for the regular cleaning of sealed polished stone and helps maintain the patina.

Travertine Floor After Lippage Removal Ombersley


Source: Travertine Tile Cleaning, Restoration and Sealing Service in Ombersley, Worcestershire

Renovating Unfilled Travertine Flooring in Attleborough, Norfolk

Our client got in touch from Attleborough a market town between Norwich and Thetford to ask for our help restoring her kitchen and dining area floor. If you live in the countryside and have children and pets, unfilled Travertine is probably not the best choice for your kitchen/diner flooring, which is the conclusion our client discovered for herself.

The floor was only around three years old, but the entire area had become heavily scratched and soiled. Most of the dirt was occupying the unfilled pits in the stone which are an inconvenient feature of this natural material. No amount of daily vacuuming, mopping or rinsing will ever shift this kind of contamination which is why she called us in desperation.

Travertine Floor in Attleborough Before Cleaning

During our site visit, apart from the obvious heavy soiling, we also noticed a very prominent and ugly settlement crack which had appeared along the French doors leading to a four mm difference between the surface levels either side of the crack itself.

Travertine Floor in Attleborough Threshold Crack

Cleaning and Repairing a Travertine Tiled Kitchen and Dining Room

Our first job was to deep-clean the soiling from the floor using our heavy 17″ rotary machine fitted with a medium-soft brush and a 1:5 mix of Tile Doctor Pro Clean, diluted with very hot water. This combination made quick work of the surface dirt, along with the soiling in the grout lines. The resulting slurry was left to dwell on the floor for ten minutes to soften the residue sitting at the bottom of the pits before being power rinsed and vacuumed away using our 400psi hot water extraction machine. The machine was fitted with a specialist hard flooring wand which blasted the softened dirt out of the pits and immediately sucked all the contaminants up. This avoids anything spraying up the adjoining walls.

Having removed all the dirt, we then cut and polished the area again with the rotary machine but this time using Tile Doctor Diamond Burnishing Pads from 400-grit through to 1500-grit, rinse extracting between each stage to remove the resulting slurry. Internal corners were finished with hand-held diamond blocks. We then left the whole area to dry thoroughly overnight with assistance from our large capacity dehumidifier.

Travertine Floor in Attleborough Rotary Cleaning

Sealing Travertine Flooring in Attleborough

On our return the following day, we repaired the unsightly crack along the threshold by grinding the high lip down to the same lower level using a diamond blade fitted to our Bosch multitool. Followed by polishing with our Festool Rotex 90 Handtool. The crack, being rather wide, was then filled with a two-part epoxy stone repair compound and levelled with the Rotex after curing.

Travertine Floor in Attleborough Crack Repaired

After this, the floor was vacuumed thoroughly followed with the application of the a very fine 3000-grit diamond burnishing pad which is applied to the floor with a little water spayed onto the tile. This fourth and final burnishing pad really builds up the shine on the floor.

Travertine Floor in Attleborough Deep Cleaned

Our client really loved the new lighter look of her cleaned Travertine floor, so we chose to use Tile Doctor Ultra Seal to seal the floor and protect it from staining. Ultra-Seal is a matt impregnating sealer that soaks into the pores of the stone protecting it from within and without affecting the colour of the substrate. The sealer was liberally applied and allowed to be absorbed by the stone for a few minutes before the excess was removed. After an hour, the surface was re-burnished with the 3000-grit diamond pad and then vacuumed to remove any fine dust generated during the burnishing.

Our client was really happy with the improvement and left the following comment when we’d finished…

“Our travertine floor had suffered over the winter and I wasn’t totally convinced that anything would save it. However, it has been completely transformed and we are delighted with the results. Nick was professional and thorough – could not recommend more!”

Travertine Floor in Attleborough Cleaned and Sealed


Source: Travertine Tile Cleaning and Sealing Service in Attleborough, Norfolk

Polishing and Dealing with Holes in Travertine near Towcester

The following pictures show a polished Travertine kitchen and dining room floor at a house in the small village of Abthorpe near Towcester. The stone floor had lost its shine and had become dull and difficult to clean which was mainly due to the holes that had appeared in the surface of the Travertine where dirt had become ground in and trapped. This is a common problem with all Travertine stone, the holes are natural and usually filled at the factory but due to wear and tear over time and the use of acidic cleaning products the filler can become dislodged. The small holes gave the floor an unsightly appearance and become magnets to dirt.

Polished Travertine Kitchen Floor Before Polishing Abthorpe Towcester

We find the best way to restore the shine is to apply a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pads, they take off the layer of dirt and then slowly build a resilient polish on the surface; however, to get the best results we would need to fill the holes in the Travertine.

Polished Travertine Kitchen Floor Before Polishing Abthorpe Towcester

Burnishing and Cleaning a Travertine Tiled Floor

I gave the floor a sweep to remove any loose dirt and grit and started with the application of the first pad which is a coarse 400-grit and designed to remove minor scratches, old sealers and ingrained dirt. The pads fit a 17” buffer machine and is applied with water to lubricate the process, then once the pad has been applied to each tile the floor is rinsed with water and the resultant slurry is extracted using a wet vacuum.

Before moving onto the second pad in the set I gave the grout lines a clean with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was scrubbed into the grout using a stiff narrow brush. The pads can struggle to reach into the recessed grout lines, so I usually find this is the best way to get the grout clean.

Polished Travertine Dining Room Floor Before Polishing Abthorpe Towcester

The floor was given another rinse with water and then I continued to work through the medium 800-grit and then fine 1500-grit pads rinsing with water and then extracting the slurry with a wet vacuum after each pad.

The Travertine was now clean and after drying with fans I commenced the task of filling the holes with stone filler that matched the natural colour of the stone as close as possible, in this case the colour we opted for to achieve the best match was Straw. These activities took up most of the day so once I was done filling I left for the day, so the filler and floor could dry out thoroughly overnight.

Polished Travertine Holes Filled Before Polishing Abthorpe Towcester

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Floor

I returned the following day and started by completing the polishing process by applying the last 3000-grit very fine burnishing pad with the 17” rotary machine, the pad is applied dry with a small amount of water sprayed on the floor as you go along. With the floor now fully dry and the filled holes polished flat the last step was to apply the sealer which will protect the floor going forwards.

Polished Travertine Kitchen Floor After Polishing Abthorpe Towcester

With Travertine floors I usually recommend Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing sealer or Ultra-Seal which is a natural look sealer. On this occasion the client preferred the natural look, so I applied two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal and along with the previous polishing the floor now look transformed.

Polished Travertine Kitchen Floor After Polishing Abthorpe Towcester

Source: Travertine Tile Cleaning and Polsihing Service in Abthorpe, Northamptonshire