This customer had some real difficulty in getting their fantastic Travertine tiled kitchen area looking as good as it should. The cleaning methods they had previously employed were unable to prevent the tiles from appearing dull, and the customer was also unable to deal with the displeasing marks and small cracks damaging the stone.
Keen to get the floor back to looking its best, the customer called me down to their property, which overlooks the beautiful countryside area of Ashbourne, to see what could be done to restore the tiles.
Burnishing a Dull Travertine Tiled Floor
Upon my arrival at the property, I assessed the situation and resolved that the best way to restore the polish and general appearance of the floor was to use a process known as burnishing. The burnishing process, which involves the application of four diamond encrusted polishing pads of varying grit, works to grind away ingrained dirt while smoothing and polishing rough surfaces. Most commonly we use burnishing to restore the shine to Limestone and Marble tiles, but it can be used on most types of natural stone floor where a deep polish is required.
To start the process, I applied the Coarse 400 grit burnishing pad to the floor using a small amount of water as lubrication in order to break down and remove any old sealer from the stone. Once this had been done across the entirety of the floor, I removed any soiled water with a wet-vac machine; this removal of soiled residue was repeated after each use of a burnishing pad.
Next, I moved on to the Medium 800 grit pad which is less coarse than the 400 grit, but still rough enough still to break down layers of ingrained dirt. I followed this up with the application of a Fine 1500 grit pad, which started to smooth down the rough areas of the surface to prepare the floor for a final polish with an even finer burnishing pad later on. Before moving straight on to the final of the four pads, I took the time to carefully fill in the all of the small cracks and holes in the stone, before leaving the floor to dry until the next day.
Sealing a Travertine Tiled Floor
The next morning, I returned to the property to finish off the floor restoration. As soon as I arrived I used a damp tester to make sure the floor was completely dry. Noticing a number of small damp spots, I opted to use my heat gun to speed up the drying process.
Once the floor was completely dry, I used the Very Fine 3000 burnishing pad – the last of the four – without any lubricant to finally achieve a high quality polished finish. For polished floors it is recommended to use an impregnating sealer that penetrates into the pores of the stone rather than sitting on the surface of the floor, as this ensures the quality of the polish isn’t damaged.
As such I opted to use Tile Doctor Colour Grow to seal the tiles. This is a colour intensifying sealer that provides durable surface protection and allows the surface to breathe whilst enhancing the natural colours in the stone. It’s important that any sealer that doesn’t penetrate into the stone is removed by polishing it off with a cloth.
After completing the seal, I went over the floor for a final time with the 3000 grit diamond burnishing pad to leave a smooth and shiny polished finish. Needless to say that the customer was very happy with result as they had never before been able to get the floor looking this good!