Travertine Tile Cleaning

Welcome to my Work History archive where you will find detailed examples of the cleaning and renovation of Travertine tiles carried out in Derbyshire

Cleaning and Polishing Travertine tiles

Travertine is a natural material that has unique features and colouring that no other stone can offer. The distinctive look of Travertine creates some of the most distinguished floor tiles and has proved very popular with commercial and residential use. It can be used for floor tile, kitchen flooring, bathroom walls and floors, and it is often used externally. There are many varieties such as Tumbled and Polished and like all natural stone it needs to be sealed to prevent dirt becoming trapped in the pores. Unlike other stones however Travertine does suffer from pitting however these holes can be filled.

One of the main issues with polished Travertine is the polish starts to wear down with use and eventually becomes dull. Another issue we see is acid etching where strong unsuitable cleaning products used on the stone etch the surface and ruin its appearance. To resolve both these problems the stone needs to be re-polished with diamond encrusted burnishing pads of different grits to hone the stone and bring back that deep shine. If this sounds familiar you should talk to us about our annual maintenance program where we visit you once a year to clean, polish and seal your floor thus keeping it in top condition.

Below you will find detailed examples of work we have carried out in the past, it should give you some idea of what’s involved and what can be achieved with the right techniques and products.

Travertine Kitchen Floor Before and After Cleaning Parwich

Dirty Travertine Kitchen Floor Deep Cleaned and Polished in Parwich

A few years ago, my client moved into a house in the village of in Parwich which sits in the Derbyshire Peak District. They had good methods for cleaning but complained that the Travertine tiled kitchen floor never actually looked clean afterwards. The main problems were the grout and the holes in the Travertine tiles both of which attracted dirt and proved difficult to clean effectively.

Travertine Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Parwich
Ideally, they would like the Travertine to have a sheen finish, so I went over to take a look, discussed what treatment could be done to get the floor looking its best and showed them some examples. We also discussed the different types of sealers that could be applied to protect the floor once it had been cleaned. They were happy for me to do the work, so we agreed a date for my return.

Travertine Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Parwich

Deep Cleaning and Polishing Travertine Kitchen Tiles

When I returned my first task was to add protection to the beautiful wooden kitchen, so it wouldn’t get splashed during the cleaning process. Once that was done I set about burnishing the stone floor with a set of diamond encrusted pads fitted to my rotary buffer machine running as slow speed. I started with the coarse 400-grit pad lubricated with water and then after running it over the whole floor I rinsed off the resultant residue with water which was then extracted with a wet vacuum.

The next step was to get the grout clean and for this a ran a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean along the grout lines and then scrubbed it in by hand using a stiff grout brush until I was happy with the result. Pro-Clean is our go to product for grout cleaning and being alkaline based its safe to use on all types of tile and stone. The now soiled cleaning solution was rinsed off with water and then extracted as before using the wet vacuum.

This burnishing process was then continued using an 800-grit and then a 1500 grit burnishing pads, again with water to help lubricate. These medium and fine pads slowly start to build the polish back on the stone and close the pores. As before water was used to rinse off the residue and the vet vacuum used to get the floor as dry as possible afterwards.

The last pad in the set of four Burnishing Pads is the very fine 3000-grit pad and this pad is applied dry with a small amount of water sprayed onto the floor as you go, we call this process a spray burnish and it really adds the nice subtle sheen the customer was looking for.

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Floor

The last step in the renovation process was to seal the floor with a suitable sealer which will protect the Travertine from staining going forward and make the floor much easier to clean.
Having discussed sealers with the customer at the beginning the choice was clear and two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal were applied to the floor. Ultra-Seal is a premium product that soaks into the pores of the stone protecting it from within but without enhancing the look of the stone in anyway.

Travertine Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Parwich
It’s probably difficult to appreciate the full difference from the photographs above by my customer was very happy with the improvement and they now have the floor looking the way they wanted.

Travertine Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Parwich

Professional Restoration of a Dull Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor in Derbyshire

Dirty Travertine Kitchen Floor Deep Cleaned and Polished in Parwich Read More »

Travertine Floor After Burnishing in Ashbourne

Dull Travertine Kitchen Floor Burnished and Polished in Ashbourne

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.

Travertine Floor Before Burnishing in Ashbourne
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.

Travertine Floor Before Burnishing in Ashbourne

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.

Travertine Floor After Burnishing in Ashbourne
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!

Professional Polishing of a Dull Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor in Derbyshire

Dull Travertine Kitchen Floor Burnished and Polished in Ashbourne Read More »


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