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 Worcestershire

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.

Honed Travertine Floor Polishing Belbroughton

Travertine Kitchen Floor Polished to a High Shine in Belbroughton

I received this enquiry regarding a dull Travertine tiled floor at a property in the small village of Belbroughton near Stourbridge. My client had been considering replacing the stone floor as they were unhappy with how dull it had become, also some holes had formed.

Honed Travertine Flooring Before Polishing Belbroughton

I paid the property a visit to survey the floor and work out a quote for renovating the stone. I talked through with the client how I could restore the appearance of the Travertine using a set of diamond pads. They were delighted to hear that the floor could be restored, and it would not be necessary for them to replace it. The quote was accepted, and the work scheduled, the work would take three days to complete.

Honed Travertine Flooring Before Polishing Belbroughton

Cleaning and Repairing a Travertine Honed Tiled Kitchen Floor

The first step was to ensure the kitchen kick boards were removed and silicone applied to base of the kitchen units to stop water penetrating the wood. I also sealed the skirting boards with silicone where needed. Preparation is essential to ensure the best experience for our clients and avoid damage.

The cleaning process could then begin. Using a 200-grit pad attached to a rotary machine I scrubbed the floor and grout lines using a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. The floor was then rinsed with water and the soil was removed using the wet vacuum. I repeated this again to clean up the more stubborn areas.

Once I was happy the floor was clean I then filled the holes using epoxy resin, colour matched to the travertine. Filling the holes would prevent any dirt build up in the future, coupled with applying the sealer.

The following day was the start of the resurfacing and polishing of the stone. Starting with a 400-grit diamond pad I made several passes of the floor, I then moved onto the 800-grit all, then worked through the sequence of pads right the way through to 3000-grit. After each pad the floor was rinsed with water and the soiling generated extracted with a wet vacuum.

Sealing a Travertine Honed Tiled Kitchen Floor

The floor was left to dry overnight and then we returned the following day to start the sealing process. My client wanted the Travertine to have a natural look, so I applied several coats of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal. This is a no sheen, natural looking sealer, it gives great stain protection to the stone and the grout and is really useful in areas such as kitchens where there is high traffic and spillages.

Honed Travertine Flooring After Polishing Belbroughton

To bring up the polished appearance of the stone further Tile Doctor Shine Powder were ground into the floor using a white pad. This last step gives the Travertine a high shine and very durable finish.

Honed Travertine Flooring After Polishing Belbroughton

Once complete the Travertine looked stunning and the kitchen looked fantastic. Although happy my client was concerned the shine may dull again over time, so before leaving I spent time discussing ways to maintain it.

First, we talked about aftercare cleaning for which I recommended the use of Tile Doctor Stone Soap which is an effective yet gentle cleaning agent that helps maintain the patina on the stone. I suspect the reason small holes were forming in the Travertine previously was due to use of strong cleaning products which are acidic and simply too harsh for use on Travertine. Second, I recommended we work out an annual maintenance plan for the floor where I would return once a year to further polish the stone and top up the sealer. With the combination of the two I was confident the stone would keep looking it’s best.


Professional Restoration of a Travertine Tiled Kitchen floor in Worcestershire

Travertine Kitchen Floor Polished to a High Shine in Belbroughton Read More »

Travertine Tiled Floor Before After Renovation Ombersley

Levelling and Polishing a Travertine Tiled Floor 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


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