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Travertine Posts

Travertine is a lovely beige and brown stone that looks fantastic when it’s first laid but needs work to maintain the appearance. This was exactly the problem my customer who lives near the historic Cathedral City of Lincoln had experienced. The sealer on their Travertine Kitchen floor was becoming worn in the more commonly used parts of the floor letting dirt become ingrained into the pores of the stone and the grout was also becoming darker where it was getting dirty. They also had pets that spent a lot of time in the Kitchen which didn’t help and there were also small holes in the Travertine that were trapping dirt and would need filling.

Travertine Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Lincoln

Cleaning and Burnishing a Travertine Tiled Floor

To deep clean the stone and grout I applied a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, left it to soak in for ten minutes and then worked it into the floor using a scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary floor machine. Pro-Clean is a strong reliable alkaline product which is safe to use on stone and grout including Travertine and Limestone.

Travertine Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Lincoln

I also ran a stiff grout brush along the edges of the floor and especially along the grout lines to get the grout as clean as possible; the scrubbing pad struggles to reach into the recesses of the grout so it’s best to do this by hand. The now dirty cleaning solution was extracted from the floor using a wet vacuum and rinsed with water to ensure the tile and grout was now clean and any stubborn stains spot treated.

Travertine Kitchen Floor During Cleaning Lincoln

After the deep clean we filled the holes as required using flexible filler which gives a really smooth look to the flooring. We then left our turbo dryer system on overnight to thoroughly dry out the floor before returning to seal the tiles on day two.

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Floor

The next day I returned to the property and proceeded to seal the Travertine tiles using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer to protect the tiles and also really enhance the natural colours in the stone. As an impregnating sealer, Colour Grow penetrates into the stone and fills its pores to safeguard it against ingrained dirt and stains from within.

Travertine Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Lincoln

As you can see from the photographs, the combination of a deep clean, high quality polish and fresh seal really transformed the appearance of the floor from dull and lifeless to a really asset to the kitchen. The customer was so happy with the results she has booked us in to carry out the same work to other flooring in the property.

Travertine Kitchen Floor After Cleaning and Sealing Lincoln
 
 
Source: Travertine Floor Cleaning and Sealing Service in Lincolnshire

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The photos below show a beautiful Bullnose Travertine tiled kitchen floor at a property in Pateley Bridge which needed professional attention as a consequence of being protected by a cheap and ineffectual sealer.

The problem was that sealer that had been applied did not provide resistance to UV rays, and the exposure to the sunlight had turned the Travertine tiles an unnatural yellow colour. Over time the sealer had gradually worn away in the busiest areas, so it was less noticeable but of course without the protection of the sealer the stone then became exposed to ingrained dirt and stains.

Bullnose Travertine Before Cleaning Patley Bridge Bullnose Travertine Before Cleaning Patley Bridge

I took some pictures however they don’t really show the problems that well but needless to say, the property owner was very keen to have the situation rectified – which of course is where I came in. I travelled to Pateley Bridge, a small market town in Nidderdale in the Borough of Harrogate, North Yorkshire.

What is a ‘Bullnose’ tile, you say? Well, it simply refers to the trim of the tile. While traditional tiles will have a straight edge, a Bullnose tile will have a slightly rounded or curved edge.

Cleaning Yellow Stained Travertine Tiles

To begin the restoration, I deep cleaned the tiles mechanically using Tile Doctor diamond burnishing pads starting with a coarse grit. These pads served the purpose of grinding away the very top damaged layer of the stone, effectively removing the yellow staining, grease marks and any old sealer. You use a little water to help lubricate the process and this soon becomes soiled and needs to be rinsed away and removed after each pad is applied.

Next, I cleaned all of the stained grout lines by hand. I did this using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, which is a reliable, alkaline-based cleaner for use on both natural stone tiles and grout. I mixed the Pro Clean into a solution of one part cleaner to three parts fresh water and worked it in by hand using a stiff brush along the grout lines. Once done the now dirty cleaning solution was rinsed off the floor and extracted leaving the grout fresh and clean.

Bullnose Travertine During Cleaning Patley Bridge

To finish the cleaning process, I polished the floor with a 3000 grit (very fine) burnishing pad to leave the tiles with a silky satin finish. This pad is applied mechanically with a little water in a technique we often call a spray burnish.

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor

Once the floor was dry it needed protecting to ensure that dirt could no longer penetrate the pores of the stone. So to guarantee that this wonderful satin finish would last, I sealed the tiles with two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal.

Ultra-Seal is Tile Doctor’s premium impregnating sealer which is formulated to provide maximum stain protection, especially in food preparation and serving areas such as the kitchen.

Bullnose Travertine After Cleaning Patley Bridge Bullnose Travertine After Cleaning Patley Bridge

The photos above show the outcome of the restoration, I appreciate my photograph skills are not the best but hopefully you can notice how much healthier the stone looks now, compared to the yellow, sickly appearance of the stone before.
 
 
Source: Travertine Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in North Yorkshire

Details below of an unusual Travertine tiled kitchen floor in Greet, Gloucestershire where we were asked to restore the appearance of the tiles and leave a natural as opposed to shiny finish. Greet is a lovely little village at the edge of the Cotsworlds and famous for being a short walk to Winchcombe station on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway which is run by volunteers and often has steam trains running on its line.

Travertine Kitchen Floor in Greet Before Cleaning Travertine Kitchen Floor in Greet Before Cleaning

Burnishing a Travertine Tiled Floor

Travertine responds well to burnishing which is an abrasive cleaning method as opposed to chemical. Basically, it involves the application of several different grades of diamond encrusted pad to the stone lubricated with a small amount of water. You run the pad over each tile and then give the floor a quick rinse before moving on to the next pad, I started with the first of the four burnishing pads which is a coarse 400 grit pad that designed to grind away the dirt and old sealer on the surface of the floor.

After applying the first pad, I moved my way through the medium 800 and fine 1500 grit pads to gradually restore the appearance of the Travertine. Normally I would of also applied the fourth pad in the series but if you recall the customer did not wanted a polished appearance so I stopped after the 1500 grit pad.

Travertine Kitchen Floor in Greet During Cleaning

The pads work well on tile but struggle to reach recessed grout so to clean that I applied a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and scrubbed it into the grout lines manually using a stiff grout brush. Once I was happy with the appearance of the grout the soiled cleaning solution was rinsed away with water and extracted using a wet vacuum leaving the floor to dry off overnight.

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Floor

The next day I returned to finish the floor and first task was to run a Tan buffing pad over the floor to ensure the floor was clean and any residue from the diamond pad burnishing had been removed.

Travertine Kitchen Floor in Greet After Cleaning Before Sealing

Once I was happy with the tiles I proceeded to apply two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that protects from within by occupying the pores in the stone so dirt can penetrate and lifts the natural colours in the stone in the process.
I should mention that normally only one coat of Colour Grow is usually required to seal Travertine however on this occasion the stone was quite porous.

Travertine Kitchen Floor in Greet After Cleaning and Sealing Travertine Kitchen Floor in Greet After Cleaning and Sealing

The colours in the Travertine were so much more vibrant after the job was completed and the customer was happy with the result, although personally I would have preferred to have applied the fourth pad to build up the shine however I delivered what the customer had asked for so I was happy with that.
 
 
Source: Travertine Floor Tile Cleaning and Maintenance in Gloucestershire

This customer in Newton Heath, just outside of Manchester, used to have a beautiful polished travertine floor on most of the ground floor and bathroom but over time it was getting duller and duller as the polish became worn down, not helped I might add by their choice of cleaning products which were not appropriate for this type of floor. Additionally, numerous cracks and holes had appeared in their floor and worried it was going to get worse they decided to call in some professional help and get the whole floor fully restored.

Travertine Tiled Floor Before Cleaning and Sealing Newton Heath

When I got the call I went over to the house to take a in-depth look at the problem and recommended that the floor was burnished using diamond pads of different grades. They also asked if I could apply the same treatment to the travertine bathroom floor and shower cubicle as well, which I was very happy to do so we agreed a price and scheduled a date to do the work.

Travertine Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning and Sealing Newton Heath

Dull Travertine Floor Cleaning/Polishing

To start the burnishing process, I applied the Coarse 400 grit burnishing pad to the floor using rotary machine and water as lubrication to break down and remove any old sealer from the stone. When finished with first burnishing pad I removed all the soiled water left on floor with a wet vacuum. This removal process 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, but still rough enough 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 3000 grit. However before moving straight on to the final of the four pads, I took the time to carefully fill in the all the small cracks and holes in the stone, before leaving the floor to dry until the next day.

Sealing Travertine 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.

All was well so I went over the floor with the final Very Fine 3000 grit burnishing pad, this time without any water lubricant, to finally achieve a high quality polished finish.

For polished floors, we recommend the use an impregnating sealer that penetrates 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. With this in mind I applied Tile Doctor Colour Grow to seal the tiles. This is a colour enhancing sealer that provides durable surface protection and allows the surface to breathe whilst enhancing the natural colours in the stone. At this point it’s important that any sealer that doesn’t penetrate the stone is removed by polishing it off with a cloth.

Travertine Tiled Floor After Cleaning and sealing Newton Heath

After this I went on to repeat the cleaning, polishing and sealing process on their Travertine Tiled shower cubicle but I’ll detail that in a separate post.

Needless to say, the customer was very happy with the work carried out on the floor and shower cubicle and recommended me to his neighbour straight away.

Travertine Bathroom Floor After Cleaning and sealing Newton Heath
 
 
Source: Travertine Tile Cleaning and Restoration Service in Greater Manchester

Quite often our customers will be new property owners who have inherited fantastic tiled floors that are in need of smartening up. Typically the previous owners struggled to maintain the floor which is not unusual when it comes to high quality natural stone such as Travertine and this was the case with this Travertine tiled floor that I recently restored at a property near Woodhall Spa, on the southern edge of the Lincolnshire Wolds.

Travertine Tiled Floor Near Woodhall Spa Before Cleaning Travertine Tiled Floor Near Woodhall Spa Before Cleaning

The customer not only needed a deep clean for the tiles and grout which had become dirty and discoloured over time, but also needed for many of the small holes caused by the natural process of pitting to be filled to give the Travertine tiles a smooth and polished finish. Finally, the floor would need a fresh seal to protect it and make it easier to cleangoing forward.

Travertine Tiled Floor Near Woodhall Spa Before Cleaning

Cleaning and Repairing a Pitted Travertine Tiled Floor

To begin the restoration, I applied Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to the floor, which is our reliable high alkaline cleaner designed for use on stone floors, left it to soak in and break down the dirt and then used our hot pressure Rotovaccleaning system to clean the tiles. The Rotovac is an expensive machine but makes light work of the job by deep cleaning and scrubbing the stone whilst rinsing and extracting away all of the soiled cleaning residue at the same time. It allows us to get deep into the pores of the tile and grout to eradicate ingrained dirt and stains.

I then worked through our four-stage diamond encrusted burnishing pad system which hones and polishes the surface of the tiles with excellent results. Each of the four pads is applied in turn, moving from a coarse grit all the way to a Very Fine grit.

Once I was happy with the condition of the floor it was time to deal with the holes in the Travertine by applying a two-part colour matched resin to fill the small and large holes mentioned earlier.After completing the cleaning and filling was completed I left the tiles to dry off completely overnight aided with air movers to speed up the drying process.

Travertine Tiled Floor Near Woodhall Spa After Cleaning

Ensuring the floor is bone dry before sealing is important as I needed to seal the tiles the next day, and a small amount of excess moisture can cloud the sealer and damage its performance.

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Floor

When I came back the next day I tested the floor for moisture to confirm it was dry before applying two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, which is an impregnating sealer that intensifies and enhances the natural shades in the Travertine while also providing it with protection against dirt and stains.

With the restoration complete I left the customer with a bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner for regular future maintenance, along with an aftercare leaflet. We recommend this product for the regular cleaning of sealed tiles as the neutral pH will help to maximise the life of the sealer and not erode it like many acid cleaning products.

Travertine Tiled Floor Near Woodhall Spa After Cleaning

I think you will agree the floor now looks much better, certainly the customer was very happy with the work and left the following feedback:

“Phil and his colleague worked their magic to transform our tired looking, grimy Travertine floors into bright, shiny new look floors. Thank you so much.”
 
 
Source: Travertine Tile Cleaning and Polishing Service in Lincolnshire

If you want a polished stone floor to keep its appearance, then it will need a regular maintenance plan in place, without it the stone will lose its polish and start to look dull and un-inviting which was the story with this Travertine tiled floor installed throughout much of the grout floor of this house in the village of Great Wilbraham near Cambridge.

Travertine floor before polishing in Great Wilbraham Cambridge

I was able to find out from the owner that the floor was last treated six years ago with Lithofin Stain Stop which is a solvent based impregnating sealer which like all sealers will wear off after a few years. Naturally this depends on the amount of wear the floor receives and what tends to happen is this process occurs more rapidly in the high traffic areas leading to an uneven appearance.

Travertine floor before polishing in Great Wilbraham Cambridge

The best course of action now would be to remove what was left of the sealer and re-polish and seal the floor.

Filling Holes in Travertine

During my inspection of the floor I had noticed a number of irregular holes in one of the Travertine tiles which needed filling with a colour matching filler; this worked out quite well and as you can see from the photographs below the result looked entirely natural.

Travertine floor before filling in Great Wilbraham Cambridge Travertine floor after filling in Great Wilbraham Cambridge

Stripping the Sealer from Travertine Floor Tiles

After protecting the clients skirting boards with protective film we proceeded to burnish the floor through with a set of Tile Doctor Diamond encrusted honing pads.

Travertine floor before polishing in Great Wilbraham Cambridge

During the application of the first coarse pad we also added a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean combined with NanoTech Ultra-Clean to aid the removal of sealer residues from the pores of the Travertine. The floor was then rinsed and the soiled solution extracted using a wet vacuum.

Travertine floor during polishing in Great Wilbraham Cambridge

With the sealer remove we were now able to concentrate on building up the polish on the stone by applying the remaining pads from Medium, Fine through to Very Fine, each lubricated with a little water and ensuring to rinse in-between the application of each pad.

Sealing Travertine Floor Tiles

With the floor now clean and the polish restored the last step was to protect it so it would keep its appearance for as long as possible. There are a number of solutions for this but for a long durable shine I opted to work Tile Doctor Shine Powder into the Travertine.

The powder is applied liberally to the floor and then ground in using a slow speed floor rotary machine fitted with a white or tan buffing pad lubricated with water.

Travertine floor during polishing in Great Wilbraham Cambridge

The shine on the floor has now been restored and the client has a
beautiful and durable finish to their Travertine tiles.

Travertine floor after polishing in Great Wilbraham Cambridge Travertine floor after polishing in Great Wilbraham Cambridge

 
 
Source: Travertine Tile Cleaning and Polishing Service in Cambridge

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!
 
 
Source: Travertine Tile Cleaning and Polishing Service in Derbyshire