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travertine tile cleaning

We recently renovated a Travertine tiled floor in the Kitchen of a rental property in Mile End, which is part of the Tower Hamlets borough of East London. My client was the Landlord and unfortunately the previous tenants had not maintained the Travertine floor very well. The grout was filthy, and the tiles were ingrained with dirt and had lost their shine which made for a very unattractive floor that was likely to put off a potential new tenant. The stone floor was an expensive addition for

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This Travertine kitchen floor in Exeter was mistakenly bought unfilled so there were deep holes on the surface of the stone that attracted grime and dirt in addition the floor had not been sealed to protect the stone and the whole floor was now in need of a deep clean and seal. The owners had installed the floor about five years before and were disappointed by the appearance from the onset. In fact, the floor had never lived up to their expectations and were close to ripping it up and

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Travertine tiled floors are a great feature but do need regular maintenance to keep them looking good. This rarely happens correctly in rental properties and this was certainly the problem at this property in the affluent Sheffield suburb of Whirlow. My client had rented out their beautiful house for the last ten years but were now moving back in. The property had been given a deep clean following the last rental and they were very disappointed with the Travertine tiled floor which looked

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Earlier in the year I paid a visit to a property in the small and sleepy hamlet of Stonely on the outskirts of St Neots to survey a large Travertine patio which needed renovating. As you can see from the photos the patio was looking tired and needed some work. After an inspection I could see that the stone patio had three main problems: First it needed a deep clean to remove a build-up of dirt and algae making them slippery. Second there was areas of loose grout which had become dislodge

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This client from Cobham contacted me in despair, she was quite concerned about her Travertine tiled floor which was cracking. She had the Kitchen and Dining room tiled with Travertine six years ago and recently several cracks had begun to appear in a long line crossing five tiles. Several holes had also begun to appear and across the threshold to the kitchen from the dining area a serious lip had formed where a tile had risen above its neighbour causing a trip hazard. After removing a tile

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The client in Bishops Cleave contacted me as she was so frustrated with her Travertine tiled floor she was thinking of having it taken up. The tiles had been laid throughout the Hallway and into the Kitchen many years prior. The appearance of the floor had slowly deteriorated over the years to the extent that she was now having real trouble getting it clean. I arranged to visit the property in Bishops Cleave which is a small village between Cheltenham and Tewkesbury. The floor was indeed in

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A member of the limestone family, a travertine floor tile is reputed to be a durable and aesthetic flooring option. Grouting of travertine tiles is usually sealed during the installation process to ensure their durability and protect them from getting dirty. This makes the grout lines very resilient. This is why removing old grout from travertine tiles is a bit tricky. Commercial grout-removal chemical solutions might help to cleanse the grout and loosen it but they cannot displace the hardened, old grout, i.e. they are more suited for removing recently-laid grout. These chemical solutions can also cause discoloration of the tiles. Further, these solvents contain toxic chemicals that are harmful to the environment. An eco-friendly and more effective way of removing old grout is explained below.

What you’ll need

  • Water
  • Soft-bristle brush
  • Drill bit (with diamond-edged drilling disk)
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Grout scraper
  • Grout saw
  • Rotary tool
  • Hammer
  • Chisel
  • Dremel tool
  • Razor blade
  • Steel wool

Step 1 – Preparing Travertine Tile Surface
Start by cleaning the travertine tiles. Thorough cleaning with warm water helps to moisten and soften the old grout to some extent. You can also use a soft-bristled brush for rubbing the very thin grout lines. This is critical since the blades of the drill cannot access the very small crevices. The scrubbing ensures better grout removal in such a scenario.

Step 2 – Weakening Old Grout
Using a grout saw or a rotary tool, chisel a thin groove within the old grout line. It is better to start chiseling immediately after the cleaning, since moistened grout is easier-to-penetrate. Once a thin line has been established along the grout, expand it using the grout scraper. The scraper is very useful for scooping-out small sections of the old grout. If any section of the old grout seems impervious to this method, you can use the conventional combination of a hammer and chisel to tap and loosen the old grout.

Step 3 – Drilling Out Old Grout
You can use a Dremel tool or a power drill for this step. However, a power drill ensures better results since its blades offer deeper incision into old grout lines. Load the drill with the diamond-edged disk. Position the disk’s edge within the weakened groove of the old grout and turn-on the drill. The spinning blade effectively digs-out the old grout. Slowly, move the drill ahead, i.e. towards the opposite end of the tile. You need to be very careful while using the drill since lowering it too much can harm the edges of the travertine tiles. You can repeat the drilling until most of the grout lines are comprehensively removed.

Step 4 – Finishing Drilled Grout Lines
You need to remove the loose debris and grout dust from the drilled grout line. This is best done with a handheld vacuum. Please note that among very old travertine tile surfaces, miniscule deposits of grout might still be visible. You can use a razor blade to scrape-away these grout bits. To ensure that the travertine tiles are properly prepared for re-grouting, clean the emptied grout lines with steel wool.

 

Source: www.DoItYourself.com