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 Leicestershire

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 After Refinishing Kings Norton Leicester

Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor Refinished in Kings Norton

The photographs below are of a Travertine tiled floor installed in the kitchen of a 17th century cottage in the small Leicestershire village of Kings Norton.  The owner had called us in to deep clean and refinish the Travertine tiles which had become soiled, dull, the grout had darkened in places and there were lots of holes that needed filling.

This issue is quite normal for a natural stone floor which benefits from having a sealer in place to stop dirt from becoming trapped in the pores. Travertine can also suffer from pitting which are small holes in the surface of the tile, these pits attract dirt and should be filled to prevent that happening. With Travertine especially you need to ensure a neutral ph. cleaner is used as anything stronger can exacerbate the problem.

Deep Cleaning a Travertine Tiled Floor

The first job was to give the floor a thorough clean with a particular focus on the grout and pitting. It was clear the sealer had pretty much worn off over time so Tile Doctor Pro-Clean was applied using a 1:4 dilution with water. The solution was left to soak into the floor for ten minutes first to help break down the soil build-up. The Pro-Clean was then worked into the Travertine tile and grout using a floor buffing machine fitted with a Black scrubbing pad and extra weights to increase contact.

Travertine Kitchen Floor Tile Refinishing Kings Norton During Cleaning Travertine Kitchen Floor Tile Refinishing Kings Norton During Cleaning

The soiled cleaning solution was then rinsed off and the soiling extracted using a wet vacuum. This process was repeated until I was happy the stone and the grout were as clean as possible.

With the dirt removed it made it easier to highlight the holes that needed to be filled. For filling I used a straw-coloured resin glue which matched the natural colours of the Travertine very well. Once the resin has set the next move was to burnish the stone to further clean it, remove light scratches and generally improve its appearance. This process also helps the filled pits blend in with the stone.

Travertine Kitchen Floor Tile Refinishing Kings Norton Before Cleaning Travertine Kitchen Floor Tile Refinishing Kings Norton After Filling

Burnishing the floor involves stripping back the stone using a coarse 400-grit diamond encrusted burnishing pad and then building up the finish with a medium 800-grit pad to restore the finish and add the light sheen our customer had requested. The floor was given a light rinse and extraction in-between pads and then a thorough rinse afterwards to remove the slurry generated during burnishing.

Sealing Travertine Kitchen Floor Tiles

The floor was left to dry off naturally and we returned later to apply a sealer which for this floor the customer had requested a natural finish. After ensuring the floor was dry it was then sealed to saturation point using Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal which is an impregnating sealer that penetrates deep into the pores of the stone to ensure dirt cannot become ingrained there. This sealer doesn’t alter the look of the stone resulting in the natural appearance the customer had specified.

Travertine Kitchen Floor Tile Refinishing Kings Norton After Cleaning Travertine Kitchen Floor Tile Refinishing Kings Norton After Cleaning

I left a bottle of Tile Doctor Stone Soap for aftercare cleaning; this is a ph. neutral product that will gently clean the stone and improve patina. If your going to use a supermarket cleaning product always read the label and ensure they are compatible for use with sealed natural stone.


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