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 Swansea

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.

Uneven Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor Before After Milling Gower Peninsula

Levelling an Uneven Travertine Kitchen Floor in the Gower Peninsula

Our client who lives in the beautiful Gower Peninsula was desperate to see if we could solve the problem of their poorly laid Travertine floor which had not been put down level. They didn’t want to remove all the tiles and have the floor re-laid, which would have been very messy, time consuming and most of all expensive so they contacted us looking for an alternative.

Travertine Floor with Lippage Issues Before Milling in Gower Swansea Travertine Floor with Lippage Issues Before Milling in Gower Swansea

The floor had been laid some time ago so there was no way of going back to the original installers to correct the problem. Fortunately for the customer Tile Doctor has developed a method we call Milling which can grind the stone level and remove the lippage between tiles. I explained to them how we could carry out the job which involves the use of a series of coarse diamond encrusted pads to resurface the Travertine. Happy with our suggestion and the accompanying quote, we were commissioned to resolve the problem with the floor which was a trip hazard and scheduled our return for the following month.

Travertine Floor with Lippage Issues Before Milling in Gower Swansea

Milling an Uneven Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor

The first job was to identify the Travertine tiles which suffered the most lippage with sticky Post-it Notes and apply protective tape to the skirting and woodwork. Milling can generate dust, so we also fitted a dust sheet between the kitchen and the adjoining areas

Travertine Floor with Lippage Issues Before Milling in Gower Swansea

We then made a start with the application of a very coarse 50-grit DRB (Diamond Router Bit) pad fitted to a weighted floor machine. The pad is applied with water to lubricate the process and minimise dust and run over the problem tiles. This pad removes the lippage and also mills the tile and surrounding tiles leaving them flat with one another.

The floor was then rinsed with water and the slurry extracted with a commercial wet vacuum before repeating the process with 100 & 200 grit DRB pads in sequence. These finer pads gradually remove the abrasive scratches from the tiles caused by the milling.

After rinsing and extracting between each pad the work continued with a 200, 400, 800 and finally a 1500-grit burnishing pads using the same method as before until the surface was restored and left with a semi sheen lustre finish.

By the end of the day the surface of the floor was vastly improved, the lippage was gone, and the Travertine looked much cleaner and brighter. The floor was a little damp from the rinsing and was left to dry off overnight.

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor

The next day the floor was checked for moisture using a damp meter and the readings came back fine giving us the green light to finish the floor with the application of a sealer.

Tile Doctor Ultra Seal was chosen to seal the floor, it’s an impregnating sealer which works by seeping into the pores of the stone preventing dirt becoming ingrained there and providing long lasting protection. Additionally, Ultra Seal is recommended for food preparation areas such as Kitchens and it doesn’t affect the look of the stone once it dries leaving a no-sheen, natural look

Travertine Floor with Lippage Issues After Milling in Gower Swansea

Hopefully you can appreciate the improvement in the floor which was now level with no trip hazards and protected with a sealer so it will keep its looks for a look for many years to come and be much easier to keep clean.

My client was very happy with the results and left the following feedback:

“Adrian did a superb job on a badly laid travertine tiled floor, levelling and polishing it to perfection. We’d thoroughly recommend Adrian and will be calling him back soon to renovate our other tiled floors.”

Travertine Floor with Lippage Issues After Milling in Gower Swansea

For aftercare I recommended the use of Tile Doctor Stone Soap Cleaner which will help them maintain the floor and won’t prematurely erode the newly applied sealer.


Professional Levelling of a Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor in Swansea

Levelling an Uneven Travertine Kitchen Floor in the Gower Peninsula Read More »

Travertine Tiled Floor Before and After Polishing Swansea

Stripping, Polishing and Sealing Travertine Tiles in Swansea

This customer from Swansea was unhappy with the look of her Travertine floor tiles and so decided to call in tile doctor after she had seen pictures of other travertine floor tiles on one of our websites and wanted hers to look the same. The natural brown shades of her own Travertine tiles had become very dark and were looking dull and lifeless in comparison.

It was clear to me that the Sealer was wearing thin with use and dirt had now penetrated the pores of the stone making it difficult to clean effectively. This is a common problem with stone floors and this is why Tile Doctor offer a maintenance service where we pop round once a year to top-up the sealer on your floor.

Travertine Floor Swansea Before Cleaning Travertine Floor Swansea Before Cleaning

Stripping and Re-Polishing Travertine

To restore the polished appearance of the floor the stone would need to be stripped of any remaining sealer and dirt, re-polished and then sealed; we find the best way to achieve that is through the application of a set of Diamond encrusted burnishing pads.

I started the burnishing process by fitting a coarse 400 grit no.1 burnishing pad to a floor buffer and running at a slow speed ran the pad across the whole floor. This coarse pad is designed to strip off old sealers and dirt from the tile. You use a little water to help lubricate and once complete it’s necessary to rinse the area with water to remove the soil that is generated. The next step is to start building back the polish with the 800 and then 1500 grit pads which are applied in the same manner.

The floor was then rinsed again with water and I turned my attention to the grout which was scrubbed by hand using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and a stiff brush. The floor was given another rinse and then inspected to ensure I hadn’t missed anything. Before leaving for the day I used the wet vacuum to extract as much moisture from the floor as possible.

Sealing Travertine Floor Tiles

On the second day I finished the banishing process with the application of the final of the four pads which is a very fine 3000 grit pad which adds a final polish to the surface leaving it looking shiny. This last pad is applied with a small amount of water spayed onto the tile in a process we call a spray burnish. The use of water is so small the floor remains dry enabling us to apply a sealer shortly afterwards.

There are some beautiful brown shades in Travertine and so to really make them standout I sealed the floor using a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing impregnating sealer that soaks into the pores of the stone protecting it from within. The sealer will also make ongoing cleaning and maintenance easier for the customer.

Travertine Floor Swansea After Cleaning
The customer was very pleased with the result and commented on how clean and deep the shine had come out using the Diamond pad system.

Travertine Floor Swansea After Cleaning
Before leaving I recommended the use of Tile Doctor Stone Soap as an aftercare cleaner, this produce is specially designed for cleaning polished stone, not only does it helps build patina, but it won’t prematurely erode the sealer like many acidic cleaners you find in the supermarket which should really only be used on ceramics and Vinyl tiles.

Travertine Tiled Floor Polished in Glamorgan

Stripping, Polishing and Sealing Travertine Tiles in Swansea Read More »


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