Travertine Tile Cleaning

Giving a Travertine Kitchen Floor a Face Lift in Burgh Castle

Located in Burgh Castle West of Great Yarmouth, this Travertine stone floor was a classic example of an incomplete installation. By incomplete I mean the tiler had done a fine job of laying and grouting the tiles but had left it at that and not sealed the stone. Natural stone like Travertine is porous and needs a sealer to stop dirt becoming ingrained in its pores, a sealer will also improve its appearance.

Without a sealer this floor now looked very dull, pale, rather damaged with pitting and heavily soiled with ingrained dirt. Pitting in stone like this is a natural feature of Travertine however it can be exacerbated with the use of acid cleaning products. This was a floor in urgent need of a face lift, and I was confident it could be transformed into a very beautiful floor.

I think it is true to say that most tilers will skilfully lay a floor for you but usually don’t have the knowledge, experience or equipment to finish the surface properly and when it comes to sealing many will recommend a product and suggest you take care of it yourself. Naturally if your find yourself in that position don’t insist the tiler does it, better to give us a call and have it done properly.

Travertine Kitchen Floor Before Face Lift Burgh Castle

Filling Pitted Travertine Tiles

Our first job was to backfill the larger pits in the stone which as I mentioned are a natural feature of travertine material, but they can trap dirt and so its best if they are plugged with a suitably rigid filler. Also, if left alone the larger holes can quickly become larger as their edges crumble and break up leading to the entire tile becoming unstable. Replacing a tile in a floor like this is possible however its an extremely awkward job to do and it can be difficult to find an exact match for replacement.

Filling was done using a two-part, neutral cream-coloured polyester compound which gels in about fifteen minutes after addition of the catalyst. After this initial period, the excess product is trimmed off level with the surface of the tile before it sets harder than the stone itself in around sixty minutes. The fully cured compound can then be cut and machined as though it were part of the stone structure.

Cleaning and Removing Scratches from a Travertine Floor Tiles

Our second job was to remove deep scratches caused by the unprotected feet of workmen’s ladders. This was done using Tile Doctor 50-grit and 100-grit diamond hand burnishing pads with a little water as a cutting medium. Shallower scratching present across the rest of the floor was removed using a Tile Doctor 200-grit soft milling pad driven by our Klindex 17″ rotary machine.

This abrasive action produces a fine slurry which was then rinsed with water and extracted using our 400psi Ninja machine in preparation for the next stage of the refinishing process. These machines were an expensive investment for our business however they are very robust and effective producing a good result that saves time.

Next task was to restore the polished appearance of the Travertine which was done using the application of a set of Tile Doctor burnishing pads. The process starts by applying a coarse 400-grit diamond pad, again fitted to the Klindex rotary machine. This cleans the tile and improves the matt finish left by the milling pad; again, the slurry was rinse-extracted before moving on to the next pad in the set. Next came the finer diamond polishing stages of 800 grit and 1500 grit, slurry being removed as before between the grades. By this time, all the scratches had been removed and the Travertine floor had visually pleasing even sheen across the whole surface. The last pad in the set is applied dry with a little water sprayed onto the tile so we left the area to dry out thoroughly overnight with the assistance of our large capacity dehumidifier.

Sealing a Travertine Kitchen Floor in Burgh Castle

Returning the following morning, we found that the floor had dried out perfectly and was ready to be vacuumed and spray burnished with the last pad in the set which is a 3000-grit very fine pad applied using a small amount of water sprayed from a trigger bottle resulting in a deep, rich shine across the floor surface.

Last step in the face lift was to seal the floor with a generous coat of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal, a premium grade penetrating sealer recommended for use in Kitchens and food preparation areas. Having left the floor to soak up as much of the Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal as it could, the excess product was removed and the whole area allowed to dry completely with the assistance of our industrial air moving fan. Finally, the floor was spray buffed to a deep shine using a white maintenance pad.

Travertine Kitchen Floor After Face Lift Burgh Castle

The client was extremely pleased with our results and was amazed at the variation of colours within the stone which had never been visible previously.

 

Professional Restoration of a Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor in Norfolk

Restoring a Heavily Soiled Unfilled Travertine Floor in Attleborough

Our client got in touch from Attleborough a market town between Norwich and Thetford to ask for our help restoring her kitchen and dining area floor. If you live in the countryside and have children and pets, unfilled Travertine is probably not the best choice for your kitchen/diner flooring, which is the conclusion our client discovered for herself.

The floor was only around three years old, but the entire area had become heavily scratched and soiled. Most of the dirt was occupying the unfilled pits in the stone which are an inconvenient feature of this natural material. No amount of daily vacuuming, mopping or rinsing will ever shift this kind of contamination which is why she called us in desperation.

Travertine Floor in Attleborough Before Cleaning
During our site visit, apart from the obvious heavy soiling, we also noticed a very prominent and ugly settlement crack which had appeared along the French doors leading to a four mm difference between the surface levels either side of the crack itself.

Travertine Floor in Attleborough Threshold Crack

Cleaning and Repairing a Travertine Tiled Kitchen and Dining Room

Our first job was to deep-clean the soiling from the floor using our heavy 17″ rotary machine fitted with a medium-soft brush and a 1:5 mix of Tile Doctor Pro Clean, diluted with very hot water. This combination made quick work of the surface dirt, along with the soiling in the grout lines. The resulting slurry was left to dwell on the floor for ten minutes to soften the residue sitting at the bottom of the pits before being power rinsed and vacuumed away using our 400psi hot water extraction machine. The machine was fitted with a specialist hard flooring wand which blasted the softened dirt out of the pits and immediately sucked all the contaminants up. This avoids anything spraying up the adjoining walls.

Having removed all the dirt, we then cut and polished the area again with the rotary machine but this time using Tile Doctor Diamond Burnishing Pads from 400-grit through to 1500-grit, rinse extracting between each stage to remove the resulting slurry. Internal corners were finished with hand-held diamond blocks. We then left the whole area to dry thoroughly overnight with assistance from our large capacity dehumidifier.

Travertine Floor in Attleborough Rotary Cleaning

Sealing Travertine Flooring in Attleborough

On our return the following day, we repaired the unsightly crack along the threshold by grinding the high lip down to the same lower level using a diamond blade fitted to our Bosch multitool. Followed by polishing with our Festool Rotex 90 Handtool. The crack, being rather wide, was then filled with a two-part epoxy stone repair compound and levelled with the Rotex after curing.

Travertine Floor in Attleborough Crack Repaired
After this, the floor was vacuumed thoroughly followed with the application of the a very fine 3000-grit diamond burnishing pad which is applied to the floor with a little water spayed onto the tile. This fourth and final burnishing pad really builds up the shine on the floor.

Travertine Floor in Attleborough Deep Cleaned
Our client really loved the new lighter look of her cleaned Travertine floor, so we chose to use Tile Doctor Ultra Seal to seal the floor and protect it from staining. Ultra-Seal is a matt impregnating sealer that soaks into the pores of the stone protecting it from within and without affecting the colour of the substrate. The sealer was liberally applied and allowed to be absorbed by the stone for a few minutes before the excess was removed. After an hour, the surface was re-burnished with the 3000-grit diamond pad and then vacuumed to remove any fine dust generated during the burnishing.

Our client was really happy with the improvement and left the following comment when we’d finished…

“Our travertine floor had suffered over the winter and I wasn’t totally convinced that anything would save it. However, it has been completely transformed and we are delighted with the results. Nick was professional and thorough – could not recommend more!”

Travertine Floor in Attleborough Cleaned and Sealed
 

Cleaning and Repair of Travertine Kitchen and Dining Room Floor in Norfolk

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Norfolk Tile Doctor

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