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 South East Wales

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 Floor Tile Cleaned Sealed Cardiff South Wales

Travertine Floor Tile Refresh in Cardiff

I actually laid this Travertine floor in Cardiff myself back in 2010 and since then it has experienced a lot of wear and tear. The floor was installed throughout the kitchen and adjacent diner which are some of the busiest rooms in the house, also the client owned dogs which spent a lot of time in the kitchen.

Travertine Floor Before Renovation Cardiff

Deciding it was high time for a refresh the client got in touch to have me return and to discuss some other tiling work they required. During my visit to look at the other work I could visibly see how much this floor needed a thorough renovation. Before starting work I suggested that I carry out a test clean on one tile to show what could be achieved. The demonstration worked well, and the client was delighted to see what could be achieved. This also helped me work out which cleaning products and methods would work best.

Travertine Floor Test Clean Cardiff

The property was close to the buzzing city of Cardiff, thankfully there was on site parking, which can be a bit of a problem when we work this near to the city. Over the years I have invested in a heavy rotary machine and vacuum extractor which give a better clean and makes the work more efficient.

Cleaning a Travertine Tiled Kitchen Diner Floor

Focusing on the grout I started to clean the floor with a handheld scrubbing brush and a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and Tile Doctor Nano HBU tile cleaner which is also a stripper that helps to remove the old sealers and grease. These two combinations were worked into the tiles with a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. Following that the floor was thoroughly rinsed with clean water and the soiling extracted with a wet vacuum.

Travertine Floor During Renovation Cardiff Travertine Floor During Renovation Cardiff

I was then able to see where the work had been effective on the travertine and grout and was able to identify stubborn areas and spot treat them by hand. Whilst doing this manually takes a little longer it is well worth the effort to achieve the best finish. Once I was satisfied the floor was left to dry overnight for the sealer to be applied.

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Kitchen Diner Floor

Returning the following morning, I used the damp meter to test that the floor was dry, the floor was then ready for me to apply the sealer. The choice of sealer for this floor was Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is also a colour enhancing impregnator. It soaks into the pores of the tiles rather than sitting on the surface.

Two coats of the sealer were applied, waiting for the first coat to dry before applying the next. Knowing they have two large dogs this sealer is usually my preferred choice as it is a very hard-wearing product.

Travertine Floor After Renovation Cardiff

Once complete the floor looked great, and the client was very happy with the work we carried out. We recommended the use of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner which is pH neutral and will ensure they can maintain the floor moving forward.

Travertine Floor After Renovation Cardiff


Professional Renovation of a Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor in South Wales

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Uneven Travertine Floor Before and After Levelling and Polishing in Swansea

Uneven Travertine Tiled Floor Levelled and Polished in Swansea

The customer, who lives in Swansea, the second largest city in Wales after Cardiff, had been searching for a company to rectify the problems with his Travertine tiled floor for a few months with no luck. Fortunately, he discovered Tile Doctor online and as their local agent I was asked to assess the problems first hand.

Uneven Travertine Floor Before Levelling and Polishing in Swansea
Upon my inspection, I was quite astounded by the way the Travertine floor had been installed. It covered an around 60 square metres and suffering severe lipping of 2-3 mm in some areas between tiles. Lipping occurs when you have variation in the height of adjoining tiles, and it can be quite a trip hazard.

Uneven Travertine Floor Before Levelling and Polishing in Swansea
The floor was laid in September 2016 on a new screed, so I knew there would be no damp issues. I checked the spare tiles the customer had in surplus and determined they were 13mm thick so the solution I proposed was to grind down the tiles by 2-3mm using coarse diamond encrusted milling pads and then restore the polish with a set of fine burnishing pads. You can only do this with natural stone and given the tiles were 13mm thick it shouldn’t present a problem.

Levelling an Uneven Travertine Tiled Floor

I used a set of Tile Doctor milling pads, starting with the 50 grit Extra Coarse pad to remove the lippage throughout the whole floor. It was a large area and with 2-3mm to grind off the tile it took four days nearly three pads to complete.

Uneven Travertine Floor During Levelling and Polishing in Swansea
I then used the 100-grit coarse pad to further smooth the surface the 50-grit pad had etched, followed by the 200-grit pad to refine the finish even further. After every pad application, I rinsed and vacuumed and the area to remove the slurry.

Uneven Travertine Floor During Levelling and Polishing in Swansea

Restoring the Polish on a Travertine Tiled Floor

After removing the tile lippage, I knew that the floor would be a lot easier to polish using our set of four Tile Doctor burnishing pads, which would do the job of restoring the desired polish. I started with the Coarse 400 grit pad and worked my way through the system of burnishing pads using a little water to help lubricate and rinsing away the slurry between each pad. The pads were applied in sequence from Medium, Fine and then Very Fine pads to achieve a fantastic polished finish.

Next, I needed to fill a lot of cavities remaining in the stone. I did this filling after the burnishing to avoid the filler coming loose during the work in progress.

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Floor

The final step in the restoration process was to seal the floor using our impregnating sealer, known as Tile Doctor Colour Grow. I highly recommend this product for stone as it not only does add durable protection by occupying the pores in the stone it also enhances it’s natural colours.

Finally, I removed any surplus sealer with a cloth and left the floor to dry for another hour, before using the Very Fine pad to refine the polish and ensure that no smears were present.

Uneven Travertine Floor After Levelling and Polishing in Swansea
The work took eight days to complete and both myself and the customer were delighted with the results of the restoration of the floor which was a total disaster to look at when I first inspected it. The customer thought it was beyond repair – until he found Tile Doctor.

Uneven Travertine Floor After Levelling and Polishing in Swansea

Professional Tile Milling, Burnishing and Sealing for a Travertine Tiled Floor with Lipping Issues in Swansea

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