This customer in Preston in Lancashire had just moved into a house with a large 60m2 Travertine tiled floor that was installed throughout most of the ground floor. Travertine is a lovely stone but the previous owner had not maintained the sealer on the tiles and as a result it now looked grubby and there was a lot of dirt ingrained in the tiles leaving black staining, especially in the Kitchen.
This is a common problem with all natural stone floors, some are hardier than others but without a protective barrier in place they will attract dirt as the sealer become worn off. The new owner was seriously considering having the tiles ripped up, fortunately however they came across our service and decided to try having them renovated first.
Deep Cleaning a Travertine Tiled Floor
To get the stone clean and bring back the beautiful appearance of the Travertine I used several diamond burnishing pads which are run over the tiles with water for lubrication. The first was a coarse 200-grit pad which is fitted to a rotary floor machine and buffed into the stone in a circular motion. This process generates a lot of slurry which is then rinsed off afterwards and extracted with a wet vacuum.
This process was then repeated using finer burnishing pads and continued with a 400-grit, 800-grit and finally a 1500-grit, again each pad was run over the tiles several times and then the slurry extracted as before. It’s a completely abrasive process with no other products needed and the result is a sealer and dirt-free tile.
At this point I inspected the floor to see if the pads had been able to clean up the grout as well as the tile. Pads can struggle to reach down into the recess so I often find more work is needed on the grout. As suspected the Travertine had responded well to the treatment however it was clear the grout would need more work and was still stained black in places.
Normally use a grout cleaning product called Tile Doctor Pro-Clean for the grout but on this occasion, I felt something stronger would be needed. So, on this occasion I applied undiluted Tile Doctor Remove and Go along the grout lines and left it to soak in for ten minutes. It was then scrubbed in by hand, rinsed off and the soil remove with the wet vacuum. The grout cleaning had worked a treat and happy with the condition of the floor it was left to dry off overnight.
Sealing a Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor
The next morning time was spent filling in holes (aka pitting) in the Travertine with colour matching grout before running over the whole floor with a very fine 3000-grit polishing pad to further bring up the appearance of the stone. This is done using a little water sprayed onto the tile a process we call a spray burnish.
Spray burnishing also leaves the floor dry and ready to be sealed. The owner wanted the Travertine to look as natural as possible so two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal were applied. This is an impregnating sealer which is recommended for use on polished stone and for use in kitchens.
Before leaving I took time to discuss aftercare cleaning and how important it is to avoid the use of strong cleaning products (especially bleach) on Travertine, not only will it degrade the sealer but can also harm the stone. For the regular cleaning of sealed Travertine, I recommend using Tile Doctor Stone Soap which is a gentle but effective cleaner that also helps maintain the patina.