This honed Travertine tiled floor was newly laid by a professional tiler in South Lancaster, unfortunately however the tiler mistook some white lines in the stone as resin post installation and tried very hard to remove them damaging the finish of the stone (it’s quite common for new stone to have this issue). The white marks turned out be in the stone itself and not on the surface, to complicate things further the Travertine had been laid onto electric under floor heating so it would have been tricky to lift and replace the tiles without compromising the expensive heating matts placed underneath the stone.
The customer was left in a dilemma as the suppliers of the stone were blaming the tiler and the tiler the supplier, the only option was to call out Tile Doctor. On inspection and after conducting two cleaning tests we managed to get a result with our burnishing system with no white lines showing after the Travertine had dried out.
Stripping and Re-Polishing Travertine
To get the Travertine looking new again we had to strip back the surface of the tile using a set of Diamond Encrusted burnishing pads fitted to a rotary machine. You start with a coarse stripper pad with water to strip back the surface and then move onto the finer pads to polish the floor. We also use some grinding discs to remove scratches left behind by the kitchen fitters who were clumsy when fitting the kitchen.
Once I was happy that all the problems had been resolved with the Travertine tile we resealed it using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow to get a nice overall finish for the floor. Colour grow is a great sealer to use on natural stone as now only will it offer good stain protection it brings out the colours in the stone.
Honed Travertine Tiled Floor Problems resolved in Lancaster
I guess it was inevitable that I would be asked to clean the floor in a public toilet at some point; fortunately for me this one in a pub in Ambleside Cumbria was in a reasonably pleasant condition. The floor was Black Honed Slate Tiles but the sealer had been badly etched by Uric Acid (aka urine) around the cubicles, and a bad smell was building up from the reaction with various sealers and coatings that had been applied previously which were unsuitable for a stone floor. Ambleside of course is in the centre of the English Lake District which is famous for its walking and so naturally these floors tend to get a lot of muddy boots trampling over them from the thousands of tourists that visit this area every year.
Cleaning the Black Honed Slate Tiles
I manage to strip the products from the floor using Tile Doctor Remove and Go combined 50/50 with Nano-Tech Ultra-Clean followed by the use of a Steam Cleaner which neutralised the remaining odours as well as helping to remove any remaining cleaning products. Finally the floor was rinsed with water all of which was removed using a wet Vaccum and then left to dry before sealing.
Sealing Black Honed Slate Tiles
We have a number of sealing products for Slate tiles, each one providing a different effect; in this case we opted for two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which enhances the colours in the natural stone and provides stain protection combined with a nice matt finish, which was very practical for this situation. However the customer wanted a higher sheen effect so we added two coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go to the surface as well. It isn’t always possible to do this with sealers as their can be compatibility issues.
Before leaving I left the customer with a bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Cleaner which is an PH neutral product specially designed for cleaning sealed stone floors.
Cleaning and Sealing a Black Honed Slate Tiled floor in an Ambleside Pub WC
This Travertine tiled floor was laid in the kitchen, utility and hallway of a residence in Southport. The floor was in need of a clean and seal and there was an added complication that the customer had dropped a heavy Iron on the Travertine tile which had cracked and in turn had become loose causing it to catch under the door. To add to the complication the floor was fitted with electric under floor heating throughout. Normally I’m a big fan of under heated floors as it can speed up the drying process no end however I was concerned there was a chance that we might damage the cable. Given the situation the customer agreed to sign a waiver in case we damaged the wires whilst trying to replace the damaged stone.
Replacing the Cracked Travertine Tile
Normally to replace a tile it’s necessary to use an Angle Grinder or similar to remove the grout and then chip gingerly away at the tile until you have removed all the pieces, in this case however the Iron had done a good job of smashing the tile so it was just a case of carefully removing the pieces and then cleaning up the grouted edges. Naturally we had to take extra care due to avoid damaging the cable however once this was done we were soon onto re-applying tile adhesive, fitting a replacement tile and re-grouting. Whilst the tile adhesive was setting we were able to get on with the job of cleaning the remainder of the Travertine tiled floor.
Stripping and Re-Polishing Travertine
To strip any remaining sealer from the floor and get it back to its original condition we used a set of diamond encrusted Burnishing Pads fitted to a rotary machine. You start with a Red stripper pad with water to remove the sealer and the move onto the White, Yellow and Green pads which polish the floor. Once the surface was restored we applied two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is a natural-look penetrating sealer that is recommended for food preparation areas such as a kitchen.
No damage was done to the under floor heating and the customer was once again happy to show off her floor, as it turns out we were the only company that was willing to take the problem on.
Photographs below from the restoration of Victorian Floor Tiles in the hallway of a house in the town of Garstang near Preston. The owner of the house had discovered the tiled floor during renovations and was keen to repair and restore it as a period feature. The carpet had done a reasonable job of protecting the floor and I have come across floors in much worse condition in the past so we were confident it could be restored.
Cleaning a Victorian Floor Tiles
The floor was stained from carpet adhesives and some cement haze which we managed to remove using Tile Doctor Grout Clean-up which contains concentrated Hydrochloric Acid and solves a number of problems of this nature. Acids can dissolve calcium based stone so you have to be careful what you use it on, my advice is not to leave it too long on any surface and to wash it down afterwards with water.
The next step was to give the floor a thorough clean which we did using Tile Doctor Remove and Go mixed 50/50 with Nanotech Ultra-Clean; a steamer came in really handy at this point for those tricky stubborn areas. Last step was to give the floor a good rinse with water to remove any remaining chemical before sealing, if you’re doing this work yourself I recommend you hire a Wet Vacuum as it makes light work of removing surface water.
Sealing the Victorian Tiled Floor
The last step was to seal the floor however before we could do that it need to be dry so we checked for dampness first using a Damp Meter. When we happy the floor was sufficiently dry with sealed the floor using 4 coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which provides a low sheen finish whilst offering excellent stain protection. You have to leave each coat to dry before applying the next.