Travertine floor tiles are very appealing but without the protection of a sealer they will soon suffer, fortunately this can be remedied as demonstrated in these pictures of a Tumbled Travertine floor at a house in the Village of Clophill in the Flit River Valley South of Bedford.
This customer had called me out as her ten year old floor was looking very sorry for itself and she was concerned that a lot of holes were appearing which was making cleaning of the floor difficult as dirt was getting trapped in the holes. I went over and carried out a test clean on two separate tiles in the kitchen and the customer was amazed at how clean they came up and especially the grout. An appointment was made for the next month and work commenced.
Cleaning a stained Tumbled Travertine tiled floor
The first thing we do is to protect the lovely Oak kitchen units by removing plinths, covering base units and appliances with a protective film. We then commenced work by burnishing the stone with a set of Tile Doctor Diamond encrusted burnishing pads. The pads are applied individually to each tile in sequence starting with a coarse pad and finishing with the fine pad which brings up the polish. A little waster is used to lubricate the process along the way and the floor is rinsed in-between each pad with the resulting residue extracted from the floor using a wet vacuum. The process takes quite some time but the results are well worth the effort.
Once this was done our attention was turned to the grout which being recessed is difficult to reach by with pads. So for the grout a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean is applied to the grout lines and scrubbed in with stiff brushes by hand.
The floor was rinsed again and fans were used to assist drying before filling the holes with the same filler the customer had used previously to match the colour of the stone as much as possible.
Sealing a Travertine tiled floor
When we returned the next day the floor had dried and we were able to give the floor a final polish with a very fine burnishing pad. The floor was then sealed with two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which provides excellent protection without changing the colour of the stone to provide a natural look.
My customer was delighted with the results and kindly left the following testimonial on the Tile Doctor Feedback system.
“We had several rooms of very dirty travertine tiles that were deep cleaned, filled and re sealed. The floor now looks amazing. Fantastic job by a professional and friendly team.”
Stained and Pitted Travertine Kitchen Floor Restoration in Bedfordshire
The following photos show a modern Limestone tiled floor that had been damaged by the office cleaner. Bit of a long story but basically the cleaner had inadvertently placed a bottle of a strong cleaning chemical which was leaking in a bin liner, that then proceeded to leak onto several areas of the floor as he walked around the office. The chemical soaked into the Limestone tiles unnoticed causing damage and acid etching.
These close-up photos below show the damage, which couldn’t be removed with normal cleaning products and required machine cleaning the floor with the Tile Doctor burnishing pad system as well as hand held Tile Doctor diamond blocks to get into the edges.
Due to it being a busy office environment it wasn’t possible to do work during the week so the work was booked in for the weekend.
Burnishing and Polishing Limestone Floor Tiles
The process used for cleaning and restoring these floors was to use hand held diamond blocks starting with 100 grit and polishing out the acid etching lines using small amounts of water, I then repeated this process with a 200 grit block graduating the cleaned area to blend in before switching to the machine to apply the burnishing pads.
The burnishing pads are applied from coarse to fine starting with a coarse 400 grit pad that removes old sealers and dirt. The floor was rinsed and then then the 800 grit pad was applied which is the first step in restoring the polish to the Limestone, this was followed by the finer 1500 grit pad which brings up the polish even further and giving the whole area a consistent appearance. One of the benefits of using this system is as no chemical are required, only a little water to help lubricate so it’s extremely environmentally friendly.
After applying the third pad the floor was given a thorough rinse with water to remove any soil produced by the burnishing process. The water was then extracted from the floor using a wet vacuum and left to dry off overnight.
Sealing Limestone Floor Tiles
I returned on the Sunday to polish the floor to a high shine with the last very fine burnishing pad which is 3000 grit and is applied without any water. Once complete the floor was sealed using Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is a premium hard wearing sealer that provides a natural finish.
I appreciate it’s tricky to see the difference in these photographs but hopefully it’s comforting to know that if you have a similar problem it can be resolved.
Prevention of course is better than the cure of course so be wary of acidic products especially supermarket cleaning products which tend to have acidic formulas that will reduce the life of your sealer and damage the stone floor over time.
As part of our service we advise customers on best practice for maintaining the appearance of the floor and I’m happy to report this client in Ampthill who has a Terracotta tiled floor that we had fully restored a few years ago had followed to the letter.
Having two dogs and two children, the floor gets a lot of traffic and as expected over a period of time the sealer does wear thin in the busier areas. Should the sealer become too damaged dirt can get underneath and gradually the seal will deteriorate to the point where restoration will be needed again.
By keeping on top of the maintenance our client has kept a beautiful terracotta floor in great condition however as the sealer was wearing he called us back to do a maintenance clean and top up the sealer an activity which we are able to complete in one day rather than the several days needed to do a full restoration.
Terracotta Floor Maintenance Clean and Seal
To maintain the floor, I applied a Tile Doctor fine diamond burnishing pad fitted to a rotary machine and with a little water sprayed onto the tiles to lubricate the process the top was burnished, this took the dirt off the top of the tiles and left a clean surface to top up the seal. The floor was then rinsed to remove the soil generated by the process.
Having removed any damaged sealer an industrial air mover was switched on to get the floor as dry as possible, we then tested the damp levels at various intervals until the floor was dry for re-sealing.
To re-seal two coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go we applied to the floor allowing the first coat to dry before applying the second. Once the second coat had dried a white polishing pad was used to buff the tiles.