Burnishing the Polish Into Travertine Tiles in Didsbury

While popular and highly coveted due to its natural brown colouring, Travertine is not as tough as other types of natural stone and thus needs regular maintenance if you wish to keep it looking good. Without it the polish can quickly dull, and can suffer from erosion over time if acidic cleaning products are used often resulting in small holes or pitting appearing.

This house in the Manchester suburb of Didsbury had a particularly large area of Travertine tiles which had proven to be very difficult for the property owner to maintain. When I spoke to her I explained that Tile Doctor have a reliable process for the restoration of Travertine and similar types of natural stone such as Marble and Limestone using a polishing process we have developed called burnishing, and I assured her that we could achieve the same with her floor.

Travertine tiled floor before polishing in Didsbury

Cleaning and Polishing Travertine Tiles

Tile Doctor’s burnishing system involves the application of four different diamond encrusted burnishing pads in sequence from coarse to fine, using a small amount of water with each pad for lubrication.

Travertine tiled floor before polishing in Didsbury

I started work on this Travertine by applying a Coarse 400 grit burnishing pad to strip away dirt and any old sealer remaining on the tiles, before removing any dirty water with a wet vac machine and rinsing the floor (a process which is repeated after the application of each pas). Next, I moved on to the Medium 800 grit pad, which I used to break down any ingrained dirt and stubborn marks, and to start smoothing down the rough and uneven surface that had developed on some of the tiles. I then used the Fine 1500 grit pad to smooth the surface even further and get the floor ready for its final polishing.

However, before applying the fourth and final pad, I took the time to carefully fill all the cracks and holes as these were spoiling the overall appearance of the tiles. Following this I left the floor for the day so it could dry off fully overnight.

Sealing Travertine Tiles

I returned to the property the next morning to seal the floor. My first course of action was to run a damp test; which we do in every situation as even a small amount of damp threatens to spoil the sealer. The test did reveal some damp spots, so I used my heat gun to dry them out quickly.

Once the floor was completely dry, I went over the floor with the Very Fine 300 grit pad, without any water as lubricant this time, to achieved the final desired polish. In this situation, I used Tile Doctor Colour Grow to seal the tiles as I knew it would enhance the natural shades in the Travertine. Colour Grow is a solvent based colour intensifying sealer that provides durable surface protection while allowing the surface to breath and enhance colour.

It’s really important that all excess sealer – that which doesn’t penetrate the stone – is polished off. For polishing off the excess, I used our three cloth system. After completing the sealing process, I went over the floor one final time with the Very Fine 3000 grit diamond burnishing pad to ensure a smooth and shiny finish.

Travertine tiled floor after polishing in Didsbury

Needless to say, the customer was very happy with result, remarking that the floor never looked that good before!

Travertine tiled floor after polishing in Didsbury

 
 

Professional Polishing and Sealing of a Dull Travertine Tiled Floor near Manchester

Cracked Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor Maintained in Didsbury

This Travertine tiled kitchen floor had been laid around five years previously in a house in Didsbury and now most of the sealer had worn down making the floor difficult to clean effectively. This resulted in the tiles looking continually dirty and a few of the tiles had cracked which you can see in the photograph below.

Travetine Tiled Floor Before Burnishing Didsbury

Maintaining Travertine Tiles

To start off with i scrubbed Tile Doctor Pro-Clean into all the grout lines with a stiff brush in order to get them as clean as possible followed by a rinse with water which was extracted using a wet vacuum.

The next step was to strip the Travertine of any remaining sealer and dirt using a set of four Diamond encrusted burnishing pads which come in a number of grades and are applied from coarse to extra fine with a little water to help lubricate.

I used the first three pads from coarse to fine rinsing between each pad to restore the polished finish of the stone but stopped before applying the final pad so I could fill all the cracked tiles with a resin filler in a matching shade. Once the filler had dried I gave the floor a final polish with the fourth extra fine burnishing pad and gave the floor a final rinse at the end to make sure the floor was clean before sealing.

Cracked Travertine Didsbury Repair

Sealing Travertine Tiles

Once the floor was dry it was sealed using a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that occupies the pores in the stone so dirt cannot become ingrained there. This particular sealer also enhances the natural colours in the stone.

Travetine Tiled Floor After Burnishing Didsbury

After the final polish and sealing the cracked areas had blended in very nicely and the customer was very pleased with the overall result.
 
 

Repairing and Maintaining Travertine Floor Tiles in Greater Manchester

Recently Laid Travertine Tiled Floor Cleaned in Didsbury

Incredibly this Travertine tiled floor had been laid just two weeks prior and unfortunately the tiler had not cleaned the floor prior to sealing thus trapping in dirt and dust that were present on the floor and now the tiles looked dull and dirty. Sealing floors can be a minefield and it’s possible the dirt was not that obvious and by sealing the floor it magnified the issue literally; whatever the reason the only solution would be to strip the floor of its sealer, clean the floor and then reseal.

New Travertine Floor Before Cleaning in Disbury

Maintaining Travertine Tiles

To strip the floor of the sealer and clean it requires the application of a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pads which are fitted to a rotary machine in a set sequence and run over the floor lubricated with a little water. There are four pads in the set, you start with a coarse pad which will remove ingrained dirt and sealers before moving on to the medium, fine and very fine polishing pads which are a much finer grit and restore the polished finish of the stone. The floor needs to be rinsed down between each pad application to remove the soil that is produced and then given a final wash at the end to make sure the floor is clean before sealing.

Polishing and Sealing Travertine Tile

The floor must be dry before sealing so it was left to dry overnight and I came back the next day to seal it using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that occupies the pores in the stone so dirt cannot become ingrained there and in the process it also enhances the natural colours in the stone. Once the sealer was dry it was buffed using a white buffing pad to make sure that I hadn’t left any residues from the seal.

New Travertine Floor After Cleaning in Disbury
The customer was very happy with work and they now have the floor that they wanted.

Travertine tiled floor cleaned and re-sealed in Greater Manchester

Cleaning Terracotta Kitchen Tiles in Didsbury

This Terracotta tiled floor was in the kitchen of a house in Didsbury near Manchester. The tiles had never been sealed before and so had become ingrained with dirt making them very difficult to clean.

Terracotta floor cleaning Didsbury before

Cleaning Terracotta Tiles

To get the Terracotta tiles clean I soaked tiles in a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and left it to dwell for ten minutes. Then using a large 17inch black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine and a stiff grout brush proceeded to work the cleaning solution into the tile and grout. This process soon turned the cleaning solution dark with the dirt that had been released from the tile and this was removed using a wet vacuum. The floor rinsed down with water and stubborn areas retreated, finally once happy with the condition of the floor the tiles were thoroughly rinsed to remove any trace of cleaning product prior to sealing and the floor left to dry overnight.

Sealing Terracotta Tiles

I returned the next day to seal the floor testing it first with a damp meter to make sure it had dried. I then started to seal the tiles using Tile Doctor Seal and Go which is a water based sealer so it doesn’t leave any smell as it dries. Terracotta is a very porous clay based material and so the floor took seven coats of sealer to do the job, this is not unusual and I’ve known some Terracotta to need even more coats of sealer.

Terracotta floor cleaning Didsbury after

 
 

Terracotta Tile Cleaning near Manchester

Bathroom Tile and Grout Facelift in Didsbury

This Ceramic tiled bath with shower was installed at house in Didsbury, this customer wanted to give the bathroom a facelift and not usually it was the grout rather than the ceramic tile that had discoloured, the silicone also needed to be replaced due to the mould build-up and if you get mould on silicone it’s impossible to remove and can only be replaced. Unfortunately mould build-up in bathrooms is quite common in the UK due to our damp climate and modern insulated homes that restrict air flow. If you’re having this problem yourself consider installing a more powerful extractor fan or simply leaving the door to the bathroom open more often.

Disbury-bathroom-tile-and-grout-refresh-before

Cleaning Tile and Grout

The Ceramic tiles and grout were treated using a strong 2:1 dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a highly recommended Tile and Grout cleaning product; being alkaline it’s safe to use on all sorts of tile and stone surfaces. For vertical tiled surfaces I recommend the mixture is decanted into a bottle with a trigger spray attachment which when sprayed onto the wall allows the cleaner to mix with air making it lighter and allowing it to stick better. The solution was then worked in using a stiff scrubbing brush by hand before being rinsed off with water; this process was repeated a number of times until we had managed to clean all the areas and then left to dry. If you’re doing this work yourself then you should know that Tile Doctor produces a product that comes with a spray attachment called col=”http://www.TileDoctor.co.uk/Oxy-Pro-Shower-Tile-Grout-Cleaner.asp” target=”_blank”>Oxy Pro that is ready to use and can save you some time.

Whilst waiting for the tile and grout to dry the Silicone Sealer was removed using a sharp knife, as I mentioned before once mould gets a grip on silicone it will need to be replaced. It’s also worth mentioning at this point that silicone will last longer if the residue from soaps, shampoos and body washes etc. are rinsed away with clean water after having a shower as it’s the chemical and not the water that damages the silicone in the first place.

Grout Colouring

Cleaning the grout had made a visible difference and improved the overall look of the bathroom but it wasn’t showroom condition so to improve it further it was necessary to apply a white Grout Colourant. The product we use is epoxy based and forms a thin impermeable barrier over the grout so not only does it look good it protects the grout as well; it’s very easily applied using a small brush along the grout lines and you just wipe of the excess so it wasn’t long before the grout was looking like new.

Last step was to re-new the silicone sealant around the top of the bath and the job was finished; my customer was very pleased with the results and made the comment that she thought it looked like new.

Disbury-bathroom-tile-and-grout-refresh-after
 

Refreshing a Ceramic Tiled Bathroom in Didsbury