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.
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.
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
The photographs below probably don’t do this job justice but in summary recent high winds had dislodged tiles from the roof adjacent this conservatory at a house in Oldham causing them to smash through the glass roof and damage the Travertine Tiles on the floor below.
Cleaning, Filling and Polishing Travertine Tiles
The first job was to wash the floor down with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean to give it a general clean and remove any surface dirt and grit from the floor. Travertine is a very hard stone so to restore the finish it needs to be cut back and polished using of a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pads fitted to a rotary machine. You start with a coarse pad with a little water, then a medium pad, fine pad and finish with a very fine polishing pad, this takes some time but the effect it quite transforming, it does build up slurry on the floor so it all needs to be washed down again at the end. I use a wet vacuum to remove the liquids from the floor and this also gets the floor quite dry. I then filled the holes in the damaged tiles using resin cement that matched the colour of the Travertine.
Sealing and Buffing Travertine Tile
I let the floor dry fully overnight and came back the next day to seal the tiles checking first with a damp meter that the floor has dried. A sealer is highly recommended for natural stone as it protects the stone from staining and keeps it looking good for longer. For this floor I used coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing sealer that brings out the colours in natural stone, it’s also an impregnating sealer that soaks into the pores of the stone and preventing dirt becoming ingrained there. 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.
The job took two days to complete and the customer was very happy with the final finish and the fact that you could not tell where the damage had been.
Travertine tiled floor maintained by Greater Manchester Tile Doctor
This original Victorian Tiled floor was uncovered at the Grade 2 listed Salford Town Hall in Salford, Manchester. This public building which built around 1827 was the former Salford Town Hall and Magistrates Court; it’s currently being turned in to luxury apartments and this amazing floor is located in the main entrance hall. The floor was only recently re-discovered during the conversion works after being hidden for many years and was in surprisingly good condition. The company remodelling the building are maintaining the historic features so we got the call to go in and clean and seal the floor.
Cleaning Victorian Tiles
Cleaning the floor was fairly straight forward and involved the application of a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was left to dwell on the tile for around ten minutes before being worked into the Tile and Grout using a rotary machine fitted with a black pad. The dirty solution was removed using a wet vacuum and the whole floor rinsed down three times to ensure there was no trace of cleaner left on the floor. It’s a large tiled area so it took the whole day to complete.
Sealing Victorian Tiles
I returned the next day to see that the floor had dried off overnight and so started to seal it using Tile Doctor Seal & Go which is a topical sealer that adds a nice shine to the tiles, five coats of sealer were needed before the tiles were fully sealed. I think you would agree the floor now looks fantastic; certainly the client was happy with the finish.
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.
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.
This beautiful Brazilian Slate tiled floor was installed in the cellar of a house in Urmston, Manchester; the slate has never been sealed as so as you would expect it dirt soon became ingrained into the pores of the tile and it lost its appearance.
Cleaning slate Floor Tiles
I gave the floor a good deep cleaning using a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-clean which is an alkaline cleaner safe to use on natural stone such as Slate; I should mention this is an industrial strength product and it’s very good at removing general dirt, grime and even grease. I let the product soak into the tile for five minutes before scrubbing it into the slate using a black scrubbing pad fitted to a rotary machine. Pro-Clean was also used along the grout lines to get them clean, although this had to be scrubbed by hand with a stiff brush. Finally I gave the floor a through rinse using hot water to make sure that no chemical remained on the tile before sealing and then left for the evening so the floor could dry.
Sealing Slate Floor Tiles
The next day I checked the floor was dry and then began to seal it using five coats of Tile Doctor Seal and Go which provides stain protection and leaves a nice shiny finish.
I think you will agree the Brazilian slate tiles look much improved.
Brazilian Slate Floor Cleaned and Sealed in Urmston, Manchester