Burnishing and Sealing to Restore Travertine Tiles in Bury

Travertine is a distinct and characterful stone that makes for some truly beautiful tiled floors. However, like any natural stone the main difficulty with Travertine tiles is keeping them looking fantastic and unfortunately without regular maintenance its appearance can decline over time.

This customer, who lives in Bury, contacted me for this exact reason. For the past decade, she had attempted to keep her Travertine floor clean by using some kind of wax polish, only to find that this actually made maintenance more difficult, the wax built up in layers and was difficult to remove.

Travertine Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Bury

I visited the property to conduct a test clean and determine the kind of results I could achieve through restoring the entire floor. The customer was very impressed with the small area I cleaned and booked me in on the same day to complete the full job.

Travertine Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Bury

Cleaning a Travertine Tiled Floor

As a result of my successful test clean, I already knew that the best process to restore the tiles was burnishing. This involves the application of different grades of diamond encrusted burnishing pads to strip away dirt and staining, and gradually polish the stone to achieve a quality shine.

Normally on Travertine tiles I would start by applying the Coarse 400 and Medium 800 grit pads, followed by moving up to Fine 1500 and Very Fine. In this particular case, I started by using a Very Coarse 200 grit burnishing pad to strip off the wax coating and old sealers from the tiles. The pad was fitted to a rotary machine and lubricated with a small amount of water.

After finishing with the 200-grit pad, I removed all soiled water with my wet vacuum. There were still few areas of wax left in the corners of the room, and on these areas, I used a 200 grit handheld burnishing block.

When I finished with first round of burnishing, I repeated the exact same process with the 400, 800, and 1500 grit pads, rinsing away the soil in between until I was left with a high quality polished finish right across the floor.

Travertine Tiled Floor During Polishing Bury

After completing the burnishing, I filled a number of small pitted holes in the stone using a beige flexible epoxy-based grout to match the rest of the floor. I then left the floor to dry until the next day.

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Floor

The next day I returned to the property and used a damp tester to make sure the floor was dry enough for sealing. Usually with polished tiles this isn’t a problem, but sometimes the grout can be an issue. Luckily, there weren’t any issues with dampness.

Before sealing I went over the floor again using the Very Fine grit pad with a tiny amount of water as lubricant. Finally, I sealed the floor with our impregnating sealer known as Tile Doctor Colour Grow. The sealer penetrates the stone and enhances the natural colours and patterns in the stone. I polished off any excess sealer with several cotton cloths.

Travertine Tiled Floor After Cleaning Bury

To make sure the floor was in pristine condition I went over the floor for a final time with the Very Fine grit pad to smoothen the surface after sealing.

Travertine Tiled Floor After Cleaning Bury

The customer was extremely pleased with the result, and even promised to recommend me to her daughter to clean and seal her Marble tiled floor. I also left her a free bottle of Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner to help her ensure the floor stays beautiful, we recommend Neutral Clean for the regular cleaning of sealed floor as most supermarket cleaners are acidic and will reduce the life of your sealer over time.
 
 

Restoring the Polish on a Travertine Tiled Floor in Greater Manchester

Cleaning a Travertine Tiled Shower Cubicle in Newton Heath

This is a follow-up post from last week where I detailed the restoration of a beautiful polished travertine floor that had been installed on most of the ground floor and bathroom at a property in Newton Heath. After cleaning, polishing and sealing the floor tiles the owners asked if I could apply the same treatment to their Travertine tiled shower cubicle which was not looking its best and had become stained over time.

Travertine Shower Before Cleaning Newton Heath

Cleaning Travertine Shower Wall Tiles

First I successfully cleaned the grout with a medium dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean scrubbed into the wall grout with a special stiff grout brush, the tiles were then rinsed with water and the process repeated until I was satisfied with the result.

Travertine Shower Before Cleaning Newton Heath

To clean the Travertine wall tiles I used the same Diamond pad system as I did on floor, starting from 400 grit and moving up to 3000 grit pads lubricated with a little water, the only difference this time was that I used smaller six inch pads fitter to a hand held burnishing machine.

Sealing Travertine Shower Wall Tiles

After I completed all the cleaning and the tiles had dried I proceeded to seal them with Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer, this is the same sealer that I used on the floor and the excess was polished off with cotton cloths.

The last remaining step was to strip out the silicone sealant strip from around the base of the shower cubicle and replace with new. I used high quality anti mould silicone sealant that left nice lines and fresh look.

Travertine Shower After Cleaning Newton Heath

Needless to say, that customer was very happy with the work carried out on the floor and shower cubicle and recommended me to his neighbour straight away.

Travertine Tiled Shower Cubicle Refreshed in Greater Manchester

Cleaning, Polishing and Sealing Travertine Floors in Newton Heath

This customer in Newton Heath, just outside of Manchester, used to have a beautiful polished travertine floor on most of the ground floor and bathroom but over time it was getting duller and duller as the polish became worn down, not helped I might add by their choice of cleaning products which were not appropriate for this type of floor. Additionally, numerous cracks and holes had appeared in their floor and worried it was going to get worse they decided to call in some professional help and get the whole floor fully restored.

Travertine Tiled Floor Before Cleaning and Sealing Newton Heath

When I got the call I went over to the house to take a in-depth look at the problem and recommended that the floor was burnished using diamond pads of different grades. They also asked if I could apply the same treatment to the travertine bathroom floor and shower cubicle as well, which I was very happy to do so we agreed a price and scheduled a date to do the work.

Travertine Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning and Sealing Newton Heath

Dull Travertine Floor Cleaning/Polishing

To start the burnishing process, I applied the Coarse 400 grit burnishing pad to the floor using rotary machine and water as lubrication to break down and remove any old sealer from the stone. When finished with first burnishing pad I removed all the soiled water left on floor with a wet vacuum. This removal process of soiled residue was repeated after each use of a burnishing pad.

Next, I moved on to the Medium 800 grit pad which is less coarse, but still rough enough to break down layers of ingrained dirt. I followed this up with the application of a Fine 1500 grit pad, which started to smooth down the rough areas of the surface to prepare the floor for a final polish with 3000 grit. However before moving straight on to the final of the four pads, I took the time to carefully fill in the all the small cracks and holes in the stone, before leaving the floor to dry until the next day.

Sealing Travertine Floor

The next morning, I returned to the property to finish off the floor restoration. As soon as I arrived I used a damp tester to make sure the floor was completely dry.

All was well so I went over the floor with the final Very Fine 3000 grit burnishing pad, this time without any water lubricant, to finally achieve a high quality polished finish.

For polished floors, we recommend the use an impregnating sealer that penetrates the pores of the stone rather than sitting on the surface of the floor, as this ensures the quality of the polish isn’t damaged. With this in mind I applied Tile Doctor Colour Grow to seal the tiles. This is a colour enhancing sealer that provides durable surface protection and allows the surface to breathe whilst enhancing the natural colours in the stone. At this point it’s important that any sealer that doesn’t penetrate the stone is removed by polishing it off with a cloth.

Travertine Tiled Floor After Cleaning and sealing Newton Heath

After this I went on to repeat the cleaning, polishing and sealing process on their Travertine Tiled shower cubicle but I’ll detail that in a separate post.

Needless to say, the customer was very happy with the work carried out on the floor and shower cubicle and recommended me to his neighbour straight away.

Travertine Bathroom Floor After Cleaning and sealing Newton Heath

 
 

Professional Travertine Tile Restoration in Greater Manchester

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

Damaged Travertine Tiled Floor Repaired in Oldham Conservatory

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.

Damaged Travertine Tiles Oldam Conservatory Before

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.

Damaged Travertine Tiles Oldam Conservatory After

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