This client from Redhill had her kitchen floor tiled with Travertine tiles following a house extension a few years ago. The extension had enabled the kitchen to be made significantly larger however as the new floor settled a crack developed along the line of the join between the old and new concrete floor causing the Travertine tiles to crack along the line.
I was tasked with removing the broken tiles and existing adhesive, fitting replacement tiles, sealing and re-grouting. Fortunately, the floor did not have electric underfloor heating installed, removing tiles with an electric floor matt stuck to it is bound to break the circuit so best avoided.
I visited the property to get a good understanding of the problems and then prepared a quote for the whole restoration which was accepted. I also had to source new Travertine tiles to replace the cracked ones. Its worth noting that Tile Doctor often gets asked to replace cracked tiles but unless its part of a bigger renovation job like this one we won’t take it on.
Replacing Travertines in a Redhill Kitchen
Removing tile is a noisy, messy operation that can generate dust so I had agreed with the customer that they would clear the room beforehand and remove anything they might need from the cupboards so I could tape them up.
Work started by cutting the grout lines with an oscillating tool and then started removing the tile by knocking out from the centre outwards. Once all tiles where removed this exposed the previous floor adhesive which was carefully removed using a chisel and hammer.
After a much need lunch break, I mixed up some fresh quick setting flexible adhesive and laid in the replacement Travertine tiles. Later that day I was then able to apply the grout and left the floor to them to set.
Deep Cleaning and Sealing Travertine Kitchen Tiles
A week later, once the tiles had cured and had time to settle, I returned to deep clean and seal the tiles which would blend in the replacement tiles with the original and make the floor look whole again.
Firstly, I hand cleaned the grout lines with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean worked in with a wire brush. Its hard work but I find this is the most effective way to get grout clean.
The next job was to remove what remained of the previous sealer and top layer of dirt. This was done with a rotating buffing machine and a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pads. The first one applied is a coarse 400-grit pad followed by 800 and 1500-grit, working through the pads in sequence. You might be familiar with the grit system from sandpaper, rough down to smooth. The process is lubricated with water and the slurry generated is rinsed off with water and extracted using a wet vacuum.
I left the floor to dry off overnight, they can walk on it during this time, but they needed to be careful of any spillages.
Sealing a Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor
The second day started with and inspection of the Travertine tile and grout looking for any areas that need further attention. I was satisfied that the floor was looking its’ best and once the preparation was complete, I applied the first coat of sealer.
On this occasion I went with Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is doesn’t change the look of the stone giving a completely natural look. This product soaks into the pores of the stone protecting if from within and should last between three and five years depending on the amount of wear it received and how the floor is cleaned and maintained.
Two coats of sealer were applied and after each coat dried, I polished the floor using a very fine 3000-grit diamond pad. The pad is run across the Travertine dry with only a little water sprayed onto the tile using a process we call a ‘Spray Burnish’. I asked the client to keep off the travertine until it’s cured, usually for a couple of hours which is always a good excuse to go out for the evening!
The client was very happy the floor and relieved that the cracked tiles were gone and their kitchen floor looked amazing again. For aftercare I recommended using Tile Doctor Stone Soap which is ideal for the regular cleaning of sealed natural stone floors, many supermarket products are simply too harsh and will reduce the life of the sealer.