Sealing Travertine

Cracked Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor Renovated in Redhill

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.

Cracked Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor Before Restoration Redhill

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.

Cracked Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor During Repair Redhill Cracked Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor During Repair Redhill

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.

Cracked Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor After Repair Redhill

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.

Cracked Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor After Restoration Redhill

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!

Cracked Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor After Restoration Redhill

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.

 

Professional Restoration of a Travertine Tiled Kitchen in Surrey

Pitted Travertine Floor Tiles Renovated in Limpsfield Chart

Earlier this year I went to look at a Travertine tiled floor at a property in Limpsfield Chart near Oxted in East Surrey. The travertine had been laid throughout the Kitchen and adjacent dinner and my client was having trouble maintaining its appearance which had now become dull and unappealing. The Travertine tiles also suffered badly from pitting and dirt had become lodged in the pits of the stone making it difficult to clean. In addition, there was also some staining to the grout lines that needed removing.

Pitted Travertine Floor Before Grout Cleaning Limpsfield Chart Pitted Travertine Floor Before Filling Pitted Stone Limpsfield Chart

I discussed with the client what we could do to restore the floor and we agreed a price for the work to be carried out which would take three days. I’m pleased to say they were happy for me to do the work whilst they were away on holiday

Cleaning a Travertine Tiled Kitchen & Diner Floor

First, we removed the kitchen kickboards and applied protective tape to the skirting boards and around the fridge. Then a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go was sprayed onto the tile and grout and left to soak in for fifteen minutes.

Pitted Travertine Floor Before Adding Protection Limpsfield Chart Pitted Travertine Floor Before Filling and Polishing Limpsfield Chart

Remove and Go is designed to remove coatings from Tile and Stone such as sealers so after leaving it to dwell on the floor it was worked in using a rotary floor buffer fitted with a polypropylene brush. The grout lines were then scrubbed by hand paying particular attention to the stained areas. Once that was down the now dirty Remove and Go was rinsed and extracted from the floor using a spinner tool which uses a compressor to apply hot water at high pressure and extracts the slurry into a waste tank. This process was applied first to the kitchen and then to the adjacent dining area.

Pitted Travertine Floor During Cleaning Limpsfield Chart Pitted Travertine Floor During Rinsing Extracting Limpsfield Chart

Filling Pitts in a Travertine Tiled Floor

As the floor dried, I spent the rest of the afternoon filling the pits in the Travertine tile with grout, almost every tile was affected so it took some time. The grout was then left to harden overnight.

Pitted Travertine Floor After Filling Before Polishing Limpsfield Chart Pitted Travertine Floor After Filling Limpsfield Chart

Returning on day 2 a 400-Grit burnishing pad was applied dry to both areas to smooth off the grout that had been applied to the pits the previous day. Only a single pass of the pad was required to remove the excess grout which was then swept off the floor. The grout blended in perfectly with the Travertine which was a mixture of brown and white shades.

Polishing Travertine Floor Tiles

With the pitting issue resolved I set to work restoring the polished appearance of the tiles for which I used a set of diamond encrusted Tile Doctor burnishing pads. Before starting I pre-wetted the floor with water which was sprayed onto the tiles and then applied the 400-grit pad run over the floor ensuring to pass over each tile four times to get an even result. The fine slurry generated was rinsed off with water and the process repeated with the 800, 1500 and 3000 grit pads, to further hone the stone and restore its polished appearance.

Pitted Travertine Floor During Polishing Limpsfield Chart

With two areas to work on the polishing process took up most of the second day.

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Kitchen and Diner Floor

After inspecting the floor on day 3, I set about applying Tile Doctor Shine Powder to the whole floor. This is a crystallising powder that is applied to the floor and buffed in with a red pad. It adds a very high shine to the tiles and provides a tough durable finish.

Pitted Travertine Floor During Shine Powder Polishing Limpsfield Chart

The final result was quite a transformation and what better welcome home present for the client when they returned from their holiday.

Pitted Travertine Floor After Polishing Limpsfield Chart Pitted Travertine Floor After Polishing Limpsfield Chart

 

Professional Renovation of a Travertine Tiled Floor in East Surrey

Tumbled Travertine Tiled Floor Polished and Sealed in Horley

This Tumbled Travertine tiled floor at a beautiful house in Horley had been poorly maintained through the years using the wrong type of sealer which quickly wore down allowing dirt to become ingrained in the stone. The owner had become concerned about the state of the tiles and decided it was time to call in an expert that could restore the tiles to a condition that complimented the environment in which it was situated.

Tumbled Travertine Floor Horley Before Polishing Tumbled Travertine Floor Horley Before Polishing

Travertine is known for being very distinctive in character and very durable, making it a very popular choice for tiled flooring in properties worldwide. However, the stone does require regular professional maintenance and polishing to keep it looking it top shape and home owners rarely realise this when they decide to have it installed. Fortunately, in the UK at least you can rely on your local tile doctor to maintain it for you.

Deep Cleaning Tumbled Travertine Tiles

The first part of the job involved giving the floor a thorough clean to remove what was left of old sealers and any polishing compounds that remained on the floor. Before beginning that however I brought in all my equipment and products into the house and then prepped the area by taping up the woodwork to protect it during the renovation process.

Tumbled Travertine Floor Horley Before Polishing Tumbled Travertine Floor Horley Before Polishing

To remove what was left of the old sealers and other coatings still present on the floor a strong solution of Tile Doctor Remove and Go was applied to the floor and left to soak in for about ten minutes before being actively worked in with a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. The solution turned black with the soil as it was lifted out of the pores of the stone and it was then rinsed off with water and extracted with a wet vacuum.

Polishing Tumbled Travertine Tiles

Following this, we moved on to a process we know as burnishing that hones the stone and brings up the polished appearance. Working in sections due to the size of the floor It involves the application of a series of diamond encrusted burnishing pads from coarse through to very fine.

The coarse 400-grit pad fitted to the rotary floor buffer and run over the floor using only water for lubrication. The water turns into a slurry as the pad does its job removing dirt and this has to be rinsed off the floor and extracted with the wet vacuum before applying the next pad. The process was then repeated with medium 800 grit pad for an initial polish followed by the Fine 1500 grit pad for the second polish using water for lubrication and rinsing and extracting in between each pad.

The last pad is a very fine 3000 grit pad for the final polish and is applied with only a little water sprayed onto the floor using a technique we call a Spray Burnish. This last pad really brings up the polished appearance of the stone.

Sealing Tumbled Travertine Tiles

To bring up the appearance of the stone even further and add a really durable polish Tile Doctor Shine Powder was applied. This is a crystallising powder sealer that ensures a very high shine and a tough, durable finish. This powder is applied directly to the tiles in combination with approximately ½ a litre of water and a soft white buffing pad.

Last step was to add to the protection provided by the Shine Powder with two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal which is a natural look sealer that doesn’t change the look of the stone and is applied to the stone and grout. This sealer works by seeping into the stone, occupying the pores and preventing dirt from becoming ingrained.

Tumbled Travertine Floor Horley After Polishing Tumbled Travertine Floor Horley After Polishing

The customer was ecstatic with the results, being particularly pleased that she got the floor looking the way she originally wanted without significant expense, not to mention stress.

Tumbled Travertine Floor Horley After Polishing

 

Professional Renovation of a Tumbled Travertine Tiled Floor in East Surrey

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