Lustre Restored to Large Area of Travertine Tiles in Cambridge

Travertine is a type of Limestone which exists in several variations, including white, tan, and cream-colored. It has distinct colourings and patterns that no other stone can offer and as such it is a very popular choice for tiled floors amongst home owners.

However, Travertine tiles are not the easiest to keep looking at their best. A high-quality polished finish can be difficult to maintain, especially as sealers wear away and all manner of dirt becomes ingrained in the pores of the stone.

The pictures below were taken at a house in Cambridge where the owner had this exact same problem and requested my help to get them looking their best again. The Travertine tiles had been installed across most of the entire ground floor of the house, including the kitchen, dining room, living room, office and utility room.

The owner was not happy with the current appearance of the floor because the shine and reflectivity that had once existed had gradually worn away. The floor was also littered with many pitted holes (caused by natural erosion) and a few cracks which would need to be filled.

Travertine Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Cambridge Travertine Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Cambridge

Cleaning and Burnishing Travertine Tiles

My first step in restoring the tiles was to remove the kick boards from around the kitchen and utility room, before masking up all walls and wooden units with protective décor film. This was done to prevent these areas from encountering any cleaning product.

Travertine Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning Cambridge

Next, I began the cleaning process by applying Tile Doctor Pro Clean across the entire area and worked it into the stone using a scrubbing brush fitted to my rotary machine. This high alkaline cleaner broke down any old sealer while also relieving the stone and grout lines of any ingrained dirt.

After the initial clean, I used the Tile Doctor system of four diamond encrusted burnishing pads on the tiles. Burnishing is a form of polishing that involves gradually honing the surface of the stone, first by applying a Coarse grit pad, followed by a Medium, Fine, and finally a Very Fine grit pad to achieve a high quality polished finish. The system uses a little water for lubrication and the floor is rinsed between each pad to remove the soil so it can take some time to complete especially on a floor this size.

Once I was done I filled in the pitted holes and cracks with an appropriate resin filler before applying the Very Fine pad.

Travertine Floor Tile After Crack Repair Cambridge

Sealing Travertine Tiles

To finish the restoration, the tiles needed to be sealed. I did this firstly by applying Tile Doctor Shine Powder, which is natural sealer in a crystallising powder form. I applied it using a white pad and polished the tiles to provide the very high shine and tough durable finish the client had requested.

Following this I applied one coat of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal, which is an impregnating sealer, to add further protection. To add the finishing touches, I quick buffed the floor with Tile Doctor Stone Patina Spray, a cleaner that is designed to enhance the natural beauty and lustre of polished stone as it cleans. Regular use of this product helps to maintain the polished effect.

Travertine Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Cambridge Travertine Kitchen Floor After Cleaning Cambridge

The customer absolutely loved her new floor. She even remarked that it looked as good as new and better than ever before.

Professional Tile Burnishing, Cleaning and Sealing for a Dirty Travertine Tiled Floor Restoration in Cambridge

Travertine Tiled Floor Stripped and Polished in Great Wilbraham

If you want a polished stone floor to keep its appearance, then it will need a regular maintenance plan in place, without it the stone will lose its polish and start to look dull and un-inviting which was the story with this Travertine tiled floor installed throughout much of the grout floor of this house in the village of Great Wilbraham near Cambridge.

Travertine floor before polishing in Great Wilbraham Cambridge

I was able to find out from the owner that the floor was last treated six years ago with Lithofin Stain Stop which is a solvent based impregnating sealer which like all sealers will wear off after a few years. Naturally this depends on the amount of wear the floor receives and what tends to happen is this process occurs more rapidly in the high traffic areas leading to an uneven appearance.

Travertine floor before polishing in Great Wilbraham Cambridge

The best course of action now would be to remove what was left of the sealer and re-polish and seal the floor.

Filling Holes in Travertine

During my inspection of the floor I had noticed a number of irregular holes in one of the Travertine tiles which needed filling with a colour matching filler; this worked out quite well and as you can see from the photographs below the result looked entirely natural.

Travertine floor before filling in Great Wilbraham Cambridge Travertine floor after filling in Great Wilbraham Cambridge

Stripping the Sealer from Travertine Floor Tiles

After protecting the clients skirting boards with protective film we proceeded to burnish the floor through with a set of Tile Doctor Diamond encrusted honing pads.

Travertine floor before polishing in Great Wilbraham Cambridge

During the application of the first coarse pad we also added a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean combined with NanoTech Ultra-Clean to aid the removal of sealer residues from the pores of the Travertine. The floor was then rinsed and the soiled solution extracted using a wet vacuum.

Travertine floor during polishing in Great Wilbraham Cambridge

With the sealer remove we were now able to concentrate on building up the polish on the stone by applying the remaining pads from Medium, Fine through to Very Fine, each lubricated with a little water and ensuring to rinse in-between the application of each pad.

Sealing Travertine Floor Tiles

With the floor now clean and the polish restored the last step was to protect it so it would keep its appearance for as long as possible. There are a number of solutions for this but for a long durable shine I opted to work Tile Doctor Shine Powder into the Travertine.

The powder is applied liberally to the floor and then ground in using a slow speed floor rotary machine fitted with a white or tan buffing pad lubricated with water.

Travertine floor during polishing in Great Wilbraham Cambridge

The shine on the floor has now been restored and the client has a
beautiful and durable finish to their Travertine tiles.

Travertine floor after polishing in Great Wilbraham Cambridge Travertine floor after polishing in Great Wilbraham Cambridge


Large Travertine Floor Cleaned, Polished and Sealed in Cambridgeshire