Polishing and Sealing Travertine Tiles in Blackburn

Close-up photo below of a Travertine tiled floor installed in a house in the former mill town of Blackburn where simply put the polished appearance had worn off and was now looking dull and unappealing.

Travertine Tiled Floor Before Polishing Blackburn

I popped round to the house to take a look and could see that the tiles would need to be burnished to restore the polished appearance. To demonstrate the difference this would make I polished one of the tiles using the Tile Doctor burnishing pad system which consists of the application of four 17 inch diamond encrusted pads applied in sequence from coarse to very fine with a rotary buffer. The customer was amazed at the difference and we agreed a date to come in and complete the whole floor in time for the Christmas holidays.

Stripping and Re-Polishing Travertine

On my return I repeated the burnishing process across the entire floor starting with the 400 Grit Coarse Red No.1 Burnishing Pad which strips off old sealers and dirt from the tile. You use a little water to help lubricate and once complete it’s necessary to rinse the area with water to remove the soil that is generated. The next step is to start building back the polish with the 800 and then 1500 grit pads which are applied in the same manner.

Travertine Tiled Floor During Polishing Blackburn

The floor was then rinsed again with water and I turned my attention to the grout which was scrubbed by hand using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and a stiff brush. The floor was given another rinse and then inspected to ensure I hadn’t missed anything. Before leaving for the day I used the wet vacuum to extract as much moisture from the floor as possible.

At this point the customer commented that the floor looked amazing and that the floor never looked this good, even after it was first installed.

Sealing Travertine Floor Tiles

On the second days we used the 4th burnishing pad which is a 3000 grit pad to burnish and polish the surface until it came up looking gorgeous and glossy. With this pad you simply spray a little water on the floor during the polishing process, something we call a spray burnish.

The last step was to seal the tiles using a single coat of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal which was applied and then buffed in with a white pad to remove any excess. Ultra-Seal is a premium, no-sheen, natural-look, penetrating sealer formulated to provide maximum stain protection.

Travertine Tiled Floor After Polishing Blackburn

The customer was really pleased with the difference we had made to the floor and before leaving we advised the customer of the best way to maintain the floor using neutral PH cleaners and to avoid strong cleaning products which can erode the life of the sealer prematurely.

Honed Travertine Tiled Floor Polished in South Lancashire

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1877 Victorian Tiled Church Floor Restored in Rishton

Earlier this year I was asked to restore a number of Victorian tiled floors at the St. Peter & St. Paul’s Parish Church in Rishton near Blackburn. The Church has a lot of carpet flooring and some had to be removed due to some other work that was going on and these tiles were discovered underneath. The Vicar believe the tiles are originals and date back to 1877.

Victorian Floor Before Cleaning Rishton Church

You can see from the photograph above that the tiles were discoloured with years upon years of ingrained dirt but what you can’t see is the adhesive that was used to secure the carpet to the tile. The whole floor and the Altar behind would need several deep cleans to remove the dirt and glue and being a busy church with an active congregation it would need to be done in a few days. In need of an extra pair of hands I gave Derbyshire Tile Doctor Henri Mall a call and he was more than happy to help me out.

Victorian Floor Before Cleaning Rishton Church Victorian Floor Before Cleaning Rishton Church

Deep Cleaning Old Victorian Church Tiles

To begin, I took moisture readings over all areas due to be worked on; Damp Proof Membranes were not invented until relatively recently, so it pays to know in advance how damp the floor is. Next, I gave the floor a quick clean in Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, mainly to remove any surface dirt and grit. This was then followed by the application of a 200 grit burnishing pad to grind off surface dirt and excess glue so we access the pores of the tile. The resultant soil was then rinsed off with water and then extracted using a wet vacuum.

The next step was to give the tiles a good soak in a solution of NanoTech HBU remover (HBU stands for Heavy Build-Up) which was then scrubbed in using a black pad fitted to a rotary floor machine. This process worked well to release the ingrained dirt from the tile and took off a lot of the glue however it took quite a few iterations and the use of a portable steamer to really get the floor clean.

Victorian Floor During Cleaning Rishton Church Victorian Floor During Cleaning Rishton Church

There was a lot of tile to do so working in sections it took Henri and I two days to really get the floor clean. A lot of water was used in the process and although a lot of the moisture was extracted using a wet vacuum we felt it best to leave the floor to thoroughly dry out for a couple of days.

Sealing Old Victorian Church Tiles

The floor needed to be dry before sealing so on our return I checked the floor with the damp meter and compared it with my previous readings. All was so Henri and I started applying the first coat of Tile Doctor Colour Grow, an impregnating and breathable sealer ideal for this situation. Colour Grow seeps into the pores of the tile protecting it from within and enhancing the colours in the tile. Three coats were needed so it took most of the day to complete.

Victorian Floor After Cleaning Rishton Church Victorian Floor After Cleaning Rishton Church

While it was a lot of work we were very both pleased with the outcome, as was the Vicar who left the following comment on the Tile Doctor feedback system.

Many thanks to Tony Olmet, not only a very good job but he worked tirelessly, never stopped, to get it done. Nothing a problem, very helpful chap. Recommended.
Christopher Holden (vicar), Rishton 14 July 2017

Victorian Floor After Cleaning Rishton Church

140 Year Old Victorian Tiled Church Floors Restored in the Diocese of Blackburn

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