Restoring a Heavily Soiled Unfilled Travertine Floor in Attleborough


Our client got in touch from Attleborough a market town between Norwich and Thetford to ask for our help restoring her kitchen and dining area floor. If you live in the countryside and have children and pets, unfilled Travertine is probably not the best choice for your kitchen/diner flooring, which is the conclusion our client discovered for herself.

The floor was only around three years old, but the entire area had become heavily scratched and soiled. Most of the dirt was occupying the unfilled pits in the stone which are an inconvenient feature of this natural material. No amount of daily vacuuming, mopping or rinsing will ever shift this kind of contamination which is why she called us in desperation.

Travertine Floor in Attleborough Before Cleaning

During our site visit, apart from the obvious heavy soiling, we also noticed a very prominent and ugly settlement crack which had appeared along the French doors leading to a four mm difference between the surface levels either side of the crack itself.

Travertine Floor in Attleborough Threshold Crack

Cleaning and Repairing a Travertine Tiled Kitchen and Dining Room

Our first job was to deep-clean the soiling from the floor using our heavy 17″ rotary machine fitted with a medium-soft brush and a 1:5 mix of Tile Doctor Pro Clean, diluted with very hot water. This combination made quick work of the surface dirt, along with the soiling in the grout lines. The resulting slurry was left to dwell on the floor for ten minutes to soften the residue sitting at the bottom of the pits before being power rinsed and vacuumed away using our 400psi hot water extraction machine. The machine was fitted with a specialist hard flooring wand which blasted the softened dirt out of the pits and immediately sucked all the contaminants up. This avoids anything spraying up the adjoining walls.

Having removed all the dirt, we then cut and polished the area again with the rotary machine but this time using Tile Doctor Diamond Burnishing Pads from 400-grit through to 1500-grit, rinse extracting between each stage to remove the resulting slurry. Internal corners were finished with hand-held diamond blocks. We then left the whole area to dry thoroughly overnight with assistance from our large capacity dehumidifier.

Travertine Floor in Attleborough Rotary Cleaning

Sealing Travertine Flooring in Attleborough

On our return the following day, we repaired the unsightly crack along the threshold by grinding the high lip down to the same lower level using a diamond blade fitted to our Bosch multitool. Followed by polishing with our Festool Rotex 90 Handtool. The crack, being rather wide, was then filled with a two-part epoxy stone repair compound and levelled with the Rotex after curing.

Travertine Floor in Attleborough Crack Repaired

After this, the floor was vacuumed thoroughly followed with the application of the a very fine 3000-grit diamond burnishing pad which is applied to the floor with a little water spayed onto the tile. This fourth and final burnishing pad really builds up the shine on the floor.

Travertine Floor in Attleborough Deep Cleaned

Our client really loved the new lighter look of her cleaned Travertine floor, so we chose to use Tile Doctor Ultra Seal to seal the floor and protect it from staining. Ultra-Seal is a matt impregnating sealer that soaks into the pores of the stone protecting it from within and without affecting the colour of the substrate. The sealer was liberally applied and allowed to be absorbed by the stone for a few minutes before the excess was removed. After an hour, the surface was re-burnished with the 3000-grit diamond pad and then vacuumed to remove any fine dust generated during the burnishing.

Our client was really happy with the improvement and left the following comment when we’d finished…

“Our travertine floor had suffered over the winter and I wasn’t totally convinced that anything would save it. However, it has been completely transformed and we are delighted with the results. Nick was professional and thorough – could not recommend more!”

Travertine Floor in Attleborough Cleaned and Sealed

 

Cleaning and Repair of Travertine Kitchen and Dining Room Floor in Norfolk



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Travertine Floor Tiles Filled and Polished in Abthorpe Near Towcester


The following pictures show a polished Travertine kitchen and dining room floor at a house in the small village of Abthorpe near Towcester. The stone floor had lost its shine and had become dull and difficult to clean which was mainly due to the holes that had appeared in the surface of the Travertine where dirt had become ground in and trapped. This is a common problem with all Travertine stone, the holes are natural and usually filled at the factory but due to wear and tear over time and the use of acidic cleaning products the filler can become dislodged. The small holes gave the floor an unsightly appearance and become magnets to dirt.

Polished Travertine Kitchen Floor Before Polishing Abthorpe Towcester

We find the best way to restore the shine is to apply a set of diamond encrusted burnishing pads, they take off the layer of dirt and then slowly build a resilient polish on the surface; however, to get the best results we would need to fill the holes in the Travertine.

Polished Travertine Kitchen Floor Before Polishing Abthorpe Towcester

Burnishing and Cleaning a Travertine Tiled Floor

I gave the floor a sweep to remove any loose dirt and grit and started with the application of the first pad which is a coarse 400-grit and designed to remove minor scratches, old sealers and ingrained dirt. The pads fit a 17” buffer machine and is applied with water to lubricate the process, then once the pad has been applied to each tile the floor is rinsed with water and the resultant slurry is extracted using a wet vacuum.

Before moving onto the second pad in the set I gave the grout lines a clean with Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was scrubbed into the grout using a stiff narrow brush. The pads can struggle to reach into the recessed grout lines, so I usually find this is the best way to get the grout clean.

Polished Travertine Dining Room Floor Before Polishing Abthorpe Towcester

The floor was given another rinse with water and then I continued to work through the medium 800-grit and then fine 1500-grit pads rinsing with water and then extracting the slurry with a wet vacuum after each pad.

The Travertine was now clean and after drying with fans I commenced the task of filling the holes with stone filler that matched the natural colour of the stone as close as possible, in this case the colour we opted for to achieve the best match was Straw. These activities took up most of the day so once I was done filling I left for the day, so the filler and floor could dry out thoroughly overnight.

Polished Travertine Holes Filled Before Polishing Abthorpe Towcester

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Floor

I returned the following day and started by completing the polishing process by applying the last 3000-grit very fine burnishing pad with the 17” rotary machine, the pad is applied dry with a small amount of water sprayed on the floor as you go along. With the floor now fully dry and the filled holes polished flat the last step was to apply the sealer which will protect the floor going forwards.

Polished Travertine Kitchen Floor After Polishing Abthorpe Towcester

With Travertine floors I usually recommend Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing sealer or Ultra-Seal which is a natural look sealer. On this occasion the client preferred the natural look, so I applied two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal and along with the previous polishing the floor now look transformed.

Polished Travertine Kitchen Floor After Polishing Abthorpe Towcester
 
 

Professional Travertine Tiled Floor Restoration in Northamptonshire



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