Polishing a Travertine Floor for a Bournemouth Building Society

This is a great example of a commercial floor we were asked to maintain recently for the Bournemouth branch of the Nationwide Building Society. Bournemouth is a busy seaside town with a lovely beach and some notable Victorian architecture. As you can imagine being a building society the site is in constant use during the day with customers and staff coming and going. The work would therefore have to be done overnight in stages working in different areas every evening until complete.

Nationwide Building Society Office Bournemouth

The floor was Travertine which is a very durable stone and ideal in heavy traffic areas such as this, but it needs to be protected with a sealer to prevent dirt becoming ingrained in the pores of the stone. Being such a busy commercial floor, the sealer gets a lot of wear so the floor needed polishing and then resealing to keep it looking good.

Travertine Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Nationwide Building Society Bournemouth Travertine Tiled Floor Before Cleaning Nationwide Building Society Bournemouth

Cleaning and Polishing a Travertine Tiled Floor

To get the floor clean and hone the stone to a polished appearance we use a set of Diamond impregnated burnishing pads which are run over the floor with a floor buffer. Tile Doctor do a set a of four which include 400, 800, 1500 and 3000 grit pads and are ideally suited for the purpose.

Travertine Tiled Floor During Cleaning Nationwide Building Society Bournemouth

The pads are applied with water for lubrication and in sequence starting with the coarse 400-grit, medium 800-grit and then fine 1500-grit pad. If you are familiar with grades of sandpaper used on wood, then you will appreciate that this is a similar kind of process. The floor is rinsed with more water in between each pad to remove the slurry that is generated and then extracted from the floor using a powerful wet vacuum. The last pad to be applied is the very fine 3000-grit which is applied with only a little water sprayed onto the tile and this really brings up a deep shine on the Travertine.

Travertine Tiled Floor During Polishing Nationwide Building Society Bournemouth

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Floor

After the floor was dry, we applied two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow impregnating sealer that works from within by occupying the pores in the stone for maximum protection. Tile Doctor Colour Grow is also a colour intensifying sealer which provides durable surface protection, as well as enhancing the colour of the floor bringing out the natural tan and cream colours. Colour Grow is also a breathable sealer that allows moisture to rise through the floor however being a new building this would unlikely to be a factor.

Travertine Tiled Floor After Polishing Nationwide Building Society Bournemouth Travertine Tiled Floor After Polishing Nationwide Building Society Bournemouth

As you can see from the pictures the results were amazing and the client was very pleased! They commented how smoothly the process had gone and how accommodating we had been coming in overnight. Hopefully there are many more branches that may require our services!

 

Professional Polish and Seal of a Commercial Travertine Floor in Dorset

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Dull Travertine Tiled Floor Deep Cleaned in Cobham

This client from Cobham had her kitchen and diner tiled with Travertine six years ago. With two children and three dogs living there, the sealer has gradually worn away leaving the stone exposed to dirt. The leafy village of Cobham lies in the borough of Elmbridge which is noted as being a one of the most desirable places to live in the UK. As a result, it attracts a lot of investment in property including expensive tiled floors.

I went over to survey the floor and discussed with the client how we could improve the floors appearance. The solution I proposed was to deep clean the tiles to extract all the dirt and remove what was left of the old sealer and then to re-seal the floor in order to protect it going forward. This process typically takes two days to complete; day one is spent cleaning the stone and grout, including the removal of the existing sealer and day two is spent sealing and polishing. The client was satisfied with the quotation and we arranged a time to come back and carry out the work.

Travertine Tiled Kitchen Diner Floor Before Cleaning Cobham

Cleaning a Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor

Firstly, I asked the client to clear the floor and to help me put the dining table in the garden out of the way. Then using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean and a wire brush I cleaned the grout in the kitchen, diner and utility room. It was a large installation of Travertine, so this task took some time to complete. The floor was rinsed, and all the dirt produced was removed with a wet vacuum cleaner.

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 with 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. The dogs were also welcomed back in from the front room.

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!

Travertine Tiled Kitchen Diner Floor After Cleaning Cobham

The client was very happy the floor and they remarked it looked as good as when it was first laid. 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.

Travertine Tiled Kitchen Diner Floor After Cleaning Cobham

 

Professional Restoration of a Travertine Tiled Kitchen in West Surrey

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Pitted and Dirty Tumbled Travertine Kitchen Floor Renovated in Braybrooke


I was called by the owner of a property in Braybrooke who was keen to have their Tumbled Travertine tiled kitchen floor renovated. The floor hadn’t been cleaned professionally for over eight years and the owner was concerned that dirt was getting trapped in the natural holes and crevices (pits) which are a natural feature of Travertine.

Pitted Tumbled Travertine Before Cleaning Braybrooke

I went over to survey the floor at the property in Braybrooke which is a lovely small village in north west Northamptonshire halfway between Market Harborough and Desborough. We carried out a test clean on two separate tiles in the kitchen, the customer was thrilled at how clean they came up and especially with the grout. She said it reminded her how they used to look when they were first installed.

Pitted Tumbled Travertine Before Cleaning Braybrooke Pitted Tumbled Travertine Before Cleaning Braybrooke

A quote to restore the floor was sent and was quickly accepted; a date was then agreed for the work to be completed. The job would take just two days to complete, one day to clean and then a return visit to seal the floor.

Cleaning a Tumbled Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor

On our return the first thing we did was to protect the kitchen units by removing plinths and covering base units and appliances with a protective film. This ensures nothing is accidentally damaged during the process.

We then commenced work with a rotary scrubbing machine fitted with a tile brush attachment. This was used to scrub in a hot water dilution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean mixed 3:1. The slurry was then removed with a wet pick up, followed by cleaning the grout with hand brushes using more Pro-Clean. The strong alkaline product makes quick work of removing the ingrained dirt and grime and removing what was left of the original sealer.

The next step was to burnish the stone with a set of Tile Doctor Diamond Encrusted Burnishing pads which polish the floor to achieve an as new look. The pads are run over the Travertine tiles with water in sequence from coarse to very smooth. After each pad is applied the floor is rinsed with water and the slurry removed with the wet pickup machine.

Fans were left in place to assist drying the floor whilst I spent time filling the larger holes with filler in a colour chosen to match the existing floor as closely as possible.

Sealing a Tumbled Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor

The floors were left to dry off fully overnight and I returned the next day to carry out the final polish with a very fine 3000 grit burnishing pad and to apply two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal which will protect the stone going forward. Ultra-Seal is a no-sheen, natural-look, penetrating sealer which is formulated to provide maximum stain protection and is especially recommended for food preparation areas like a kitchen.

Pitted Tumbled Travertine After Cleaning Braybrooke Pitted Tumbled Travertine After Cleaning Braybrooke

The floor looked so much better and the customer was very happy that it had been restored to its’ former glory as requested. She really thought the floor was beyond saving. We suggested that she used the Tile Doctor Stone Soap for ongoing cleaning. Most floor cleaning products sold in the supermarket are not recommended for the cleaning of natural stone as they can erode the sealer prematurely so always read the label.

Pitted Tumbled Travertine After Cleaning Braybrooke

 

Renovation of a Tumbled Travertine Tiled Floor in Northamptonshire



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