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

Repairing and Sealing a cracked Travertine tiled floor in Sandbanks, Poole

Every now and again, I get a call from a client located on the small peninsula of Sandbanks, Poole. Sandbanks, sometimes referred to as ‘Britain’s Palm Beach’, is known for its fantastic beach and high value property. My client asked me to take a look at a Travertine floor in his kitchen which was, in fact, more highly polished than he had wanted. The polished finish had worn off the travertine tiles where they had been walked on, leaving a dull trackway running down the centre of the kitchen. With its distinct characteristics, travertine is a popular choice for kitchen flooring, although it is also quite often used in bathrooms. In any case Travertine tiles will need regular maintenance to keep them looking their best.

Travertine tiled floor before cleaning in Sandbanks

Unfortunately, the kitchen floor must have experienced some sort of settlement or shrinkage as a long crack has appeared, which ran along the same line as the dull trackway. It is not uncommon for Travertine tiles to crack due to wear over time, or even bad fitting in some cases. While the exact cause of the crack was unclear, the homeowner concluded that the floor was certainly in need of restoration.

Repairing a crack in a Travertine tiled floor

Replacing the Travertine tiles was not an option due to a lack of spare tiles, so I opted instead to fill the crack in the floor using Harbro Stone Filler, an epoxy stone filler, matching the colour of the tile as closely as possible. I left this to set, before sanding down the excess filler.

My next action was to use a set of Tile Doctor Diamond burnishing pads to sand out any scratches and restore a more even shine to the floor, as per the client’s request. For polished stone, I recommend using a set of four burnishing pads applied in order: Coarse, Medium, Fine, and Very Fine. I used these one after the other with a little water to lubricate and restore the surface polish to the desired level.

Sealing a Travertine tiled floor

The next day, I returned to seal the floor with a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow sealer. Colour Grow is a colour enhancing, impregnating sealer which penetrates deeply into the pores of the stone, thereby preventing dirt from becoming ingrained within. This particular sealer also enhances the natural colours within the Travertine tile, whilst also providing long term durable protection.

Travertine tiled floor after cleaning in Sandbanks

Although the crack could not be made to disappear completely, its appearance was much improved. The customer was also very pleased with the long-lasting lower sheen provided, describing it as “the finish I had wanted in the first place when the tiles were fitted”.
 
 

Cracked Travertine Tiled Floor Repaired in Sandbanks, Poole

Cleaning a Travertine tiled hallway in Sandbanks

Occasionally I get a call to pop down to Sandbanks on the Dorset Coast which is well known for containing the most expensive property in the UK outside of London. This particular residence had a Travertine tiled hallway which was badly in need of renovation, it had become very soiled and dirt had become trapped in holes that has opened up in the stone over time and now needed cleaning and filling.

Travertine Tiled Floor Sandbanks Before Cleaning

Cleaning and Filling a Travertine Tiled Floor

I began by applying a dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was left to soak into the floor for ten minutes before being worked into the tile and grout using a Numatic buffing machine fitted with a medium brush. I then dried the floor using a hot air gun and filled the holes with Harbro Stone Filler which is an epoxy filler as hard as the stone itself. I carefully scraped off the excess filler before leaving it to set overnight.

Burnishing Travertine Tiles

The next day I used 17″ wet and dry paper to remove the excess filler and to cut out some of the deep scratches in the travertine. This I followed by honing and polishing the floor using Tile Doctor burnishing pads which are diamond encrusted and come in a setup of four pads which are applied one after the other from Coarse, Medium, Fine and then Super Fine to restore the surface polish.

Sealing Travertine Tiles

On the third day I returned to seal the Travertine tiles using Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing impregnating sealer that soaks into the pores of the stone occupying them and in doing so preventing dirt and soil from becoming ingrained into the stone. Colour Grow is also a colour enhancing product that brings out the colour in the stone

Travertine Tiled Floor Sandbanks After Cleaning
Unfortunately I didn’t remember to take a photo of the floor until after the initial clean but the effect of the filling and burnishing pad treatment should be visible.

Travertine Tiled Hallway Burnishing in Dorset

Cleaning an antiqued style Travertine tiled floor

I had a call from a lady who wanted the Travertine tiled floor in her kitchen cleaned, the Travertine tiles actually extended further into the adjacent room but in this case it was only the kitchen she was concerned with. The sealer that had been used on the floor was ‘Lithofin Stain Stop’ which is sold primarily to the domestic market; it’s an appropriate sealer for Travertine but in a high traffic area such as this kitchen it had been worn down allowing dirt to get trapped in the Travertine.

Antique Terracotta Before Photo Antique Terracotta Before Photo

Cleaning a Travertine Tiled Floor

The remaining sealer was easily removed using a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which is a heavy duty cleaner and stripper. I removed the kick boards from under the kitchen units and then proceeded to work in the Pro-Clean using a rotary machine fitted with a black scrubbing pad. This was followed up with a manual scrub of the grout lines using a stiff brush as machines struggle to reach into the dip between the tiles. Once clean the dirty solution was removed using a Vet Vacuum and then washed down a number of times with clean water to neutralise the floor before re-sealing.

Sealing Travertine Tiles

Since this was a relatively small area of a 60m2 we re-applied the same sealer to ensure it would match up the rest of the floor. Personally for Travertine I always recommend Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal which is a penetrating sealer giving a natural finish especially designed for food preparation areas such as kitchens, another option to consider is Tile Doctor Colour Grow which brings out the deep colour in the stone.

Antique Terracotta After Photo Antique Terracotta After Photo

The customer was pleased with results and will most likely be asking us to return later to strip back the entire floor and re-seal.

Cleaning a Travertine Tiled Floor in a Kitchen