This client from Amersham contacted us regarding their Travertine Kitchen floor which they were simply not able to keep clean. Frustratingly any spillage went straight into the floor and stained the tiles. I called them to discuss the problem and offered to come round and survey the floor which is a free service we offer.
I can provide a quote over the phone, but my preference is to visit and test different cleaning products and techniques on the floor before quoting. Doing it this way allows me to work out an accurate quote and gives the customer the confidence I can resolve their problems.
After agreeing a suitable time to call I visited the property and could instantly see that their main problem was the sealer protecting their Kitchen tiles had failed and as described dirt was becoming stuck in the pores of the stone. Natural stone like Travertine is porous and without a sealer in place dirt becomes lodged in its pores where is becomes very difficult to shift.
The kitchen was stunning but let down by the dirty floor which had been installed around twenty years ago when a new extension has been added to the property. Typically, a sealer should last between three and five years depending on use and what cleaning products are used to maintain it, so it wasn’t surprising that the original sealer had worn off.
I quoted for deep cleaning the floor including the removal of the old sealer and then applying a robust impregnating sealer which is recommended for Travertine. Happy with the price we scheduled a date for the work to be done.
Deep Cleaning a Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor
On the first day the floor was given a thorough deep clean using a strong dilution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean, this product is our go to Tile and Grout Cleaner and when used in a strong dilution is strong enough to remove sealers. You find with sealers that they wear down first in the busiest sections of the floor so its important to remove all the sealer from across the floor or you end up with layering.
Pro-Clean is a strong alkaline cleaning product and it’s sprayed onto the tile and grout and then left for ten minutes before working it in, this allows it time to soak into the pores and start breaking down the dirt.
The floor is then scrubbed using a Rocky floor machine fitted with a series of diamond burnishing pads of increasing grits. This process generates a lot of soiling, and this is hoovered up with a wet vacuum after each pad.
The work begins with a coarse 400-grit burnishing pad which strips the Travertine and I work up to a 3000-grit pad which really brings up the finish of the stone to a slight sheen as the client requested. The floor was then left overnight to dry.
Sealing a Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor
On day two I started on the sealing process first checking that the floor had dried sufficiently to accept the sealer. After discussing sealer options with the client earlier they had expressed a preference for a natural look, so I chose to apply a sealer called Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal which doesn’t colour the stone in any way and is almost undetectable.
Ultra-Seal is an impregnating sealer that works by soaking into the pores of the stone occupying the space and thereby preventing dirt from becoming ingrained there. Two coats were applied with a microfibre cloth allowing it to soak into the tile for a few hours before walking on it.
Once the seal had dried, I went over the tiles again with the 3000-grit pad which buffs of any excess sealant and brings up the sheen. Now with the floor being completely protected with Tile Doctor Ultra Seal the client shouldn’t have any problem with spillages which can be simply wiped away.
Once finished the deep pitted dirt was gone and the floor looked much lighter and cleaner. My client was very impressed with the transformation and has recommended us to her friend who also lives in Amersham and has a similar stone floor.
I mentioned earlier that a sealer’s life can be impacted by the product you use for regular cleaning, it’s a fact that most supermarket tile cleaners are simply too strong and can damage the sealer so before leaving I took time to discuss aftercare cleaning and for Travertine, I recommend the use of Tile Doctor Stone Soap which as well as gently cleaning the stone also helps maintain the patina.
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When cleaning floor tiles with a mop we recommend using two buckets, one containing a neutral pH cleaning fluid such as Tile Doctor Neutral Tile Cleaner or Stone Soap and the second where you rinse your mop afterwards, otherwise you will contaminate your cleaning fluid with dirt every time you rinse.
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