tile sealing

Pitted Travertine Tiled Floor Rejuvenated in Andover

To restore high quality, polished stone such as Travertine, Marble, and Limestone, we find that the most effective method is to use a process known as burnishing.

It involves the application of specialist diamond encrusted pads of different grits in sequence. The pads with coarser grits grind down out soil buildup, while the subsequent application of finer grit pads gradually hones an aesthetic polish on the surface of the tiles. Tile Doctor’s system consists of four burnishing pads: Coarse, Medium, Fine and Very Fine.

We use burnishing in these types of floor because we find that liquid cleaning products alone do not always achieve the best results. In fact, some household cleaning products can be damaging it not used correctly.

One customer of ours, who lives in Andover which is west of Basingstoke, was having a particularly difficult time keeping her pitted Travertine tiled floor clean, leaving them looking exceptionally dirty and dull and we were asked to restore their appearance.

Pitted travertine floor tiles before cleaning in Andover

Burnishing a Dirty Pitted Travertine Tiled Floor

As mentioned, to restore travertine we find the best method to be burnishing which has the added advantage of tightening up the pores in the stone, creating a natural sheen before any sealer is even applied.

To undertake the burnishing, I used our four pad system, polishing the Travertine with each pad in sequence – starting with the Coarse pad and ending with the Very Fine pad. This achieved a nice, even satin finish, which was ideal because the customer did not want a high shine gloss.

With the stone tiles cleaned and polished, I turned my attention to the grout, which was similarly dirty. To clean this, I opted for a liquid product in the form of Tile Doctor’s high alkaline cleaner, Pro Clean. I applied and scrubbed the product into the grout to eliminate ingrained dirt and stains, before rinsing the whole floor, using a wet-vac machine to remove the dirty cleaning residue, and leaving it to dry.

Sealing a Pitted Travertine Tiles Floor

Once the Travertine tiles were dry, I gave them a final polish in preparation for sealing. My choice of sealer was Tile Doctor Colour Grow – our impregnating, colour enhancing sealer for Travertine, Marble and Limestone. As you can see from the photo below, the sealer really lifted the natural shades in the stone. Both myself and the customer were really pleased with the overall result.

Pitted travertine floor tiles after burnishing in Andover
A bottle of Tile Doctor Stone Soap was left with my very happy customer along with instructions for aftercare. We recommend Stone Soap for the regular cleaning of polished Travertine as it enhances the natural patina in polished stone.

Cleaning and Polishing Travertine Floor Tiles in Hampshire

Limestone Kitchen Floor Polished in Lyndhurst, New Forest

Limestone is a beautiful flooring material however it’s a porous sedimentary rock which is not as tough as its cousins, Marble and Travertine, and therefore will need more Maintenance over time. This Limestone tiled kitchen floor in Lyndhurst is a great example of how this material can lose its appearance without a regular maintenance regime in place.

Limestone floor before cleaning Lyndhurst New Forest Limestone floor during cleaning Lyndhurst New Forest

Cleaning Limestone Kitchen Tiles

To restore the appearance of polished Limestone we use a set of diamond encrusted Burnishing Pads which effectively cut back the layer of dirt on the floor and then build back up the polish. It was a reasonably large kitchen with an island worktop to so we worked in sections removing the kick boards as we went.

You can see the effectiveness of the process from the test patch below.

Limestone floor before cleaning Lyndhurst New Forest

We stated the burnishing process with the coarse pad fitted to a rotary machine and applied with a little water. The coarse pad is very good at removing dirt and old sealers from stone and once completed the resultant surface water and loose dirt is removed using a wet vacuum.

At this point the grout was also cleaned by applying a strong solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean which was scrubbed in along the grout lines, this is necessary as the recessed nature of the grout makes it difficult for the pads to reach it.

Limestone floor during cleaning Lyndhurst New Forest

I mentioned earlier there are four pads in the burnishing system, so once the floor was rinsed with water following the grout cleaning the other three pads were applied to the stone floor in sequence finishing on the finer polishing pads one after the other until we were left with a high shine finish.

Sealing Limestone Tiled Floor

We left the floor to dry and came back later to seal the floor, the floor must be dry before sealing otherwise it can effect the performance of the sealer. Once we were happy the floor was dry we proceeded to seal the Limestone tile using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is a colour enhancing product that impregnates the pores of the stone bringing out the natural colours and protecting it from within.

Limestone floor after polishing Lyndhurst New Forest Limestone floor after polishing Lyndhurst New Forest


Maintaining Limestone Floor Tiles in the Hampshire New Forest

Removing Efflorescence From a Terracotta Tiled Floor in Lymington

Here’s an interesting job I completed recently in the town of Lymington which is a lovely costal town within the New Forest and on the west side of the Solent. This Terracotta tiled floor was installed in the kitchen and was suffering from an efflorescence issue due to an ongoing leak which resulted in the salts in the water becoming deposited on the surface of the tiles as the water evaporated leaving a white bloom on the surface.

Terracotta Floor With Efflorescence in Lymington Before
This process is more commonly known as efflorescence and is particularly common in old properties which have no damp proof membrane under the floor and white staining by the cupboards is especially visible in the below photograph.

Terracotta Floor With Efflorescence in Lymington Before Enlarged
My client was eager to have the problem fixed, and so enlisted Tile Doctor to get the job done.

Removing Efflorescence from Terracotta

To remove the efflorescence, the Terracotta tiled floor was acid washed using a mild dilution of Tile Doctor Grout Clean-Up which is primarily sold to remove grout smears but is equally effective at removing mineral deposits such as the white salts left behind by efflorescence.

The solution was scrubbed into the tiles using a stiff scrubbing brush and was successful at removing the white staining. Naturally it’s not advised to leave acid too long on any surface so the floor was treated in sections and then rinsed off with water and the residue removed using a wet-vacuum.

Following this, the floor was power-scrubbed in combination with a diluted solution of Tile Doctor Pro-Clean. Pro-Clean is a versatile cleaner that also contains stripping properties, allowing it to break down and remove old sealers, it also does a nice job getting the grout clean.

With the efflorescence treated and the floor now clean I was now happy with the condition of the tiles and give them a final rinse under pressure to ensure the floor was neutralised and any trace of products removed.

Sealing a Terracotta tiled floor

The Terracotta tiled floor was then left to dry overnight and I came back to seal the floor the next day. To seal the tiles I used three coats of Tile Doctor Seal & Go Extra, which provides a robust surface seal, and is recommended for internal floors with the damp issues.

Terracotta Floor With Efflorescence in Lymington After
Hopefully this quick report has offered some useful advice on how to treat efflorescence which is quite a common problem; naturally if you have further questions Tile Doctor does offer a free advice service so do get in touch.

Treating Efflorescence on a Terracotta tiled floor in Hampshire

Travertine Tiled Floor Maintenance in Fareham

Travertine is a beautiful natural material which due to its hardness makes a fantastic flooring material. To get the best out of it though it does need to be polished as it does dull over time depending of the amount of wear it receives. I also recommend sealing it as well as this will protect the stone from staining and if you have the right sealer it can enhance the look of the stone even further.

Travetine Tiles in Fareham Before Cleaning

Cleaning Travertine Kitchen Tiles

This Travertine tiled floor in Fareham was due a polish so I gave the floor a quick clean using Tile Doctor Pro-Clean paying particular attention to the grout with a stiff grout brush. The dirty solution was then removed using a wet vacuum and I moved onto burnishing the Travertine to bring up the polish.

Burnishing requires a set of four diamond encrusted pads with different grits from coarse to extra fine and are applied to the floor using a little water to help lubricate the process. It’s also necessary to rinse the floor between each pad to remove the slurry that is generated in the process. Burnishing took most of the day so once finished I give the floor a final rinse and left it to dry off overnight.

Sealing Travertine Tiled Floor

I came back to seal the floor the next day using two coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow which is an impregnating sealer that soaks into the pores of the stone providing protection from within the stone and also enhancing the natural colours of the stone.

Travetine Tiles in Fareham After Cleaning
On reflection I can see I probably should of taken more photographs of this floor, hopefully you can appreciate the difference which was quite remarkable.

Polishing a Travertine Floor in Hampshire

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