Travertine Tile Cleaning

Mouldy Travertine Tiled Shower Cubicle Refurbished in Oxshott

I received a call from a customer in Oxshott regarding a Travertine Tiled Shower Cubicle which was grubby and needed refurbishing. As it turns out his wife was about to give birth to their first child and he wanted the bathroom shower cubicle cleaned asap.

Travertine Shower Cubicle Tiles Before Refurbishment Oxshott

The tiles were Travertine and apart from the usual staining from soaps etc I didn’t expect they would present too much trouble; however, the Grout was stained with dirt and mold and I could see this is where the focus would need to be.

Travertine Shower Cubicle Tiles Before Refurbishment Oxshott

Cleaning a Travertine Tiled Shower Cubicle

Focusing on the grout lines first I decided to apply a Tile and Grout cleaning product called Tile Doctor Duo Clean which comes with spray head for easy application. The spray mixes the solution with air making it lighter and sticks to the tiles more easily, it’s also good at breaking down mold.

With the dirt beginning to become loose and lifted out of the pores of the grout the next step was to apply a gel-based cleaner called Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel. Being a gel, it really sticks well to vertical surfaces allowing it to have a longer dwell time. Next step was to work the cleaning agents into the grout lines even further with a wire brush. After cleaning the dirt was rinsed off with water and the soiling removed with a wet vacuum.

The next step was to remove all the existing silicone mastic with a sharp knife from around the shower tray and along the verticals. Once mold gets a grip on the mastic sealant it’s very difficult to remove so easier to replace. Once all the rubbish was swept out, I dried any remaining dampness from the grout and tiles with a heat gun.

Travertine Shower Cubicle Tiles During Refurbishment Oxshott

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Shower Cubicle

The next step was to seal the Travertine tiles, they do have to be dry for that however it was such a small area I was able to speed up the drying process and it wasn’t long before I was able to start the application. For Travertine I like to use a sealer called Tile Doctor Colour Grow, as its name suggests it contains a colour enhancing formula which brings out the natural brown colours in the stone. Its also fully breathable and works by seeping into the pores of the stone protecting it from within.

Whilst waiting for the sealer to dry I also cleaned up the shower glass and replaced the mastic sealant I had stripped out after cleaning with an anti-mold product that should help prevent the problem in future.

Travertine Shower Cubicle Tiles After Refurbishment Oxshott

Before leaving I discussed the mold problem with my customer explaining that the best solution to that problem though is to increase ventilation as it thrives in humid conditions; other things you can do include leaving a window and door open afterwards to improve cross ventilation and you can also run cold water through the shower afterwards. With a sealed stone shower, you also must be careful what product you use to clean the tiles with afterwards, never use acidic products like limescale remover or bleach that can etch the stone. We recommend using Tile Doctor Aqua-Pro which is a mild but effective cleaner that can be applied after showering.


Travertine Tiled Shower Cubicle Cleaning and Grout Recolouring in Surrey

Changing the Sealer on a Travertine Bathroom Wall in Weybridge

A client had downsized to flat in Weybridge and before moving in had decided to have a new bathroom fitted which included the installation of Travertine wall tiling.

While she loved the stone, she didn’t like the colour enhancing sealer that the tiler had applied to enhance and protect the tiles. What was once a natural pale colour had turned into a shade of yellow. Unhappy with the colour and getting nowhere with the tiler she decided to call Tile Doctor and have it rectified.

Travertine Bathroom Wall Weybridge Flat Before Sealer Removed

The final appearance of stone whether it is laid on the floor or the wall is a very personal choice and very difficult to make until you see the finished result. I find colour enhancing sealers usually help to bring out the natural features and colours in the stone however I do find lots of clients asking for the natural look.

I’m afraid the photographs on this page didn’t come out that well, there was little natural light in the small bathroom and so they don’t really do the Travertine tiles justice.

Stripping a Colour Enhancing Sealer from Travertine Wall Tiles

To resolve the problem, I first had to remove the old sealer which was done by wetting the walls with water and then applying Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel. Being a gel this tile cleaning product sticks to vertical surfaces allowing for longer dwell times. This was then left to soak in for about half an hour, then using a set of four six-inch diamond burnishing pads, I slowly burnished the walls until the sealer was removed.

The process of burnishing is a messy business and involves the application of four different grades of pad starting with a coarse pad and ending with a polishing pad. The process does generate a fine soil, thankfully being in the bathroom however it was easier to contain. The soiling was removed using more water and a wet vacuum.

I then speed dried the room with a large warm air blower so I could apply the new sealer later in the day.

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Bathroom Wall

After lunch I checked the Travertine wall tiles for moisture using a damp meter and it confirmed they were dry and ready for sealing. To seal I applied a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Ultra-Seal which adds protection but is also invisible leaving the stone with a natural look. This was not a colour enhancing product as per the client’s earlier instruction.

Finally, I cleared up the mess and polished the glass shower screen whilst I was waiting for the sealer to dry. Needless to say, my client was very happy and finally had the desired appearance.

Travertine Bathroom Wall Weybridge Flat After Sealing

For after care I recommend the use of Tile Doctor Aqua-Pro which is a mild but effective cleaner that isn’t too strong for use on sealed stone and can be used daily after a shower. This will keep the sealer in the best condition and the bathroom looking pristine.


Professional Restoration of a Travertine Tiled Bathroom in West Surrey

Replacing Cracked Travertine Floor Tiles in Cobham

This client from Cobham contacted me in despair, she was quite concerned about her Travertine tiled floor which was cracking. She had the Kitchen and Dining room tiled with Travertine six years ago and recently several cracks had begun to appear in a long line crossing five tiles.

Travertine Floor Issues Before Restoration Cobham Travertine Floor Issues Before Restoration Cobham

Several holes had also begun to appear and across the threshold to the kitchen from the dining area a serious lip had formed where a tile had risen above its neighbour causing a trip hazard.

Travertine Floor Issues Before Restoration Cobham

After removing a tile from an unobtrusive area, I began to see where the issues lay. The tiler had dabbed the adhesive. This mean that instead of spreading the adhesive equally across the tile and floor they had splurged four lumps in each corner then set the tile down. This is poor working practice that will sooner or later become apparent. It means the areas were no adhesive was applied are eventually compromised resulting in cracking. This could take years or weeks to surface.

Travertine Floor Issues Before Restoration Cobham

After some discussion we decided that I would remove and replace six tiles in total. The client was happy for me to go ahead and agreed a cost for the works to be done.

Repairing a Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor

Returning the following week, firstly I had to remove the grout. This was done with a handheld Fein tool fitted with an oscillating blade. I thought this would be good experience from my son during the holidays, so I took him along and whilst I was working on the grout, he was able to gather the dust in a vacuum cleaner.

Travertine Floor Issues During Restoration Cobham

Next, I started to remove the cracked tiles with a chisel, starting from the cracks where the tiles would be weakest. This was noisy and messy work which required ear defenders and safety goggles. The process took several hours with the help of my son on general assistance duties. Once the tiles were removed this just left the remaining adhesive attached to the floor to get removed. This was the hardest part of the job, a lot of hammer and chisel work with as much dust gathered as possible to try and contain the mess. I had warned the customer that a considerable amount of mess would be produced and request that she should remove as much items as possible and to tape up her cupboards. Finally, I filled several holes in the sub floor so I would have a flat surface to lay the new tiles on. I left it there for the night to solidify.

Travertine Floor Issues During Restoration Cobham

Returning the next day, I began laying the replacement tiles down. Colour matching replacement tiles is a difficult task as Travertine is a natural product and colours vary greatly so these were a pretty good match.

Sealing a Travertine Tiled Kitchen Floor

Once the adhesive had set, I grouted in the newly laid tiles and once that was dry set about applying a sealer. For this I used two coats of Tile Doctor Ultra Seal which is an impregnating sealer that doesn’t alter the colour of the stone. This would ensure they were nicely protected and hopefully the client will not experience any further issues.

Travertine Floor Issues After Restoration Cobham

She was very happy with the result and was pleased the floor no long looked unsightly or posed a tripping hazard.


Cracked Travertine Floor Tiles Replaced in West Surrey

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

Cleaning Stains From a Natural Stone Fireplace Hearth in East Byfleet

This is a follow-on post from the Travertine Kitchen floor that I wrote about recently, you may recall the customer from East Byfleetalso asked me to clean the stains from the hearth of their Natural Stone Fireplace as well.

Stone Fireplace Before Cleaning East Byfleet

Stone Fireplace Hearth Stain Removal

The fireplace was suffering from general dirt build-up as well as bad rust and oil stains. I treated the rust stains using Tile Doctor Rust Remover which is a specialist product developed by Tile Doctor especially for the removal of rust marks from stone. Then to deal with the oil stains I applied a solution of Tile Doctor Pro Clean alkaline cleaner combined 50/50 with Tile Doctor NanoTech HBU to give the solution extra strength.

While this improved the condition of the stone and removed the un-sightly stains more work was required so I continued the cleaning process with the application of a Coarse 30 grit pad fitted to my hand machine. This proved effective, so I then refined the surface further using a series of fine grit pads before sealing the fireplace with Tile Doctor Ultra Seal, another of our impregnating sealers.

Stone Fireplace After Cleaning East Byfleet
The appearances of both Travertine tiled kitchen floor and the natural stone fireplace have benefitted greatly from deep cleaning, high quality polishing, and a fresh seal. Much to the delight of my customer, they will prove much easier to keep clean I’m the future.

Stone Fireplace Before and After Cleaning East Byfleet

Professional Fireplace Hearth Restoration in East Byfleet

Restoring Travertine Kitchen Tiles in East Byfleet

This customer, who lives in East Byfleet had been experiencing difficulties in keeping her fantastic Travertine tiled kitchen floor in good condition. Over the years it had suffered from a heavy build up of dirt and oily stains, not to mentioned a number of cracks and small holes. Needless to say, the customer was keen to restore the Travertine tiles to their former glory.

Travertine Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning East Byfleet Travertine Kitchen Floor Before Cleaning East Byfleet

Restoring Travertine Tiles

To begin the restoration, I applied Tile Doctor Remove and Go across the entirety of the large tiled area. This heavy duty remover breaks down any old sealers and other coatings, leaving the area ready to cleaned or, in this case, burnished.

Burnishing is a method for cleaning and polishing certain types of high-end stone, including Travertine, Marble, and Limestone. Our burnishing system involves the application of four diamond encrusted pads of varying grits. Firstly, I applied the Coarse grit pad, which helps to break down any dirt and stains on the surface of the tiles. Then, I worked my way through the Medium, Fine, and Very Fine pads, using a little water as lubricant, to gradually refine the polish on the Travertine. It was then rinsed and left to dry.

To round off the first day of work, I filled any cracks and holes using our two-part resin system which greatly improved the look of the tile.

Travertine Kitchen Floor Cracked Tile Before and After East Byfleet

Sealing Travertine Tiles

The following day I returned to the property to seal the tiles checking first that the floor had dried. All was well so I proceeded to seal the floor using our colour intensifying impregnating sealer Tile Doctor Colour Grow. Once that was dry, I added the finishing touches by buffing the floor with a soft white buffing pad. As you can see from the photographs, the combination of a fresh seal and polish worked wonders.

Travertine Kitchen Floor After Sealing East Byfleet
We did such a good job with the floor that the customer asked if we could also improve the appearance of their natural stone fireplace which was suffering from bad rust and oil stains however I do a separate write up on that.

Cracked Travertine Kitchen Floor Fully Restored in Surrey


West Surrey Tile Doctor

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