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