The pictures shown are from a Travertine tiled shower cubicle that was installed at a property in Hale Barns twenty years prior. The Travertine tiles were in desperate need of renovation and being stone they needed a specialist to sort it out.
In an attempt to clean the stone a cleaner ended up making it worse when she used a strong bleach cleaner all over the tiles which actually etched the stone due to the acidic nature of the product. We find this is quite a common problem, especially in areas with limescale, in fact Tile Doctor now offer a training course for commercial cleaning companies because of it. I discussed with the client the process I would use to restore the appearance of the Travertine and with our quote accepted we agreed a date to complete the work.
Cleaning a Travertine Tiled Shower Cubicle
To begin with I applied a set of six-inch diamond burnishing pads fitted to a hand buffer to slowly remove the etching and gradually build the polished appearance of the stone. The pads are applied in sequence from 400-grit which resurfaces the stone through to 3,000 grit which builds up the polished appearance of the stone.
The Grout was then given a clean using Tile Doctor Oxy-Gel which was left to soak into the grout line for ten minutes before being scrubbed in by hand. Being a gel, it sticks better to vertical surfaces resulting in longer dwell time and therefore better cleaning results.
The combination of the two processes really got to grips with the ingrained dirt and the heavy limescale. The tiles were thoroughly rinsed which is nice and easy in a shower situation, and then left to dry for a few hours, prior to the seal being applied. During this time, I turn my attention to other bathroom areas for which I use a wet vacuum to extract the water and soiling.
Sealing a Travertine Tiled Shower Cubicle
We sealed the Travertine and Grout later that afternoon using a couple of coats of Tile Doctor Colour Grow. This is a impregnating sealer which soaks into the pores to provide durable protection, it also enhances the natural colours in the stone to bring the best features out in the Travertine. The stone had been installed all the way up to the high ceiling, so I needed to climb up a ladder to reach all areas.
The customer was beyond happy with results and left the following feedback:
For everyday aftercare I recommended the use of Tile Doctor Aqua Pro which is designed for cleaning bathrooms where a sealer has been applied. This will keep the shower cubicle looking in great condition moving forward. It will also help to keep the dreaded limescale and mould under control and with regular use it will also ensure the newly applied sealant stays in place for longer.
If you’re a commercial cleaner reading this then do take a look at Tile Doctor’s Agency Tile Cleaning training course. It will fill the knowledge gap many cleaners have when it comes to cleaning stone tiling and ensure you avoid being in a similar situation.