Tweaking for Travertine

Wendy’s Blog

Busy travertine floor needs some TLC before a teen Christmas Party

Client called to get arrange for steam cleaning of this heated tile floor. The sun room is pretty massive, with lots going on.

Clearly, this is Kirby the wired haried Doxy’s crib, add 3 kids, the parents, the grandparents, a couple of pet rats and lots of plants, this is the most happen’in place in the house.

With all the bustle the travertine looks pretty good, but the grout-that's a different story!

Dirty grout is just that, it is highly absorbent, full of germs, dirt, oils, soils, cooking contaminants, mop residues, dirty feet, dogs feet, fur and butt. Throw in some cross contamination from things like pesticides, fertiliziers, oils from hot and cooling engines (off the garage, where applicable), and other environmental impacts. 

Actually, scientists refer to such an area as a “sink”, deeming it similar to the kitchen sink, a highly contaminated area proven under a microscope.

Add to this by the inherent nature of the use of the room and family dynamic qualifies (as most any room with grout does).



Medford dirty travertine grout
Here is the entry to the kitchen, a high traffic area, and most likely where food, beverage and cooking oils get transferred to the grout

Hearing we could come early they got everything out of the room, and I mean everything. Only issue as we got started was to catch and contain Kirby, the lively pup. 

As with any friendly pup or dog, or course visitors are always there just to see them, and catching him with his excitement to see us was a challenge! 

Dogs and pets need to be away from the work area and our equipment. So after some chasing and doggie door escapes we finally helped Kris’ inlaws get him safe and secure upstairs.

The work begins with vacuuming the travertine.

Travertine stone cleaning preparation
First the floor is vacuumed

Here Chris is using the ‘mother of all vacuums’. It’s best to start with a ‘clean canvas’. After that a solution is applied across the floor. Our tech has a stiff bristle brush, and all the grout joints are aggressively scrubbed. 

More often than not the dirty grout joints are what brings a customer to call for help.

Beyond dirty grout and a dull appearance to the travertine (from surface oils and soils), deeper restorative procedures would be necessary.

For instance, if there were spills that don't clean off, it the travertine has lost its shine, or if new holes appear, or others widen, stone restoration procedures would be required.

I determined these folks just needed a cleaning and a seal. After asking if they had spills that don’t clean off, or dullness they were upset about, or holes appearing, and she said no, I mentioned that cleaning and sealing were the right fit.

Good news for them, instead of a day or two of stone grinding, honing and polishing, the cleaning would go much faster, and for less than half the cost of restoring it. 

A solution was applied, and the stone was steam extracted.

The steam wand is used to clean all across the floor, known as “the field”. Then a smaller edge tool cleans all along the edges. Next any grout joints still harboring dirt are gone over again. Finally any excess water is vacuumed up.

And with the clients huge ceiling fan (the blades are a massive 5′ each), the floor dries quickly.

Medford Travertine cleaned up
Now the travertine floor is uniformly clean once agin

Just in time our customer arrives home and likes what he sees!

As we steamed the floor the grout released all the dirt and returned to a uniform color. Also, the dirt, oils, soils and residues were rinsed off, revealing the stone once again.

Medford travertine & grout cleaned shine restored
The travertine now has a uniformly cleaned and the shine is restored
Do you have travertine, stone, or ceramic tile and grout that doesn’t look clean? Give us a call, our cleaning and or restoration can help. Free estimates. 
If you have waves (aka cupping) where the edges look wonky and not flat, or have raised areas like this one, or an uneven appearance that is not flat we can help. Free estimates Call Us at 609.953.0472, or Contact Us on line and we will reach out to you.