Preventing damage to your travertine tile floor is the key to maintaining it. Unfortunately, while it is a material that can last for a long time, travertine is vulnerable both to scratches and acid etching, as well as ordinary stains, all of which are hard to fix. Here's a short guide to refinishing travertine floors.
Removing Obstacles from the Floor
Remove any furniture or other objects that are on your travertine floor. Next, use a vacuum to remove dirt, dust, and any other small particles that might either interfere with the refinishing or cause scratches.
Preparing the Area
Get out your masking tape and use it to cover up the edges surrounding your travertine tile floor. Doing this will help to protect the surrounding areas. Once you have done this, lay down plastic sheets to further protect the surrounding area, as it is easy to spill or splash something beyond the boundaries of your tile floor.
Cleaning the Floor
Now that the floor can be safely worked on without scratching it or damaging the surrounding area, you can clean it. Use ordinary dish soap or an appropriate cleaning product designed for use on stone. Be sure that it does not contain any acid, as it will etch your travertine floor.
If you are applying sealer to your travertine floor, it is important that you take steps to avoid sealing in stains, whether they are new stains or stains that are spread around by your cleaning efforts. If there are any visible stains on your floor, surround them with towels, leaving a bit of extra space. Next, pour 1/4 inch of water in the space surrounded by towels. Allow it to soak in for 10 minutes, then dry up the water.
Next, use your steam cleaner's hard floor attachment to remove the stain. You can supplement this with a scrubbing brush and stone floor cleaner.
Removing the Old Seal
To get a good new seal, you will have to make sure that no damaged bits of the old one interfere. Even if your floor has been partially stripped, this can be a problem. While different sealer strippers will have different instructions depending on the brand you buy, you should expect to mix yours with water and use your scrubber to go over the entire floor. Finish up by going over the edges, corners, and any other sections you have missed with the same mixture on a brush.
Finish removing anything that you have just lifted away from the floor by cleaning your travertine tile floor another time. Follow up by rinsing away the debris with distilled water. Finally, vacuum your floor once more.
Sealing the Floor
Different brands of sealer will require different steps, so you should always give precedence to the instructions that your brand comes with. However, you should apply your sealer, then wait for it to dry. If necessary, apply additional coats.