How to Refinish Travertine Floor Tiles

  • 4-10 hours
  • Beginner
  • 100-250
What You'll Need
Multi-purpose vacuum
Non-citrus dish soap
Cleaning brush
Stone cleanser (neutral PH)
Floor stripper
Floor buffer
Soft paint brush
Travertine sealant

Travertine floor tiles are made from a soft, porous material that is highly susceptible to stains. These tiles also cannot be cleaned with basic detergents, because it will damage them. Even though travertine floor tiles may appear to be hard to care for, refinishing the area that has them installed is an easy process that can be accomplished within a few hours.

Step 1: Clean and Prepare

Remove everything from within the area, including appliances and furniture. Vacuum the travertine floor tiles with a multi-purpose vacuum, and then tape off the tiles, using plastic where needed. It is important to cover up any surrounding baseboards, vents, or doorways, so that they will not be damaged during the restoration process. Scrub the floor by hand, with a mixture of citrus free dish soap and a cleaning brush, making sure to take special care in the corners and creases. If this mixture does not clean the area well enough, use the stone cleanser and repeat the steps. Even though the stains do not need to be completely removed at this time, it is important that the floor tiles are clean.

Step 2: Remove Any Stains

In order for stains to be removed from the travertine floor tiles, the spot must be soaked with warm water. To accomplish this, form a barrier around the stain with rags and pour the water into the middle of them. Allow this to soak into the tiles, usually for about 10 to 15 minutes, and then use the rags to clean up the water. Allow the floor to dry before moving onto the next step.

Step 3: Remove the Top Coating

Mix the floor stripper according to the directions, and use the floor buffer to remove the top layer of sealant or stain. The point of this step is to remove all of the top surface coatings, so that the new coating will be able to bond correctly. If this is not done perfectly, the new coat will not bond, and the tiles will not blend together as well as they should. Work slowly so that the entire floor is stripped before continuing.

Step 4: Clean Again

Clean the floor one more time by hand, with warm water mixed with citrus free dish soap and a rag. Clean up the entire residue that was left by buffing the floor, once again making sure to scrub the corners and creases well. This allows for a clean bonding surface. Allow the floor to dry before applying the sealant.

Step 5: Apply the Sealant

Follow the directions on the travertine sealant that you are using, and apply several coats, making sure that 1 coat dries completely before adding another. Use the soft paintbrush to do this, making sure that you use long, even strokes, in order to avoid streaks or lines that will show after it dries.

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