Travertine Polishing

The first way, and one that WE DO NOT RECOMMEND, is through a topical coating or gloss sealer. These topical coatings are sold at all the big box stores and have a white milky appearance. Gloss sealers have their uses but shining up travertine floors is not one of them. These off the shelf sealers, and even some cleaning products, will leave behind a waxy build-up that grabs dirt and dulls your floor. Steer clear of anything that says it will "shine" your floor. The right way to "shine" your floor is through diamond embedded pads and heavy mechanical cleaning equipment. The second way to shine up a natural stone surface is through the use of polishing powders. This method is very similar to crystallization which uses steel wool in conjunction with acidic powders and heat to create a shiny layer over your stone. Most travertine polishing powders contain a combination of abrasives like aluminum oxide, oxalic acid and shellac. When combined with the oxcilic acid, the abrasives work to smooth and melt the calcium carbonate that is contained in the travertine. This process flattens the surface and enables it to reflect light. The shellac acts as a wax to further brighten the appearance. While this method provides a very high shine, the shellac is not a long term durable treatment as it dulls faster than the polish achieved through the use of diamond polishing pads. The third way, and our preferred method, of travertine polishing, involves the use of diamond abrasive pads. These pads come in a variety of grits. Finer, higher grits, produce a brilliant sheen but only if done properly. This method for polishing stone results in a longer lasting more durable polish. THE PROCESS: An initial assessment will be made to determine the current condition of the floor. What is the shine level? Does the floor appear to have a coating? Are there scratches, etch marks, cracks, or holes? While we make every effort possible to determine whether or not a floor has a topical coating, we cannot guarantee that one does not exist. Frequently the cause of waxy buildup on natural stone floors can be traced to the use of commercially sold "clean & shine" products containing wax as well as improper use and overuse of sealer. Overtime, waxy build-up from these fake, "shine in a bottle", cleaning products begin to dull the floor giving it a grayish appearance. SO, YOUR FLOOR HAS A TOPICAL COATING: If it has a coating, how thick is the coating? How long ago was it applied? What type of coating was it? How many times has the coating been re-applied? These are just some of the questions we will ask. Most of the time, after we remove the topical coating the floor is found to be exceptionally dull hiding scratches and etch marks. If you are wanting a highly polished floor it is going to take quite a few steps to get it there. This is a slow process and thus can be costly especially if the surface has been neglected. When comparing estimates from different stone cleaning professionals, it is important to compare the actual processes and not just dollar amounts. Do your research. It is important to note that if there are scratches, white marks, dull spots or general uneveness of the floor, a honing step will likely be necessary to remove them before the polishing can begin. If these irregularities are not removed prior to polishing, they will be magnified by the travertine polishing process. See our You Tube Videos to get an idea of our process.