How to Polish Travertine Flooring

Written by sharon sweeny
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Travertine floors are much more porous than granite or marble and consequently need to be polished more often. You can do this yourself, following the directions to give your travertine floors a shiny, protective finish.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Power washer
  • Electric floor polisher
  • Sandpaper in 120 grit, 220 grit, 400 grit and 600 grit
  • Steel wool, size 000
  • Impregnating sealer for stone floors
  • Paintbrush, roller or mop

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  1. 1

    Wash the floor thoroughly with a power washer. Work on a small area of the floor at a time. First wash with a pH-neutral cleaner and then rinse. Wipe up water before moving on to the next section.

  2. 2

    Polish with electric floor polisher. Start with sandpaper with a 120 grit and sand the entire floor. Move on to finer and finer grades of sandpaper in the following sequence: 220 grit, 400 grit and finally 600 grit. Completely sand the floor using each grit of sandpaper before moving on to the next grit.

  3. 3

    Buff with steel wool to create a high-gloss shine. Use the electric floor polisher with a steel wool pad. Start with 000 grade steel wool. If the floor is still not glossy enough, use the same grade of steel wool with a wet (not damp) floor. Thoroughly wet a small area of the floor at a time and buff. Dry the area before moving to the next area.

  4. 4

    Allow the floor to dry thoroughly before sealing.

  5. 5

    Apply an impregnating sealer. Use a paintbrush, roller, or mop. Apply a liberal amount to the surface, but do not allow sealer to puddle on the floor. A rule of thumb is to apply sealer at the rate of at least 1 gallon for every 600 to 800 square feet of floor.

  6. 6

    Allow the first coat to dry for approximately 30 minutes.

  7. 7

    Apply second coat.

  8. 8

    Let sealer dry for four hours before allowing light traffic. For best results, do not walk on floor for 48 to 72 hours.

Tips and warnings

  • Place the applicator of your choice in a plastic bag or wrap tightly with plastic wrap while the first coat dries. This will keep the sealer from hardening on the applicator, and you won't have to clean it between coats.
  • Pressure washers and electric floor sanders are available to rent at home improvement stores and rental centres.
  • Provide adequate ventilation when working with floor sealers.

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