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How to polish travertine

Updated March 23, 2017

Even if you clean your travertine tiles on a regular basis, they will become dull over time. Polishing the travertine can restore the shine and make the travertine look like new. How often you should polish the tiles depends on how much they are used. Polish travertine floors every six to 12 months if they're in a high-traffic area. For travertine countertops that are used infrequently, polish every three years.

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  1. Wipe the travertine with a damp cloth to remove any dirt or debris.

  2. Sand the tile using 400-grit sandpaper in a circular motion, with just enough pressure to remove only the imperfections on top of the tile. Wipe the travertine when you are finished sanding.

  3. Go over the travertine with 600-grit sandpaper to make the travertine shine a little. Take care to remove all the scuffs from the previous grit.

  4. Finish up the sanding with 800-grit sandpaper. This should leave the surface as smooth as possible.

  5. Use a buffing pad to buff the travertine to a glossy shine.

  6. Tip

    For travertine tiles on countertops and walls, you can use 1200-grit sandpaper after the 800 grit; however, 1200 grit will make floor tiles dangerously slippery.


    Don't apply too much pressure or use rapid strokes with the sandpaper. Don't use any type of buffing compound on your travertine because these eat the stone away. If your travertine is severely damaged, don't try to polish it yourself. Instead, consult a professional to refinish the tiles. Severely damaged travertine may crack when you attempt to polish it and may have to be replaced .

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Things You'll Need

  • Cloth
  • 400-grit sandpaper
  • 600-grit sandpaper
  • 800-grit sandpaper
  • Buffing pad

About the Author

Casey Holley is a medical writer who began working in the health and fitness industries in 1995, while still in high school. She has worked as a nutrition consultant and has written numerous health and wellness articles for various online publications. She has also served in the Navy and is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in health administration from the University of Phoenix.

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