How to Make Travertine Tiles Shine

The earthy colors of travertine tile make an ideal choice for kitchen floors. The limestone in travertine tiles lends to unique color and designs and is durable in high-traffic areas. Travertine tiles are naturally porous and are typically sealed to protect the floor materials from absorbing stains and substances that can cause discoloration, dullness and etching stains. While your travertine tiles will require a fresh coat of sealant once each year to maintain shine, proper routine care is also important since using the wrong cleaning products can dull their look.

Slippers
credit: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
A subtle shine adds to the appearance of travertine.

Step 1

Sweep the floor with a broom and dustpan to remove all dirt and debris.

Step 2

Attach a natural hair sanding pad to a floor buffer. Plug in the electrical cord.

Step 3

Sprinkle 1/2 cup of polishing powder over a 4-foot by 4-foot area of the travertine tile. Drizzle 1 cup of water over the polishing powder.

Step 4

Run the floor buffer over the travertine tile until the polishing powder and water turn milky white. Add more powder or water, as needed, to create a gritty solution on the tile surface. Repeat Steps 3 and 4 to polish the entire travertine tile surface.

Step 5

Wipe the tiles by hand, using clean cloths, to remove the water and polishing powder. Follow by wet mopping the surface with a mop and bucket of water to remove any remaining powder residue. Dry the travertine tiles with clean cloths.

Step 6

Secure a floor buffing pad to the floor buffer. Buff the floor again, this time using only the dry buffing pad. Allow the travertine tile to remain untouched for 24 hours.

Step 7

Tape off floor boards and edges with painter's masking tape. Spray natural stone sealant over the travertine tiles in even, sweeping motions. Apply one thin coat at a time. Allow each coat to air dry completely before adding another one. Once you've achieved your ideal level of shine, allow the travertine tiles to dry for a minimum of 24 hours before walking on them.