Holes in travertine are very common due to its honeycomb structure. Travertine tiles are like Swiss cheese and over time holes will appear. Travertine tiles are often sold filled and honed. This means that the holes have been filled with a resin in the factory and then ground down flat to a smooth honed finish.
Over time the factory filled resin can also pop out and this can create holes in the travertine tiles. Once holes appear and if your tiles have any kind of shine or polish on them, the floor with become very patchy and look unsightly.
This problem can be solved but can be quite tricky to do a good job your self especially if you have polished or a high shine on your travertine tiles.
The first problem is that if you use a travertine filler and fill a hole which still has factory resin deposits in, your new filler will not stick to this. With in weeks the new filler will pop out and you will be left with unsightly holes once again.
Another problem caused when filling holes is the porosity of travertine can cause problems when hole filling. Most stone and travertine fillers use a 2 part systems. Part 1 been the filler and part 2 been the hardener. Once these are mixed a chemical reaction takes place and the filler start to set and within minutes the filler can start to go off. It can then take a couple of hours to completely cure depending on how much hardener has been added. As the filler cures if the stone in question is porous, such as travertine, the moisture will be drawn into the stone and this can prevent to repair harding correctly and bonding to the tile as it should. This will result in the repair popping out and the holes been present in your kitchen floor once again.
Once you finally get a repair to stick and actually stay in your tile with out popping out, you then have the issue of refinishing the repair to get it to the same shine and clarity as the rest or your floor. A highly polished floor with a repair in the middle will stand out like a sore thumb. Your tiles will be lovely and shiny put the repair will be very dull. To refinish this repair diamond pads will be used. You can either use hand pads which will attach to a hand grinder/ polisher or diamond pads for a floor machines. This is something that only professionals really do and I would advise you to contact me for some advice if you are going to attempt this your self. You will need to practice first before you go straight on to your kitchen floor.
Once complete, a 2 year old travertine floor with professional repairs and the correct use of diamond polishing the floor will look as below.
For more advice please contact me on 0161 431 4743 or visit our website imperialfloorcare.co.uk