Honing and Polishing a Chiseled Edge Travertine

Fabric and Tile Masters has restored several of these floors over the years. These installations have several unique characteristics:

  • They are almost always coated with a topical sealer at the end of the instillation. This occurs for two reasons. 1- to attain a sheen of as glossy a finish as possible by the installer (the only way he has available) 2- to cover up the slight grout haze that is harder to clean than it is on a straight edge tile.
  • The coatings always deteriorate and yellow. Scratch and drag marks that are not in the tiles but are on the sealer on the surface of the tiles become apparent. In high traffic areas these coatings may walk off all together.
  • The chiseled edge cannot be honed using diamond tools. The resin diamond disks would be destroyed immediately and no one with an ounce of experience would even try them.

These characteristics narrow the customers choices on how to deal with these tiles. the options:

  • Have the tiles cleaned with a neutral cleaner. The coating and be delicate and can be inadvertently partially stripped off by inexperienced cleaners using high pH chemicals. This is the least expensive fix and unless the coating is in good shape represents kicking the can down the road.
  • Apply more coating. If the sealer is begentnig to come off common sense would dictate that adding more sealer would be a problem. If you examine the label instructions of any topical coating it clearly states sealer needs removal. Adding more coating is generally speaking a bad idea.
  • Remove the coating and modify the tiles by using abrasives disk to modify the tiles to a genuine sheen. This is the best value since the steps detailed above will have to be repeated with diminishing favorable results. Coatings can develop a thickness that looks horrible as every scuff becomes clearly visible.

There were hundreds of these floors installed in Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra. The original tiles were too flat in appearance and they added the glossy sealer to complete the job. Only 7, 10, 14 years later are homeowners having to deal with the problem.


The video below shows how the coating is removed, the tiles are honed and then polished to a shiny finish. This is the cheapest way of dealing with these floors in the long run.


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I am the owner and founder of Fabric & Tile Masters and have decades of experience with all of the categories I write about. We refinish stone walls, counter and floors every day.

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