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Click the link below to learn more about travertine terminology, including a discussion of honing

Honing Facts



Services – Travertine Cleaning • Honing • Polishing • Sealing • Grinding

Our custom ABRASIVE PROCESS beats the standard travertine honing process provided by other stone-floor-care services: The Power Clean System has been specifically designed for Travertine. We don’t rely on just the standard materials and methods that our competitors use. We’ve tested standard abrasives, powders, and tools that are readily available for Marble. We found that just because it says on the label it works for Marble doesn't mean it will produce a good result for travertine. Our focus has always been to develop the best system for travertine’s specific characteristics.

Travertine density and porosityTravertine is very similar to a sponge in that it is a like a stack of bubbles. The density of the stone depends on how much stone versus the amount of air pockets. Our custom abrasive process is able to smooth the surface of the stone which reduces surface area.

Our system is able to finish the stone without opening up air pockets underneath the surface. If you look at the surface of the travertine tile under a microscope it would look like a crystalline forest. All of these little trees are like straws that can provide millions of tiny pathways into the stone. We are actually sealing off the stone during the finishing process by reducing the surface area.

Less surface area means less pores. Our custom abrasive process starts this sealing process by closing off the pathways liquids have to get into the stone. As finishing progresses, the stone becomes more reflective. As a stone becomes more reflective it is being closed off by the reduction of surface area.

"Honing" is a term that's often used (and misused) in the travertine flooring industry. Learn more about honing here.

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Using custom abrasives, we wet sand the stone to loosen up surface dirt and work loose grime and dirt accumulated in the grout lines, open pits, and fill areas. This creates slurry that is vacuumed back with a powerful truck mounted machine.

The use of hot water extraction at 1200psi provides for the most effective cleaning method for your stone. Mops, buckets and shopvacs cannot come close to the cleaning power of a truck mounted machine.

Effective and thorough cleaning is crucial for a smooth looking uniform finish and proper sealing.

Watch the videos below to see our cleaning and polishing crews at work.


Baker's custom abrasive polisher on Scottsdale floor



Foamy slurry created during abrasive processes. The slurry is removed with a high-powered truck mounted vacuum system. By far, the most effective clean up method. Shopvacs and mops/buckets cannot compare!



Power cleaning tools get the dirt and grime collected in travertine pits




Our cleaning tool pulling out dirt and grime collected in the pits of the Travertine and the grout lines revealing a much cleaner and brighter floor.


Choose from Satin to High-Gloss

The Satin Finish is the lowest shine recommended. We really don’t recommend duller finishes, since less shine equals more porosity. Satin Finish is practical and what a travertine floor needs so it can be maintained properly. With the custom abrasive processes the goal is the reduction of porosity. We do this with one of several different gentle but extremely effective microfine sanding processes.

Standard honing processes such as diamond pads, sanding screens and powders will actually open up the stone, making cleaning tougher and reducing the ability of the penetrating sealer to keep water from eroding the stone over the course of time.

Baker satin finish before and after in Phoenix

Click photo above (Satin) or below (Light Polish) to see more examples

Light-polish finish on Scottsdale travertine floorOur newest option, Light Polish Finish, is a happy compromise between the Satin Finish and High Polish. For those who want a bit more "pop" than our Satin Finish but not the formality of our High Polish.

We will introduce chemical abrasives along with the physical abrasives to achieve our Light Polish Finish

Chemical abrasive processes break a small amount of the surface up into solution and then re-crystallizes it. Chemical processes remove air bubbles and acidic salts while increasing density. Fewer pores mean more shine and easier cleaning. The smoother the surface it is the easier it is to clean.

The super High-Polish Finish (shown on two photos below) is as shiny as the stones can get. We take the polishing process to the extreme. Once they’re polished we go over them more just to make sure. The super high polish is extremely elegant. The higher the polish is the deeper you can actually see into it. It's as if the colors become more vibrant and the true artistic beauty of the stone is revealed. And It becomes easier to clean, but don't choose the polish based on cleaning ease, choose it because you want it to look fabulous.

Click either photo below to see more examples of our high-polish finish on travertine.

Beautiful clear reflection in Paradise Valley travertine floor   Elegant travertine entry in Scottsdale home

Sealer (Penetrating)

What We Use

We use the highest grade penetrating sealer. We developed an extremely effective solvent-based penetrating sealer. Our sealer is in a base of citrus solvent the technical name is d-limonene it is a very common very safe solvent. Citrus solvent smells like oranges and ventilates very fast. Is the greenest safest solvent-based sealer obtainable.

We specially formulate our sealers depending on the stone we’re working on.The polymers that actually penetrate the stone are dissolved in the solvent. When applied to the stone, the solution soaks in and fills up pores and binds to the molecules of the stone to make them less susceptible to etching.Travertine is mostly calcite which at one point has been dissolved by water and redeposited through evaporation.

The stone also will often contain acidic salts that were in the water that deposited the travertine. The penetrating sealer's most important job is to keep water and acidic spills from eating up the stone. If too much water is used and then left on the surface of the stone during cleaning the sealer will slow it down but it will still have a very corrosive effect over time.

It is very important to know that while penetrating sealers (whether ours or another brand) are helpful, they are not etch-proof or water-proof. They lessen the severity of etches and slow water absorption, not eliminate it.

Common Penetrating Sealer Myths

Many homeowners assume that if their travertine, marble or limestone looks dull and dingy, it needs to be sealed and then it will be pretty again. The fact is that penetrating sealers are invisible, as they soak INTO the stone and have no visual affect on the stone whatsoever.

It is all the custom abrasives steps used in the Cleaning and Finishing steps that come BEFORE sealing that have all the visual impact. By expertly refining the actual surface of your travertine, marble or limestone, it brings out the true beauty in a clean finish.

While sealing is an important part of our service it is not the most important part. In fact, penetrating sealer is not even needed with our High Polish Finish as we have so finely refined the pores, it won't even soak in! We always accompany sealer with our Satin Finish and with our new Light Polish finish.

Etching on travertine floor in Phoenix home


Etching from acidic solutions can still happen but the sealer will lessen the severity.







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