Cleaning • Honing • Polishing • Sealing • Grinding
Baker’s Travertine Power Clean has proudly been in business since 1988. Starting out in carpet cleaning, we evolved into tile cleaning/repair and then transitioned into Travertine and natural stone finishing. Not satisfied with the standard and available products and tools to finish marble and almost nothing available specifically for travertine, we researched and developed our own unique abrasive system. Our system and powerful quality equipment provides great results in sometimes less than half the time than our top competitors. Request a quote from us today!
HOW WE GOT STARTED
After completing my time in United States Army in 1986, I used my G.I. bill money for college. I did well in geology, biology, and chemistry but after my third attempt, it was obvious I did not have the fortitude to overcome my dyslexia. I gave up my dream for a career in medicine or science. I had odd jobs, one of which was selling Kirby vacuums. I was demonstrating the upholstery attachment cleaning a lady’s couch. She paid me $35 for doing so and convinced me to start my own business. I will always remember that conversation as it was a turning point for me.
In 1988, I started a carpet cleaning company with an electric carpet cleaning machine. It was called the “Super Duper Deluxe.” You would think that would have enough power to clean carpets with a name like that, but not so. I installed the most powerful electric motor available that can be run off one standard plug.I had to run cords to two different parts of the house to avoid throwing a breaker. At that time, gasoline powered machines were $7,000-$15,000. The $7,000 machine didn’t have as much power as our electric machine and part of the reason we couldn’t afford $15,000 was my business was based on the best quality work and not up selling extra (sometimes unnecessary) services and cleaning products.
I found an old gasoline machine that was one of the first prototypes for the carpet cleaning machines powered by a car motor. It was under a dusty old tarp. When I looked under the tarp seeing that it was powered by a car motor, I realized this was the power he needed to do the job. I told the man selling it that I wanted it and he said, “No, it’s too old and has problems.” I said, “Perfect! It’s got to be a good deal then, right?” He practically gave me the machine and I rebuilt it personally. It served well with the power I needed for over 10 years. Our Power Clean carpet cleaning system was very simple, but the right way to do the job. Aggressive chemicals to clean, heated water to rinse, and a powerful machine to extract as much water as possible.
We now have the best machines on the market! Not counting the old machine that I still have (for nostalgic reasons), I have five powerful truck mounts. Three full-time machines that run daily, a spare set of equipment ready to go in case of a breakdown and one in the barn. With a life-changing Yellow Page ad, I expanded into repairing, cleaning, and sealing ceramic tile and grout. Around 1998, this new service quickly took over as our main service. As travertine became more popular, I started attending stone restoration certification classes. Most of these were powder systems. Powdered abrasives have specific abilities but are not able to completely give the finisher what’s needed to do the job properly, especially with travertine.
So as I tried other systems, I found that there was a very poor selection of products for the stone finishing industry. I was very honest with the first travertine customers. I explained that my knowledge and the ability of the abrasive processes were limited. I was researching and testing abrasives from around the world from all different industries, not just the ones for the stone finishing industry. To test them out, I installed travertine in my shop and started experimenting with different abrasive processes that had nothing to do with stone finishing as well as everything available for marble and stone. No expense was spared! This actually worked very well. Timing was perfect – travertine was going and like crazy I kept getting calls from installers that installed the floors with lippage. This gave me the opportunity to grind and use the most aggressive abrasives without liability. If I could not get the floor flat enough and acceptable to the homeowner, the installer would have to rip it out. Thankfully I had great success. I discovered several different custom abrasive processes and over the years, this open innovative attitude has never ceased.
The best thing that ever happened to my growing business is when my wife, Amy, decided to leave the corporate world in 2003 and come help make my little business a real company. She jumped in full force, took over the office duties where I was lacking, got us organized, incorporated and on the right track. She was a quicker learner in how to run estimates and by now has booked millions of square feet of stone jobs for us. As we grew, we needed to hire more help. This leads to the next best thing, the hiring of Miles Koch, also in 2003, and he is still with me today. He is an amazing and smart guy and our business would not have reached this level without him. He is an integral part of this company and its success.
I can honestly say that I would be nowhere without the support of my wife and our amazing foremen. Foremen who lead their team of craftsmen by example every day. After approximately 4,000,000 ft.² of work done for happy customers, I feel we have the most complete travertine and natural stone finishing system. We have encountered all types of natural stone over the years and restored them hundreds or thousands of times. We have proven our cleaning, polishing, sealing systems not just for travertine- but for marble, flagstone, slate, limestone, cantera, saltillo, granite, ceramic, porcelain and grout color sealing. Our specialized outdoor patio cleaning and sealing for flagstone patios, slate patios, saltillo patios, travertine patios, travertine pavers, pool decks, are superior to what the industry has to offer. (Yes, those last two sentences were written for Google, so we can get “ranking”- we like to focus on writing for you, our potential customer, not for Google…) I hope to educate you with the truth on how best to care for your stone and steer you away from all the b.s. in the industry. We focus on safe and effective methods and products.The goal is to make your stone the best it can be and protect your investment.
That’s my story. We hope to make you a happy customer too.
THE STONE-CARE CRAFTSMEN OF BAKER’S TRAVERTINE POWER CLEAN:
Director of Field Operations, hired in 2003. Starting with Tom at 19 years old, Miles had already held a manager position at a movie theater in his hometown of Lake Havasu, AZ. He came to Tempe as a college student and began working immediately while attending school. Our confidence in Miles has grown with every square foot of stone he has finished. At over 1,000,000 square feet, that’s a lot of confidence! He began to lead our crew in 2006 with superior attention to detail ensuring excellent results for each customer.
Update 2016-We are blessed to have Miles still an integral part of our business and growth. He continues to be a strong crew leader and his knowledge of his craft is overwhelming. Very professional and Customers love him. We couldn’t do this without him.
Foreman, hired in 2005. Ray was a good friend and neighbor since 1999 and we are so glad he finally came on board to work for us. After one year in the field with Tom and Miles, Ray’s knowledge and skills have grown to the point that he also leads jobs for us on a regular basis. Ray has at least 500,000 square feet of stone experience and much more to come.
Update 2016-Ray is another blessing whose knowledge and expertise of his craft is so impressive. His customer appeal is outstanding and leadership skills wonderful. Ray is an important part of our business everyday and we are grateful for his insights. He is proud dad to Noah.
Foreman, hired in January 2011, Travis has grown well into the third foreman position. His loyalty and ability to meet the high standards set by Miles and Ray has allowed us to expand into three crews without compromising any quality of work. We have a ton of confidence in Travis’ leadership and knowledge and are so lucky to have him aboard. Customers love him and his beard!.
Brad came to us through Travis in September 2014 and he is a good find. Brad is a key component for us and all foreman love having him on their crew. He is one of our best leads, super reliable, mature and just wants to do a great job everyday. He is a great example for our junior crew members. He is proud dad to little Marley.