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How to Polish Travertine

Casey Holley

Even if you clean your travertine tiles on a regular basis, they will become dull over time. Polishing the travertine can restore the shine and make the travertine look like new. How often you should polish the tiles depends on how much they are used.

Polish travertine floors every six to 12 months if they're in a high-traffic area. For travertine countertops that are used infrequently, polish every three years.

  1. Wipe the travertine with a damp cloth to remove any dirt or debris.

  2. Sand the tile using 400-grit sandpaper in a circular motion, with just enough pressure to remove only the imperfections on top of the tile. Wipe the travertine when you are finished sanding.

  3. Go over the travertine with 600-grit sandpaper to make the travertine shine a little. Take care to remove all the scuffs from the previous grit.

  4. Finish up the sanding with 800-grit sandpaper. This should leave the surface as smooth as possible.

  5. Use a buffing pad to buff the travertine to a glossy shine.


For travertine tiles on countertops and walls, you can use 1200-grit sandpaper after the 800 grit; however, 1200 grit will make floor tiles dangerously slippery.


Don't apply too much pressure or use rapid strokes with the sandpaper.

Don’t use any type of buffing compound on your travertine because these eat the stone away.

If your travertine is severely damaged, don’t try to polish it yourself. Instead, consult a professional to refinish the tiles. Severely damaged travertine may crack when you attempt to polish it and may have to be replaced .