Travertine Tiles and How to Care for Them
Travertine tiles are natural stone surfaces that provide homeowners with durable, timeless beauty and functionality. Travertine tiles increase the value of a home with its distinctive appearance and additional benefits, including increased thermal insulation.
Natural stone, including travertine, is susceptible to damages over time if not properly cared for and maintained. The following informational guide was developed to help homeowners safely clean travertine tile and maintain these surfaces for years to come.
What is Travertine?
Travertine is developed from naturally derived calcium carbonate compounds and is extremely durable. Travertine tiles are an ideal choice for several areas in the home, including floors, walls, counters, and backsplashes. These surfaces add to the beauty in kitchens, living rooms, and are a popular choice for bathroom showers.
Travertine tile is also a popular choice for outdoor areas and increases the curbside appeal of a home.
How Do Travertine Tiles Vary?
Travertine is a well-sought natural stone because of its unique appearance. It has natural pits that result in different patterns on every tile. This natural stone also comes in a variety of finishes to compliment every home.
Travertine Finishes Include:
- Polished Tile
These finishes result in a variance in the level of smoothness and reflective qualities of the tile surfaces. Honed is the most common type of finish for travertine tile. This involves buffing the unfinished stone to a smooth matte finish.
What Cleaners are Safe for Travertine Tiles?
It is important to choose mild cleaners that are made specifically for natural stone. You can use a mild dish soap and water if natural stone cleaner is not available.
Take caution to never soak the floor. This would allow water to seep into the stone and could result in stains.
Use a soft dust mop and microfiber rag for cleaning. Steam cleaning should be performed to deep travertine tile on a bi-yearly basis.
What Should You Not Use on a Travertine Tile Floor?
Always use caution when choosing a cleaner for your natural stone flooring. Many commercial cleaners contain harsh acidic properties that can damage travertine tile. Avoid cleaners that are marketed as ‘natural’, this does not indicate that they are safe for natural stone. Many green alternative cleaners contain harsh compounds, including vinegar. Vinegar eats away at natural stone, destroying its surface appearance, and functionality.
You should never use a hard bristled broom on stone tile. This can scratch and damage the stone. You should also never use a vacuum cleaner on travertine tile. Vacuums can cause serious damages, including chips, cracks, scratches, and more.
Travertine Tile Maintenance
Travertine tile is a popular choice because it is easier to maintain than other types of natural stone, including marble surfaces. The only requirements to maintain travertine regularly is using mild soap, little water, and regular dust mopping.
However, there are precautions that homeowners with travertine tile should take to limit and prevent damage to these surfaces.
Tile Maintenance Tips Include:
- Use Coasters, Placemats, Etc. on Counters
- Clean Up Spills Immediately
- Ensure Adequate Ventilation in Bathroom
Regular mopping is crucial for ensuring that no dirt settles into the stone. You should use a dry mop when possible and a damp mop only when necessary.
It is also important to never leave liquid-filled containers on a tile surface because of the potential for leaks or spills.
Do You Need to Seal Travertine Tiles?
Sealing travertine tiles can significantly increase the durability and extend the life of these surfaces. Travertine tile usually requires sealing once a year, and when done properly, can decrease the amount of moisture and other threats from penetrating the stone.
Damaging Consequences of Poor Travertine Tile Care
Natural stone surfaces require homeowners to practice caution when cleaning and maintaining these precious surfaces. Failure to follow proper cleaning and maintenance guidelines can result in damaging and costly repairs.
Damage Risks Include:
- Moisture (Mold/Mildew)
There are other issues that may occur even when proper care and maintenance are practiced. These are especially common in showers with travertine walls and/or floors. The moisture in these areas can cause grime and/or calcium deposits to form in the crevices of the stone.
Removing Stains from Travertine Tiles
Stains are a common issue for many homeowners with natural stone surfaces. There are safe ways to attempt to remove these stains. Try mixing baking soda with water to form a paste and rub it into the tiles. Allow the thick paste to sit on the tile for 15 minutes before cleaning it off.
Never use harsh cleaners or take drastic measures in an attempt to remove stains from travertine tile. This hasty and poor decision would result in extensive and costly damages to the tile surfaces.
You will need to contact a stone care professional for stains that are not corrected by using safe stain removal methods.
Refresh Your Travertine Tiles
Over time, even undamaged travertine tiles lose their shine and begin to show signs of wear and tear. There are processes that can restore and refresh travertine tile by buffering the damaged surfaces. This is a job that needs to be handled by a professional who has specialized equipment to smooth and refresh surfaces.
Many common damages that travertine tiles suffer can be corrected through the process of honing and polishing. Buffering the surface will reveal the undamaged stone below the surface and the technician will then polish, seal, and shine the stone.
These services have the ability to bring life back to travertine tile by removing stains, etch marks, and scratched surfaces.
Never Repair Travertine Tiles on Your Own
Never attempt to repair travertine tiles on your own or hire an inexperienced contractor. Natural stone is a beautiful and precious investment that requires experienced, reputable stone technicians for restoration and/or repair.
Do not fall for the marketing of do-it-yourself stone repair products. These cheap stone fillers promise to repair cracks or chips, but only lead to unsightly consequences, and result in further damage to the tile.
Just Call Classic Stone Repair, Care, and Maintenance
Contact an experienced stone professional to care for your natural stone surfaces. Just Call Classic is South Florida’s choice for natural stone repair, care, and maintenance. Just Call Classic has been family-owned and operated since 1997.
A team of knowledgeable stone experts are available to evaluate the condition of your travertine tile and provide you with an honest estimate. Let Just Call Classic bring your travertine surfaces back to life.
Reach out today by calling (866) 628-0424.