Over the years I have cleaned hundreds of homes in the southwest where tile is frequently used to create rare works of art on a floor. Nevertheless, I am always astonished by the exceptional beauty of natural travertine stone floors.
Travertine is an Excellent Choice
Travertine is a type of limestone deposited in mineral springs sourced from quarries all over the world. Its formation is influenced by underground springs and subterranean rivers. As you might imagine, each quarry produces a unique variety that is completely different in design, appearance and color tones.
Technically, it is the middle stage of limestone as it evolves into marble. For a fun bit of trivia, the Coliseum in Rome was constructed mainly from travertine.
Tile made from travertine is durable enough to be used in high traffic areas such as the kitchen, but it requires a gentle touch to clean and maintain. Even though it seems like a “hard” stone, it is actually very porous. It must be finished with a penetrating stone sealer to make it impervious to moisture. The sealer protects it from being discolored by the dyes in grout and prevents staining from spills.
Caring for Your Travertine Floors
The stone sealer on your travertine tiles protect it to a certain extent, but take precautions against abrasive or acidic cleansers and solutions.
Here are the “do’s and don’ts” for travertine tile care:
- Do use mild, alkaline based solutions diluted in water for cleaning.
- Do dry the floor thoroughly after washing.
- Do use a soft broom or dust mop for sweeping.
- Do wipe up spills immediately.
- Do use floor protector pads on the bottom of your furniture.
- Do use mats and runners in especially high traffic areas.
- Don’t use abrasive cleaning solutions or scouring pads.
- Don’t use acidic solutions such as vinegar or lemon juice.
- Don’t use heavy soaps that leave a sticky film and attract more dirt.
- Don’t use bleach, ammonia or other strong cleaners.
- Don’t use alkaline cleaners not formulated specifically for stone.
- Don’t place acidic or soap-based products directly on the surface.
- Don’t place hot objects directly on the surface.
I recommend using a good dust mop or lightweight electric sweeper over a vacuum cleaner. A sharp impact from the metal or plastic wheels on the vacuum cleaner might chip your tiles.
By “good” dust mop I mean one that has not been treated with any type of chemicals. Remember that accumulated sand and grit scratches the surface of your travertine tiles, so take the time to run the mop over the floor daily. Placing mats at the entrances will help to reduce the volume of fine sand that blows in through open doors. Use mats with non-slip material on the underside to prevent accidents on the slippery tile surface.
I’ll let you in on a little secret – between professional cleanings you can chase away a stain using a 50/50 mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water in a spray bottle. Spray just enough to cover the stained area. You can also use this on soiled grout. Wipe it clean with paper towels and repeat the process until the stain is reduced.
The Ultimate Care for Travertine Stone
Ideally, to restore you travertine floor to its original brilliance the day it was installed, you require the services of a professional technician, qualified to clean stone surfaces. At Dr. Clean Home Care we have the expertise, the correct cleaning solutions and the equipment to handle the special demands for maintaining this type of tile. Call us today to schedule an appointment and to learn more about ensuring a long lifespan for your travertine tiles.
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