The Number One Thing To Avoid With Travertine

travertine tileTravertine is a beautiful, popular natural stone that many people choose for their home. This relative of marble is often seen on floors and walls in the kitchen, bath, hallways, etc. It is more porous than marble and has irregular cavities that sometimes are filled before the surface is sealed.

The finish can be highly polished, a soft satiny glow, or tumbled to a natural dull look. All finishes should be sealed with a high quality penetrating sealer and regularly maintained. This is stone. It holds up to a lot of abuse. But there is one thing that will quickly etch the surface and gradually cause visible wear: harsh chemicals.

Travertine is not the place to use that “green” cleaner recipe where the orange peels are soaked in vinegar to create a citrus degreaser. It will be damaged by strong acids and alkali, so anything that says “bleach,” “ammonia,” “citrus,” “vinegar,” or the like, will be a bad idea. Since cleaners are often proprietary in recipe, the safest bet is to use a cleaner formulated for travertine and hot water. Often, hot water and a microfiber cleaning cloth will work beautifully. Just follow it with a dry/buff regime to pick up the loose dirt in the water.

So, if a spill is overlooked and a stain occurs on your travertine tile floor, what can you do? Experts suggest a poultice — a soft paste of baking soda and that special stone cleaner — spread over the stain and covered with plastic film. Let it sit for a couple of days and the poultice will draw much of the stain out. Rinse well and dry. If the stain remains, an alkali cleanser formulated for travertine might succeed, but the sealer will need to be reapplied.

Because travertine is a natural stone the tiles will vary a great deal in porosity and durability. When you visit our showrooms to select your travertine tile flooring, ask which tiles will be best for the project you have in mind. Our expert advisors will answer your questions about the maintenance needed and what to avoid.

Travertine is one of the best investments a homeowner can make when that tile is in a suitable location. Come in to see what you can do to improve your home with tile.