Caring For Travertine

Travertine tile floors have become quite common in the flooring industry over the past several years. As a more elegant option to ceramic and porcelain tiles, travertine is routinely used throughout the home in areas such as kitchens, bathrooms, dining rooms, living rooms, laundry rooms, indoor and outdoor patios, countertops, and elsewhere. Travertine tiles come in a wide array, from tumbled, to honed, or polished to a high gloss. Regardless of the type of travertine flooring that one may have, this fact is consistent; most travertine is soft and porous. For this reason, travertine generally requires a consistent maintenance plan in order to maintain its beauty.

What leads to a degraded quality of travertine tile? Most often, the culprits would be scratches, spills, and cleaning products.

Your best defense to retain a beautiful travertine floor is frequent dust mopping. By doing so, dry soil is removed from the surface of the tiles, limiting the opportunity for grit and sand to be walked upon, thereby creating small scratches in the tile surface.

Other situations that can lead to scratches on the floor would include dragging furniture across the tile surface or when Fido scampers across the floor. All of these scratches reduce the gloss of the tiles, as light is unevenly reflected.

Liquid spills on your travertine floors can reduce their beauty, especially if not cleaned up properly. Residue from the spill can be left behind, attracting dirt and other soils. Improper cleaning products can leave residue on the tile surface and dullness remains. Acidic drinks and cleaners may “etch” or damage the tile surface, leaving behind a dull mark that resembles a water mark. Etch marks cannot be resolved by cleaning, but must be restored with a honing/polishing process, which we won’t discuss at this time.

Over time, these small occurrences lead to large changes in the cleanliness and reflectivity of your travertine tiles.

This is one of a series of articles written and published on behalf of Stone and Tile PRO Partners.