Tips and Techniques that you find here also apply for cleaning travertine floor tile.
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First of all,
travertine is warm and beautiful with unique pattern and color characteristics that complements almost any design. But in a way, it is delicate....
Travertine is a stone, of course, but not nearly as dense or hard as granite. Travertine will wear well and last forever, however it is sensitive to acidic substances (juice, wine, coffee) so it can etch (dull the polish) rather easily... just like marble and limestone.
In fact, travertine, marble and limestone are so similar in composition, chemical and physical characteristics that cleaning procedures and maintenance requirements are essentially the same for all three types of stone.
That's why you see a link to download our new comprehensive ebook on cleaning marble (and travertine too) at the top of this page. This book details every technique, method and solution along with all the information and answers you'll ever want or need about protecting, maintaining, repairing, restoring and cleaning travertine, marble or limestone.
So.... travertine will etch easily, but sealing has nothing to do with and won't prevent etching.
Sealing is to guard against staining. Travertine can stain when honed or tumbled, but polished travertine is nearly stain-proof and usually doesn't need sealing. You just need to test it to know for sure.
Because of the "etching" issue, travertine is not recommended for you kitchen countertop or heavily used bathroom. Travertine floor tile, however, will be just fine in any room.
Best use of travertine is for powder baths, table tops, tub surrounds, showers, floor tile and stone fireplace surrounds.
Use the following Do's and Don'ts to help you avoid bad habits and establish a safe method for cleaning travertine.
Also check out the
General Care & Cleaning Guide for the best tips on maintaining all types of countertop surfaces and floor tile.
Use a top quality penetrating sealer like Stone Care Pro & SenGuard Sealers to protect your investment.
Do: Blot up spills immediately.
Travertine is much more sensitive than granite to acidic substances like wine, coffee, fruit juices, tomato sauce, sodas, toiletry products and cleaning products that can etch (dull) the polish (shine) or stain the surface.
Do: Clean surfaces using a sponge or soft cloth.
The only cleaning agents you should use on a regular basis are hot water and a specially formulated stone cleaner/sealer. I recommend STONE PLUS Cleaner. Buff dry with a cotton cloth or chamois. Using a mild soap occasionally (3-4 times a year) for cleaning travertine won’t harm the stone, but consistent use will dull the surface.
Do: Use coasters under all glasses, bottles and cans.
Bottles, cans and glasses with acidic drinks may etch the polish or damage the surface leaving a "glass ring."
So make cleaning travertine easy and avoid expensive marble polishing and marble restoration by treating your travertine surfaces like fine wood furniture. Always use coasters ...no matter what.
Do: Use a tray for toiletry products in the bathroom. A decorative tray can look very nice and it will protect the surface from the damaging chemicals contained in many toiletry products.
Do: Dust mop your travertine floor tile regularly.
Use a clean, dry, non-treated dust-mop. Be careful using a vacuum cleaner. Worn parts or grit jammed by the wheels may scratch the surface. Also, mop regularly using a specialized stone cleaner.
Tip: Travertine polishing on floor tile makes a very slick surface, so go with a "honed," "tumbled" or "flamed" floor tile. It will look warm and inviting and hide dust and dirt much better.
Also, travertine's distinctive voids and holes can easily be filled upon installation to keep dirt from accumulating.
Do: Use door mats inside and out along with runners and area rugs.
Grit, dirt and sand carried in by our shoes are abrasive and will wear and scratch travertine floor tile.
It may not happen right away and trying to save money by using cheap, generic surface cleaners only ensures that you'll spend a lot more time and money on your travertine care in the long-run performing expensive repairs or travertine restoration.
Don't: Use vinegar, ammonia, lemon or orange for cleaning travertine. As noted above, a sponge with hot water is all you need on a daily basis and a stone cleaner/sealer weekly.
Don't: Use generic bathroom, tub & tile or grout cleaners.
The powders and even the "soft" creams contain abrasives that will scratch and dull the surface.
Use only products specially formulated for cleaning travertine like STONE CARE PRO products.
Don't: Sit or stand on your countertops.
Unlike laminate countertops, travertine countertops are not flexible and they DO NOT have a plywood backing, so too much weight in one spot could cause a crack.
Don't: Place toiletry products directly on your countertop surface. Hair products, toothpaste, perfumes, colognes, nail products, creams, lotions and potions may stain or damage the surface or etch the polish leaving a ring. Protect your countertop by placing these products on a decorative tray like they do in fancy hotels!
Think Roman Coliseum
OK. I know it seems like there is a lot to do and know about cleaning travertine, but if you think about it most of the Do’s and Don’ts are things you already do and don't do! And the new tips you’ve learned about how to clean travertine are really very easy.
Label everything and off you go--no problems or guesswork. This is especially handy if you use a cleaning service. You’ll never have to worry that you or the maid might accidentally use the wrong product. Cleaning travertine is simply a matter of routine.
Just keep in mind that travertine has stood the test of time and it is meant to be used. So with just a little TLC, you’ll enjoy its beauty for years.
Learn even more! Click on the links below to see questions submitted by other visitors with complete answers and great info.
Travertine Maintenance Sealing & Cleaning Answers
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