How to Clean Travertine Floors
Travertine stone is a popular choice of flooring among various homeowners today. In fact, travertine is also used as countertops in the bathroom and kitchen as well. The best thing about this flooring is that it is not as hard as granite and not as dense as well. But just like with many stone products, the travertine flooring could be end up etched when exposed to acidic liquids such as coffee, juice as well as cleaners that contain harsh chemicals.
Severe etching can be possibly repaired by contractors that provide professional restoration services. Although sealing can help to protect the floor against staining and etching, it would also help if you learn the steps on how to clean travertine floors.
What Is Travertine?
Travertine is a type of limestone material that is formed by means of mineral deposits, specifically in and around the hot springs. Moreover, the limestone is made out of calcium carbonate which is the same material that makes the stalagmites and stalactites.
The travertine flooring is being used for several years not only because of its durability but because of its aesthetic looks and great texture. In fact, the Romans have built their buildings out of travertine during the ancient times. A good example is the Colosseum in Rome, a building that is made mostly from the travertine limestone and as you see, it has remained as among the most popular landmarks in Europe.
Advantages of Travertine
Before you go on, it would be a good idea to find out the many advantages of the travertine flooring. First of all, this type of flooring is very durable and if you know how to care it well, it could last for several years while preserving its natural beauty. When the flooring is being sold, it is often displayed with a marking that will indicate its hardness as well as its MOH scale. Generally, the travertine flooring has a three to four rating in the MOH scale and this is almost equivalent to marble. For as long as the travertine flooring is treated and sealed, it could withstand the heavy foot traffic.
If the travertine flooring is not sealed and that it is installed in rough form, it will provide an excellent traction. This is the reason why travertine paver is much safer than the ceramic tiles out in the garden or in the patio. Furthermore, travertine is also available in different colors, like white, beige, ivory, brown, red, gold, etc. As such, the tiles can be possibly matched in order to complement with the color scheme of your home. Furthermore, the tiles are processed and sold in varying finishes like brushed, chiseled, tumbled or honed.
Removing Dirt, Sand and Particles
When it comes to the process, it is important that you start by removing the dirt, sand, as well as dust particles on the flooring as these could scratch the travertine floors if you don’t remove them and you start cleaning the floor. You can make use of a canister or a handheld vacuum in pushing an upright right across the floors since the wheels might scratch off the travertine through repeated use. This must be done for at least once in a week.
You need to also mop the floors dry or if you are to clean the travertine tiles on a countertop, then wipe it with the use of a soft cloth in removing any leftover particles that might cause scratches on the tiles. Be very careful not to press it too hard towards the tiles so you will not end up pushing dirt, debris and small rocks towards the stone.
Mop the Floor Wet
Manufacturers of travertine flooring will often recommend the use of a stone cleaner that does not have any harmful ingredients that could remove the sealant of the flooring or cause damage to it when it comes to the steps. You just have to dilute the soap in accordance to the directions provided by the manufacturer. Home improvement stores as well as stone dealers usually sell stone cleaners specifically for marble or travertine.
If you are going to choose another kind of soap, make sure that it is something that does not contain any harsh chemicals. Simply mix a small amount of warm water with the soap and then soak the mop on the water and soap solution then mop it on the floor.
After you are done with mopping or wiping of the travertine flooring, make sure that it is dry and that it does not have any moisture on it. Remember that air drying might end up leaving streaks on the travertine floors. Be very careful not to use any abrasive materials that could scratch off the stone.
Call a Professional
If you are not seeing good results despite the fact that you followed the steps mentioned here, then it would be a good idea to hire a professional to clean your floors. Professional contractors can provide restoration services for your floor and that they can polish it back to bring back its original finish. The professional contractors can also provide resealing services for your floor if you do not know how to reseal the floor on your own.
Additional Tips and Warnings
In order to keep your travertine stone clean and in excellent condition, there are certain tips that you need to keep in mind. First of all, wipe your shoes on a floor mat right before you get inside your home. This is to ensure that the flooring will not become filthy as a result of the dirty footwear you are wearing. Remember that your footwear could track small sharp particles that might scratch the travertine tile as you walk across it.
Another tip is to make sure that you immediately clean up the spills as soon as it happens. This is to prevent stains or etching on the flooring. Simply blot, rinse and wipe the stone dry with the use of soft cloth in order to avoid scratching the surface flooring.
For travertine tiles on your kitchen countertop, make sure that you use coasters when placing the drinks. This is especially important if you are drinking acidic drinks such as citrus juices and wine. These liquids contain ingredients that could cause damage on the sealant and will end up etching or staining the travertine tiles.
There are also certain warnings that you have to be wary of. First off, make sure to avoid products that contain ammonia, vinegar or citrus in cleaning the travertine as these ingredients are made of acidic liquid that could cause harm on your travertine floor or countertop. It is also important that you avoid placing hair, nail and makeup products or perhaps perfumes and toiletries directly on your travertine flooring. Doing this will just cause damage on the tiles.
If you need to place these products on your travertine countertop, make sure that you place a towel or tray underneath. Basically, you need to keep your travertine flooring to be free from acidic products.