Travertine flooring is a great addition for your home. It adds a touch of luxury and the natural stone is very durable. However, your floor can become stained, etched, and dull if you do not take care of it properly. Here are a few tips for maintaining your travertine floor.
Use A Neutral Cleaner
Travertine is natural stone that's composed of a type of calcium. It reacts chemically with acidic and strong alkaline substances. For that reason, you want to avoid using products such as bleach and vinegar on your floor. Plain water might be enough to keep your floors clean. If you need extra cleaning power, use a product made for use on stone that has a neutral pH.
One trick for keeping your travertine flooring clean with water only is to dry your floor after you wet mop it. Your wet mop just pushes water and dirt around on your floor where it is left to dry in place. If you take the extra step of drying off the stone with a towel after you mop it, you'll pick up dirt and grime the mop left behind.
Keep The Stone Sealed
Travertine is naturally porous, which means it soaks up liquids. Liquids stain easily unless you keep the travertine sealed. Water and other liquids bead up on top of the stone when it is sealed. This gives you plenty of time to clean up the spill before it seeps deep into the stone. Even water can stain travertine that is not sealed. Even worse, if you spill an acidic liquid on the stone, or if your pet has an accident on travertine that is not sealed, the stain may cause etching or be nearly impossible to remove. You should seal your floor every time you have it deep cleaned, and more often if your floor gets a lot of foot traffic.
Have Your Floor Deep Cleaned
Just like it's customary to deep clean carpeting about once a year, you also need to deep clean a travertine floor every year or so. You can hire a professional cleaner (such as one from All American Stone & Tile Care Inc.) to do this job. The stone is scrubbed clean to remove dirt and grime that's worked into the stone and grout lines. Once the stone is cleaned, it is sealed again to protect it from absorbing liquids.
If your floor has become very dull and has developed etch marks from contact with acidic materials, it may need to be honed and polished too. To do this, the contractor uses grit pads to sand away the top layer of the stone that contains the imperfections. Then the surface is buffed and polished to restore its glossy luster.
In addition to the above tips, you can use area rugs to protect your floor from grime and scratches. Place the rugs near your doors, so grit and dirt are trapped in the rug and kept off the stone as much as possible. Travertine has an attractive appearance as long as it is well maintained. Fortunately, travertine is easy to take care of as long as you keep it sealed.