So what’s “Travertine”? A lot of us have seen it at home improvement stores, but aren’t really sure what it is. In a nutshell, Travertine is a natural stone formed by deposits in mineral springs and is made up mostly of calcium carbonate, the same substance seashells are made from, which makes it extremely durable. How durable? Ever heard of the Colosseum in Rome? It’s made from Travertine and has stood for nearly 2,000 years — now that’s durable. Travertone Flooring is every bit as durable and, provided care is taken with cleaning the tile, it can be expected to last for a very long time.
So what should you do — or not do — when cleaning Travertone Flooring? First and foremost, since Travertine is a porous stone it needs to be properly sealed with a good quality sealer, preferably before installation. Sealers can be either penetrating or surface sealers — which one you use will depend on the texture of the tiles. To be sure of which to use see what the manufacturer recommends.
Considering that it’s a type of limestone, one big no-no is cleaning it with any sort of acidic solution; this would include things like muriatic acid, vinegar or even citrus-based cleaners, since they contain citric acid. There are a number of cleaners made specifically for Travertine tile and most of them should be okay for use. The best thing to do, just to be safe, is to test a cleaner either on a spare tile or in some out of the way place where a blemish will not be noticed. To keep a Travertine floor looking its best it should be cleaned regularly, but if mopping be sure to wring out the mop well — standing water can cause mold or possible discoloration of the tiles. Oh, and if you’re like me and want to work as little as possible, it’s best to wipe up any spills immediately before a stain can set. With proper care, Travertone Flooring can retain its beauty for the life of your home.