Travertine is a sedimentary rock formed by rapid precipitation of calcium carbonate. It’s a great natural stone used in designing tiles and pavers. It’s a great surface option for both indoor and outdoor spaces. For almost half the price of marble and other high-end natural stones, travertine tiles deliver well on almost all fronts. It’s durable and resilient against temperature extremes. The tiles also maintain a beautiful timeless look. A wide variety of colours and styles are available for travertine tiles. Owing to their porous nature, the tiles can be cut and shaped to meet individual preferences. However, to enjoy all the benefits that come with travertine tiles, maintenance has to be up to par. Here are a few tips on how to look after your travertine tiles.
Keep the Surfaces Dry
Travertine tiles is porous and easily seeps moisture. Unfortunately, the moisture provides the perfect environment for fungal growth. Mould and mildew are notorious for growing on travertine tiles. Their growth compromises on the aesthetics and structural integrity of the tiles.
Etching is a common problem seen on travertine tiles. It occurs when acidic liquids spill on the surface. The acid damage may be limited to the top polish or extend into the pores of the tiles. White stains or spots develop on the tiles after etching.
Sharp or heavy objects dragged over travertine tiles can scratch the surface. Dents can also develop on the tiles. Avoid dragging objects over travertine tiles to prevent damage.
Clean the Tiles
Cleaning is the best way to take care of your travertine tiles. It’s important to identify the stains on your tiles in order to decide on the best cleaning agents. Oil-based stains are best removed with soft liquid cleansers like ammonia, acetone or mineral spirits. Organic stains, on the other hand, may need cleaning formula, a combination of hydrogen peroxide and ammonia. Hydrogen peroxide and lacquer thinner work well for ink stains while commercial liquid paint stripper removes paint stains.
Poultice is a thick paste made from an absorbent material and a mixture of chemicals. Poultice is spread over stains and allowed to stand for 1-2 days. Chemicals in the paste draw the stain into the absorbent material. The process can be repeated severally for the best results. However, some tough stains may not be removed completely.
This is a commercial cleaning service offered by experts. It involves the use of vapour steam cleaning tools and high speed scrubbing machines to access hard spots. Deep cleaning is effective in removing deep-seated grime in the pits and cracks of the tiles. It can also wipe away grout lines on the surface of the tiles.
Honing is done by grinding machines that abrade the surface with a diamond pad, a low-numbered grit pad. Honing powders can also be applied on the tiles and buffed on the surface to achieve the same results. Honing uses coarse grit pads to buff away the outer layers of the tile and expose new surfaces free of stains, scratches and etch marks. It restores the aesthetics of the stone
Fine grit pads can be used to buff travertine tiles to restore the surface. This is called polishing. The procedure offers elegant results with a mirror-like shine. If your floor is not badly off, polishing may be enough to restore the surface. Polishing is usually done after honing for a high-gloss finish
Sealing is an optional procedure. It involves the application of a sealant on the tile surface for protection against sun-bleaching, staining and other forms of damage. Sealed travertine tiles also retain a vibrant look. Unfortunately, sealing reduces the traction on the tile surface and increases the risk of slipping. However, special sealers like shark skin sealers retain traction while protecting the tiles.
The best care for you travertine tiles involves routine maintenance measures.