Travertine is one of those natural stones that happen to be more popular than most people realize. In fact, some people think marble and limestone are synonymous with travertine, and this isn’t completely inaccurate. Both marble and travertine can be considered limestone because of the high concentration of calcite minerals, but their geological formation processes are different.
Whereas limestone starts forming through biological processes, it won’t become marble unless volcanic or magmatic events take place. In the case of travertine, it begins as limestone and later goes through a very rapid sedimentary process facilitated by water. The celebrated travertine quarries of Tivoli, a town near Rome, were likely submerged millions of years before ancient builders extracted materials for the construction of St. Peter’s Square and its Basilica.
With colors ranging from creamy white and tan to earthy browns to copper, travertine can be an excellent choice for bathroom and kitchen countertops. Here are some recommendations on how you can keep this attractive stone looking great.
Compared to granite and marble, travertine is a more porous stone, which means it should be sealed often. You may not be able to notice the porosity if the surface finish is honed and polished, but you don’t want to be surprised by a water stain. Whether in the bathrooms or kitchen, it’s good to apply a fresh coat of travertine and granite sealer to travertine countertops as often as possible. To determine if you need to reseal, pour puddles of water about 3 inches in diameter on various spots on the surface stone. After 30 minutes, if you see any dark marks or ring, it’s time to reseal.
To learn how to seal countertops made of travertine, granite, and other types of natural stone, check out this quick video:
Use the Right Cleaner
Keeping in mind that travertine is a type of limestone, it’s important to note that it can become soluble in hyperacidic conditions. Common household cleaners, the kind normally used to clean ceramics and artificial surfaces in the kitchen and bathrooms, contain chemicals that prove to be caustic or corrosive to travertine, so you shouldn’t use them. Granite Gold Daily Cleaner® is a stone-safe travertine and granite cleaner formulated without the ammonia and phosphates that can be harmful to your countertops.
Use Soft Cloths and Scrub Pads
Microfiber cloths are excellent for cleaning travertine countertops, and you can also use them when applying sealant and polish. Scrub pads can be used to remove substances that have stuck to the surface, but only if they’re safe to use on travertine and other natural stone, like Granite Gold Scrub Sponge®.
Deep Clean in the Right Order
Once you’ve determined how often you should apply Granite Gold Sealer®, you should schedule a deep cleaning day for your travertine surfaces. Always start out with Granite Gold Daily Cleaner® and wait for the surface to dry before applying the sealant, which should be worked into the stone and allowed to cure for 24 hours before polishing. Polishing and buffing the surface with Granite Gold Polish® is the final step.
To learn more about caring for travertine countertops or counters made of other types of natural stone, such as granite, slate, and marble, get in touch with Granite Gold®. Call one of the Stone Care Experts today at 1-800-475-STONE (7866), and use our Store Locator to find a store near you that carries Granite Gold® brand products.
Lenny Sciarrino (aka Lenny S) and Lenny Pellegrino (aka Lenny P) grew up in the family business and are co-founders of Granite Gold®.
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