Even though travertine has the historic distinction of having been used extensively by builders during the Roman Empire, this type of natural stone is not commonly found in American households, at least not when compared to marble or granite. Travertine is essentially a type of limestone the Romans heavily extracted from quarries located in the Tivoli district of Rome. It happens to be very porous and requires as much care and maintenance as marble.
The advantage of travertine is that it looks gorgeous. In fact, many interior designers say its appearance is even more attractive than fine marble. If you have the good fortune of having travertine installed in your home, here are few things you should and shouldn’t do in terms of maintenance.
Do: Seal Frequently
The secret to maximizing the life span of your travertine surfaces is to make sure they’re properly sealed, which is something you can do on your own thanks to travertine and granite sealer that has been formulated for household use. As previously mentioned, travertine is naturally porous and thus highly susceptible to staining. For this reason, it needs to be sealed frequently.
Don’t: Use Common Household Cleaners
You should only use natural-stone cleaner on your travertine. Most household cleaners will either break the protective seal or cause stains that are difficult to remove. Caustic substances such as oven cleaner may result in etching.
Do: Use Floor Mats
Travertine floor tiles can develop scratches over time if dirt particles constantly track over the surface. Placing floor mats at the entrances of your home can reduce the amount of particles that make it onto the floor, which is particularly important if you live near the beach or the desert.
Don’t: Use Wax
Wax is terrible for travertine surfaces, especially if they feature small pits. If the glossy finish has lost its sheen, you should only use a specially formulated travertine and granite polish to make it shiny again. You can buff travertine for maximum polish, but make sure to use a very soft cloth. Make sure you don’t use polish on travertine flooring, as it will make the surface dangerously slippery.
Do: Keep It Clean
Even if you constantly apply sealant to your travertine floors and countertops, you should still do your best to keep the surfaces clean, which means wiping up spills immediately. When it comes to tomato sauce, orange juice, coffee, and wine on kitchen countertops, you need to absorb any spills as fast as you can. To be on the safe side, use trays, pads, cutting boards, and coasters in the kitchen.
Don’t: Use Abrasive Pads
As long as your travertine floors or countertops are properly sealed, cleaning should be limited to wiping down the counters with soft towels and rags, using a stone-safe travertine and granite cleaner. Abrasive pads will weaken the seal and may even scratch the surface.
To learn more about caring for travertine and other types of natural stone such as granite, marble, and limestone, get in touch with Granite Gold® today. We have a long history of stone care expertise that spans three generations and dates back to the 1950s. Give us a call at 1-800-475-STONE (7866).