Travertine is a type of sedimentary rock usually found in geological sites where geothermal activity resulted in the concentration of calcium carbonate within groundwater pools. It’s common in hot spring areas where mineralization processes formed mounds and terraces. Ancient masonry workshops in the Roman Empire preferred to work with travertine when building parts of monumental structures such as the Colosseum and the Aqueduct. The reason for this preference is because this stone is easier to work with when compared to marble, and its appearance presents an aesthetic similar to limestone.
Travertine is a smart flooring choice because of its cost and availability. Light-colored travertine would provide an aesthetic contrast to dark-colored granite countertops, but you should keep in mind that travertine tiles need to be maintained just like other types of natural stone, particularly with regard to sealing. If you’re not sure how to seal natural-stone floors made of travertine, the following information will be invaluable.
When compared to granite and quartzite, travertine is capable of greater absorption because it’s more porous. What this means in terms of maintenance is that certain substances, including water, can stain travertine floor tiles, hence the need for frequent applications of sealant. With this in mind, you should also avoid using cleaning products that have a high alkaline content because this stone can easily absorb them, thus increasing the risk of etching.
In addition to sealing your travertine floors, you’ll also need to clean them with a stone-safe cleaner such as Granite Gold Stone & Tile Floor Cleaner®. Here’s a quick video explaining how to clean your stone floors:
How Sealer Works on Travertine Flooring
To properly seal your floors, you’ll need to use a specially formulated travertine and granite sealer. Granite Gold Sealer® is formulated to create a protective barrier on natural-stone surfaces. When travertine tiles are installed, one of the final steps of the process involves professional sealing, but this isn’t a permanent application. The protective seal will eventually degrade, thus leaving the surface of the stone susceptible to staining and etching, which is why you need to frequently seal your travertine floors.
The Water Test
To gauge the condition of your current seal, perform a water test. Pour water (about 3 inches in diameter) on the surface in several locations and let it sit for 30 minutes. If you see a dark mark or ring, the water is penetrating the seal and it’s time to reseal your travertine floors.
The Travertine Sealing Process
Start off by sweeping or vacuuming your floors, then use 2-4 ounces of Granite Gold Stone & Tile Floor Cleaner® mixed with a gallon of water to clean the tiles. Use a string mop, sponge mop, or towels to mop the floor, changing the water as it becomes soiled. Make sure the surface is dry before applying Granite Gold Sealer®, which should be worked right into the stone in 3-foot sections, using Granite Gold Sealer Applicator® to wipe it into the stone and then buff it dry. Restrict foot traffic for about 2 hours to give the sealant time to cure. Also, don’t polish your travertine floors yourself, because they’ll become dangerously slippery. To polish your floors, contact a professional stone restoration specialist with the proper tools and training.
For more information on sealing floors made of travertine, granite, marble, and other types of natural stone, reach out to the Stone Care Experts at Granite Gold®. Call us today at 1-800-475-STONE (7866), and also sign up for our monthly newsletter, which contains plenty of great tips on caring for natural stone and quartz.
Lenny Sciarrino (aka Lenny S) and Lenny Pellegrino (aka Lenny P) grew up in the family business and are co-founders of Granite Gold®.