Travertine . High maintenance or not?
First off, what is travertine?
Travertine is a natural stone that is a form of Limestone. It is most commonly found around hot springs. It comes in a few different colors i.e. white, tan, cream, and rust. You will come across it in higher end homes here in America and is a popular building material in Italy. It has a natural look with various colors throughout each individual tile. It is a durable stone that can last for many years if maintained properly. Now, how do we do that? Is it difficult? can I use bleach and vinegar to mop it? What about my fancy new steam mop that I bought from that infomercial at 3am? Surely that will work on it, Right? Well the simple answer is YES you can use all of the above to clean and maintain your travertine that's if you want to DESTROY it in a hurry. So what do I do to take care of it? Before I can answer that question, we must take a look at a few key factors. First, is your travertine brand new? Second, has it been polished before? Third, Is it currently sealed? Fourth, what's the overall condition of the floor? Meaning: is there scratches, stains, etch marks, holes, rust, etc. These are all determining factors to consider when basic cleaning and maintenance is involved.
Is your travertine New? If it is, you are more than likely gonna want to polish and seal it right off the bat. If you prefer the matte honed look a polish isn't necessary but I most definitely recommend to get it professionally sealed to protect from spills and everyday traffic. If you like it shiny than a polishing is required before sealing.
If your travertine is already sealed , you must determine what kind of sealer is on it . Most companies use the wrong sealer when it comes to travertine. A common mistake or corner cutter is using a top coat sealant such as a wax to make the floor have a fake shine and seals it at the same time. That cuts out the need for polishing and saves the companies lots of time and money but is horrible for the consumer and the travertine. It may look good for a couple months but then it will start to peal and yellow over time costing you, the client more out of pocket money to fix it. It also causes damage to the travertine by having to use harsh chemicals to rid of said wax. It causes dullness, weakens the stone, holes can occur, and color can be lost in the process. The travertine itself should be polished correctly, either by crystallizing it or diamond polishing it. Those are the only proper ways to polish travertine. The best sealer for travertine is a penetrating sealer such as Pro sealer or an impregnator sealer . These type of sealers protect from within the stone not changing the look of the stone whatsoever. You cannot buy these types of sealers from the local Homedepot or Lowes. Travertine needs an industrial quality sealant. This process is not a DIY.
Does your travertine have lots of damage such as stated earlier. You know the impossible stuff for you to fix. Holes, scratches, rust from your favorite plant sitting in the same spot for to long. These will all need to be addressed before you can think about polishing or sealing your floor. Should you just replace those pieces or your entire floor for the matter because its so bad. Ofcourse not! Our modo is Don't Replace it , Restore it . Call us and we can fix any and ALL problems your travertine may be having.
When are you gonna talk about maintenance? Well, I had to get all of those other issues out of the way first before I could even try to address the question of maintenance. There is no reason to try and even clean or maintain your travertine without all of the above done to it first. All you would do is actually damage the floor further. The more water you use on it the duller it becomes and creates tiny air pockets that get bigger with time causing holes. So send that steam mop back asap. The more cleaner you put on it AKA bleach, fabulouso, tilex, vinegar etc, the more etch marks and chemical burns you create. Lets try that old fashion string mop. NO!! You will have better luck sweeping the dessert. The cleaning that you are used to only causes damage to travertine. So how do you maintain your travertine?
Travertine is actually not very high maintenance at all. It just appears that way if you don't know what your doing. First and foremost. Please get your Travertine professionally polished and sealed (restored if necessary) before even attempting to maintain this natural stone properly. I can't stress this enough. Once it has been polished and sealed then it is super easy to take care of it.
1.Start with a flat mop with a microfiber pad on it. They sell multiple sizes of flat mops to fit any size areas. Flat mop entire surface until all surface dust is gone. You can do this on a daily basis without causing any damage to your travertine.
2. If you have pets, children or a lot of traffic on your floor than you can take a spray bottle and mist a neutral cleaner (cleaner with a neutral PH, such as a little dish soap and water) nothing that is to acidic off alkaline as it will break down the shine and sealer. After misting , flat mop with a clean pad evenly across the floor. It's that simple.
3. For any major spills or accidents, dry soiled area asap with a microfiber towel than mist neutral cleaner on and dry with microfiber towel. So simple.
To sum it all up, Travertine is a pain in the butt if you don't have the knowledge and know how to maintain it properly making it very high maintenance. But once you educate yourself a little it is actually easier to maintain than majority of normal floors. Hope this post helped clear some things up. If you have any questions please feel free to call us
LV Floor Restoration @(702) 349-1457 or you can chat with one of our technicians online