Tile & Grout Cleaning Guide: 6 Essential Tips about Travertine Tile
Travertine is a gorgeous stone that goes well with the natural Arizona landscape. It has a rustic yet sophisticated finish that suits multiple housing styles and décor schemes. You can even see travertine on historical buildings like the Roman Colosseum or the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica. Those buildings are still standing after more than 1,000 years, so you know that travertine has the durability to last and to keep its naturally beautiful look.
You can keep travertine looking great for longer by engaging in routine maintenance. Taking the right steps will keep the travertine free of stains and discoloration, and will preserve the structural integrity so it doesn’t have any cracks or chips. Here are six things you can do to maintain the travertine tile in your home:
1. Protect It from Furniture
Travertine is a natural stone, and it is durable, but it can still be scratched. You shouldn’t drag furniture across your travertine tile, or else you risk scratching it. Those scratches can also give dirt and other debris a place to settle down into the tile, staining it severely (and maybe even permanently).
Always pick up furniture and other heavy objects to move them, rather than dragging them. Put pads or other protectors under the legs of furniture or equipment so that they don’t inadvertently scratch your floors when you use them.
2. Keep the Floors Dry
There are natural pores and grooves in travertine, and water can settle into those spaces, allowing mold, mildew, and bacteria to grow. Even if you clean your floors regularly with disinfecting agents, you will have a hard time keeping these dangerous agents out of your tile. The bacteria can go deep in the tile, and you just can’t scrub it out.
The best thing you can do to keep your tile clean is to keep it dry. Don’t use a wet mop to clean the floors. Instead, use a microfiber dust mop or Swiffer wet cloths to clean the tile. You can also use a steam mop to clean the floors and disinfect them at the same time.
3. Clean Spills Immediately
Because of its porous nature, travertine can stain fairly easily. You should clean up any spills immediately to prevent the liquid from seeping into the stone deeper and settling in where you can’t clean it out. This is true whether the spill is just water or it’s something more known for staining, such as red wine. Wipe up the liquid immediately, and follow up with a cleaning.
4. Avoid Acidic Cleaners
Cleaners that contain acid or other harsh chemicals can actually damage your travertine tile. They can cause etching, which leaves behind white stains and spots. You’ll find acid in a lot of common cleaners, including toilet bowl cleaners and other bathroom cleaners. Urine is also acidic and can damage your floors if people in your house aren’t careful about hitting the toilet bowl.
Look for cleaners that are designed specifically for natural stone to use on your travertine tile. When in doubt, a simple solution of water and mild soap is usually enough.
5. Keep It Sealed
Travertine is full of cracks and pits that can collect water, grime, and soap scum, leading to staining, discoloration, and other damage. You can protect these tiny openings in the tile by keeping the tile sealed. The sealer will provide a protective barrier for the tile, so it will be easier to clean and it will look great for a longer time.
Be sure to also seal your grout. The grout often starts to crack or discolor first, and that can make your tile look worse. Regularly sealing your grout can keep it clean and protect its structural integrity.
6. Soften Your Water.
Minerals in your water can build up on your tile. Minerals like calcium and magnesium can combine with soap residue and leave behind scaly-looking stains. Minerals in your water can also cause other problems, such as staining your appliances or your laundry. You can prevent this from happening by softening your water.
You should install a water softener that can take those minerals out of the water and keep them from damaging your tile, your appliances, or your laundry.
Travertine tile doesn’t need a lot of maintenance, but you do need to be mindful of how you care for it to avoid unnecessary damage. If you don’t stick to these maintenance tips, you can get stained and damaged tile. You may be able to hire a tile floor cleaning service to renew the tile, but it’s better to prevent the damage from occurring in case you get stains that can’t be removed.
Desert Tile and Grout Care offers professional Gilbert tile and grout cleaning services to restore your travertine or other tile floors and to keep them looking great. We can remove years of discoloration from travertine, ceramic, and other tile, refreshing the color and bringing back its former glory. We can also renew your grout lines, helping the entire floor look fresher. Call us today to learn more about tile floor restoration or to schedule a routine tile and grout cleaning service.June 10, 2019