Cleaning Travertine

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Mike Lyons (Cardiff Stone Care)


Tile | Stone | Slate | Travertine | Marble | Limestone | Victorian floors


Cleaning Travertine

Cleaning travertine internally is normally achieved by stripping initially, then cleaning and sealing. Most exterior travertine we would pressure wash with hot water or steam. As the dirt accumulated on patios and paving particularly on external Travertine is somewhat heavier, it's important to clean just a little deeper.

This doesn't mean we can go in heavy but instead raise the water temperature, sometimes to steam and use less pressure to remove even the deepest of dirt.

By doing this and because some travertine often has "fillers" in the weaker parts to manufacture the stone, which can appear as part of the pattern but are in fact ‘hole fillers’ in the production process. 

Great care should be taken and heavy water pressure should be gauged to a minimum. 

Identify 

Travertine has a milky brown/beige appearance and comes in various sizes, some stone with very square edges through to tumbled which gives a softer worn edge.

Surfaces can appear pitted or at other times very flat and smooth.

It’s one of the most popular stone for floors and walls having a very pleasing affect without being classed as either dark or light.

Travertine is used extensively for flooring but is well suited for use in bathrooms, showers and feature walls, occasionally outside, but must be sealed and protected.

Solutions

Usually your Travertine internally will have been sealed with a penetrating sealant, followed by a wear layer which if not maintained will deteriorate and need replenishing.

However, if it is maintained, will last a considerable time with regular cleaning. 

Acrylic polishes and wax are popular choices, however not in wet areas, but finishes in wet areas needs a penetrating sealant for the stone and these can be cleaned and replenished quite easily, however when they are worn considerably, the stone should be deep cleaned thoroughly.

This applies more to floors than walls and deep cleaning travertine sometimes removes the wear layer and can also penetrate the original sealant, so is best replenished to protect the surface. 

Sealants

There as usual two types of sealant for travertine, those that penetrate and those that sit on top. The variations are clear, matt, satin and gloss.

There is no reason why a totally clear sealant shouldn’t be applied, without any other finish, just showing the natural colour of the travertine.

This can then be maintained with neutral cleaners that are recommended by various manufacturers and stockists of travertine sealers for stone.

The alternatives are to have the 'instant shine' that can be maintained quite easily. These are acrylic polishes and waxes which give a pleasing glow.

Benefits

The benefits of cleaning travertine and then locking that nice clean finish with a suitable sealant, is that it becomes much easier to keep clean occasionally, either by vacuuming, dusting or mopping. Externally with mild washing solutions.

Aftercare

As mentioned above the aftercare is quite easy to do and when done on a regular basis will keep your travertine in first class condition.

The neutral cleaners for travertine are specific to your flooring type and can be seen on the pages of Fila, Lithofin and LTP etc, who specialise in stone care.

Check out our cleaning solutions page for more information or contact us for more help and advice. 

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