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Travertine is a popular choice for flooring and our travertine restoration treatments produce some of the most stunning results. Characterised by earthy tones, it is a natural stone that will go well with any interior palette which makes it both beautiful and versatile.

Properties of travertine

Travertine is a sedimentary rock that is part of the limestone family. Travertine stone is formed by subterranean springs, underground rivers, and various other water sources. The mineral element predominant in travertine is calcium carbonate. This is dissolved from existing rock and carried by the water source before settling and forming in a hot spring. The resulting stone has a light colour similar to limestone. The key identifying characteristic is the holes or pits throughout that are the result of gas escaping during the process.

Just like limestone and marble, the high levels of calcium carbonate present in marble mean that it is highly sensitive to acidic substances. The alkaline nature of calcium carbonate means that any contact with acid will create a chemical reaction. This chemical reaction is visible as an ‘etch mark’. This is usually seen as a paler, duller and slightly white stain.

Travertine finishes

The naturally occurring pits in travertine are arguably its most distinctive feature and make it the perfect choice for a more homely interior. Often these holes will be filled prior to installation using either a grout or epoxy based filler. The type of filler used is closely linked with the finish of the original tile. This will impact the future restoration and resurfacing possibilities.

Brushed or tumble finished travertine is usually associated with a more rustic look. This is perfect for a countryside kitchen and will add texture to the room. A beautiful light beige travertine floor can often add a bright contrast to a dark green or blue kitchen décor.

As a versatile stone, travertine can also be polished or honed to create a smooth finish. This will reflect the light in the same way that a limestone or marble floor can. This makes travertine a great alternative for a luxury bathroom or entrance hall too. It is a great way to showcase the deeper honey tones with less texture.

Maintenance

Just like any natural stone, travertine needs a some careful consideration when it comes to maintenance.

Due to the pitting and texture of the stone, it is very tempting to use a steam cleaner to get into all of the pores when cleaning your travertine floor. However, this can actually cause more problems than it solves. For travertine that has a textured or tumbled finish, it is likely that it will have been sealed with a topical sealant. Repeated use of heat and water will degrade this sealant more quickly. When the sealant can’t do its job to protect your stone the travertine will be vulnerable to staining.

Heavy use of a steam cleaner can even begin to damage the stone structure itself. Steam and water that penetrates the pores and natural cracks and fissures in the stone can open them up. When this happens, the new cracks and capillaries are exposed. These will not be protected by the impregnating sealant originally applied and the stone can spall.

We recommend instead to mop the floor using a good quality cotton Kentucky mop with a suitable bucket. Larger buckets are key to allowing any dirt from the mop to fall to the bottom of the solution and not get reapplied to the floor. It is important to keep your stone as dry as possible. For large travertine floors, we recommend buying a small wet vacuum cleaner to remove the sitting water from your stone after mopping. It is also important to remember to use a pH neutral cleaning detergent. Fila Cleaner Pro is our recommendation for a maintenance cleaner that is pH neutral but also very effective.

Professional services

Not only is travertine a beautiful stone, it is also incredibly durable and has been used in buildings for many years. Its neutral and earthy tones, mean that no matter how many times you choose to change your décor, your travertine floor will always fit in.

If you have moved into a property where the existing travertine floor hasn’t been cared for quite as kindly as we recommend, then it may be worth considering investing in a professional deep clean. There is nothing more exciting than revealing the hidden treasures that lie beneath years of wear and tear.

For floors that are scratched or are badly stained, further restoration treatments can rectify this damage. As part of both travertine cleaning and restoration services, the pits in your stone will be filled by hand and the grout will receive an especially thorough clean. This will leave your floor looking very similar to when it was first installed – clients often tell us it looks even better.

You can find out more about our travertine restoration and cleaning services here.

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