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Travertine floor cleaning is one of our most popular services. We love keeping your travertine floors in their best condition and there’s a little more involved in the process than you might think.

Origins 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 naturally occurring pits in travertine are 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. As well as being a key identifier of travertine this is also an important factor when it comes to selecting the correct travertine floor cleaning method.

Travertine cleaning

When travertine is supplied the natural pits in the stone are artificially filled to create a smoother finish. Over time, the filler can come loose, and the floor can be left with small holes throughout. These holes or pits are likely to gather dirt and can leave the travertine looking dull and lifeless. Our travertine cleaning processes will lift this and bring the surface of your stone back to life again.

We usually recommend this service for travertine that was initially filled with grout. This is likely to be a brushed or tumble finished travertine and often associated with a more rustic look. For the initial stage of the travertine floor cleaning process, we use a rotary machine with polypropylene brushes to remove surface and deep-seated dirt and strip the existing sealant. Following this, we refill the pits in the travertine by hand in order to give a more homogeneous finish.

To complete your travertine floor cleaning, the final stage uses abrasive powders and alkaline cleaning compounds to lightly resurface the stone. This not only removes any remaining residue from the filler, but also refreshes the surface of the entire floor. This method will not only return your floor and grout to their former glory but is dust and mess free.

Travertine polishing

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 type of travertine will have had the pits filled initially with epoxy resin. When you enquire about travertine floor cleaning for this type of stone, we will often recommend a restoration service.

Travertine polishing or resurfacing will not only restore the beauty of your floor but also ensure a longer-lasting finish. When we resurface a stone floor in this way, a fresh layer of stone will be revealed. This means that not only will you have a clean floor, but the stone will have a look a lot closer to when it was first laid. Resurfacing in this way will remove surface scratches, dulling and etch marks on the surface of the stone. It will regain the colours and properties of that initial stone. This means that once sealed, it will retain its finish for a lot longer than a floor that has been simply cleaned. You can read more about this process on our travertine polishing page.

Travertine Restoration

For stone that is more deeply scratched, or shows uneven heights at the grout joint (lippage), we can offer deeper restoration services too.

The full restoration process involves up to 8 stages. It begins with a grinding phase to even out poorly laid tiles and remove scratches or etch marks from your travertine floor. This initial phase is essential to ensure that the floor is flat, to allow the finer grit diamond abrasives to work most effectively. Following this, the natural pits in your travertine floor are filled by hand with epoxy resin that is colour matched to the stone. This creates a smooth and homogenous finish akin to when the floor was initially installed.

Ongoing Maintenance

Professional travertine floor cleaning processes are a great way to revive your stone. However, there is simple steps that you can follow to keep your travertine floor in good condition all year round.

Here’s our top tips:

Good quality matting at each entrance to the property will pick up a lot of the dirt, sand and small stones, which can scratch your floors.

Frequent use of a soft, long-hair Swiffer, will remove a lot of the small particulates which can scratch and dull your floor. It is a lot quicker than vacuuming and much kinder to your stone

It is important to keep your stone as dry as possible. Mopping too often, over-wetting with a mop, or use of a steam-cleaner can reduce the lifespan of the sealant and actually make the floor dirtier

Use of pH neutral cleaning detergent is vital. Many common household cleaners are acidic and will damage your stone. Acidic products react with the calcium carbonate in travertine, causing a chemical burn known as an etch mark

For more information on our travertine floor cleaning services call 01494 438 294. For your free copy of our Athena Aftercare guide email info@athenastonecare.co.uk

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