Q:

How do you care for travertine tiles?

A:

Quick Answer

Caring for travertine tile requires a schedule of regular cleaning with a dust mop or stone soap and annual sealing of the tile to prevent liquid absorption. Proper care also demands the quick removal of spills from the tile to avoid stains setting into the surface.

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Full Answer

The extreme porosity of travertine tiles allows liquid to seep into the stone quickly, making it difficult to remove stains. To avoid this, cover the tiles once a year with a sealant specifically made for use with travertine, using a paintbrush or roller to spread the sealant in place. Two or three layers of sealant is generally needed to provide a strong seal that doesn't wear down through regular use. Before placing each additional layer, allow the previous layer to dry.

After sealing the tile, regular cleaning is necessary, beginning with a daily or weekly routine of dust mopping the surface of the tile to remove loose dirt or debris. The number of cleanings required depends on the amount of use the tile is put through, with more heavily trafficked areas requiring mopping more often. When the dirt is embedded in the tile enough to prevent removal by dry mopping, mop the tile using a neutral soap and water mixture. Use as little of the mixture as possible to avoid causing streaks on the tiles. Dry mop the tile after cleaning.

Take precautionary measures against spills or damaging dirt by placing mats or rugs over floor tile to avoid dragging dirt along the surface. Place coasters on tiled counters to prevent discoloration from liquids. Place acidic and cleaning items on trays to prevent possible spills that might damage the tile.

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