How to Maintain Travertine Tiles

Tips on Maintaining Travertine Tiles


Travertine is a very popular option these days in natural stone tiling. Some stone tiles such travertine tiles and marble come in light colors like cream, tan, and white. It’s known for its bumpy, pitted look and rugged texture, which makes it perfect for flooring. It’s very durable, with a particularly strong resistance to cold and freezing, and is quite long-lasting. It is also quite low-maintenance.

While travertine does not take much effort to maintain, it will get scuffed and dirty if completely ignored. Here are some tips on keeping your travertine tiles clean, beautiful, and looking brand new:

Wipe up ASAP

Since travertine is very porous, spills are easily absorbed into the stone. As a result, the moisture damage creates a stain, ruining the color and natural flourishes on the tile surface. Therefore, clear up any liquid with a soft, dry cloth as soon as you can (don’t use abrasive scrubbing pads as these can scratch the stone), or use coasters and rugs if a drink must be placed on a travertine surface. Be particularly careful when you’re dealing with acidic drinks such as orange or lemon, as these are especially bad for travertine.

Vacuum once in a while

The accumulation of dust particles, especially in the pitted areas, can dull the finish and make your travertine tiles look dingy. Employ the use of a vacuum cleaner at least once a week to remove lingering dirt that sweeping can’t get rid of. In lieu of a vacuum cleaner, you can also use a clean, slightly damp cloth to give your floor a light scrub.

Give a thorough cleaning

Every so often, your tiles do need a more thorough rubdown. Look for cleaners that are formulated for stone surfaces, with a pH-neutral solution. With a soft cloth and a scrub brush, apply the cleaner especially to areas showing signs of staining and accumulated dirt. Cleaners can do what water can’t in dealing with stains quickly and removing chemical residue.

Polish regularly

Over time and with frequent trampling, the finish on your tiles can take a beating. Keep your tiles shiny and new by giving them a thorough polishing at least once a month or after a thorough cleaning. Use polish that’s designed for use on natural stone to ensure that all the components in the solution are non-acidic, non-abrasive, and safe on travertine.

Apply sealant

Sealing stone tiles is one of the best ways to protect them against damage. Most tiles do come pre-sealed, but as the sealant wears out, make it a point to have them resealed at least once a year. You can also test your tiles to see if the sealant is fading: if water is being absorbed into the tile rather than beading on the surface, it’s time to reseal.

An important point to remember is that you should never use acid-based products to deal with stains. This includes products with ammonia, citrus, and vinegar. Even though they are touted as effective cleaners, strong acids can wear down stone quickly. With regular care and cleaning, your travertine tiles will serve to make your home elegant and welcoming for years to come.