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How To Clean Travertine Floors

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How to Clean Travertine Floors

Travertine floors give your home a rustic, earthy, and calm feel. All in all, travertine floors are a good investment that gives your home a touch of elegance and class. Cleaning and maintaining travertine floors is simple, all you need is the best natural cleaning products and your floors will maintain their value for longer.

Here, we will show you how to clean travertine floors as quickly and easily as possible using all-natural products so you can just relax and enjoy this feature in your home.

Related: The Best Mop for Travertine Floors

How To Clean Travertine Floors

When cleaning your travertine floors, it is essential to note that not every cleaning product is appropriate. Any products that are acidic or have a PH higher than 7 can potentially cause discoloration and damage your floor. Keep any lemon juice, vinegar, or harsh chemicals a safe distance away from your travertine floor. 

Although vinegar can effectively remove dirt from your floor, it has the ability to break down and dissolve travertine. With continued use, vinegar can cause etching and your floor will lose its vibrancy and become dull.

How To Clean Travertine Tiles

Dos:

  • Sweep, remove dust, and remove debris frequently. Some debris may result in scratching and may eventually wear down the surface. 
  • Use a dry mop for everyday cleaning. You can use it to remove dust from your tiles.
  • Use a slightly damp mop once a week to remove any stuck-on dirt from your floors. You can use a microfiber cloth and warm water as an alternative.
  • Use a soap-free cleaning solution to avoid leaving streaks behind. Mop using a slightly dampened mop to remove any residue.
  • Clean up spills as soon as possible to prevent any seepage of liquid into the pores.

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Don’ts:

  • Do not use acidic cleaning solutions like lemon juice or vinegar and do not clean using harsh chemicals or bleaches. Using acidic cleaning products will cause discoloration and gradually damage your floor.
  • Do not use a drenched mop when mopping the floor as this can result in water soaking into the pores and setting, which will result in permanent discoloration.
  • Do not vacuum your floor as this may cause scratching over time.

Cleaning Grout Lines

An important step in how to clean travertine floors is addressing the grout lines between tiles.

When cleaning grout lines, mix baking soda with equal parts of water and mix until you create a smooth paste. Take a small brush and scoop a small amount of the paste and scrub the grout lines. Avoid getting the mixture onto the tiles. You can clean grout lines once every few months depending on how dirty they are.

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Related: Cleaning a Travertine Shower: Do’s and Don’ts

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Pros And Cons Of Using Travertine Floors

Travertine floors come with both positives and negatives. They are a good investment for your home and they bring an element of prestige to your home. Travertine floors are durable and heat-resistant, and they can maintain their original look if properly taken care of. 

Pros:

  • The most notable advantage of using travertine floors is that they are gorgeous. They give your home a cool, rustic, earthy look that other comparable natural stones might not give you.
  • Travertine floors naturally have a “weathered” look that gives your home character.
  • This type of flooring is also durable and versatile when compared to other natural stones like marble and its resilience when it comes to high temperatures means there is less tile degradation caused by heat.
  • The slightly rough texture means the surfaces are non-slip which makes travertine floors especially perfect for bathrooms.

Cons:

  • Travertine is porous, which means that liquids can easily seep into the stone and cause discoloration. 
  • For travertine to maintain its natural and original hue, it needs special care and the surface should be sealed about every two years to prevent liquids from seeping through. Spills should be cleaned up quickly to prevent seepage which may lead to discoloration.
  • Common cleaning chemicals like bleach damage the tiles and cause dulling.

Related: The Best Marble Cleaner for the Floor and Bathroom

Natural Cleaning Products to Clean Travertine Floors

Natural cleaning products only include products that are made up of ingredients that are derived from natural sources and are, therefore, eco-friendly. There is a wide range of natural products that you can use to clean your travertine floors and these include:

You can also use approved rock cleaning agents that have a neutral PH. Before you start using any product, always do a spot test on a concealed area of your floor to determine if the product is safe for use. If there’s no visible negative reaction in 48 hours, you can use your cleaning product on the rest of your floor. 

Related: Do Natural Cleaning Products Work?

ImageProductOur RatingPrice
E-Cloth General Purpose Cleaning ClothE-Cloth General Purpose Cleaning Cloth
  • 4-Pack E-Cloth, just add water for multiple cleaning purposes and surfaces, always have one available
  • Microfibers trap and remove dirt, debris, grime, and over 99% of bacteria from hard surfaces and appliances just using water
  • Easy to use, machine washable, eco-friendly, and effective
9.7
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Seventh Generation Disinfecting Bathroom CleanerSeventh Generation Disinfecting Bathroom Cleaner
  • Effectively Controls Odors
  • No rinsing or wiping is required after using (even on food contact surfaces)
  • When used as directed, kills 99.99% of household germs and is effective against the influenza A virus
9.6
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CleanWell Botanical Disinfecting WipesCleanWell Botanical Disinfecting Wipes
  • Plant-derived, multi-surface cleaning wipes made without chemicals, no rinsing required even on children's toys or food contact surfaces
  • Antibacterial to disinfect, kills 99.9% of household germs and odor-causing bacteria, mold, and mildew
  • Voted Best Disinfecting Wipes by Parents magazine, cruelty-free
9.5
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Consider Sealing Travertine Floors

There are three types of sealants that you can use when sealing travertine floors. The sealant you choose will mostly be determined by the aesthetic that you want to achieve in your home and whether or not your tiles are exposed to the elements.

Topical Sealants

Topical sealers are perfect for creating a glossy and sleek aesthetic. Topical sealers will make your tiles gleam and the light will bounce off them creating a flawless luster. The glossy finish keeps out oil and water that would have otherwise sunk into the pores and caused discoloration. 

Topical sealers help to maintain the original shades of your flooring by preventing dulling or fading, even when your tiles are exposed to direct sunlight.

Enhancing Sealants

As the name implies, enhancing sealers make travertine more vibrant and they draw out all the beautiful earthy tones in your flooring. This type of sealer sinks into the stone and fills up the pores that would have otherwise been occupied by water or other liquids that may have caused discoloration and permanent damage. Enhancing sealers can be used to revamp older flooring and make it fresher and more alluring.

Impregnating Sealants

Impregnating sealers are closely related to enhancing sealers but they are different in that they protect your flooring by filling up the pores in the travertine tiles with solid particles. These solid particles fill up the pores while also preventing the seepage of water or any other liquids into your tiles. 

Impregnating sealers are perfect for flooring that is not shielded from the elements and is more vulnerable and likely to be damaged. Ideally, the sealer should be reapplied yearly to keep your flooring in perfect condition. Impregnating sealers will keep your tiles vibrant and increase durability while keeping out moisture that can cause rock degradation and mildew.

Related: Cleaning Limestone Floors in 5 Simple Steps

Why Seal Your Travertine Floors?

Sealing your tiles makes them less porous and less likely to absorb liquids. Sealing your tiles does not mean that they become completely impenetrable, it just greatly reduces the ability of travertine to absorb liquids by filling up the pores or creating a barrier that keeps out liquids and in turn, prevents discoloration. 

Sealing yearly will ensure that your flooring keeps its original look and it will guarantee maximum protection. Travertine floors are classic with earthy tones and the best way to keep the colors vibrant and prevent any permanent damage is to seal your tiles. Below are the reasons why you should seal your tiles:

Preventing Stains

If acids or grease sink into your flooring, they will cause discoloration that is impossible to reverse and this will negatively affect the natural coloring of the stone and make it less aesthetically pleasing.

Preventing Weakening Of The Rock Caused By Freeze-thaw

This is mostly applicable to travertine floors that are exposed to the elements. In extreme cold, water can settle into pores in the rock and freeze. The freezing causes the rock to expand and when the temperature becomes warmer, the ice thaws and the process repeats itself. 

Continuous freezing and thawing can weaken the rocks and cause splitting or cracking. Sealing your flooring will create a barrier that keeps water out so no water can settle in the pores, to begin with. 

Related: How to Get Coffee Stains Out of Carpet

Protection From Acids

Travertine is a limestone, which means it is especially susceptible to acids and can be greatly weakened by strong acids in a matter of seconds. Calcite that is present in travertine is acid-soluble, which means acids can break down travertine and cause etching and pitting. 

Weaker acids like vinegar and lemon will gradually damage travertine and dull its surface which is why they are not to be used as cleaning products for this type of flooring. Sealing your floors will protect them from exposure to acids and as a result, it will prevent any irreparable damage.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Travertine?

Travertine is a naturally occurring rock or limestone that is deposited in close proximity to hot springs. One of its characteristics that you should be aware of if you want to properly maintain it, is that it has small pores and is, therefore, considered porous.

The pores are carbon dioxide bubbles that were formed as the rock settled and these pores make travertine floors especially sensitive to some cleaning products and even to water. 

Is Travertine a good stone?

Yes, travertine is a good and durable stone that looks beautiful and brings a natural element into your home’s feel and design.

Is Travertine hard to maintain?

It is no harder maintaining travertine than any other natural stone. Compared to porcelain tiles, the added step of sealing the travertine periodically would be added.

Final Thoughts on How To Clean Travertine Floors

Travertine floors are a worthwhile investment if you are going for a look that is both classic and elegant. Now that you know how to clean travertine floors to keep them looking great and last longer.

When cleaning travertine floors, use natural products like baking soda or castile soap; they will not damage natural rocks and they are “green” and free of toxins that can negatively affect the environment. For your floors to be more durable and long-lasting, use a sealant to create a barrier that will protect them from damage and keep them looking vibrant.

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