Take Care of Your Travertine Floors

When Do You Need Your Travertine Floors Restored?

Travertine floors can create a sense of timeless elegance in any home, office, lobby, or outdoor space, but they also require periodic scheduled maintenance and care to keep them looking their best. Over time, your floors can become dull and discolored due to dirt and grime buildup, heavy foot traffic, etc., as well as travertine-specific issues such as pitting or etching. To keep your travertine looking its best, it is important to know when travertine floor restoration is needed. Let’s discuss some telltale signs that will let you know when it’s time to call your stone restoration experts to restore your floors.

Understanding TravertineTravertine Steps, Risers and Stringer

Before we talk about specific signs to watch for, it’s important to understand the nature of travertine in general. Travertine is a type of limestone that forms when hot springs and other mineral-rich waters evaporate, leaving the sediment behind to create a timeless, “weathered” look. As a result, just like marble, travertine stone yields many unique designs, textures and colors, affording many options for designers. Travertine is also valued for its known for its durability over time, and it’s one of the more affordable natural stone flooring options available.

At the same time, travertine is also a porous stone, which means periodic cleaning, polishing and sealing are necessary to keep it looking its best. Its porous nature also makes it susceptible to damage from dirt and grime buildup, as well as from excess moisture and acidic substances. Over time, your tiles may show signs of scratching and etching, and small pits or holes may develop in the stone itself.

Now that we’ve discussed what travertine is and its unique properties, let’s talk about some signs that it may be time for a travertine floor restoration.

Unfilled Holes in the Travertine Tile

One of the most common signs that travertine tile restoration is needed is when you start to notice holes in the travertine that resemble pock marks. Whenever travertine is installed, the installer will fill any naturally occurring cavities and fissures with a cement-based product called grout or mortar. Over time, however, this material can start to chip away, leaving exposed holes that don’t look very attractive. Unfilled holes can eventually lead to further erosion and damage of the stone itself. If you are noticing these pits or holes in your travertine floors, it is time to call the professionals.

Scratch and Etch Marks

While travertine is durable overall, it’s still considered a “soft” stone (compared to harder, more impervious types of stone such as granite). As a result, it can be susceptible to scratching via dirt ground into the floor on people’s shoes or if someone accidentally uses an abrasive cleaner on it, for example. Additionally, acidic substances like vinegar, lemon, or even tomato sauce spills can react chemically with the calcium in travertine, causing a dulling effect known as “etching.” When you see visible signs of scratching or etching, usually only restoration will fix these issues.

Cracks and Chips

While travertine is naturally resistant to cracking and chipping, it does sometimes happen for a variety of reasons. As with all types of natural stone, there are natural inconsistencies within the travertine stone itself that can create fissures and open up cracks with age. Sometimes cracks can happen due to improper installation over a concrete or wood subfloor (when the subfloors expand or contract, the stone can crack. Finally, travertine can develop chips or cracks due to impact from heavy objects falling on it. When any of these issues cause visible cracks and chips, it’s time to have the floor repaired and restored.

Discoloration or Dullness

Finally, travertine floors can become discolored or dulled over time. Discoloration happens primarily when dirt and grime accumulate in the stone’s tiny pores, while dulling can happen when heavy usage begins to affect the polished finish of the travertine tiles. When your floors begin looking dull and discolored and regular cleanings don’t seem to improve them, travertine restoration may be needed to restore their luster and shine.

How to Maintain Your Travertine Tile

The best way to extend the life of your travertine floors is through regular cleaning and scheduled maintenance. Regular dust mopping and cleaning with warm water and a pH-neutral cleaner (like one specifically designed for travertine) can help keep dirt, grime and debris from accumulating in the stone’s pores. (Avoid using acidic cleaners on travertine, as they can cause etching.) During regular maintenance checks, your stone care professional can also do deeper cleaning of the stone tiles and grout lines, as well as filling holes and performing spot travertine repairs. Finally, it’s always a good idea to apply an appropriate sealant every year or two to help protect the travertine from dirt and staining.

Contact a New York Travertine Floor Restoration Professional

If you’re noticing any of the issues listed above with your travertine floors, Statewide Stone Care (a Stonework company) can help. Our team of expert technicians can evaluate the condition of your floors and recommend solutions, including our state-of-the-art polishing process, to return your floors to their original beauty. For a complimentary evaluation of your travertine floors in New York or New Jersey, contact us today.