Simple Solutions To Clean And Maintain Your Travertine Tile

As a homeowner, you most likely are familiar with the various tasks necessary to update your home. From pressure washing your vinyl siding to replacing worn roofing shingles, it is easy to see the stressful nature of home ownership. Unfortunately, you may not be placing enough effort into the cleaning and maintenance of your travertine tile flooring. Considering the installation of travertine tile can cost an average of $15 per square foot, proper cleaning is imperative for protecting your investment. Using these simple cleaning tips, your travertine tile will be clean, appealing, and valuable.

Simple Cleaning

Removing light debris on the surface of your tile floors is simple using a vacuum. However, traditional, upright vacuums utilize wheels for motion. These wheels can scratch the tile easily, so consider using a handheld vacuum or soft-bristled broom to remove surface debris.

A long-handled dust mop is an efficient option for cleaning your tile floors, as well. Move the dust mop across the floor a few times before shaking off any dirt, hair, and dust.

Focus the vacuum or dust mop on any areas of grout, as well. This will prevent heavy buildup on light-colored grout, which may be difficult to remove in the future.

Detailed Cleaning

Even with regular cleaning and maintenance, your tile floor can accumulate a dirty, unappealing residue. Dirt, food, hair, and dust can cause your tile and grout to discolor, resulting in expensive replacements. Thankfully, you can remove heavier residue using a detailed cleaning solution. Of course, you must choose a solution and cleaning method that works with your specific travertine tile.

Here are a few helpful tips for your travertine tile floors:

  • Polished Travertine – If your tile has a glossy finish, it is most likely polished travertine. This tile is a common choice for homeowners due to its shiny appeal, but it can be difficult to clean. Avoid abrasive cleansers, which will dull the glossy finish. In addition, avoid using vinegar. While natural and non-toxic, vinegar contains acidic properties that are too abrasive for polished stone. For the best results, add a few drops of liquid dish soap to a bucked filled with warm water. Mop your tile with the soapy solution every few weeks. Be sure to rinse with a clean, damp mop.
  • Matte Travertine – Also known as honed, matte travertine is a great option for high traffic areas such as the kitchen and bathroom. Since it lacks the glossy finish of a polished stone, the surface of matte travertine is scratch-resistant. Unfortunately, without a polished finish, the tile can quickly stain. To prevent these stubborn stains, be sure to clean up spoils immediately. Use a cloth to soak up liquids before they stain your tile permanently. Use a mildly abrasive detergent and warm water to mop matte travertine tile.
  • Textured Travertine – If your tile floors have a brushed or tumbled finish, use a cleanser specifically formulated for textured tile. While this textured look offers an a natural appeal, it can be difficult to keep clean since it lacks a polished coating or surface seal. Mop the tile periodically using warm water, but avoid using cleaners with acidic or abrasive ingredients. To prevent staining while protecting the natural stone look, apply a layer of sealant to your textured travertine tiles.​

          Purchase natural stone sealant from your local home improvement store. Use a standard paintbrush to apply your first coat. Allow to dry for a few hours before applying a second coat. The sealant will protect the textured tile without changing the surface's natural look.

Travertine tile is an attractive and durable option for bathrooms, kitchens, and outdoor living spaces. With these tips, you can protect the beauty, durability, and value of your travertine tile.