How to Care for Travertine Tile

Travertine is a sedimentary rock that has a wonderful uniform color and is very strong. Recently it has made a strong resurgence as a building material in modern homes, but it has been used for thousands of years. In fact, the Colosseum in Rome is comprised of mainly travertine. This durable stone is very similar to limestone or shale and is now commonly used as flooring or a wall-covering. If your home has travertine tile, there are a number of tips that your need to know to make it last and make it look beautiful.

Travertine tile will last forever, if you take care of it with these simple steps! 
Make sure that your travertine tile has been properly sealed by the installer. If you do not know if it was sealed, clean and seal the surface yourself.  This will ensure your travertine lasts for years. You can tell if your travertine tile has been sealed by the behavior of a drop of water on the surface. If the water beads up, your sealer is still good, if it does not bead it is probably time to reseal. Many different sealers exist that allow you to choose the level of gloss that you want. Just make sure that your sealer is for porous stone and that you follow all of the directions for its' use. If you are unhappy with the amount of shine that you get after your first sealing, a second coat of sealer will increase the gloss. If it's too glossy, just give it a few weeks of normal wear and tear to reduce the gloss!

Clean you travertine tile often with a dry mop often. This removes all of the grime that will act as an abrasive to the surface. Travertine is extremely strong, but will wear down over time as will any natural stone.  Travertine contains small deposits of materials that give it a unique look. These deposits sometimes break away from the tiles. These holes can be filled with stone epoxy before your next sealing, just make sure that you match the color before you fill in the holes. Stone epoxy is not easy to remove if you get the color wrong! 
Travertine tiles, even the best honed ones, are still porous. Without proper sealing, liquids will penetrate the surface. This is why travertine tile is not ideal for kitchens or bathrooms, unless you keep up with the sealing!

With a little routine maintenance, your travertine tile will look great and stand up to hundreds, if not thousands, of years of heavy traffic!

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