Congratulations on having your travertine tile polished, cleaned, or sealed. This article is to assist you in maintaining your floor.
What is Travertine tile?
Travertine tile, can be cream, white, dark brown, reddish color, and similiar colors. It is formed through the accumulation of calcite from hot springs. It contains lots of holes that were formed from water flowing through the stone. These holes are often filled with synthetic resins or cements. Travertine is classified as a limestone or marble.
There are many different types of stone available today. When stone is ordered, it is fabricated with a particular type of surface. Most home installations have what is called a honed surface. A honed surface provides a flat to low sheen gloss, however, different levels of gloss are available. This surface is very smooth, but often very porous. Honed floors should always be protected with a penetrating sealer because it has open pores. Honed stone colors are not as vibrant as a polished stone.
A polished stone has a glossy surface that wears away with time due to foot traffic and regular maintenance. Using improper maintenance procedures will decrease the durability of Travertine. The polished surface is very smooth and not very porous. The reflectivity of polished crystals brings out the brilliant colors and grains of natural stone. The shine comes from the natural reflection of the stone’s crystals. Powders and diamond pads used during fabrication or after installation provide the polish. The shine is not from a seal coating, but rather from the stone itself.
Dry Cleaning Procedures: As with all floor types, the most important thing to do is clean dust, dirt and pebbles from the floor regularly, meaning once or twice daily. This may sound excessive, but it is necessary in order to maintain your floor’s appeal for as long as possible. On a honed or polished surface, small particles like dust between one’s shoes and the floor will slowly dull the finish and even become embedded in the stone.
We recommend running a dust mop across the floor at least daily to remove these contaminates from stone surfaces. Use a large 3-foot or longer dust mop that you can purchase from most home improvement stores like Home Depot. Dust mop all walk areas daily. To improve your dusting results, we offer a product that you spray on the dust mop that attracts dust and dirt without oil-based chemicals. Most dust mop sprays are oil-based and can damage your floor’s finish, so avoid using them.
Wet Cleaning Procedures: The effectiveness of floor cleansers often depend on the level of alkalinity or acidity measured by its pH level. It is rated on a scale of 1 to 14. Levels of pH ranging from 1 to 6.5 are acidic, 7.5 to 14 is alkali and 7 is neutral.
The following is a list of some common acids:
- Acid Bowl Cleaners,
- Bathroom cleaners.
- Some degreasers,
- Most fruit juices,
- Alcoholic beverages, and
- Many household cleaners.
Most of today’s stone materials are sensitive to both acidic and alkali cleansers. This is the result of most stones being classified as hydroxides that designate them as natural alkali. Acids burn most stones by dissolving the bonding agents that keep them together.
The acids we discussed above, when used on polished stone, will etch the surface requiring re-polish or complete tile removal. On the other side of the pH scale, alkaline may deteriorate stone over time. Stone cleaning products should therefore be rated with a level 7.0 pH or neutral.
Most neutral cleaners have a pH balance of 7; however, some neutral cleaners are stronger than others because they have higher activity levels. There are many neutral cleaners that are not active enough to thoroughly clean a stone’s porous surface.
There are also an abundance of neutral cleaners that are too active for stone to endure.
Stone Tech Products
We have studied the various products on the market and have determined the products manufactured by Stone Tech, (Dupont owned), fit the criteria that stone needs. Stone Tech products can be purchased from Monterey Tile located at 225 W Baseline Road, Gilbert, AZ. It is just east of Country Club on Baseline. Tell them you are a customer of All Stone, Tile and Wood Restoration to receive a discount. Stone Tech also manufactures sealers for every application possible. Ask for us details. Other tile stores also sell these products.
We recommend a product called Revitalize for counter tops, showers, and occasionally on floors. For most floor maintenance we recommend a product called Klenzall. Follow the instructions on the bottle. For better results, consider using soft water for mopping and wiping the tile dry with a terry cloth towel.
There are many other brands of cleanings on the market. Check your local building supply store tile and carpet store.
Natural stone does not work well with water. Natural stone “breathes”, therefore we do not recommend topical sealers. When water seeps into its pores, the water has to escape somehow. Too much water on natural stone may cause it to “breathe” too much causing cracks. In the case of filled stone, excess water can cause the fill to fall out. Mop areas that need it, but not any more than is necessary. Sweep a lot, Mop less is our motto.
Granite Sealing Process
We are also an authorized Tekon applicator. Tekon sealing is a multi-step process to seal granite counter tops, which improves it’s over all shine, and feel. We also seal stainless steel, glass, and porcelain with tekon products.