Skip to content

Travertine Flooring

2010 August 2

Travertine flooring is a type of stone flooring that can add beauty and value to your home. Travertine is a natural sedimentary rock that belongs to the limestone family. Because of its beauty, travertine tile is variously known as onyx marble, Mexican onyx, Egyptian alabaster, and Oriental alabaster.

Travertine Tile Maintenance

Travertine flooring is a flawed Beauty. Travertine is popular among designers for its textures and colors. From time to time, depending on wear, the floors may need a more in-depth cleaning using powder polishes or diamond abrasives. Water-based products can be scrubbed away by machine, then reapplied.
Special attention needs to be placed on care and maintenance – this is a consideration that cannot be ignored. Being a stone, travertine is more hard-wearing than most floor materials but it still susceptible to damage if not treated correctly. Running a vacuum cleaner or broom over the floor will minimize the build up of sand particles and grit, which when combined with people walking on the surface can damage and scrape the pits. Most people believe that running a damp mop over their travertine floor is ok, but in actual fact this can tend to leave residues on the surface. The mop ┬áneeds to be cleaned and dried before use to avoid this, and ideally it should be used in conjunction with a neutral (non-oil based) detergent. Rinse the mop out frequently and when finished rinse the surface with clean water. In the event that water marks develop; buff the floor with a dry tea towel.

Acid based liquids such as wine and fruit juices rich in vitamin C can score the travertine’s surface if left to stand after spilling. In such an instance rub the area with fine grade emery paper and then have it resealed. This stone is also a favorite for fireplaces, table tops and counters – combing these with the flooring creates a beautiful elegant environment.

Essential Facts – Travertine Floor

  • Durable: As with any other stone, travertine is tough stuff. Still, within the scope of stone, travertine is a limestone, which means that it is fairly soft and thus is prone to chipping and scratching.
  • Heavy: A 12″ x 12″ tile or sheet of travertine mosaic can weigh as much as 5 lbs.
  • Expensive: All travertine floor tiles are considered luxury building items, and come at a premium price. Expect to pay as much, or more, than granite.
  • Porous: Travertine flooring is porous, meaning that unsealed and unpolished travertine in the kitchen may not be the best idea.
  • Traction: Unpolished travertine has excellent traction. Yet as mentioned above, it’s porous, can trap dirt, and be difficult to clean. Yet polished travertine flooring is exceedingly slippery.
  • Children/Pets: Travertine flooring tends to work best in households without kids or pets because it is so hard to maintain.

Characteristics of Travertine:

Travertine has many characteristics that make it a beautiful alternative for your flooring, from the most formal area in the house to the most casual. Travertine is pourous and has holes that are filled to give it a consistent, smooth surface to make it, “honed,” travertine. There are also applications in which the holes are left open, adding a different effect. Travertine is a natural product, and therefore its color will not be consistent from one tile to another. Variation in shade and color tone gives travertine a distinctive appeal, often accented by chiseled edges.