How To Clean A Travertine Tile Floor

Travertine Floor Cleaning Tips

By Troy Cantini

The many holes, pits and voids in travertine can make cleaning it extremely difficult.  While many travertine tiles holes are filled with an epoxy resin some travertine is installed prior to filling these holes and voids. Additionally care must be taken to not etch, scratch or dull the finish of the travertine while cleaning it. Harsh chemicals can etch and dull travertine and aggressive scrub pads can scratch and dull the finish of travertine.

The dirt and stains on travertine tile floors is most likely of an acidic nature.  Therefore it is necessary to use an alkaline cleaning product to react with the acidic grime on the tiles to dissolve it and make it easier to clean. An alkaline tile cleaning product specifically made for cleaning tile, grout and stone should be used for your cleaning process.

  • Mix the alkaline clear with the hottest tap water available in the ratio on the instructions of the cleaning product.

  • Apply the alkaline cleaning solution mixed with water liberally to the travertine tile surface and allow it to dwell for at least 20 minutes.

  • While the cleaning solution is dwelling on the ceramic tile surface you should agitate the tile with a stiff brush or scrub pad.

  • Do not use any aggressive scrub pads on travertine tiles as you could scratch the travertine surface.  Always test your scrub pads on the travertine surface to insure no scratches will occur.

You should generally scrub the tile surface until you are confident that all of the dirt, grease and grime and any other contaminates are loosened and dissolved from the tile surface.  It may be necessary to use a shop vac to help you extract some of the contaminates from the travertine voids to assist you in cleaning your travertine. Also be sure to mop and rinse up all the dirt and excess cleaners from your travertine tile surface.

After you have cleaned your travertine tile surface you may notice that the grout is still not as clean as you had hoped for.  It may be necessary to do extra scrubbing on the grout lines with your scrub pad. There may also be some types of alkaline type stains like urine, red wine or other alkaline based stains in the grout. It may be necessary to use a mild acidic cleaner to clean the grout lines to their fullest. Travertine tiles could potentially be damaged with acidic based tile and grout cleaners so test your travertine before using an acidic tile cleaning product. You can read more about our detained information on tile and grout cleaning products at our tile cleaners information page.

Travertine tiles may need to be periodically honed or polished to maintain their finish. The regular cleaning, polishing, honing and maintenance requirements of travertine tile are what every home owner must deal with when having travertine tiles installed.

Depending on the look you desire from your travertine there are various types of matte or glossy polishing options available.  Polishing or honing travertine is a difficult task and should only be done by trained stone restoration professionals.; Cleaning and restoring travertine tile can be a difficult and laborious task. Even with the proper techniques it can still take a long time to complete and not look as clean as you wanted. You may want to hire a professional tile and grout cleaning and restoration contractor to clean your travertine tiles for you

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