When most people think about decorative tiling for kitchens or bathrooms, marble is often the material that is first in their minds. However, although beautiful, marble is not the only natural stone solution for your home. Travertine can be an excellent choice of tiling for both indoor and outdoor spaces.
What is Travertine?
Travertine is a type of limestone which, in its natural state, has a porous texture. It is loved for its versatility, soft and attractive texture, and the variety of colors to choose from. It is also one of the most durable and long-lasting building materials making it a perfect investment in the future. Depending on the location of installation, tiles can be left in their natural porous state or filled and shined for a more glamorous look. While porous tiles can be great for achieving a natural aesthetic and for providing slip control, bathrooms and kitchens can benefit from the extra boost of luxury that polished travertine can add to a room.
Choosing to Fill Your Travertine
Filled and unfilled travertine each have unique processes for installation, cleaning, and maintenance. Filled travertine is installed and then filled with a material that has been specifically matched to the hue of tile that has been selected. Previously unfilled travertine, as well as tiles that have had their fillings eroded over time, can be filled again using the same process of “floating.” This is the first step to achieving a shiny surface. Once the travertine has been filled, specific guidelines regarding cleaning, maintenance, and polishing are followed to create a lasting surface that is durable as well as beautiful.
The Process of Making Dull Tiles Shine
Although travertine is one of the longest lasting surfaces that can be installed in a home, time, harsh cleaners, and poor maintenance can result in dull or damaged surfaces. Even with careful maintenance, it will be necessary to occasionally restore tiling to bring back the original shine. Even older tiles that have never been filled can be revitalized using these methods.
For old, worn, and dull travertine, one of the most important steps towards shining the surface is performing a deep clean of each tile. In surfaces that have a filling that has been worn over time as well as surfaces that have never been filled, dirt, mold, soot, soap scum and other stains can become deeply embedded in every hole of the material. The surface of the stone can also become stained over time. Many of these problems can be fixed by hiring a professional to perform a deep clean and stain removal on the surface.
Once cleaned, it is important to reconsider some of the cleaning products that you have been using on the surface. Because travertine is a type of limestone, it can be susceptible to damage from any products that are acidic in nature. This can even include natural cleaning products that contain vinegar or lemon juice. Soap should also be avoided whenever possible as it can create residue in any low areas in the tile. In fact, the best cleaning product for your flooring is water, and other products should only be used in special circumstances.
Maintenance and Restoration
In some cases, it may be necessary to take a few extra steps of maintenance and restoration before polishing the surface. Settling in the home can cause uneven tiles, flooring can become cracked and damaged, and some tiles may even need to be replaced. These tiles will need to be replaced, repaired, and maintained before polishing can take place.
The finish on travertine tiles can either be matched or changed completely when refinishing the surface. The aesthetic of the room can be altered dramatically by the finish that is chosen, and this may be a change that you want to make before completing the project. It is also a good idea to consider sealing the tiles on a yearly basis to make the flooring easier to clean and maintain. Not all surfaces can be sealed, so be sure to contact us before moving forward.
When stones become cracked, uneven, or otherwise damaged, a grinding and lippage removal process can be performed to create an even surface while polishing travertine tile edges. This is done using diamond grinding technology. Getting rid of uneven tiles can instantly improve the appearance of the tile as well as prevent trips and falls. On occasion, tiles will be too damaged to repair in which case the individual tile can be removed and replaced. Because there are so many varying hues to the stone, extra precautions should be taken to match the color of the new tile to that of the old.
After the tiles have been properly cleaned and maintained, the polishing process can begin. The first step is sanding down the surface to get rid of any remaining dirt, cracks, imperfections, and rough spots. This is called honing, and it will get rid of any signs of wear and tear that are on the surface of the stone.
The surface is then polished using a mixture of diamond-infused pads and polishing powders. The polishing process is fairly versatile and the sandpaper can be adjusted to create anything from a gleaming and glossy surface to something more muted and matte. Your technician for travertine tile Houston should know exactly which process to use for the look that you are trying to achieve. It is important to get the help of an experienced professional who will create a smooth surface that is easy to maintain.
A beautifully polished travertine stone surface can be an elegant and treasured part of any room in the home. Whether the tiling is new or has been there for many years, there are many techniques that can be used to take a dull surface and create a glamorous sheen. It is important to clean and maintain the tiles properly before polishing the stone. A professional will be able to find the perfect solution for your individual flooring and will be able to achieve a lasting result with the right process.