If you have travertine tile in your home, it may be time to restore it to its former glory so that it will continue to look as good as new for years to come. Luckily, there are several steps you can take to bring your travertine back to life, and this guide will walk you through them all!
6 Steps for Successful Travertine Tile Restoration
It’s an unfortunate truth that even new travertine tile can develop discoloration or stains. It’s a little-known fact that you don’t have to let dirty travertine tile ruin your floor. All it takes is some TLC, a few easy steps, and maybe a brand new look! The below steps are a simple 6-step process for restoring travertine tile back to its original beauty
Materials You’ll Need
You’ll need a few basic materials no matter what kind of tile you’re restoring. A steel wire brush will help remove any dirt, grime, or buildup from your travertine tile. In addition, you’ll need a liquid cleanser and a scrubbing pad. You may also want an old toothbrush for more detailed work. Sealants: There are a number of sealants on the market designed for use with travertine tile in residential environments. Look for one that is designed specifically for stone rather than ceramic or metal tiles because it will be easier to use on such a textured surface.
If you can’t find a product made explicitly for travertine, look for something labeled as granite or marble instead. These products usually contain quartz-based ingredients that can withstand high temperatures, which makes them ideal for kitchen countertops. Do not use waxes or other products designed for wood floors on your stone countertop; they won’t adhere properly and will eventually peel off.
Prep the Surface
Wash your travertine tile with a solution of warm water and dish soap. This will remove any grit or dirt that’s built up on top of your stone. Rinse well with clean water. You’ll want to avoid using paper towels, as they can leave behind unwanted fibers (and then you’ll spend hours picking them off). Instead, take an old towel or rag, dip it in clean water, wring it out, and wipe away any dust or debris.
Clean Your Tiles
Cleaning is one of those things you don’t think about doing until you’re knee-deep in grout that needs scrubbing. If it’s been a while since your tiles have seen soap and water, now is a good time to start. Mix up a solution of warm water and mild detergent, and then scrub away with a heavy-duty brush (or anything else that will help get down into nooks) until your grout looks as clean as it did when it was first installed. Once everything has dried, seal your grout with either an acid-free silicone sealer or polyurethane/acrylic stain protector.
When your travertine tile becomes chipped or cracked, it’s time for some repair work. While restoring old travertine is easier than you might think, there are a few things you can do before getting started. First, take a look at what causes cracks in your tile. Cracks usually develop over time due to improper cleaning or moisture intrusion. If left untreated, they could spread, causing bigger problems down the road. Before repairing cracks or chips, seal off any stains and grout spots with an epoxy grout product designed for cementitious surfaces such as concrete and natural stone like travertine or marble.
Level Out Warped Surfaces
Before you can restore travertine tile, you have to repair warped surfaces. If your floor is severely warped, you may need to remove and replace sections or planks of tile. Place a level across each plank or section of tile; if it’s significantly off level from one side of another, consider removing it for replacement. It’s much easier for a contractor (or even a DIY-er) to deal with sections rather than individual tiles, so take that into consideration when making any surface repairs. For minor warping, try wetting down an area of tile with water and letting it sit overnight. The expansion will help flatten out warped areas.
Seal it and Protect it from Future Damage
Before you start polishing, seal your travertine tiles. Watermarks on travertine tile can not only be unsightly, but they also make your tile more vulnerable to future stains from cleaning products or exposure to sunlight. Sealing will protect your floor from future damage and make it easier for you clean and polish it in the long run. If you have any doubt about whether or not a sealer is right for your home, consult with a professional before purchasing anything. Some people prefer a satin finish instead of one that’s high gloss. If so, choose a different method of cleaning—dusting instead of mopping—to prevent water spots from appearing in high-gloss areas of your floor.
Knowing what it takes to restore travertine tile is a big step in helping you to keep your home looking great. Use these tips and tricks, as well as some elbow grease, and you’ll soon have travertine tile that looks better than ever!