Generally, Travertine is older than limestone but not as old as marble. Travertine is more porous than most other natural stones. Travertine is rich in calcium and is commonly confused with limestone. Yet, travertine rarely has seashells, a common characteristic of limestone. It is mostly formed through chemcial precipitation in cave-like and hot spring environments. Usually this stone is honed in finish (versus a polished marble) and is rougher in texture. Honed stones like Travertine are known for their inherent variations in color, surface texture, and finish.
Depending on the type of travertine, care must be taken during cleaning. Thorough vacuuming and mopping with clean water and neutral pH soap inhibit dirt and soil build-up. Every few months, bleach can be used to keep this more textured stone with its characteristic voids and holes, and wider grout joints cleaner, and lighter and brighter. Depending upon wear, location, type, and care, it will need professional maintenance every 1 - 3 years.
- All travertine should be sealed.
- Neutral pH stone soap is best even for daily cleaning.
- White, plain bleach can be used on heavier soils and greasy film.
- Always test cleaners in an inconspicuous and ensure to follow directions.
- Floor mats, especially those made of natural fibers, will reduce scratches.
- The voids and holes are commonly filled or repaired with epoxy blended to the stone's color.
- Use vaccums with soft brush attachments prior to mopping. Improper cleaning causes the voids to soil quickly.
- If not cared for properly, the more porous areas of the stone willlook dark and dingy from soil accumulation.