Finally! You’ve found the cheap tiles you’ve been looking for—the travertine tile that will give your home that antique look without having to abandon it for 150 years. What things should you consider before beginning your project?
A Delicate Nature
Knowing that travertine tiles are actually a naturally occurring stone, you may feel that they are indestructible. However, travertine stone tiles do need special care to maintain their beauty and durability. What kind of care?
Acidic liquids, such as citrus fruit juices and wine, will damage the surface of the tile if let stand after spilling. Do you use the common vinegar solution for cleaning? Never use it on your travertine tiles! It is also acidic and will score the surface of your unfinished tiles as will other citrus oil based cleaners. Even standing water, if let remain too long, will stain your travertine.
What about heat? Compared to other stones such as marble or granite, travertine is softer and therefore more easily affected by heat. Because of the natural holes and troughs in the stone, many varieties are sold “filled” meaning that some sort of grout powder or epoxy has been put into the holes. Most things expand when heated. However, the travertine and the epoxy expand at different rates, and this difference can result in cracks. So be careful when placing hot pots or pans on your stone if you have used it in a counter top. Place a trivet or hot pad on the top first.
Moreover, avoid chopping, slicing, and cutting your favorite veggies directly on top of your travertine counter top—unless you enjoy a few stone bits instead of bacon bits. The delicate nature of the stone makes it easy to chip and easy to scratch.
With a little care and forethought, you can extend the life of your travertine tiles.