How to Clean Travertine Floors {A Detailed Guide That You Need}

By Floor Advisor Team

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There is a quote, “Home sweet home.” And it is true to every letter. A home is a special place like nowhere else. It gives you safety, privacy. After a tiring day at work, you can finally breathe a sigh of relief when you return home.

That is why you should design your home based on your likings so that whenever you enter, you can calm yourself up.

Are you a lover of nature? Do you want your home to give a feel of being closer to nature as well? You can choose your flooring according to your likings. And travertine flooring is the best option for you.

Flooring plays a vital role in setting the general theme of your house. So, if you want to show your fondness towards nature, you can choose travertine stone as the material.

It is a completely natural stone that is highly durable. There are unique designs made by nature in each and every slab during their formation. Unlike marble, which changes its form due to external agents like heat and pressure to give the final product (metamorphic rock), travertine is built in a completely natural process.

Let’s Understand What Travertine is

Travertine is a natural stone formed by the accumulation of Calcium Carbonate found in limestone caves or geothermal springs. Its unique property is that it has microscopic pores made out of pockets of carbon dioxide.

The reason we recommend travertine is because of its color. Travertine has varied colors from creamy to brown and beige. This gives your floor an earthly color. You can also get other variants of travertine like ivory, gold, walnut, etc. Most of the travertine comes from Europe.

Another unique feature of using travertine is its weathering effect. After using it for few years, the stone undergoes visual changes, marking the age of your floor. This is liked by many. However, you can prevent it by applying a sealer.

Advantages of Using Travertine Floors

Now let us talk about the perks of using the travertine floor.

Travertine stones are highly durable and can take quite some pounding before showing any damage. The overall structure of the stone makes it scratch and chip-resistant.

When you go to buy travertine floors, you will get them in tile form. This allows you to simply replace a broken tile instead of replacing an entire section, thus making it cost-effective.

Travertine floors have a subtle elegance in them. Each slab consists of earthly colors and natural designs. This makes each and every tile a unique look. All of these give a natural vibe to your house.

Travertine floors have been used for several ages. Be it classic or modern; travertine stones can be a good fit in all homes. Its weathering effect marks its age, and you can show your love for classic stuff.

Travertine floorings are a long-term investment. With proper maintenance, it can last for decades.

All of these perks have made travertine flooring highly popular throughout the ages. In fact, iconic buildings like the Colosseum are also made of travertine.

However, any floor needs maintenance to last long. And there is no general method to clean all kinds of floors. Special care needs to be taken for travertine due to its origin from limestone and the presence of pores inside the stone.

If you want to install travertine flooring, you might also want to know how to maintain it. To help you out, here are the methods to clean travertine floors.

Things To Keep In Mind Before Cleaning Travertine Floors

Now, before you move on, there are some things that you need to keep in your mind. Due to the porous structure of travertine, special care must be done to make sure that the tiles are not harmed. So here are the precautions that need to be taken before cleaning travertine floors.

Apply seal regularly

Travertine stones have microscopic pores in them. This makes them absorb any liquid quickly.

However, this property is harmful to your floors. You need to be careful that no liquid falls on the floor. If water accumulates in the pores, it can lead to the formation of molds. Also, if you spill some staining agent, unable to take quick action can lead to deep staining.

To prevent this from happening, apply sealers to prevent anything from going to the pores.

Make sure that you use a good quality sealant. A compromise in quality might lead to irreparable damage.

Choose the correct cleaning agent

When you are cleaning your floor, you need to make sure that you are using the right product. There are lots of products out there; however, not all of them are good for your floor.

You need to choose the right cleaning agent for your floor. Since travertine originates from limestone, it is basic in nature. So, do not use any kind of acidic cleaner as it can do serious damage to your floor. Even using mild acidic cleaners like vinegar and citrus fruits is strictly prohibited.

Dishwashing liquids have light acidic properties. So, make sure that you heavily dilute it before using it to disinfect your floor.

You should check if your floor is sensitive to the cleaning agent by doing a spot test. Apply a bit of the cleaner in a place not easily visible to check for any side effects.

Keep your mop damp

Mopping is a very important process to keep the travertine tiles in top shape. Weekly mopping ensures that no dust or grime settles on the floor and makes the floor look good.

However, you need to keep a thing in mind.

Do not use drenched mops to clean the travertine floor. The microscopic pores can let the water seep inside the tiles and degrade them.

Always ensure that you wring your mop till it becomes damp before you start mopping.

And remember to apply a seal to reduce the risks further.

Clean the floor regularly

Cleaning the floor is extremely necessary to keep your floors in good condition. It is also a good hygiene practice.

You can use a mop or a vacuum cleaner in a hard floor setting to clean the floor.

However, you need to clean the floor regularly. Any delay in cleaning can lead to the settling of dust and dirt deep inside the floors, causing the formation of molds or deep stains and damaging the tiles from the inside.

Tend to stains quickly

Time is of the essence when it comes to stain removal. Also, you will need to follow some procedures; else, things may become worse.

Any staining agent can penetrate deep inside travertine tiles due to the presence of microscopic pores. This will cause the process of removal of stain very hard.

So, make sure that you get to cleaning your stain as quickly as you can.

Also, make sure that you don’t put stain removal agents directly on the stain, as it can make the stain thinner, and that will help it spread.

How To Clean Travertine Floors

Now that we have covered the do’s and don’ts, let us move on to how to clean travertine floors.

Step 1: Get rid of dust and dirt.

Before cleaning the floor with water, you will need to clean off all the dust and dirt present on the floor. Else, the water may become muddy, which will make the floor dirtier. Also, there is a risk of dust settling in the pores.

Use a broom to sweep away all the debris. You can use a dust mop as their microfiber pads can easily capture all the dust.

If you want to use a vacuum, use it in a hard floor setting and use soft attachments to avoid any form of scratches.

In case you think there is more dust to be removed, you can use a mop after you have done brushing. Make sure to use a damp mop.

Make sure that the broom is non-abrasive and the bristles are not too hard. Else there will be scratches on the floor.

Step 2: Mopping the floor

Apply the cleaning agent in a bucket of water. The quantity should be according to the instructions given on the label.

Note: Be sure that you are using the right product to clean the floor. Do not use any abrasive cleaner. Use only a pH-neutral product (pH=7). Do a spot test somewhere not easily visible to confirm that there are no side effects.

Dip the mop and wring it till it becomes damp. Start from the corner farthest from the door and work your way to the door. This will prevent the formation of any footprints when the floor dries.

Dip the mop in the water and wring it frequently as the water tends to get dirty when cleaning. Make sure that you are changing the water when cleaning multiple rooms.

In case you see any residue on the floor, you can repeat the mopping process again.

Step 3: Disinfecting the floor

Germs often settle on the floor, and it is easy for them to transmit and get inside a host. To keep your family and pets healthy, you should always disinfect the floor. It is a good hygiene process anyways.

You can use a dishwasher to disinfect the floor. However, the dishwasher has mild acidic properties and also contains soap. So, using them might cause damage to your floors or form a soap residue on your floor.

Mix a small squirt of the dishwasher in a gallon of water. Apply the same mopping procedure once. Make sure that your mop is damp. You don’t want water and soap to enter the microscopic pores of travertine floors.

Do not use the dishwasher regularly. It has mild acidic properties, and there is always a risk of damaging travertine. So, disinfect occasionally. You can buy commercial travertine disinfectants if available and strictly follow the instructions printed on the label.

Step 4: Clean the grout lines.

Make a mixture with equal parts of baking soda and water till it becomes a paste. Use a small brush, like a toothbrush, to clean the grout lines using the paste. Rub carefully so that you do not damage the edges.

You can try using a commercial travertine cleaner as well to clean the grout lines.

Step 5: Dry the floor

Drying the floor after you have cleaned it is an important step. This prevents any formation of streaks and standing water, resulting in an increase in the effectiveness of your labor.

Use a soft and dry towel to dry the floor.

How To Clean Spills From Travertine Floors

Sometimes accidents occur, and some staining agent spills on the floor. You may be carrying curry, but you got careless and spilled some. This will cause a stain to form on your travertine floor.

Due to the presence of microscopic pores in travertine, liquid staining agents get absorbed quickly and forms a deep stain. Hence, you will need to take quick action; else, your job will become way harder.

The first step you need to do is to take out the excess liquid staining agent so that it does not get the time to spread and settle deeply. Take a sponge or cloth and blot out the excess liquid. Change the cloth frequently to get the best results.

Do not rub your cloth on the staining agent as it can cause it to spread, making the stain larger and worse.

There are a few methods to clean the stain formed on floors.

Rubbing alcohol is a great option in cleaning stains. Rubbing alcohol is a mix of ethyl and methyl alcohol. Dip a cloth or sponge in rubbing alcohol and dab it in the stained area. The alcohol will slowly remove the stain from the pores, and the cloth can absorb it.

Note: Make sure that you do not ingest rubbing alcohol. It can be harmful to your body. Cover your nose and mouth before using it.

Also, do not pour alcohol over the stain. This will make the stain thinner and will help the staining agent to spread more. And that is definitely not the result you want.

Another item that you can use is baking soda. Make a paste containing a mix of baking soda and water. Apply it to the stain and rub the area using a small brush. Leave it there for a few hours. After the time has passed, you can rinse it. Baking soda is a good absorbent and will soak up all of the staining agents. If there is still some stain remaining, you can repeat the process.

If you don’t have any of these materials, you can use dish soap to clean out stains that contain dirt and grease. However, make sure that you heavily dilute it and use a damp cloth to dab out the stain.

When Travertine Needs a Deep Clean?

Sometimes you may notice your stain too late. You have tried using the stain removal methods, but none have worked.

You notice that some mold has formed on your floors, and none of the cleaning techniques is working.

It is time to kick it up a notch and go for deep cleaning methods.

In case of stains, you can increase the concentration of travertine cleaner and give it a try. You can also try some alkaline-based cleaner, but make sure that you dilute it to avoid any corrosion.

The best option is to use hydrogen peroxide. It is easily available, and buying a small amount will suffice. Make a solution with three parts of hydrogen peroxide. Apply the solution to the stain and keep it for a few hours. After the time has passed, clean the area.

In case your stain is made of ink, paint then hydrogen peroxide is the best solution.

Use commercial products to clean molds formed in travertine floors. Using limestone travertine stone soap is highly recommended on clean honed or textured travertine. It can clean out the pores and corners without doing any damage to the stone.

Sealing Travertine Floors

Those were the process to clean travertine floors. However, cleaning is not enough. You will need to seal up the floor to ensure that water or staining agents do not enter the pores.

Also, travertine stones go through the process of weathering, which makes some visual changes. If you don’t want that, you will need to apply sealer on a regular basis.

You can buy two kinds of sealers. One of them penetrates deep inside the stone and clogs up all the pores so that it does not give any chance for moisture or staining agents to seep deep inside the stone.

Another variant is called the surface barrier. When you apply it, a coating is formed on the top of the tiles, preventing any moisture from getting inside the pores.

Travertine epoxy resin also acts as a good sealant. It is especially used in areas with high foot traffic to make cleaning easier. You need to spread the epoxy evenly all over the floor. Use a paint roller to ease up the process.

In general, you need to apply a sealer every three to five years. However, if you want a glossy look in your tiles, you can apply the sealer more often. If you opt for a more natural look and want the weathering effect to take place, then you can minimize the use of sealers or go for natural sealers.

After cleaning and sealing, you can take a few measures to ensure a long life for your travertine tiles.


Here are the things you can do to maintain your travertine floors.

Sweeping Regularly: A layer of dust will make your tiles look dull. So, you can just sweep them regularly.

A soft broom or a dust mop is the best option for cleaning travertine floors. Dust mops have microfiber pads that you can use to clean away small rocks and dirt.

You need to do this regularly, as the presence of small rocks can make the tiles prone to subtle scratches.

Sweeping the floor 2-3 times a week will be good enough unless you have a lot of people in your home. Then you will have to sweep daily.

Use rugs and carpets: These are the best options to maintain any floor.

Keeping rugs and carpets will not allow any build-up of stone and dirt and also protect your floor from stains and scratches.

Thus, we conclude our list of methods on how to clean travertine floors. We hope that this article has helped you. Make sure that you take all the necessary precautions before cleaning your travertine floor. If any damage becomes beyond repair, you may have to replace the tile.

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