Travertine is a beautiful natural stone material from the limestone family. It is made of soft calcium carbonate and is usually found in the form of deposits near bubbling warm or hot springs. To make a long story short, during its formation gases would become trapped within the stone and would developed pits and pockets of holes throughout its matrix. When quarried by man the open holes would be filled at the surface with either epoxy or travertine dust to offer a smooth closed finished look to the public.
Since Travertine is made of soft calcium carbonate it is therefore highly reactive to acids found in juices, fruits and beverages. Acid spills will etch the surface of the stone and leave ring marks, streaking and dullness. Even though the stone is soft and sensitive, the indescribable beauty outweighs the concerns of acid spilling or etch marks by maintaining with stone safe products.
Travertine is available in different colors and finishes, from natural, neutral colors such as creamy white and beige to tan, silver and reddish brown which by the way depends on the iron and other impurities present during its formation. These different colors can be purchased with different surface finishes or textures as well and the most common finishes today which includes:
· Hone or Polished – A honed finish is ground flat without being polished to a shine to create a soft subtle look that is more suitable to high wear areas. A polished surface offers a richer color with defined veins and reflective surface.
· Traditional or Tumbled Edged – A tumbled travertine has a rough, textured finish often with rounded corners for an antique look versus the normal straight edge flat surface we are so used to seeing when one thinks of a tile.
· Open hole or closed – An open hole travertine offers depth and sophistication for that avant-garde appeal. It is unusual
· Crosscut or Standard – Saturnia is simple a travertine that when quarried was cut across versus with the vein creating a different appearance much like one would get getting across a tree trunk or along the length.
The bottom line is that 16 different products and looks can be created from the same stone.
As a natural stone, no two pieces are the same therefore you will have a “one of a kind” look in your home or office not like a manufactured or engineered stone.
Travertine is being installed today by the thousands of square feet. Most commonly used for walls and flooring, it is also used for countertops, tub surrounds as well as in exterior décor . Because travertine is such a porous material, as with any natural stone surface, maintenance is necessary to keep its everlasting beauty. The surface clean and sealed on installation, and at least every 2 years there after to maintain a stain resistant surface.
For more Inquiries and information, please visit the site Orlando Travertine Restoration
(1) How should you care for it?
Remember the Grand Canyon is made of stone and yet with a little dust, dirt and water it is now a mile deep. Similarly your stone will be worn by the grinding of dust and dirt across its surface, though in this case it is more likely by the bottom of a slipper or loafer than a deluge of water. Keeping your naturally beautiful stone naturally beautiful will require you to keep it free of dust, and to clean it with non-acidic cleaners such as pH neutral Intercare Stone Cleanser.
As noted above, stone is porous and travertine more so than most. It needs to be sealed on installation and every two years there after to enhance and maintain its stain resistance. Remember though that even a sealed stone can be stained if a spill is allowed to sit too long. Don’t’ want to do this yourself, consider calling a stone craftsman. Companies such as MARBLELIFE specialize in providing stone care product sand services anywhere in the country. With 46 locations MARBLELIFE is the largest in the country, and the only company openly committed to providing stone services wherever you live.
(2) What do you do if you start seeing spots or etches?
Don’t panic. While frustrating if you do not know what they are or how to get rid of them, spots, water marksand etches are routinely handled on a daily basis by those skilled in the arts of stone craft.
As mentioned earlier travertine like all limestone and marbles is acid sensitive. This means that garden-variety spills from your soda, mixed drink or morning orange juice are sufficiently acidic to dissolve stone on contact. It is not enough to simply wipe up the spill, as residual acids will locally pit the surface creating a reflective anomaly. A light etch you can see but cannot feel. If you attempt to clean it appears to disappear until the water sitting in the local pit evaporates allowing your watermark to re-appear. These need to be hones (ground) or polished out. While light etches can be removed with products such as MARBLELIFE Gold Plus Gloss Restorer, heavier etches which you can feel will require a stone craftsman to rehone the surface smooth again. Whether cleaning up an etch removing polish or a spill, it is imperative that whatever you use by pH neutral, and be able to neutralize acids. Anyone who remembers their college chemistry is likely scratching their head about now. How can a pHneutral cleaner neutralize an acid? Typically one would be seeking a base to neutralize an acid. Thanks to the modern miracle of science and the use of emulsifying surfactants one can surround an acid molecule and remove it from the water in a bubble of surfactant. Bottom line, it is no longer actively available to damage your stone.
(3) Open of closed? What’s the difference? What to think about?
Open or closed refers to whether the holes created during the stones formation are left open or filled in. While the open holed appearance can create an attractive rustic or unusual appearance it has one obvious drawback creating areas for dirt to collect. The good news is that should this become a problem companies such as MARBLELIFE can fill, level and refinish these areas so that they look just like the closed variety. If you decide to go this route be careful you research who is doing the work. Many inexperienced tradesman will seek to fill these holes with standard grade cement creating a mess that is expensive to repair. Special colorized fills are available that are designed specifically for this purpose.
At the end of the day, it’s about selecting something that make you feel good, and creates the ambiance and comfort that is home. With a little fore knowledge you are equipped to care for your new piece of natural art. As with most things once you know where to go and how to care for it is easy and manageable, so enjoy what Mother Nature created. Rest comfortably in the knowledge that should you need help or assistance a stone craftsman in available to help.