How to Care for Travertine Surfaces and Make Them Shine
LESLIE: Jim in Pennsylvania is on the line with The Money Pit and needs help with a tiling project. What can we do for you?
JIM: We live in Central Pennsylvania but my wife and I just bought a house out in Arizona for our retirement. And the house has all travertine tile in it, except for the living room and a couple – in the master bedroom. So, we don’t really know anything about how to care for it.
But my – when we were there the last time, this past time to set things up, my wife commented on how the tile looks so dull and everything. So, we were wondering if you folks would have a recommendation, as far as whether we should have it resurfaced or just have it cleaned and if so, what we should use on travertine tile. Because I’m pretty sure you can’t just – specific products you shouldn’t use. So, we just needed some recommendations.
TOM: Jim, you’re right: you do need to use products that are specifically designed for the material that you’re cleaning which, in this case, is travertine. There’s a good website that has a number of these products all together and it’s called StoneCare.com. And the product there that I’ve used is called Marbalex. And Marbalex is designed specifically for travertine and it’s basically a streak-free product that is going to do a good job of cleaning it without staining it further.
LESLIE: Yeah. Or damaging it. Some of the products can pit it, so you have to be really careful.
JIM: Yeah, like you said, we – my wife noticed it just kind of looked dull. So this – the house was built in 2005, so it’s not an older – you know, it’s a relatively newer house. But the tile does look dull, even to me. So we’re not exactly sure how it’s supposed to look because, like I said, this is our first experience with travertine tile. But the floors do look somewhat dull, so we didn’t know whether we should have it refurbished with that – with those buffing compounds and stuff or whether it just needs a good cleaning.
TOM: Well, I would give it a good cleaning and do as much yourself as you can. There are cleaners and polishers that you can apply yourself. Of course, if you have a professional come in, it could – they could really do a great job and it’ll stay with you a little bit longer. I don’t see any reason why you might not want to try it yourself. Make sure you seal the travertine once a year, too.
JIM: Yeah, well, we’ll give it a shot. Like I said, I was looking for a product and you gave me one. Marbalex, you said? Is that what …?
TOM: Marbalex, yeah. It’s on StoneCare.com. It might be elsewhere but I know it exists on that website.
JIM: Very cool, very cool. By the way, I listen to your show every Saturday morning on my long walks. So not only am I getting great advice but I’m getting in shape to your show, too, so …
TOM: Great. Glad you’re taking us with you.
JIM: So, yeah, kudos to you guys. But you’ve got a really great show.
TOM: Thanks, Jim. Appreciate it.