The look of Travertine is both elegant and unique. But, you should be prepared to care for it so your countertops look great for years to come.
Travertine is a naturally porous stone, which means it soaks up liquid in its natural state. Because of that, it needs to be sealed regularly. When it is installed, it will be sealed and ready to go. But, to keep the pores closed, you will need to seal it at the very least annually. To see if it needs sealed, place a drop of water on the surface. If it remains beaded up, then your counter is fine. If it soaks in and creates a wet spot on the surface, then it’s time to seal the countertops, using a commercial sealer specific to the countertop and following all label directions.
Travertine is a surface that is susceptible to acidic products and heat. Because of that, you will definitely want to avoid cleaners that contain acidic material when you clean the countertops. Using ammonia, bleach or other general household cleaners can leave a permanent stain on your countertops. Be sure that any cleaner you use is clearly labelled “safe for natural stone.” Cleaners like that will be pH neutral and safe to use.
Plan a schedule where you regularly clean the surface. In between, use trivets, coasters and placemats to protect the surface. Also, blot any spills that take place immediately. If you rub your surface instead of blotting it, you encourage smaller bits of the spill into the pores of the stone.
Also, as strange as it may seem, you may want to use a vacuum cleaner as part of cleaning the countertop to get material out of the pores of the stone. Travertine is well loved because the pits, craters and irregularities that it has give it character. Still, because of that, foreign material will get caught in those pores that you can’t see. A vacuum will take care of those small pieces.
Travertine does take a little more effort to keep it looking great. However, if you want to have a look that lends elegance and timelessness to your countertops, taking a little care is a small price to pay to have a look that you’ll enjoy for years to come.