What to Ask When Shopping for Travertine Tile
If you are interested in adding travertine tile to your home, you will want to do some research in advance. Travertine tile adds an extremely elegant touch to every space, however it is essential to know how much to buy, what type, and other important factors. The questions listed below will help you be better prepared when you go shopping for travertine tile!
How is Travertine Made?
Travertine is a stone that’s found in quarries from all over the world. How the tile looks will depend on where in the world it developed due to the different geological changes that are found in each area. The main methods for extracting travertine are wire saw, water-jet cutting, challenging machines, and chainsaw. When it’s been taken out from the ground, it gets sent to a manufacturer to get sliced into small slabs and polished.
What Types of Travertine Are There?
There are different grades and types of travertine. While this can be confusing at first, the important factor to keep in mind is that there are three grades – standard, commercial, and premium. The best grade consists of a stone that’s almost flawless and only has a few pores that have been filled. The standard grade will have more color variation and more pores than the premium grade. On the commercial or lowest grade, there will be larger pores that aren’t filled in and flaws that are more visible.
How Do I Clean Travertine?
Travertine is a good investment, as it can last a lifetime. However, that’s only if it’s maintained properly. Accidents happen even to those who are extremely careful, so the best thing to do is clean it up promptly. If you spot a stain on your tile, you’ll need to remove it or lighten it right away. You’ll want to use clean water and a neutral cleaner with PH 7. Ideally, use a cleaner that’s soapless, as soap will leave film and streaks behind. This will be noticeable on travertine stone that’s polish-finished. Try to find a phosphate-free, biodegradable, mild liquid dishwashing powder or soap to clean the tile.
Travertine is porous, which means it will easily absorb liquids. You should always use coasters when you have drinks on the tile and use trivets where food preparation happens. Wash the tile in a sweeping motion that’s overlapping from the bottom to the top. Change the water frequently to make sure it’s clean, and if needed, a wet vacuum can be used to get any smaller contaminants found on the tile. For an area with high amounts of traffic, use a scrubber with a disc brush to clean debris and dirt without the stone tile getting damaged.
Never use a chemical or acid cleaner on travertine, as it is from the limestone family and will ruin it. There are many cleaners available for cleaning stones, but the supplier at your store can also recommend one to use.
Do I Need to Hire a Professional?
It’s tempting to install the travertine tiles yourself, but it’s not recommended. This is especially true if you have no previous experience. It’s very time-consuming to install tiles, and it’s a tricky process. Travertine is expensive, so you don’t want to risk making mistakes and wasting extra tiles. Only if the project went according to plan, you knew what you were doing, and you had all the tools you needed would it be worth it not to hire help.
To install the tile, the surface needs to be prepared, the tile laid down, and the grout applied, so the tiles stay in place. However, most people don’t have the expertise or tools to install tile. It’s best to hire a professional, even if it will be more expensive. You’ll save countless hours and will ensure that it’s laid down properly, so it won’t need to be redone in the future.
How Many Tiles Will I Need?
One of the essential steps when shopping for tile is figuring out how much you’ll need. There should be enough, so the surface is completely covered, plus more should be ordered in case tiles need to be replaced in the future or they break. Another reason to order extra is travertine tile often has a unique pattern in it, so it will be next to impossible to find a good match down the road. In order to figure out how much tile will be needed, measure the surface area and multiply the length by the width to get the total area.
Every tile is 12″ x 12.” If you have 12″ tiles, each square foot will need one. If you have 4″ tiles, you can divide the total area by 0.1089 to see how many tiles will be needed. If you have 9″ tiles, divide the total area by 0.5625 to get the required number of tiles. Once you’ve figured out how many tiles are needed for a project, add an extra 10 percent to account for any waste you may have. If you decided to do this yourself, add at least 20 percent so you will have more room for mistakes to happen.
It’s important to remember that even travertine tile that is perfectly crafted will have imperfections and color variations. These are not a negative part of them but will make your project even more unique. You should also note that you’ll see slight differences in the samples you look at and the tiles that get shipped to you. It has nothing to do with imperfection, but rather due to the mineralization and crystallization process. This is normal and will give the finished product a look that’s different from anyone else’s tile. This is true if two floors are installed with tile from the same supplier and installed by the same professional.
When you’re shopping for travertine tile, make sure to ask plenty of questions. You’ll want to make sure this is the right type of material for you and that you understand how to clean it in case any spills occur. Knowing how much to purchase will also save you money.