Steam Cleaning Travertine Floors (5 Quick Steps)

steam cleaning travertine floors

Travertine floors add an extra touch of beauty to any home, but regular maintenance is required to sustain its beauty. One way to do this is by steam cleaning your floor as steam cleaning travertine floors helps to remove dirt and stains from the floor’s surface.

Steam cleaning, as well as mopping the floors at least once a week with a travertine-friendly cleanser, will help to eliminate any grime and dirt buildup on your travertine floor.

Read: How to clean travertine floors

5 Steps to Steam Cleaning Travertine Floors

Eliminate Dust and Dirt

This is an essential step and should be done before steam cleaning; removing dust and dirt will make the floor easier to clean and enable you to achieve better results.

A broom or a dust mop can be used to quickly collect debris and fine dust. Using a dust mops with a microfiber head or pad is usually recommended as it glides over the floor effortlessly and attracts more fine dust, dirt, and hair than you would with a regular broom.

You can also use a vacuum with good suction power to pull lint, dust, and other surface debris from the floor’s cracks; this is to prevent them from dirtying the mop pad. Once vacuumed or swept, your floor is ready to steam mop.

Prepare the Pads 

You need to have several mop pads handy in order to avoid trailing or smearing dirt around as you steam your floors, so you are able to change them as required.

Always read your product instructional manual to confirm care instructions for your steam mop and accessories.

Evaluate the Floor Surface 

Only use steam mops on sealed floors because excess moisture can damage an unsealed travertine floor surface. A steam mop should never be left plugged in and unattended to while you do something else. This can cause the accumulation of moisture on the pad, and this could mar the floor surface.

Before steam cleaning travertine floors, ensure to consult the flooring manufacturer for any warnings regarding steam cleaning.

Steam Clean the Floor 

Once you are sure that the floor surface is safe, you can go ahead and clean the floor with your steam cleaner. Attach a mop pad to the foot of the steam cleaner, fill up the water reservoir, and power up the device according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Remember to keep the steam mop constantly moving as you work, and do not allow it to rest idly on any given spot for too long.

Change the pad as it gets dirty to avoid spreading dirt around the floor. To achieve a thorough cleaning, you may need to make multiple light passes over the entire floor.

Wash the Pads 

When you are done steam cleaning your travertine floor, you need to wash the cleaning pads. You may find the recommended way to launder the pads on the product’s packaging, but generally, you can simply machine-wash them with other whites, then hang them up to dry.

This works best on microfiber pads. Always keep clean pads handy, so you are ready to go whenever you decide to steam clean your floors.

Are Steam Cleaners Good For Stone Floors?

Steam cleaners are relatively affordable and can be used to achieve a deep cleaned surface but are steam cleaners good for stone floors?

The answer is no! Using a steam cleaner on your stone floor can damage the surface, increase the risk of staining; it can also cause the corrosion of metallic elements within the stone surface and the salts to surface.

When steam penetrates the cracks and fissures of a solid surface, it weakens the stone, which eventually causes the surface to break up and become visibly damaged.

Although stone surfaces are often treated with a sealer, these sealers sit on the surface and are designed to wear away and be replaced frequently.

Topical sealers protect the surface underneath, but when heat and agitation are applied, it removes the sealer faster than normal wear and tear. This causes an increased need for maintenance and a deterioration in the floor’s appearance.

Instead of using a steam cleaner on a stone floor, it is recommended to use warm water, and a liquid cleaning solution gently worked into the floor using a soft brush or pad. After which, the floor should be rinsed with plain water and dried thoroughly.

Read: Do steam mops damage tile floor?

Can You Use Pine Sol on Travertine Floors?

It is advised to never use pine-sol on natural stone. This is because pine-sol is an acidic substance that can dull and etch your stone floor. If this product is used often, it could cause permanent damage to your travertine stone floor as well as the sanded grout.

Read: Can you use Pine Sol on hardwood floor

Can You Use Vinegar on Travertine

Vinegar being an acidic substance, can cause damage to the surface of your travertine tiles and make them susceptible to stains, also cause the tiles to age prematurely. 

It is also advised to avoid using bleach or ammonia to clean travertine as this can cause dullness and damage to the surface of the travertine tiles, making them more porous and more susceptible to stains. 

Avoid any cleaning product with orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit, or any other citric acid-based product in its content, as this too will cause premature damage to the surface of your travertine tiles.  

Are Travertine Floors Hard to Maintain?

Maintaining a travertine floor isn’t all that complicated as it is made to seem. Like every other natural stone floor, travertine contains microscopic pores that can allow the penetration of spilled liquids and staining agents easily.

However, this can be prevented by the application of a penetrating sealer and a barrier surface sealer. Both of this treatment needs to be applied during installation and subsequently reapplied frequently.

Regular resealing is required if you want to maintain a glossy surface. When your travertine floor is kept properly sealed, it is simple to clean, and all you need to do is damp mop with a mild soap solution.

Travertine tiles are made from highly durable materials and can withstand lots of wear and tear without showing significant damage like scratches, cracks, or chips.

If your floor is made from polished and honed materials, there is a greater risk of scratching, but natural-finish tiles are more resistant to damage and scratches. The fact that travertine flooring is laid in tiles makes it easy to remove and replace individual pieces if they crack.

All you need to do is carefully break up and remove the damaged tile, scrape off the subfloor, and install a new tile after applying a thin-set adhesive, then grout the joints. Keep in mind the patched area may not match the rest of the floor, especially if it has weathered.

How to Seal Travertine Tile

Take Out Previous Wax Coating

Travertine tiles are usually sold with a wax coating on the surface. So if you find out that your tiles are sealed with wax, you need to remove the wax first using a specialized wax remover. Ensure to make use of a non-acidic solution, as travertine is highly sensitive to acidic substances and may stain your floor.

Clean the Floor

Clean your travertine flooring thoroughly to remove any large and fine dust particles. You can use a vacuum cleaner with the brush attached for this.

Next, use an alkaline or neutral cleanser that is suitable for travertine floors to clean your tiles according to the manufacturer’s directions for the product. Ensure to remove any dirt, dust, or grease buildup from the floors.  Then dry the floor surface using a cotton or microfiber cloth.

Allow the Floor To Dry Completely

It is recommended to allow your travertine tiles to dry for at least 72 hours before applying your sealer. The floor should be kept off during this period to ensure the floor remains clean.

Apply the Sealant

Apply the sealer of choice carefully according to the manufacturer’s directions. Most sealers usually require you to spread the product over the tiles in an even coat with a lambswool applicator or soft cloth.

Start working at the farthest point of the room and work in small sections making sure to finish a section of tiles completely before proceeding to the next section.

After the first application, wait for about 30 minutes for the sealer to dry before applying a second coat the same way as the first.

Wipe off excess sealer and use a microfiber or cotton cloth to buff the flooring. After buffing one section of the floor, you can move onto the next portion of your travertine tiles.

Allow the Sealer Dry Completely

Stay off the floor for about 48 hours or more so that the sealer can dry. To test if the sealer is dry, sprinkle a few drops of water on the floor; the water should form small beads on the floor if the sealer has cured properly but will absorb into the floor if the sealer hasn’t cured properly.

Read: How to clean matte porcelain tile


Steam cleaning travertine floors is a great way to rid your floor of dirt and buildup but should be done after proper research has been made to avoid accidentally ruining your floor. Regular maintenance must be made to avoid the floor’s appearance from declining.

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