Caring for Travertine

Dear NH,
I have a client with an unglazed stone floor called "travertine." She was told there is a specific cleaning/stripping/waxing product that should be used for this type of tile. I have two questions. First, what cleaning products should I use? Second, what can be used to increase the shine? The builder sealed it only five months ago and it is already very scuffed and dull. The customer would like the tile stripped and then waxed to a high glossy shine.

Try the Aldon Chemical website at They are manufacturers of sealing and maintenance products for stone and marble. This should get you started, at least product-wise.

Waxing the floor might be a mistake. Waxing tends to make floors quite slippery, plus on an uneven surface such as the travertine the high spots will wear quickly. One of the more durable finishes (such as the type Aldon sells) will give a good gloss but not be as slippery when wet. It will also last much longer than wax. With stone sealers (and, in fact, natural oil finished for woods, too), more coats produce greater gloss. Multiple thin coats are always preferred, allowing you to precisely control the gloss.

Even if you use another product, Aldon has a great FAQ to help you through this job!

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