Repairing vs Replacing Damaged Travertine Tiles
Repairing a damaged tile (or several) is a cumbersome job. Travertine as a material for stone is strong and versatile, creating a classic look that will stand the test of time. While travertine is most definitely durable and dense, making it the perfect choice for high traffic areas, cracks can still appear. So when this happens, is it better to repair the damaged tile, or should you lift and replace?
Travertine as a flooring option
Of course, as with any option, using travertine throughout your house or in certain areas has its advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages of travertine tiles
- Travertine comes in a variety of shades so you can pretty much be certain that you will have a choice to suit your home or your area.
- Travertine can actually add value to your home so using it is a great investment.
- They keep your home exceptionally cool in summer.
- Travertine is also pretty resilient, meaning they can cope with weather fluctuations.
Disadvantages of travertine tiles
- The porous nature of the tile means there are quite a few holes present. The holes and gaps created also means that exposure to air and moisture can cause the holes to tear.
- The tile is also reactive to acidic substances so cleaning it can be tricky. Although water and soap usually does the trick. It also means that if you spill something, you better be quick to wipe it up.
- Costs can be higher than other flooring options such as, granite or carpet.
- The coolness of the tile means the home can be a tad on the cold side during winter.
- Maintenance and upkeep can be extensive. However, if you seal it properly on installation, it is much easier to manage.
Fixing the situation: repair vs replace travertine tiles
Let’s be honest, correct installation and correct maintenance should help with protecting travertine flooring. This means ensuring it is sealed correctly when installed and it’s well looked after throughout its lifespan. But there’s always the risk that something will go wrong and damage will be incurred, whether it’s general wear and tear or something that happens as a once-off.
Let’s focus on that first disadvantage – the porous nature of the tile. Of course, aesthetically, people may not like this element of the flooring option. The holes, while small, are noticeable and if they expand to tears, these become even more obvious. This means, while you can take all the care in the world to look after your travertine tiles, damage can be caused. Importantly, it should be repaired as soon as possible to avoid more damage from happening. To help fill the gaps, powders, sealants and may be used.
Repairing the individual tile, of course, is better when you’re looking at consistency of the flooring. This is especially true if you don’t have any spare tiles lying around. While the colour you have laid may still be available, it’s going to be a different batch of tiles, so there’s always the likelihood that the tiles will look different. However, because of the grain of travertine, some may argue that this isn’t the end of the world, and only the most educated eye would be able to pick up the fact that the tile is from a different collection.
If you have no choice but to replace the tile, or you choose to do so, it’s not impossible, but it is tricky. Replacing a tile has been likened to surgery; digging out grout and prying the tile up without damaging any surrounding tiles. Of course, the membrane and waterproofing underneath needs to be fixed if it’s in a wet area.
While you can do it yourself, it can get messy so it’s best to leave it to the professionals.
Caring for travertine tiles
However, despite the fact that you can repair individual tiles and worst case scenario, replace them, maintenance is the first step. As they say, prevention is the best protection. This means regularly mopping if something does spill, especially if it’s acidic, and cleaning it immediately.
When cleaning, don’t use anything with lemon or acidic ingredients. Simple soap and water will do. Or alternatively, there are products on the market that can help.
Finally, if you have repaired a tile, always reseal the area to protect the tiled space from further issues. For more advice on travertine tiles, speak to a specialist at Armstone today.