Due to its popularity, honed & filled travertine tiles are quite common in the market. Its smooth surface and straight cut edges are mainly preferred by customers who are looking for something modern and minimalistic. However, problems with this type of travertine are also quite common. This is mainly due to the fact that many people are unaware of how to install or maintain honed & filled travertine tiles.
Travertine is a material which has many air particles (holes) and in order to make the surface smooth and shiny, the holes on the tiles are filled with a special compound similar to tile grouts. Afterwards either these filled holes are polished or honed using the polishing machines at the final stage of the production.
First of all, travertine tiles should be laid properly in order to avoid any problems. There should not be any movements on the floor if the tiles are being laid on a timber floor. Ply boards must be used and they need to be screwed 6 inches apart.
Travertine tiles are not suitable for heavy traffic areas unless they are at least 3cm thick. If honed travertine tiles are laid in a commercial property, the holes may reappear and fixing the floor may be difficult.
Always use sealer and maintenance products suitable for natural stone tiles. Using Flash cleaners and any other acidic chemicals will damage the sealer as well as the tiles. If there is a floor warranty by the supplier, it will be voided when using these chemicals.
Sharp materials have also negative effect on the tile. If you need to wear high heel shoes, do not walk on the tile for long periods of time. The tiles will be scratched and also fillers will pop out after some time. Pets might create a great risk when they urinate on the tile as the acid will affect the sealer as well as the material itself.
If you believe that you have been following all these guidelines above and still have fillers coming out, do not worry. This is a natural process as when the tile settles on the floor, new holes might appear. However, a small pack of original travertine filler is enough to fill these new holes and you do not even need to bother your builder for this job. Just add some water and mix the filler, apply a thin paste and fill the hole. Let it dry out. When it dries, apply another coat of sealant and your floor will be brand new again. You should find your filler packs available from your tile supplier, normally they give away free of charge.