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October 24, 2016

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Travertine Tiles Pavers

Travertine is a natural stone with beautiful variations. Sourced from quarries around the world, travertine brings a touch of nature to your home. With a wide range of styles and colors to choose from, you can easily find the perfect match for your interior and exterior flooring needs.

Classic Travertine Tile Flooring

With more than 100 styles and colors of travertine tile to choose from, you can easily find the perfect match for your interior and exterior flooring needs.

A Time-Tested, Worldly Classic

Already established as one of the best-selling building materials on the market, travertine stone is becoming more popular every year. This elite, durable limestone is formed by mineral deposits from hot springs or limestone caves, and it’s cut from quarries around the world. The stone features classic, neutral colors and unique natural patterns that can give your kitchen, bathroom or other spaces an air of sophistication and elegance.

Give Your Home an Ageless Upgrade

Travertine is a sedimentary rock with a distinctive feel and texture and a rich architectural history. The Romans used it to build the Coliseum, and it’s also featured in the walls of castles, churches, monuments, bath complexes and aqueducts across the globe. The colors of natural travertine tile range from ivory and golden hues to salmons, soft beiges and browns.
Each tile is uniquely crafted by nature with striking patterns, crevices and distinctive veining. Travertine tile is available in various matte or glossy finishes; options include filled honed, unfilled honed, brushed, tumbled and polished. Using travertine flooring, you can create timeless, classic looks for your own corner of the world with a natural, neutral color palette that stands the test of time and fits any type of decor. Use it for interior floors, paved patios and garden paths.

Travertine Flooring Benefits

  • Affordable Luxury: Tiles deliver a rich look at a reasonable price.
  • Durability and Longevity: Natural stone is stronger than man-made tiles and provides decades of beauty.
  • Versatility: Travertine flooring blends easily with accent colors and virtually any decor style.
  • Adds Value: Stone flooring is a great investment that increases your home’s aesthetic appeal and market value.
  • Relatively Low-Maintenance: It’s easy to clean and only requires periodic resealing.
  • Practical Choice: Stone is a great option for high-traffic areas.
  • One-of-a-kind Looks: No two tiles are alike.
  • Easy to Work With: Tiles are easier to manipulate, especially when cutting small pieces.
  • Unglazed/Colored Throughout: Consistent color through every layer of the tile makes nicks and chips less visible.
  • Flexible Replacement: Natural variations in color make it easier to match replacement tiles.Travertine Outdoor Tiles
    travertine floor tilesclassico-travertine-tiles-around-a-swimming-pool
August 28, 2016

HOW TO INSTALL TRAVERTINE TILES AND PAVERS OVER AN EXISTING CONCRETE SLAB

Travertine pavers give any homeowner the opportunity to own a patio, sidewalk or driveway that looks as if it were right out of a cathedral. Travertine pavers can add value to the home by being aesthetically pleasing. If you have a concrete patio, sidewalk, driveway or walls, you can make them look much better with travertine pavers. Installing travertine pavers on top of concrete saves you money while increasing value. The following article will show you how.

Step 1 – Clean the Concrete

The last thing you want is to have dirt and other debris sealed into mortar. It will not be visible, but it can cause the travertine pavers not to set properly. Sweep away any dust that may be on the surface of the concrete. Mix a few drops of soap into the water reservoir of a power washer and then spray down the concrete. Rinse out the reservoir, fill it with clean water and then rinse down the concrete. Allow the concrete to air dry. If this is inside the home, you could use a dehumidifier to hasten the drying process.

Step 2 – Apply Mortar

With the concrete dry, you can begin applying the mortar to the concrete. Since both concrete and mortar are porous, they will bond together. Install the mixing attachment to the drill and, using the instructions with the mortar, mix it in the bucket. You can also buy mortar that is already mixed. Always begin at the inside corners of the project. Apply the mortar to the concrete using the trowel and being generous with the amount that you use. Work in small sections so you do not give the mortar much time to begin its drying process. Use the trowel to spread the mortar out over the concrete as well as to give it some texture.

Step 3 – Place Travertine Pavers

Once the mortar has been spread out over the concrete, you can begin laying the pavers. Place the pavers in the corner, first making sure they are tight against the wall. If doing a driveway or sidewalk, then add extra mortar to the outside edge to compensate for the spreading of the mortar. Once the paver is in place, press down on it while wiggling it from side to side. This helps to spread out the mortar as well as allowing it to attach to the travertine pavers. Place the next paver, butting it up against the last. Continue adding mortar and pavers in this fashion until they are all placed.

Step 4 – Clean Up

As you are placing the pavers, you will notice mortar being expelled through the seams. Use the trowel to remove this excess mortar and place it back in the bucket for use later on. The mortar needs to cure for at least a full day prior to being walked on. It will be at least a week before the mortar is fully cured.

What You’ll Need
  • Power washer – gernie
  • Broom
  • Mild soap
  • Travertine pavers OR tiles
  • Trowel
  • Mortar Mix
  • Water
  • Bucket
  • Drill
  • Mixing attachment for drill
  • Straight Edge or Level
  • Chalk Line
  • TIME – If no time allow approx $65-85 m2 for a professional paver to do the job.
August 8, 2016

INTERNAL FLOOR TILES WHICH ARE BEST HONED OR POLISHED TRAVERTINE?

Honed travertine tiles finish is best for travertine floors. This has a smooth, uniform surface with a matte finish. It causes less reflection of light than the polished finish and enhances indoor décor. The honed finish creates a comfortable floor surface. However, smooth honed travertine doesn’t have the glassy feel of polished travertine. This makes it easier to walk on, which helps if you have young children. The marble-like surface of polished travertine can easily trigger an accident because it gets slippery when wet.

You can add to the durability of your honed travertine tiles if you seal the floor periodically. This gives the tiles higher resistance to stains and scratches.

Travertine Tiles

travertine-floor-tiles-for-indoor-use

Travertine Bathroom Tiles

TYPES OF STONE PAVERS AND TILES AND WHERE YOU SHOULD USE THEM

STONE PAVERS AND TILES – THE CHARACTERISTICS OF ALL TYPES AND RECOMMENDED AREAS OF INSTALLATION


A beginners guide to material selection
We have all been bamboozled by salespeople trying to explain the virtues of the latest product – whether it be a computer or a car.
Choosing stone need not be the same experience. By understanding stone’s basic properties you can make an educated decision when you are selecting stone for your next project.
The ‘right stone’ for your project needs to meet requirements based on appearance and performance. Selecting suitable flooring, for example, is firstly a matter of personal taste. One of the appealing aspects of using stone is how its unique character can be used to display your own distinctive personality.
The range of colours, textures and finishes available in stone now rivals the range available in more ‘traditional’ floor coverings. Like these coverings, choosing a stone that is durable and resistant to staining and wear is important. The first step is to understand the strengths and challenges of the various types of stone available.
Below is a brief beginner’s guide to the seven main stone types commercially available.

Stone Type: Sandstone


Formation and composition: A sedimentary rock composed predominantly of quartz usually cemented together with clay and/or fused with secondary silica which has been chemically deposited. Minor minerals containing iron and manganese (among others) give the stone its unique characteristics. The movement of these soluble minerals throughout the stone can produce banding or develop as a uniform colour.
Surface finishes: The typical gritty nature of sandstone precludes the development of a polished finish, but some dense materials can produce a honed finish. Coarser surface textures include sawn, sandblasted, bush hammer and rock-face.
Appearance: Typically white, gold or brown but also available in shades of red, purple, grey, green and black.
Common usage: Sandstone is commonly used as pedestrian paving, internal and external cladding, statuary and masonry construction.
Reasons for selection: Sandstone is a very versatile material that can easily be cut and transformed into just about any form imaginable. Most surface finishes will comply with the most rigorous slip resistance requirements. As sandstone doesn’t absorb heat rapidly, it tends to stay cool under foot and is therefore a good choice for entertaining areas.
Characteristics to consider: Some types of sandstone contain expansive clays which can be a problem when the stone is subjected to repetitive wet-dry cycles. These cycles can make the clay expand and contract leading to decay or bowing of the tiles. Sandstone has a relatively high water absorption (~2 – 8% by weight) which can make the stone sensitive to staining and salt attack. Sandstone generally has a low resistance to wear and tends to produce a gritty residue. This grit can be harmful to softer floor coverings such as marble or carpet.
Performance evaluation criteria: When selecting a particular type of sandstone it is important to ensure that it will perform in the intended location. Basic physical properties such as water absorption and density will assist in evaluation of stain resistance and durability. Compressive strength and modulus of rupture (3-point bending strength) allow evaluation of the stone’s performance under load. It is important to evaluate the strength of sandstone in both a wet and dry condition as sandstone can lose more than 50% of its strength when wet. Resistance to salt attack determines the degree and mode of decay when the stone is exposed to salt and frequent wetting and drying cycles. The dimensional stability test determines the linear expansion of the stone following soaking. The installation of unstable stone can lead to accelerated decay as well as ‘dishing’ or bowing of panels or tiles. Determining abrasion resistance is also of benefit if the stone is to be used as commercial paving.

Stone Type: Granite


Formation and composition: An igneous rock formed at depth. True granites contain quartz, mica and feldspar but in the commercial sense the term covers just about any igneous rock that will take a polish. The colour and texture of granite varies greatly and is dependent on the stone’s mineral composition and rate of cooling.

Appearance: The most versatile of materials. Granite can be processed to produce a wide range of finishes from a highly reflective polish to a rough exfoliated (flamed) surface. Other surface finishes include honed, sandblasted, antiqued and water-jet blasted.
Colour range: Granite covers the whole pallet of colours, from jet black to ice white. Other common colours are red, brown, green, grey, yellow-gold, blue. Granite, by definition is ‘granular’, but the grain size varies widely from less than 1mm to more than 5cm.
Common usage: Paving, internal and external cladding, wall and floor tiles, bench tops and monuments.
Reasons for selection: Granite could be considered the most durable stone type; it is generally strong and hard wearing. Granite has a relatively low water absorption capacity and combined with chemically inert minerals gives the stone good resistance to most stains.
Characteristics to consider: Dark coloured granites usually have a tendency to show oil stains. As dark colours tend to absorb more heat, it is important that expansion joints are properly designed especially where the materials is to be used in an exposed location. Light coloured stones are more likely to show rust stains, whether they are from an external source or from altered minerals within the stone. Poor extraction techniques (e.g. blasting) may introduce stress cracks into the granite which will weaken the stone.
Performance evaluation criteria: Water absorption and density are good indicators of the freshness and general strength of granite. Determining flexural strength (4-point bending strength) is vital to determine the suitability of a stone for use as large format cladding or paving. Coefficient of thermal expansion provides information on the linear expansion of the stone upon heating which can be used to determine the size and spacing of expansion joints. A thorough petrographic examination can be carried out to determine the ‘freshness’ of the stone, the presence of micro-cracks, or minerals that may cause staining at a later stage.

Stone Type: Limestone


Formation and composition: A sedimentary rock composed predominantly of calcium carbonate. Most limestone is formed by the deposition and compaction of marine fossil debris (e.g. shells, coral and bones) but freshwater and aeolian (wind blown) deposits are also known and available commercially.

Surface finishes: The density of limestone varies considerably and this affects the surface finishes available for different types of limestone. High density limestone (e.g. Jura from Germany) can be processed to produce a ‘satin’ honed finish. Coarser and less dense types of limestone are limited to a sawn or coarse-honed finish.
Appearance: Predominantly white, cream or tan sometimes with golden ‘highlights’ due to the presence of limonite (iron hydroxide). Limestone is also available in blue-grey, grey and black.
Common usage: Paving, internal and external cladding, floor and wall tiles.
Reasons for selection: Limestone is a sensual stone being pleasing to the eye as well as to the touch. It offers a range of subtle pastel and natural colours which blend in with today’s minimalist trend while still imbuing warmth. Most limestone is resistant to salt attack making it a good choice for pool surrounds.
Characteristics to consider: Because limestone is composed of calcium carbonate it is sensitive to acid which can dissolve the stone. On ‘polished’ or fine-honed surfaces this acid attack will leave unsightly etching marks on the surface. Limestone is relatively soft (compared to granite) and this can result in surface wear and loss of polish in high traffic areas – black limestone is particularly sensitive to tracking. Most types of limestone contain linear features (veins) known as stylolites. These features may be lined with clay which can weaken the stone, especially when wet leading to premature failure or surface spalling
Performance evaluation criteria: Water absorption, density, compressive strength, modulus of rupture, resistance to salt attack (for low density stone), dimensional stability, abrasion resistance, petrographic examination.

Stone Type: Travertine


Formation and composition: A sedimentary rock formed by the precipitation of calcium carbonate from mineral springs. The calcium carbonate is often deposited onto vegetation such as moss or algae which plays a part in developing the typical porous nature of the stone.

Surface finishes: Commercial travertine usually has a relatively high density; therefore it usually processed to produce a ‘satin’ honed finish. The material can be used with the pores unfilled or filled with a stable cementitious or polymer filler. Travertine can also be processed with textured finishes such as sandblasted or bush hammered finish.
Appearance: Predominantly white, cream or tan sometimes with subtle golden or blue-grey tones. The appearance of travertine can vary dramatically depending on how it is cut. Cutting travertine across the ‘grain’ highlights the tonal variations in the deposition layers and exposes the large, normally elongated pores. Material slabbed in this fashion is called vein-cut. If the travertine is cut parallel, or along the grain, the variations in the layers are presented as a flowery, blotchy or circular pattern – this slabbing orientation is called cross-cut or fleuri cut.
Common usage: Internal and external cladding, floor and wall tiles.
Reasons for selection: The unique patterning and texture of travertine has been admired for thousands of years. Travertine is generally a dense and durable material that is soft to the touch and stays cool under foot which makes it a good choice for barefoot areas such as bathrooms or pool surrounds.
Characteristics to consider: If used unfilled, the characteristic porous nature of travertine can lead to entrapment of dirt and grime. Although travertine is a relatively strong material, the elongated pores within vein-cut travertine can cause a considerable reduction in flexural strength compared to cross-cut material. Like limestone, travertine is composed of calcium carbonate and is therefore sensitive to acid attack.
Performance evaluation criteria: Water absorption, density, flexural strength and abrasion resistance.

Stone Type: Marble

Formation and composition: A metamorphic rock composed predominantly of calcite formed from limestone after the application of heat and/or pressure. Commercially, the term is also used for types of high density limestone that will take a polish.

Surface finishes: The high density and low porosity of marble allows it to be processed to a high polish. Other surface finishes available are honed, sawn and sandblasted.
Appearance: Typically white, often with some minor veining but also available in colours such as black, blue-grey, red and pink. Marble is generally very fine grained although some types with large grains (+5cm) are available.
Common usage: Paving, internal and external cladding, bench and vanity tops, floor and wall tiles.
Reasons for selection: Its translucent nature and pearly lustre is unique and no other material suggests elegance like marble. The range of materials available allows selection of uniform colours, subtle veining or a dramatic mosaic effect.
Characteristics to consider: Most types of marble are composed predominantly of calcium carbonate and are therefore sensitive to acid attack. Marble is also relatively soft making it sensitive to scratching and surface wear. The use of textured finishes in high traffic areas is likely to polish leading to a reduction in slip resistance. Some types of marble have been known warp when used externally as large format panels.
Performance evaluation criteria: Water absorption, density, compressive strength, flexural strength, dimensional stability, petrographic examination.

Stone Type: Slate


Formation and composition: A fine grained metamorphic rock that has developed a foliation (sheet like layers) due to the pressure imposed upon it. Slate is mainly composed of quartz and muscovite with lesser amounts of chlorite, hematite and pyrite. Other trace minerals that have an effect on the stone’s colour may be present.

Surface finishes: The natural foliation of the slate is used to produce a rough split-face finish. Some slates can also be produced with a honed, sawn or bush hammered finish.
Appearance: Typically various shades of grey although black, green, red and purple materials are also commercially available.
Common usage: Wall, floor and roof tiles, internal and external paving. Massive slates can be processed to produce bench or billiard table tops.
Reasons for selection: The natural split-face finish of slate makes it a relatively simple material to process that is highly slip resistant. Its low porosity and chemically inert composition make it stain resistant and is a popular and durable choice for indoor and outdoor paving.
Characteristics to consider: Some slate contains pyrite which may decay to iron oxide and leave rust stains. Poor quality slates may delaminate (split) or soften with age leading to failure. Many types of slate are not calibrated (processed to an exact thickness) which requires additional work when laying to produce a level surface.
Performance evaluation criteria: Water absorption, density, modulus of rupture, resistance to acid attack.

Stone Type: Bluestone


Formation and composition: Bluestone is a loose term covering a range of stone types that are not easily dressed such as sandstone (classed as a ‘freestone’). In Victoria, basalt is known as bluestone while in South Australia the term refers to a range of metamorphic rocks including schists and siltstone. Porphyry quarried in Queensland could also be classed as bluestone.

Surface finishes: Most types of bluestone are marketed with ‘natural’ split or rock face finishes. Victorian bluestone (basalt) is usually used with a sawn finish. Some bluestone products are also available with honed and sandblasted finishes.
Appearance: Victorian bluestone is black to dark grey-blue while South Australian bluestone is predominantly grey-blue with ‘autumn’ colour highlights. Porphyry is available in grey-blue tones as well as golden autumn colours. Victorian bluestone is characterised by large pores called vesicles but commonly known as ‘cats paws’.
Common usage: Bluestone is processed as cubic material for masonry construction and also as setts or flags for pedestrian and vehicular paving. Victorian bluestone can be sawn into calibrated slabs and tiles for use as paving and cladding.
Reasons for selection: Bluestone is a group of stone materials that is generally considered to be strong, dense, durable and stain resistant. In Victoria and South Australia, bluestone is seen as an integral part of the local history and the earthy colour range is effectively used to blend the contemporary and natural environments.
Characteristics to consider: Most types of bluestone are not calibrated during processing therefore significant thickness variations needs to be taken into account during installation.
Performance evaluation criteria: Water absorption, density, modulus of rupture, secondary mineral content.

August 5, 2016

TRAVERTINE COLORS AND TILE SIZES THAT ARE AVAILABLE HERE IN AUSTRALIA

Travertine colors, finishes, and more

The natural shades of travertine ranges from soft ivory and pale creamy white to rich golden shades of walnut and honey, silvery greens, rustic reds, and deep mocha coffee shades. Since travertine is a natural stone and the colors depend on local mineral and organic materials, the tiles are never a single solid color, although some travertine varieties are more consistent in color. Colors in each tile will vary with mottling and veins or bands of contrasting color throughout the stone. Each stone has unique character and style, although stones quarried from the same area will have enough overall similarity to create a beautiful floor.

 

Travertine Colors

beige travertine tiles

Beige Travertine Tile

  • Walnut – a variety of mid range browns from dark tan to milk chocolate
  • Noce – shades of walnut that range from medium gold to dark coffee
  • Chocolate – deep, rich dark brown
  • Silver – light ivory tiles with a hint of gray that creates a silvered appearance.
  • Philadelphia – earthy, medium range tan colors with a high degree of natural striation
  • Gold – rich shades of golden honey
  • Light – pale cream or ivory
  • Navona – very light beige (almost white) with a rustic, antique appearance
  • Emerald – pale shades with a greenish tinge
  • Emerald Light –  Pale green veins on white background
  • Onyx Light – Honey yellow onyx veins on white background
  • Mina Rustic  – Blend of beige and walnut and has some yellow and black veins. Has more variation comparing the other colors
  • Mina Dark- One tone darker than Beige, it can be described as “Light Walnut”
  • Scabos – a highly variegated degree of colors ranging from light honey to dark rust
  • Durango – cloudy ivory and light khaki tile speckled with tiny black dendrites
  • Red – travertine that contains a high rust content can range from a pale rust to a vibrant scarlet
  • Rosa – a deep rose pink mottled with cream
  • Gray – a heavily striated dark gray travertine
  • Classico – a uniform color and patterning that resembles natural cork
  • Beige – ranging in color from lightest ivory to pale fawn

Travertine Finishes

Tumbled Travertine Tile

Tumbled and Unfilled Travertine

  • Polished – The travertine is smoothed and polished to a shiny, reflective surface similar to marble. This finish is most common in commercial applications.
  • Honed – A honed finish is flat and satiny smooth with a low-shine matte finish. Honed travertine is the most popular choice for home use.
  • Brushed – Brushed travertine has slightly rough texture and a matte finish. More antique and is less slippery compared to honed or polished finish
  • Saw Cut  – A flat, very matte finish with no honing or polish. No further finishing after being cut with the wet saw.
  • Tumbled – Tumbled travertine is the most natural finish, resulting in a highly textured finish with no shine and edges that are rounded with a worn appearance that resembles ancient stone. Tumbled travertine is most often found in outdoor installations.

Travertine Filling

  • Unfilled – Travertine in its naturally porous state with naturally occurring holes.
  • Filled – Most commonly, the porous holes in travertine are filled with a mixture of a hardener like cement and dust byproducts from the cutting and honing process for a perfect color match.

Travertine Tile Thickness

Standard travertine tile thicknesses are 3/8″, 1/2″, 5/8″ for tiles and 1 1/4″ for pavers the recommended thickness varies depending on the type of travertine and the intended purpose.

Custom thickness can be cut to exact measurements, bearing in mind that the thinner travertine is cut, the more its tensile strength diminishes.

Travertine Tile Sizes

Travertine comes in many different sizes ranging from small pieces suitable for mosaic tiles to large-scale tiles suitable for installation in commercial building lobbies. Since travertine is a natural stone and color depends on the influences of local nature and minerals, not every color will be available in every size. It is more difficult to mine large, consistent pieces from some areas.

Some of the more common sizes are:

12″x12″x3/8″
16″x16″x1/2″
16″x16″x3/8″
16″x24″x1/2″
18″x18″x1/2″
24″x24″x1/2″
24″x24″x5/8″
3″x6″x3/8″
4″x4″x3/8″
4″x8″x3/8″
6″x6″x3/8″
8″x16″x1/2″
8″x8″x1/2″
8″x8″x3/8″
12″x12″x1/2″
12″x24″x1/2″
Antique Pattern
French/Villa Pattern
Small Pattern

Patterns are mixes of different sized tiles designed to be used together.

Antique Pattern:

Also known as Meandros pattern, sets include tiles in the following proportions:

1 pcs 16″x24″, 2 pcs 16″x16″, 1 pcs 8″x16″, 2 pcs 8″x8″.

Antique Pattern Tile layout

Antique Pattern Tile Layout

French or Villa or Versailles Pattern:

Villa Pattern sets include tiles in the following proportions:

2 pcs 16″x24″, 6 pcs 16″x16″, 4 pcs 8″x16″, 4 pcs 8″x8″.

Villa Tile Pattern Sample

Villa Tile Pattern Sample

Villa Pattern Tile Layout Sample

Villa Pattern Tile Layout Sample

Small Pattern:

Small Pattern sets include tiles in the following proportions:

1 pc 12”x18”, 2 pcs 12”x12”, 1 pc 6”x12”, 2 pcs 6”x6”

Edge Detail

Brushed & Chiseled Edge Travetine Tile

Brushed & Chiseled Edge Travertine Tile

  • Chiseled Edge – Natural stone with rustic chiseling around the edges. Travertine can be hand or machine chiseled. Machine chiseling is most common because it is less expensive and very consistent. Hand chiseled cuts are more random in size and placement.
  • Tumbled Edge – Tumbling travertine produces a rough, textured finish with rounded corners for a naturally aged appearance.
  • Straight Edge – Sharp 90° corners and edges.
  • Chamfered, eased edge, or beveled – A 90° edge that has been eased by angling tiny portion of the edge to make two 45° angles that fit together.
  • Pillowed Edge – Pillowed edge refers to a rounded bullnose edge all around the tile.
August 3, 2016

Travertine and ALL natural stone, should I seal it? – “How to series”

24x24-Ivory-Travertine-Pavers-Home

One of the most common questions regarding the sealing of tile, grout and natural stone is, “Do we need to seal?” The answer is that all stone and tile products –even porcelain tile –benefits from sealing. There is a broad range of elements that can penetrate or hold to the surface, including grout, dyes, polyester resins, epoxy resins, oil, water, etc.

Many products on the market have been designed to beautify and “protect” the surfaces of stone, tile and grout, including sealers, finishes, color enhancers and waxes. As the name implies, sealers actually seal the surface tight against chemicals, water and other contaminants. Normally, a finish is placed on top of a sealer. Sealers typically are not vapor permeable and can be semi-permanent and hard to repair.

Sealers can be water-based or solvent-based. Most water-based sealers cannot be used outside.

Finishes

Finishes are coatings that incorporate acrylic polymers, synthetic polymerized waxes and natural waxes. These products form a hard, transparent film. They are typically applied to a surface after it has been sealed. The solids content normally dictates cost. Finishes range from 8 to 38% solids content. The higher the solids, the more difficult to use, and the more expensive it is.

Most finishes in high-traffic areas require daily maintenance of cleaning, mopping and restoring with a high-speed buffing. Typically, finishes have a limited life span of a few weeks to one year before complete stripping and re-coating is required. Stripping of sealers and finishes can do much of the damage associated with top coating natural stone.

Finishes are normally used inside away from sun, wind and rain. Typically, finishes are hard to repair and must be stripped or re-coated. They also lack vapor permeability.

Waxes

Waxes are normally comprised of naturally occurring elements such as carnuba, montan, ozokorite and beeswax. These elements are heated and emulsified to desired solids content ranging from 8 to 40%. Waxes are soft materials and require buffing to obtain gloss. Waxes have low durability and may require multiple applications. Most waxes are vapor permeable and can be easily applied and repaired when scratched or damaged.

Color enhancers

These products are topical coatings in the truest sense of the word. Typically, these products are acrylics and modified acrylics with lower solids and lower viscosity. They tend to penetrate more deeply than a traditional topical coating. Color enhancers can also be more durable, allow vapor transmission and many can be used outside in the elements. As with most products, color enhancers are available in both solvent-based and water-based formulas.

Stripping coatings

In most instances, solvent-based coatings are not compatible with water-based coatings. In addition,

it typically takes a solvent-based stripper to remove a solvent-based coating and a water-based stripper to remove a water-based coating. It is important to keep similar chemicals applied to the same surface. Should a mix occur, an adhesion challenge may take place and although it may look and feel correct, the end result will cause the coatings to separate.

Impregnators/penetrating sealers

These products are surface treatments that will not change the natural look of the substrate. Impregnators will not show scratching or scuffing and do not require constant attention to maintain the quality of finish. Re-application of an impregnator can range from six months to 20 years, depending on the manufacturer, substrate and surface location.

Impregnators are typically low molecular weight polymers formulated to penetrate below the surface. To accomplish this feat, monomers are simply hydrolyzed in the presence of solvent or water. The low viscosity allows complete wetting of the particles or fibers within the given substrate. When the carrier of solvent or water evaporates, the impregnator reacts to leave a long-lasting, invisible barrier of protection from the elements.

There are three basic ways the impregnator works. With water-based impregnators, the water evaporates and leaves behind a film. This film changes the angle of contact between liquid and the solid surface that has been treated. The greater the angle of contact between the liquid and the solid, the more difficult it is to penetrate the solid.

The impregnator film also reduces surface tension, making it more difficult for most liquids to penetrate the solid surface. This change in surface tension also creates the “beading” action that customers are so fond of.

With solvent-based impregnators, there is an added benefit of a cross-link phenomenon that creates a “barrier.” This added barrier virtually eliminates any penetration of liquids.

For these three reasons, products that best protect stone and tile against water and oil stains contain complex and unique polymers and co-polymers.

Solvent-based impregnators vs. water-based impregnators

The only way to protect the substrate is to penetrate it with something that will carry the protection into it. The protection can come from silicones, silanes, siloxanes and various polymers and co-polymers. Nevertheless, it has to be carried into the substrate, and it will typically use one of two carriers: solvent or water.

Typically, solvents will allow varied and deeper penetration into the substrate than water. The curing process, which is a result of evaporation, can be adjusted by using different solvents. Solvent-based impregnators can be cross-linked, allow a wider temperature window for application, have better durability, and are typically unaffected by exposure to cold during application, storage and shipment.

Water is hydroscopic and will hold out on the surface. The protection cannot penetrate any deeper than the water will. The protection can only be in place when the water evaporates. For many dense surfaces, like porcelain tile and polished granite, water will not penetrate very deeply (if at all) and the protection is left at the surface with poorer durability over the long term. Any polymer can be emulsified, but unlike solvent-based products, water-based products cannot be cross-linked to give best performance.

Water-based products are typically lower in toxicity and have little or no smell as compared to similar solvent-based products. Contrary to some beliefs, water-based products are no easier to use or apply than comparable solvent-based products. In some instances, they can present difficult challenges when removal is necessary.

Different protection sources

The most common protection sources of an impregnator come from the silicone family and the fluropolymer family. Silicones are any group of semi-organic polymers containing chains of alternate silicon and oxygen atoms, characterized by wide-range thermal stability and used in adhesives, lubricants, protective coatings and synthetic rubber. Silicones can actually last longer that the substrate they have been applied to. Unaffected by outside elements, they can only be damaged by temperatures of +900 to +1,200 degrees F or by exposing them to a very strong caustic solution.

Co-polymers and fluropolymers are relatively new to the tile and stone industry. Usually, these products consist of long-chained molecules that contain fluorine and carbon. Because fluorine is electronegative, it is not found occurring naturally in the earth. Rather, it is always combined with something else. By extracting fluorine and then combining it with carbon, one can achieve many desired properties when such a material is applied to a substrate. These raw materials have been utilized in the fabric and textile industry for many years.

As a rule, silicone-type products repel water very well and are weaker at oil repellency, and fluropolymer-type products are weak at repelling water but good for repelling oil. It is difficult to achieve both, and most products on the market sacrifice in one area or the other. Research will find that just a few products that actually work well at repelling both elements over the long term.

Do not be misled by the unit cost of the product you are considering. There is a wide range of prices on the products available. We suggest using the cost-per-square-meter to determine which product is more expensive. Expect to pay between $60 per litre and covers 10m2 per litre, and another product costs $90 but covers 10m2 per litr. (depends solely on which suburb you shop in)

To ensure that a product will perform as promised, request independent backup for all claims made by any company. It is very simple for manufacturers to supply their products to independent labs for testing. If the results favor the specific needs of an application, then test the products yourself.

Which surfaces benefit?

Surfaces that will benefit include: grout, quarry tile, ceramic tile, some glazed tile, some porcelain tile, marble, granite, travertine, limestone, slate, brick, terrazzo, quartz, sandstone, flagstone, concrete, masonry, saltillo, terra-cotta, cantera and all types of natural and cast tile and stone products.

An impregnator will resist water, oils, grease, mold, mildew, algae, efflorescence, graffiti, grout dyes, epoxy grout film, cement grout film, mortar haze, acid rain, atmospheric dirt, lime deposits, soap scum and other penetrating items. In addition, many impregnators make the surface less slippery, harder, and allow 100% vapor transmission.

It is also important to note that while kitchens and restrooms represent approximately 10% of a facility, they are used by 100% of the occupants and visitors and cause more than 80% of the facility complaints. This is an important factor when considering that these areas typically utilize stone and tile.

Uses for impregnators include but are not limited to: grout release, kitchen floors and counters, showers, baths, driveways, pool areas, garages, restaurants, cafeterias, grocery and meat markets, loading dock areas, exterior walkways (to minimize damage associated with freeze/thaw) and buildings exteriors (to resist weather and acid rain). In addition to residential applications, sealers have been successfully used at hospitals, schools, government facilities, airports, train and bus stations, hotels, quarries, industrial plants, laboratories, service stations, bridge abutments, historical sites and shopping malls.

August 2, 2016

Installation of travertine tiles and pavers – “How to Series”

The following procedure is for the installation of Natural Stone Travertine Tile for Flooring. It may be used over any wood or cement floor that is structurally sound and dry. In new home constructions where plywood is used as a sub floor, it is suggested that an underlayment or backer board needs to be attached to the sub floor to insure rigidity where travertine floors will be installed.

Step 1

Clean area where travertine is to be installed. In the case of smooth painted or varnished floors, it is necessary to sand with a very coarse sand paper to assure a good mastic bond.

Step 2

Lay out the travertine to understand pattern choices. For multi-color travertine, blend tile randomly to give proper blend of colors as color vary from tile to tile.

Installation of travertine tiles

Step 3

Using a notched 10mm notch trowel, hold at a 45° angle to be sure a full ridge is made with the notches. Spread thinset on the floor starting at a far corner so you can back out of the room as your proceed. Spread just enough area so you can reach over it to place the travertine.Spread a good amount of thinset on the floor. Adding or taking away thinset will ensure that all the tiles are evenly set

Step 4

Maintain a grout space between the pieces as recommended by the travertine supplier (3-5mm) depending on the size of the tiles. To do these accurately, use spacers. Travertine may also be laid without joints, in which case edges are then butted against one another, only if the material is honed or polished, however we recommend 2-3mm joint.

Step 5

Each piece of travertine should be firmly pressed into the adhesive to secure a good bond, back buttering of the tile is also recommended.

Step 6

After all travertine is set in place – allow at least 24-36 hours depending on weather conditions, for drying before grouting joints.

Step 7

Travertine tile can be easily cut with a wet saw using a diamond blade.

Grouting and Cleaning

1.Have all equipment and material clean. Clean all joints and surface of the travertine. Applying clear sealer or enhancer is recommended on travertine before grouting, so that the grout color does not penetrate the travertine tiles. Use clear sealer or enhancer as a grout release to insure a clean surface.

Using a Clear Sealer or Enhancer is a personal choice.

2. Add water slowly while mixing to get the texture of damp sand mix grout according to the manufacturer specs, and apply with a grout float to press grout deeply between the joints. Mix only enough grout to be used in about 30 minutes or difficulty will result in hardening in the pail.

3.Apply mix to joints with a grout float making certain that the joint is completely filled with mix.

4.Trowel or wipe off surplus grout from travertine with a damp sponge. Rinse several times with clean water, changing the water as often as necessary so it remains clear. It is very important to do this as you go along.

5.After grout has set hard to the touch, clean surface of travertine and along grout line by rubbing briskly with a clean piece of cloth.

6. Let joints harden for three days.

7.Wash floor completely again by freely applying fresh clean water with sponge on the entire flooring and sponging dry.

Finishing

Applying clear sealer or enhancer is recommended after installation to seal the travertine tiles and the grout lines using the same sealer used as a grout release prior to grouting, wipe off all excess sealer so there is no fogging.

Using the same sealer used as grout release prior to grouting, to seal the floor, apply the 2nd coat on the tiles and grout, wipe of all excess sealer so there is no fogging.

Sealing travertine is necessary, it is a matter of choice – whether you choose to retain the natural beauty of the travertine or apply a chemical sealer that is available in a shiny or matte finish. Sealers may be purchased at retail stone dealers.

HELPFUL HINTS: Do not apply a sealer over wet, waxed or oiled travertine.

1.Apply sealer with a large clean cloth or with a paint pad. Apply in a thin coat. Sealer or enhancer will dry to the touch within two hours, however, it is advisable to stay off the floor for 24 hours.

July 7, 2016

Travertine tiles for bathroom walls and floors

Travertine Tiles For Bathroom

travertine-tiles-for-bathroom-floors-and-walls

If you are looking for ideas for bathroom decoration, you are at the right place. If you are tired of the same look, it is time for a change! If you want to renovate your bathroom decor, you options are endless. You can do a complete renovation or you can take small steps that can change the atmosphere!

travertine-tiles-for-bathroom-floors

You can use natural stone to change the floor and wall tiles of your bathroom. Travertines tile is mostly used for these purposes. It has a smooth finish making it very nice to step on it bare feet perfect for bathroom floor. When using travertine tiles in the bathroom many people prefer on the floor and walls. This combination offers a more luxurious and attractive look. The best decoration idea for the bathroom is when you match floor with walls. You can apply on all four walls or you can just do half section of the wall if you desire. If you are on a budget partial applications are more suitable. You don’t have to sacrifice the good looks of travertine even on a budget.

travertine-tiles-for-bathroom-floors

Changing the cabinets is another great idea to transform the ambience. If you have a small bathroom, try to choose lighter tones for your cabinets, darker color tends to close up the space. This may look like a small change but when you upgrade the cabinets you will see how different your bathroom will look. Adding travertine countertops will only enhance the new cabinets. Bringing the natural elements to your bathroom will create a chic and elegant space.

Another type of travertine used in bathroom is shower tile. Travertine is proper for wet areas and that make it perfect as a shower tile. It offers you a non-slip surface. It is a very important feature for shower tiles. You can find travertine tiles with many different colors and patterns, there are many options to choose from.

If you have smaller budget but still want to change look of your bathroom you can try tile backsplash or mosaics. It is used as the border of bathtub or sink. This is a small change but very effective when decorating and upgrading your bathroom!

Travertine floor tiles for indoor use

Travertine Tiles for Indoor Use

travertine-floor-tiles-for-indoor-use

 

Travertine is used for many different purposes as you can see throughout history. Travertine Stones are used in many top buildings in Rome. They used this natural stone in walls, floorings and baths. Today this stone is used for indoor and outdoors such as floor, shower and wall tiles, pool deck, patio, driveway. Travertine comes in many colors making it easy to be used anywhere and adapts to any décor.

Travertine stones are member of the limestone family. Been from the same family it provides the same durability. Generally breaks, corrosion and cracking are major problems on flooring. This always comes to mind when choosing flooring tiles. You don’t need to worry about it anymore. Travertine Stone is very durable and you will not experience these problems. So the prices may seem higher than other materials, but it will definitely be worth it.

travertine-tiles-for-indoor-use

This natural stones looks amazing on the outside in its natural environment. Now image bringing those elements inside of your house? You can use in different parts of your home; the natural look will create a peaceful and chic atmosphere.

Natural stone tiles are becoming popular every year. Everyday preferred by more people. Once you decorate your home with this Stones, you will see how influenced the overall atmosphere of your home will become. It can be used in flooring, bathroom, shower tile, stairs, walls or you can use as accent. If you are still undecided, you can try in smaller spaces first and then you can incorporate throughout the house.

July 5, 2016

Cleaning travertine Tiles & Pavers DO’S and DON’TS

Cleaning Travertine Tiles: Do’s & Don’ts

Travertine Bathroom Tiles

Use the following Do’s and Don’ts to learn how to clean travertine, help you avoid bad habits and establish a safe method for travertine maintenance.

Transparent background tick  Blot up spills immediately. As noted above, travertine tile is much more sensitive than granite to acidic substances like wine, coffee, fruit juices, tomato sauce, sodas, toiletry products and cleaning products that can etch (dull) the finish (on both shiny “polished” and matte “honed” finishes) or stain the surface.

Transparent background tick    Clean surfaces using a sponge or soft cloth. The only cleaning agents you should use on a regular basis are hot water to wipe up crumbs and small messes and then a stone cleaner once daily (or as needed for bigger messes). Buff dry with a cotton cloth or chamois. Using a mild soap occasionally (3-4 times a year) for cleaning travertine won’t harm the stone, but consistent use will dull the surface with a soap film.

Transparent background tick    Use coasters under all glasses, bottles and cans. Bottles, cans and glasses with acidic drinks may etch the polish or damage the surface leaving a “glass ring.”

So make cleaning travertine easy and avoid expensive marble polishing and marble restoration by treating your travertine surfaces like fine wood furniture. Always use coasters… no matter what.

Transparent background tick    Use a tray for toiletry products in the bathroom. A decorative tray can look very nice and it will protect the surface from the damaging chemicals contained in many toiletry products.

Transparent background tick    Dust mop your travertine floor tiles regularly.   Use a clean, dry, non-treated dust mop. Be careful using a vacuum cleaner. Worn parts or grit jammed by the wheels may scratch the surface. Also, mop regularly using a specialized stone floor cleaner.

TIP: Travertine polishing on floor tile makes a very slick surface, so go with a “honed”, “flamed” or “tumbled travertine” floor tile. It will look warm and inviting and hide dust and dirt better.

Also, travertine’s distinctive voids and holes should be filled upon installation to keep dirt from accumulating.

Transparent background tick    Use doormats inside and out along with runners and area rugs. Grit, dirt and sand carried in by our shoes are abrasive and will wear and scratch travertine floor tiles.

delete-dust-bin-erase-eraser-remove-icon-1 Use generic, store-bought cleaning products of ANY kind. Cleaning travertine with products bought at your local store that contain acids, alkalis, and other chemicals can etch or damage the countertop or tile surface or degrade the sealant leaving the stone more vulnerable to staining.

It may not happen right away and trying to save money by using cheap, generic surface cleaners only ensures that you’ll spend a lot  more time and money on your travertine care in the long-run performing expensive repairs or travertine restoration.

delete-dust-bin-erase-eraser-remove-icon-1 Use vinegar, ammonia, lemon or orange for cleaning travertine.  As noted above, a sponge with hot water and a stone cleaner are the only agents to use.

delete-dust-bin-erase-eraser-remove-icon-1 Use a generic bathroom, tub & tile or grout cleaner. The powders and even the “soft” creams contain abrasives that will scratch and dull the surface.

Use only products specially formulated for cleaning travertine like the STONE CARE products recommended.

delete-dust-bin-erase-eraser-remove-icon-1 Sit or stand on your countertops. Unlike laminate countertops, travertine countertops are not flexible and they DO NOT have a plywood backing, so too much weight in one spot could cause a crack.

delete-dust-bin-erase-eraser-remove-icon-1 Place toiletry products directly on your countertop surface.  Hair products, toothpaste, perfumes, colognes, nail products, creams, lotions, and potions may stain or damage the surface or etch the finish leaving a dull spot or ring. Protect your countertop by placing these products on a decorative tray like they do in fancy hotels!

Natural Stone Tiles

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