How To Seal A Travertine Floor From Becoming Stained and Etched.

Travertine Tile Sealing Tips

By Troy Cantini

Travertine is one of those stones that should definitely be sealed.  Unsealed travertine will absorb dirt, stains and contaminates and make cleaning up these embedded stains extremely difficult. Sealing the porous travertine tiles will prevent these stains from being absorbed by the travertine.

how to seal a travertine tile floor

Travertine is a somewhat dense stone that is not as porous as slate or saltillo but much more porous than granite and marble.  Stains in travertine can be extremely difficult to remove. Often a poultice is required to draw out these embedded stains. In other cases the stains can never be removed and the travertine is permanently stained. Travertine can also be etched and discolored with certain acidic products like bleach and vinegar. these etch marks can ruin the look of the travertine.

Sealing travertine is the best way to protect it from becoming stained and etched.  Sealed travertine can still be stained and etched when stains or acidic products are allowed to sit on the sealed travertine. It is still important to promptly clean up all spills and stains on the travertine as soon as they happen. The sealer will give you time to wipe away the spills and stains before they discolor the travertine. In cases of extremely stained or etched travertine a stone restoration company may be able to polish the travertine to remove these discolorations but it is better to seal and protect the travertine before it becomes stained.

travertine darkening when wet

While some dense stones like granite will not absorb a sealer travertine tiles will definitely absorb a sealer and therefore should be sealed.  You can see from the picture how travertine will darken up when wet. Also the travertine tile will stay dark even after water has been wiped off of the surface of the travertine tiles. The travertine will eventually dry and lighten up but this indicates how porous travertine tiles really are.

It is important to use a quality sealer to protect your travertine tile floor and the grout lines.  Cheap sealers will not be fully absorbed by the travertine tile stone. Also cheap sealers will not provide the maximum protection necessary for your travertine tile floor installation. You should try to use only a quality sealer with the latest microbond sealer technology. These newer microbond sealers will provide the maximum protection and they will also be fully absorbed by the travertine tile.

Stonetech Bulletproof is a premium sealer with the latest microbond technology.  This type of sealer is also water based so it will not have harsh odors and does not require a respirator to apply like some solvent based sealers. A gallon of sealer will typically cover approximately 600 sq/ft of travertine tile and grout.

applying sealer to travertine floor tiles

You can apply the travertine tile sealer with a cotton towel and just wipe it on the travertine tile floor.  Use a liberal amount of sealer and ensure that the travertine tile floor is fully saturated with the sealer. Do not allow the sealer to dry on the travertine tiles so apply additional sealer to any areas that you see begin to dry up.

It is important that the travertine tile floor is fully saturated with sealer and no areas dry out.  Allow the sealer sit on the travertine tiles for 5-10 minutes for the sealer to be fully absorbed by the travertine tiles. Work in only about 100 sq/ft areas at a time and constantly watch and monitor the area being sealed to ensure that the sealer does not dry on the travertine tile surface.

removing sealer haze off travertine tiles

After you have allowed the sealer to sit on the travertine tiles then it is important to wipe up all the sealer residue from the travertine tile floor.  Paper towels or terry clothes work great to absorb and remove the excess sealer. You should wipe away all the sealer from the travertine tile surface and the grout lines. You do not want any sealer residue to sit on the tile surface or pool up in the grout lines. Continue wiping away the sealer from the travertine tile floor until you are sure that there is no trace of sealer residue on the surface of the travertine tiles.

sealed travertine tile floor

After you have wiped away the sealer residue from the tile surface you will see that the travertine tile floor tiles look darker.  This is normal but there should not be any sealer residue left on the tile surface. If you see that some sealer residue has hazed up on the tile surface then you can reapply some sealer to reactivate the sealer and remove this sealer haze. After the sealer dries the travertine should lighten up to its original color.

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