How To Seal Travertine Tile
One of the most durable floors that can be installed in a home is travertine. Travertine tile not only offers some texture to a room and tones of stone that create a nice visual appeal, but it is also remarkably easy to install and maintain it. This is especially true if the tile is sealed as the final stage of the installation process. You may also need to periodically seal travertine tile as it ages to keep its low maintenance benefits. Here are the steps that you're going to want to follow.
Step #1a: Test Your Travertine Tile For Pre-Sealing.
Not every travertine tile actually needs to be sealed. If it has been polished already, then there's a good chance that the initial sealing has already been done. You can test this by putting a few dabs of water on one of your tiles. Let the water stay there for about 5 minutes and then dry the tile. If the stone stays a dark color for more than about 15 minutes, then you'll want to go to Step #1b. Otherwise you can go to Step #4 right away.
Step #1b: Seal The Tiles Before Grouting.
You'll want to apply a clear sealer to your travertine tile before starting the grouting process. If the sealant isn't in place, then the color of the grout can actually seep into the stone itself. You can seal it with a matte finish or a glossy finish depending on what your personal preferences happen to be. Just make sure that the sealant works with the tile.
Step #2: Make Sure Your Tiles Are Dry Before Sealing.
Any moisture in the tile will prevent the sealant from performing as it should. This means the grout color can then still get into the tile even though it was sealed. Allow your tile to dry for at least 24 hours before applying any sealant if you suspect that the tile is wet. Waxed tile should have the wax removed before the sealing process. Oils on the tile should also be removed. If you need to seal an existing travertine floor that has been used for more than 1 year: You will need to thoroughly clean this floor. It will have collected grease and other materials that are difficult to remove. Apply a cleaning solution to the floor, mop it once, and then apply a cleaning solution a second time. You'll then need to scrub the floor to get out as much grime as possible. You may need to repeat this cleaning process 3-5x depending on the age of the tile.
Step #3: Apply The Sealant As Instructed.
Each stone sealant has specific instructions from the manufacturer which must be followed. Do this and then allow the sealant to penetrate into the stone for at least 24 hours. The tile will be dry to the touch within a couple of hours, but wait until the next day to grout the tile.
Step #4: Seal a Second Time After Grouting.
Once you've allowed the grout to cure properly, which typically takes about 3 days for the joints to harden, then you're ready to begin the secondary sealing process. You'll want to use the same sealant that you used before, but this time you can apply it over the entire floor, counter, or wall – including the grout. You'll want to wipe away any excess sealant to prevent the stone from “fogging” on you during the sealing process. Using a soft cloth to evenly spread the sealant along the tile and grout is also beneficial.
Step #5: Seal The Grout Lines Specifically.
Once you've given a coat of sealant to your travertine tile and grout and it has been allowed to dry for 24 hours, you'll want to apply one more coat to your grout lines. Use a roller applicator to trace the lines of the grout between your tiles. Wipe away any excess sealant that gets onto your tile right away to prevent an inconsistent surface.
Step #6: Buff And Remove Streak Marks [Optional].
Sometimes too much sealant can be placed onto the travertine tile. When this occurs, it will typically come off if you buff the tile with a soft cloth. If the streaks remain, then add some fresh sealant to your soft cloth and repeat the buffing process. Continue buffing the tile until the streaks disappear and you don't have any excess sealant sitting on your tile. If you leave sealant on the tile after buffing, you will need to repeat this step once again. Travertine tile must be sealed in order for it to maintain its look and increase its durability. Sometimes the tile is sealed by the manufacturer, but at some point you'll also need to apply your own sealant to maintain the floor. Follow these steps and your travertine will always look like it is in the best condition possible.
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