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Sealers and Cleaners
How to select and use sealer for natural stone tiles and pavers
It is always a good idea to use a sealer on your travertine tiles or other natural stone tiles. Sealing and cleaning tiles properly will help with appearance retention and maintenance for years to come. Once natural stone is sealed it's protected from everyday spills.
It is not a good idea to use most general purpose cleaners which may include; acidic and alkaline solutions, abrasives, ammonia or bleach can break down the grout and damage the tiles. By sealing your tile you will help prevent that.
Here Are the Basics
There are 3 levels of sealer based on foot traffic: light, moderate, heavy duty. The application process is the same for tumbled travertine, honed and filled travertine and brushed and chiseled travertine. Regardless of the finish travertine tiles are porous and should be sealed for protection against penetrating staining agents, to enhance color and increase long term appearance retention.
LIGHT--indoor, light traffic area, bedroom, vanity, living room
MODERATE-moderate-indoor, family room, kitchen, dining, game room
HEAVY DUTY-heavy duty-indoor/outdoor. Busy family room, patio, pool deck, landscape, walkway
There are also two types of sealer-water based and solvent based. The water based type will enhance the color slightly but leave your travertine looking natural and not shiny. Solvent based sealers also enhance but usually leave the natural's stone tiles looking glossier and slightly darker. This also brings out the many hidden colors of the tile, such as in subtle colors like Patara Light, Tusany and Leonardo or creating more intensity in rich colors like Scabas, Golden Walnut and Cappadocia
Spread rate- The sealer you buy will have a spread rate on the can, but this is only a general estimate. The spread rate depends on porosity, finish and amount of grout lines. Since you only need to seal every few years its best to buy a bit more and save it, for touch up.
The last job I sealed was for an 18x18 tumbled travertine tile called Medium River. (See the photo)
The sealer is NOT toxic but does release a slight chemical odor while installing. So a mask is always a good idea
- make sure the surface is clean, dry and free of dust and particulates.
- Keep area well-ventilated during application and until the surface is dry.
- DO NOT DILUTE YOUR SEALER.
- MAKE SURE THAT THE TILE OR PAVER IS INSTALLED PROPERLY AND TOTALLY FREE OF DEBRIS, DUST OR SOIL PARTICULATES AND THAT THE GROUT IS CURED AND DRY. IF YOU SEAL IN DIRT IT'S PERMANENT.
- Apply liberally in an even coat using a paint pad, roller, brush or even a pump-up garden sprayer. A power sprayer is a no, due to over spray.
- Allow sealer to cure and sit for 15–30 minutes; denser stone may require more time for sealer to penetrate. During this time, distribute excess sealer over entire area to ensure even penetration. Do not allow excess to dry on your tile.pe excess away with a clean towel, dry, white and preferred cotton but not terry cloth like as to not leave lint or small fibers.
- A second coat may be needed for more porous surfaces Wait for at least 1-2 hours before the next coat.
- Sealer will usually cure by 72 hours depending on the ambient climate and area covered. You can walk on the tile within a few hours. However for best results, it's recommended to wait at least 6 hours. Up to 10 hours for heavier traffic.