Why and How to Seal Travertine Tile
Posted by TOA's Blog Team on Mar 30th 2023
If you spend much time exploring Travertine to find the perfect pattern for your kitchen or bath project, you will most certainly care about this next step: sealing your Travertine tile to ensure that it looks as beautiful as it did when you first saw it!
Here are insights from the Tile Outlets product experts about how to ensure that your Travertine looks beautiful for years to come.
Oh, and by the way, you'll find this advice relevant for most types of stone including marble and granite - not just Travertine.
Why Seal Travertine Tile?
Let's start with the most important question: why bother sealing?
From 13 Facts About Travertine Tile, you’ll remember that Travertine is a natural and porous stone.
As such, it needs to be sealed to protect its natural beauty (not to mention your investment) so it doesn't absorb liquids – think red wine – and become permanently stained.
Sealing means that you don’t lose what originally attracted you to the stone. A sealer acts as a barrier between the stone and potential stains.
When Should a Sealer Be Applied to Travertine Tile?
Sealing Travertine is very easy and should be done during installation and periodically thereafter – approximately every three to five years, depending on usage and traffic, as well as the products used to clean your surfaces after use. Harsh chemicals, for example, can prematurely wear away the sealer.
Consider setting a calendar reminder for yourself so you don't forget to periodically reseal your Travertine tile.
What is the Difference Between Enhancing and Natural Sealers?
You have several sealer options available to choose from available from a home center or tile and stone supply center. The most common are Enhancing and Natural sealers.
- Enhancing sealers darken the stone and give it a ‘wet’ look.
- Natural sealers offer the same protection without changing the stone’s appearance.
What Products Will You Find at Tile Outlets of America for Sealing Travertine?
When you visit Tile Outlets of America, you'll find not only an amazing selection of first quality and in-stock tile and stone (as well as kitchen and bath cabinets, vanities and Luxury Vinyl Flooring products) but also a full assortment of tile and stone installation products, tools and supplies.
>> See Ready to Seal Stone? Here are the Types of Stone Sealers Available
How Do You Apply a Sealer to Travertine?
A sealer can be applied to Travertine using a sponge, brush, paint pad, cotton towel or sprayer.
Any sealer that has not been absorbed by the stone in 5 minutes should be removed using an absorbent paper or micro-fiber towel.
Allow at least thirty minutes of drying time between applications if two or more coats are applied. After the final coat, wait two to three hours.
Test the sealer by putting water droplets on the stone; if you notice no water being absorbed, the Travertine has been successfully sealed!
Although a sealed floor can be walked on two hours after applying the sealer, you should typically plan on twenty-four hours to completely cure the surface. Definitely keep it dry for at least twelve hours.
Don't Seal Stained Stone!
Before you seal, make sure your original surface has no stains! If you seal a stained stone, the stain remains forever.
Similarly, your subfloor or installation surface needs to be clean and free of debris prior to installation. If items such as screws, nails, washers, even loose coins get stuck in the thin-set, they may rust and stain the stone from the back.
How to Clean Stone
Before sealing Travertine tile, be sure to clean it with the appropriate products.
In terms of Travertine and stone, you can choose from several products specifically made for cleaning stone.
Be aware that all stone cleaners should be PH neutral. Be sure to always read the label so you can confirm that the cleaning product is appropriate for stone.
When you shop at Tile Outlets, you'll find stone cleaners from Aqua Mix. More specifically, we carry a Concentrated Stone & Tile Cleaner and Stone Clean and Shine.
Be Sure to Seal Any Type of Stone Tile
Although we recommend that Travertine be sealed given how porous it is, it makes sense to seal any natural stone surface - particularly Marble, Limestone, Onyx, Quartz and Granite in addition to Travertine. Yes, even Granite is porous, although considerably less so than Travertine. Without being sealed, it will start to look dirty after use.
For all natural stone surfaces, you will want to quickly clean up any liquid spills and especially those from red wine, Kool-Aid, soda or paint…
Would You Like to Learn More About Sealing Travertine Tile?
Here are two resources to refer to about how to seal Travertine tile:
- How to Seal Travertine Tile on eHow
Which type of sealer do you prefer for your Travertine? We'd love to hear!
Note: We originally published this article on January 23, 2014, and have updated it.