Filling Holes in Travertine Floor

by Marilyn
(Chicago,Ill)

QUESTION:

I have travertine floor tile in my guest bathroom as well as the tub surround and separate shower.


It has been installed for 5 years and the floor tile now has some deep holes.

How should they be filled and what should it all be sealed with so this won't happen again?

ANSWER:

Travertine floor tiles naturally have holes of various sizes, as you may or may not know.

non-sanded grout is usually used for travertine filler because typically the holes aren't very wide or big and this type of grout won't scratch the tile surface.... very important on a polished travertine or even a honed finish.

Now, I'm assuming that for some reason these holes were never filled or the original grout has come out and they are not from damage of some sort.

Also, you didn't say if the travertine tile was polished, honed or tumbled?

I'm guessing it isn't polished... not good on a shower or bathroom floor.

If honed (flat, smooth, no shine) then use non-sanded grout to fill the travertine floor tile holes. Same if indeed polished.

If tumbled, non-sanded grout is still fine unless the holes are fairly large (greater than 1/4") and deep as you note, then you should probably use sanded grout.

Sanded grout is typically used for wider gaps and to blend better with more rustic surface finishes like tumbled travertine tiles.

I wouldn't use the sanded grout on honed or polished even if the holes are huge... you may scratch the surface.

You can use non-sanded grout on larger gaps/holes and on tumbled travertine too, but it may shrink some and you'll need to re-apply until you completely fill the holes and have a tight fit.

Sealing Travertine

Sealing will not "prevent" whatever has caused the holes to appear. Sealing stone does only one thing... improve the stain-resistance by dramatically decreasing the rate of absorption of any stone.

The risk of stains on a bathroom floor is much less than a kitchen, but I'd suggest using these recommended marble & granite sealers.

SenGuard Sealer is currently the most advanced, durable and top performing product on the market.

Risk of staining in a shower or on the tub surround is very small unless you like to drink coffee and dye your hair in there, so sealing a travertine shower isn't really necessary. And sealers don't protect against etching.

And if you do have polished travertine tile, then it won't absorb a sealer anyway, so it's futile to try. Of course, it won't absorb anything else either or stain.

But if you decide to seal your honed or tumbled travertine floor tile, then a single properly applied coat of the SCP or SenGuard will be fine.

You may also consider sealing with color-enhancing sealer, which will seal and darken the color a bit giving the travertine a 'wet look.'

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granite countertops
by: Anonymous

your information about granite is good and nice....it's very useful to me....

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Thanks
by: Anonymous

Thanks you answered my question...

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Pits in Glossy Travertine Bathroom Floor
by: Anonymous

Tile was laid perfectly and no problem with grout. After 20 years have noticed small pits in the center of some tiles.

Can they be fixed.?

==== Countertop Specialty comment:

Travertine has naturally occurring holes that are filled with grout upon installation. Perhaps after 20 years some of the grout has broken out of some holes.

If so, then adding grout (carefully to not scratch the polish) to the holes will fix it. However....

If the pits are more like chips in the surface or pea-sized (or smaller) holes, then it may be best to fill these with a clear acrylic Pit & Chip Repair gel.

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