Removing Streaky Travertine Sealer
I installed polished travertine flooring (Jinshan Carmel P/F) which my installer sealed with an unpolished sealer.
The results were streaked even though he used a sponge as well as a paint brush. How do we solve the streaking problem?
We bought the sealer from LOWE's and this was the sealer they said we should use.
However after it was applied I read on the bottle that it was for unpolished stones. Now what do we do?
Travertine tile is not as absorbent as most people (including most salespeople) think. When travertine flooring is polished
it is essentially non-absorbent.
So, usually it doesn't need sealing and in fact, often cannot
be sealed... meaning the sealer simply won't absorb into the travertine, dries on top and leaves a streaky mess.
That's why you always want to water test
any stone surface to see if it even needs sealing and if it does then apply sealer only to a left-over or sample tile or to a small area first.
Too late now I know, but for future reference. To remove the sealer
clean the travertine tile with acetone. This won't harm the travertine and should remove the sealer.
Pour a bit of acetone on a small area and agitate with a soft bristle brush. Let it sit for a few minutes while agitating, then wipe clean and dry completely with a clean cloth.
Again, test a small area first. If it works, do the whole floor. If the acetone doesn't do it, use methylene chloride.Obviously
you don't need to seal your floor. If the sealer won't absorb, neither will anything else. True
, there are different types of sealers, some that are more effective on (or "for") polished and/or dense stones, but in general an impregnating sealer can be used on any stone (porous enough to need sealing) no matter the type of surface finish.
But again, I wouldn't worry about sealing it.
A sealer only slows down the rate of absorption so you have more time to clean up a spill. It doesn't provide absolute protection.
And since polished travertine tiles are near impossible to stain anyway, why bother especially when it will be difficult to get any sealer to absorb and you may just end up right back where you are now. Another FYI...
you should not seal floor tile or wall installations for at least 3 weeks after
intallation to let the stone and grout dry out completely. Also, make sure (after several cleanings) that it is free of dust and dirt. You don't want to trap moisture
under the sealer and a dust/dirt free floor simply allows for better sealer coverage.
You may want to check out our Cleaning Marble Secrets e-book
to find out how to properly maintain your travertine flooring. (Travertine and marble are essentially the same for maintenance purposes)
Obviously, advice from Lowe's won't cut it. Some salespeople at big box stores can be very knowledgeable, however, there are many myths and lots of bad advice regarding stone and travertine maintenance passed around by stone "pros" even, so expecting expert advice from Home Depot, etc. is a stretch.