We put the wrong sealant on our new honed travertine floors - what should we do now? [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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04-24-2011, 02:27 PM

We recently had installed honed travertine in our kitchen, bathroom and laundry room. The installers applied one coat of a matt sealant which left the floor dull and blotchy. I wasn't happy with the result and my husband (trying to be a good guy) went out and bought a semi-gloss sealant from Dupont. Although the product said that it wasn't recommended for honed floors, we didn't think our floors were honed so we went ahead and applied two coats. Now we have streaks and the floors do not have a new look about them. What do you recommend that we do? We want to have floors that have a small shine to them, but most importantly, we want to do what's best for the huge investment that we have already purchased. Thank you for your help -- we really need it!!!!!!!

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Tool Guy - Kg
04-24-2011, 02:37 PM
Welcome to the forum, MaryAnn! :wave:

Let's start by moving you over to the Cleaning, Restoration, and Sealing Forum.

We like to get specific around here to give the best advice. Tell us exactly what sealer the installers used and how they applied it. Did they apply it and let it dry? Did they apply it, let it soak for 5 minutes or so, then buff it completely dry before it evaporated. Multiple applications? Or.....?

Then tell us which Dupont sealer you used on top of this and how you applied it. Was it this sealer (http://www2.dupont.com/Stone_Tech_Professional/en_US/products/Transform/semi_gloss_finishing_sealer.html) by any chance?


04-24-2011, 02:48 PM
Bubba, thank you for answering so promptly! The installer applied a sealant from Stone Tech. He applied one coat the day after he installed the tile (we have virtually no grout lines, so I think that was okay), and he let it dry naturally.
We didn't use the product that you mentioned in your post because our bottle doesn't say "Stone Tech" on it. Ours says "Du Pont Semi Gloss Sealer & Finish". It mentions that it is great for slate, saltillo, textured limestone and textured travertine. Thanks for any help offered! Also, how do I move to another forum?

Tool Guy - Kg
04-24-2011, 03:01 PM
I've already moved your thread to the other forum and left you a link. :)

Okay, the contractor used a sealer from StoneTech and didn't buff it dry. StoneTech makes several sealers and we should get more specific. Is there a bottle laying around? You described what they used as a "matte" sealer. Did it change the look of the travertine in any way? And was the sealer applied before or after grouting?


04-24-2011, 03:13 PM
I'm not sure of the exact sealer -- I will call tomorrow morning and get the exact name. The installer applied the sealant after grouting and the sealant did change the appearance of the stone. After the installer put the grout on and cleaned the floor, the floor looked beautiful. It had a small shine in parts and (perhaps because the floor was wet from when he cleaned the grout) the colors stood out. After applying the matte sealant the next day, the colors were dulled somewhat and it didn't look like an even application. It seemed like the sealant was absorbed in some parts more than others. Also, in a few spots where the sun shone, it looked like there were swipe marks (not all over, just in a few spots). Thanks!

04-24-2011, 05:17 PM
Did you tell the installer that did the sealing you wanted a finish on the stone?If not i would think he used an impregnating sealer,maybe even an enhancer.These will be mostly impossible to remove.Fortunately the matte sealer will be easy.Dupont has a sealer remover,and almost any high alkaline cleaner will remove those finishes.You can go to their website to be sure.

As far as having more sheen,if the stone is cleaned well, and you use a cleaner with surfactants it will tend to have a sheen,also an enhancer sometimes helps,but test first.We don't recommend topical finishes on stone like that,but it can be done.Reason being there are soft and hard spots in the stone and getting an even finish is almost impossible unless you use something like Stone Glamor.But then it's too shiny.

04-24-2011, 10:17 PM
Thank you, Dave, for your reply. I want to understand your post better. I'll find out tomorrow whether or not the installer used an impregnating sealant. If he did, you say that it will be almost impossible to take out. Will that be a problem if we use a sealant removal for the semi gloss which my husband applied?

Also, once we remove the sealant, what do we need to do next? You stated that you don't recommend topical finishes - what type of sealant should we use to protect our floors? Thanks for your help!

Miracle Sealants Tech
04-25-2011, 11:47 AM
Most likely that DuPont product is a coating of some sort. It says on the label it is a semi-gloss product, therefore it is not a penetrating sealant. From the directions you have provided and the materials they mention this product to be used on would reinforce that it is a top coat.

What I would ask you to do is to find out if it is water or oil based as well as finding out if it is an acryllic or polyurethane or what type of product it is. As there should be a stripper for it. Miracle Sealnts offers two outstanding strippers the Mira Strip for a solvent based coating and H2O Strip for a water based coating.

Once you have the product removed, I would recommend sealing the travertine with just a penetrating sealer, which it sounds like it had been already. That being the first sealant that left your travertine looking the same way it did before the sealant was applied (dull and blotchy). See that is how a honed travertine is suppoed to look and the challenge in trying to (increase the gloss) is to not polish the travertine too much to where it now has to much gloss. So depending on how much gloss you are looking to achieve Miracle Sealants offers polishing compounds (for a high gloss look) or for a flatter, softer patina simply maintaining your travertine with the correct product that will increase the luster of the stone everytime you use the maintenance cleaner may be a better choice. Once you have the stone stripped and are assured that the stone has a penetrating sealer that is still functioning on it, you can maintain it with a product called Mira Soap produced by Miracle Sealants. The Mira Soap is simply diluted into your cleaning bucket and mopped down and left to dry. No rinsing is needed. Each time this process is completed the patina on your stone will increase ever so slightly and provide you with more control of the amount of gloss you are desiring to achieve on the travertine.


04-25-2011, 12:23 PM
The StoneTech line says Dupont on the front of the bottle so the Dupont product you used most likely was StoneTech.

This is a sample of the product mentioned above to take a topical, gloss sealer off.


As far as what the installer used, make sure you get that information as it can be an important piece of the puzzle. If you will not be using a topical sealer, you will be using an impregnating one. It really depends on what you want the final product to look like. If you want a deeper color, you may want to use a product like Dupont's Enhancer or Enhancer Pro. If you want to keep the look of the stone, you would use something like BulletProof.

Again, this is all based on what's on there now.

04-26-2011, 10:59 PM
Thank you for the useful information! The installer still hasn't got back to me about the type of sealant that was used. If it was an impregnating sealant, would it be harmful to the floors if we apply another impregnating sealant after we strip the floors? I feel like regardless of what the installer used, I would like to reseal the floors just to make sure that they are sufficiently protected. (I'm worried that the sealant remover might also remove some of the impregnating sealant.) Also, if it is okay to reseal the floors with an impregnating sealant, can I use an enhancer this time around?

In addition, I have found a company which would strip the floors and then lightly buff them with honing dust to get the even, consistent soft shine which I was hoping to get when my floors were first sealed. Is this a viable option if I want a consistent soft shine, but I don't want to use a topical solution? Or, is this unnecessary -- can I get the consistent patina by just using Mira Soap or another similar cleaning product? Thanks again!!!!