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Old 02-23-2005, 10:37 PM   #1
mrsmiley
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Questions about cleaning, sealing and grouting unfilled travertine

I am currently finishing up a large project of tumbled unfilled travertine. The travertine has some sort of sealer on it already. To date I have purchased no sealing products. I have four questions.

1. The cleaning of thinset resedue is taking a ling time. It leaves a white film behind when it is scrubbed off and wiped up, and any unfilled sections (holes) that were contaminated are a bear to get clean. It is coming clean but takes a long time. Any tips or suggestions.

2. The guy at the tile supply store said to seal the stone tiles twice with TEC
Guard All invisible Penetrating sealer prior to grouting and then to seal everything again after grouting. Is this a reasonable thing to do?

2. B My wife would like to use one of the "color enhancing" sealers because the stone looks so good when it is wet. (not to mention the thinset film in the holes disapears) The web site instructions from Tec mention things getting darker after multiple coats, so I wonder if it will be a problem to use this type of sealer twice before grouting and once after? Or should I use it only on the last coat?

3. Since the stones are already sealed on their face, will the sealers be compatable with each other?

4. Finally any hints on grouting without filling the holes?

Thanks,
Steve

Last edited by mrsmiley; 02-23-2005 at 11:20 PM.
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Old 02-24-2005, 04:47 AM   #2
Davestone
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I'm not familiar with that sealer, but it says invisible, so i don't believe it will darken the stone.You don't say if it's polished or honed, by your description, i can't tell, but trav.,doesn't usually come sealed.If it's honed sometimes at an angle it loooks shiney, almost a semi polish.I don't like this myself, the manuf. keep overhoning it and it won't accept a sealer very well.When you set stone, keep a water sponge handy to clean it as you go.Now that the thinset is harg, you'll have to pick away at it, but if it's just in the holes, and not around them, maybe you won't see it wants it's grouted.We generally grout in the holes to support them,so they don't break away.I like Aquamix enhancer pro, but it does darken the stone, very well, so test a piece first. If you enhance it first, you'll need a second coat, cause the grouting tends to wear off the finish a little, in fact i do it like that to creatively semi enhance stone sometimes.
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Old 02-24-2005, 04:57 AM   #3
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Hi There,

While I agree with Dave about the overhoned or polished materials not accepting an enhancing sealer I wonder whether your travertine had surface sealer applied to it.

Can you tell us what type of travertine it is and where you bought it?

We'll check into and let you know.
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Old 02-24-2005, 10:00 AM   #4
mrsmiley
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Thanks for the replies. The travertine is a versi noche pattern that was imported directly from Turkey by a company called west coast flooring. It is unfilled, has tumbled edges, it is honed to a polish on top, and I guess it is pre-sealed, because the thinset does not stick to the top. I am thinking that they may have used a color enhancing sealer because the polished tops are much darker than the unpolished bottoms.

My wife really likes the holes because many of them look like geodes inside. I figure that if they cause too much problem, than I can grout them at a later date, but we would like to keep them if we can.

I was wondering if a color enhansing sealer would make any thinset residue in the holes disapear the same way water makes the residue disapear?
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Old 02-24-2005, 10:08 AM   #5
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Just curious Steve, how do you propose to keep those holes with the purdy geodes inside from becoming dirt/crud traps? This a floor or countertop?
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Old 02-24-2005, 07:01 PM   #6
mrsmiley
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Hi Mike,

We were origionally grudgingly planning to fill the tiles because everyone said we couldnt keep it clean, however, we happened to go to Arizona Tile showrooms where they had an unfilled travertine on their show room floor. In fact, it was in front of the entrance where everyone coming into the store would walk over it. It looked great with no visible dirt in the holes, so we asked them about it. They said it had been there about a year, and they vacuumed it every day and used a hoover floor mate every two weeks.
Apparently the hoover floor mate sprays hot water into the holes and then sucks it back up. After we saw that floor, we decided to try it unfilled.

Steve
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Old 02-24-2005, 10:07 PM   #7
mrsmiley
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Any other responses on the sealing questions?
Thanks,
Steve
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