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Old 12-15-2007, 02:02 PM   #1
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Repair hairline cracks in travertine?

Hi, All: We are preparing to put our house up for sale soon. We have an extensive amount of travertine on the first floor. Within the first year of completing construction (nearly 10 years ago) we found hairline cracks in several areas that we believe are due to settling stresses on the slab. The travertine was thinset directly to the slab.

Before I contact a local contractor about removing and replacing these tiles (probably 50+), I wanted to check to see if there was any method that we might use to "fill" these thin stress cracks instead. They have not changed in size for over 9 years now, and no new cracks have developed, and we don't have any wall cracks, uneven door jambs, etc. so we feel that the causative conditions are stable and not likely to recur now.

All of these cracks are really hairline; you can barely feel them when running a finger over them. I was hoping some very thin sort of matching color material could be run into these to minimize the visual impact. We will resign ourselves to replacement if necessary, but want to exhaust all other possibilities first.

Thanks for any advice!

Richmond, TX
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Old 12-15-2007, 04:29 PM   #2
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I have actually fixed Travertine for the same thing a few times.
one was a chiseled edge and we used unsanded matching wall grout,
let it pretty much dry for a while and then used a razor and slide it across
the top and then buffed it out, looked like a vein when we were done.

the other was honed Travertine and we used and epoxy called AKEMI to color it and then polish it.
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Old 12-21-2007, 04:06 PM   #3
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Thanks for the advice, Brian. Just found time to give the unsanded grout a try.

No joy; hairline cracks are still quite visible as a crack and not as a similarly colored "vein". However, I mixed the grout according to the box instructions (sort of a mayonnaise consistency), and perhaps this is too thick for this particular job? Do you think I'd have better success with a more watery mix, like a thin slurry, to flow into the crack better?

If not, I am ready to try the AKEMI epoxy approach next. Also might be time to get somebody in who knows what they're doing!

Richmond, TX
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Old 12-21-2007, 06:12 PM   #4
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You might be better off using a nonsanded color matching caulk,squueze it into the joint then use a one sided razor blade to scrape it off flat, and a wet sponge to touch it up.The caulk will be more flexible.The Akemi is actually a polyester, and takes a some practice to use.

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Old 12-25-2007, 02:27 AM   #5
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I agree..any of the epoxies are gonna require a learning curve to get right..then you have the issue of top polishing the tiles to blend the area and that really takes time to learn. So I would try the caulk, grout and razor blade method for now.
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