Polished Travertine ... Can it be installed upside down? [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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01-05-2018, 11:04 AM
Hi all,

I am a DIYer and I am installing my kitchen floor. I have done our main level bathroom, so I have basic knowledge on tiling now. But that was porcelain tile. I went to our local restore last week and they had almost a full pallet of 16x16 travertine tile. I spend $80 bucks and got enough for my kitchen floor.

However, when I got home and excitedly opened one of the boxes I found out that the tile was polished on the other side. There had been a polished tile on the pallet but I thought it was misplaced there! Doh!

Anyways, so the backside of the tile is a beautiful pale gray color and the polished side is a shiny brown/tan color. Can I lay the polished side down? If I can lay it down polished side down, is there anything I need to do to it to ensure it sticks well?

Lastly, if I lay the tile polished side down, when I seal the tile, will the sealant bring the gray back to brown/tan?

Thanks all!

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01-05-2018, 11:14 AM
First thing I'd do is examine the edges of the tile Laura. Unless the tile is machine cut stone the "top" (polished) of the tile will likely have rounded edges whereas the bottom will have a sharper edge. You'd need to decide if the sharp edge is acceptable to your feets.

As for the sealer - it's anyone's guess. You'd really have to pic a sealer and test it on one of the tiles to see what change it might impart.

As to the polished side sticking to mortar - my guess is yes, as long as there isn't some factory applied finish on it. Again, a test will probably be in order.

01-05-2018, 01:00 PM
Hi again, it looks like both edges are the same and straight.

How would I figure out if there is a finish on it?

Jim Farrell Tiler
01-05-2018, 01:02 PM
its a free world you can do what you like

01-05-2018, 01:22 PM
If it were me I'd drip some water on it. 7 or 8 drops in various spots. Let it sit for 10 or 15 minutes. If the water soaks in, there's probably no factory applied finish or sealer. If the water drops don't soak in, leave them for another 10 or 15. If they're still there - Plan B.