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Unread 07-01-2010, 08:04 PM   #1
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Charles' Exterior Travertine

I've been lurking for a while and reading. I see many contributors that contradict each other about whether to seal before or after grouting unfilled travertine.

Here is the situation: Modest tile experience but failrly handy. 27x14 covered patio with a 30 ft sidewalk uncovered. Scabos Travertine chiseled edge unfilled Versailles pattern 1/16 or less joints (bigger as the chiseled gets filled for sure) using medium bed modified white mortar. And to make matters more complicated I laid it on a diagonal. I now know why installation for that would have been expensive, however it is done and looks good.

I want a color enhancer because I like the deep color look when it is wet. The Scabos is very porous (large voids) which I don't mind filling.

So guys, seal before grout or not......and I'd like some of your logic behind your choice please.

Thanks for contributing to such a great forum. Picture attached of project prior to completion.
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Unread 07-01-2010, 08:11 PM   #2
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Sealers are bond breakers. Grout/fill all then seal.

"the road to hell is paved with osb, mastic, pre-mixed latex 'grout' or 'thinset', "
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Unread 07-01-2010, 08:13 PM   #3
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I agree. I think that stone would look great color enhaced. Aquamix makes an excellent enhancer, along with a few other manufacturers. Test sample first as always.

When sealing the travertine you'd want to seal the top only, not the sides, not inside the pocks. WIth that in mind, you wouldn't spray on the sealant nor swab it on with a mop. I'd use a foam roller and a lot of patience. You'll spend some time doing this. It isn't like painting a wall. You'll be paying attention to every square inch as not to miss a spot and not to get the sealant all over the place, all the while making sure not to get too much in the pocks. Simple really.

Sealing first preserves the natural variation more. If you grout first, you'll blend the tiles with a much more even tone. Some people think that blands down the stone. Some times that is used to unify the stone.

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Unread 07-01-2010, 11:02 PM   #4
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seal and grout

Thanks Paul, Sounds like more labor but worth the effort. Your web site is impressive. Might ring you on the next project and leave it to the pros.
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