How to Clean & Seal Travertine Floors


Travertine is a porous stone in the same family as limestone, prized for its broad range of shades and its versatility. Because it is porous, travertine is vulnerable to stains, which are hard to remove but are preventable. Sealing travertine bi-annually and keeping it clean daily will prevent a costly stain removal job which most stone craftsman will not guarantee in the future. The sealer also keeps the grout between the tiles clean and stain-free.

Things You'll Need

  • Dust mop or vacuum cleaner without a beater bar
  • Clean mop and bucket of water
  • Neutral (non-oil-based) stone cleaner (purchase at stone dealer or home center)
  • Penetrating stone sealer (purchase at stone dealer or home center)
  • Clean rags or towels


  • Dust mop or vacuum the floor to pick up any loose dirt, hair or dust caught in the natural pits in the stone or the grout. Be sure your vacuum does not have a beater bar, or it may damage the stone.

  • Damp mop the area with stone cleaner, according to the manufacturer's directions. Rinse the area with clean water, without over-saturating the area.

  • Allow the floor to dry completely before you can seal, approximately 24 hours.


  • Choose between an impregnating sealer, which penetrates below the surface of the stone but does not change its appearance, and a topical sealer, which remains on the surface of the stone and may change its appearance. You can even buy certain sealers to enhance the colors of your travertine.

  • Determine from the container labeling (or ask the dealer) whether your sealer is solvent- or water-borne. If it is solvent-borne, it can be wiped on and the excess wiped off. Excess water-borne sealer must be carefully removed, or it will bond to the stone and leave a dull, hazy residue that's hard to remove.

  • Apply sealer to your stone and grout by putting it onto a soft towel and wiping it into the surface. Allow it to penetrate for 5 to 10 minutes. Wipe the excess off with a clean towel. Let it dry for two hours.

  • Sprinkle a few droplets of water on the surface after 24 hours.. If they bead up, you're done. If not, apply another coat.

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