How to Reseal Travertine


Travertine is a fairly hard stone that comes in a variety of colors. It is known for its individual vein patterns and crevices that give the stone a natural look. Travertine limestone is the same stone as travertine marble and can come with accenting shells embedded in the material. Each type of travertine can have different degrees of manufacturer finishes that affect the absorbency of the tile. Due to the porous nature of travertine, it needs to be routinely sealed to prevent water damage to the substrates under the tile, as well as to help prevent staining.

Things You'll Need

  • Acetone
  • Soft bristle brush
  • Dry cloth
  • Grout
  • Acrylic Adhesive
  • Sealer
  • Sponge
  • Thoroughly clean the travertine, inspecting for any seal coat that is on it. If the sealer looks like it is peeling, splotchy or streaking, remove the existing sealer to get a good finish with any additional sealer.

  • Apply small amounts of acetone directly on the travertine. Scrub with a soft bristle brush to remove any unwanted sealer. Clean small areas at one time until all the travertine has been stripped. If the acetone does not remove the sealer properly, use methylene chloride in the same fashion. Wipe clean with a dry cloth.

  • Inspect the travertine for any cracks or missing grout in the grout lines. Remove any loose or brittle grout and replace with new grout in the corresponding color.

  • Fill any holes in the travertine tile with a water-activated acrylic adhesive, following the specific instructions of the manufacturer. Allow the adhesive to dry and cure. This usually takes 24 hours.

  • Clean the travertine thoroughly. Allow it to completely dry before applying any sealer.

  • Test the porousness of the travertine tile by dripping a few drops of water on the surface. Test multiple areas. If it takes less than two seconds to absorb, then it has high absorbency. Three to 15 seconds indicate a medium absorbency. Travertine with low absorbency rates will take 16 seconds to a full minute to absorb a drop of water. Any time beyond that is considered a very low absorbency rate.

  • Use an appropriate sealer with the desired finish on the travertine. The sealer instructions indicate on what type of surfaces it can be used. Follow manufacturer's instructions when applying the sealer. Typically, sponges are used to apply coats of sealer. Wait for the sealer to completely dry before allowing any traffic on the travertine.

Tips & Warnings

  • Practice sealing in the least visible areas of the travertine first.
  • Some sealers can streak easily.
  • Unfilled holes in travertine can lead to mold buildup.

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