Travertine Seal Types

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Travertine is a beautiful natural stone that adds elegance and luxury to any room. Travertine is usually used on floors, counter tops, interior walls, back splashes, tub surrounds and vanities. Travertine is sensitive to acids such as those found in citrus, vinegar and alcohol, according to EonStone.com. Travertine's natural surface has pits and crevices that also can trap dirt and dust. Sealing the surface of the travertine is recommended to help keep it clean, to help it resist stains and to keep it looking its best.

Water-Based Sealers

  • Water-based sealers offer a thin layer of protection without changing the color or the gloss of the natural surface. It is generally recommended for dense travertine that does not absorb liquids easily, according to AldonChem.com. To test the absorption capability of your travertine, you can add a few drops of water to a hidden area. If the surface darkens visibly within a few seconds, it means the stone has a high degree of absorbability. Darkening after several minutes means a low degree of absorbability. You apply water-based sealers topically to the stone and allow them to dry thoroughly for 24 to 48 hours before using the surface.

Solvent-Based Sealers

  • Solvent-based sealers are generally used on less dense travertine that requires greater protection. These sealers may have either a matte or a gloss finish, depending on the way you prefer your travertine’s appearance. You apply solvent-based sealers just as you do water-based sealers and allow to dry thoroughly before using.

Color-Enhancing Sealers

  • Color-enhancing sealers bring out the color variations in the travertine stone to either a great degree or a small one depending on the product. You may prefer to leave the stone’s coloring as you originally chose it. In this case, a non-enhancing sealer would be the better choice. Color-enhancing sealers are often used for older travertine stone surfaces that have lost some of its surface color through normal wear over time.

Penetrating Sealers

  • Penetrating sealers, though not generally recommended for counter tops, according to CountertopSpecialty.com, may be used on travertine stone in areas that are at special risk. Travertine floor and back splashes in the kitchen are particularly vulnerable to stains from acid-containing food products and grease. This is where a penetrating sealer is the best option to seep into the stone to preserve it against these onslaughts. Penetrating sealers contain fluoropolymers or silicones that hold the sealer compound deeper in the stone's surface and repel absorption, according to the Tile Association web site. Because travertine is both porous and naturally has depressions in the surface, adding a strong protective layer that penetrates deep into the stone is a good idea under these circumstances.

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