What are travertine sealers and how to protect travertine using them?
Travertine is a dazzling natural stone with many advantages, yet it requires a lot of maintenance to keep its look everlasting. Choosing the right sealer for travertine tiles is essential for the longevity and natural appearance of the natural stone especially in frequently used patios. And you don’t want to end up with a sub-standard sealer as it can lead to a disastrous and costly effect, by causing irreversible damage. Additionally, sealers are also quite effective in protecting against changing weather conditions as well especially in colder regions where the outdoor tiles undergo repeated freezing and thawing.
There are many factors to consider when choosing a sealer i.e. the type of surface, daily wear, and tear, etc. These factors can help you decide the best sealer for the job.
Types of sealers
Sealers are classified into two main categories.
- Penetrating Sealers
- Enhancing Sealers
- Topical Sealers
Both of these sealers can be used on a variety of surfaces like brick, clay tiles, marbles, granite, and travertine. Penetrating sealers give off a natural appearance and leave the surface unchanged after drying whereas topical sealers leave a glossy and shiny finish.
Penetrating sealers seep into the surface leaving the external appearance virtually unchanged. These sealers do not form a thin film on the surface of the tile, and they do not flake or peel off thereby retaining the coefficient of friction after application. Penetrating sealers come in two qualities – standard and premium
Standard penetrating sealers are used for protection against cold drinks, beverages, and dirt. They become quite ineffective in environments like a commercial kitchen or food service area as these sealers cannot provide protection against oil-based
Premium penetrating sealers offer high-quality protection against beverages as well as oil based stains and are perfect for use in commercial kitchens and food areas. However, they are quite expensive as compared to standard quality sealers.
These sealers enhance the natural color of the stone without the glossy effect. They offer protection against beverages and the premium quality ones can provide protection against oil-based contaminants.
Topical Coating sealers
As the name implies these sealers sit on the surface of the stone and give it a glossy appearance. These sealers have one major drawback that they wear off from the surface over a period of time and have to be applied frequently, especially for surfaces with high usage. For adequate protection more than one coating of topical sealers is required.
How to apply travertine sealers
Sealing Travertine tiles is an easy task which can be completed in approximately one afternoon. Just follow these simple steps for sealing travertine tiles.
Clean the travertine tiles
The first step is to clean travertine sealers however it is important to select a cleaner that is suitable with the sealer as different chemicals interact differently with each other. Clean the travertine tiles thoroughly according to the instructions given on the cleaning product. Afterward rinse them well with water and leave it to dry for an hour. After the tiles are dry, sweep with a clean broom to remove any residue or dust particle.
Applying the Sealer
For the application of the sealer start with spraying water using a water bottle over the surface of the tiles and without waiting for it to dry start applying the sealer on the tiles using a foam roller. Wait for approximately thirty minutes and then remove any excess sealer with an absorbent cloth. Apply another coat and wait 24 hours for it to be completely absorbed before using it.
When to re-seal travertine tiles
Regardless of the type of protection provided by the sealers, it is essential to have re-application of the sealer periodically in order to maintain an optimum level of protection for the natural stone. The frequency of re-applying sealer is directly co-related to the amount of activity or foot traffic endured by the travertine tiles.
In order to determine whether it is time to re-apply the sealer just sprinkle a little water on the surface of the tile. If the water penetrates quickly, then it is time to re-apply sealer if it penetrates slowly or remains on the surface then reapplication is not required.
Other application of sealers
Travertine tiles can also be used as decoration tiles by painting different designs on them. In order to properly paint the tile, increase durability and prevent paint absorption apply sealer on the surface of the tile with a brush. After sealer is dried, paint the tiles with unique impressions to increase its brilliance and make sure that your paint is moisture resistant. In order to protect the paint against dust and other external impurities, another coat of sealant will give it the necessary defense.