How to Seal a Travertine Floor
LESLIE: Alright. Now we’ve got Daniel in California on the line who needs some help with a travertine floor. When did you put it down, Daniel?
DANIEL: Oh, I guess it’s been about a week now.
LESLIE: OK. And there’s nothing on it?
DANIEL: Well, no.
LESLIE: Are you sure?
DANIEL: Well, OK. There was nothing on it but yeah, actually, I put a sealer on it just like Sunday, after it’d been installed four days.
TOM: OK. And did your installer give you a sealer to use or suggest a sealer to use?
DANIEL: No, my installer didn’t.
TOM: You didn’t. So where did you – what sealer did you select? How did you find it?
DANIEL: I got it at the home improvement store.
TOM: OK. And so it sounds like you did the right things. You know, it’s a beautiful floor. It’s a little bit absorbent, so you are going to need to seal it from time to time. But what’s your question?
DANIEL: Well, my question is, well, one, after I put the sealer on, then I did some reading and I found out that there’s some that are better. This one’s probably the third; they’re not the best.
DANIEL: Is there a problem with buying the better one and putting it on top of it or …?
TOM: Potentially. I would save that for the next trip. See, this has already soaked into your floor and so …
LESLIE: And travertine is so porous.
LESLIE: With the first thing you put on it, that’s in there.
TOM: Just drinks it right up. So I would wait until the next time it’s – until it’s time to apply this again and choose a different product that time. But I would definitely not put a second coat on top of this with a different product because you’re – you don’t know what kind of chemical reaction you’re going to create there.
LESLIE: How are they going to react to one another?
LESLIE: It could be bad news.
TOM: Not worth it. I’d just enjoy the floor.
DANIEL: OK, great. Could I ask you a little follow-up question?
TOM: Sure. Go ahead.
DANIEL: Yeah. Also, I was reading – they were saying that mats with rubber bottoms are bad for it. Is that true?
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. For travertine …
TOM: Well, it’s not bad for marble; it’s bad for vinyl.
LESLIE: Yeah, if you have a vinyl floor and you put down a kitchen mat or a bath mat and it doesn’t move and it stays in its spot, the backing on the mat has some sort of weird chemical reaction with the floor and causes a discoloration. I mean we get calls a lot for people being like, “I’ve got this weird stain that’s the same as my bath mat. How can I get it out?”
TOM: Yeah and it won’t come up. Yeah, right. Because it oxidizes the rubber against the vinyl. But I don’t know that there’s a problem putting that against marble; I’ve never heard that.
LESLIE: Yeah. No, I’ve never heard that.
DANIEL: OK. Great, then. Thanks a lot, guys.