Sealing Natural Stone: Travertine, Limestone, & Slate
If you are a natural stone fan you may have one of the above mentioned stones in your home or business. Natural stone such as Travertine, Limestone, or Slate can add beauty to any surface not to mention real value. Unfortunately no one ever gets a manual and how to best take care of their natural stone floor.
Not a month goes by where I will receive a call or email from someone here in Sacramento wanting my help with sealing problems. They attempted to seal the floor themselves, or maybe hired a so called 'expert', and now the floor has a sticky residue. When you own a natural stone floor such as travertine, limestone, or slate you have to know what you are doing or you will end with a sticky mess, or worse, every time.
Before sealing a floor like travertine you have to know what is its porosity. In other words, what kind of pores does the stone have and how dense are the pores. Travertine, Slate, and Limestone all have varying degrees of porosity and you must have a sealer that will penetrate the surface.
The second thing your going to have to be able to do is successfully remove all of the dirt, grime, bacteria and yuck from the floor's surface and grout lines before sealing. If there is old sealer on the floor you will want to remove this as well. Keep in mind that you should NEVER use any kind of acid when cleaning natural stone. Acid will etch and permanently damage the stone. Removing old sealer, and or types of waxes, can be very grueling work. It usually requires lots of 'elbow grease', so get into shape.
Third, you will want the stone and the grout to be DRY! Excess moisture on your tile and grout could weaken the sealer before it dries. Most sealers today are water based and with few exceptions solvent based. Water based sealers will usually NOT change the appearance of the stone, but solvent based sealers will often darken the stone. Make sure you, or your expert, know what they are doing.
Sealers, when properly applied, can enhance the natural beauty of your stone floors for years to come if done properly. As always, if you have a question or concern about this article please contact me at email@example.com.