One of the more difficult substances to clean – if you haven’t done proper care and cleaning in the past – is travertine. For some reason, dirt and grime like to attach themselves to travertine and make life very difficult for anyone who finally finds time in their busy life to set aside an afternoon to clean their travertine surface! However, there is a way to prevent travertine damage, and this will leave you with a way to clean travertine without feeling like the world is ending in the process. What’s the solution? Grouting travertine is the best way to go.
Pre-Grouting Your Travertine Surface
1) Before you grout, remember that travertine is a porous stone – that’s why it can cause you so much trouble down the road. So, you’ll first want to sweep or mop up any loose dirt and debris from the surface.
2) Then ensure that the surface you’re working on is at a temperature of somewhere between 50-80 degrees F. If not, you’re going to have to wait and do this project later or earlier in the day.
3) Using a sealer typically referred to as ‘grout release’, apply a single, thin coat to the surface. Use a low-pressure, chemical-resistant sprayer – or even a brush or roller will do, if you’re careful.
4) Allow the grout release to sit on the surface for around 15 minutes, as it will need this time to penetrate into the stone.
Grouting Your Travertine Surface
5) Assuming that you didn’t over apply the grout release, there shouldn’t be too much to clean up – however, do not allow any areas to have pooling on the stone and definitely do not allow this to dry on the surface. Wipe up any of the grout release that’s still on the surface of the stone, as allowing it to dry on the surface will cause you problems down the line.
6) Let your travertine surface sit for at least 4 hours, if not more, before grouting.
7) After you’ve followed the instructions on your grout – and before you allow it to sit for the required amount of time – remove any excess grout and clean up around the edges. It should still be wet when you’re removing the excess.
8) Let this dry overnight before using the surface.
Sealing Your Travertine Surface
9) After grouting, you’re going to want to wait a few days and then apply the sealer. Just to be sure that nothing additional has accumulated on the surface, sweep or vacuum the area to ensure that it is completely clean.
10) Protect any baseboards or areas that are adjacent to the travertine surface, so that you can avoid spills or splashes.
11) After cleaning, apply a coat of stone sealer to the surface, liberally placing the coat down with a low-pressure, chemical-resistant spray gun, or as before, a good roller or brush will also do.
12) The sealer should be allowed to penetrate the surface for around a half hour. If there is excess sealer on the surface, redistribute this so that there are no pools or areas with overabundant sealer. If there are large areas of excess cleaner, wipe this up carefully before it dries.
Final Surfacing Steps
13) If your travertine surface is especially porous, you may need a second coat. This should only be applied after the first coat has been allowed to dry for at least 40 minutes.
14) A half hour or less after the final layer of sealant has been applied, use a towel that has been dampened with a bit of sealer to wipe across the surface, removing any residue that you may not have removed previously.
15) You should only walk on your newly sealed travertine surface eight hours afterward, though keep in mind that it will not have fully cured until at least 48 hours have passed.
See Also: Thinset for Travertine