Topical sealer for stone? Yea or Nay?
Does your travertine floor get scuff marks when you move furniture across it? Have you been scrubbing and scrubbing on it and it doesn’t seem to come any cleaner? Well, you may have a topical sealer for stone otherwise known as “a coating” on it.
We say Nay to topical sealer for stone but especially for travertine. It is our opinion, after years in the biz, that a topical sealer is a hassle and a major maintenance expense. The downfall to topical sealers is they scuff easily and the high cost to maintain the floor. Eventually, it WILL need to be stripped off and redone or polished properly which is an extensive process sometimes costing thousands of dollars. For a while you can get away with cleaning and recoating but this just a temporary fix as it adds more layers of topical sealer that will need to be removed down the line.
BUMMM-MER if a topical sealer is found on your stone! Usually we find topical sealers in homes that have been flipped because it’s a cheap way to get a quick shine. Always ALWAYS have a Stone Care Professional work on your stone floors, NOT a carpet cleaning company that tells you that they can “clean that tile up for you”. I assure you, this almost always end in disaster. A true stone care professional will not offer a topical sealer option for travertine. We will always offer travertine polishing.
The first thing we do on a floor like this is strip the existing coating off the travertine. We do this by using a chemical stripper and a 17″ buffer with a scrubbing pad. After several passes with the buffer we pick up the old coating using a truck mounted rinse extraction machine. We have to go around all the edges by hand because the machinery is limited as to how close it can get to the wall and under cabinets. Once all of the old coating is removed, we hone the travertine using a low grit diamond pad. Honing is an important step because it removes a small layer of the stone and evens out the appearance of the tile before we shine it up. After the travertine honing we polish. Travertine polishing is offered in a flat, satin, gloss, or high gloss look. Each type of polish is done using polishing powders and diamond pads. We do not use any type of gloss or wax to achieve the high shine you see.