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Flooring and Carpeting/Travertine Floor a giant mess! Please help!


OK.  I have 3000 square feet of travertine in new house.  Just bought house in October.  It was not honed, not sealed.  I paid a company $5000 to hone and seal.  But if anything (anything) other than water gets on it for even a second, a permanent etch mark is made.  I have etch marks all over my brand new floor.  I am so upset.  I called the floor man that did the honing and sealing back last night and he says he will rehone and reseal for me.  I want a durable floor.  I purchased a gallon of Dupont Bullet Proof at $168 per gallon.  This guy tells me that I can't use that because the floor is already sealed and that the bullet proof will not penetrate the stone now because the other sealer is there.  He says he will hone and seal again with same stuff as before but I don't see how this will get me to a better place.



      I was going through some of my recent questions and came across yours and wondered how things worked out for you and your large floor? Just wondering...

Perry V.

Thank you for your question Donna,

   When floors get this big I get nervous even though I have been in the tile industry now for 35 years this summer. There can sometimes be a cavalier/casual attitude about installs in general but when we hit this number special care and diligence better be observed. The difference that I see brewing here is the "honing" of the stone. What type of surface did you have prior to all the honing and sealing?? Was it a polished stone that you converted to a honed surface? The combination of honing and sealing must have the desired outcome or it is better off not done. The standard surface typically is one or the other out of the box unless the tiles were "raw" Travertine which is also typically "unfilled" as well. When these tiles are mass produced at the factory the surface whether it be polished or honed (there are others but typically outside of what is considered standard) the tiles are done by machine specifically designed to produce the desired outcome. That way they are consistant and of a higher quality. When someone tries to do it in place by grinder/buffer large tools, those kind that are walked behind, do not have the same quality of outcome as does the mass produced product. It's not a slam against anyone it's just a fact. So...I am also guessing that the contractor used a "penetrating" sealer rather than a "color enhancing" sealer. There is a big difference between the two. A penetrating sealer does just that but because it is a thinner product it tends to lose it's surface protection level unless there are multiple coats applied. Typically you can't even tell if a penetrating sealer was applied as it does soak down but...if only a single coat was applied then you are going to quickly discover that the protection is rather suspect. I have installed honed Travertine in my own home multiple times and I have never once used a penetrating sealer...always used a color enhancing sealer and multiple coats as well. Now of course this will "always" generate some sheen (not shine) to the tile and that is for the protection you are currently missing. It does not end up with a polished appearance at all but it will have a nice dull sheen to it. You need it for more than one reason all of which I think you have already figured out. How long ago did all this happen?? If the sealer was applied back in Oct. then you have several months past since it's application and whatever strength was there is greatly diminished. The hone can be repeated but to use the same sealer would be nonsense. Tell him to purchase a color enhancer from the same Manufacturer and apply at least two coats possible three on a freshly done floor. Then the protection will be there and then once a year you will need to "refresh" the floor by applying another coat. That should address your problems and alleviate future issues...ok? That's it Donna I hope this helps you with your problems, feel free to return anytime...

Perry V.  

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Perry Vellenga


Ceramic Tile/Marble. I can answer questions about floor preparation, tile selection, layout questions, performance of products, expectations of finish, compatabilities, questions about grout and epoxies, evaluating an installer, asking the right questions to check competence...more? 33 years this August 2012/ many years in commercial application from exterior finishes to Mall store fronts/ interior finishes like floor packages in stores inside Malls examples: The Limited, Lerner/NY, Lane Bryants, Bombay Co., Now involved in Residential new construction covering all types of interior finishes and designs.


I worked in an exclusive field of floorcovering called "Tenant Development" which is by invitational bid only, by way of a National bid list. These are large floor packages usually over 3500 sq. ft. of 18" x 18" Marble and Granite and many other types of Marble and sizes. They are specialty stores where the floor package can cost upwards of $50,000 for one store. I have also done "Structure" stores and J. Riggins stores, Lane Bryant,Express and Body Shop stores where wood flooring is used. Presently work for a National Flooring Company in the Residential new construction arena that covers most interior design elements..Granite Slab tops/wood flooring both job finished and prefinished ect..

My response's are published all across the Internet and picked up by multiple Interior Design sites and Industry related web sites where people have questions...

too many most of which don't count...

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