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travertine sealer sticky and squeks with rubber shoes

by John
(Bonita Springs, FL)

We have new travertine (not polished) in the bathroom and on shower walls. Tile guy sealed it and said don't walk on it for 12 to 24 hours.

24 hours later the sealer is sticky, picks up front prints and squeaks. They came back and went over it with acetone.

Stickiness gone, but still squeaks plus natural look is gone; it's shiny.

They admitted to using the wrong sealer and now they want to buff it off.

I've lost confidence in these guys. I would appreciate your advice on the proper steps to solve the issue and to get the natural look back.

Thanks very much.


Hi John,

Well as you already know they put the wrong sealer/coating on you Travertine tile.

What they will need to do to remove the coating/sealer is use a chemical that will remove the coating.

Aqua Mix Coating/Sealer Remover works well, but is strong smelling and not fun to work with.

Do a google search for it and you will find some local box stores may have it or you can order it online.

This is not a easy or pleasant chemical to work with and the main reason I do not recommend any coating on any natural stone.

Of course most contractors in my opinion do not know what is best when it comes to sealing natural stone.

Once you have a chemical that will remove the coating, follow the directions carefully.

The contractor should be able to remove it. After it's had time to dry thoroughly, then seal with a penetrating sealer.

A penetrating sealer absorbs into the tile not on the surface, protecting the tile.

It will not leave a finish if it's applied correctly.

I hope this information helps.


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