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Can travertine be polished after it has been sealed?

Q. We recently had travertine cross cut Torreon placed in our kitchen foyer and hallway the floor was sealed by the installer. However we would prefer to have more of a shine to the floor then we presently have. Can we, now that the floor is sealed, have  polishing powder applied by a professional to achieve more of a shine?

A. Note from editor: We submitted this question to Maurizio Bertoli, a natural stone expert. 

Dear Inquirer:

Don't you worry about the sealer: your installer did not seal your travertine. Nobody can seal polished travertine.

To be sure, he most likely did uselessly (under the circumstances) apply impregnator, but I can assure you that not a single bit of it was ever absorbed by your polished travertine. (Read the related article listed below to understand better how sealers for stone work.)

So, go ahead with the MB-12. If your stone is susceptible to becoming shinier, then MB-12 would be great. Forget about the sealing thing. Just make sure that the professional knows how to use MB-12. It's a product that, though superior to most any other powder on the market, is kind of out of the mainstream because of the way it must be used.

Ciao and good luck,

Maurizio Bertoli

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Comments (1)
Comment by Alan Mayr on Wed, Jun 11th, 2008 at 9:35 PM
Travertine can most certainly be polished to a higher sheen or gloss after it has been sealed. Honing and Polishing has to do with smoothing the stone surface so that it better reflects light. Sealing seeks to fill a reactive chemical into the pores to prevent a liquid from entering and staining the stone. A sealed stone can be polished. If you are concerned with the integrity of your seal after polishing, simply re-apply your seal. Note, that if you have an open travertine, then sealing will address the pores in the stone, but do nothing about the large holes. A closed travertine has had the large holes filled. A seal here effectively addresses the pores. Travertine however has a swiss cheese type structure, and as such there are always a few holes JUST under the surface ready to open up and capable of accepting a spill or staining. Even with this being the case a sealer still helps you prep your floor to minimize the impact of a spill or stain.
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