Tips to grout tumbled travertine tile
Tumbled travertine tile is a lot like traditional travertine tiles except that they have more texture and depth. The tumbled travertine tile has been put through an intentional process to get this texture. They are also smoother to the touch and give a better look than normal travertine tiles. Grouting tumbled travertine tile is a more unique process than other tiles. The article below will share with you several tips and techniques on how to properly grout tumbled travertine tile.
Seal the Tile First
Tumbled travertine tile has many dips, curves, holes and natural surfaces which give it its character but also makes it more difficult to grout. Prior to even thinking of grouting tumbled travertine tile, you first need to apply a deep penetrating sealer. This will protect the tile from water and other liquids and solids that may get on the travertine tiles. It will also protect the tile from the grout and provide a better look. Due to the intricate details of tumbled travertine tile you need to apply the sealer in at least 2 coats and do so with a quality paintbrush. This will let the sealer get in and coat the tile properly. The sealer has to dry prior to being able to grout it.
There are 2 types of grout that can be used when grouting. One is an epoxy-based grout while the other is cement. Either of these grouts will work with tumbled travertine tile. What you need to worry about is whether or not the grout is sanded or unsanded. Sand is often added to grout in order to strengthen it. While grout with sand in it is perfectly all right for most tiles, you should only use unsanded grout for tumbled travertine tile. The sand in the ground can inadvertently damage the tile.
Thin the Grout
When you mix the grout, the instructions want you to mix it so it is about as thick as peanut butter. This is not the case when you grout tumbled travertine tile. The holes and spaces that are naturally a part of the tile will easily become full of grout. You do not want this to happen because when it dries you will need to dig it out, which will ruin the tile and the sealer. Thin the grout out so that it is the consistency of jelly rather than peanut butter. This will allow you to quickly wipe up the grout from the craters.
Use a Grout Bag
Think of a grout bag as a pastry bag for tile. Essentially you want to thin out the grout slightly to a consistency more like jelly than peanut butter. The grout is spooned into the bag and then you use it to fill the gaps. The grout float is then used to press the grout down. You can then apply more grout and repeat the process until the grout has been sufficiently applied. Once the grout has dried (double the drying time) you can wipe the tumbled travertine tile off with a damp sponge. This technique prevents unnecessary mess.