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Thread: Testing Travertine Coping: Staining, Temperature & Slipping

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    Kpag's Avatar
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    Testing Travertine Coping: Staining, Temperature & Slipping

    I bought 2 12X24 pieces of tumbled travertine coping from Noble to test at home. We are considering using it to replace our existing red brick coping on our pool remodel. I thought I would share some of my testing results here. We want our new coping to be less hot than our "pizza oven" existing red brick coping and less slippery. We don't have any staining problems with our red brick coping and were a little worried about possibly having staining with travertine.

    STAINING TEST - I tested things that we might commonly find outside by our pool: green fruit juice, mustard, ketchup, salsa, spray on sunscreen, white sunscreen and insect spray. We do drink red wine but not usually outside as beer seems to go down easier in hot weather (plus I didn't have an open bottle to test). I was going to test mashed up strawberries, but the kids ate them before I could. It is currently 75F here.



    STAINING RESULTS - None after an hour. Well, if you looks super closely you can probably see the mustard left a little bit of the stain but it doesn't bother me at all, and I know with a little more scrubbing and water in time it wouldn't be noticeable in the least. And, honestly, after living with the pool for 10 years we have never had a giant glob of mustard on the coping.
    IG ~12000 gallon 1988 freeform pool with IG spa, Hayward equip, Ecostar pump. Remodel done: NPT Arctic 1x2 tile in Lagoon w/ gray thinset & Light Pewter grout, French Gray PebbleSheen w/ grey fittings, Leuders buff eased edge limestone coping w/ Light Buff mortar, buff mastic

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    txnole's Avatar
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    Re: Testing Travertine Coping: Staining, Temperature & Slipping

    Water based items shouldn't really stain. You might see some temporary staining from red wine that is allowed to sit or oil-based items.
    COMPLETED BUILD THREAD - 15'x29' rectangular offset shotcrete pool; 14,100 gal; 5'x7' raised spa with 400k btu fire feature; 7' spillover; 25' leuder stone raised bond wall w/waterfall; Pentair SWG; Pentair VS (pool); Pentair 3/4hp feature pump; 1hp spa blower; Pentair Cartridge filter; Pentair “Easy Touch 8” wireless; Dolphin Oasis Z5 robot; Solar Hydronics iSwim solar panels; Mansard Screen Enclosure; walnut travertine deck; 1 very happy kiddo.

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    Re: Testing Travertine Coping: Staining, Temperature & Slipping

    Interesting! Let us know how the slippery test goes. I had read a post (not on this site) where someone was complaining about their slippery travertine coping, but it seems like everyone loves it, no issues with slipping. Wondering if that person had a different type of travertine?
    17K gallon, 18x40, 107 perimeter, 550 sq ft gunite inground pool with raised spa. 3.5 ft. - 5.0 ft. - 4.0 ft depth. Pentair equipment. DE filter. English Walnut travertine paver decking, lueders limestone coping. Wet Edge Primera Stone Sapphire Treasure plaster.

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    Re: Testing Travertine Coping: Staining, Temperature & Slipping

    We have tumbled travertine coping around the pool and spa (not the whole patio) and have found some staining from bird droppings (I guess it depends on what the bird ate? lol), rust (metal items that got wet from the pool and were sitting on the travertine), and even some plant material. It seems when some of this stuff gets down into the crevices of the surface of the travertine it is tough to get out. Although, I have not tried a professional stone cleaning product yet.

    The stone does stay relatively cool on a hot day, but we do find it slippery if our feet are wet. I think it depends on how your foot actually grasps a flat surface, and different people expreience it differently. I am happy we have it and we love the look, but I am glad we did not install it in the rest of the patio area.
    17,000 gal in-ground, gunite/PebbleFina Grigio pool and spa (filled with city water 9/2015). 3 1/2 ft deep to 6 1/2 ft deep. Liquid Chlorine, Pentair 4000 series DE filter, Pentair Mastertemp 400 high performance heater, Pentair Intelliflo variable speed ulta energy efficient pump. Pool guy uses a test kit.

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    Re: Testing Travertine Coping: Staining, Temperature & Slipping

    txnole, yes I just read about oil at the link below and will add it to my tests today. I know it probably seems silly to test this, but I want to be 100% comfortable with our choice which I'm 99% sure will be travertine coping.
    Limestone: Characteristics, Uses And Problems

    I did find an already opened bottle of wine last night and poured a little on the darker color stone (dark walnut eased edge, 2" thick). This morning the red wine left a VERY noticeable stain that did not come off with water & scrubbing. I placed the travertine in the pool to see if soaking will remove the stain. ETA: And maybe it's the lighting, but I think the mustard stain looks a lot worse today.

    The slipping test had mixed results. After splashing pool water on both pieces one was not slippery at all and the other was extremely slippery. But when I really started looking at the coping pieces I think the dark walnut one is possibly filled & honed! Which is completely inappropriate for outdoor use. I asked and paid for tumbled pieces of coping. Nobody should use honed & filled travertine outside. Anyway, I fliped over the "slippery" piece and retried the test: no slipping at all. On a side note I can't believe how heavy these pieces of travertine are!!! I had to have my son help me get them out of the car. They aren't too bad once you have them in hand, but if they're laying on a flat surface it's really hard to get them up you need some sort of leverage and I have very weak fingers.

    I can't find my husband's laser thermometer at the moment so I don't have actual numbers yet. But the coping is much cooler than our existing red brick. You can't stand more than a few seconds on the red brick before having to jump off of it and that doesn't happen with the travertine.


    IG ~12000 gallon 1988 freeform pool with IG spa, Hayward equip, Ecostar pump. Remodel done: NPT Arctic 1x2 tile in Lagoon w/ gray thinset & Light Pewter grout, French Gray PebbleSheen w/ grey fittings, Leuders buff eased edge limestone coping w/ Light Buff mortar, buff mastic

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    Kpag's Avatar
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    Re: Testing Travertine Coping: Staining, Temperature & Slipping

    Uh, this is embarrassing! I think I just posted some sham science above. I don't think that stain was caused by the mustard I think it was already on the stone! I just didn't notice it. Isn't that my "stain" between the mustard and ketchup? What do you think?

    IG ~12000 gallon 1988 freeform pool with IG spa, Hayward equip, Ecostar pump. Remodel done: NPT Arctic 1x2 tile in Lagoon w/ gray thinset & Light Pewter grout, French Gray PebbleSheen w/ grey fittings, Leuders buff eased edge limestone coping w/ Light Buff mortar, buff mastic

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    Re: Testing Travertine Coping: Staining, Temperature & Slipping

    If you choose travertine, use the DuPont Stonetech. Great seal.
    COMPLETED BUILD THREAD - 15'x29' rectangular offset shotcrete pool; 14,100 gal; 5'x7' raised spa with 400k btu fire feature; 7' spillover; 25' leuder stone raised bond wall w/waterfall; Pentair SWG; Pentair VS (pool); Pentair 3/4hp feature pump; 1hp spa blower; Pentair Cartridge filter; Pentair “Easy Touch 8” wireless; Dolphin Oasis Z5 robot; Solar Hydronics iSwim solar panels; Mansard Screen Enclosure; walnut travertine deck; 1 very happy kiddo.

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    Re: Testing Travertine Coping: Staining, Temperature & Slipping

    I am not planning on sealing it hence the testing. We've had different granites, brick, slate, travertines and marbles in two houses for ~15 years of hard use and have never sealed any of it. We had one bright blue stain on marble but were able to get it out with water soaking and no other stains. Is the sealing just for stains? Or does it do something else?
    IG ~12000 gallon 1988 freeform pool with IG spa, Hayward equip, Ecostar pump. Remodel done: NPT Arctic 1x2 tile in Lagoon w/ gray thinset & Light Pewter grout, French Gray PebbleSheen w/ grey fittings, Leuders buff eased edge limestone coping w/ Light Buff mortar, buff mastic

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    Re: Testing Travertine Coping: Staining, Temperature & Slipping

    The red wine stain came out easily. The picture below shows the sunscreen (spray and white liquid) really left an ugly mark on the stone. We have never had globs of mustard, ketchup or even spilled red wine on the coping, but sunscreen is a given around the pool. Maybe I will have to re-think my general stance of "sealing stone is a racket thought up to generate an annual revenue stream." And I found the laser thermometer and took readings this morning in the shade. Even in the shade the brick is warmer than the travertine. The starting temperature for travertine pieces is 57.5F and the brick is 61.5F. I will test it later when the pieces are in the sun.

    IG ~12000 gallon 1988 freeform pool with IG spa, Hayward equip, Ecostar pump. Remodel done: NPT Arctic 1x2 tile in Lagoon w/ gray thinset & Light Pewter grout, French Gray PebbleSheen w/ grey fittings, Leuders buff eased edge limestone coping w/ Light Buff mortar, buff mastic

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    Re: Testing Travertine Coping: Staining, Temperature & Slipping

    Our travertine decking/coping is very similar in color to the one you are testing. It is extremely cool to the touch not slippery and we did not seal it. We figured it is a natural product and will have variations so any staining that happens is just part of the character. Besides when you are done the paver guys will have left overs which if a paver is stained and you can't fix it pulls up quite easily and you can flip it or just replace the one piece. I've already pulled up several pieces when I was adding landscape lighting to two large pots on the deck.
    40x15 IG, 19,000 gallons, Taylor K-2006C, Intellichlor IC40, Pentiar 1.5 hp Intelliflo VS, Pentair 420 Clean/Clear Filter, Speedstir, Stonescape - french grey, Travertine Paver decking, Completed August 1, 2015.

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    Re: Testing Travertine Coping: Staining, Temperature & Slipping

    Thanks, espejo. I was thinking along the same lines about staining. It's good to hear from someone who hasn't sealed theirs. We are just replacing the coping for now (and waterline tile and plaster). New decking and outdoor kitchen will have to wait until next year. I agree that the travertine feels cool when you stand on it.
    IG ~12000 gallon 1988 freeform pool with IG spa, Hayward equip, Ecostar pump. Remodel done: NPT Arctic 1x2 tile in Lagoon w/ gray thinset & Light Pewter grout, French Gray PebbleSheen w/ grey fittings, Leuders buff eased edge limestone coping w/ Light Buff mortar, buff mastic

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    Re: Testing Travertine Coping: Staining, Temperature & Slipping

    Quote Originally Posted by espejo View Post
    Our travertine decking/coping is very similar in color to the one you are testing. It is extremely cool to the touch not slippery and we did not seal it. We figured it is a natural product and will have variations so any staining that happens is just part of the character. Besides when you are done the paver guys will have left overs which if a paver is stained and you can't fix it pulls up quite easily and you can flip it or just replace the one piece. I've already pulled up several pieces when I was adding landscape lighting to two large pots on the deck.
    Glad to hear your travertine deck is not slippery...we chose tumbled travertine English Walnut versailles pattern paver deck and I'm starting to get really nervous about slipping. Should be installed next week. We chose it over concrete in case we want to extend our decking in the future.
    17K gallon, 18x40, 107 perimeter, 550 sq ft gunite inground pool with raised spa. 3.5 ft. - 5.0 ft. - 4.0 ft depth. Pentair equipment. DE filter. English Walnut travertine paver decking, lueders limestone coping. Wet Edge Primera Stone Sapphire Treasure plaster.

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    Re: Testing Travertine Coping: Staining, Temperature & Slipping

    Quote Originally Posted by sham View Post
    Glad to hear your travertine deck is not slippery...we chose tumbled travertine English Walnut versailles pattern paver deck and I'm starting to get really nervous about slipping. Should be installed next week. We chose it over concrete in case we want to extend our decking in the future.
    Just make sure it is tumbled and not "honed / polished/ filled" before they install it.Another build here had the tumbled variety installed for the coping and the decking was the filled and honed stuff that caused a lot of slips and falls.

    I remember reading somewhere that travertine is less slippery when water is on it - something to do with the micro pores creating micro-suction when you step on it. Even more reason to make sure that it is not "filled/ honed"
    Geometric pool with all Pentair equipment. Raised spa - 18" with Artic Lagoon 1" glass tiles. 3HP VS Pump, 2 skimmers, 6 returns, IC40 Salt system, Easy Touch 8 with LED color light in pool and spa. 1200 sqft of Marble White Pavers decking in Versailles pattern. Tiling and coping almost completed, Indigo Blue Prism Matrix plaster. Pool Build Thread: Houston (Katy) Pool Build - Started April 2016

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    Re: Testing Travertine Coping: Staining, Temperature & Slipping

    Quote Originally Posted by Kpag View Post
    The red wine stain came out easily. The picture below shows the sunscreen (spray and white liquid) really left an ugly mark on the stone. We have never had globs of mustard, ketchup or even spilled red wine on the coping, but sunscreen is a given around the pool. Maybe I will have to re-think my general stance of "sealing stone is a racket thought up to generate an annual revenue stream." And I found the laser thermometer and took readings this morning in the shade. Even in the shade the brick is warmer than the travertine. The starting temperature for travertine pieces is 57.5F and the brick is 61.5F. I will test it later when the pieces are in the sun.

    I think the sunscreen created the same effect as sealing of the stone. I have seen travertine colors brought out dramatically once the stone is sealed. What looked very light was later a good shade of brown after sealing.

    Maybe try sealing a section of the stone and see what happens.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Forgot to mention - love that you are doing these tests. What a great experiment!!
    Geometric pool with all Pentair equipment. Raised spa - 18" with Artic Lagoon 1" glass tiles. 3HP VS Pump, 2 skimmers, 6 returns, IC40 Salt system, Easy Touch 8 with LED color light in pool and spa. 1200 sqft of Marble White Pavers decking in Versailles pattern. Tiling and coping almost completed, Indigo Blue Prism Matrix plaster. Pool Build Thread: Houston (Katy) Pool Build - Started April 2016

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    Re: Testing Travertine Coping: Staining, Temperature & Slipping

    Thanks, yes that's what I was worried about, getting the wrong kind. The pallets were delivered so I called QDI directly to make sure these are tumbled and not filled or honed or polished, and they confirmed they are tumbled.
    17K gallon, 18x40, 107 perimeter, 550 sq ft gunite inground pool with raised spa. 3.5 ft. - 5.0 ft. - 4.0 ft depth. Pentair equipment. DE filter. English Walnut travertine paver decking, lueders limestone coping. Wet Edge Primera Stone Sapphire Treasure plaster.

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    Re: Testing Travertine Coping: Staining, Temperature & Slipping

    Quote Originally Posted by sham View Post
    Thanks, yes that's what I was worried about, getting the wrong kind. The pallets were delivered so I called QDI directly to make sure these are tumbled and not filled or honed or polished, and they confirmed they are tumbled.
    Sham, my coping is English Walnut 2" eased edge from QDI. If you want to see what it looks like, check my build thread or search "woodland hills". I just installed it last week and they do a great job of packing it in the pallets. None of mine were broken. Even with all the "weather" in Houston in the last couple of weeks, mine made it here to Los Angeles in about a week. I give them an "A"..

    .
    O/B Woodland Hills, CA : O/B12x30 inground with 6x6 10-jet spa, 10,500gal, 6' Baja deck, 42" spillway, All Jandy: 400k heater, 2.7 HP VS pump, 1.5HP booster spa pump, SWG, Intellelink controls, (4) LED lights, cartridge filter and BlueSquareQ360 infloor cleaning system, Eclipse drain, glass tiles, Zanzibar white pebble finish. Broke ground 2/18/2016, completed 8/16/2016. TFT 100 kit.

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    Re: Testing Travertine Coping: Staining, Temperature & Slipping

    Frank, your travertine came from QDI in Houston??
    Marla
    No longer living vicariously through other people's pool builds. Pool build is complete on my IG SWCG pool, approx 10,000 gallons. All Jandy equipment - VS 1.5 hp pump, 580 cartridge filter, AquaPure 1400 salt cell, AquaLink PDA system. Dolphin m500. PebbleSheen Blue Surf with shells and beads added. TF-100 w/ SpeedStir. A Houston Pool Build Inside the Loop

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    Re: Testing Travertine Coping: Staining, Temperature & Slipping

    Quote Originally Posted by Marlahoutex View Post
    Frank, your travertine came from QDI in Houston??
    Yes. Apparently QDI ships to all their other warehouses from Houston. At least that is what the Guy at QDI told me - he was concerned about the delivery time because of the rain.
    .
    O/B Woodland Hills, CA : O/B12x30 inground with 6x6 10-jet spa, 10,500gal, 6' Baja deck, 42" spillway, All Jandy: 400k heater, 2.7 HP VS pump, 1.5HP booster spa pump, SWG, Intellelink controls, (4) LED lights, cartridge filter and BlueSquareQ360 infloor cleaning system, Eclipse drain, glass tiles, Zanzibar white pebble finish. Broke ground 2/18/2016, completed 8/16/2016. TFT 100 kit.

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    Re: Testing Travertine Coping: Staining, Temperature & Slipping

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Rizzo View Post
    Sham, my coping is English Walnut 2" eased edge from QDI. If you want to see what it looks like, check my build thread or search "woodland hills". I just installed it last week and they do a great job of packing it in the pallets. None of mine were broken. Even with all the "weather" in Houston in the last couple of weeks, mine made it here to Los Angeles in about a week. I give them an "A"..

    .
    That is beautiful Frank! Love it. Are you doing English Walnut for deck too?
    17K gallon, 18x40, 107 perimeter, 550 sq ft gunite inground pool with raised spa. 3.5 ft. - 5.0 ft. - 4.0 ft depth. Pentair equipment. DE filter. English Walnut travertine paver decking, lueders limestone coping. Wet Edge Primera Stone Sapphire Treasure plaster.

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