Help! Travertine BS has unwanted pink undertone!

gardenwebnewbieAugust 20, 2012

Hello Everyone!

Long time lurker, first time poster...and am having an absolute fit. I would love to run my issue by all of the

wonderful and knowledgeable folks here to see if there is an easy solution(s) to help soften the pink cast/undertone that my travertine back splash is giving off.

A little history - after a long journey of house issues that started with a slab leak almost a year ago, exacerbated by one subsequent issue leading to another, we pretty much ended up having to redo our entire kitchen and most of the downstairs flooring, painting, etc. The kitchen cabinets, granite and back splash are now in. While we had our back splash put in two weeks ago, we were only home for a day and then left for vacation. I noticed the 'issue' then but put it on the back burner hoping once we returned I would see the issue differently. Nope...not to seem overly dramatic, but I am close to tears right about now. Best case scenario would be that my concerns are unfounded and everything is fine, but in case it's not, I would rather find out now and try and fix it.

Prior kitchen had New Venetian Gold granite with just the standard 6 inch back splash in the the same NVG granite. It was put in 10+ years ago and I didn't know there were different options, i.e., back splash extending up to the bottom of the wall cabinets and in full granite vs. stone, tile, etc. Since we had the chance to do it over, this time I wanted more of a detailed back splash. I saw my exact granite that I fell in love with a few months back, Juparana Persa (also called Golden Beach and has a lot of gold in it) in Bedrosians mock kitchen with a light travertine back splash. I am not one to be overly creative, so I thought, hey, it looks great, I'll go with that since I know it matches my granite. It was supposed to have a 1' mosaic for the first three inches, a pencil rail and then 3 x 6 travertine subway tiles on top.

Well, when it came time to order, the mosaic was back ordered for two months so I had to quickly choose (in one day!) something else. I went into another recommended stone shop where the lady showed me a 1 x 2 round faced onyx mosaic to use instead. In actuality,it also has a few other stones in it besides onyx. Because Bedrosians was out of the mosaic, I went ahead and purchased all the material from this other place.

Well, now that it's in, the travertine has a pink understone to me, and the new 1 x 2 mosaic that I picked doesn't, in my eyes, appear to flow with the granite. It does get better when I spray it with water to mimick how an enhancer will look, but I don't want to do that yet until I can get this undertone issue sorted out in my head. The entire downstairs is painted in Dunn Edwards 'RiverBed' which is a neutral/grey shade - ( (pic found on google) Paint&docid=YRNMfu09qmRrNM&imgurl=,r:7,s:0,i:100 .

Although in some light some areas of it look OK, in other areas the travertine is displaying a subtle pink undertone. I am not educated enough in the decorating arena to know whether it's the lighting in my kitchen (halogen soft white) that is making it worse in these areas, the UV tinting on my windows (So. CA sun makes this mandatory) paint color (have been on Sherwin Williams trying out different colors but not which tones to choose) or...? Ifit is a paint issue, if possible, I would prefer to stay in the same neutral catagory as the Dunn Edwards Riverbed so it's not a huge change from the kitchen to the rest of the the rooms. I do have a start/stop place from the kitchen to the other rooms (which from there are all pretty open and flow) so I do have some flexibility...

Thank you - looking forward to hearing some miracle ideas! :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Gardenwebnewbie's Kitchen

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I am so sorry for all that you have been through. I know that this can happen with travertine. Some seem to stay beige while others turn pink.
Someone once had a problem with her white cabinets looking pink and she painted her kitchen green and it corrected it. You might be able use different lighting. I hope others will have more encouraging advise.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2012 at 8:35PM
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My ivory trav backsplash had a definite pink tone before I used an enhancing sealer on it. There is no longer any trace of pink that I can see.


    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 12:19AM
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ellendi - Thank you for your kind words. I talked to a interior designer friend of mine after I posted. She said absolutely don't change anything until the floors go in later this week. The grey cast from the cement slab may very well be adding to the undertone of the travertine. Another friend stopped by this evening to take a peek and said that looking directly at the BS, she didn't see any pink. However, when she looked directly at the two areas where the existing paint meets the top of the BS (no wall cabinet above) she did see where the coloring got funky...meaning in addition to the cement cast, the existing paint color, although it never looked out of place before, may very well be causing the travertine to change tone in those two areas - which just so happens are the two areas that have bugged me the most and looked the most off in shading. Because it came from someone else other than the crazy wife, DH actually sounded receptive to repainting the downstairs so it can be better suited color wise with the kitchen, which sounds like to me is more than likely going to have to be painted to better suit the BS. There is hope yet--this option sounds much better than pulling the whole thing out - which I don't know if that would even be an option with the DH. :D

blubird- Thank you for sharing your experience. I have previously moistened it with a wet towel and it did take on a darker tone - I just wasn't sure if it was enhancing the pink tones as well. Although I purchased one and it's ready to go, I am going to hold off on using an enhancing sealer until the floor is in and then also possibly until after any painting is done. I am almost positive the paint color needs to be changed so I might as well have those constants in place before I enhance the travertine part of the BS.

Which enhancer did you use? I purchased Miracle Sealants Company 'Seal and Enhance.' I checked out the reviews and it seemed like a good product although I am always open to suggestions!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 12:45AM
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Gardenwebnewbie- You have lots of company in the "I'm upset with my backsplash club." My first one was a white ceramic that put off a gray cast. I lived with the samples for weeks. a nonprofessional, could not have predicted that when they were ALL installed, there would be just a color variance. Even my husband agreed. It was ripped out the next day. In my case there really were no options to try. I was even willing to keep my under mount lights on all the time, if that made a difference.
So, go through all the options. If you still have an issue then you can always rip it out and start over. Backsplashes are the easiest to chanage.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 7:58AM
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If you have any leftovers, you could do a sample board and use the enhancer, then lean it up to see how the tile will look enhanced.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 8:29AM
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My enhancing sealer was Artisan brand, Penetrating Stone Enhancer And Repellent.


    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 8:15PM
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I saw your photos, and I think your kitchen looks great. I love the cabinets. You have a dramatic countertop, and I thought that the bs was serene. I was looking for the pink to show through, and I bet that you could possibly see it, depending on the time of day and the light coming through the windows.

good luck. So far, it does look great!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 9:17PM
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My sincerest apologies for not getting back here sooner!

It's been a crazy month or so since I posted last.

Thank you to all who replied, I really appreciate it!

As I have new questions and a different direction to take, I created a new thread.

Here is my update and of course advice is still much appreciated!!

Here is a link that might be useful: Want to change out a portion of my backsplash, need opinions!!

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 5:04PM
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