One of the attributes that makes travertine attractive is that it has tiny pores in it that give it a pleasing look and texture. However, because of these pores, travertine needs to be sealed whether it is part of a counter or on the floor. Spills can soak into the pores and stain the travertine. Unsealed pores are also good breeding grounds for mold and bacteria.
Homeowners need to use two kinds of sealants for their travertine. One penetrates deeply into the stone, and the other one protects it with a clear barrier on the surface. Sealing also has the added effect of adding depth and richness to the stone's color. Always seal travertine according to manufacturer's directions.