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Travertine Tile Installation Tips

Installing Travertine Tile

Travertine is a natural stone tile, imported from many countries all over the world. Installing travertine is much like installing any other tile, though it is important to practice care. The installation steps include: preparation, laying the tile, and grouting it to keep it all together. Travertine can be installed for countertops, flooring, and walls. Installation is considered a medium to high difficulty job, and will require a wet saw is required to cut the tiles to the appropriate size. Other tools and materials to complete the installation will include: Chalk line, tape measure, carpenter’s pencil, power drill with mixing paddle, notched trowel, beater block, rubber mallet, grout float, 4-foot metal straightedge, and a dry-cutting saw.

Floor Preparation

To prepare the floor for the travertine installation:

  • Remove any existing flooring.
  • Repair or replace the sub-flooring.

Do a dry test run to layout the tiles and inspect them for defects. This will ensure you have everything planned accordingly and will be able to complete the floor.

 

Installing Ditra Anti-fracture Membrane

The Ditra Anti-fracture membrane is a type of underlayment designed specifically for stone and marble floors. It is highly recommended to use this type of underlayment because it offers many benefits: uncoupling, water proofing, vapor management, and support/weight distribution.

Tile Installation

  • If the Ditra anti-fracture membrane is not installed for the underlayment, then it is necessary to install is cement backing to the subfloor.
  • Use a chalk line to mark the tile layout, leaving room for the grout. Make sure the tiles are dry and ready to be installed.
  • Mix the thinset adhesive according to the directions. When it reaches a thick consistency, apply it to the tiles and lay them according to the chalk lines for the layout. Cut tiles to fit the measurements around the edges, using the wet saw.
  • After allowing drying time of up to 24 hours, apply the grout in between the tiles.

Installation Tips

  • Wet stones should not be installed. Be sure the stones are completely dry before beginning the installation.
  • When possible, use a white thinset. Gray thinset may bleed, and should be avoided when using a lighter travertine.
  • Be sure the thinset is thick and sticky, with a peanut butter like consistency.
  • Ultraflex II may be used as a thinset.
  • It is better to use a non-sanded grout.
  • It is a good idea to pre-seal the tile to avoid potential staining with mortar.
  • When the installation is complete, seal the tile with the appropriate type of sealer. It is recommended to test the sealer on a small, inconspicuous area of one tile before applying it to the entire installation.

(61) Comments

  1. What is the dry cutting saw used for, I don’t see it mentioned anywhere in the directions. I have installed porcelain tile before and never needed one, just nippers.

  2. Hi,
    I recently bought some travertine tile from you with the antique pattern. my installer is telling me that it won’t be possible to have an 1/8″ grout line between the tiles. He said the only way to lay it is without a space ( butt-joint) and he’s concerned that the tile are not cut accurately to do it that way. can you offer any advice? I’m confused!

  3. OUTDOOR FLOOR TILES require 95% (80% indoors, 95% for showers) contact with the thinset in order to avoid water accumulation, freeze/thaw damage, efflorescence, cracked or loosening tiles. This standard is specified by ANSI A108.5 and is endorsed by the Tile Council of North America (TCNA) and the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA).
    The pictures in this article are INCORRECT, as the installer is not leveling the gauge (comb) marks of the trowel. That incorrect practice results in only a 50-60% contact/coverage.

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