A Guide to Install Silver Travertine Tiles
By Jose Grimbot
Travertine tile is one of the most common flooring options for homeowners. Travertine is the best-suited option for pavers, driveways, and walkways in warm areas. Whether you opt to install travertine tile or regular tiles, the process has no difference. You will be required to plan the layout in both instances but know how to feature the travertine’s natural veins. Remember, travertine tiles with lots of veins are less sturdy compared to those with few. It is advisable to preserve those with more veins for fewer traffic areas of the floor or the wall while you concentrate those with fewer veins in places you anticipate high traffic.
Ensure surface penetration
It is paramount to check the surfaces in any tile installation to ensure there are no protruding objects. If any, use a screwdriver or a hammer to remove or set the protruding areas underneath. Or make sure any protruding nail is driven further below the surface. The next step is to level up the floor using compound or spackle the wall to submerge any uneven areas of the floor or the wall. Strictly comply with the manufacturer’s instructions and allow time to dry before first use.
Then prepare a half an inch cement fiberboard and attach it to the floors or walls. Cut the fiberboard and draw a straight line using a utility knife and space the fiberboard a quarter-inch apart a room for expansion. And leave a quarter-inch expansion gap along the perimeter and stagger all joints. Add sufficient water to thin-set mortar and set fiberboard pieces into it. While at this, use the carpenter’s tools to ensure the floor is level and the wall is at a plumb line. After that, seal the seams and embed a thin layer of thin-set and smoothen the tape with the trowel’s smooth side. Then fix the screws along the perimeter, with each screw at eight inches apart.
Set the walls
Before you start, please measure each wall’s length and mark their midpoints with a chalk-line. You can use the carpenter’s plumb line to ensure the walls are at a plumb point. Do the same for each wall. Lay the tiles on the floor for horizontal placement, leaving an even spacing all the way. Apply a thin-set mixture making sure that the tiles are level with the carpenter’s spirit level. Set spacers between tiles and continue placing tiles your way up the walls. Allow the thin-set mortar to dry for some hours, then remove spacers.
Installing travertine tiles
Mark the midpoints of each wall with a chalk line on opposite walls and make sure they cross at right angles at the mid-floor. Then start to plan the tile layout along the gridlines on the floor. If necessary, cut tiles on the outer perimeter to ensure they correctly fit the floor space. Mix the thin-set and layout the tiles one at a time in quadrants. Allow the tiles the thin-set to dry and remove the spacers. Apply the grout into the tile joints to fill the joints, remove excess grout from the travertine’s surface, and dump to prevent it from drying on the surface. Grout a small area at a time while you allow drying. Remove the haze and remains using a soft cloth. Finally, apply the travertine sealer and the grout sealer following recommendations from the manufacturer.
There are several types of silver travertine that are available in construction supplies shop. Plan the right type and look with your architect or home builder so that you can get the right finish that would fit your home.