Travertine Flooring – Pros, Cons, Types, Installation Method
- Travertine is a sedimentary rock and is a form of limestone, but unlike limestone, it is created in mineral springs and geysers due to extreme heat and pressure from earth.
- It is very durable, resilient and porous.
Advantages of Travertine Flooring:
- Less expensive than marble and granite
- Very durable similar to marble, granite and other natural stones
- Replacing tiles is easy.
- Available in various colors and tones
- Resilient-can be used for many applications from floors to walls, foyers and exteriors as they tolerate extreme temperatures.
- Non-slip surface –easy to walk on
Disadvantages of Travertine Flooring:
- Porous structure-surface can wear and tear in longer use. Sealants should be used to prevent this.
- Highly reactive to acidic substances and acidic foods. Not preferable for kitchen counter-tops.
- Lack of homogeneity in appearance
- Tend to be heavy.
- Available as slabs, tiles, cut to size
- Slabs: average size: 2’x5’ (may vary as per suppliers) thickness: 20-50mm
- Tiles: 30x30cm,60x60cm,40x40cm,30x60cm, thickness -10mm to 30mm or
- Cut to size: as per custom size order
Types of Surface Finish
- POLISHED: high gloss mirror-like surface, used in wall cladding, countertops, tabletops, fireplace facing and hearth.
- SANDBLASTED: rough but tidy look, used in traffic areas.
- LEATHER FINISH: suede look and feel.
- HONED: low gloss, smooth and eggshell finish.
How to Install Travertine Floor Tiles:
1. Prepare the surface
Prepare the subfloor for a clean and dry, flat and even surface. If plywood is used as a subfloor, then a backer board needs to be installed/attached to the subfloor as an underlayment.
2.Preview tiles layout and apply thin-set
As travertine has a lot of variation, it needs to be blended so that all dark pieces or light ones won’t wind up together. Blend tile randomly to give a proper blend of colors. Spread the thin-set starting from the corner.
3.Lay the tiles in place and set permanently
Place the travertine tile on top of mortar and press firmly. Place the tiles spacers (1/8th inch or 1/16th inch or as per manufacturers’ instructions). Travertine tiles can also have laid without joints, (depending on tile edges and as per supplier’s information.) Press firmly with adhesive to achieve a strong and secure bond.
4. Remove any excess adhesive/moisture between tiles.
5. Allow for 24-48hours to dry completely before applying grout.
6. Mix the grout mixture and apply with a grout float deeply between joints.
7.Wipeout excess grout on tiles with a sponge.
8. Allow the grout to harden for 24-48hrs or as per directions.
9. Apply a clear sealer to seal the tiles as per supplier’s directions.
10. Suppliers may recommend before and after installation/before and after grouting.