DIY, Travertine Installation

How to plan a travertine tile layout

If you're confident enough in your do-it-yourself skills to embark on a travertine tile installation project, the most important aspect of the job is carefully walking through the planning stages. Thorough, detailed planning will ensure that you end up with a great finished product, so it's crucial to devote plenty of time to the process.

While you'll need to plan for acquiring the materials you need, removing the existing flooring, preparing the subfloor and sealing the travertine once the project is completed, none of this can be accomplished until you decide on a tile layout.

With the natural beauty and unique finishes of travertine tiles, it's easy to come up with a pattern that will not only bring out the attractiveness of the stone, but will elevate the decor of your home. Here are some tips for planning the layout of your travertine tile.

Find inspiration
Unless you're an artistic individual with a keen eye for pattern, chances are you could use a little inspiration to help guide your layout plan. Design magazines, decor blogs and home improvement stores will have many examples, and you'll be able to see what types of layouts work in which rooms and with what decor. Choose the patterns that pair well with what you already have, or go in a new direction and pick a design that will work with what you're hoping to get during your remodel.

Measure and draw out the pattern
There are many patterns to choose from when it comes to figuring out how to lay your travertine tiles. These range from herringbone, to French or Versailles, to diamond, to twins, to circle and many more. Once you find a setup that appeals to you, you'll need to take some measurements and draw out the pattern to figure out how many tiles you'll need and how big they should be. First figure out the square footage of the space you're covering, then check out the sizes that the tiles come in. That should help you choose a pattern that will work.

A herringbone design, for example, looks good with 6-by-12-inch tiles. A French or Versailles pattern gets a bit more complicated, using 8-by-8, 8-by-16, 16-by-16 and 16-by-24-inch tiles laid in a very specific design. Look up pictures of the patterns and use graph paper to draw the shape of your room, making sure that it's roughly to scale using the grid. Then begin drawing the square and rectangular shapes of the layout to figure out a rough estimate of how many tiles you'll need of each size.

Pair the best combinations
Once you've purchased your tiles, the last step before installation is to figure out which tiles should be placed together. Because each piece of travertine is slightly different when it comes to things like color and the direction of the veins, you'll want to carefully consider which tiles look good touching one another and in which direction. Once you've achieved a harmonious layout, it's time to start the installation process!

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