Travertine Pavers

Expert weighs in on common questions about landscaping with travertine pavers

If your interiors are already embellished with travertine tile and you’re more than satisfied with the results, you may be looking for other ways to incorporate travertine into your renovation plans. If this is the case, have you thought about using travertine pavers in your yard?

Like the tiles, these natural stone pavers are made of travertine, but they’re thicker and more durable, making them ideal for use outdoors.

If you’re not sure how this material might fit into your landscaping plans or how to handle an installation project, we talked to landscape architect Kathleen Dorcé, who has the answers to a number of common questions related to the use of travertine pavers.

Where are the most popular spots to use pavers?

According to Dorcé, tumbled travertine pavers are most often used for patio or pool decks. However, they can also be used to create attractive walkways throughout a property or paths connecting the driveway to the backyard. Some homeowners even choose travertine pavers for their driveways as a fancier alternative to asphalt.

What is it about travertine that makes it ideal for these areas?

“The tumbled pavers are ideal for patios and pool decks because they’re heat resistant,” said Dorcé. “In the hot summer months, they don’t get blazing hot like bricks do, so they don’t burn your feet when you walk on them. Tumbled pavers are actually less slippery when wet, which also makes them ideal for pool decks. The porosity of the stone also helps absorb excess water by the pool.”

As far as driveways are concerned, pavers with chiseled edges are great, since they provide traction for car tires.

What supplies are needed to install the pavers?

Dorcé noted that it’s usually best to leave travertine paver installation up to the professionals – unless you’re a real do-it-yourself type who has some experience with similar projects.

If you’re up to the task and are dry setting the pavers, you’ll need crushed limestone, sand (Dorcé recommended polymeric sand if you want to put sand in between the joints) and FlexBond (if you live in in a colder climate that experiences freeze/thaw cycles).

You may also want to have a measuring tape, diamond saw, chalk (to mark the pavers), knee pads and a bucket on hand.

What are some helpful tips for pulling off a DIY travertine installation project?

“Before installing the stone, it’s better to take all of the pavers out of their crates and arrange them in place,” noted Dorcé. This makes it easier to blend the pavers and create smooth color transitions in between the stones for a more attractive end result.

The expert also pointed out that homeowners need to be careful with the saw used to cut the stone. Read up on the proper cutting method to avoid damaging the pavers.

In addition, keep in mind that travertine pavers can be heavy. Therefore, you’ll want to take care while handling them to avoid dropping and breaking them or hurting your back!

What kind of maintenance is necessary?

Paver maintenance is simpler than travertine tile maintenance, according to Dorcé.

“Pressure washing once in a while to remove dirt and debris is the way to go.”

Which plants complement the natural beauty of travertine?

“The choice of plants really depends on the climate, type of soil of the area and the kind of project the person has,” said Dorcé.

“For example, a homeowner in Florida who has silver-colored travertine in his or her backyard and wants color in the project could use hibiscus. The vivacious colors of the hibiscus and the rich hues of the silver travertine will create a beautiful contrast.”

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