Worried about your first attempt at DIY travertine installation? If you want your project to be a success, avoid these common errors when implementing stone pavers.
1. Skimp on the base-construction
It may not be the exciting part of the process, but an adequate base for your travertine pavers is crucial. After you’ve marked the area with wooden stakes, you can begin work on the base.
Make sure you dig far enough down for your pavers to fit comfortably. Then, lay down a four-inch layer of gravel and crushed stone for a strong base. Once you’ve put this material down, consider installing a geotextile or filter fabric to avoid nasty mold buildup in poor drainage areas. To make this layer extra firm, use a plate compactor to compress it.
After you have the base prepared, you’ll want to put an additional two-inch layer of sand over it. If your pavers have different thicknesses, the sand layer should be a bit deeper. Again, pat down this layer with your plate compactor.
2. Laying down stones that don’t quite fit
Once you get to the good stuff – actually installing the natural stone pavers – you want to make sure the pieces fit properly. For the most part, this process should be easy. Whichever size stones you’re using, you’ll likely be able to line the surface without running out of space.
However, if you hit your wood-staked boundary and there isn’t space for the paver you’re about to install, you’ll need to cut the stones. Measure the stone carefully and score a line across the paver, then break the stone with a hammer and a cold chisel. If you do this carefully, you’ll completely cover your space.
3. Forgetting to level the pavers
Once you have all of your pieces in place, make sure that the surface is even. To do this, use a spirit level. If you find a section that’s higher than the rest of the patio, remove the pavers and adjust the base materials. On the other hand, if part of the surface is on the low side, take up these pavers and add materials.
If you avoid these common errors, you’ll successfully create a beautiful surface, whether next to a pool or outside your back door.