Having realized that travertine is just what your back patio needs to look fantastic, you might wonder if you can pull off installing the pieces. Luckily, DIY travertine installation isn’t overly complicated.
Install the pavers yourself
Once you feel you have adequate knowledge on the process, you can get going, following these basic steps.
First, mark the area where you’ll be putting down the pavers with wooden stakes. Easy enough, right? After that, you’ll want to dig out enough excess dirt, sand or gravel to make room for the pavers and base materials that keep them in place.
The next step? You guessed it. Get these base materials down. This layer is about four inches of crushed stone and gravel. If your soil doesn’t typically drain well, you may want to throw down a layer of filter fabric on top of the base to stop any nasty mold from turning up. Use a plate compactor to pat down the area.
Over the base, you’ll want to put down a layer of sand. This will make a nice bed for your the travertine. If your pavers are about the same thickness, you only need about two inches of sand. If the pieces differ, give it a little more depth. Again, a plate compactor works well to solidify the layer.
Once you have these layers in place, you’ll finally be ready to install the pavers. The best way to do this is starting in a corner and working out, using a rubber mallet to get the pieces snuggly in place.
You may have to cut some of the stone to fit it into your space. To do this, you can simply draw a line on the paver. Then, using a chisel and hammer score this mark right into the surface. The stone should break apart easily along this line.
After you have all the pieces down, you’ll want to make sure that the surface is totally even. Using a split level, check to see if there are any high or low spots across the space. These are easy fixes: Simply add or remove sand underneath these pieces.
To finish off your masterpiece, fill in any gaps between your travertine pavers with sand and wash the whole thing down with a garden hose.
Of course, if installing natural stone pavers isn’t exactly part of your repertoire, it may be a good idea to ask a professional for general advice!