DIY, Travertine Installation, Travertine Pavers

What is the best way to install travertine pavers?

Travertine pavers can either be mud-set or dry-set during installation. If you're wondering which method to choose before you embark on a travertine installation project, your best bet is to go with the dry-set method. This method works in both Southern and Northern climates, and it's easy to accomplish. Dry-setting your pavers also makes it simpler to replace a paver if you need to for any reason. Mud-set installation only works well in Southern climates, and it's a bit more time-consuming and doesn't allow you to easily replace your pavers. If you're wondering how the dry-set process works, here's a basic rundown.

Prepare the soil
The first step is to prepare the area where the travertine pavers will be installed. This means clearing away any grass or other material that may be covering the area, then compacting the soil. Make sure that it's not too wet and not too dry, otherwise you won't get the necessary level of flatness.

Create a border
Next, use pavers to make a border around the perimeter of the area that will be paved. Secure the border with something like FlexBond. This will let the travertine expand and contract without damaging during freeze/thaw cycles. This is an especially important step if you live in a colder climate.

Add gravel and sand
Once the border is complete, fill in the interior with 6 to 8 inches of gravel. Crushed limestone works well because it fits snugly together, which keeps the pavers in place. It also allows for proper drainage. Compact the gravel as you go, pressing between each layer. Once that's done, top it off with 1/2 inch of sand.

Lay the travertine
After the base is complete, it's time to install the pavers. The pattern you choose is completely up to you. Depending on which design you go with, you might have to make a few cuts to get pavers that are the right size. You can make cuts in travertine pavers by using the same tools you'd use to cut brick or other natural stone pavers. When you have the pieces you need, lay the pavers down on top of the sand, making sure that their edges fit snugly together. You don't need to leave space like you would with travertine tile.

Fill in the joints
When you're satisfied with the layout of your pavers, finish the job by filling in the joints. The best material for this is polymeric sand, which gets down into the cracks and solidifies to keep the pavers in place. It also ensures that weeds will have less of a chance to grow in between the pavers. Make sure the surface of you pavers is dry, then use a stiff brush to sweep the sand into the joints. When there's no sand left on top of the pavers, use your garden hose to mist the area and set the polymeric sand. This will complete the dry-set process and leave you with a gorgeous paved patio, driveway, walkway or pool deck.

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