If you’re determined to conduct a DIY travertine installation project in your bathroom, you might want to follow a few tips to get the job done right.
Do the prep work
Have you ever tiled a floor before? If this is your first time, approach the process with care.
Before starting, take a look at each piece of travertine: Do you see the natural veins across it? The San Francisco Chronicle explains that pieces with several of these lines should be saved for the border of the area you’re surfacing because they’re structurally weaker.
Next, prepare your bathroom floor’s surface for the travertine tiles. Make sure that the surface is level using a hammer to reset any protruding nails or screws. Now, cut cement fiberboard and attach it to the floor.
Then, it’s time to get a little messy. Combine thinset mortar with water to make it the consistency of mashed potatoes, suggests the source. Line the floor with this concoction and put your fiberboard pieces onto it, a quarter-inch apart from one another. Don’t forget to keep this base level!
Seal the spaces between the fiberboard with fiberglass mesh tape, then screw down the perimeter and middle of each piece, about 8 inches apart.
Install the pieces carefully
Now the fun part: getting the tiles in place. To keep things organized, make yourself a grid to follow with chalk. Again, whip up your mashed-potato mortar mixture. Spread this over the quadrants of your grid with a trowel, then carefully lay the travertine pieces in it, adding spacers as you go along for your eventual grout lines.
Once the thinset is dry, you can remove the spacers and prepare the grout. Mix white grout with water until it has a thick consistency. Using a grout float, rub the paste into the joints between tiles.
Grab a wet sponge and wipe down the travertine tile so it’s free of excess grout. Then, let the grout set and apply a sealer to complete your project.
Keep a few other things in mind
The New York Times recently offered a few tips for bathroom tiling. First, if your floors are compromised, whether it’s because of warping or asbestos, the source suggests not attempting to install tiles without an expert.
Otherwise, give yourself about a week to install the pieces. The toilet complicates the bathroom’s floor, so it’s a good idea to have the whole fixture removed for the installation. The process can be taxing, but with a little elbow grease and a good wet saw to cut the tiles, you can do a professional job.