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Anyone with Experience with Travertine Tile install

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Anyone with Experience with Travertine Tile install

Old 07-16-2012, 06:06 PM
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Default Anyone with Experience with Travertine Tile install

I need some advice on installing Travertine tile 24 x24 Diagonal pattern

I plan on having this hired out, I want to get some insight on this as I have been told this needs a special type install
called marble set or Mud Set......So are there any points I need to look for ?
we want a rectified edge no grout.

What is average cost per foot install

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Old 07-16-2012, 06:38 PM
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I don't know what all the hoop-de-la is all about? I've just muded out the fllor and back buttered the tile and stucvk her down.
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Old 07-16-2012, 07:09 PM
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We used a white adhesive mortar instead of gray with travertine and make sure it is sealed before it is grouted.
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Old 07-16-2012, 07:18 PM
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You do want a marble set / mud set.

Don't cheap out on the install. But more importantly, GET a recent reference and go check it out in person. Yes you want a mud set / marble set which will be substantially more expensive (it's a good bit more labor and materials) than setting regular tile.

I was going to do travertine, but went with 24" rectified tile instead. (same thing) Unfortunately after getting a half dozen quotes for the job and agonizing over it, I finally went with a fast talker. They did a mediocre job at best and did not do the mud set I was promised. With zero grout line, ANY imperfection shows. The test of a perfect floor is that you should be able to roll a nickle across it without it jumping - well in my guest bed I can, and in my living room I can't. Unfortunately tile is forever and I didn't get to the job (travelling) until day 2 to see how it was going.

Last edited by Flot; 07-16-2012 at 07:29 PM.
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Old 07-17-2012, 03:12 AM
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The tile is very hard to lay down I have installed it in a couple houses most of your floors aren't level to start with so you need to level the floor as you go...most of your travetine isn't level either. some charge 5 a square foot others 7 good luck don't forget to seal it it will stain ..yes had a dog pee as we were installing yes stain for sure
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Old 07-17-2012, 03:20 AM
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Get more than you need. Open a lot of cartons because it has a pattern. lay the tiles on the floor and do your best to make it "flow". I know some will criticize this way of doing it but the difference between the way i described and just laying them as they come out of the boxes is remarkable
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Old 07-17-2012, 03:48 AM
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I've laid the main living area of our house with chiseled edge 18 X 18 X 1/2 " travertine, diagonal pattern. Just finished master bath with the same floor tile and polished travertine 9 X 18 shower (walls) subway pattern.

Mortar depends on the size tile. I used medium set mortar for the floors and thinset for the shower walls.

Not a hard job but you have to be meticulus as to tile level and even with adjacent tiles. I laid edge to edge (no spacing) and an unsanded grout that I pulled along the seams.

There's no "special" mortar to use. The only special consideration I had was to use an unmodified mortar for the shower walls. This was becaise the waterproofing membrane (Schluter Kerdi) required it.
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Old 07-17-2012, 04:38 AM
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Pictures of some of this work would be mighty nice.
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Old 07-17-2012, 05:05 AM
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Everyone is spot on. to clarify.."mud set" is a thicker setting bed which allows the floor to be dead level, unlike "thinset" which follows the undulations of the floor. Those big tiles MUST be level or the edges will stick up. Good luck..this isn't a job for the unskilled.
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Old 07-17-2012, 05:06 AM
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Originally Posted by ozzyaa View Post
The tile is very hard to lay down I have installed it in a couple houses most of your floors aren't level to start with so you need to level the floor as you go...most of your travetine isn't level either. some charge 5 a square foot others 7 good luck don't forget to seal it it will stain ..yes had a dog pee as we were installing yes stain for sure
This along with them not being perfectly square and exact in shape are the reasons you need someone that knows what they are doing. Particularly if you want toothpick joints. Also, travertine is soft and pourous.
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Old 07-17-2012, 05:09 AM
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Old 07-17-2012, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by bumster View Post
Get more than you need. Open a lot of cartons because it has a pattern. lay the tiles on the floor and do your best to make it "flow". I know some will criticize this way of doing it but the difference between the way I described and just laying them as they come out of the boxes is remarkable
Same with saltillo, which I have installed in my house. As well as marble. Overbuy and pick and choose what looks best. I bought the marble at Home Depot and they were more than happy to take back the cases that were "overage" on the tile job.

Unfortunately, I think I'll be going through this again. The Admiral hates the saltillo. I had it installed before I met her 17 years ago. I like it because nothing says Southwest more than saltillo tile. Each tile is unique and color varies, as well as imperfections and shape. Some even have minor finger impressions from being handmade. No such thing as a no grout line saltillo install - it's thick and uneven and part of its character.

Of course, she's pushing for travertine. So, this thread will help prepare me for what I'm in for!!
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Old 07-17-2012, 04:12 PM
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We learned the hard way at first but I am now an expert on sealing travertine the right way, lol. We recently finished laying grouted, chiseled edge, in french pattern.

Everone who sees and feels it, absolutely loves it. I would highly recommend the AquaMix Enrich and Seal. It brings out the natural colors and leaves a beautiful finish. The key is to not put it down too thick! The contractors put it down on the 1st room WAY to heavy by spraying it and leaving it on to dry! BIG MiSTAKE. I ended up with a terrible time removing all the excess.

I took over and instead used a bucket and large sponge, let it sit for 15 min and buffed off excess with a beach towel. Perfect.
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Old 07-17-2012, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Coconut Sunrise View Post
I need some advice on installing Travertine tile 24 x24 Diagonal pattern

I plan on having this hired out, I want to get some insight on this as I have been told this needs a special type install
called marble set or Mud Set......So are there any points I need to look for ?
we want a rectified edge no grout.

What is average cost per foot install

Coconut
I just want you to know what your getting into here because I didn't and wish someone would have told me. before I laid my travertine.

First... prep and laying travertine is not like laying tile. I assume your on a slab foundation like I am seeing the your in FL.

The floor will have to be leveled with mud. Some areas can take an inch or two if they are low. Sometimes a jack hammer will have to be brought in to remove very high spots. A rubber membrane should be laid and glued over the concrete sub floor to allow for movement of the sub floor without the tile cracking. The barrier is very expensive. You will have to leave about an eighth of an inch for grout between tiles but the grout line won't be noticeable. You will need this for expansion.

You will likely have to cut the bottoms of at least a few doors in the house as the floor will be higher than it was before with the buildup of mud under the tile.

Once the floor is laid it needs to be leveled with a diamond stone. They cut the floor level by grinding it removing the lips on the tiles and you can't lay a perfectly flat floor. It cost me $3000 just to cut, polish and seal my floor which is only 1000 sq ft.

The floor should be re-sealed every 2 years. Filled and honed travertine will need periodic maintenance to fill spots where the fill has come out. This part is not a big deal. It took my installer working by himself 3mo to lay 1000 sq ft. He only laid about 15 tiles per day. He was very meticulous. Sometimes he had to take up 3 or 4 tiles he had just laid because they weren't perfectly level. It's labor intensive and you have to find the right installer to do it right

But when your done your will have a masterpiece!







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Old 07-18-2012, 03:41 AM
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Originally Posted by ThreeLittleFish View Post
The floor will have to be leveled with mud. Some areas can take an inch or two if they are low. Sometimes a jack hammer will have to be brought in to remove very high spots. A rubber membrane should be laid and glued over the concrete sub floor to allow for movement of the sub floor without the tile cracking. The barrier is very expensive. You will have to leave about an eighth of an inch for grout between tiles but the grout line won't be noticeable. You will need this for expansion.
If you had to fill and scale as much as you say, something was severely wrong with your subfloor (I assume it was also a concrete slab). If you have a properly laid and cured slab, there's no need for the membrane. Additionally, the tile can be laid edge to edge if you like. If there were expansion/contraction like you say, the grout would quickly pulverize. If you have a constant (house) temperature - again, I'm talking on a slab in FL - what's going to cause the expansion?
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Old 07-18-2012, 04:41 AM
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We had about 800 square feet of travertine installed (20x20's) last year. Only bathrooms and the laundry room. It took our guy about three weeks to put in. We butted them end to end and it left about a 1/16 joint. We then filled that joint with I sanded grout and sealed the floor. He did use more mortar than normal, but it didn't take any grinding or polishing to get it right.
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Old 07-18-2012, 05:07 AM
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Originally Posted by airbrush View Post
If you had to fill and scale as much as you say, something was severely wrong with your subfloor (I assume it was also a concrete slab). If you have a properly laid and cured slab, there's no need for the membrane. Additionally, the tile can be laid edge to edge if you like. If there were expansion/contraction like you say, the grout would quickly pulverize. If you have a constant (house) temperature - again, I'm talking on a slab in FL - what's going to cause the expansion?
Modern "design mix" concrete is far from stable..seems like rinkers stuff was the worst, but anything with flyash is gonna shrink and crack. After 15 years the error of design is showing up everywhere. If there's pozzolines on the surface (dark patches) the concrete is junk.

A truly flat surface? Not usually. 3/4" birdbaths are not uncommon, and that is way outside the acceptable limit for this install.

Ever see terrazzo crack? It was made with real concrete.
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Old 07-18-2012, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by ThreeLittleFish View Post
I just want you to know what your getting into here because I didn't and wish someone would have told me. before I laid my travertine.
Okay... that was scary enough to make me say I'm sticking with the saltillo!!!!
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Old 07-18-2012, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by airbrush View Post
If you had to fill and scale as much as you say, something was severely wrong with your subfloor (I assume it was also a concrete slab). If you have a properly laid and cured slab, there's no need for the membrane. Additionally, the tile can be laid edge to edge if you like. If there were expansion/contraction like you say, the grout would quickly pulverize. If you have a constant (house) temperature - again, I'm talking on a slab in FL - what's going to cause the expansion?
I don't know what you mean "severely wrong". Was it level? No...I have never seen a level monolithic slab. My grout did quickly pulverize in spots. I had to re grout the floor a year after it was installed. All monolithic slabs expand and contract from summer to winter. I wasn't going to spend all the money I did without putting a crack isolation membrane down to stop the tile from cracking if the slab cracks. My house is 72 degrees year round. That doesn't mean the slab stays the same temp.
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Old 07-18-2012, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by airbrush View Post
If you had to fill and scale as much as you say, something was severely wrong with your subfloor (I assume it was also a concrete slab). If you have a properly laid and cured slab, there's no need for the membrane. Additionally, the tile can be laid edge to edge if you like. If there were expansion/contraction like you say, the grout would quickly pulverize. If you have a constant (house) temperature - again, I'm talking on a slab in FL - what's going to cause the expansion?
I don't know what you mean "severely wrong". Was it level? No...I have never seen a level monolithic slab. My grout did quickly pulverize in spots. I had to re grout the floor a year after it was installed. All monolithic slabs expand and contract from summer to winter. I wasn't going to spend all the money I did without putting a crack isolation membrane down to stop the tile from cracking if the slab cracks. My house is 72 degrees year round. That doesn't mean the slab stays the same temp.
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