Questions about travertine

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by SpoonyLove, Nov 11, 2008.

  1. SpoonyLove

    SpoonyLove New Member

    Nov 11, 2008
    Hello Everyone-

    First post- Let me first say thanks to the community for this forum- It helped me a ton during my first big bathroom remodel.

    I am about to begin my second bathroom project, and I'm intending to install travertine on the floor and 2 walls of the bathtub surround. I was wondering if there are any particular gotcha's I should be aware of when installing a natural stone like travertine, instead of a plain-jane ceramic floor.

    First of all, I'm planning on demoing the existing floor down to the 1992 plywood subfloor, and building it back up with a layer of mortar, then hardi-back cement floor.

    We are looking at 12" square tiles for the floor, and perhaps 16" tiles in the tub surround.

    The last tile job I did, I used rough-edged ceramic tiles, and it was a little forgiving with variation in the height of the cement board. I goofed a little in a few spots, and the cement board joints had raised spots, which transfered through the tile. Because of the nature of the tile, it was pretty forgiving, and looks fine. I'm afraid with a polished stone like the travertine we're looking at, it will be less forgiving. Is this the case?

    Any incite or tips would be greatly appreciated!!

  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Sep 2, 2004
    Retired Systems engineer for defense industry.
    New England
    People often like and want small grout lines on polished stone tile to make it look more monolithic (like a slab). The smaller the grout line, the greater any flaws in the install show. The flatter the surface, the easier it is to make it look good.

    First, stone, especially travertine which can have more internal flaws than some other stones, requires a subfloor twice as stiff as one for ceramic. On an older house, the joists are rarely set up for this. Then, the subfloor for a stone install requires two layers of ply, ideally the first 3/4" T&G, and the second at least 3/8". Each must be C faces or better on both sides and with exposure I (waterproof) glues. There's rules on how the second layer needs to be installed.

    For great tile help, try They have a deflection calculator and a lot of help to determine if what you have will work, or if not, how to tweak it so it will.
  3. Sponsor

    Sponsor Paid Advertisement

Similar Threads: Questions travertine
Forum Title Date
Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog New Whirlpool bath and shower surround. Couple questions. Sep 6, 2017
Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog Installing new tub - newbie questions Apr 25, 2017
Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog Questions About Tub/Shower Faucets Apr 14, 2017
Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog Demo'd Fiberglass Shower & Installing New Tile Shower But I Have Questions??? Mar 25, 2017
Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog Shower surround questions Dec 5, 2016

Share This Page