Are you interested in buying travertine tiles and installing them yourself? The process can be as simple as installing conventional tiles—provided that your floor or wall is already properly prepared. It’s still best to call in the professionals to ensure that your project is done quickly and correctly. But if you insist on DIY travertine flooring installation, here are some tips to keep in mind. We can only cover the initial preparation step in this blog.
1. Buy the right tools. You will need the following:
• Wet saw with diamond blade
• 1/2-inch cement fiberboard
• Floor leveling compound
• Straightedge tool
• Spackling compound
• Utility knife
• Thinset mortar
• Fiberglass mesh tape
• Chalk line
• Notched trowel
• Carpenter’s level
• Carpenter’s angle
• Grout float
• Soft cloth
2. Check the floor and ensure that it is leveled. Get rid of any protrusions. Are there any screws or nails? Be sure to set them below the surface. You will need to apply floor leveling compound on your floor (or spackling on your wall) to correct uneven areas. Let them dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
3. For wooden walks and subfloors, attach 1/2-inch cement fiberboard. Cut the fiberboard by setting a straight edge tool on top of it and drawing a utility knife along the edge. Be sure to space fiberboards about 1/4-inch apart. Also, leave a 1/4-inch gap around the room’s perimeter. Stagger all joints.
4. Add water to thinset mortar until it’s similar to the consistency of mashed potatoes. You then spread the thinset on your wall or floor so you can set the fiberboards into it. To ensure that the all or the floor remains level, don’t forget to use a carpenter’s level during setting.
5. Seal the seams using fiberglass mesh tape embedded in a very thin layer of thinset. Use the smooth side of the towel to smooth the tape in place.
6. It’s time to add screws around the perimeter of each cement fiberboard piece as well as in the middle of each piece. Be sure to space the screws about 8 inches apart.