A handbook for installing travertine on sand
From the Roman Colosseum to today’s gardens and courtyards, travertine has lived out the test of time and endured as one of the favorite materials for outdoor construction. All that much thanks to such qualities as low maintenance, resistance to weather impairment and remarkable long-lasting color.
Installing these tiles on sand is a relatively simple process. And even though we always recommend the assistance of a professional for these cases, we round up below a series of steps to take into account for your project to be successful:
Using lawn flags, mark out the perimeter where the tiles will be placed. Then, dig out the area to a depth of about 6 inches, coupled with the height of the tiles to be installed.
Tamp the soil with the aid of a compactor plate. To make the soil surface less prone to shifting, run the compactor in overlapping rows along the dug area.
Add a 2-inch-deep paver base layer made up of a combination of various sized gravels. Tamp it well and then add 2 more inches. Repeat the procedure, this time adding only a final 1-inch layer. Tamp for a third time until a total gravel layer of approximately 4 inches is obtained.
On top of the gravel layer, make a sandbed about 2 inches deep and apply the compactor plate. Repeat the procedure. The resulting layer should be about 2 inches thick.
Place stones on the edges of your patio on the sand covering the edge of the dug area. Make sure they are properly leveled. To make any necessary height adjustments, simply tap the stones with a rubber mallet or add sand under the stones as needed.
To begin laying the travertine pieces on the sandbed, start on one corner of the dug area. Build outward from that corner, adding pavers based on the desired pattern. To set the first tile, press firmly and tap with a rubber mallet until it sinks. Lay the next tile and repeat the procedure.
Check that the top of the pavers are leveled with the adjacent stones. You can sink the higher pieces with the help of the mallet. Or you can raise them by adding more sand underneath.
If you need to cut a paver, you can use a cold chisel and a hammer. First, mark a cutting line and then strike hard.
Once in place, pour sand over the surface of the travertine pavers and sweep it with a broom until you have filled the joints between the pieces. Also, fill in any remaining gaps with respect to the edge stones. Using a hose, sprinkle the pavers with water. You will notice that some of the sand impregnated in the joints will sink. Let it dry and repeat until no more sand sinks.