Travertine tile is a beautiful flooring material for any room in your home, including your kitchen. However, installing tile is a complicated process, and you'll probably want to hire a tile installation service to do the job. Here are some of the steps involved in travertine tile installation.
Prepare The Floor
Old flooring has to be removed before the tiles go down, and the floor has to be level and clean. If there are dips in the floor, the tile installer can put down floor-leveling compound. Travertine tiles can go directly on a concrete slab. If you have a plywood subfloor, the contractor will probably install cement fiberboard first so the tiles have a hard and sturdy surface to rest upon. This keeps the tiles from cracking.
Prepare The Tiles
Since travertine tiles have subtle differences in color, the flooring installer may take all of the tiles out and arrange them so the colors are evenly mixed. This prevents having a darker area in one corner of the room and lighter colors bunched together in an opposite corner.
Find The Midpoint
Floor tiles are placed starting at the center of the room so the room looks balanced and so the cut tiles are along the edges of the room. The contractor can find the center by locating the center of the width and length of the room and drawing lines or using string to find the midpoint in the room. This is where the first tiles will be put down.
Lay The Tiles
Tile installation begins with spreading thin-set mortar on the floor and then pressing the tiles in the mortar to hold them in place. Spacers are put between the tiles to create the grout lines. It's important to keep the grout lines straight and to keep the tiles level as the work progresses. All of the whole tiles are installed first, and then the end tiles are cut so they can fit against the wall. Once the mortar has dried, the spacers are removed, and the grout can be applied.
Fill In Grout Lines
To create the grout lines, the installer mixes grout and water to make a paste. The paste is spread across the tiles and pressed into the lines created by the spacers. The grout has to be washed off of the tiles before it dries on them. Even so, a film is left behind that has to be buffed off of the tiles. Once the grout has cured, the tiles can be sealed to protect them from stains and to keep liquids from being absorbed into the tiles and grout.