How to Install Travertine Tiles Outside

Overview

Travertine tiles, whether installed indoors or outdoors, must be installed on a sturdy subfloor. For outdoor applications this should be a weather-resistant concrete. Installing tile on a wooden subfloor outdoors is not recommended because changes in temperature and humidity will cause the wood to warp over time and hurt the integrity of the tile. Travertine tile is a very porous tile that will absorb liquids, soils and stains over its lifetime if not properly sealed with a reputable penetrating stone sealer.

Laying Out the Tile

Step 1

Find the exact center of the area that you are tiling by finding the center of each side and drawing a perpendicular line to the opposite side of the area. These two lines will intersect at the exact center.

Step 2

Lay a row of loose tiles from the center mark along one of the centerlines to the edge. Insert two spacers in each tile to ensure a proper layout. The last tile will most likely not fit between the edge and the previous tile; leave it out for now.

Step 3

Measure the distance from the edge to the last full tile. Mark this distance and record it for later.

Step 4

Lay a row of loose tiles from the center mark along the centerline in the other direction to the opposite edge.

Step 5

Measure the distance from the edge to the last full tile. Mark this distance.

Step 6

Split the difference, if any, between the two end measurements to adjust your centerline so your tile layout is centered. For example, if you have 8 inches of space on the left side and 4 inches on the right side you will adjust the centerline 2 inches to the left so each side will have tiles cut to 6 inches.

Step 7

Repeat this process with the other two edges to center the tile in that direction as well.

Step 8

Mark your new center mark. This will leave your area in four quarters. You will tile from the center mark, completing the tiling in quarters.

Mixing your Thinset

Step 1

Pour half of the manufacturer's recommended amount of water into the five-gallon bucket.

Step 2

Empty half of the bag of thinset mortar mix on top of the water.

Step 3

Attach the mixing attachment to your grinder or high powered drill and set it to a low speed.

Step 4

Insert the mixing attachment in to the bucket and blend the thinset and water.

Step 5

While continuing to mix, add small amounts of the thinset and water to the bucket, blending each batch thoroughly until all the water and thinset has been added.

Step 6

Allow the thinset to set for 15 minutes before using. This will allow the adhesives within the mixture to fully activate.

Laying Your Tile

Step 1

Scoop a portion of thinset out of your bucket with the 1/2-inch trowel.

Step 2

Starting at your center mark, spread enough of the thinset across the subfloor for one tile. Tilt the trowel at a 30 degree angle, and spread the thinset in large half-arc strokes. Do not drag the edge of the trowel along the tile below; instead, use it to press the thinset against the underlying floor.

Step 3

Install your first tile where you laid the thinset. Give it a gentle, even press so it bonds to the thinset.

Step 4

Spread thinset and place a tile next to the original one, inserting two tile spacers between them. Place the tile close enough that you do not have to shift tile excessively in order to make it flush against the spacers.

Step 5

Continue this process of spreading small patches of thinset, setting tiles and inserting two spacers. Lay these tiles in an order that allows you not to trap yourself in, since you do not want to walk on this tile for at least several days.

Step 6

Cut tiles that will butt against the wall or other obstructions with the wet saw. Remember when measuring these spaces to account for the distance that your joint (and spacers) will occupy in the area.

Step 7

Continue around the subfloor, completing it in the quarters marked out by your centerline marks.

Step 8

Allow the tile to set for 48 hours, unless you used a quick-setting thinset, in which case refer to the manufacturer's curing time.

Seal the Tile

Step 1

Spray the sealer over the tile, a few square feet at a time, until the surface is wet.

Step 2

Allow the sealer to absorb for 15 minutes.

Step 3

Wipe off any excess sealer that has pooled on the surface with a sponge or towel.

Step 4

Allow sealer to dry for 48 hours before grouting.

Grouting the Tile

Step 1

Mix the grout according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Step 2

Scoop a cup-sized portion of grout with the padded grout float.

Step 3

Spread the grout diagonally to the joint between the tiles. Keep the float at a 30 degree angle, and avoid creating gaps in your coverage. Make sure the grout is fully inserted into any pits in the travertine.

Step 4

With a wet grout sponge, wipe up any excess grout diagonally to the joint. Rinse the sponge often, and remove any grout on the surface of the tile.

Step 5

Wipe the grout sponge along the joints to recess and shape the grout within the joint.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Tile
  • Tile spacers
  • Thinset mortar
  • 5-gallon bucket
  • Grinder
  • Grinder mixer attachment
  • 1/2-inch trowel
  • Wet saw
  • Penetrating sealer
  • Grout
  • Padded grout float
  • Grout sponge

References

  • Online Tips
Keywords: travertine tile, tile outside, install travertine

About this Author

John Horneman is a freelance writer with several years of experience writing about travel, tile and stone, technology, non-profit business, home design and politics for sites such as eHow, beatbookies.com and Answerbag. He graduated from Towson University with Bachelor of Science degrees in political science and electronic media and film. He has over eight years of experience in the tile and stone business.

Article provided by eHow Home & Garden | How to Install Travertine Tiles Outside