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August 28, 2016
Travertine pavers give any homeowner the opportunity to own a patio, sidewalk or driveway that looks as if it were right out of a cathedral. Travertine pavers can add value to the home by being aesthetically pleasing. If you have a concrete patio, sidewalk, driveway or walls, you can make them look much better with travertine pavers. Installing travertine pavers on top of concrete saves you money while increasing value. The following article will show you how.
Step 1 – Clean the Concrete
The last thing you want is to have dirt and other debris sealed into mortar. It will not be visible, but it can cause the travertine pavers not to set properly. Sweep away any dust that may be on the surface of the concrete. Mix a few drops of soap into the water reservoir of a power washer and then spray down the concrete. Rinse out the reservoir, fill it with clean water and then rinse down the concrete. Allow the concrete to air dry. If this is inside the home, you could use a dehumidifier to hasten the drying process.
Step 2 – Apply Mortar
With the concrete dry, you can begin applying the mortar to the concrete. Since both concrete and mortar are porous, they will bond together. Install the mixing attachment to the drill and, using the instructions with the mortar, mix it in the bucket. You can also buy mortar that is already mixed. Always begin at the inside corners of the project. Apply the mortar to the concrete using the trowel and being generous with the amount that you use. Work in small sections so you do not give the mortar much time to begin its drying process. Use the trowel to spread the mortar out over the concrete as well as to give it some texture.
Step 3 – Place Travertine Pavers
Once the mortar has been spread out over the concrete, you can begin laying the pavers. Place the pavers in the corner, first making sure they are tight against the wall. If doing a driveway or sidewalk, then add extra mortar to the outside edge to compensate for the spreading of the mortar. Once the paver is in place, press down on it while wiggling it from side to side. This helps to spread out the mortar as well as allowing it to attach to the travertine pavers. Place the next paver, butting it up against the last. Continue adding mortar and pavers in this fashion until they are all placed.
Step 4 – Clean Up
As you are placing the pavers, you will notice mortar being expelled through the seams. Use the trowel to remove this excess mortar and place it back in the bucket for use later on. The mortar needs to cure for at least a full day prior to being walked on. It will be at least a week before the mortar is fully cured.
- Power washer – gernie
- Mild soap
- Travertine pavers OR tiles
- Mortar Mix
- Mixing attachment for drill
- Straight Edge or Level
- Chalk Line
- TIME – If no time allow approx $65-85 m2 for a professional paver to do the job.
August 8, 2016
Travertine – The basic background information
When most people think of travertine they think of the Colosseum in Rome and its history of use over thousands of years, now this unique stone type has made a comeback – but what is it?
Travertine Mock up
How does Travertine differ from Limestone – Similar BUT different?
Although both are composed of calcium carbonate, travertine is different from limestone due to its mode of formation and structure. For limestone, the predominant source of calcite is from marine organisms that either die or secrete material that settles to the ocean floor. The limestone subsequently formed may be reinforced at a later date by secondary calcite provided from supersaturated waters.
Travertine owes its origins to limestone deposits that have been dissolved by warm carbon dioxide laden (slightly acidic) water. When this carbonate-saturated water resurfaces at springs, the change in pressure and temperature results in the release of the carbon dioxide causing precipitation and recrystallisation of the calcium carbonate. In most cases the precipitation settles on aquatic plants eventually encasing the vegetation within the newly formed stone producing the typical pores or spongy appearance.
The elongated cavities found in most travertine also change its physical structure and characteristics compared to limestone. Although most stone types have some form of ‘grain’ or rift which can vary the stones’ appearance to some degree, the porous structure of travertine can change the stone markedly when viewed in different orientations.
Colors of Travertine
Travertine is typically light cream to tan in colour although some localised deposits have been found to have a light grey-blue colouring. The stone can be produced in a range of finishes including polished, honed, sawn, tumbled and grit blasted.
As discussed earlier, travertine is a highly anisotropic material which gives the stone a distinctly different appearance depending on which way it is cut. Cutting travertine perpendicular to the bedding accentuates the grain and is identified as vein-cut.
The vein-cut finish exposes the natural elongated cavities within the stone which accentuate the texture of the stone but may also trap dirt and general grime. Filling the open cavities on one face of the slab with a cement or resin based filler makes cleaning easier by producing a consistent surface finish.
Travertine that is cut parallel to the bedding is called cross-cut. This orientation displays loose ‘flowery’ concentric blotches giving rise to the alternative name of fleuri-cut.
Travertine flooring and recommended aplications
Travertine is easy on the eye and soft to the touch making it a popular material for use inside and out. It is predominantly used as floor tiles, veneer cladding and paving. The natural cavities usually exclude the stone from use as bench top material although when filled with a durable epoxy or polyester could be used in areas that are predominantly dry.
Travertine is rarely used for monuments although its textural characteristics make it an interesting statuary and landscaping material. The stone is quarried in large block form. Finished unit thickness varies typically from 10 – 30mm with internal tiles typically 10mm, large format tiles and paving 20 – 30mm and external cladding 30mm thick.
Both cross-cut and vein-cut are popular products and selection is usually based on the desired aesthetic. As there can be a significant difference in the strength between cross-cut and vein-cut travertine it is important to consider the static and live loads that may be imposed on the stone.
By definition, vein-cut exposes the vein and presents the material in its weakest condition although this can be offset to some degree by the use of square units or by ensuring the vein is oriented down the length of rectangular units.
The cavities in cross-cut travertine are oriented parallel to the slab which exposes fewer cavities than vein-cut. The random distribution of cavities means that occasionally cavities will lie just below the surface and can be exposed by being punched through by shoe heels or hard wheels on trolleys. In a commercial environment it should be expected that the occasional punch-through will occur and these can be repaired by use of a matching filler.
Like marble and limestone, travertine is etched by acidic substances such as wine, soft drinks and some liquid soaps. The application of an impregnating sealer will not prevent etching as they do not protect the surface of the stone. If the stone is likely to be exposed to acids the use of a honed or matt surface will make etching less conspicuous.
The physical specification requirement is primarily intended for evaluation of raw (unfilled) travertine although it provides valid criteria for evaluation of the many filled travertine products on the market. It is important to note that the flexural strength requirement in the specification is based on the testing of vein-cut travertine with the loaded applied across the grain which is the weakest orientation.
The ASTM specification is a useful guide for performance of travertine as flooring as the higher the density and lower the water absorption, the less likely the stone is to suffer from punch-throughs. Water absorption and flexural strength are the key performance indicators for this stone and should be evaluated closely throughout the project supply phase to ensure adequate performance in service.
STONE PAVERS AND TILES – THE CHARACTERISTICS OF ALL TYPES AND RECOMMENDED AREAS OF INSTALLATION
A beginners guide to material selection
We have all been bamboozled by salespeople trying to explain the virtues of the latest product – whether it be a computer or a car.
Choosing stone need not be the same experience. By understanding stone’s basic properties you can make an educated decision when you are selecting stone for your next project.
The ‘right stone’ for your project needs to meet requirements based on appearance and performance. Selecting suitable flooring, for example, is firstly a matter of personal taste. One of the appealing aspects of using stone is how its unique character can be used to display your own distinctive personality.
The range of colours, textures and finishes available in stone now rivals the range available in more ‘traditional’ floor coverings. Like these coverings, choosing a stone that is durable and resistant to staining and wear is important. The first step is to understand the strengths and challenges of the various types of stone available.
Below is a brief beginner’s guide to the seven main stone types commercially available.
Stone Type: Sandstone
Formation and composition: A sedimentary rock composed predominantly of quartz usually cemented together with clay and/or fused with secondary silica which has been chemically deposited. Minor minerals containing iron and manganese (among others) give the stone its unique characteristics. The movement of these soluble minerals throughout the stone can produce banding or develop as a uniform colour.
Surface finishes: The typical gritty nature of sandstone precludes the development of a polished finish, but some dense materials can produce a honed finish. Coarser surface textures include sawn, sandblasted, bush hammer and rock-face.
Appearance: Typically white, gold or brown but also available in shades of red, purple, grey, green and black.
Common usage: Sandstone is commonly used as pedestrian paving, internal and external cladding, statuary and masonry construction.
Reasons for selection: Sandstone is a very versatile material that can easily be cut and transformed into just about any form imaginable. Most surface finishes will comply with the most rigorous slip resistance requirements. As sandstone doesn’t absorb heat rapidly, it tends to stay cool under foot and is therefore a good choice for entertaining areas.
Characteristics to consider: Some types of sandstone contain expansive clays which can be a problem when the stone is subjected to repetitive wet-dry cycles. These cycles can make the clay expand and contract leading to decay or bowing of the tiles. Sandstone has a relatively high water absorption (~2 – 8% by weight) which can make the stone sensitive to staining and salt attack. Sandstone generally has a low resistance to wear and tends to produce a gritty residue. This grit can be harmful to softer floor coverings such as marble or carpet.
Performance evaluation criteria: When selecting a particular type of sandstone it is important to ensure that it will perform in the intended location. Basic physical properties such as water absorption and density will assist in evaluation of stain resistance and durability. Compressive strength and modulus of rupture (3-point bending strength) allow evaluation of the stone’s performance under load. It is important to evaluate the strength of sandstone in both a wet and dry condition as sandstone can lose more than 50% of its strength when wet. Resistance to salt attack determines the degree and mode of decay when the stone is exposed to salt and frequent wetting and drying cycles. The dimensional stability test determines the linear expansion of the stone following soaking. The installation of unstable stone can lead to accelerated decay as well as ‘dishing’ or bowing of panels or tiles. Determining abrasion resistance is also of benefit if the stone is to be used as commercial paving.
Stone Type: Granite
Formation and composition: An igneous rock formed at depth. True granites contain quartz, mica and feldspar but in the commercial sense the term covers just about any igneous rock that will take a polish. The colour and texture of granite varies greatly and is dependent on the stone’s mineral composition and rate of cooling.
Appearance: The most versatile of materials. Granite can be processed to produce a wide range of finishes from a highly reflective polish to a rough exfoliated (flamed) surface. Other surface finishes include honed, sandblasted, antiqued and water-jet blasted.
Colour range: Granite covers the whole pallet of colours, from jet black to ice white. Other common colours are red, brown, green, grey, yellow-gold, blue. Granite, by definition is ‘granular’, but the grain size varies widely from less than 1mm to more than 5cm.
Common usage: Paving, internal and external cladding, wall and floor tiles, bench tops and monuments.
Reasons for selection: Granite could be considered the most durable stone type; it is generally strong and hard wearing. Granite has a relatively low water absorption capacity and combined with chemically inert minerals gives the stone good resistance to most stains.
Characteristics to consider: Dark coloured granites usually have a tendency to show oil stains. As dark colours tend to absorb more heat, it is important that expansion joints are properly designed especially where the materials is to be used in an exposed location. Light coloured stones are more likely to show rust stains, whether they are from an external source or from altered minerals within the stone. Poor extraction techniques (e.g. blasting) may introduce stress cracks into the granite which will weaken the stone.
Performance evaluation criteria: Water absorption and density are good indicators of the freshness and general strength of granite. Determining flexural strength (4-point bending strength) is vital to determine the suitability of a stone for use as large format cladding or paving. Coefficient of thermal expansion provides information on the linear expansion of the stone upon heating which can be used to determine the size and spacing of expansion joints. A thorough petrographic examination can be carried out to determine the ‘freshness’ of the stone, the presence of micro-cracks, or minerals that may cause staining at a later stage.
Stone Type: Limestone
Formation and composition: A sedimentary rock composed predominantly of calcium carbonate. Most limestone is formed by the deposition and compaction of marine fossil debris (e.g. shells, coral and bones) but freshwater and aeolian (wind blown) deposits are also known and available commercially.
Surface finishes: The density of limestone varies considerably and this affects the surface finishes available for different types of limestone. High density limestone (e.g. Jura from Germany) can be processed to produce a ‘satin’ honed finish. Coarser and less dense types of limestone are limited to a sawn or coarse-honed finish.
Appearance: Predominantly white, cream or tan sometimes with golden ‘highlights’ due to the presence of limonite (iron hydroxide). Limestone is also available in blue-grey, grey and black.
Common usage: Paving, internal and external cladding, floor and wall tiles.
Reasons for selection: Limestone is a sensual stone being pleasing to the eye as well as to the touch. It offers a range of subtle pastel and natural colours which blend in with today’s minimalist trend while still imbuing warmth. Most limestone is resistant to salt attack making it a good choice for pool surrounds.
Characteristics to consider: Because limestone is composed of calcium carbonate it is sensitive to acid which can dissolve the stone. On ‘polished’ or fine-honed surfaces this acid attack will leave unsightly etching marks on the surface. Limestone is relatively soft (compared to granite) and this can result in surface wear and loss of polish in high traffic areas – black limestone is particularly sensitive to tracking. Most types of limestone contain linear features (veins) known as stylolites. These features may be lined with clay which can weaken the stone, especially when wet leading to premature failure or surface spalling
Performance evaluation criteria: Water absorption, density, compressive strength, modulus of rupture, resistance to salt attack (for low density stone), dimensional stability, abrasion resistance, petrographic examination.
Stone Type: Travertine
Formation and composition: A sedimentary rock formed by the precipitation of calcium carbonate from mineral springs. The calcium carbonate is often deposited onto vegetation such as moss or algae which plays a part in developing the typical porous nature of the stone.
Surface finishes: Commercial travertine usually has a relatively high density; therefore it usually processed to produce a ‘satin’ honed finish. The material can be used with the pores unfilled or filled with a stable cementitious or polymer filler. Travertine can also be processed with textured finishes such as sandblasted or bush hammered finish.
Appearance: Predominantly white, cream or tan sometimes with subtle golden or blue-grey tones. The appearance of travertine can vary dramatically depending on how it is cut. Cutting travertine across the ‘grain’ highlights the tonal variations in the deposition layers and exposes the large, normally elongated pores. Material slabbed in this fashion is called vein-cut. If the travertine is cut parallel, or along the grain, the variations in the layers are presented as a flowery, blotchy or circular pattern – this slabbing orientation is called cross-cut or fleuri cut.
Common usage: Internal and external cladding, floor and wall tiles.
Reasons for selection: The unique patterning and texture of travertine has been admired for thousands of years. Travertine is generally a dense and durable material that is soft to the touch and stays cool under foot which makes it a good choice for barefoot areas such as bathrooms or pool surrounds.
Characteristics to consider: If used unfilled, the characteristic porous nature of travertine can lead to entrapment of dirt and grime. Although travertine is a relatively strong material, the elongated pores within vein-cut travertine can cause a considerable reduction in flexural strength compared to cross-cut material. Like limestone, travertine is composed of calcium carbonate and is therefore sensitive to acid attack.
Performance evaluation criteria: Water absorption, density, flexural strength and abrasion resistance.
Stone Type: Marble
Formation and composition: A metamorphic rock composed predominantly of calcite formed from limestone after the application of heat and/or pressure. Commercially, the term is also used for types of high density limestone that will take a polish.
Surface finishes: The high density and low porosity of marble allows it to be processed to a high polish. Other surface finishes available are honed, sawn and sandblasted.
Appearance: Typically white, often with some minor veining but also available in colours such as black, blue-grey, red and pink. Marble is generally very fine grained although some types with large grains (+5cm) are available.
Common usage: Paving, internal and external cladding, bench and vanity tops, floor and wall tiles.
Reasons for selection: Its translucent nature and pearly lustre is unique and no other material suggests elegance like marble. The range of materials available allows selection of uniform colours, subtle veining or a dramatic mosaic effect.
Characteristics to consider: Most types of marble are composed predominantly of calcium carbonate and are therefore sensitive to acid attack. Marble is also relatively soft making it sensitive to scratching and surface wear. The use of textured finishes in high traffic areas is likely to polish leading to a reduction in slip resistance. Some types of marble have been known warp when used externally as large format panels.
Performance evaluation criteria: Water absorption, density, compressive strength, flexural strength, dimensional stability, petrographic examination.
Stone Type: Slate
Formation and composition: A fine grained metamorphic rock that has developed a foliation (sheet like layers) due to the pressure imposed upon it. Slate is mainly composed of quartz and muscovite with lesser amounts of chlorite, hematite and pyrite. Other trace minerals that have an effect on the stone’s colour may be present.
Surface finishes: The natural foliation of the slate is used to produce a rough split-face finish. Some slates can also be produced with a honed, sawn or bush hammered finish.
Appearance: Typically various shades of grey although black, green, red and purple materials are also commercially available.
Common usage: Wall, floor and roof tiles, internal and external paving. Massive slates can be processed to produce bench or billiard table tops.
Reasons for selection: The natural split-face finish of slate makes it a relatively simple material to process that is highly slip resistant. Its low porosity and chemically inert composition make it stain resistant and is a popular and durable choice for indoor and outdoor paving.
Characteristics to consider: Some slate contains pyrite which may decay to iron oxide and leave rust stains. Poor quality slates may delaminate (split) or soften with age leading to failure. Many types of slate are not calibrated (processed to an exact thickness) which requires additional work when laying to produce a level surface.
Performance evaluation criteria: Water absorption, density, modulus of rupture, resistance to acid attack.
Stone Type: Bluestone
Formation and composition: Bluestone is a loose term covering a range of stone types that are not easily dressed such as sandstone (classed as a ‘freestone’). In Victoria, basalt is known as bluestone while in South Australia the term refers to a range of metamorphic rocks including schists and siltstone. Porphyry quarried in Queensland could also be classed as bluestone.
Surface finishes: Most types of bluestone are marketed with ‘natural’ split or rock face finishes. Victorian bluestone (basalt) is usually used with a sawn finish. Some bluestone products are also available with honed and sandblasted finishes.
Appearance: Victorian bluestone is black to dark grey-blue while South Australian bluestone is predominantly grey-blue with ‘autumn’ colour highlights. Porphyry is available in grey-blue tones as well as golden autumn colours. Victorian bluestone is characterised by large pores called vesicles but commonly known as ‘cats paws’.
Common usage: Bluestone is processed as cubic material for masonry construction and also as setts or flags for pedestrian and vehicular paving. Victorian bluestone can be sawn into calibrated slabs and tiles for use as paving and cladding.
Reasons for selection: Bluestone is a group of stone materials that is generally considered to be strong, dense, durable and stain resistant. In Victoria and South Australia, bluestone is seen as an integral part of the local history and the earthy colour range is effectively used to blend the contemporary and natural environments.
Characteristics to consider: Most types of bluestone are not calibrated during processing therefore significant thickness variations needs to be taken into account during installation.
Performance evaluation criteria: Water absorption, density, modulus of rupture, secondary mineral content.
August 3, 2016
One of the most common questions regarding the sealing of tile, grout and natural stone is, “Do we need to seal?” The answer is that all stone and tile products –even porcelain tile –benefits from sealing. There is a broad range of elements that can penetrate or hold to the surface, including grout, dyes, polyester resins, epoxy resins, oil, water, etc.
Many products on the market have been designed to beautify and “protect” the surfaces of stone, tile and grout, including sealers, finishes, color enhancers and waxes. As the name implies, sealers actually seal the surface tight against chemicals, water and other contaminants. Normally, a finish is placed on top of a sealer. Sealers typically are not vapor permeable and can be semi-permanent and hard to repair.
Sealers can be water-based or solvent-based. Most water-based sealers cannot be used outside.
Finishes are coatings that incorporate acrylic polymers, synthetic polymerized waxes and natural waxes. These products form a hard, transparent film. They are typically applied to a surface after it has been sealed. The solids content normally dictates cost. Finishes range from 8 to 38% solids content. The higher the solids, the more difficult to use, and the more expensive it is.
Most finishes in high-traffic areas require daily maintenance of cleaning, mopping and restoring with a high-speed buffing. Typically, finishes have a limited life span of a few weeks to one year before complete stripping and re-coating is required. Stripping of sealers and finishes can do much of the damage associated with top coating natural stone.
Finishes are normally used inside away from sun, wind and rain. Typically, finishes are hard to repair and must be stripped or re-coated. They also lack vapor permeability.
Waxes are normally comprised of naturally occurring elements such as carnuba, montan, ozokorite and beeswax. These elements are heated and emulsified to desired solids content ranging from 8 to 40%. Waxes are soft materials and require buffing to obtain gloss. Waxes have low durability and may require multiple applications. Most waxes are vapor permeable and can be easily applied and repaired when scratched or damaged.
These products are topical coatings in the truest sense of the word. Typically, these products are acrylics and modified acrylics with lower solids and lower viscosity. They tend to penetrate more deeply than a traditional topical coating. Color enhancers can also be more durable, allow vapor transmission and many can be used outside in the elements. As with most products, color enhancers are available in both solvent-based and water-based formulas.
In most instances, solvent-based coatings are not compatible with water-based coatings. In addition,
it typically takes a solvent-based stripper to remove a solvent-based coating and a water-based stripper to remove a water-based coating. It is important to keep similar chemicals applied to the same surface. Should a mix occur, an adhesion challenge may take place and although it may look and feel correct, the end result will cause the coatings to separate.
These products are surface treatments that will not change the natural look of the substrate. Impregnators will not show scratching or scuffing and do not require constant attention to maintain the quality of finish. Re-application of an impregnator can range from six months to 20 years, depending on the manufacturer, substrate and surface location.
Impregnators are typically low molecular weight polymers formulated to penetrate below the surface. To accomplish this feat, monomers are simply hydrolyzed in the presence of solvent or water. The low viscosity allows complete wetting of the particles or fibers within the given substrate. When the carrier of solvent or water evaporates, the impregnator reacts to leave a long-lasting, invisible barrier of protection from the elements.
There are three basic ways the impregnator works. With water-based impregnators, the water evaporates and leaves behind a film. This film changes the angle of contact between liquid and the solid surface that has been treated. The greater the angle of contact between the liquid and the solid, the more difficult it is to penetrate the solid.
The impregnator film also reduces surface tension, making it more difficult for most liquids to penetrate the solid surface. This change in surface tension also creates the “beading” action that customers are so fond of.
With solvent-based impregnators, there is an added benefit of a cross-link phenomenon that creates a “barrier.” This added barrier virtually eliminates any penetration of liquids.
For these three reasons, products that best protect stone and tile against water and oil stains contain complex and unique polymers and co-polymers.
Solvent-based impregnators vs. water-based impregnators
The only way to protect the substrate is to penetrate it with something that will carry the protection into it. The protection can come from silicones, silanes, siloxanes and various polymers and co-polymers. Nevertheless, it has to be carried into the substrate, and it will typically use one of two carriers: solvent or water.
Typically, solvents will allow varied and deeper penetration into the substrate than water. The curing process, which is a result of evaporation, can be adjusted by using different solvents. Solvent-based impregnators can be cross-linked, allow a wider temperature window for application, have better durability, and are typically unaffected by exposure to cold during application, storage and shipment.
Water is hydroscopic and will hold out on the surface. The protection cannot penetrate any deeper than the water will. The protection can only be in place when the water evaporates. For many dense surfaces, like porcelain tile and polished granite, water will not penetrate very deeply (if at all) and the protection is left at the surface with poorer durability over the long term. Any polymer can be emulsified, but unlike solvent-based products, water-based products cannot be cross-linked to give best performance.
Water-based products are typically lower in toxicity and have little or no smell as compared to similar solvent-based products. Contrary to some beliefs, water-based products are no easier to use or apply than comparable solvent-based products. In some instances, they can present difficult challenges when removal is necessary.
Different protection sources
The most common protection sources of an impregnator come from the silicone family and the fluropolymer family. Silicones are any group of semi-organic polymers containing chains of alternate silicon and oxygen atoms, characterized by wide-range thermal stability and used in adhesives, lubricants, protective coatings and synthetic rubber. Silicones can actually last longer that the substrate they have been applied to. Unaffected by outside elements, they can only be damaged by temperatures of +900 to +1,200 degrees F or by exposing them to a very strong caustic solution.
Co-polymers and fluropolymers are relatively new to the tile and stone industry. Usually, these products consist of long-chained molecules that contain fluorine and carbon. Because fluorine is electronegative, it is not found occurring naturally in the earth. Rather, it is always combined with something else. By extracting fluorine and then combining it with carbon, one can achieve many desired properties when such a material is applied to a substrate. These raw materials have been utilized in the fabric and textile industry for many years.
As a rule, silicone-type products repel water very well and are weaker at oil repellency, and fluropolymer-type products are weak at repelling water but good for repelling oil. It is difficult to achieve both, and most products on the market sacrifice in one area or the other. Research will find that just a few products that actually work well at repelling both elements over the long term.
Do not be misled by the unit cost of the product you are considering. There is a wide range of prices on the products available. We suggest using the cost-per-square-meter to determine which product is more expensive. Expect to pay between $60 per litre and covers 10m2 per litre, and another product costs $90 but covers 10m2 per litr. (depends solely on which suburb you shop in)
To ensure that a product will perform as promised, request independent backup for all claims made by any company. It is very simple for manufacturers to supply their products to independent labs for testing. If the results favor the specific needs of an application, then test the products yourself.
Which surfaces benefit?
Surfaces that will benefit include: grout, quarry tile, ceramic tile, some glazed tile, some porcelain tile, marble, granite, travertine, limestone, slate, brick, terrazzo, quartz, sandstone, flagstone, concrete, masonry, saltillo, terra-cotta, cantera and all types of natural and cast tile and stone products.
An impregnator will resist water, oils, grease, mold, mildew, algae, efflorescence, graffiti, grout dyes, epoxy grout film, cement grout film, mortar haze, acid rain, atmospheric dirt, lime deposits, soap scum and other penetrating items. In addition, many impregnators make the surface less slippery, harder, and allow 100% vapor transmission.
It is also important to note that while kitchens and restrooms represent approximately 10% of a facility, they are used by 100% of the occupants and visitors and cause more than 80% of the facility complaints. This is an important factor when considering that these areas typically utilize stone and tile.
Uses for impregnators include but are not limited to: grout release, kitchen floors and counters, showers, baths, driveways, pool areas, garages, restaurants, cafeterias, grocery and meat markets, loading dock areas, exterior walkways (to minimize damage associated with freeze/thaw) and buildings exteriors (to resist weather and acid rain). In addition to residential applications, sealers have been successfully used at hospitals, schools, government facilities, airports, train and bus stations, hotels, quarries, industrial plants, laboratories, service stations, bridge abutments, historical sites and shopping malls.
August 2, 2016
The following procedure is for the installation of Natural Stone Travertine Tile for Flooring. It may be used over any wood or cement floor that is structurally sound and dry. In new home constructions where plywood is used as a sub floor, it is suggested that an underlayment or backer board needs to be attached to the sub floor to insure rigidity where travertine floors will be installed.
Clean area where travertine is to be installed. In the case of smooth painted or varnished floors, it is necessary to sand with a very coarse sand paper to assure a good mastic bond.
Lay out the travertine to understand pattern choices. For multi-color travertine, blend tile randomly to give proper blend of colors as color vary from tile to tile.
Using a notched 10mm notch trowel, hold at a 45° angle to be sure a full ridge is made with the notches. Spread thinset on the floor starting at a far corner so you can back out of the room as your proceed. Spread just enough area so you can reach over it to place the travertine.Spread a good amount of thinset on the floor. Adding or taking away thinset will ensure that all the tiles are evenly set
Maintain a grout space between the pieces as recommended by the travertine supplier (3-5mm) depending on the size of the tiles. To do these accurately, use spacers. Travertine may also be laid without joints, in which case edges are then butted against one another, only if the material is honed or polished, however we recommend 2-3mm joint.
Each piece of travertine should be firmly pressed into the adhesive to secure a good bond, back buttering of the tile is also recommended.
After all travertine is set in place – allow at least 24-36 hours depending on weather conditions, for drying before grouting joints.
Travertine tile can be easily cut with a wet saw using a diamond blade.
Grouting and Cleaning
1.Have all equipment and material clean. Clean all joints and surface of the travertine. Applying clear sealer or enhancer is recommended on travertine before grouting, so that the grout color does not penetrate the travertine tiles. Use clear sealer or enhancer as a grout release to insure a clean surface.
Using a Clear Sealer or Enhancer is a personal choice.
2. Add water slowly while mixing to get the texture of damp sand mix grout according to the manufacturer specs, and apply with a grout float to press grout deeply between the joints. Mix only enough grout to be used in about 30 minutes or difficulty will result in hardening in the pail.
3.Apply mix to joints with a grout float making certain that the joint is completely filled with mix.
4.Trowel or wipe off surplus grout from travertine with a damp sponge. Rinse several times with clean water, changing the water as often as necessary so it remains clear. It is very important to do this as you go along.
5.After grout has set hard to the touch, clean surface of travertine and along grout line by rubbing briskly with a clean piece of cloth.
6. Let joints harden for three days.
7.Wash floor completely again by freely applying fresh clean water with sponge on the entire flooring and sponging dry.
Applying clear sealer or enhancer is recommended after installation to seal the travertine tiles and the grout lines using the same sealer used as a grout release prior to grouting, wipe off all excess sealer so there is no fogging.
Using the same sealer used as grout release prior to grouting, to seal the floor, apply the 2nd coat on the tiles and grout, wipe of all excess sealer so there is no fogging.
Sealing travertine is necessary, it is a matter of choice – whether you choose to retain the natural beauty of the travertine or apply a chemical sealer that is available in a shiny or matte finish. Sealers may be purchased at retail stone dealers.
HELPFUL HINTS: Do not apply a sealer over wet, waxed or oiled travertine.
1.Apply sealer with a large clean cloth or with a paint pad. Apply in a thin coat. Sealer or enhancer will dry to the touch within two hours, however, it is advisable to stay off the floor for 24 hours.
July 7, 2016
In the world of flooring there are many choices to choose from in type, quality, and style. The style is what we will discuss here as we look at the one of the most popular styles on the planet right now in the French Pattern, Ashlar Pattern or the Four Piece Pattern. The terms of French Pattern, Ashlar Pattern or the Four Piece Pattern are used interchangeably and are just regional ways of saying the same thing. We have to recognize the identifying qualities of French or Versailles Pattern set as being a single 16×24, a single 8×16, two pieces of 16×16, and two pieces of 8×8. The total square footage of one “set” is eight square feet. The layout as you will see from the image below begins to form its own beautiful style as they are interlayed onto the chosen area.
What makes the French Pattern so desirable is the ability to design a beautiful style regardless of the amount of space available. It’s obvious when one sees a pool deck designed with a French Pattern, what makes it so special and exotic. Natural stone suppliers, such as Stone & Slate Discounts have the French Pattern style available either in pallets of 25 set (two 8×8, one 8×16, two 16×16, and one 16×24 per set) or in their individual sizes. Your installer will know how much French Pattern will be needed to pave your home. Two sets are shown below in the layout that makes the basis of the French Pattern.
Once your contractor orders your French Pattern pavers, it is either shipped to your home by a delivery truck or picked up by your installer. It is then delivered to your home and the installers will begin working on the process of preparing the ground to lay your flooring. Stone & Slate Discounts specializes in Natural Stone and is one of the leading national names in French Pattern sales in the industry.
Travertine is becoming the go to for building luxury pool paving. This new trend is due to the fact that Travertine is a natural stone with a great reputation for its durability since ancient times. In fact it was the primary material used to build the Coliseum in Rome which still stands to this day.
Today Travertine is the number one choice among homeowners, builders, architects and designers. Not only for its beauty, durability and heat resistant but the most important for having a non-slip surface.
Travertine pavers look very classy and with its distinctive vivid colors it gives you a variety of options and styles to go alongside your pool deck. Over the years Brick pavers and other man made pavers will fade on the contrary Travertive pavers will not.
Adding Natural Stone in your pool deck will increase the value of the house giving you a great chance for a return on your investment. Another significant advance is the durability. The stone will endure throughout the years.
Additional advantage for choosing Travertine for your pool paving is that is easy to maintain and smooth on the feet, it naturally absorbs water for a non-slip surface. Travertine is famous for not getting too hot which is perfect for those hot summer days at the pool.
So what’s not to love about Travertine for your pool? Throughout the years that beautiful stone will be the witness of joyful times by your gorgeous pool paving tiles.
The oversized rectangular shape provides the perfect paver to create a patio that is modern and sophisticated while blending beautifully with the natural environment. It is ideal to use bigger stones like 610×406 our biggest size in Travertine in pool decks, patios, walkways and stepping stones. OR if you are looking for something a little more sophisticated FRNCH PATTERN is the answer.
When using Travertine Pavers to your outdoor you are not only adding value to your house but you are also bringing the beautiful elements only natural stone can offer. If you want to achieve that seamless look you can’t go wrong with this large stone. You will have cleaner lines giving you that modern and sophisticated feel.
A great way you can use this oversized stone is by incorporating with synthetic grass also known as Turf. Synthetic grass is becoming very popular among architect, designers and trendy homeowners due to its durability, easy to maintain, and looks green all year long. It provides the most realistic look and feel and is a great solution for shady areas, pets and water conservation.
Travertine was widely used for exterior decorations. Then it became one of the most popular items for indoor flooring, not only for its beauty but also for its durability. Travertine can be used for many different purposes indoor and outdoor. It is a versatile material and adapt to any place. Travertine is generally used for outdoor patios, driveway, walkways and pool decks. But there are many different places you can use travertine like on walls, flooring or stair and the list go on.
Well, let’s get to the important questions. Is Travertine durable? The answer is yes! The durability of travertine comes from its chemical structure, deposited by mineral springs and hot springs. The porous structure of the stone is caused due to the calcium carbonate. Due to the porous structure of the stone, travertine has the ability to absorb water quickly. These holes are filled if you prefer for indoor usage. It’s really recommended for driveways and outdoor projects because of its durable structure.
This is an antique material that was used in Rome and Ancient Greece. Many famous buildings of Rome were built with this stone. Everyone knows the famous building “The Coliseum” in Rome. Coliseum was built with travertine rocks. It has managed to maintain the structure until today. Now you can have a better idea on the durability of travertine based on these famous structures which still stand to this day! Ephesus in Turkey is another proof of that. The oldest evidence is the Burghausen Castle in Germany which was built in the Bronze Age (founded before 1025). This beautiful structure has managed to survive to the present time with the help of its travertine stone structure. There are many example of historical building all around the World.
Great amount of travertine rocks are found in Italy, where it’s mostly used in Europe. It is a widely used piece of modern architecture today. The reason for preferring to use this natural stone is not only for its durability but also for its beauty. Travertine can easily be incorporated to your home decor and can be used in most areas in your house. There are many creative ideas and designs you can create with travertine. You do not have to limit yourself to a certain place. Travertine is the best way to make your home more beautiful throughout many years for you and your family to enjoy.
If you are looking for ideas for bathroom decoration, you are at the right place. If you are tired of the same look, it is time for a change! If you want to renovate your bathroom decor, you options are endless. You can do a complete renovation or you can take small steps that can change the atmosphere!
You can use natural stone to change the floor and wall tiles of your bathroom. Travertines tile is mostly used for these purposes. It has a smooth finish making it very nice to step on it bare feet perfect for bathroom floor. When using travertine tiles in the bathroom many people prefer on the floor and walls. This combination offers a more luxurious and attractive look. The best decoration idea for the bathroom is when you match floor with walls. You can apply on all four walls or you can just do half section of the wall if you desire. If you are on a budget partial applications are more suitable. You don’t have to sacrifice the good looks of travertine even on a budget.
Changing the cabinets is another great idea to transform the ambience. If you have a small bathroom, try to choose lighter tones for your cabinets, darker color tends to close up the space. This may look like a small change but when you upgrade the cabinets you will see how different your bathroom will look. Adding travertine countertops will only enhance the new cabinets. Bringing the natural elements to your bathroom will create a chic and elegant space.
Another type of travertine used in bathroom is shower tile. Travertine is proper for wet areas and that make it perfect as a shower tile. It offers you a non-slip surface. It is a very important feature for shower tiles. You can find travertine tiles with many different colors and patterns, there are many options to choose from.
If you have smaller budget but still want to change look of your bathroom you can try tile backsplash or mosaics. It is used as the border of bathtub or sink. This is a small change but very effective when decorating and upgrading your bathroom!