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Compared to a bathroom with all-white tiles, a bathroom with travertine feels less hospital-like yet more hospitable for the casual person who would take a shower. Travertine tiles also require less maintenance compared to white glazed tiles, as the dirt that would accumulate along the grout spaces would be more visible and would appear more often in white tiles than in travertine. The ambience is exotic, as well. However, if you are planning to replace your existing bathroom flooring material with classy travertine, you need to know the factors that could affect your project.
1. Veined travertines
Some travertines may have veins. These veins form in the travertine because some of these rocks have inherent planes of weakness where the carbonate fluids seep in during the rock’s natural formation process. While the veins add more aesthetic value, you will need to place these veined tiles on the parts of the bathroom floor where there is least foot traffic, because of the structural weakness formed. Nevertheless, you can use veined travertines for the bathroom floor edges. Not only will it help the travertine tiles last longer because of less foot traffic, but the veins on the tiles would add to the bathroom floor’s overall style.
2. Evenness of base floor surface
The surface of the base floor where you will place your tiles should be leveled and evened out before the tiles are set. Obstacles, such as protruding nails and screws, would have to be removed. You can use a hammer to remove or hit the screw or nail heads to even out the base surface.
However, some types of bathroom floor surfaces could have added complications when you attempt to even out their surface. For example, those floors made of wood (especially if the wood is warped) or have asbestos insulation would need the intervention of a professional before you install the travertine tiles.
3. Obstacles such as the toilet and other bathroom fixtures
The toilet and tub can complicate the placing of tiles, especially if you don’t have a tool that can cut a curved shape around the travertine. You would have to remove the tub and toilet before installing the tiles. Then you would have to place these bathroom fixtures back after you have laid down your travertine tiles. There is a risk that you might damage the plumbing if you attempt to DIY this task. You would need the services of a professional floor contractor who has the tools to do the job safely and accurately.
4. Mixing the adhesive
You might have a problem getting the right consistency for the adhesive you will use to fix the tiles in place. If you get it wrong, everyone who steps in your bathroom will be at risk of an accident. Thus, the adhesive’s consistency is equally crucial as the evenness of the base floor. If you are unsure of the texture that you will need when the mortar adhesive would be mixed with water, you can let a professional handle the redoing of your floor since they know the correct water and mortar proportion that would keep your tiles put in their places for a long time.
5. Sticking the travertine tiles onto the base floor
Sticking the tiles would be the fun part of redoing a bathroom floor, but only if you can do it correctly, as you can’t merely stick the tiles close to each other. You must provide a gap between the tiles. The cold and hot showers in your bathroom would cause the travertine to expand and shrink over time, although the changes in size are not as dramatic as wood. The gaps are intended to keep the tiles at a safe distance away from each other so that the floor would last despite this phenomenon. Then you will have to place grout in between these gaps to protect the tiles’ edges. The grout would serve as the “absorber” of the natural expansion and contraction of the tiles.
Let a professional redo the travertine floor
As you have already observed, redoing your bathroom floor with travertine tiles is something that can’t be done the DIY way. You risk making costly mistakes, on top of the inherent cost that travertine tiles already have. To have your installation done right the first time around, have a professional come over to install the travertine tiles for you.
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