Installing a Travertine Kitchen Backsplash

Travertine is a beautiful material that can add a touch of high end elegance to your kitchen. It is a natural stone – not much unlike other natural stones like onyx, marble, granite or limestone.

Travertine is a form of limestone and is formed typically at the mouth of hot springs, or in limestone caves. It has a distinctive porosity and a fibrous appearance to it. Some of the best known travertine quarries are in Italy. Quarries also exist in Iran, Turkey, Peru and Mexico. And it has been used as a building material since the time of the ancient Romans.

It is an excellent building material. In fact, the Colosseum – which happens to be the world’s largest building – is built mostly from travertine. The Romans used travertine extensively for constructing temples, monuments and the like. It is a stone that is very easy to work with. It is easy to cut, and a breeze to install.

Even today, it is one of the most widely used stones. Several very prominent architects frequently use this stone in their projects.

Not surprisingly, this stone can be expensive. It costs quite a bit more than other kinds of natural stones. That said, you can partly make up for having an expensive backsplash by installing it yourself following the instructions given below.

• Take measurements of the proposed backsplash surface and accordingly buy the quantity of tiles needed. • Lay the tiles on a flat surface and decide on the pattern • Cut the tiles for the selected pattern. • Take some mortar on a notched trowel and spread it evenly on a small section of the backsplash surface. You will get the best results if you hold the trowel at an angle of about 45 degrees, to the wall. • Press a tile firmly at the bottom. Put spacers between the tiles and lay the bottom row. Then work your way up laying the tiles according to your design. • After finishing tiling let the work sit overnight for 24 hours. • Now remove the spacers and apply the grout.

While travertine is indeed an excellent building material, it does have some disadvantages too. It is very easy to damage these tiles. Unless you ensure that the stone is sealed the right way, it can become stained or scratched. Many home owners make the mistake of not having travertine tiles sealed. Mistakes like these can be expensive to repair.