Travertine Paver Durability - Sealers-Mold-Installation
First, let me say that your site deserves an award, if it hasn't received one already, for the outstanding public service that it provides!
After stumbling across your site, my wife and I abandoned our plan to replace our concrete patio with concrete pavers, in favor of travertine pavers (400 sq ft). This is not a covered patio, but fully exposed to the sun. At the same time, we'll be putting in a small lawn area (250 sq ft), and a 3 foot plant border between the travertine and the fence. The patio will need to be graded to slope away from the house, since currently water can accumulate near one house wall adjoining the patio.
One installer cautioned us that travertine gets easily stained outside, but we don't expect more than a few occasions every year, when food will be served on our patio. He also said that travertine can get moldy if it stays damp, or water is retained in the holes.
A few questions: Would using the Dupont sealer help to prevent molds and staining? And also, what are the chances that the travertine will crumble in a few places, or get otherwise damaged in a 5-10 years? And finally, is it better to put in the plants and lawn first before the travertine, or vice versa?
Thank you so much for you very nice compliments about my site. I'm glad you have been finding it helpful. I think you are making a great choice. The first time I used travertine pavers
was on a pool project. Once the pool was installed, the landscape contractor and myself marked out the exact curves for the pool paving. I was project managing the project and was there quite often. To make a long story shorter, one day I left the project while they were getting pretty close to installing the travertine pavers. The next day I came back and they had layed quite a bit of the area already. All I can say is that it was literally breathtaking! I never saw a more beautiful stone. This is the project, although the photos do not do it justice. Swimming Pool Designs
What I am trying to say, is that I am sure you will be thrilled with this paving material. To answer your questions...
1. I have never seen or heard of mold
appearing with travertine pavers. I suppose it's possible if you are in an extremely shady area and it stays very wet, but this will happen with any modular product, ie. bluestone, brick, etc. You are already addressing your water problem by grading the patio away from the house, so wetness should not be an issue. You want to buy first quality travertine pavers. They will have fewer holes, not that the holes will cause mold to grow. Travertine with fewer holes have a better look to them. Your contractor might want to supply them himself. If he does, I would insist on knowing what company they come from and seeing lots of samples. If he will allow you to purchase them yourself, you can contact either of these two suppliers.The Travertine Group, Tampa Florida
Ask for Chris. I have samples of their pavers and they are very nice, but tell him you want first quality, minimal holes and that you would like samples. You will pay somewhere around $5/sf + shipping.
Andes Collection, Pennsylvania
- nice travertine pavers, but much more expensive.
Regarding staining, the sealer will help to prevent stains and bring out the color. Wipe a damp rag over a piece of travertine. You will see how it darkens a bit and the colors are more pronounced. That is what a sealer will do. I wouldn't worry about staining.
2. Travertine is a strong material. It should last a very long time. However, as with any hardscape material, it should be installed correctly. If your soil has been disturbed, this will compromise the patio. If it has been disturbed, you must tamp it in 12" lifts or fill it with stone. Then, lay it properly. See these two pages on installations of pavers. They are written for concrete pavers but it is the same for travertine pavers. By the way, I have decided recently that I do not like polymeric sand as a joint filler, so use stone dust.Building A PatioPaver Installation
3. Definitely do the travertine paver installation before the plants and lawn!
Tell me about using Travertine in Kansas. With the freeze thaw condition can I pour a concrete pad and mortar the travertine to eliminate weeds and shifting of the tile? Can I mortar the travertine to concrete steps out from the house?
I spoke with a landscaper that told me he did a travertine job and many of the stones turned to powder and had to be replaced. He did not recommend using travertine in Kansas. Maybe he used a cheaper grade of paver with larger holes that took on water then froze. He said the last job that demanded using travertine he sealed each stone before laying the stone. I have been told to dry lay the stone.
I have spoke with travertine Mart in Florida and they told me stone + shipping was around $5.00 sq. ft. I am afraid to spend $5,000.00 plus the cost of dry laying the stone, gravel+ limestone chat and sand and end up with a weed infested eyesore. Any advise would be much advised.ANSWER
I will assume you are referring to travertine pavers, not travertine tiles,which are thinner. You should only use the pavers in your area.
There is no reason to set this paving material in concrete. It is more costly and there will definitely be chances of the concrete joints cracking. The preferred method is dry laid. For proper travertine paver installation methods, please see the links in the above Q&A.
Travertine pavers are set very close together, particularly if you get the ones that are not tumbled. The tumbled ones have a wavy edge, while the non-tumbled have a smoother edge. If any weeds get in the paver joints, you just have to give them a spray a few times a year or pull them out.
As far as laying the pavers on your concrete steps, first this will raise the height of each step as you go up. The contractor could chisel out some of the existing concrete to make it lower, but it would have to be quite a bit. Although I said dry laying is the way to go, if your porch is existing, you might consider this. Of course, your steps must be in excellent condition...no cracks, settling etc. Please see the above question and answer regarding holes in travertine (and the quality) and sealing travertine pavers.