Travertine Paver Installation | Problems | Sand | Polymeric Sand

Here's a question regarding a travertine paver pool decking installation and the sand (or polymeric sand) that was used for the joints...why is it uneven?

Hi there. I've found your site by Googling, and hope you can give me some advice!

We have recently had a pool installed, and chose travertine pavers as our decking. It's been installed, and we're not happy with the finish as there are numerous areas where the pavers are uneven in height. We have spoken to the builder, and the paver contractor, and they have both been out to rectify the unevenness in our deck. Last night my husband and I went out and walked the deck and found nearly 60 areas that aren't acceptable to us - areas with 1/4" or more variance.

From what we saw the contractors perhaps didn't remove enough soil and dirt to begin with. I personally wasn't here the weekend they put the base down, so we're hoping it was at least 4" as recommended on many websites. The sand layer was about an inch deep and wasn't compacted.

We now have a deck which we're not happy with, which cost a fortune, and has been filled with the poly sand.

How can this be put right? Each time the men come back to try and level an area, they manage to break or chip the pavers. In a few places they've replaced those pavers hoping we don't notice!

Any advice??

You mentioned that the joints
were filled with poly sand. Do you mean polymeric sand? With that filler, after it is applied it is wet down and quickly hardens. If you have this as the joint material, it should be rather hard. If it was regular sand, it would be more sandy/gritty. Let me know.

It sounds as if either the base was not done right or somehow when they laid the travertine pavers, they did not work with a level. It could also be that the ground beneath the stone layer was either not virgin soil or not compacted. Is the area on fill? Perhaps a lot of excavating was done for the pool and they did not address compacting the soil beneath the stone.

Here is a simple construction drawing showing how to lay pavers. It's the same for travertine pavers. Building a Patio

Whatever the issue is, it sounds like it should be re-laid. If you have polymeric sand, it's a bit more difficult. Why don't you take out a couple of pavers out and see for yourself what is underneath. Four inches or more of gravel? Does the ground level seem to be compacted/very firm?

I sympathize with your frustration, but the only way to have a leg to stand on with either the builder or the contractor is if you know how it was installed. You could also call in an independent contractor even if you have to pay them for their time to help determine what the problem is.

Comments for Travertine Paver Installation | Problems | Sand | Polymeric Sand

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Jan 21, 2011
Travertine pool deck
by: On The Level Masonry LLC

Hello there I was recently reading your forum and your problem with travertine paver installation. Granted natural stone pavers allow for a minimum of height difference in the installion. However, if you have 1/4 inch and above "what I call toe stubbers" throughout your deck, that is unacceptable. ABC and mortar sand go down as a base uniformly to insure that this does not happen. If you have any questions feel free to contact me at I would be happy to help.

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