Travertine Pavers and Freeze Thaw Conditions

by Ric Wilkins

Can you install tavertine pavers over concrete in a freeze/thaw climate. If so how?


The beauty of travertine pavers is that they can be dry laid. I can't think of any reason to set them in concrete. Travertine tile, however, can and should be set in mortar.

Dry laid travertine pavers are less expensive to install. They also can be easily replaced if anything should occur. If you don't like the sand between the joints, you can use polymeric sand which hardens.

In any application where you are setting a material in concrete, typically there is no issue with freeze thaws conditions, as long as the installation is done correctly. Take a look at my page on
building a patio.

Here'a another similar question regarding travertine pavers and freeze-thaw conditions.

I have just installed a 3' footing around my proposed patio location. The area I have
is 20x50. I am going to install travertine pavers in the area. Everything I have read says I need to dry lay my patio(3/4 crushed gravel, limestone
screenings and sand compacted). Here is what I know and like.

1. I don't like the ungrouted lines. I like it to look like one finished area.

2. I like the sealed appearance (shiny) this is why I am not using flagstone.

I have been told that I should not mortar the travertine on a concrete pad due to the freeze thaw conditions in Kansas and expansion and contraction. I have seen pictures from Mn and PA that appear to be mortared to a concrete pad. Will this method work in the long run or am I going to run into cracking problems?

I do not want a large amount of travertine that I do not love. I have seen fantastic pictures and ones I don't really like. I have seen the same color travertine used in pictures and one looks great the other not so great. I am not wanting the
"not so great" look!

Thanks any advice I would appreciate.


Hi Brian,
First of all, you will not get a shiny look with travertine pavers. Travertine is not shiny and if you use a sealer, it only brings out the
color a bit and helps to protect the stone from stains.

As far as cracking goes, typically travertine pavers on dry laid. It's just like pavers...there is no point to laying them in mortar. The beauty of them is that you CAN dry lay them and if anything were to happen they can easily be picked up and replaced.

As far as cracking goes, travertine is known to resist freeze thaw conditions. If it is laid correctly, the joints should not crack either. (There is always a chance with mortar though). There is a travertine tile, but you'd have to do some research as far as its resistance to cracking in freeze thaw conditions.

There might be another stone that fits better with what you are looking for. There is a very nice stone that you might like. It is very
different from travertine. It is called Idaho Quartz. It is an extremely hard stone and typically laid in concrete. It is the same type of stone as granite and has a glitz to it. Look it up on google and if you can't find it, I might have a photo.

Comments for Travertine Pavers and Freeze Thaw Conditions

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Jul 23, 2018
Travertine tile vs. paver
by: Connie

I have not found this specific questioned asked, so I apologize if the answer is located somewhere and I overlooked it.
I have a large concrete pool deck I would like to cover with travertine for the aesthetics and to keep the deck cooler during the hot summer days. The deck is in good shape. Can I install travertine tile instead of pavers? What is the best method considering our freeze thaw cycles in winter? I’m looking for the most economical way to make this happen.
Also, we have a lot of social events throughout swim season, will sealing the tile prevent stains and is there a matte finish that will not be slippery when wet?
Lots of questions, but I don’t want to invest time and money and then find it needs replaced in a few years.


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