Travertine pavers over concrete slab with covering

by Gene
(West Grove, PA)

concrete slab for travertine pavers

concrete slab for travertine pavers

I have a 800 sq ft (16x50) slab that is in excellent condition. The original plan was to apply a membrane over the slab and then gauged blue stone on a mortar base.

The plan has changed and now we want to use travertine pavers because of their color. Can I spread 1/4" of sand over the concrete slab with a notched trowel and then set the pavers on the sand?

I would like to use pool coping around the edges and thinset them to the slab to keep the pavers contained.

Is this a good idea or are there pitfalls that I should be aware of?




Hi Gene,

Typically, I would not recommend doing this. You do have some added protection though since your area is covered, but even so, I would hate for you to have issues. The issues are in regard to water, snow, ice and freeze-thaw conditions.

I rarely recommend setting travertine pavers in concrete simply because they CAN be dry laid. In your situation I would recommend it though. And I do understand this will be more costly.

Here is why.

If you lay the travertine on a sand base with concrete beneath that, and water seeps down, it will have nowhere to go. With a dry laid method, the water can percolate down to the loose stone base and into the ground. A concrete base will prevent this. Yes, the water will travel over the surface if it is pitched properly, but with heavy rains, melting ice and snow, etc. some will still want to seep down. Water will sit there above the concrete...not good.

To set them in concrete you must have a very qualified contractor who will do an excellent job. Cracking of joints can be an issue, so you want to make sure that it is done correctly and the best way possible. You also want to make sure that your original concrete slab was installed correctly.

Here is a very good page for you to take a look at. It has construction drawings of various patio installation methods.

How To Install a Patio

Good luck.

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