How to Install a Travertine Backsplash

What You'll Need
Safety Goggles
Travertine Tiles
Measuring Tape
Tile Spacers
Notched Trowel
Wet Tile Saw
Thin Set Mortar

A travertine backsplash will add elegance and sophistication to your home. Travertine tile is in the family of limestone material. This type tile presents a warm and porous look. Installing a travertine backsplash will give your home a modern look and feel and beautify your bathroom or kitchen sink area. Follow these instructions for a travertine backsplash that you can do all your own in the spare time of a weekend.

Step 1 - Measure Tiles and Plan Area

Place travertine tiles on a flat surface, such as a work table, to determine the pattern that you want to create. Once you have your pattern in place, measure the design with your measuring tape. Mark the dimensions on the wall where you will place the tiles. If there are any electrical outlets or switches in the plan area, remove plate covers and disable electrical power to the area from you breaker panel box. 

Step 2 - Cut Tiles to Measurements

After all measurements and safety precautions have been made, you are ready to cut your tiles. With your safety goggles on, cut the tile with the wet tile saw to the size of the of your measurements for your design. A good rule of thumb is to measure twice and cut once. 

Step 3 - Mix and Apply Mortar

Per the manufacturer's instructions, mix the thin set mortar for application to the wall area. Ensure that the mortar has good consistency with a thickness like that of peanut butter. This will ensure the tiles stick perfectly to the wall. Apply a thin coating of mortar to one section of the wall with your notched trowel. Start from either corner you want. Applying the mortar in small sections at a time will ensure the mortar does not dry out before you place the tile.

Step 4 - Place Border Tiles

Once your first coating of mortar has been applied, you can begin placing your tile, starting with the border pieces. Place the tile with a slight left to right twisting to create a good seal. After the border tile as been applied, you can place the triangular shaped tiles above the border tile. Ensure that you use the tile spacers to maintain the proper distance between your tiles.

Step 5 - Place Full Tile Pieces 

Place the full tile pieces in the spaces created by the triangle tile pieces just above the border. Place the tile to create a diamond effect. Using the tile spacers, fill up the section of the wall you have placed mortar. After you have completed one section, move on to the next section until your travertine backsplash wall is complete.

Step 6 - Clean Up

With a wet towel, wipe away any mortar that is on the surface of your travertine tiles so that the finish will not be destroyed. Once all cleanup of mortar is done, allow your wall to sit overnight. Remove all tile spacing and complete the job with grout.