How to Install a Travertine Tile Shower

What You'll Need
Travertine tiles
Cement backboard
Wet saw
Measuring tape
Plastic spacers
Power screwdriver
Drywall mud
Putty knife
Sanding block
Paint roller
Grout float

A travertine tile shower is beautiful and can increase your home’s value. Learning how to make your own travertine tile shower can save you money. Creating a travertine tile shower is not difficult but it does take patience and time. The information below will explain how to install a travertine tile shower.

Step 1 – Backboard

The cement backboard holds the travertine tiles so it needs to be installed first, over the plywood wall. Measure the wall where the backboard is to be placed and then trim the board to that size. Slice through the paper and then snap along the scoring. Hold the backboard up to the wall and make sure it is even and then fasten with screws. Cover the screws using drywall mud and a putty knife. When it is dry you can then sand the area flat.

Step 2 – Place the Travertine Tiles

The likelihood that a travertine tile shower is going to be completely even is not very likely. For this reason you need to measure from the top of the wall down the size of one tile plus 1/8-inch and draw a line across. Do the same for the bottom of the wall. These areas will be worked on last and represent areas where tile will most likely have to be cut. Use the straight edge of the trowel and begin applying the thinset to the cement backboard as well as to the back of each travertine tile. Place a tile on the backboard followed by a 1/16-inch plastic spacer. Continue until the wall (with the exception of your marked areas) is full.

Step 3 – Top and Bottom

Apply thinset to the space above the line and below the line on the bottom of the wall as well as to travertine tiles. Place the tiles and spacers as you did until a full sized tile can no longer fit. Use a tape measure and record the space that is leftover and then cut the travertine tiles for the shower using the wet saw. Place them on the wall.

Step 4 – Sealer

A travertine tile shower is very porous and will soak up water that hits the travertine. This means they need to be sealed. Allow the thinset to dry overnight and then remove the spacers. Apply the sealer over the travertine tiles with a paint roller until each is covered. Allow the sealer to dry for several hours.

Step 5 – Grouting

The grout seals the spaces between the travertine tiles in the shower. Use the grout float to apply the grout over the travertine tiles. Make sure you fill all of the gaps between the tiles. Apply as much grout as you need to do the job. As you are working, wipe away grout with a damp sponge so you do not create a haze over the tiles. Let the grout cure for several days before using the travertine tile shower.