Travertine Paver installation issue [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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07-31-2019, 08:13 AM
Hi everyone!! Someone had suggested I ask for advice over on this great forum (from trouble free pool) in regards to my travertine pavers. I have had non stop issues with my pool builder, and his work has been...not good. His "final" completion of the job is where I'm left with uneven travertine pavers, some actually moving when you step on then, and then a clear lack of any uniform or pattern when it was supposed to be a french pattern. This doesn't even touch the issues I'm having with his stone work on my waterfall wall.

The issues we've dealt with are:
1. First, the coping was put down with bullnose against flat pieces, so they had to rip it all out and re do it.
2. Different color grout has been used all over- white, grey, tan (not a major deal obviously, but still strange)
3. The travertine was to be in a french pattern, and yet it's not in any pattern at all. My builder when I questioned him on this stated: "There's no pattern to a french pattern it's just random" - which seems to be completely wrong. I'll attach a picture showing how odd the pieces are
4. The travertine is actually popping up in some places where if I step on the back part of it, the front pops up
5. There's uneven pieces all over with little lips that you'll stub your toe on. My builder said this is "normal" and how it works- but it's clear that they aren't in level
6. When they installed the travertine, they put down dirt, then the DGA and the DGA they did go through and compact with a machine. But then when they laid the travertine they just tossed down some sand and put the pieces on top if it. The sand was not compacted. I'm not sure if this is a big deal or not
7. Any "borders" they actually hand cut the pieces and it's uneven and looks bad plus have red marks from the saw (I think?) they were using
8. The stonework on my wall by the waterfall is all uneven and looks bad
9. All the coping was cut by hand and is uneven. They cut everything by hand

All of this being said- can anyone let me know if the pieces that are uneven and sticking up, if they're pulled up and properly leveled and put back down, will that fix that issue? I have a feeling this is going to end up going to court because I highly doubt he is going to rip up the entire 1,300 sq foot of travertine and do it properly so I'm wondering if for the time being can the uneven spots be replaced and that work? I will post pictures to show it all!

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07-31-2019, 08:14 AM
Here's some more pictures

07-31-2019, 08:16 AM
Here's some more

07-31-2019, 09:44 AM
Welcome, Meg. :)

You have a written contract for this work?

07-31-2019, 09:48 AM
Meg, I don't think I can speak to all of your concerns, as I've mostly left this to others in my remodels.

Typically, pavers are set on a specially prepared bed of compacted stone dust or sand. Yours appear to be set on dirt...or close to it. If it were a proper base unevenness could be adjusted on the fly. But those pavers look to be fairly consistent in thickness which would again lead me to believe it's, at least partially, a poorly prepped base.

Could one adjust the lippage? I imagine so, but I'd question if it would stay that way given what I think I'm seeing.

This might be helpful:

07-31-2019, 10:03 AM
Hi peter-

In terms of the install- they put down dirt and then did not compact this. They put "DGA" on top of it, and this was compacted. Then, they put down some sand and did not compact this. They during the install of the pavers were actually tossing down some sand then putting a piece on top if it. The only thing that was compacted was the DGA. You can see in the one picture there's clearly sand missing for some reason under the piece in spots.

07-31-2019, 10:12 AM
Not sure what DGA is, but aggregate is compacted, sand on top usually not. If this area was backfilled, that earth should probably have been compacted as well. It will settle and cause problems.

Polymeric sand is put on top which kinda semi locks things together.

07-31-2019, 10:25 AM
I think it's "dense grade aggregate" - it was almost like stone. What they did was they put this on top of dirt and then compacted it then they put sand on top of that and started putting the travertine down. Then the "grout" lines were filled with polymeric sand

Metropolitan Ceramics
07-31-2019, 11:44 AM
I think you know that the finished product isn't what it's supposed to be. Travertine like that is designed to be the same thickness so the significant differences in level are all due to the installation. I assume by a French pattern that you're referring to a Versaille pattern. A quick google search pulls up lots of schematics, all of which show a repeating pattern. For example: