Travertine with no grout line? [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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02-25-2007, 02:59 PM
Just talked to a "tile guy" today and he did his house with travertine without a grout line. He said that it is no issue and is a cleaner look less of a chance for crap to get in the grout line and discolor. I looked up the idea of no grout lines using travertine and someone said you must have a grout line at least a penny wide. Can anyone help me with this and set me straight!?!!!?


Tom R

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02-25-2007, 03:09 PM
"No" grout line isn't really possible. A small gap will always be there, and WILL fill with black gunk... A small grout line is good, and it's good to select a size that works with the regularity of the tiles, and also works for the skill of the installer. :dance:

02-25-2007, 03:14 PM
The edges aren't perfect. Butting them up will not stop spills from seeping down between the tiles. Spill a beer, and smell it forever! Some would like that. You could get by with a dime vs a penny. Around a 1/16" or so is good. Also, a grout line gives you a little leaway on getting things to appear flat. Ideally you'd have no lippage, a small grout line gives you a little leaway when it doesn't really happen.

Two big things when installing stone - strong structure and proper installation of the subfloor; in other words, you must have proper infrastructure to install stone.

Tool Guy - Kg
02-25-2007, 03:30 PM

They've already said it. A zero grout line shouldb'y be pursued on a floor. Even if the tiles were perfectly uniform (pretty rare), liquids and grime would still get in the joints.

And don't forget your floor structure needs to be up to L/720 on the Deflecto ( and have a double layer of plywood. :)

02-25-2007, 04:23 PM
Ok then well that settles it!!!! Small grout line there will be!!!!!! Thanks for all the quick replies!

02-25-2007, 04:38 PM
Howdy Tom.....
Is your tile dimensionally consistent? :)

02-25-2007, 06:12 PM
I have no clue, I have yet to buy it!?? There is a local place that gets tile and blows it out so you must get more than you need cause you will never find it again.

Where are you going with your question if I may ask, tile noob here!

02-25-2007, 08:31 PM
MIA (Marble Institute of America), now recommends a 3/32 of an inch grout line. I used to butt joint all marble installations, but I generally will leave a 1/16th line. Grout has a hard time staying in a butt joint installation with poished bevels on the edges of the stone.


02-25-2007, 09:14 PM
I went to his house and checked out the tile work. He did use about a dime to penny space between the travertine, looked very nice. Also on the stairs he used the same travertine but did a strip of granite across the top front edge of each step.

At least I feel a bit better knowing he didn't butt those up without any grout. Thanks for the information on this subject, I love this forum. I check on differnet forums (audio etc) and this one is by far the best.


Tom R

Tool Guy - Kg
02-25-2007, 10:40 PM

We are concerned that your floor is not stiff enough to keep your new tile from cracking. Natural stone tiles need a floor twice as stiff at man-made tiles like ceramic or porcelain. Click this link to the deflecto here ( and enter the data it asks about your floor joists, the wood species its made from, and the longest unsupported span.

It is much more common for floors to NOT be stiff enough for natural stone floors. Check this out ahead of time so you can choose the proper material before you start. The deflecto will tell you what materials your floor is rated for. :)

02-26-2007, 09:40 PM
Thanks for the concern the family room is on a concrete slab, the 5 step stairs will have enough support, however the entry way has a crawl space under and will probably need to be reinforced once the old tile comes out. The front porch is all concrete and just needs to be leveled properly. I will make sure and tell him to support that entry way properly.

Thanks for all of your help!!!