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Unread 10-09-2007, 05:26 PM   #1
Devante
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Need help with travertine install

Hello, I am live in north Texas and I am attempting to install 18x18 travertine on the 1st floor of my home. I have a concrete floor that i will be laying the tile on.
My home is only 6 months old so I know that I must use special mortar. My
question is, the tile is not filled, so in which order should I seal the tile? I will be using 1/8" grout lines with sanded grout. Should I seal it after I lay the tile before I grout? or should I seal it after I grout.
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Unread 10-09-2007, 05:34 PM   #2
koihito
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First, I don't know why you would need "special mortar" for a 6 month old slab, standard cure before tile is 28 days. I would encourage you to look into separating your tile from the slab with something such as Ditra, Noble, or Red Guard.

I would also encourage you to test a piece before you use sanded grout, travertine can be soft and may scratch. I would seal after grouting unless I were using a dark grout on a light stone.
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Unread 10-09-2007, 05:48 PM   #3
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Eighth inch is the correct grout joint to use...HOWEVER, you want to use an "unsanded" grout. Mix it pretty dry and pack the joints. Unsanded tends to shrink a bit. (and be sparing on the water) SANDED grout will probably scratch the Travertine. Don't use it. Spectralock might be the best, if you can find it. With it, there ain't no "Sanded or Unsanded" grout. It's all the same!

With that size material, you need to be SURE that your floor is flat. ANything less will cause heartaches when it comes to "Lippage." Is this on a slab or on wood? A lot depends on your answer!

Most of us her would probably reccomend a "Medium-Bed" morter for your job. This kind of morter has more sand and the tile, which is MUCH heavier than a regular 12" tile will not let it sink....and give you lippage problems as it dries.

I would seal the tile after you grout it as the grout will fill the unfilled areas.
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Unread 10-09-2007, 07:16 PM   #4
Devante
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Thanks guys for your responses. I was told that I would need a crack isolation mortar because the tile could crack when the house settles, that’s why I said a special mortar. I heard about red guard, would I use that instead a crack isolation mortar. I am going to make sure I have a flat surface by using a self-leveling patch. I am also going o use a ¾” trowel

So from what you guys are telling me, I want to use unsanded grout and seal that tile after I grout. Great, any other advise you guys can give would be appreciated.

Thanks
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Unread 10-09-2007, 10:16 PM   #5
Lazarus
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You may be thinking about a crack isolation membrane. No morter will give adequate protection against any reasonable cracks. If you think the floor is at all subject to cracks or movement, Ditra from Schluter Systems is the preferred method of installation. Click on the sponsored link for "Schluter." There is a wealth of information there. It's what is referred to as an "Uncoupling Membrane."

Oh, and I assume you mean 3/8" inch trowel and not 3/4".
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Unread 10-10-2007, 05:06 AM   #6
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Actually, TEC makes a product called 1Flex that is supposed to have crack isolation properties. It is very expensive, but I suppose no more so than a membrane or ditra. I've never used it, so I can't comment on the actual product.
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Unread 10-10-2007, 05:51 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazarus
If you think the floor is at all subject to cracks or movement, Ditra from Schluter Systems is the preferred method of installation.
Schluter does not advertise Ditra as a crack isolation membrane, Laz. No official A118.12 testing at all that I'm aware of.

It's an excellent system for uncoupling the tile installation from the differential movement of the substrate, though.
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Unread 10-10-2007, 07:09 AM   #8
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I'm a total newbie at this myself but I was advised that with the travertine it's best to seal before to make the grouting clean up process easier and then to seal again after however if you're using an enhancing sealer to make sure you do a test patch first to know how the grout color will be affected.
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Unread 10-10-2007, 08:23 AM   #9
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Right you are, CX~~That's what I meant, an uncoupling material-not an isolation membrane.

VaWife~Yep, that should do the trick.
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Unread 10-10-2007, 05:56 PM   #10
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Ok, so seal and then grout and then seal again? What type of sealer; shine or no shine first, I do want a little shine for the finial product. I'm just afraid that the grout won't stick to the holes that I have to fill in on the tile let alone the grout lines after I seal. I’m new to Texas and I am always hearing people talk about foundation problems in Texas. My new house is using a tension cabling system for the foundation. They say it helps prevent movement of the foundation. I don’t know if that’s enough protection against cracks. I really don’t want to use anything else that will add height to the tile. The tile is ½” thick plus the trowel ½” that’s already one inch thick, that’s why I was looking at just using a mortar that had those properties. Then someone said something about a medium bed mortar? Do they make a Medium Bed Mortar that has those properties?
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Unread 10-10-2007, 06:03 PM   #11
Davestone
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Okay.the 1/2" notch won't remain that high, it will sink to less than 1/4".The post tension slab system is very good, and is used in cono's here, but not guaranteed,if you get an anticrack membrane,like Proflex,or Noble, you're looking at roughly 1/8".Now, yes you will preseal,the way i do it is i use a minimum of enhancing sealer, just enough to darken the stone, asmall amount on a sponge,then wipe with a dry cloth.Then aftert all is grouted seal everything, grout and all together..i would not use a topical (shiny) sealer, this will be a maintenance problem,if you buf the stone off after the final sealing next day with a hogs hair pad and buffer you will be amazed at how nice it turns out.
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