Pool build turned into a nightmare - travertine help

homesteadpool

Well-known member
Mar 19, 2019
88
new jersey
Anyone who has travertine can you say if the fact that there's uneven pieces and pieces popping up if that is common or not at all? There's numerous spots where there's "toe stub" spots and not level. My PB keeps saying that it's how it is with travertine because it's "tumbled" and that it won't be even.
 

Leik

Silver Supporter
Mar 19, 2018
35
Wichita Falls, TX
Do you have a contract or warranty? I would not make any payments until they make the corrections. When hey are long gone, you are the ones that will see it everyday and have to live with it.
 

homesteadpool

Well-known member
Mar 19, 2019
88
new jersey
Do you have a contract or warranty? I would not make any payments until they make the corrections. When hey are long gone, you are the ones that will see it everyday and have to live with it.
Yes, both. He's agreed to rip out the stone wall, but is saying the travertine is fine. My concern is that it's uneven in many spots and I don't know if that's typical or not. I don't know if I'm fine having him order a pallet of travertine and popping up the ones that aren't level and leveling that spot and putting new pieces down (if the one they pulled up cracked) or if I really would need the entire decking pulled up, and then everything under it fully re leveled and re done. I'm trying to figure out what exactly I need to "demand" basically.
 

Leik

Silver Supporter
Mar 19, 2018
35
Wichita Falls, TX
Yes, both. He's agreed to rip out the stone wall, but is saying the travertine is fine. My concern is that it's uneven in many spots and I don't know if that's typical or not. I don't know if I'm fine having him order a pallet of travertine and popping up the ones that aren't level and leveling that spot and putting new pieces down (if the one they pulled up cracked) or if I really would need the entire decking pulled up, and then everything under it fully re leveled and re done. I'm trying to figure out what exactly I need to "demand" basically.
Well, it really should be level. That means his sand base is not level.
 

tank47

Active member
Apr 28, 2019
25
NJ
I'm no expert in this area but I am empathetic to your problem. If this happened to me I would pull out some travertine pieces on a surface that you know is flat (garage, inside hardwood, etc). Edge to edge. If the edges are level and you wont stub your toe then I would argue if he leveled your base layer it would fix the problem and make him do it to your satisfaction. If the edges aren't level then I could see how that might just be the nature of the product. I'd be concerned and second guessing too based on the wall and some of the other experiences you've had. I hope you get the resolution you want!
 

Divin Dave

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Oct 2, 2013
5,598
Longview, Texas
Ya know, nothing is every perfect and I generally give people the benefit of the doubt. However in your case, I cannot agree with the PB that "thats the way it works". If it was, there would never be a pool with travertine tile, or any other sort of stonework.

As for the PB, he is likely not a stone mason and hired cheap contractors to do it. Thats how most PBs operate is by farming out the different types of work.

I sure hope this gets better for you....
 

mguzzy

Well-known member
Jul 8, 2015
649
OV, CA
That's not French Paver pattern.. that's a lazy paver pattern... Here is a French Paver Pattern:

Credit image source: french-pattern
This guy doesn't know what he is doing. He thinks its random because he is too lazy to do it right. I have done plenty of paver patios, brick and flag stone, for friends and family.. I haven't done Travertine but laying pavers in a sand set is the same for any stone.. you have to have a solid compacted and uniform base or you get rockers.. those are the pavers that tip up when you step on one edge.
Also See this pic here that you posted.:


You do not bring four corners together like this. It makes the pattern weak, you want to interlock in a way where only joint lines come together in a "T" Notice in the above diagram there are no four corners coming together. This is brick laying 101. This guy has NO idea what he is doing.
This Pic shows me he has no idea how to run a straight course. even if you are laying random or rough stone. it should not look wavy. ah look more four corners


As for the uneven stonework... and high corner toe stubbers, that is just sloppy.
I would fire this guy and not pay him..
 
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Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
730
NY
As for the uneven stonework... and high corner toe stubbers, that is just sloppy.
I would fire this guy and not pay him..
I missed the part where you hadn’t paid yet. Sorry. Yay. This gives you exponentially more leverage and changes my recommendation. Be firm yet polite while you are telling him he can fix it all or give you a free patio. (Or however much your deposit was)
 

Neto

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2019
115
Urbana, MD
I have some experience with travertine pavers (good and bad). This type of stone is 3cm thick and it is always recommended to be layed on top of a concrete base and either with a thinset mortar or with sand & concrete (2/1 or 3/1) dry mix set. The uneven part will get much worst in future years if you dont have a concrete base. These are not regular pavers so installing them on just a gravel base with sand is not recommended.

I agree that this is not a French pattern, the french pattern never has a cross between pavers.
 

PoolGate

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Jun 7, 2017
3,666
Damascus, MD
My guess is 10 people jumped into his truck when he asked for a travertine expert in the Home Depot parking lot and he randomly told 9 to get out. That 10th person just might not have been the expert he thought he was.
 

mguzzy

Well-known member
Jul 8, 2015
649
OV, CA
I have some experience with travertine pavers (good and bad). This type of stone is 3cm thick and it is always recommended to be layed on top of a concrete base and either with a thinset mortar or with sand & concrete (2/1 or 3/1) dry mix set. The uneven part will get much worst in future years if you dont have a concrete base. These are not regular pavers so installing them on just a gravel base with sand is not recommended.

I agree that this is not a French pattern, the french pattern never has a cross between pavers.
I couldn't tell how thick the tiles were from the pics.. did the OP say? I'll have to reread the OP. .. so Yes I agree.. the thinner tiles are not intended to be sand set. More evidence this guy doesn't know what he is doing.
 

Neto

Well-known member
Jun 10, 2019
115
Urbana, MD
I couldn't tell how thick the tiles were from the pics.. did the OP say? I'll have to reread the OP. .. so Yes I agree.. the thinner tiles are not intended to be sand set. More evidence this guy doesn't know what he is doing.
travertine pavers are 3cm, that is the standard... I know that there are 2" coping travertine pavers but thats what I have seen around.
 

mguzzy

Well-known member
Jul 8, 2015
649
OV, CA
travertine pavers are 3cm, that is the standard... I know that there are 2" coping travertine pavers but thats what I have seen around.
Yeah, like I said I never worked travertine tiles before, so that is good to know. thx

I have seen installs where they mix sand and cement (and a little mortar clay too I think) and used that as the substrate to dry set the tiles.. Then they hose it all down expecting the water to turn it all into concrete underneath. From my perspective it only kinda works. But that might be a solution here. . If the pattern is as screwy as the pics it will all have to be re-layed anyway. Just a half thought out an idea off the top of my head,
 
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