Travertine Coping Question

Frank Rizzo

Silver Supporter
Nov 13, 2015
Woodland Hills, CA
You guys know the old saying: "Trust...but verify".... Ive installed the travertine coping on my pool and I'm the joints need to be grouted like tile or is the poly sand OK? I was thinking with all the water/splashing on the coping - if the joints are not sealed with grout the water will work its way in between the joints and could eventually degrade the mortar base. I live in So. Calif., so freeze thaw is not a problem. I was thinking more long term - to avoid any problems. On the other hand, I don't want to fill in all the divots and make it too slippery. The joints are very tight, less than 1/16.

What is the general consensus?

BTW - I like telling my my sub contractors: I asked my pool consultants and they say.... (you guys are my "consultants" !!!)

thanks in advance.




TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 10, 2010
SW Louisiana
A couple of things to consider, first Polymeric sand is a relatively new construction material that was first introduced 10-15 years ago, secondly not all polymeric sand is equivalent, as it is still an evolving product.


LifeTime Supporter
Aug 18, 2014
Amelia Island, FL
Mine was not grouted, just polymeric. I actually never even considered grouting it (until now, gee thanks!! :?). Being on an island, the ground moves so I do like the thought that we can remove pavers to fill and re-level easily. Perhaps this is an advantage in CA as well?


Silver Supporter
Aug 28, 2012
Houston, TX
I would DEFINTELY grout them.

Also, since you are only 1/16" spaces, make sure you use a smaller/finer grout. This will allow for more sand per area, which you really need. pack it well too.

Once it cures for 2 days [and w low humidity], then seal the can also seal the coping too at the same time, just pay extra attn. to the grout lines and make sure they get sealed well.


LifeTime Supporter
Jun 28, 2011
I was just wondering about this today :) What is between decking and coping? Do they grout that or use polymeric sand?
There should be an expansion joint between the coping and deck so movement in one does not affect the other. That joint should be filled with a product that allows expansion/contraction. Polymeric joint sand may allow for this movement, but I think it would be best to use a caulk-like joint sealant specifically designed for this purpose, such as Deck-O-Seal or the similar product by Sika.