Up until this point, I had neglected (if you can call it that way) some areas of the house, the kitchen was one of them.
It is not that it was not important to me, actually, it is very important, because of this house’s open floor plan, the kitchen is visible to all visitors as soon as they walk in. However, as always in life, some things take priority and that’s why I completed a whole bunch of projects outside, in the laundry room, the garage, and the bathrooms, just to name a few before I was able to even look at it.
Once I was able to focus on the kitchen, as a first step, I decided to go ahead and remove the existing vinyl flooring, so I could then start laying Travertine tile. The same type I had already installed in the bathroom floors.
This may sound kind of crazy for those of you not in the US, however, over here, it is very common for builders to install the same type of flooring in different rooms, usually, the kitchen, bathrooms and laundry rooms, and the same carpet in all bedrooms (cheaper?).
REMOVING THE EXISTING VINYL FLOORING
You must be making fun of me… As much as I hate removing vinyl flooring (this is what? The fourth project in which I have to remove some vinyl??), when I decided to buy this house, I did it based on its potential, I knew what I was getting into and that it was going to be a lot of work.
Since I’ve already written and explained how to ‘easily’ remove vinyl flooring, this time, I’ll just say that I used the exact same method I’ve use before, which is kind of messy as you can see on the image below.
PREPARING THE SUB-FLOOR TO LAY TRAVERTINE TILE
One good thing about learning and doing your own home improvement projects, is that just like with anything else, the more you do, practice and learn the tricks, the easier it is to continue improving; at some point, some things become so easy to do, that you do them effortlessly without even thinking.
For example, before I was able to even start laying travertine tile on the bathroom floors, I spent hours and hours, researching, looking at, and comparing Ditra and different backer boards, just to end up installing my own DIY underlayment. This time, I knew exactly what to do, so it was way easier to just go ahead and get the materials to complete the job without wasting any time.
THE ACTUAL IMPROVEMENT: LAYING TRAVERTINE TILE FLOORING IN THE KITCHEN
With my DIY flooring underlayment in place, it was just a matter of laying the Travertine tile. For this job, I decided to use the exact same Travertine I used in the bathrooms, for two main reasons, I really liked it, and we also had some remnants from the previous installation.
As another example of what I just said on the previous section, this time, after being asked by my wife, and knowing that my tiling skills had improved, I decided to try something new: a less boring (using my wife’s words) brick pattern!
This pattern is not necessarily more difficult to install, but you do have to pay attention, as it is easy to forget about it and try to set the tiles on a standard straight pattern.
As you can clearly see in the image below, the installation procedure is exactly the same.
I measured the center of the room using the chalk line (red), then positioned the tiles using the tile spacers to make sure I was happy with their position on both sides of the room, remember, you don’t want a complete tile on one side and a very small one on the other.
The only difference here is that before I set the first tile, in my case, the closest one to the camera (right next to the glove) I marked it on one side, so I could then install the next one using this mark and the chalk line as a guide. Once the first few ones are in place, if they are straight, the rest of the tile should be easy to align.
GROUTING THE NEW TRAVERTINE TILE
Once the installation was complete, I waited until the next day to clean the tiles up a bit and proceed with the grout work. For this installation, I once again used the epoxy grout (left over from the bathrooms installation).
I haven’t changed my mind, I still think it does not offer any more benefits than regular grout, except that it is more difficult to work with. It is not even “stain resistant” as they claim because after a few months, I can tell the grout is not as clean as it was on day one, something I consider totally understandable, but that completely removes any incentive to choose the epoxy alternative over the regular ones.
Readers, do you have any experience with Travertine in the kitchen or any other rooms? Was it a good choice? Please share about your experience.
Laying Travertine tile flooring in the kitchen or any other room in your own house? This is what you need:
- Screwdrivers and hand tools (always useful)
- Heat gun and hand scraper (in case you need to remove Vinyl floors)
- Steel Lath
- Pneumatic stapler and staples
- Chalk line
- Framing square
- Tile and tile saw
- Tile spacers (optional, but make the job way easier and accurate)
- Notched trowel
- Thin set
- Rubber Float
- 5-gallon bucket
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