It is porous in nature and has a composition quite similar to that of limestone. Travertine tile is available in a wide range of colors from golden brown and Persian red to light cream. The size of the tiles varies from a few inches to several feet.
First of all, measure the area where the travertine tiles will be installed and purchase the number of tiles as per your requirement. Other materials needed for this job are: tile spacers, wet tile saw, thinset mortar, trowel, and grout.
Step 1: Lay the tiles on a flat surface to create a design for the backsplash. There are several travertine backsplash designs that you can produce with these tiles. You can use travertine tiles of different colors and arrange them in random order to create a colorful design.
Or else, you can create a pattern with a warm color like golden brown and surround it with multi-colored tiles. Stripe patterns with two alternating colors also look nice on the kitchen backsplash. For this, you need to use long and thin tiles.
Step 2: Now that your design is ready, start installing them on the backsplash area. Prepare the thinset mortar according to the instructions provided by the manufacturer.
Take a small amount of mortar on a trowel and apply it in the form of a thin layer on a section of the wall. You can start from any one corner of the wall. Place the tile on the mortar and move it slightly on both sides. This will create a vacuum seal for the tile.
Step 3: Place the tile spacers so that the gap between two tiles remains uniform. Install the tiles one by one to complete a row. When you reach the borders, you may not be able to place one whole tile in the gap.
In that case, the tile has to be cut as per measurement of the gap using the wet tile saw. Then, install the next set of tiles on the second row as per your design. Once the entire backsplash area is covered with travertine tiles, keep them untouched for the next 24 hours so that they can set properly.
Step 4: After 24 hours, prepare the tile grout. Damp the tiles with water, take out the spacers and start filling in the space with the freshly prepared grout. Let the grout dry for 10-15 minutes.
If you notice any excess of grout on the tile surface, wipe it off with a damp piece of cloth. When the grout is cured thoroughly, apply a good quality tile sealant which is suitable for travertine tiles.
One of the biggest advantage of travertine tile backsplash is that it is quite resistant towards the regular kitchen stains. Its cleaning and maintenance does not require much efforts. However, it has to be cleaned regularly or else the grout may get damaged. For regular cleaning, use dilute dishwashing liquid detergent on them.
In order to get rid of some stubborn stains on the backsplash, use a thick paste of baking soda and water. Apply it in the form of a thick layer on each of the marks and wait till the paste becomes dry. Then wipe it off with a damp piece of cloth. This treatment should clear up the stain. If required you can repeat the application.
The beauty and elegance of travertine backsplash will help you to give a modern look to your kitchen. While selecting the color of the travertine tiles, make sure it should blend well with the color of the kitchen countertops and kitchen cabinets. To highlight the backsplash further, you can use some low voltage lighting in that area.