The Content Of The Article:

Natural stone forms an authentic and timeless coating, each element of which is unique. The choice of the glued pose combines the advantages of simplicity and perfect durability.

Slab terrace

Necessary material

  • Travertine tiles 40 x 60 cm
  • High-performance adhesive mortar for tiling and natural stone
  • Grouting mortar for paving
  • Anti-stain or waterproofing product for natural stone

Difficulty: 2/4
Cost about 50 € / m2 (mortars included)
Time : 3 to 4 days
Equipment: meter, square, mason ruler, false square, trowel, notched trowel, mallet, level, trough, chalk line, sponge, construction gloves, kneader, angle grinder...

Slate, granite, sandstone, marble... rocks used in outdoor paving have a wide variety of textures and hues. The choice was here on travertine, a limestone that arises both inside and out. Porous and rustic (the chosen model) or smooth and polished, its colors range from gray to brown through a range of cream, yellow or red. Insensitive to frost when it is dense, this stone has the qualities required to be put on the outside.

A pose with upset joints for graphics

Natural stone slabs come in many sizes, square or rectangular, up to 90 x 60 or 90 cm and up to 50 mm thick. When glued down, we recommend average thickness of 12 to 15 mm. Regularly cut elements can be arranged in different ways: straight, chevron, checkerboard, Roman opus, etc.
Here, the layout of slabs, 40 x 60 cm, adopts a variant of the installation with offset joints. Instead of crossing these mid-lengths from one row to another, the lines are shifted to one-third. The breaks thus created give the paving a more original rhythm.

Prepare the floor before laying deck slabs

The glued laying is carried out on a masonry support, here a reinforced concrete slab. The soil must respect a slope of rainwater flow of 2 to 3 cm / m in the direction of the garden, a gutter or a look of evacuation to be implemented according to the configuration of the places.

Tips for DIYers

For the realization of a slab on bare ground, it is necessary to start with disburse the soil over 20 to 25 cm then establish a draining hedgehog 12 to 13 cm thick. Once the form is groomed, the site is boxed and covered with a waterproofing film. Pouring the concrete slab is done by embedding a 15 x 15 or 20 x 20 cm welded mesh. Several weeks of drying are then necessary before laying the flooring. Delivered on pallet (s), it gives time to mix them.

Start of the construction

Lay the first travertine tile

  • The pose starts on the house side in a corner of the terrace.
  • Place a first slab dry, reserving a peripheral seal of 5 to 10 mm.

Lay the terrace slabs

  • Place a second slab at the other end of the row and mark the laying line with a chalk line.
  • Otherwise, draw an axis in pencil and mason's rule.

Prepare the mortar to glue the tiles

  • Prepare the mortar.
  • Pour the powder into the trough, then add the water in the proportions indicated.
  • Mix at low speed.
  • Let the mixture stand for 5 minutes.

Glue the slabs

  • Glue the trowel into the confines of the trenches, on a length corresponding to three slabs.
  • No more, because once the pulp spread its open time is limited to 30 min.

Glue the tiles

  • Adjust the thickness of the mortar with the notched spatula.
  • The size of the teeth, here of 9 x 9 mm, is to be adapted to the format of the slabs.
  • Here, large, it will also stick.

Lay the first slab

  • Present the first slab to its location.
  • Adjust the position, then tap the rubber mallet surface to crush the glue and drive off the air bubbles.

Clean the mortar burrs glue

  • Lay the following slabs in the same way, taking care to maintain a constant joint width.
  • Clean the burrs immediately with a damp sponge.

Cut the slabs

  • The wall starting at an angle, the slabs must be re-cut one after the other.
  • Raise the angle using a false square and transfer it to the element to be grinded.

Cutting Travertine Slabs

Cutting of travertine tile

  • The slab resting on a chipboard or plywood plate, the edge is intersected at the angle grinder.
  • Performed freehand, the operation requires a certain dexterity.

Method for cutting slabs on the angle grinder

  • With the grinder held tilted, iron the disc over the cut edge to soften the edge.
  • Proceed in this way on all the slabs to be cut.

Paste the cut slab

  • Check that the cut element fits well before gluing it permanently.
  • If necessary, add a little mortar to compensate for a lack of thickness.

Info for DIYers

Protect travertine slabs

Since travertine is quite sensitive to soiling and pollution, it is useful to apply a anti-task product or waterproofing for natural stone. The treatment is to be renewed periodically depending on the exposure and the use of the terrace.

Finish laying the terrace slabs

  • Lay the following rows, staggering the joints regularly.
  • Constantly check the flatness and slope of the pavement for ruler and level.
  • Count from 2 to 3 cm of declivity outward (garden, road...) or a gutter to facilitate the flow of rainwater.

Laser tiler

  • Practical, the tiler laser allows you to pick up the cutting angles and guide the alignment of the joints in both directions.

Make the grouting with beige mortar

  • When all slabs are laid, wait 24 hours and grout with beige or off-white mortar.
  • Before the joint dries, remove the excess with a wet sponge float.


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