How to Lay Travertine Paving

Updated July 20, 2017

Although travertine, a type of limestone, is not as dense or as hard as a number of other types of stones, it makes a durable paver. It is a sedimentary rock that is made from calcium carbonate. This gives it a naturally porous surface and a pitted look. You can lay travertine pavers using the same process and patterns as you use with other pavers, including flagstone and sandstone.

Draw a detailed sketch of your travertine pathway with a pencil and paper, including your chosen paver pattern. Use chalk spray to make the outline for your travertine pathway in the chosen area of your yard.

Dig out the area 6 inches deep with a shovel. Place your plastic guides around the edges of the pathway and use your hammer and 12-inch galvanised nails to anchor the guides. Shovel 2 inches of gravel into the pathway and use your tamper to tamp it down, then shovel 1 inch of crushed stone and tamp it down.

Cut the filter fabric for the pathway with your scissors. Lay the fabric on top of the crushed stone along the entire pathway, then tamp it down with the tamper. Shovel a 2-inch layer of sand on top of the filter fabric and tamp it down.

Lay your first row of travertine pavers, beginning at the top right corner of the pathway and setting the pavers close together. Tamp each paver down with a rubber mallet to embed it into the layer of sand. Use a level to check the alignment of each of the pavers. Add sand under a paver if it needs to be raised. Take sand away if the paver should be lowered.

Measure and mark the cutting line for a paver that doesn't fit, using a ruler and a marker. Place your paver on a wooden board and score it, then break the paver along the cutting line with a chisel and hammer. Replace the cut paver and use your mallet to embed it in the sand.

Pour sand over the completed pathway and sweep the sand into the joints with a broom. Use a water hose to wet the surface, then repeat the process of adding and wetting the sand until all the joints are completely filled with sand.


Although natural travertine pavers have porous surfaces, you can install them outside without a sealant.

Things You'll Need

  • Chalk spray
  • Shovel
  • Plastic guides
  • 12-inch galvanised nails
  • Hammer
  • Level
  • Gravel
  • Crushed stone
  • Tamper
  • Filter fabric
  • Mallet
  • Ruler
  • Marker
  • Wooden board
  • Chisel
  • Hammer
  • Sand
  • Broom
  • Water hose
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About the Author

Barbara Freeman is a teacher and has been writing since around 1995. She's written curriculum for Discovery NutshellMath software and her NutshellMath tutorials appear on the Discovery Cosmeo homework website. She's also written for Freeman earned a Bachelor of Arts, a credential and a Master of Arts in educational technology.