How to Install a Travertine Fireplace Surround

A travertine fireplace looks very good and also it creates a very warm ambiance in your room. The travertine stones are warm colored porous stones very much related to lime stone. It gives a very sophisticated looks to your fireplace and also adds a touch of elegance to that place. They can be installed very easily and you can do it by yourself. It requires a bit of time as you must allow the mortared tiles to rest for at least 12 hours before you complete the installation. Here is a step-by-step guide that will help you to install a travertine fireplace surround.


  • Safety glasses
  • Measuring tape
  • Travertine tiles
  • Wet tilt saw
  • Mortar
  • Trowel
  • Grout

Step 1: Measurement

Measure the fireplace surround very carefully and use this measurement to layout the travertine tiles on a flat dry surface. Lay out the tiles in the pattern you want them on the fireplace surround and if you lay them according to the measurement then installing them becomes faster and easier. If you are planning to add inlay tiles then include them in your layout and make the measurements carefully.

Step 2: Cutting the Tiles

Once all the measurements are taken properly you must cut the tiles using the wet tilt saw. You must cut the travertine for the edges and also for making any specific patter in the fireplace surround. While using the wet tilt saw always use the safety glasses for your safety.

Step 3: Preparation before Installing the Travertine

You should now mix the mortar with water and follow the manufacturer’s instruction very strictly. If the mortar is not mixed properly, then the travertine tiles will come off after some time. You must also prepare the surface of the fireplace surround before installing the travertine. Make sure there is no uneven part on the surface and the surface is smooth.

Step 4: Applying the Mortar

Use the trowel to apply a thin layer of mortar on the surface of the fireplace surround. For applying the mortar hold the trowel at an angle of 45 degrees with the wall and apply a thin layer of the mortar mixture. Make sure that the layer of mortar is even and it is covering the section of the fireplace surround completely. It is best if you start from a corner and then slowly cover the entire fireplace.

Step 5: Installing the Tiles

Once a section of the fireplace surround is covered with mortar, press a tile starting from the corner. Press the tiles in such a manner so as to create a vacuum seal between the mortar and the tiles. This can be done by moving the tiles back and forth rapidly while pressing it. Use tile spacers for creating uniform gap between each adjacent tile. Repeat the process and slowly cover the entire fireplace surround with travertine in a pre-planned design. Allow the mortar to dry for 12 to 24 hours and then pull out the tile spacers. Apply grout mixture to fill the gaps between tiles and finish the installation.