How to Cut Travertine Tile Around a Bullnose

Travertine is a natural stone quarried from around the world and is known for its durability and elegance. It is often used in homes, hotels and buildings as an option to marble. Travertine is installed as flooring and is also used to create countertops and decorate walls. The rounded edge of bullnose tile provides a structured and finished look when used for a backsplash or a tiled baseboard.

Things You'll Need

  • Chalk
  • Underlayment
  • Grout spacers
  • Tape measure
  • Wet saw
  • Thinset
  • Notched tile trowel
  • Sponge


    • 1

      Mark the subfloor or substrate surface with a chalk line to use as a guide for laying the tiles. You do not have to mark each square, just the perimeter.

    • 2

      Install an underlayment designed specifically for stone and marble floors. The material is made to assist in waterproofing and vapor management as well as to support the weight of travertine. Apply the underlayment according to the manufacturer’s directions.

    • 3

      Perform a dry test run to lay out the tiles and inspect them for defects. This will ensure you have everything planned accordingly and will be able to complete the floor.

    • 4

      Cut the travertine tiles that will face the bullnose according to your measurements with a wet saw. Give the cut tiles 24 hours to dry completely.

    • 5

      Mix the thinset according to directions, and only mix enough to apply in one-half hour intervals to prevent the thinset from drying out. Stir the thinset until it reaches a thick, peanut butter-like consistency.

    • 6

      Start at the farthest corner, and use a notched trowel to apply the thinset to the substrate. Spread it out evenly over one section, using the straight edge of the trowel. Hold the trowel at a 45-degree angle, and comb the thinset over the first section.

    • 7

      Butter the back of the travertine tile with the thinset, and lay it onto the substrate. Repeat the process of applying thinset to the substrate and then to the tiles for all remaining sections of your travertine tile installation project. Clean up any mortar on the surface of the travertine or bullnose with a wet sponge.

    • 8

      Apply the grout in between the travertine tiles as well as along the perimeter edge next to the bullnose tile. Clean any grout residue with a wet sponge. Use a pencil or the edge of a putty knife to clean mortar around the grout lines to keep the lines neat and uniform. Allow it to dry for 24 hours.

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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/ Images

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