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How to install travertine pavers

Posted by on Sep 16, 2013 in Stone Options, Travertine Pavers | 0 comments

We receive calls on a regular basis asking how to install travertine pavers. There is a lot of controversy floating around the internet about how travertine pavers should be installed in cold climates. Through lot’s of trial and error, we’ve come up with an installation system that has held up great.

Travertine Paver Installation Problems

When we first began installing travertine, we tried to use the same techniques we used to install pavers – gravel base with a sand setting bed. Although this worked ok, we found that over time the sand bed would work its way back up the joints, and although it was in small amounts, it was enough to cause unevenness between each paver. You see, travertine pavers are laid very close together and because they’re so smooth on top, you see every height difference between one paver to the next.

We also noticed that minor heaves in the base would cause unevenness between the pavers over time as well.

There are also some other problems that go along with installing travertine using this method, but I won’t get into them as they only apply to certain types of installations.

The Solution

  • Every travertine installation we install is over top of a concrete slab, reinforced at least 4″ thick with 6″ of compacted aggregate base beneath of it.
  • Although we still use sand for the setting bed, we mix the sand dry with portland cement before screeding it out. We screed the sand and portland mix dry (no water added). We install the travertine on this dry setting bed, keeping it dry until we’re able to cut in all the edge pieces and compact.
  • We also use a non-woven geotextile filter fabric below the sand bed, but on top of the concrete. This will prevent any of the sand setting bed from sifting through future cracks in the concrete.

how to install travertine

We’ve found this installation procedure works great, hardens everything up while remaining flexible (we mix a low ratio of portland to sand so that it’s just enough to harden while still remaining flexible) and keeps the stones even through our cold winters here in Ohio.

Travertine Installation

Additional Tips

Trust me when I say, the quality of the travertine has a lot to do with the look of the finished product. We used to have clients who would supply the travertine and we would install it – we cut that out real quick. They would purchase the travertine pavers through online suppliers to save money. There would be pieces with holes all the way through the travertine and way more holes than there should be. Holes in travertine are natural, however, in order for travertine to hold up especially in cold climates it must be very dense. The holes are the easiest way to tell how dense travertine is. If there are holes that go through the entire stone, or if there are large holes, or if there are excessive amounts of holes chances are that piece of travertine is not very dense. In the winter, water will freeze inside of the travertine and break if the travertine is not dense enough.

If you’re located in Ohio, or within a 100 mile radius of Cincinnati, Ohio, we would be happy to install your travertine paver pool deck or patio, just click here to contact us.

If you’re not located in Ohio or within a 100 mile radius of Cincinnati, we would be happy to put you in contact with our travertine supplier.


Travertine Installation Guide

We’ve also put together an installation guide on how to install travertine pavers, especially in cold climates. Our process was developed in the cold climate of Ohio and we have installations that have been installed for 5 years and look just as good today as they did when we installed them. If you’ve fallen in love with travertine pavers, you’ve probably found that its difficult to find an installer who has any substantial experience installing travertine pavers. Once you have our installation guide, you can share it with a paver installer in your area and they will be able to use their existing skill set with our procedures to install travertine pavers in a way that will last.

If you would like to purchase our guide, simply click the Buy Now button below to pay with a credit card – the cost is $25. The instructions will be delivered to you within a couple hours via email.



If you have any questions, ask us in a comment below!

Where to buy Travertine pavers

Posted by on Sep 13, 2013 in Stone Options, Travertine Pavers | 0 comments

I thought I would blog about a question we’ve been receiving calls about on a daily basis lately. That question is, “where to buy travertine pavers”. I’m sure you can imagine why we’re not chomping at the bit to share our sources – at least not in areas we install travertine. If you’ve done your research then I’m sure you’re aware there is a substantial difference between the different quality grades of travertine. The higher grades are RARELY sold through online suppliers as these suppliers know that people buy from them because they have the cheapest prices. In order to have the cheapest prices, you typically don’t have the best quality – at least in the natural stone world. This makes it very difficult to find high quality travertine in areas like Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Texas, etc. Basically, most of the US.

We’re offering travertine installation in South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky and North Carolina during the months of December, January and February. Click here for more info:

It’s taken us some time to search out and find the best sources for turkish travertine pavers. It’s certainly not the cheapest, but definitely among the highest quality travertine you’ll find anywhere in the states. This being said, we’re very hesitant to give out our sources to anyone located within our working area. If you’re located outside of the Dayton, Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio vicinity we would be happy to help you buy travertine through our sources, however, we currently don’t have the capability to assist via telephone which is why I’m doing this in an attempt to cut back on the calls.

Here’s what we’re willing to do. So that we can verify that you’re not located in our region, please give us your contact information below and we’ll reply with our suppliers information.

Our supplier is willing to direct ship to the following areas: Chicago IL and most of Illinois, Detroit MI and most of Michigan, Toledo OH, Cleveland OH, St Louis MO and most of Missouri, Indianapolis IN and most of Indiana, Milwaukee WI and most of Wisconsin, Minneapolis MN and most of Minnesota, Wichita KS and most of Kansas, Louisville KY and most of Kentucky,  Charleston WV and most of West Virginia, Pittsburgh PA and most of Pennsylvania, Baltimore MD and most of Maryland, Charlotte NC and most of North Carolina, Columbia SC and most of South Carolina, Atlanta GA and most of Georgia, Memphis TN and most of Tennessee, Dallas TX and most of Texas. If you’re city or area isn’t listed, it’s just because our supplier doesn’t have calculated rates for your area. They can still ship to you, they just won’t get as good of a freight rate as the areas listed above.

If you would like to know how to install travertine pavers, click here.


The proper way to install Paver Sealer for interlocking pavers

Posted by on Jul 11, 2013 in Installation, Paver Maintenance | 0 comments

Over the past few years, polymeric sand and joint stabilizing paver sealer has become more and more popular. At Two Brothers Brick Paving, we prefer to use a joint stabilizing paver sealer over polymeric sand whenever possible. For the most part, they achieve similar results in the joint – keeping the sand in tact. In this article, I’m not going to discuss the pros and cons of paver sealer vs polymeric sand (I’ve already done so in an earlier article on polymeric sand), instead I’m going to share with you how to properly install paver sealer. Note that our sister company, Perfect Paver Co, offers paver sealing in Dayton, Ohio.

Step 1. If you’re sealing a paver patio that’s been down for sometime, you’ll want to make sure and remove all vegetation growing in the joint. This can be done usually by pressure washing with a high psi pressure washer. You should be able to blow the vegetation right out of the joint.

Step 2. Clean the pavers. Almost always, we recommend pressure washing pavers before sealing. It will require that you do step 3, however, it will achieve the best end result. Using a 3500 psi pressure washer and a fan style tip, take your time going over every square inch of the pavers. If needed, go back over a second time. Just make sure to hold the pressure washing wand about 8″-10″ away from the pavers because if you get too close you can cut grooves in the pavers. Again, make sure you’re using a fan tip and not a jet tip.  If you have rust stains or any other stains that won’t come out, try cleaning with a general purpose cleaner sold by Surebond.

Pressure washing before we apply paver sealer

Step 3. After the pavers have dried for at least 24 hours in direct sunlight (may take longer in shaded areas or cooler times of the year), you’re ready to re-install the joint sand.

Advanced Version: We recommend that you fill the joints with the same course sand that was used for the setting bed (what the pavers are laid on top of) to fill up the joint. This can be difficult to do without a vibratory plate compactor as the size of the sand is a bit larger than most paver joints. The vibratory plate compactor will vibrate and force lodge the sand into the joint. Most gravel distributors will carry this sand; they call it concrete sand or course sand. You will need about 1- 5 gallon bucket of this sand per 100-200 square feet of pavers. You’ll want to evenly spread the sand out over the patio covering every square inch. We use a base rake but you can use a push broom. Take the top of the broom and put it one the pavers creating a plow affect. Push the broom around upside down going back and forth over the pavers until the sand is evenly spread over all the pavers (about 1/8″ thick). If your sand is wet or damp at all, you will need to spread your sand out first so that the sun can dry it out. Then you will be able to broom it around easily to get the even layer.

Once the patio is covered with a consistent layer of dry sand, you’re ready to compact. Using a vibratory plate compactor, go over top of all the pavers. Spread the sand back out with your broom and go over them one additional time. Now sweep off the sand and the joints should be full. You’ll want to remove the sand so that the sand is just below the sharp edge of the paver aka the chamfer. For tumbled pavers that don’t have a sharp edge,  we recommend that the sand be about 1/16″-1/8″ down from the edge of the paver. You can use a blower to achieve the desired level of sand in the joint. Blow off the patio very good when you’re done to make sure there are no particles of sand sitting on top of the pavers.

Sanding pavers before paver sealer

Fine layer of sand over pavers

Simple Version: If you lack the tools and time needed for the advanced version, you can go about it this way and achieve a similar result. The only down fall is that the sand that you must use is smaller and can easily gets removed from the joints in time.

After you’ve completed step 2, you’ll need to get sand back into the joints. In this simple version, you can use mason sand or fine sand. Most Home Depots will sell bags of Quikrete Mason Sand in the same isle as the bagged concrete. You can also get mason sand from your local gravel company in bulk form. If you’re getting bags, you’ll need about 1 bag per 100 square feet. This sand is much finer and will fall right into the paver joints making it easier to fill the joints without the use of vibratory compaction equipment. Sweep the dry sand (must be dry and the pavers must be dry) into all of the joints keeping the sand about 1/16″ – 1/8″ down from the edge of the paver. When all of the joints are filled, use a blower to remove any excess sand sitting on top of the pavers.

Step 4.  You’re now ready to apply the paver sealer. Just make sure that the pavers are 100% dry, the sand in the joint is 100% dry and there is no rain in the forecast for at least 24 hours. The paver sealer we use most often is made by Surebond and it’s called SB-1300. It’s a water based sealer that penetrates into the surface of the paver and also has the bonding additives that will harden the sand joint. You’ll need a pump up sprayer and a squeegee.

Fill your pump up sprayer with the paver sealer – do not dilute. Start spraying the paver sealer directly on the pavers at a rate of about 80 square feet per gallon. Once the paver sealer starts to pool in the joint, you’ll know you’re ready to move on. It’s best to have a second person running the squeegee. The idea of the squeegee is to pull the paver sealer from the top of the pavers down into the joints as you want about 75% of the sealer in the joints to fully harden the sand. Pretty much as soon as you start spraying, your squeegee person should start squeegeeing. If you we’re using a paver sealer that isn’t a joint stabilizing sealer, then you wouldn’t need to use the squeegee and you could pretty much just spray on the paver sealer with a much higher coverage rate.

Here is a video done by Surebond to show how its done.

Best of luck with your paver sealer project. If you would like to speak with us about sealing your project for you, please don’t hesitate to contact us here. We offer paver cleaning and sealing services in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Columbus areas.

Have a question? Leave us a comment!

The Winds Cafe Patio in Yellow Springs, Ohio

Posted by on Jun 26, 2013 in Outdoor Living Spaces, Paver Patio, Recent Work | 0 comments

The Winds Cafe Patio in Yellow Springs, Ohio

We we’re/are honored to be apart of this patio renovation project for The Winds Cafe in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Nadia Malarkey of Yellow Springs was the designer of the new space and it couldn’t have turned out any better. Since completion, the new patio receives many compliments on a daily basis.

Here are some pictures of the new patio.




The Winds Cafe Patio Yellow Springs Ohio


photo 1-19








Burdine Outdoor Kitchen and Paver Patio in Maineville, Ohio

Posted by on Jun 6, 2013 in Outdoor Kitchens, Outdoor Living Spaces, Paver Patio, Recent Work | 0 comments

Burdine Outdoor Kitchen and Paver Patio in Maineville, Ohio

This is a project we installed for a client in Maineville, Ohio. The owner met with us after first meeting with a few landscape companies to install this project. After starting the project, the owner told us that he decided to hire us because our expertise was much more targeted to outdoor living spaces whereas it seemed like the other companies were jack of all trades. We installed an outdoor kitchen complete with a natural gas grill, bun warmer, storage, ice maker, sink and refrigerator. The fire pit is gas and works similar to gas burning fireplaces that you find inside the house.

The pavers are made by Unilock and they are Beacon Hill Flagstone Sierra. We incorporated an accent with Unilock’s Dark Charcoal Il Campo. All verticals are constructed from Unilock’s Brussels Block Dimensional Sierra. The outside border on the patio is Unilock Brussels Block Half Size Sierra.


Outdoor Kitchen Outdoor Living Space Mason Ohio

Outdoor Living Space Maineville, Ohio

Outdoor Bar Mason Ohio

Outdoor Living Space Mason, Ohio

Oklahoma Sandstone

Posted by on Apr 3, 2013 in Featured, Stone Options | 0 comments

I wanted to share with you this beautiful Oklahoma Sandstone that our stone guy took pictures of while visiting the quarry. It’s beautiful and does great in this Ohio climate. It will make a great looking patio or pool deck.

Oklahoma Sandstone Patio


Oklahoma Flagstone

Oklahoma Stone

Oklahoma Sandstone Patio

The Hospice of Dayton Paver Labyrinth

Posted by on Mar 7, 2013 in Commercial, Outdoor Living Spaces, Paver Patio, Recent Work | 0 comments

The Hospice of Dayton Paver Labyrinth

We we’re hired by The Hospice of Dayton to design and build a monument for their retiring CEO. After a few variations, they decided this design which included a paver labyrinth to be perfect.

Here are some pictures of the project.

Paver Labyrinth at The Hospice of Dayton

The Hospice Of Dayton Walkway

Custom Paver Labyrinth for The Hospice of Dayton

Note the custom cuts involved

Paver Labyrinth


Paver Labyrinth The Hospice of Dayton

If your organization is exploring the idea of a paver labyrinth and would like to speak with us regarding design, budget or any other questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Curious what a labyrinth is? This should help:

A labyrinth is an ancient symbol that relates to wholeness. It combines the imagery of the circle and the spiral into a meandering but purposeful path. The Labyrinth represents a journey to our own center and back again out into the world. Labyrinths have long been used as meditation and prayer tools.

A labyrinth is an archetype with which we can have a direct experience. We can walk it. It is a metaphor for life’s journey. It is a symbol that creates a sacred space and place and takes us out of our ego to “That Which Is Within.”

Labyrinths and mazes have often been confused. When most people hear of a labyrinth they think of a maze. A labyrinth is not a maze. A maze is like a puzzle to be solved. It has twists, turns, and blind alleys. It is a left brain task that requires logical, sequential, analytical activity to find the correct path into the maze and out.

A labyrinth has only one path. It is unicursal. The way in is the way out. There are no blind alleys. The path leads you on a circuitous path to the center and out again.

A labyrinth is a right brain task. It involves intuition, creativity, and imagery. With a maze many choices must be made and an active mind is needed to solve the problem of finding the center. With a labyrinth there is only one choice to be made. The choice is to enter or not. A more passive, receptive mindset is needed. The choice is whether or not to walk a spiritual path.

At its most basic level the labyrinth is a metaphor for the journey to the center of your deepest self and back out into the world with a broadened understanding of who you are.

Covered Patio and Patio Cover Designs

Posted by on Feb 18, 2013 in Design, Featured, Installation | 0 comments

As a compete outdoor living space design + build company located in Dayton and Columbus, Ohio, we build and design patio covers. Covered patios are great for the outdoor living space and can extend your outdoor living season.

**Would you like to meet with us to discuss your project – Click Here**

We can design your complete outdoor living space and manage the entire project to ensure all elements of the project follow the same vision. Most of our covered patio designs range in the $15k – $75k (for the patio cover only). Utilizing our complete outdoor living design capability, we can create a patio cover design that compliments your home and existing outdoor living space; we can also create a complete design which can include anything from swimming pools, outdoor kitchens, paver patios, outdoor fireplaces, pergolas and many other outdoor living features.

If you would like to schedule an initial consultation to explore your ideas together, please feel free to contact us today.

Covered Patio - Patio Cover Designs

Our service area:

Dayton, OH – Centerville, Springboro, Mason, West Chester, Oakwood, Troy, Tipp City, Beavercreek, Yellow Springs, and surrounding areas

Columbus, OH – Dublin, Bexley, Canal Winchester, Pickerington, Ashville, Powell, Delaware, Hilliard, Upper Arlington, Clintonville, Westerville, and surrounding areas

Swimming Pool Design and Pool Decks in Dayton, Ohio

Posted by on Feb 11, 2013 in Design, Featured, Installation | 0 comments

We specialize in installing pool decks in the Centerville, Liberty Twp and Dayton, Ohio area.

If you’re in the market for a swimming pool in the Dayton, Ohio area and area considering a pool deck made from concrete pavers, natural stone (bluestone or travertine) you will probably find that your pool contractor is really only concerned about the pool. Often times, the pool deck is just one more thing in the way of them completing the project and getting paid; and usually, pool contractors aren’t that knowledgable about pool decks and design. That’s ok though, let them stick to what they do best, building swimming pools. We believe the design of not only the swimming pool but also the pool deck is extremely important. We work with almost all pool builders in Dayton and can coordinate the design and installation of your pool deck with them.

Paver Pool Deck in Dayton Ohio

Paver Pool Deck in Dayton, OH.


In most cases, your pool contractor will be happy to pass off this portion of the project. In some cases, pool builders/contractors will have their own paver installer or pool deck contractor. You will want to do your research on their subcontractor and even visit some of the pool decks they’ve installed in the past (preferably some that’s been down for a couple of years).

When it comes to pool decks, especially paver pool decks, its important to understand how pools are constructed to properly design and install a successful pool deck. For example, with a fiberglass pool the pool contractor will over excavate around the perimeter of the pool to give himself plenty of room to work. Once they’ve installed the pool, some pool contractors will simply push loose soil around the pool that will continue to settle and cause issues with your pool deck like in the picture below. Since we’ve installed so many paver and stone pool decks, we know what needs to be done to ensure a successful long term installation; and we can instruct your pool contractor on what they should do as it pertains to the pool deck.

We install paver and natural stone pool decks around gunite pools (concrete pools), liner pools and fiberglass pools. We install concrete pavers, brick pavers, travertine, bluestone, limestone and many other stone options.

One of our pool projects

Pool Company Dayton Ohio

Travertine pavers around pool

Travertine Pavers for Pool

travertine pool deck

We install pool decks in Dayton, Mason, West Chester, Springboro, Centerville, Oakwood, Troy, Maineville, Lebanon, South Lebanon, Englewood, Yellow Springs, Beavercreek, Miamisburg, Waynesville, and Springfield, Ohio.

Pool Design

We also offer complete outdoor living space design that can incorporate the swimming pool, pool deck and landscaping all together. We work with our landscape architect and partner pool contractor to put together the total design. We can then manage the entire project including the installation of the swimming pool, landscaping, pool deck, and pool house.

custom swimming pool centerville, ohio

Pool Design Dayton Ohio

Pool designer dayton ohio

If you think that we would be a great fit for your project, please contact us.


Travertine for pool decks

Posted by on Feb 10, 2013 in Featured, Installation, Stone Options, Travertine Pavers | 0 comments

We are a specialty travertine paver installer. We install travertine pavers in Ohio. We also install in Kentucky, Indiana, and Michigan for projects over 1,000 sq ft and beyond for projects over 5,000 sq ft.

For travertine installation, Contact us here. If you’re looking to purchase high quality travertine pavers, click here.

Travertine is the perfect choice for any pool deck. In the last few years, we have been installing more and more travertine pavers around swimming pools which is an absolutely beautiful look.

Before 9/11/2011, 90% of travertine was imported from Italy and the price wasn’t as attractive as it is now. Soon after the 9/11 attack, President Bush dropped the Embargo with Turkey, gave Turkey 20 billion dollars and lowered tariffs (to have military based in Turkey). Now, almost all of Travertine is imported from Turkey and it’s cost is very attractive. You can also find travertine imported from Brazil and India, however, not only is it a lower quality we choose not to purchase travertine imported from these countries because they don’t follow child labor laws.

Travertine Pavers for Pool

travertine pool pavers

Why is travertine good for pool decks

Other than aesthetics, there are many other characteristics that make travertine great for pool decks; its resistance to heat, mold and that it’s slip resistant are just a few. The ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) is a federal code that requires a static coefficient of friction of 0.05. Travertine ranges from 0.06-0.07. To put it into perspective, most concrete pavers rate a 0.07. It’s travertines dimples and cavities that makes it slip resistant. If you plan on sealing your travertine, we recommend that you use a water based sealer and only apply one coat.

Travertine Pavers are able to withstand cold weather conditions given that they have been properly installed and are premium grade. They are not only able to withstand freeze-thaw cycles but also extreme heat, their natural coolness provides an excellent walking surface for bare feet.

Travertine will initially cost more than concrete pavers. However, travertine will keep it’s color indefinitely, compared to other options like stamped concrete or even concrete pavers which will all fade in time.

Travertine Pavers are highly durable; they have been in nature for thousands of years and in freezing temperatures. It is the highest in compressive strength at over 17,000 psi; compared to stamped concrete which is typically 4,000 psi and concrete pavers which range from 7,000 psi – 10,000 psi.

Not all travertine is the same

Different grades

Premium Grade Travertine  – This grade of travertine are selected to have consistent coloring throughout the crates, and the only limitation about holes (again this varies by producer) is either “no large holes” or “no holes/fill all the way through each tile.” They will also specify no chipped or cracked edges, and that the tiles/slabs be the same thickness throughout. It’s important to understand that the dimples and cavities in travertine is natural; you just want to stay away from excessive holes, especially the ones that go all the way through the stone.

Standard Grade Travertine – The definitions are similar to first grade, but each supplier uses looser language. They generally call for consistent color; one advertises “double-filling,” but doesn’t specify if the second fill is done by hand, as is done with their first grade of travertine.  Large filled holes are allowed;  some filled holes through full thickness allowed. This grade is typically what you will buy from most online suppliers even though they claim it to be premium grade because there is no published “official” documentation about grades of travertine therefore the grades are just a matter of opinion.

Commercial Grade –Wide light/dark color variation, with gray or black inclusions allowed. Defects in honing and sizing allowed. Small unfilled holes allowed; no hand filling, large filled voids allowed, non-stop holes allowed (from the bottom to surface). Cracked and broken edges permitted. Delivered without any color selection or sorting.

Typically, the cost of premium travertine delivered will run between $5-$6 per sq ft. Chances are, if you’re paying less than this than you’re probably not getting premium grade travertine. Be weary of the ‘Free’ samples. Often times online suppliers will sort out the best of the best and set those pieces aside for samples. If you’d like to know where we get our travertine, click here.

As you can see, travertine pavers are heat resistant, they won’t burn your feet in hot summer months, they absorb water to help prevent slips and also help prevent flooding – AND THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL especially around pool decks.


Travertine Installation

We offer an installation process that works with the climates found in the midwest. Since most of the travertine enters the US in Florida, most of the published installation procedures are based on that climate. If you’re interested in speaking with us regarding the installation of travertine around your pool deck, we would be happy to help. We primarily offer installation in the Ohio area (Dayton, Cincinnati, Columbus), however, we also often install outside of this area for larger projects (1,000 sq ft +). For larger projects we are able to travel to Michigan, Kentucky and Indiana. If you’re project is really large (5,000 sq ft +) we will consider traveling further.

Please contact us here for travertine installation.

If you’re looking to buy high quality travertine pavers, click here for our travertine supplier.