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Rock Bottom Tile and Stone Blog

Travertine Versailles Pattern/French Pattern Layout and Installation

Sam Cohen - Thursday, September 20, 2012

Versailles pattern, also known as the French pattern, is currently among the most popular natural stone flooring styles used for both indoor and outdoor flooring in custom residential construction and remodels. The Versailles pattern is trademarked by a four size pattern and is offered in most natural stones including Travertine, Marble, Limestone, and Slate. Natural stone imported from all over the world can be found in this format, especially travertine tile which offers the largest selection of color variations and finishes in the Versailles pattern (French pattern).

Of the different finishes for travertine Versailles patterns the most common is a brushed surface with chiseled edges, a treatment that creates a rustic, timeless, and Old World feel. Other finishes for the Versailles Pattern in travertine include tumbled, honed, and polished. The edges can be found chiseled as discussed above, but there are also straight edge, pillowed edge, beveled edge and in some cases even wavy edge varieties available.  The tumbled finish sports its own unique edging, while the decision between getting a pre-filled or unfilled Versailles Pattern travertine is applicable to many of the finishes as well.  Some will prefer the unfilled variety because it provides flexibility in matching the grout color to the fill color, while others will value the convenience of a pre-filled pattern because it requires less labor upon installation. With so many combinations of color, finish, and edging to choose from, the Versailles Pattern that is the perfect fit for your project is sure to be out there.

The great advantage of the French pattern is its versatility in design, its ability to work within almost any space, and its beauty and character. Natural stone suppliers can offer the Versailles pattern either in packaged bundles of 8 sq. ft. (two 8x8s, one 8x16, two 16x16s, and one 16x24 sized tile per bundle) or in loose pieces. It is easier to install the Versailles pattern if you receive the material in the packaged bundles because it is already pre-ratioed into the repeating units that will ultimately create your floor. One reason for this is that two bundles complete the 16 sf. Versailles pattern unit shown in our recommended installation diagram. This not only helps you or your installer keep track of the pattern but also how many sf. has been installed or is left to install. Most bundled Versailles patterns (French patterns) also generally come 416 sf. per pallet which makes it one of the more optimal and cost effective formats to ship for your project. For these reasons Rock Bottom Tile and Stone offers one of the largest selections of bundled Versailles pattern natural stones in the Country.

Scabos Brushed, Chiseled Edge Versailles Pattern Travertine Tile


Before installing the Versailles pattern for your project, it is important to measure the area of your space and have a game plan with the design you are using to ensure your pattern remains consistent throughout the area. When installing, make sure the surface is level and free of any cracks or holes. It is recommended to install ½ inch-thick cement fiberboard (wonderboard/backerboard) to any surface to guarantee the condition of the surface is suitable for tiling. These steps are important to enable maximum integrity for your new floor once the project is complete.

Variations in color, veining, pitting, and other characteristics should be relatively evenly blended, distributed, and represented across the entire area. This will generate an end result that is even, consistent in its representation and rich with desirable natural stone attributes.  Utilize tile spacers as you go to create even grout lines of your desired width. (If you are having difficulty finding these locally they can be purchased online from our friends at

Every travertine project, and every natural stone project for that matter, is slightly different because as a product of nature travertine tiles have their own completely unique set of textures, colors, movements, variations, and characteristics. If you want to maintain this look for life it is important to seal the floor after grouting is complete to guarantee that the tiles will be protected. Make sure to use a sealant that is specific to travertine or natural stone so that you do not stain or compromise the strength of your tile. Multiple varieties of natural stone sealers should be available at your local Lowe’s or Home Depot type establishment. 

In general there are two types of stone sealers: enhancing (or enhancer) sealers and impregnating sealers. Use an enhancing sealer to increase the color, contrast, sheen, and overall “pop” of your tile floor. This can be simulated by wiping a piece of your stone with a wet rag and if you do go this route, you should always seal a sample piece with your selected enhancing sealer prior to applying to the larger area as a final check to make sure the result meets your approval. If you want to protect your stone without altering the physical appearance, the impregnating sealer is the product for the job. This will maintain the dry and natural look of the material without leaving it vulnerable to staining and other hazards that can befall an unsealed natural stone floor.

In all cases please follow the specific sealer guidelines described on the bottle for both application and reapplication, which can vary from product to product.


The Versailles Pattern (French Pattern) can actually be quite flexible in terms of layout, but for ease with installation, consistency with grout lines, ensuring the correct ratio of sizes, and just avoiding headaches in general, we offer the following recommended layout diagram that can be used as a guideline.  The base unit for this layout is 16 sq ft in area and consists of exactly two of the 8 sq ft bundles. This means that four 8x8s, two 8x16s, four 16x16s, and two 16x24s will create the repeating unit that will ultimately cover the full area. The unit fits together with other units from any direction in a puzzle-like fashion and is pretty self-explanatory once you get rolling with it.

Fiorito Beige Brushed, Chiseled Edge Marble Versailles Pattern Tile

Other popular layouts for travertine tile include herringbone patterns, Ashlar Patterns, subway style layouts, and diamond or diagonally set square tiles. All of these design options can be created using the natural stones offered here at Rock Bottom Tile and Stone. The combination of colors, stones, finishes, edges, and layouts make the design possibilities just about endless, and with the personal care, Rock Bottom prices, premium-quality material, and unrivaled logistics network that you’ll find with us, you’re all but guaranteed the best stone buying experience around.

For more information, please feel free to contact us directly or refer to our blog post about installing travertine, marble, slate, and other natural stone pavers, which has general installation guidelines that can apply to any tiling project.  Our Stone Info page is currently under construction but will also be a helpful resource for our valued customers in the near future.

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