Travertine is, like marble, a variation on limestone, but it is not, as we all tend to think, marble. It is often called travertine marble, but it is actually neither marble nor limestone. It was formed from shells in caves around hot springs under immense pressure for thousands of years.
Coloration is determined by the amount of impurities that are found within the stone and they tend to run in veins. In the past Travertine has run in warm colors, from ivory to gold to walnut; it can also be found in shades of red. However, it is changing. New deposits are more bluish in tone, verses the long known yellowish cast.
Where it Comes From
For those of you wondering about where Travertine can be found, the largest deposit in the country is Yellowstone National Park. However, this stone is mostly imported into the United States from quarries where it is mined in Peru, Iran, Italy, Mexico and Turkey. It can be purchased in slabs, or, more often it is cut down into tiles. Being very porous, the natural holes in the stone are filled when cut into tiles. Premium Travertine has smaller holes.
Slabs are cut into tiles at the factor into various sizes, including 4 x 4, 6 x 6, 12 x 12, 18 x 18, and 12 x 24. Mosaics are also popular. These tiles can be honed into a matte finish, saw cut, brushed, tumbled, polished into a smooth finish, tumbled, or chisel edged into an uneven finish.
It is very popular with builders and designers currently as it is cool, crisp, and elegant. Luxurious and beautiful, Travertine is less expensive than marble, and can be cut into intricate designs.
Care and Life
Travertine can be used inside or out. It does need to be sealed for long life, but is good for floors, walls, backsplashes, and outdoor spaces. It is long lasting. After all, the Coliseum in Rome is made of the stuff.
Sealer can change the color of the tiles. There are several different types of sealer, some are made to specifically keep the tiles as natural looking as possible. Make sure to ask about the sealer that is being used on your project. And they will need to be resealed every year.
Cleaning is easy with mild soap and water.
Travertine In Your Home
Bring the elegance of Travertine into your home by visiting City Tile in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Our designers can help you turn your current bathroom into an elegant spa with a cutting edge walk in shower made of Travertine tiles. For more information about how our designers can help, check out our blog, “What Our Design Consultants Can Do for You.”