When you are looking at flooring or wall options where you want to use stone, then you might come across travertine as one of the options available. Travertine is a specific type of limestone that is used around the home, as well as outdoors, to add a touch of class and sophistication to your areas.
Travertine is known for being a relatively durable stone. In fact, it is almost as tough as marble. This means that it is less susceptible to chips, etc. from impacts and general wear and tear. Its non-slip property makes it a popular choice underfoot. Travertine tiling is revered for its natural, light look, and the stone has an appearance that some would classify as looking like a cross between marble and limestone. It is used throughout homes, and makes a popular choice in bathrooms, especially where there is a lack of natural light – to brighten up the room.
It can also be used outdoors, with decks and entertaining areas often proudly displaying travertine pavers.
However, just because travertine is durable, doesn’t mean that it’s not susceptible to degradation. The porosity of travertine means that you need to take steps to ensure that you don’t damage it. Travertine is especially at risk of stains and being etched by various substances, including any acids. Spilling a glass of red wine or orange juice on travertine means that you have to clean it up extremely quickly, as otherwise the surface will soak it up and degrade.
As a combat to this degradation that can occur with using a porous stone, this makes it very important that you choose a sealant that will protect your tiles. You might also like to think about the finish that you order your travertine in. Polished travertine will have the porous holes of the surface filled in and be polished and sealed to a glossy finish. This makes it the best finish when you are worried about degradation, however, if they are floor tiles then it can it can make it very slippery underfoot, which is something to keep in mind.
If you choose honed travertine, then the porous holes will be filled in and the surface will be lightly polished. It’s a little more matte so it’ll be more slip resistant underfoot, and is a popular choice for flooring tiles.
Ah, back to the sealant. If your travertine tiles do not come sealed (and sometimes even if they do), you will want to add a sealant to the top of them to prevent wear and tear happening. Sealants are best applied by stone tilers who really know what they are doing. If you attempt to apply the sealant yourself, you might run into trouble, or find out a year down the track that you didn’t do a good enough job when the stone underneath the sealant starts to degrade.
Travertine can range in cost from very affordable through to quite pricey, depending on the quality of the stone that you’re after, as well as the finish that you decide to get. You may find that travertine is more expensive than cultured marble of a similar look and size.
Ultimately, travertine makes a good stone for tiles, so long as you take the time to understand it and know which substances are going to adversely affect the stone. So take the time out before installation to bone up on what you can and can’t use on your travertine surfaces (as well as add a good sealant) and you’ll be right as rain with installing travertine pavers either inside your home or outside too.