The elegant look of travertine is one that some homeowners long for. With a variety of different shapes and textures available, you can create a look that is truly unique and personal to your own style. You may be wondering if travertine is right for you and we are here to help! There are several important details to consider when selecting the right material for a space in your home and we have got you covered with this simple guide to understanding travertine clearer.

History of Travertine

tivoli italy

Tivoli, Italy (photo courtesy of Life Explorers)

Ancient Architecture

ancient travertine architecture

As mentioned earlier, travertine was used to build the historical colosseum in Rome, but that’s not the only place. Travertine has been a popular construction material especially in the old days. Many ancient buildings built from this stone are still standing tall today. The use of travertine can be traced back to 3200 BC in Egypt. Also, many Italian towns still hold the buildings, churches and tombs made from this stone. Similar structures to the colosseum can be seen in Slovakia and Paris. Basilique du Sacre Coeur, a notable tourist destination in Paris was constructed with travertine. Time has proven that travertine has lived up to this reputation, so there’s no doubt that travertine makes a beautiful choice for any home.

Is Travertine Right for You?

As with any other major decision, you must weight the pros and cons before you make a final decision on the right tiles for you. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of selecting travertine for your next project.

PROS

Durability

The first advantage is travertine’s durability. It’s an extremely hard material that can stand up to high traffic. Travertine tiles can be used for a number of different spaces in the home. The tile’s non-slip texture makes it easy to grip and walk on. It’s also very resilient against extreme temperatures.

Appearance

travertine pattern styles

Travertine already looks as though it’s been there for a long time. As a result, it will keep its timeless look. Travertine also comes in a variety of colors and can form various patterns. This makes it much easier to replace tiles later on.

Unique Style

As one of the oldest building materials available, travertine adds a sense of reserved dignity and sophistication to your space. Some polished travertine tiles even look similar to marble or granite. So, whether you choose shades of cream and beige, hues of gold and brown, tones of gray or vibrant reds, your design will feature individual works of art fashioned by Mother Nature herself—thanks girl!

Eco-Friendly

This natural resource, which requires no manufacturing processes, is both recyclable and biodegradable. If you’re interested in upcycling, you can even try to find salvaged pieces of tile from an old installation for your new project.

Easily Repaired
Although travertine is a strong stone, it may be susceptible to damage over the years of wear and tear. But since you’re using tiles, removing and replacing a broken piece is a piece of cake! No one will even know. So, purchase and keep a few extra pieces on hand. That will make repairs even easier when the time comes, and your tile will match as closely as possible.

CONS

Porous

Travertine is a very porous stone. In its natural state, travertine has numerous holes. The holes can range in size with most travertine pieces having a mix of large and small holes. In most cases, these holes are filled by manufacturers. That being said, the materials used to fill the holes can wear down overtime.

To help this, it’s important to use or have installers use a sealing treatment of penetrating sealer and a barrier surface sealer during installation for protection.

Cost

Even though travertine costs less than marble in most cases, it’s still pricier in comparison to limestone, granite or even carpeting. However, as compared to these options, travertine has the ability to add more value and elegance to your home and will undoubtedly last longer than any of the aforementioned options.

Maintenance and Care

Travertine may be considered as durable or resilient but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t require extensive care or maintenance. In comparison to the other flooring options, such as granite, ceramic or vinyl, travertine requires much more attention in order to preserve its beauty and everlasting sense of elegance.

Acid Sensitive

Travertine is sensitive to certain acids. This is because it’s a natural stone formed from calcium carbonate. Stones made up of this can break down over time when exposed to acidic substances like vinegar and any citric acids, like orange or lemon juice. So, for this reason, travertine isn’t the best choice for countertops or any kitchen surfaces.

Best Uses for Travertine Tiles

Travertine is the best material option if you’d like to add a sense of luxury to your space. This stone is known for its unique and uneven qualities, and this makes travertine looks very elegant for both modern and even classic décor designs.

Bathroom

bathroom travertine tile

Photo courtesy of Zillow.com

Being versatile in nature, travertine tile has become a popular choice for homeowners to use in bathrooms. The custom pattern and diagonal arrangement of the tiles to the showers and floors can give a natural yet sophisticated look to your bathroom.

Outdoor Spaces

outdoor travertine tile

Photo courtesy of stone-pavers.com.au

Not only does travertine enhance the appearance of any of your interior settings, you can feature it in your outside spaces too. Whether you’re looking for stones to revamp your garden pathway or swimming areas, travertine tiles can shine your outer areas with its versatility, plus it keeps its beauty intact throughout the summer and chilling winters.

Accent Walls

accent wall travertine tile

Photo courtesy of stone-projects.com

One of the best reasons to choose travertine tile is that it can be easily cut and modified into different shapes. So, if you’re looking for something unique and striking to add to your wall, go for travertine tiles. The tiles, when added to the wall, attract visitors, and give a subtle look to the entire room.

Staircases

Photo courtesy of architecturaldigest.com

Usually homeowners don’t think of adding something like that of natural stones on the staircases. In addition, travertine tile doesn’t lose its coolness in high temperatures, thus making it the best choice for staircases.

Fireplaces

Photo courtesy of carlaaston.com

Fireplace paving is a glamorous addition to your home. Travertine tiles give a striking look to the fireplace surround with its texture and smooth finish and will have family and friends gathering comfortably.

Kitchen

travertine kitchen tile

Travertine tile available at Avalon Flooring

Look for travertine tiles to use for your backsplashes to give your space a wow look! Consider using contrasting tones together to make it an even more exciting space for cooking your meal, entertaining your guests and your family—and you! 

Colors & Styles

travertine tile colors

One of the components which compromise travertine is iron. Iron is the element which causes travertine to form in many different earth colors such as different tones of brown, beige, tan, reddish, gold, ivory and other white shades.

The natural shades of travertine ranges from soft ivory and pale creamy white to rich golden shades of walnut and brown, silvery grays, rustic reds and deep mocha coffee shades. Since travertine is a natural stone and the colors depend on local mineral and organic materials, the tiles are never a single solid color. Although some travertine varieties are more consistent in color. Colors in each tile will vary with bands or veins of contrasting color throughout the stone. Each stone has unique style and character, although stones quarried from the same area will have enough overall similarity to create a beautiful floor or wall!

Cleaning & Maintenance of Travertine Tile

Maintenance of travertine is not tedious but there are a few things that should be taken care of. Since travertine is a natural stone, use of chemicals and cleaning products may scratch the surface of the stone. Regular dusting and mopping will keep travertine beautiful for a long time. Since travertine is porous, in case of a spill, immediately clean the surface and don’t let the liquid seep into the stone. If you want to use a cleaner, make sure you buy one that’s meant to clean travertine.

Now that we’ve laid out all the important facts and details of this beautiful natural stone, it’s time for you to decide. To further help your decision, make sure you visit one of our 14 locations to see travertine samples in person!


At Avalon Flooring, we want to make sure you’re happy from your first step in our showroom to your first step on your new flooring—and as your partner in home design, we’ll be there every step along the way. Consider us your “One-Stop Shopping” destination for all things flooring…(and window treatments)!

Our design consultants are equipped with the knowledge to guide you through the wide selection of products we offer, and our expert installation team is professionally trained to make sure everything gets installed the way you envision. We know your home is an expression of your sense of style, and we’re here to make sure you’ll be proud of it for years to come.

If you have any questions, please email us.