13 Stone-Mart Facts About Travertine Tile

Are you intrigued with Travertine and its timeless natural beauty? Would you like to learn more?  Here are 13 facts about Travertine Tile.

1. Travertine is a type of limestone that forms in hot mineral springs around the world. According to Wikipedia, limestone  is a sedimentary rock made of calcium carbonate, a primary component of shells. In North America, the most notable Travertine formation is Yellowstone National Park.

2. The name ‘travertine’ was derived from the name of the ancient Italian city Tibur, now Tivoli, with roots beyond Roman times. Travertine was known as lapis tiburtinus, i.e., tibur stone, which over time became travertine.

3. Most Travertine is imported to the US from quarries in Italy, Iran, Mexico, Turkey, and Peru. Tile Outlets of America obtains most of its Travertine from Turkey. (Check out Turkey’s Pamukkale natural Travertine terraces and hot springs.)

4. Travertine is mined from quarries all over the world using many methods including Channeling machines, Wire Saws, Chain Saws and Water-Jet Cutting machines. From the quarry, it is either stored in a warehouse or taken to a mill or production facility where it is cut into slabs and sent through different process depending on the type of finish desired.

5.  When you look at it, you’ll notice what makes Travertine unique: naturally occurring holes and troughs on the surface. Travertine is also porous. Both of these characteristics result from how the stone forms over time.

6. The holes and troughs that you find in Travertine can be filled with grout, or left unfilled. In many cases Travertine tile is filled at the factory during production. The size of the holes indicates whether or not the stone is a premium, commercial or select cut. As a rule of thumb, the smaller the hole, the more premium the cut of Travertine.

7. Travertine is often used as a building material and can be seen in architecture across Europe dating back to the Roman Empire (Burghausen Castle in Germany) . The Roman Coliseum and bath houses in Rome and the Lobby of the Sears Tower and first floor walls at the UCLA medical center were all built with Travertine.). Travertine has been used in everything from aqua-ducts to load bearing pillars. It is most commonly used today for floors, walls, and backsplashes.

8. Travertine comes in a variety of colors including white, tan, brown, cream and gold. It can also be found in varying shades of red, pink and orange. Some Travertine has black veins running through it.

9. Travertine is produced in a variety of styles including, honed, tumbled, polished, brushed, saw cut and chiseled edge.

10. Modern Travertine tile encompasses a range of sizes. The most common tile sizes are 4×4, 6×6, 12×12, and 18×18 and tile trim pieces.

11. Travertine can be used inside or outside, by itself or as a decorative piece mixed with granite, marble, ceramic or porcelain tile.

12. Same as all other natural stone products, it is recommended to seal Travertine. Sealing Travertine is very easy and should be done during installation and periodically thereafter – usually every three to five years. You’ll find a number of sealer options available today. The most common are Enhancing and Natural sealers. Enhancing sealers darken stone and give it a ‘wet’ look whereas natural sealers offer the same protection without changing the stone’s appearance.

13. When installing Travertine, be sure to blend the tiles first. Also, use a white thin set particularly with lighter travertine. Gray thin set may darken or tint your stone. Thin set should be mixed to a sticky peanut butter consistency. You will want to use a notched trowel. Some installers recommend sealing travertine before and after installation other recommended it before and after grouting.

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