What are Travertine Tiles?
From the Colonnade to St. Peter’s Basilica, travertine is one of the most popular building materials throughout history. Its unique properties and look is still a favorite today where travertine tile is used in home and commercial construction.
Travertine is a type of limestone formed by calcium carbonate buildup around hot springs or limestone caves. Today you can visit natural sites where travertine is being formed like Mammoth Hot Springs at Yellowstone National Park or the UNESCO World Heritage Site lakes in Huanglong, Sichuan Province, China. Other geothermal sites rich with travertine are scattered all over the world.
The most prominent feature of travertine, which sets it apart from other natural stone, is the pitting and natural holes in the stone. The invasion of carbon dioxide gas during formation of the stone creates the holes that make travertine so different.
Travertine comes from some of the most well-known quarries in the world such as the Tivoli region of Italy and newer, high-producing quarries in Mexico and Turkey.
Large blocks of travertine are transported to fabricators who produce slabs for countertops, pavers for patios, tiles for floors, and mosaics for backsplash. Blocks can be vein cut for a wood-grain type look or cross cut for a more traditional natural stone look.
Travertine Colors, Finishes
Travertine colors include ivory, beige, brown, gold, silver, and rust. The color of the travertine depends on the minerals present during formation, besides calcium carbonate. Different finishes and sealers can bring out the color or subdue it.
Travertine tiles come in several finishes. Here are the finishes available at Daltile:
• Polished (smooth and glossy)
• Honed (smooth matte)
• Tumbled (rustic appearance)
• Split-face (rough cut stone)
Most travertine is sealed or resin-impregnated to keep the natural holes from breaking or harboring liquid that might damage the stone. Daltile travertine finishes are each designed for a specific environment and look. Check the specs to ensure you select an appropriate tile.
Travertine is durable enough for both indoor and outdoor applications. As natural stone goes, it is a softer stone that is sensitive to heat and chemicals, is porous (it absorbs liquids), and can be scratched or etched without the proper protection. The natural holes in the travertine make it especially susceptible to freezing temperatures and high-traffic areas unless it is resin-impregnated or sealed.
Selecting the proper finish and applying sealer after installation will help to increase travertine’s durability. Check the specifications on the tiles you select to ensure they are rated for your application.
Travertine is a popular material for pool decks, patios, countertops, interior flooring, and walls. It comes in sizes from 1 x 1 up to large format. Tiles also come in unique shapes like pebble mosaic, pencil rail, and specialty accents.
Travertine tile has been so popular through the ages that it has its own tile pattern. The French or Versailles pattern covers uses three different tile shapes and four different tile measurements.
Daltile has replicated this style pattern with our product, Torreon, from the Travertine Collection. It is a tumbled travertine that comes in a set of tiles to help you achieve the Versailles pattern.
At Daltile, there are more than 100 travertine products to choose from. Wall tile, floor tile, travertine slabs, accents, bath accessories, and more are available for your design. With so many options to choose from, travertine makes the perfect material for your remodel or new home.