More on Travertine

Travertine is an interesting natural stone, generally harder than limestone but softerthan marble. It is a kind of limestonedeposited by springs, or more

precisely travertine is a calcareousrock, i.e., composed almost entirely of calcium carbonate. It takes its name from "LapisTiburtinus", the stone deposited around the Tibur river that was widely usedin Roman times, including building massive walls whose remains can still beseen in Rome. Travertine is usually usedas a decorative material for interiors, both for walls and floors. In countries such as Italy and Turkeytravertine is also routinely used outdoors, even for pavement.

Travertine has been used a lot intraditional Italian architecture, with perhaps one of the most beautifulexamples being Fontana di Trevi in Rome as well as various palazzos. Coliseum is another historic building builtlargely from travertine. Travertine iswidely used today as well in various commercial and residentialproperties. Travertine is a fairlyenduring material not very sensitive to weather, and can in fact be considered oneof the longest-lasting despite its porous, nonresistant appearance. In reality,water doesn't manage to penetrate it very far, due to the largeness of thecavities and to the fact that its porosity is internal, mostly below thesurface. Like any natural stone,travertine nevertheless ages: the ivory/white/light beige varieties tend tobleach on the surface, a phenomenon typical of calcareous rock especially inpolluted environments. Travertine also absorbs dirt and polluting particles andthis particle-absorption capacity makes dirt deposit permanently on its surface,creating deposits that, if neglected, can lead in time to black crustformation, which can be seen on Italian travertine buildings.

Travertine comes in a large varietyof colours. Most common types of travertine are beige, white, off-white orivory, and brown. Other popular coloursare yellow or gold and red. Travertine is mined in three major areas, Iran,Italy and Turkey. Iran is the only areathat produces red travertine. Both Iranand Turkey produce

yellow travertine. Iranian yellow travertine is richer in colourand typically more uniform than yellow travertine mined in Turkey. Travertinecan be filled (with cement or resin) or unfilled. Generally speaking, cement-filled travertineis the most popular alternative. Travertinecan be vein-cut or cross-cut. The formeris more rare and when applied correctly helps create unique interiors.


Different colours of travertine can be combined to achievevarious design patterns, from traditional to modern. Patterns can be made more sophisticated bycombining also tiles of different sizes. Users, however, should watch out for too busy patterns that mayunderstate the richness of the natural stone. Due to its texture, as well astypical colours, travertine would add warmth to most interiors. It also goes well with other materials, inparticular parquet, and glass. Users areadvised to consult their stone supplier for suitability of different types oftravertine for different applications. As a general guideline, it is notadvisable to use filled travertine inside swimming pools, whereas it is a good option for the areaaround a swimming pool.

When travertine tiles are used in a bathroom, it is advisableto consider using custom-made showertrays or bath surrounds or vanities frommatching or contrasting travertine.

Travertine commands different prices, depending on the typeof travertine and its grade/quality. Morecommon types of beige travertine present budget opportunities, whereasluxurious white travertine is a high-end option. Budget varieties of travertine can be a goodoption but quality cannot be underestimated, as with any other type of naturalstone. Usually you get what you paid for.