What is travertine?

For years, travertine has been used for its beauty and resilience. They reflect an elegant look to interiors while reinforcing exteriors. Travertine is sometimes referred to as travertine limestone since they are both natural sedimentary rocks formed in natural hot springs. Natural travertine tiles are porous and may need to undergo factory processing to improve its durability and finish.

imagesIt has a longer lifespan than other forms of building materials. The resistance to collecting dust and stains, retaining odors, and becoming infected by bugs, makes this natural solid surface a sensible selection. Maintenance is much more trouble-free than carpeting, wallpaper, wood or other covering selections. Travertine tiles are available in an assortment of colors, designs, patterns, and sizes which makes it suitable for multiple uses.

Travertine was used in the ancient world and even to build the Roman Coliseum, but is also found as a major building component in modern building today. These tiles are used in both residential and commercial settings as floor tiles, and as well as a decorative option for wall cladding and backsplashes. This functional natural product is aesthetically striking as well as a very durable stone.

Travertine-tile-florTravertine is available in a variety of natural colors. The most common and easily recognized by the general public are the cream and beige tones. These are classified in the lighter to medium hue category and typically are used as floor tiles. Darker travertine is categorized as Noce or Walnut. They are normally used as wall tiles as well as floor tiles. Several shades can be combined to form a travertine mosaic pattern which is typically used as an accent piece.

When travertine is removed from the quarry it is very porous and must go through a finishing process. There are a variety of finishes that are available.

*Honed and Finished: this process will smooth out the natural rough texture and straighten the edges and corners, but has a more matte finish compared to a shiny polished look.  It is a good finish for slip resistance floors.

*Tumbled Finish:  This process literally tumbles travertine with gravel and bearings to create a soft appearance.  The classic aged look will warm your home and is preferred in outdoor spaces.

*Chipped Edge:  This is a finish has a more textured appearance.  It has a rugged appearance with uneven “chiseled” edges typically on a honed or tumbled finish.

*Polished Finish:  The natural stone still keeps in tune with nature but has a more formal impression.  It is shiny in appearance.  This finish is not recommended in traffic areas where slipping could be a factor.

Natural travertine can make a kitchen or bath look spectacular, but it is also stunning when used outdoors.  Not only is it attractive on an outdoor patio or surrounding a pool but it is highly resistant against the weather.  Tiles impart a gorgeous look but are also an economical and eco friendly choice as well.

Shelley Herod is the owner and designer for Designing Women, LLC from Woodstock, Georgia. She has been a local designer for the past 20 years. She graduated from Butler University  with a degree in merchandising and design. Shelley is a certified home stager and recently was selected by Executive Who’s Who. She is the veteran interior designer to the Junior Service League of Woodstock Christmas Home Tour, where she has been active for the past 10 years. She also works with wedding and special event venues as design coordinator to make dreams become reality. Designing Women is an active member of the The Atlanta Bridal Connection. Shelley can be reached at (770) 235-5640 or on her Facebook page: Designing Women.