What is travertine?
Travertine is a natural stone material used in building and home decor. This material is a type of limestone that forms from minerals deposited by water, especially hot springs, geysers, and the mineral rich water in caves. The water releases carbon dioxide when there are pressure or temperature changes creating gas bubbles. As the water evaporates, those bubbles cause the characteristic natural pores in this stone. Travertine is about halfway between limestone and marble in texture and hardness. There is very little produced in the U.S., almost all of this product is imported.
Appearance of travertine
Pure travertine is white, but it naturally forms in other colors depending on the different minerals and impurities present when made. These minerals create the beautiful colored bands often seen in this product. Other colors include cream, grey, shades of brown, beige, and yellowish and pinkish hues. The fewer natural pores that are visible in a piece of travertine, the higher the quality of the stone. Sometimes these pores will be filled during installation other times they are left unfilled for a natural look.
Travertine tiles come in several different finishes. Chiseled refers to the edge. Tumbled, polished, honed, brushed, filled, and bush hammered are all surface finishes. Combinations are possible, such as polished and chiseled, or honed and filled.
Where to use travertine flooring
Travertine can be used indoors or outdoors. This material can be used for flooring, table tops, bathrooms, fireplaces, pool decks, patios and many other projects. Some people like a travertine medallion with a mosaic look as a decorative centerpiece for walls or floors.
Kitchens are not a great choice since many items commonly found there can damage the stone. While natural stone is generally durable, travertine is more porous than some other stones like marble or granite. Travertine is probably not the best flooring choice for active families with small children. Tiles are generally used indoors and pavers are used outdoors. The main difference is the thickness. Standard thickness for tiles is .5 inches. Standard thickness for pavers is 1.25 inches. Travertine is a natural stone so you will want to keep that in mind when judging its suitableness for your project.
Maintenance of travertine
Since travertine is natural stone, it needs a penetrating sealer when it is installed. This flooring will need to be resealed periodically afterwards. Travertine can be permanently damaged by common acidic substances like lemon juice, carbonated soft drinks, and vinegar. Never clean this flooring with anything abrasive or acidic. Cleaners like bleach and ammonia will do damage to your tile. Use cleaners specifically designed for natural stone. Dirt and grit should be kept off a natural stone floor. Floor mats at entrances can help keep dirt out. A dust mop can be used for everyday cleaning. Do not vacuum, as metal or plastic wheels and attachments may damage the floor.
Cost of travertine flooring
Basic travertine flooring can average around $5 - $8 per square foot. Several mosaic tiles fall into the $8 - $10 average per square foot range.
The professionals at Gowdy flooring can help you find the right natural stone flooring for your home. If you would like more information, or have questions about our products or services, call us today at (806) 353-6226. You can also connect with us via e-mail by clicking on Contact us. You are welcome to visit our showroom and office located at 5205 S. Coulter St. in Amarillo, TX.