Natural stone adds a timeless elegance to any space. While most homeowners are familiar with marble and granite, travertine definitely deserves some attention for its understated beauty and durability. Travertine is a popular choice for home flooring, patios, and shower enclosures with plenty to offer.
What is Travertine?
Travertine is a form of limestone that is deposited by mineral springs. As minerals dissolve in groundwater, they are moved by natural springs and washed over limestone formations. This allows the mineral-rich water to permeate the stone and create travertine in large blocks.
Travertine comes in many styles and colors. You can customize the appearance of your floors further with different finishes, including brushed, tumbled, matte, and polished, which reflects natural light the best. Travertine tile is most commonly used for flooring in homes, but it's also versatile. It can be used for countertops, backsplashes, patios, or any surface area that benefits from tile.
Travertine Pros and Cons
Travertine offers many unique benefits for homeowners. It's available in a wide variety of styles and colors to suit any decor. Natural stone is also an excellent investment that can increase the value of your home. Unlike ceramic tile, travertine tile is incredibly long-lasting and durable with the ability to last as long as your home without looking worn. The affordable cost can also be an advantage.
Travertine is very moisture resistant which makes it ideal for bathroom and kitchen floors. Like other types of natural stone, travertine is low maintenance and keeps its appearance for a lifetime with proper care.
There are a few drawbacks to travertine tile. Travertine has a porous structure like some other types of stone. This means it can absorb liquids very easily and stain or become damaged in the case of acidic liquids. Travertine, like marble, is very reactive to acids so it's important to promptly clean up pet urine and never use cleaning products with acids like ammonia, vinegar, and citrus. The good news is this risk can be mitigated by regularly sealing your travertine floors to help repel liquids.
Estimated Cost Range of Travertine
Travertine is one of the most affordable types of natural stone available. Granite or marble floors are often cost-prohibitive for homeowners, but travertine can produce almost the same appearance for a lower price while still serving as a durable investment.
While marble costs around $17 per square foot, travertine is usually priced around $3 per square foot. The cost for travertine flooring will depend on several factors, however, including the specific travertine tile you select, the tile pattern you prefer, and labor costs.
Caring for Travertine
Caring for travertine tile is easy as long as you understand the do's and don'ts. Travertine should be dry mopped regularly to remove debris that can scratch the surface. You can use a stone-safe cleaner to clean the stone without causing etching or damage. Travertine should be sealed regularly to guard against liquid intrusion and stains. Any spills should be cleaned up right away to avoid stains. If you choose travertine countertops, make sure you use a tray for toiletries that may leak or drip.
Travertine has been used in architecture and home design for thousands of years, particularly in Ancient Rome, where it was used extensively in building construction. The Colosseum in Rome is one of the world's most famous examples of the use of travertine and a testament to the stone's durability and beauty. Travertine remains an excellent choice today if you want a beautiful yet durable flooring option in your home that will look as great in 50 years as it does today.