What is Travertine?

Despite the surge in popularity and the high demand amongst developers and builders for travertine, many homeowners may not be too familiar with the stone when compared to marble or granite.

What is Travertine?

Travertine is a sedimentary limestone deposited by mineral springs with formations located all around the world, notably Tivoli, Italy, where the name travertine was derived.

The first mention of a travertine discovery dates back to 75 BC during the reign of Julius Caesar. The springs of Tivoli had an abundance of the stone due to the volcanic activity from Mt. Etna, making it the prime building material for the Ancient Romans.

The most well-known Roman marvel, the Colosseum, was constructed using travertine and remains structurally intact due to the durability of travertine – one of its main characteristics.

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Michelangelo also chose travertine as the outside border of the dome in St. Peters Basilica. Part of the appeal of the material was its durability as both the Romans and Michelangelo wanting to create structures that lasted.

As you can see, travertine has a fascinating history that’s worth discovering more about. The following guide allows you to gain a better understanding of the stone and what makes it comparable and different than marble or granite. Here we’ll explore more about the stone’s origin, uses, cost, and patterns, so you’ll know precisely why it’s the ideal material to use for your building project.

Where Does Travertine Come From?

Travertine originally came from Italy but can be found in many locations across the globe. One such place is the United States, but the absence of mines prevents it from being extracted here.

A majority of travertine comes from Turkey, Iran, Peru, Mexico, and Italy. Distributors have it imported to the US where it is used by builders who seek to use it in their building projects for commercial and residential clients.

Sellers of travertine in the United States have locations throughout the nation. The product that they sell, however, is not from quarries in the US.

Other countries import it, which is one of the reasons why it’s sought-after because it is more unique than other materials such as marble and different types of building stones.

Where is Travertine Mined?

Travertine comes from quarries all over the world, including some of the largest quarries in Turkey, Italy, and Mexico. Although there are natural formations of travertine scattered within the United States, there aren’t any travertine quarries that mine travertine in the United States.

In the 1980s, travertine came from only Italy, but now Turkey, Iran, Peru, and Mexico are frequent exporters.

Distributors of travertine in the United States pay close attention to where it is mined so that they can preserve the material’s quality. They’re able to bring more value to their customers that way.

When you shop for travertine, you want to know that it will last a long time, so you’re not stuck replacing your flooring prematurely.

Travertine mine

How Much Does Travertine Cost?

Distributors determine the cost of travertine by the square foot. Prices can fluctuate from year to year based on the availability of the limestone. It’s typically $9 to $17 a square foot for pavers.

A large building project can easily cost thousands of dollars to build with travertine. Some of the most historic buildings are made from the travertine because it was readily available at the time, and they had the budget set aside to spend on the expense.

Sometimes, you’ll find it for a reduced price because it’s a smaller amount than many projects require. If you have a smaller project that needs travertine flooring, you can opt to buy the discounted stone and use it. It’s an option that you can consider if it appeals to you.

How Much Does a Pallet of Travertine Weigh?

Travertine, when packed onto a pallet, can weigh anywhere between 3,100 to 3,200 pounds.

This is, of course, if the pavers are 1 ¼” thick, and there are 200 square feet of material packed onto the pallet. The material is relatively heavy which adds to its durability. If it were to be too thin, it would break easily.

Travertine pallet

How Durable is Travertine?

Travertine is very durable, making it an ideal material to use inside and outside a home. It is very sensitive to acidic substances, though. Metal abrasion is also an issue to be wary of. Regular care and maintenance of travertine help it last for years.

Applying a sealant over the top of the stone makes it easier to clean. It’s something that can be done relatively quickly and helps increase the longevity of travertine. It’s a maintenance step that pays off quickly over time.

Sealing it protects it from damage as well as creates a barrier between substances and the stone. Although travertine isn’t difficult to clean if done quickly, it can take a bit more time to get stains out.

It’s also imperative that the stone doesn’t come into contact with acidic substances, so the sealant keeps that from happening.

How to Clean Travertine?

Cleaning travertine is imperative to maintain its longevity. It’s important to clean it regularly to prevent the build-up of dirt, grime, and debris. There are several ways to do just that.

The first involves using a soft cleaning cloth and wiping up spills and other messes that have pooled in one spot. Acidic substances such as orange juice or lemon juice can cause degradation in the travertine which is something that you’ll want to avoid.

Using a soft broom and a vacuum cleaner are effective ways to clean up large amounts of build-up at once. Making it a point to care for your travertine tiles like you would any other type of flooring is imperative. Adopting a cleaning schedule that effectively addresses the tiles is highly suggested.

If a stain has set into the travertine, don’t worry. The porous nature of the stone makes it relatively easy to remove substances. A method known as ‘poulticing’ is among the most effective way to get rid of a set-in stain.

It is similar to creating a poultice for medical reasons. It requires a stain remover solution and a clean rag placed on top of the stain where it can be ‘drawn out.’ It’s one way to prevent your tile from becoming damaged and looking significantly different than the rest of the floor, tiled shower, or deck area.

Travertine vs. Marble and other stones

Travertine is often confused with marble, granite, onyx, limestone, and slate, but the main difference is the formation process of the stone.

Travertine forms when carbonate materials rapidly precipitate, caused by rain, sleet, and snow undergoes extreme heating or cooling caused by weather fluctuations usually at the mouth of a hot spring or limestone cave. Both marble and limestone fall into the category of metamorphic rock and forms under extreme heat and pressure.

Travertine is easily distinguishable from other stones due to the deposits that form in the rock when precipitation from the heat and air erodes the stone underground, which is why it resides in springs, lakes, and valleys. Travertine is also an environmentally friendly alternative to other building materials because it doesn’t go through a rigorous manufacturing process.

Travertine is also distinct from other stones due to the fibrous pores in the stone. The holes in the stone can be filled for a smooth finish or left untouched, giving a rugged and natural look. The pores in the travertine are not only aesthetically appealing but they also quickly absorb water, making travertine a perfect choice for an outdoor area for a pool.

It’s quick to dry and easy to care for. If used indoors, you can clean it quickly. Many people choose travertine because of its natural look and appeal, as well as its durability. In homes with pets and children, having a material that can take a lot of abuse from everyday wear and tear is ideal.

How is Travertine Used Today?

You can find travertine structures all across the United States, such as the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, California, to the natural formations that line the Grand Canyon. Travertine is also becoming a popular choice for home designers, so you may have seen it in homes or office buildings.

Travertine is becoming the preferred building material for the design of the facades of buildings and walls, the linings of pools, outdoor decks, and tiling in showers and tubs. It doesn’t require extensive maintenance or upkeep and can withstand extreme temperatures, making it durable in any weather condition. It looks fantastic and is easy to clean.

It is also a cost-effective solution to other stones – unlike the alternatives, if one of your tiles or the travertine material gets damaged, it’s easy and simple to replace. You’re not stuck replacing an entire section of the flooring to match marble or other comparable stones.

Travertine Designs and Patterns

Travertine comes in several finishes, such as polished, tumbled, brushed, and honed, depending on your preference. Polished and honed travertine is glossy and is smooth to the touch.

A tumbled finish gives travertine a textured look and has a non-slip surface. Smooth finishes are ideal for indoor surfaces, and liners and tumbled travertine pavers make beautiful outdoor columns, decks, and pool areas.

Due to the fluctuations in weather and carbonate materials, travertine comes in an array of natural colors that range in hues and design. Smoothing travertine makes it an excellent choice for indoor shower and tub liners. It resembles other types of stone and doesn’t get moldy like other materials do when exposed to water regularly.

Travertine comes in several different patterns, and its versatile nature also makes it a great choice for pavers, mosaics, tiles, and moldings, depending on your project. Every piece of travertine is different, which is what adds a unique touch to your space. Travertine ranges in size and thickness, consult Texas Travertine for help with your project.

Why Choose Us as Your Travertine Distributor?

Unlike other distributors, Texas Travertine works directly with the quarries to get travertine delivered to you. We supply the highest-grade travertine and guarantee that everything you buy will be of premium quality.

If you’re looking for the best travertine available in the US, you’ve come to the right place.

You’ll find the colors and patterns that you enjoy most for your home improvement project. It doesn’t matter if you’re planning on using the travertine indoors or outdoors because it looks fantastic in either space. You’ll notice a significant difference in the way your property appears to others once you’ve installed travertine flooring.