Travertine Tile For Your Floors

Incredible, Natural Beauty

Travertine tile adds beauty and warmth to any setting... The earthy, natural shades create an atmosphere that says "welcome"!

Extremely durable and versatile, you will enjoy years and years of beauty with this natural stone flooring...

Other uses include tub and fireplace surrounds, interior walls and sinks. Although NOT recommended for countertops, because of the etching and scratching concerns, it works well as a backsplash!

travertine tile

What Is Travertine?

Travertine stone is formed from limestone... When groundwater travels through limestone beds, it leaves calcium carbonate deposits along the way that form into travertine stone. If left undisturbed in the earth, travertine will continue to change and after thousands of years it will form into marble... In otherwords, travertine and marble are completely different stones.

Travertine beds are usually formed near mineral-saturated hot spings. It's distinct pitted surfaces are caused from gas bubbles that have become trapped during formation.

Demand for travertine has grown tremendously. Ten years ago, the world market for travertine was dominated by Italy, but times have changed and travertine now comes from Turkey, Mexico and Peru too.

The largest building in the world is the Colosseum in Rome, which is constructed mostly of travertine. The building is 1000 years old!

Color Choices

You have many gorgeous colors to choose from.... ivories, creams, golds, grays, greens, browns and reds, but NEVER are they found as one solid color...

No two tiles are the same! Color tones will vary, with veins of contrasting colors running throughout the tile...

Most of the colors will be very distinct, and blend harmoniously to form a rich, beautiful stone.

No matter what color you choose, travertine tile will look stunning on your floor!

Surface Finishes

A really "cool" feature of travertine floor tile is the many types of finish available for this stone. It can be honed, brushed, hammered, tumbled, undulated, pillowed, polished or chisel-edged.

The "honed" finish is the most popular for travertine. It is non-reflective and more of a sheen or matte, but gives the appearance that can be casual and formal... chic and soothing.

A "tumbled" finish gives a more weathered, aged or scuffed appearance to travertine tile that provides a rustic and relaxed feeling.

Travertine tile can be "polished" to a smooth, shiny finish to create a formal and inviting setting, but it can't compete with the high-glossy finish of granite or marble. Only the hardest types of travertine are capable of obtaining a polished or high-gloss finish.

Unique Characteristics

Natural pits, holes and troughs are a distinct characteristic of travertine tile. Commonly the holes are filled in (as they should be) with grout increasing durability and making for easier cleaning, but it can be purchased "filled" or "unfilled". If left unfilled the holes and pits will simply collect dirt.

Like limestone, travertine tile will vary in hardness, porosity and density, and not all travertine is capable of obtaining a smooth, shinny finish when polished. It all depends on the hardness of the stone.

Travertine is a calcareous stone and will react to acids like alcohol, vinegar, shampoos and other common household products. Acids cause marks, rings or dull spots, known as etching.

Unfortunately, the hardness of travertine won't prevent it from scratching... so take care moving furniture and such.

Sealing Travertine

Applying an impregnating sealant at least once to honed or tumbled travertine tile floors is a good idea, especially if it is in the kitchen, bath or bar area. Wait 3 to 4 weeks after installation to allow the grouting to cure completely before applying a sealant.

Polished travertine is nearly non-absorbent and really can't be sealed (and doesn't need to be).

Sealants will protect against staining, but will not prevent etching from contact with acidic foods like coffee, fruit drinks and/or alkaline cleaning products.

You won't notice etchings nearly as much on travertine that has been "honed" vs. polished and removing/repairing any spots is easily done!


  • Will scratch more easily than granite
  • Reacts with acids to cause etching
  • Polished floor will show wear in time

    Cleaning & Care

    Using a cleaning product made for stone is the only way to go!

    Most common household cleaners bought at your grocery or big box store will damage and etch your travertine.

    Follow the advice/recommendation from the manufacturer or flooring distributor for the proper cleaning product to use. Its always better to be safe than sorry, right?


    Travertine tile is a terrific floor covering, and seems to make small spaces more airy and open. It works well mixed in with other natural stones to create a dramatic, unique look, or by itself for sheer beauty and simplicity. Use your imagination, use common sense...

    To get a better feel for this stone, lay out all the tiles first before installing them. This will give you a better feel for the stone and the flow of veining and color.

    NOTE: As with any flooring installation, it takes patience and skills, especially with tiles, so plan well or hire a professional fitter for the project if fits into your budget.

    You're going to be thrilled with all the complements you'll receive about your travertine flooring... Just wait and see!

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