Travertine tile is a durable building material made up of a mixture of marble and limestone. It was used in buildings in Ancient Greece and Rome and if it has stood the test of time for so many years you will see that it is hard-wearing enough to last on your kitchen, hall, bathroom, or living room floor!
It is not without its drawbacks however so perhaps we should get them out of the way first:-
- Like all-natural stone, the surface is porous and can easily absorb stains so it is important to treat travertine tile flooring with care to maintain the beauty of the surface. The most important thing is to treat your newly installed travertine tiles with a suitable sealant so that spills do not damage your floor. Even when sealed you should mop up any liquids immediately as the sealant is not infallible. Prevent scratches from wearing away the sealant from the surface of the travertine floor tiles by keeping grit and dirt out of your home as much as possible. You don’t need to get paranoid about it because your floor will stand up to wear much better than many other surfaces but a good doormat at your entrance will do much to keep your floor looking good.
- Another drawback of the flooring is simply the price. Travertine tile floors do not come cheap but remember that they have the beauty and longevity of marble at a much lower cost. Also, whereas other materials such as carpet and hardwood flooring will be cheaper to install, the travertine floor tile will still be looking beautiful long after the other types of flooring have had to be replaced. So it is all relative. If budget is a consideration look for discount travertine tile before opting for other materials and see if that helps sway your decision.
It is so beautiful to see an expanse of travertine floor whether in a home or commercial setting and it is especially suitable for contemporary homes with its clean polished look. Yet the flooring is not bland in nature having many subtle variations in color and texture.
The texture helps the stone to maintain a relatively slip-free surface suitable for bathrooms and kitchens and the color variations give the floor character and prevent it from looking at one dull expanse of a single color. Having got the price and maintenance of your floor out of the way, we are free to wax lyrical about the many advantages of travertine.
As travertine comes in various natural shades (including ivory, cream, beige, noce, brown and gold) each giving an elegant, rich and unique look to its environment. Travertine is the perfect backdrop to many settings and as it is easily cut to shape it can be easily used to tile complex floor areas such as bathrooms and shower rooms as well as provide suitable material for flooring large public buildings with huge expanses to cover.
When choosing travertine tile you will be faced with a few options other than color. Tiles come in various standard sizes so you need to choose the size to suit your project. Basically, the smaller the floor area the smaller the tile you should choose to have in proportion to the room.
The tiles also come in different finishes. Tiles can be honed, honed and filled, polished or tumbled.
Honed is a natural finish that incorporates the slight natural imperfections and holes in the tile surface. Many buyers prefer tiles without these and would therefore choose “honed and filled” where these slight imperfections are filled in with natural material.
Polished, as you might expect, gives you a smooth shine to your floor (but think twice about using this if it will cause a slipping hazard where you plan to install it).
Tumbled travertine tile goes through an additional process whereby stone is “tumbled” with rocks, grit, and lubricant (often just water) in a revolving container. This causes the stone to be gradually smoothed and polished in a natural way giving the tumbled stone the patina of age and a rustic finish.
If you want a touch of luxury in your home travertine flooring is an ideal choice, after all, it has been chosen for flooring in the finest buildings since Roman times due to its unique qualities.
Natural stone of the kind used for floorings such as slate, marble, and travertine is formed by heat and pressure beneath the earth’s surface. Travertine floor tiles are produced using natural stone from quarries that have been established in many parts of the world to extract the stone from the earth.
It is the natural quality of the stone that gives travertine floors such as character and beauty. No two tiles are exactly alike. Although you will of course choose the color of your travertine flooring, you will find natural variations in every tile.
And as you can also choose various finishes for your travertine floor you are unlikely to find a floor just like yours no matter how many floors you see.
The finish which most customers choose is called “honed and filled”. This gives the stone a smooth regular look with all holes and natural imperfections filled in with a ground natural compound. If you want a more rustic appearance take a look at a floor that uses a tumbled travertine floor tile to see how well this might fit in with your home.
The tumbled tiles have a pitted rough look which is definitely an option to think about if you have a country-style interior. Smooth travertine tile flooring is a more contemporary look.
Despite their origin in ancient times, smooth travertine tile floors are less suited to traditional interiors unless they are softened by a traditional floor rug but it does seem a pity to cover up such a beautiful (and expensive!) floor. If you love smooth travertine floors but have a classic interior you could think about using travertine flooring tiles in your bathroom or kitchen if they are more contemporary than the remainder of your home (which is often the case in even the most traditional of homes).
Although travertine flooring tiles are not cheap by any manner of means prices are reducing over the years as the quarry process has become more automated and imports have become more common. This means they are now within the reach of most of us if we are looking for a long term flooring solution.
You really have to think about travertine flooring as an investment purchase and not compare it to other types of flooring which will not stand the test of time. However, if you like to change your decoration substantially every few years and do not have a large budget it may not be wise to make the investment in this type of flooring.
You will find cheap travertine tiles for sale but do be aware that the quality can vary considerably from one offer to another. The cheaper tiles may have a higher degree of variation than you might like or they may be softer and less durable than more expensive tiles.
If you are in any doubt order a sample of full-sized tiles (even though you will have to pay for these) and not just a small free sample so that you can get a true measure of the quality of the travertine flooring you are ordering.
Selection of Travertine Tiles
Travertine tiles are becoming increasingly popular these days and with good reason. We love to use natural products in our homes for their beauty and character and with travertine floor tile we even get sense of history because this material has been used since ancient times.
Travertine is formed when limestone or calcium carbonate is dissolved then deposited in the earth by moving water. It has many natural variations in texture and color as it is porous with visible pitting to the surface and deposits of iron and and other minerals give the stone a wide range of beautiful colors and marbling effects.
When you decide to install travertine tile flooring, you will be faced with quite a choice in color from natural or almost white, through creams and beige type natural colors to almost black. After the stone is mined, it is treated with various processes to provide different types of stone surface so not only do you have to choose a color but also a finish for your stone.
The finishes available are natural (unfilled), filled (where some of the holes and indentations are filled with natural stone material), honed (where grinding produces a smoother surface with a mat sheen (rather than a shine), polished (with a very smooth glossy surface) and tumbled (specially roughened).
You would chose the surface according to the look you want to achieve from a sophisticated shiny look with polished tiles to a well-lived in country look with tumbled travertine tiles.
And your choices do not end there. You have to choose a tile size suitable for your room. With travertine bathroom tiles you might look at a very small size tile which works well in a small room. You could also look at travertine mosaic tiles for this type of room which come in various sizes themselves from one inch up to four. With these you get beautiful variations in each small tile and the smallest tiles are sold in sheets joined together on a mesh backing so that they are not so difficult to install as you might think. The mosaic tiles can be arranged in a number formations such as a brick, random or herringbone pattern to create some wonderful effects without the painstaking job of placing individual small tiles. However, if you are tiling a large room rather than a small bathroom, for example, a loft apartment, then you should look at much bigger tiles. Here you might choose 12 or 18 inch travertine flooring tiles.
Finally tiles have different edges. With larger tiles they may be sharply square so that they fit closely together without obvious grouting. With smaller and mosaic tiles however edges may be softened and ground so that there is quite a demarcation between the tiles.
Travertine Tile Installation
Unless you are very competent at working with stone, leave installation of travertine to the experts. Travertine marble tiles are not so difficult to install if you have the right materials but when it comes to cutting the tiles around doors and pipes, then you need specialist skills.
Cleaning Travertine Floor Tiles
Travertine tile floors are pretty simple to maintain. There is not much more involved than using an appropriate cleaning product. Apply the product and wipe it up! However, you do need to make sure that you choose the right product in the first place. There are specially formulated stone cleaners which are suitable for travertine floors but in any case always check the label to ensure that a product you are planning to use is suitable and dilute your product to the correct strength with hot water. Avoid any cleaner which includes acid and never use vinegar on your floor. Don’t leave your floor too wet. After you have mopped it, you might like to dry it off with an old clean cloth.
Protecting Travertine Tile
Use mats or floor rugs in high traffic areas such as a hallway to prevent sand and dirt on shoes from scratching the surface of your floor. You will not see any damage quickly of course because travertine is a hard tough material but over time constant scratching can mark the surface of your floor. Also, be sure to mop up any acidic materials which are spilled immediately. You might not think that orange juice or tomato sauce can do much to such a tough surface but they can cause staining so it is important to act quickly.