What is Travertine Tile? Pros & Cons (Reviews)

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Travertine tile is cut from a naturally occurring stone. The tiles are available in brown, rust, beige hues, and tan color. The material is a porous type of limestone, mainly found around minerals spring deposits. The stone is formed due to different temperatures and pressure. But, are travertine floors outdated? Are travertine Flooring durable?

Travertine is a fibrous form of marble-like limestone, with attractive earth-like color tones; browns, rust, tans, and beige hues. Travertine tile flooring is durable, aesthetic, easy to care for and maintain. It is very heavy and porous thus requires sealing of the surface regularly.

Travertine floors may look outdated when blending with some materials. It also matches well with current modern materials making your house look classic with aged character. It’s one of the traditional stones used in ancient architecture and artwork.

Are Travertine Floors Outdated?

Travertine is a great natural stone product with earth-like color tones, thus it may look rusty and may look outdated to some homeowners. When installed with traditional materials, they tend to totally look outdated. However, when blended with customized modern materials, they will an exceptional modern-classic look in your house. Travertine tiles are easy to maintain and repair and their installation costs tend to be budget-friendly, no need to break the bank.

Travertine looks modern when blended with current flooring patterns. For old dull-looking travertine tile, you can give it a new look, hire a professional cleaner, and re-grouting it. The homeowners with an artistic look will definitely enjoy these great heat conductor floor tiles. If installed with a heating system, they heat up the room very quickly and efficiently.

How Durable Is Travertine Flooring?

Travertine is a sedimentary rock, and soft laced with pockets or holes created by bubbling carbon dioxide on the earth’s surface. To reduce its vulnerability, they are filled with resins in the factory to blend with the surface. The pockets surface gives it a distinct nature texture. As flooring, it adds a unique blend of beauty to any interior space or room.

However, don’t be fooled by its porosity, travertine tile is ranked together with soft minerals such as gypsum and talc. Despite this, travertine remains a stone and thus, more durable for interior flooring than vinyl, laminate, wood, marble, and porcelain, etc.

But, how long does travertine tile last? Travertine can last Over 100 years with proper care and maintenance.

Travertine Flooring Installation Costs

Travertine floor averages about $15 per square foot for the flooring product and installation cost. Travertine flooring costs can vary in price just like other natural stones from $3 to about $30 per square foot, depending on the quality and finish of the stone. The finishes range from the cheapest- natural texture to a honed, polished, and sealed surface- most expensive.

While compared with other floorings like laminate, vinyl, concrete, ceramic, and limestone, it’s cheap to buy, install and maintain per square foot. However, just like other natural stone floorings, it contains microscopic pores that require to be sealed to improve its water/liquid impermeability. This can be solved by applying a penetrating sealer followed by a floor barrier surface sealer.

TIP: This dual travertine treatment is best applied during installation and periodically repeated throughout the flooring life. Regular resealing is best for maintaining a glossy surface look. Sealing allows easy cleaning and maintenance

See More: How to clean travertine flooring.

It’s worth noting, travertine can handle large traffic and some misuse without scratching, cracking, or chipping. However, natural stone weathering effects may take a toll on your travertine tiles affecting the allures and distinct characteristics that evokes an ancient artistic look.

Tip: For honed and polished travertine tiles, they are more prone to scratches. In addition, natural travertine tends to crack and fade easily. The individual tiles can be removed and replaces followed by grouting the joints.

Read More: Caulk vs Grout.

Here how to seal travertine tiles

Sealing Travertine Tiles

What is Travertine Tile Flooring Pros and Cons?

Travertine flooring is made from natural stone, has earth-tone colors. They fit perfectly with warm neutrals and other interior design trends that have cooler colors like white and gray. But, does travertine floors have some benefits or drawbacks?

Here are the advantages and disadvantages of the travertine tile floors.

Pros of Travertine Flooring

  • Travertine tiles are stylish. Each piece is naturally formed making it one of the most unique flooring. Glossy polished travertine flooring help reflect light more than brushed or tumbled ones. 
  • Travertine tile is very durable. Natural stone is formed through work of earth art and can subdue blemishes, damage or weathering. Travertine tile can overcome scratches, chips, or cracks. However, over time weathering damage may occur. Note for honed and polished tiles, have a greater risk of scratching.
  • Travertine is easy to repair. Since once a tile is damaged it can be replaced. If installing a new flooring ensure you keep some extra for perfect color matching repairs.
  • They are long-lasting. Regular maintenance can make you enjoy this flooring for a number of decades. The stone sealing agent can be applied to overcome weathering effects on your flooring.
  • Travertine flooring provides timeless appeal. It has distinct beauty, timeless appeal and classic appearance with shades of white, tan, gold, rusty red tone, and more uniquely weathered appearance.
  • Travertine flooring is more affordable than other types of natural stone like marble and granite flooring.
  • It provides many finish options for you. If you like customized products, travertine tiles have just unlocked your desire. You may choose;  polished, honed, tumbled, or brushed finish.
  • They are naturally non-slippery. They are deal to be installed in bathrooms, showers, kitchens, laundry rooms, or even swimming pools.
  • They are also resilient to tolerate extreme weather conditions. This makes them appropriate for both indoor and outdoor flooring. They are appropriate as pavers, garden pathways or even retaining walls for your home without fear of damage.
  • Travertine tiles provide green flooring. Travertine is deposited around geothermally heated hot spring. Therefore need not go through manufacturing processes thus environmentally friendly.

Cons of Travertine Tile Flooring

  • Just like many stone flooring, travertine is cold on your barefoot. On the other side, it’s really great for heated floor systems. Once heated up it can heat up the room well or an excellent conductor.
  • It provides heavy flooring. Travertine tiles tend to be heavy and require a lot of time during installation. On another hand, it requires a professional installer and a very strong and stiff sub-floor to avoid flexing.
  • Travertine flooring requires complex maintenance. Whereas they are strong solid durable tiles, they still have microscopic pores that can allow spilled liquid to seep and stain the floor. Luckily, this can be solved by applying a penetrating sealer and surface barrier sealer.
  • Expensive flooring. Travertine lies in the high-end flooring. In addition to initial tile cost, it requires a professional installer, adhesives, and grout as well as a sealer.
  • Travertine is very reactive with acidic substances. Care needs to be taken to prevent, coffee, alcohol, vinegar, or even orange juice spills. Limestone is calcium carbonate and once they react with these they leave a permanent stain. Be careful if you have kids or you thought of using it in a kitchen or restaurant countertops.
  • Natural cleaning agents are usually better than chemical ones. However, you cannot use vinegar or salt on travertine flooring.
  • Travertine may lack uniformity. Each tile is unique from one another in appearance, color, veins, or even shades. This may require extra care when installing tiles on your floor.
  • Travertine tiles are only in neutral tones. Limestone is white in color, thus no shock when its derivatives are not available in funky or bright shades or colors.
  • Travertine though installed in similar ways as ceramic tiles pose some unique difficulties. Travertine material is very heavy thus requires a strong and stiff subfloor without excessive bowing and flexing.

Types of Travertine Flooring

Travertine stone are available as unfilled or filled to increases their durability.

1. Polished Travertine Tile

These tiles are smoothened and sealed to get extremely glossy light reflective tiles. This gives them a good look and feels just like marble. They are good options for areas prone to stains like commercial areas. But avoid installing them outdoor since they are very slippery.

2. Honed Travertine Tiles

Honed tiles are lightly polished, filled, and less slickly then polished. They have a matte finish and low shine smooth flat surface. They lie between polished and tumbled travertine tiles. They are achieved through grinding one side of the unfinished stone. They are the most popular tiles for floors, bathrooms, showers, and outdoor like pool areas. They can range from dull matte to satin or high sheen.

3. Tumbled Travertine Tiles

These placed in a machine with other stones abrasive grit and water to gently grit them. The process may take 3-5 weeks to achieve the desired finish. They have an aged antique look that provides ample traction for outdoor services.

Tumbled Travertine Tiles

4. Brushed Travertine Tiles

These tiles that have been wire brushed to produce flat matte and rough-textured surface. They have the most subtle colors of all travertine tile types. They can be used anywhere that tumbled and honed travertine can be used.

Here a video on how to maintain and clean travertine tiles and grout plus reviews

Travertine Tile and Grout Recommendations and General Maintenance #tilegroutcleaning #travertine

Do travertine floor tiles crack easily?

Travertine just like natural stone have natural weak points. These points tend to crack easily when mishandled. The installation nature plus good care and maintenance will hinder the cracking nature of the travertine tile. Remember, if not installed on a good subfloor or even good adhesive coverage, it can crack when you place weight on it. The sub-floor deflection and flexes can also crack the travertine, they don’t flex. Any movement of the sub-floor will also crack just like a hairline crack in a cement slab.

Is travertine slippery when wet?

Travertine is very slippery in wet conditions. It’s not recommended for use in the bathroom, pool, and laundry room. However, tumbled travertine is one of the best materials to use in a pool, patio, and driveways area. Due to its porous surface, it’s able to absorb water leaving the surface nonslippery. To reduce the slippery nature of travertine flooring, you can apply the SolidStepCote sealer to cure the gritty texture to making your floor anti-slip.

Is travertine a good floor tile?

Travertine is one of the most beautiful durable floorings that makes it a good choice of a kitchen. Its one of the strongest flooring compared to vinyl, porcelain, and wood floors. Travertine tile is an economical alternative for those who like marble flooring. Travertine provides one of the best floorings and can last longer when maintained well with just proper vacuuming and sweeping.

Is travertine good for bathroom floors?

Travertine is a good choice for your bathroom, its simple to maintain, easy to clean, and hardily do it form black water spots. However, it’s softer and more porous than marble. The use of tiles all depends on what type of finish you choose and whether it has been installed correctly.

The best travertine tiles for the shower are honed and tumble-finished travertine.

  • Honed travertine with a matte finish that softens the stone floor appearance.
  • Tumbled travertine with an antiqued appearance will enhance the stone flooring natural colors
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Joe McGuinty
I’ve been working with floors for over 12 years. I started as a flooring contractor, primarily in materials selection. Then, I switched careers into accounting, so my wife and I began buying, renovating, and re-selling homes on the side. You’d be surprised how much value you can add to a home simply by adding new floors.

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