Travertine flooring is used when durability, comfort, and style need to be combined. Travertine flooring is used on the floor in hallways, bathrooms, kitchens, loggias, and living rooms.
Due to its porous structure, a warm floor is easily mounted under natural stone, and travertine has better thermal conductivity characteristics than ceramic tiles, marble, or granite.
Environmental friendliness, resistance to temperature extremes, and high strength explain the widespread use of travertine in a wide variety of interiors worldwide.
However, like in all cases, travertine flooring also has drawbacks, which you should weigh before deciding to opt for travertine flooring.
Table of Contents
Pros of Travertine Flooring
Travertine flooring is a popular choice because its strength and durability are higher than any other flooring material.
Travertine flooring with adequate care will last for many decades and delight several generations of your family.
At the same time, the cost of travertine is significantly lower than the price of granite and marble slabs. Here are its advantages:
1. Stylistic Flexibility
Travertine will harmoniously merge into almost any concept, in whatever style the architect has conceived the stylistic solution of the house.
There are examples of travertine cottages in high-tech style, in the direction of “eco-design,” classics, Western European trends, Scandinavian traditions, and others.
The stone combines natural wood, glass, concrete, iron, and steel. It has a fantastic ability to mix styles harmoniously; the main thing is design work competence.
The choice of colors and shades of travertine is less than that of marble – this is a well-known fact. But to say that they are few is impossible.
A stone supplier with more experience can further expand the selection through special techniques. So, the longitudinal and transverse cuts of slabs give a different pattern.
And different directions of grinding allow you to change the shade even within the same color.
While natural stone of any kind is not the least expensive material for floors or countertops (which would be carpet or vinyl), as a general rule, travertine costs less than granite or marble.
Travertine prices vary greatly depending on where you live, the size and complexity of your project, and the quality of the travertine and finish you choose; you can expect to pay an average of $ 15 to $ 30 per square foot.
Conversely, you’ll typically pay nearly double that for marble and slightly more for granite.
3. Ideal finish
Italian travertine and stone from other deposits (Turkey, Armenia) are optimally suited for decorating walls and floors of bathrooms and pools.
The surface finished with travertine tiles does not need additional decoration.
The natural beauty of natural stone will give the interior a good and noble look. Travertine tiles do not lose their appearance when moisture is exposed and are easily cleaned of dirt.
4. Suitable for any room
You can use travertine in many rooms and areas. It is versatile. Due to the subtle color scheme, it harmonizes with many furnishing and architectural styles.
A travertine floor creates a luxurious ambiance combined with modern elements, antique furniture, or valuable carpets.
Of course, a travertine floor is an absolute eye-catcher in itself. At first glance, it looks like marble to the layman. When sanded, the surface shines beautifully and improves the natural color.
People often say that travertine is a fragile material, but here it seems that the point is in the original quality of travertine tiles.
Moreover, if the material turns out to be not very strong over time, it begins to compact when interacting with air.
The fact explains the buildings built from this material in ancient times are still standing. One such example could be the Trevi Fountain in Rome, made of travertine and nothing, which has been standing tall in its complete honor for more than 300 years and is not falling apart.
In addition, strength also depends on the color of the stone – the darker it is, the more resistant it is to various influences.
For example, brown travertine is comparable in strength to marble, but covering a floor or sidewalk will cost much less.
6. Goes well with underfloor heating
The combination of travertine and underfloor heating is a “dream team.” The connection is ideal because the floor retains heat and releases the heat slowly.
With travertine on underfloor heating, cold feet are a thing of the past!
7. Ease of processing
Since travertine is limestone, it has a relatively soft structure and can be easily processed in any way – cutting, polishing, and so on.
It is pleasant and easy to work with such material. At the same time, the strength of the stone is comparable to the strength of granite or marble.
There is no doubt about its reliability – travertine flooring retains its original appearance for centuries.
Finishing with travertine on the outside will give the house fire resistance – this stone does not burn. And it is also resistant to precipitation, does not rust, and does not rot.
At the same time, its weight is less than the weight of marble due to porosity and lower density. The same qualities increase its thermal insulation properties.
Travertine heats up faster and retains heat for a long time, while many say that underfloor heating installed under travertine can be the only heating system in the house since nothing else is required. Travertine also conducts sound worse than marble.
9. Moisture and frost resistance
Despite the apparent porosity, the stone itself does not allow moisture to pass into it. Therefore, it can, without a doubt, be used for lining bathrooms and swimming pools.
Hence the frost resistance of the material; when laid correctly outdoors, travertine can also cope with temperatures below zero degrees.
It is vital that it is laid on chippings and that water can drain away. The ideal form of laying outdoors is loose laying without grouting to draw off the moisture quickly.
If the water is standing on a travertine slab and freezes, this can lead to frost cracking in the worst case.
This stone can disinfect the air; bacteria and mold do not take root in it (and this is hygiene).
Many other properties are mentioned in alternative medicine, such as the fact that travertine improves calcium metabolism, relieves stress, and even absorbs negative energy.
You probably noticed that more and more often, stairs, floors, and bathrooms made of travertine began to appear in houses.
The thing is that travertine is very similar to wood. Therefore, the rooms lined with it look very cozy, as if they have a wooden finish – an atmosphere of calm and warmth.
At the same time, travertine is much stronger and more practical than any wood.
12. Scratch resistant
You can determine the sensitivity of flooring from its scratch resistance. The so-called Mohs scale of hardness ranges from 1 to 10. Travertine can be classified in hardness class 4 on the Mohs scale.
So your travertine flooring is scratch-resistant; you can test this by scratching your flooring with a coin or knife.
Due to the open-pored structure and the particular processing (e.g., as a tumbled stone), such traces do not catch the eye. They are lost in the overall structure of the travertine surface.
It is especially true if the Roman bond is chosen as the laying pattern, in which the panels are laid in an irregular pattern, and the joint pattern is correspondingly irregular.
The overall impression is original and rustic in connection with drummed edges.
13. Light and stable
From a scientific point of view, travertine belongs to the rock family of deposit rocks (sediments).
Concerning the technical processing criteria for natural stones, travertine is one of the soft stones and is very easy to work with for flooring.
Despite the relatively low density of approx. 2.7 tons per m³, travertine is very pressure-resistant and stable and can be used without hesitation as floor slabs on the terrace or as tiles indoors.
14. Unusual aesthetic
Visually, travertine does not offer the consumer such a wide range of colors and shades as, for example, marble, but its expensive color incarnations create noble aesthetics.
Travertine often has a white, soft beige, or light gray color. The peculiarity of the aesthetics of the travertine flooring is that, despite the polishing and grinding of the surface, it acquires a rough matte pattern, which not only does not worsen the appearance but also makes it even more exclusive and unusual.
Cons of Travertine Flooring
Today, travertine is valued as a durable, elegant, and characterful material even for residential applications, including floors, countertops, backsplashes, shower and tub surrounds, fireplace surrounds, and outdoor flooring used on patios and walkways and around swimming pools. However, it has a few drawbacks, which are mentioned below:
1. Subject to stain
Thanks to its porous nature, travertine easily absorbs liquids, fats, and oils, leaving stains that damage the stone’s surface.
It is also prone to etching, a chemical reaction that erodes stone, from acidic substances, including wine and other alcohols, vinegar, coffee, tomato juice or sauce, and citrus juices.
Bleach and ammonia can also cause travertine etching. Although polished travertine has some natural resistance to stains and scuffs, a persistent spill is likely to leave a mark.
Most travertine is treated with a protective sealant specifically formulated for natural stone to prevent stains and scratches. Typically, the sealant needs to be renewed every three to five years.
The process is simple; you will need to rub or polish the sealer onto the stone with a rag or lambswool applicator, wipe off the excess, let the sealant dry, and then repeat with a second coat.
2. Prone to contamination
The stone’s porous structure absorbs soot and dirt from car exhaust gases. If the house is near a freeway or noisy streets, the contractor will need a competent selection of a method for processing slabs with filling cavities.
If the contractor copes with this task perfectly, there will be no problem with premature contamination of the flooring.
3. Not so much water resistant
Because travertine is porous, it absorbs liquids. Even the most minor spill can lead to spots on its surface.
They must be treated with protective water-repellent impregnations that clog the stone’s pores and prevent the liquid from soaking into the stone.
Such processing should be done every six months or a year, depending on where the flooring is: kitchen, bathroom, or outdoor.
If polished, travertine flooring for exteriors and interiors could be very slippery, especially when wet.
Areas subject to frequent foot traffic should therefore be avoided, especially with bare feet. You can overcome this disadvantage with anti-slip treatments, making the surface rougher.
5. Needs regular cleaning
Maintaining and cleaning travertine flooring is easy, but you must do it regularly to maintain its aesthetic and longevity.
It would be best if you swept the floors at least once a week to remove any sand that could potentially scratch the stone.
Clean weekly or as needed to clean messes with a freshly wet microfiber or rag to cloth, using a cleaner specifically formulated for stone floors, if desired.
If you want to use cleaning products, you need to choose those that indicate it is safe for use on natural stone. Immediately clean up spills on any travertine surface.
Comparison Table (Pros and Cons of Travertine Flooring)
|Strength inferior to granite or marble floors|
|Can be damaged by products containing acid|
|Requires the floor to be treated with unique protective compounds|
|Re-sealing is required several times a year|
|Limited color range|
|Requires special care to protect any surface; the use of a sealant needed|
|Not recommended to lay tiles in places with high traffic due to the lower density of the coating|
|Cost more than the use of ceramics|
|Practical, stable, and Versatile|
|Safe and environmentally friendly because of its natural origin|
|Minimum probability of heat loss through the floor|
|Resistant to temperature and humidity changes|
|Accessible styling to any non-professional|
|Easy cleaning procedure with a wrung-out cloth without the use of aggressive detergent|
|Retain its natural color for a long time and will not lose it from exposure to water and ultraviolet rays|
|Affordable cost and aesthetic appearance|
A travertine floor can give the entire internal environment more incredible elegance and class and a significant duration over time.
That can theoretically be unlimited if managed optimally with constant interventions, cleaning, and maintenance.
With a bit of attention, you have the opportunity to have a floor that is always very elegant and of the highest quality, thanks to the peculiarities of the travertine marble.
The flooring choices should not be limited to one or two options. Check out the pros and cons of other types of flooring.
- 33 pros and cons of resilient vinyl flooring
- 25 pros and cons of hardwood flooring
- 10 pros and cons of Laminate flooring
- 10 pros and cons of cork flooring
(Last Updated on September 2, 2022)