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What is Travertine?

Travertine is a type of limestone that has been deposited by a mineral spring. This is the main reason for the rock’s smooth finish and colouring. Travertine is a 100% natural rock formation. Travertine is not manufactured from a composite mixture. Travertine has been used as a building material for thousands of years. In fact it was used in ancient Rome. Its present in structures, including the Colosseum in Rome and Ephesus in Turkey.

Why is travertine different colours?

Travertine comes in a variety of colours and shades. Every travertine is slightly unique. Travertine absorbs colouring from nearby minerals such as iron ore. When such deposits are located near travertine deposits, the iron oxide deposits its colouring into the travertine, causing these slight and often stunning variations. Many other mineral deposits can contribute to travertine’s colouring as well. Because of this, travertine can often be found in a variety of shades.

Which type of finish can travertine tiles have?

The most popular types of finishes for travertine are either Brushed and unfilled finish or Filled and Honed finish. Brushed & Unfilled Travertine Tiles have a slightly rough, brushed surface which provides adequate traction and are normally used outdoors. The chiseled edge gives an additional surface texture to prevent slips when wet.  These tiles are also perfectly suitable indoors. Honed & Filled Travertine Tiles have an extremely smooth surface and are best used indoors. These tiles can become slippery when wet unless they have been treated with a non-slip sealer additive or something similar.

What is the typical thickness of Travertine?

Travertine tiles are generally 2 or cm thick. Coping is also available in 5cm thickness.

What are the main differences between Premium Grade and Standard Grade Travertine.

The obvious difference is price with lower quality travertine having a lower price when compared with premium grade travertine.

Other differences are:


Standard Grade Travertine has many visible holes – by this, we don’t mean pores. Travertine is not to be consumed with Marble. Travertine is not supposed to be as smooth and as dense as Marble. Travertine is a porous material. The surface of a Travertine tile has hundreds, if not thousands, of tiny pores. This is one of the reasons why it’s so ideal for outdoor use. It absorbs water almost instantly and is one of the only materials that actually becomes less slippery when it gets wet! Standard Grade Travertine can have holes the size of a two euro coin, and even larger some of which go all the way through the tile, allowing you to see out the other side. The holes on a Premium grade tile are much smaller and never go all the way through the tile.


Due to its large amount of holes, Standard Grade Travertine is much less dense than Premium Select Travertine. Because of this, Standard Grade can be seen as a weaker Travertine and may crack or crumble over time.

Does travertine vary in colour?

The beauty of travertine lies in its uniqueness. You will not find two pieces of travertine with the exact same colour. Whilst there are certain colours that differ less, such as as Ivory, Walnut and Noche , other colours differ more. If you are looking for a classic look, lighter colours might be your best choice. On the other hand, colour selections such as Gold have richness in colour and give that exclusive feeling. Regardless of the colour you choose, travertine will offer a natural look and most importantly the feel that not other natural or even man-made product can offer.

How are Travertine Tiles Installed?

Just like other types of tiles and natural stone, travertine tile can be laid mud-set (thin-set) on top of an existing concrete surface.

Before beginning the installation process, it is always best to remove the tiles from the different crates, as this is a natural stone, we also suggest blending materials from the different pallets in order to achieve a smooth colour transition from the available tiles.

• Begin by preparing the surface where you will install the Travertine Tiles. Clear said surface from any old residue.

• Apply the adhesive (thin-set) on the subfloor. Then, spread an abundant amount of grout. We recommend using a sanded grout and, for better adhesion add another layer of thin-set to secure the tiles.

• Place the Travertine Tiles directly on the grout. Secure by gently tapping on each tile.

• If desired, grout can be placed between the joints once the tiles have been laid. Excess grout should be removed from the joints and cleaned with a damp sponge.

• Allow the travertine tiles sufficient time to dry.

How best to take care of the travertine tiles?

Travertine can be washed with fibre brushes, mild soap or detergent, and water. Only in extreme cases, the Travertine can be cleaned with a light spray of a pressure washer, in which case the Travertine may need to be resealed.

Is it a must to seal travertine?

Although it is not necessary to seal travertine tiles, doing so will bring out the natural beauty of the travertine. Sealing may be preferred on a terrace or outdoor areas which are frequently used for entertaining, as it will protect against spills from food and wine, which may stain the Travertine.

Advantages of sealing travertine pavers:

Sealing the tiles is also a good way to protect the stone against stains. Sealer that penetrates deep into the travertine’s pores will retain the stone’s natural texture while ensuring that stains don’t soak in and mildew won’t grow. If your travertine is on a pool deck where you frequently entertain guests, sealer will ensure that there’s minimal damage caused by accidental spills from things like wine and soda.

Disadvantages of sealing travertine pavers:

Upkeep. A professional quality sealer will need to be reapplied every 5 years or so. That being said, sealing is a very easy DIY task and you should be able to do it by yourself in a relatively quick time.

If wine is spilled on unsealed travertine is there a way to prevent it from staining?

A poultice can remove tough stains from Travertine. Recommended: These can be easily found online.

How much extra material should be ordered?

It is typically advised to order 10% extra to factor in material needed for cuts and corners.

I have moss growing in the cracks between some travertine tiles, how do I keep the moss out?

The best option would be to use a natural stone cleaner mixed in with water to clean your travertine. You can check at your local hardware store which one is more suitable for your project. For deeper cleaning either use boiling water, or another trickier option is to use a water and white vinegar mix. For the latter you will need to do a test since travertine reacts to acidic liquids. If it doesn’t etch the travertine you should use it in between the joints of the tiles.


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