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Travertine is a compacted form of limestone that forms in rivers and hot springs by minerals dissolving in ground water and then being deposited on the earth’s surface by rivers, natural springs, or geysers.
Travertine comes in many different natural colours including ivory, beige, walnut and gold. Iron compounds or other organic impurities create the warm colour of travertine. Travertine often has bands of vibrant colour running through it that are caused by chemicals becoming trapped in the stone as it forms. These colours often appear as banded lines in the face of the stone. We offer 1st quality Ivory and Beige (also known as classic) travertine floor and wall tiles.
Travertine is very durable. However, like other stone, the surface needs to be sealed to provide protection (see fixing and sealing FAQ's). Travertine can be damaged by acidic foods and liquids, such as orange juice, wine and vinegar. Travertine can scratch, requiring repair or replacement of the tile.
Travertine may need to be resealed on a regular basis (see fixing and sealing FAQ's). Cleaning can be done by steaming the tile or using a special neutral travertine or stone cleaner. Do not use regular soap as it will dull the tile leaving a film behind. Worn vacuum cleaners with metal or plastic attachments can scratch the tile.
Travertine can have 3 major finishes, polished (gloss), honed (matt) and tumbled (aged). The polished and honed surfaces are flat and smooth, while the tumbled surface is slightly textured. The polished surface is the shiniest with high reflection, while the tumbled surface is more natural reflecting the least amount of light. The most common finish for travertine is honed. We do not stock nor recommend polished travertine. Travertine is a pitted stone whose pits get filled with resin and other compounds. These compounds often cannot take on the same sheen as the stone during polishing resulting in a patchy, reflective surface.
Travertine has been used in the construction of buildings for thousands of year. In today's construction, travertine is used for flooring, cladding on buildings, showers, wall coverings and counter tops. Most of our travertine is sold in formats popular for use in bathrooms. Indeed, as travertine is a type of marble its wonderful aesthetic can be more appreciated in a room where you spend time relaxing.
Travertine is a natural stone product. Because the minerals that make up travertine are highly reactive with acidic solutions (e.g. orange juice, wine, vinegar) and the fact that it is a filled stone we tend not to encourage the use in heavy traffic areas such as kitchens. Sealers will provide some protection to the stone no matter what the environment.