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10 Fun Facts about Travertine

Posted on 27 January 2016

Travertine tiling is one of our best sellers here at Stoneworth Warehouse and has been popular with people since the Romans over 2000 years ago for tiling and other construction purposes.

Travertine is highly durable and offers a pristine finish wherever you choose to put it; each tile is unique with shades of different patterns that boast thousands of years in the making. So, whilst it’s incredibly easy to see why travertine tiles are so popular, what else is it that makes them so?

Travertine is a Type of Limestone

Travertine is formed in hot mineral springs all around the world. It’s a sedimentary rock which is made of calcium carbonate – mainly composed of shells and other fossils. In North America there’s a famous travertine formation in Yellowstone National Park which is absolutely stunning.



Travertine Wasn’t Always Called Travertine

The name ‘travertine’ comes from the ancient Italian city, Tivoli which was around in pre-Roman times. Then, travertine was named ‘Lapis Tiburtinus’ meaning, T’ibur stone’ which was the original name of Tivoli. 


The Majority of Travertine is Transported Across the World

Nearly all travertine you see has been imported from quarries in Italy, Iran, Mexico, Turkey and Peru. For example, the majority of travertine in the UK and the US is from Turkey. Travertine is Quarried using a Variety of Different Methods


Travertine is Quarried using a Variety of Different Methods

In order to get hold of travertine to make it into beautiful tiles, it must first be quarried. Different countries and areas will use different methods of quarrying such as with the use of: Channeling machines, Wire Saws, Chain Saws and Water-jet Cutting machines. Once out of the quarry, the stone is either stored in a warehouse or transported to a mill or other kind of production facility. Once here, the stone will be cut into slabs and then put through the finishing process.


Travertine is Incredibly Unique

Looking at travertine, you can immediately see that no slab is the same as another slab. It even has naturally occurring holes and troughs on the surface altering the texture and appearance of the stone. There are also a variety of patterns that are formed by chemicals over time.


Travertine Holes can be Filled

These holes that are found on the surface of travertine tiles can either be filled with grout or left alone although it is more popular to have the holes filled to avoid any erosion over time; this is done in the factory. The size of holes in your travertine tiles can indicate whether the stone is a premium, commercial or select cut and the smaller the hole, generally the more premium the cut of the stone.


Travertine has Been Used for Building Materials for Thousands of Years

Like other natural stones such as limestone, travertine has been used globally as construction material for years and years. It has been used for everything from houses to aqua-ducts to load bearing pillars. These days, it most commonly used for floor tiling and walls.


Travertine Comes in a Variety of Colours

As previously stated, no slab of travertine is the same. This applies to more than just holes and patterns – colours too! Traditional colours for travertine stone are: white, tan, brown, cream and gold. However, it can also occur in shades of red, pink and orange and some can even have black veins coursing through them. 


Travertine is Produced in Different Styles

Travertine is available in a large range of styles and finishes in order to suit a variety of tastes. These include: honed, tumbled, polished, brushed, chiseled edge and saw cut. Travertine Tiles Come in a Range of Sizes


Travertine Tiles Come in a Range of Sizes

Travertine is also available to choose in a host of sizes. The most common sizes are: 4x4, 6x6, 12x12 and 18x18.  

If you’re looking to purchase some travertine tiles, please get in touch and we’ll see what we can do! 


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