From the Roman Colosseum to your living room floor, travertine has paved many a garden path throughout history. Yet beyond pavers and garden paths, travertine is also a natural stone flooring option. It is sometimes referred to as travertine-marble or travertine-limestone, although it is neither limestone nor marble.
What sets travertine apart from other stone tiles is its rough textures, even characterized by naturally occurring holes and troughs in its surface. Some contractors will fill these with grout, others will leave them be; much depends on the aesthetic aims of the homeowner. When purchasing travertine tiles, be sure to differentiate between "filled" or "unfilled."
All porousness aside, travertine can be polished to a smooth, shiny surface. It comes in an array of colors common to natural stone flooring, ranging from gray to red. Like limestone, unsealed travertine is susceptible to acidic cleansers. Polished travertine may be slippery when wet.
Travertine tiles may also be honed to provide a more flat finish. Possible manufactured textures include brushed and tumbled. In hardness travertine is comparable to marble and is sometimes used as a mosaic flooring because the smaller tiles help stave off cracking and chipping.
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