What is Travertine?

Though less well-known than granite, marble, or quartz, travertine is a popular option for countertops that also has a long history, including the creation of the Colosseum in Rome. Travertine offers a less expensive option for stone surfaces that still has all the earthly beauty of natural stone.

Travertine comes from a kind of limestone deposited by mineral springs and especially hot springs. The most “pure” form of travertine is white, though more commonly it’s been mixed with other minerals that give it desirable coloring like yellow, gold, blush, cream, or rust. Unlike other home stone options like granite or marble, travertine is sedimentary rpcl, not metamorphic, which is why the stone is much less dense. Travertine wasn’t subjected to the same tectonic heat and pressure as metamorphic stone, and the result is a very porous stone that has visible holes and divots. Many people choose to use travertine in their homes for exactly this reason–the stone looks antiqued, timeless, evocative almost of the floor of an old French manor. Some people, however, feel the “worn in” surface of even brand-new travertine looks shabby, and they want something perfectly smooth and shining. For this reason, travertine is ideal for homeowners who are hoping to create a sense of history and ancient beauty in their remodel.

The porous nature of travertine offers one major advantage beyond the aesthetic: it is the only natural stone that isn’t slippery when wet. The travertine absorbs water, making it a very popular choice for bathrooms, laundry rooms, or outdoor pool areas.

Of course, travertine does require frequent maintenance, and one must be vigilant to immediately remove any staining or acidic substances that may have spilled on its surface as it’s also quite prone to staining and etching. The look of travertine is very hard to find anywhere else, and if you’re interested, we’d love to show you examples in our showroom and help you understand this special stone!