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Frequently Asked Questions  

Travertine Tile FAQ

We are pleased to provide answers to some of the most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on a wide variety of our products. For more information on our travertine tile please browse our selection of outstanding quality products, visit our blog possts on travertine, or browse the answers to our frequently asked questions.

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Q. What is travertine?

A. Travertine belongs to the larger family of stone called limestone also known as Calcium Carbonate. Marble is also a type of limestone that has had additional heat and pressure applied to it by the earth’s crust. Travertine is formed by minerals dissolving in ground water and then being deposited on the earth’s surface by rivers, natural springs, or geysers.

Q. What colors does travertine come in?

A. Travertine comes in many different colors including ivory, beige, walnut, noce, and gold. The color of travertine is the result of iron compounds or other organic impurities.

Q. What does the finished surface of travertine look like?

A. Travertine can have four major finishes, polished (shiny), honed (matte), brushed and tumbled (textured surfaces). The type of finish given to the travertine will determine how shiny the surface will be. The polished and honed surfaces are flat and smooth, while the brushed and tumbled surfaces are flat and textured. The polished surface is the shiniest, while the tumbled surface reflects the least amount of light. The most common finish for travertine is honed.

Q. Where would I use travertine?

A. 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.

Q. What should I consider in using travertine?

A. Travertine is a natural stone product. Because the minerals that make up travertine are highly reactive with acidic solutions (e.g. orange juice, vinegar), a major consideration is where the travertine will be installed and what it will be exposed to. Sealers will provide some protection to the stone no matter what the environment, but knowing what it will be exposed to will help you decide whether travertine is a good fit for your project.

Q. How do I obtain travertine or marble samples?

A. Samples are available from BuildDirect. We can send you up to five stone samples for FREE. Sample pieces are approximately 6”x 6”.

Q. What are the volumes shipped by BuildDirect?

A. BuildDirect ships both travertine and marble tile in two volumes: either pallets or containers.

Q. What is the minimum pallet order for travertine/marble tile?

A. Pallets are shipped from warehouses in North America and require a minimum order of two pallets (except for 12” x 12” tiles which have a minimum order size of one pallet with 420 sq ft). Building materials are heavy and will require proper equipment or labour to accept goods on delivery. Please check the weight of your goods before they are delivered so that you are properly prepared

Q. How much does a pallet of travertine or marble tile contain?

A. Pallet volumes start at 333 sq ft. and go up to 359 sq ft. depending on the size and thickness of the tile.

Q. How much does a container hold?

A. Container volumes start at 5,000 sq ft. and go up to 7,500 sq ft. depending on the size and thickness of the tile.

Q. I need a smaller amount of tile than your minimum – where do I go from here?

A. Please consult your local Yellow Pages for information on retailers that sell in smaller quantities. Look under "Stone Retailers" or "Ceramic Retailers."

Q. I would like to see the pallets before I buy them. Is this possible?

A. Unfortunately, we are unable to show you the product at the warehouse. The warehouses we use are privately owned facilities and all products are in factory- sealed crates. We suggest ordering a sample and reviewing the graphics on the website.

Q. How much breakage should I expect with an order?

A. It is not unusual to have 2% - 3% of the tile broken to some degree (e.g. chipped edges). Any amount up to 10% is still considered acceptable. These damaged tiles can be used for the cuts you will need to make. If breakage is above 10%, we would ask you to have it noted on the logistics receiving document and take pictures. Please make a claim with us within 10 days of receiving the order.

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We are very impressed with the railing system and it makes our deck look wonderful. We somehow were missing a top and bottom railing setup for 6 ft. but the rest was perfect. We had two extra cedar posts and my husband used them to build a bench and a place to look at our fish pond. The product can be put together by a novice and turn out looking grand!!
Sam M. Oregon City, OR
Jun 10, 2014
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