Learning Center

Find the answers to your home improvement questions.

About Travertine Tile

antique light travertine tile

Travertine is a form of limestone with unique porous veins that give the milled tile their beauty. The stone is found in a wide variety of natural colors, and four different finishes may be applied to individual tiles. Travertine has long been used in many of the most beautiful buildings in the world. Today, in addition to being an excellent flooring material, travertine tiles may also be used as pavers, countertops, stair treads, columns, sinks, and even bathtubs.

Product Perception

Italian travertine and marble is generally perceived to be of the highest quality because the quarries and manufacturing centers are well established. Turkey has a large amount of travertine and is home to many of the most skilled quarries in the world. Brazilian travertine is thought to be of a lower quality, followed by the stone quarried in Mexico, mostly due to the lower quality of workmanship.

Natural stone derived from limestone, such as travertine, is perceived to be a luxury item and is used in residential and commercial spaces to achieve a visual effect that communicates success, good taste, and affluence. However, because the stone is porous, the possibility of staining is present. This has led to the overall perception that travertine is a luxurious surface that lacks practicality. Fortunately, modern methods of milling and sealing the stone make staining much less worrisome leaving one with simply the aspect of luxury.

Travertine Benefits

  • Travertine provides a durable surface with a proven history of longevity.
  • Travertine provides additional structural strength to property.
  • The natural travertine colors and patterns vary from surface to surface making each installment unique.
  • Natural stone increases the resale value of properties.
  • Travertine instills a sense of pride in ownership, because of its authenticity.

Popular Applications

  • Flooring – Travertine can be used in entrances, hallways, foyers, as well as living spaces.
  • Wall Cladding – Travertine can be used in exterior and interior spaces.
  • Shower Stalls
  • Pavers
  • Fixtures

Check Out These Resources

Are you looking for flooring with a unique pattern? We have put together a number of informative resources to help you decide if travertine flooring is right for you. Tile flooring is one of the most durable available, so making the right decision is critical.

Types – Learn about the different types of travertine

Buying Guide – Learn how to make an informed travertine tile purchase decision

Installation Guide – Learn how to install travertine tile

Cleaning & Care – Find out how easy it is to care for a travertine floor

Glossary – Familiarize yourself with common travertine tile terms

(57) Comments

  1. Hello!
    I have a concrete porch that I would like to tile. I found an awesome premium quality travertine medallion by MS International. Apparently it’s frost resistant and it says ok for outdoors. It would be installed on top of concrete which will have all sealer removed first. Just making sure it would be ok in zone 7 climate and would like your opinion. This will also help decide what to do with out walkway and driveway next year.

    Thank you

  2. I have 4-5 cracks in my marble floor. The floor is 23 years old.The cracks range in length from 12″ to 50″. The tile was installed on a concrete floor. I suspect the cracks are reflective cracks from the concrete below. What is the best way to repair these cracks?

  3. From my experience I have noticed that Turkish Travertine tends to be the most consistent, highest quality travertine on the market. Generally more for travertine pavers then tiles however.

  4. Hello,
    I am looking for a piece of travertine tile to use in my oven, as a pizza stone. My home improvement store clerk told me they have a filler in them to make them smooth. What is this filler, and is it food safe?

  5. We are remodeling the shower in our cabin master bath. I was planning on using travertine tiles but because the cabin is in the mountains and we close it down for the winter, I’m being told that porcelain is better. They tell me travertine will crack due to the extreme cold temperatures and natural humidity and moisture. Is there any truth in this?

    I’d appreciate any advice. Thank you.

  6. Hello,

    I have unsealed stone floors and 3 days ago I cleaned them for the first time with a floor cleaner. Today I noticed there are lots of white spots all over the floor. I went back and read that the floor cleaner is only to be used on sealed floors. Is there any way to get rid of the stains and restore them back. Please help!!!

    Thank You.

  7. I have travertine tiles in my kitchen and when my cat was sick she vomited a couple times on the tile. After we cleaned it, we noticed that the acid from her mess had eaten away at the sheen. It’s not terribly noticeable since we cleaned it up fairly quickly. However, if possible, we would like to get the sheen back to these small areas if there is an inexpensive way to do so.

  8. Harry,
    We have Tuscany Noce and it is of softer/whiter/cream tones…… Tuscany Walnut looks darker and not Even of the same shades as Tuscany Noce…… I’d say you are indeed, being smoked!

  9. I have 550 sq. ft of travertine floor I need to cover with 1/4 rubber for traction.
    Is there any danger in covering travertine with rubber matting?

  10. Never saw an answer posted to this questions from 3/12/12:
    We hired someone to redo our kitchen and they put brown paper over all the floors – unfortunately they used strapping tape to secure that paper and 2 months later it’s stuck to my floors, collects dirt, and is sticky and difficult to remove – hot, soapy water and elbow grease removes about 4 inches every 20 minutes and I have yards of this stuff to remove. Even when the top adhesive is gone, at an angle you can see where the stone has ‘absorbed’ some of the adhesive as if it were a sealer. What can we do?

  11. Hi, we just had our travertine installed In our bathroom. We sealed the tiles ourselves by using “Enrich’N’Seal ” But it leaves a waxy build up residue. We tried to clean up the tiles after about 24 hours, we still can’t get rid of the waxy residue. Can you please tell us what other ways of cleaning we can do to get rid of it? Thank you!

  12. We built a new home and our tile guy said that our Travertine shower floor does not need to be sealed. Is this really true because everything I’ve read online says it is extremely pourous. Thanks!

  13. Can travertine tile used for a shower floor be painted. Just built a new house and have a color mixture of the tile on the shower floor. The actual tile looks completely different than the 2″ sample I was given to choose from. It is a random 2×2 square tile pattern that consists of colors of tan, cream, and a terrible orange/gold color.

  14. Hi,
    Our back yard is south facing and is cold and damp most of the year. We have sandstone pavers at the moment that build up a lot of green moss.
    We are thinking about replacing the sandstone pavers with travertine tiles. Are travertine times just as likely to “grow moss” given the south damp conditions?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You can use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.