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People are often curious about the origin of, and process for creating, their floor. For the Cliff Clavin in all of us, it can be a cool thing to know. Imagine yourself sitting around the table after dinner, sharing laughs and a beverage or 3, when someone comments on your new travertine floors. As a gracious host, of course, you say “Thanks, you know, one of the interesting thing about travertine…”

Travertine is cut from the earth in giant blocks. Each blockweighs approximately 2 tonnes. These things are beasts as you can see here.

 Travertine Quarry

These blocks are hauled out of the quarry and taken to the factory a couple at a time. As you can imagine, they aren’t exactly easy to maneuver. Once at the factory these blocks are trimmed down into workable slabs using a giant saw called a block cutter, just slightly larger than the one you remember from wood shop. Depending upon the product being produced, they are usually cut down into 2cm or 3cm slabs for further work.

Block Cutter

 Once we have the raw materials down into workable slabs, the look and shape of your tiles starts to take hold. The process differs depending on the finish, and I will go into further details about the process for different finishes over the next few days. Good start to your story right?

On a side note, I have found another word that goes over well at parties is geosynchronous. It is usually used in relation to satellites and is just a fancy way to say that the satellite’s orbital period is the same as the earth’s rotational speed.

Try these out at work, at parties, or on the bus. People will be amazed, or bored. But try them anyhow.

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Marc McPherson