There are two common looks for travertine. The Vein Cut look and the Cross Cut look. Both are the exact same stone, just cut from the block in different manners. BuildDirect University has this to say on the matter: “Travertine can be cut on either a “vein” cut, which is against the bedding so the bedding plane is revealed, or a “fleuri” cut, which is along the bedding plane and reveals a flowery, often circular pattern. This cut is also referred to as a “crosscut” pattern. The distinctive holes and cavities in the travertine are formed by gas that escapes during the stone’s formation.”
The most common cut for flooring tiles is the cross cut, but check out some pictures below to see the difference in appearance between the two. On the left is a vein cut and the right a cross cut. Also, for a wealth of information regarding building materials check our more at BDU.