If you’re planning to install or replace the tile in your home, you’re probably considering the differences between stone tile options like marble and travertine. Although they are both variations of limestone and would both make excellent additions to any home, they have their own advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a look at the differences between the two.
What Does Marble Look Like?
You can tell marble apart from other stone tile by its hardness and distinct veiny color patterns. Although marble is sometimes a single, solid color, more often it is one color with streaks of another running through it, such as white with gray or black veins. Other common colors include black, gray, pink, blue, or green. Marble’s texture is very smooth and is manufactured with either a satiny honed finish or a high gloss polished finish. It tends to have a bit of a glittery sparkle, too.
What Does Travertine Look Like?
Travertine is often visibly porous, giving it a more natural, textured look. However, when sanded down and sealed, travertine tiles are smooth and suitable for flooring or as shower tiles. This stone is relatively soft and absorbent, so it requires a few coats of sealant to prevent debris from penetrating the stone.
Travertine’s colors are typically warm and range from the lightest white or cream to beige, gold, brown, and even red. Slight color and pattern variations between tiles keep them from looking too uniform. This type of stone is also available in a variety of finishes, including polished, honed, brushed, saw cut, and tumbled.
What are the Best Uses for Marble Tiles?
Marble tiles are often used on bathroom walls, floors, and countertops because they look crisp and clean while still being practical and elegant. Marble is a very hard stone that, compared to other types of flooring, can really take a beating from kids or pets running back and forth on it. Just make sure to redo the sealant on the tiles about once a year to keep them from being damaged.
What are the Best Uses for Travertine Tiles?
Most commonly, travertine tiles are used indoors for bathroom flooring, but they can also be used in kitchens, outdoor spaces, and to decorate walls, ceilings, and countertops.
Before being polished and honed, the tile provides a high friction surface suitable for use outside to prevent slipping. For this reason, you often see travertine tiles and pavers installed by pools, but they’re somewhat rough on bare feet if they’re not sanded some.
Once honed, these tiles are very easy to clean by just wiping with a damp cloth. The only other care the tiles need is a yearly sealant application. This helps your tiles resist wear and tear, allowing them to last for many years.
Which Costs More, Marble or Travertine?
One last consideration is cost. Natural travertine generally costs more than cultured marble, but natural marble will have the higher price tag. That being said, costs vary widely according to the stone’s quality. Either stone can cost anywhere between $2 to $50 or more per square foot.
Both of these beautiful stone floor tiles are quite heavy and therefore can be difficult to lift. They also need a good initial seal to prevent staining and scratching. Definitely consider hiring a professional to help you install these tiles when possible.
What natural stone do you prefer, marble or travertine?
Browse our selection of naturally beautiful stone flooring tiles here. Add beauty and durability to your space.