Learning Center

Find the answers to your home improvement questions.

Travertine Tile Bathrooms: Good Idea or Bad Idea?

Travertine in the Bathroom

In recent years, more and more homeowners have taken a liking to natural stone and are using it for as many applications as possible. This is particularly true in bathrooms where natural stone can be used for flooring, along with other applications such as wall mosaics, vanity tops, and tub surrounds. One natural stone that’s particularly popular for bathrooms is travertine. Many homeowners are choosing it for its elegant character and its attractive range of color variations, venations, and patterns.


Can You Use Travertine Tile for Bathrooms?

The short answer is: yes!

The fact is, travertine can indeed be used in bathrooms. It just depends on what type of finish you choose and if it’s installed correctly. If done properly, you will find that travertine is one of the most suitable stones for bathrooms.

Who says you can’t?

Travertine tile for use in the bathroom is quite a contested issue and is a cause of confusion for many, particularly those who are new to bathroom design. The reason for this is that travertine is known to be a porous type of natural stone, which leads people to believe that it’s impractical for areas where water is almost always present.

The Right Travertine Tile for your Bathroom

Experts say that the best travertine tile finishes to use for bathrooms are either hone-finished or tumble-finished. Hone-finished travertine has a matte finish that softens the stone’s appearance. Tumble-finished travertine on the other hand has an antiqued appearance that enhances the stone’s natural colors. These two finishes are ideal for bathrooms because they’re able to withstand spills most likely to occur in bathrooms from makeup and other beauty products.

Travertine shower tile

To use travertine in the shower and other high moisture areas, it’s important that you properly seal it with a suitable sealer. This will prevent the travertine from absorbing water (travertine is a porous stone after all) and make it easier to maintain. Take time to find a reputable installer to install travertine in your bathroom, as the key to success of bathroom tiles lies in the installation.

The choice of travertine for the bathroom does not end in the floors or walls. Travertine has also been used in bathroom fixtures such as sinks and bath tubs, and you could do your entire bathroom in travertine if so wished.

Why travertine?

Travertine tile is a great choice for bathrooms not only because of its beauty, but also for its simple maintenance. Travertine in bathrooms is easy to clean and hardly shows water spots and soap scum – the bane of homeowners everywhere. A squeegee works well enough to remove these stubborn stains.

Because there are a great many colors and patterns of travertine tile, your bathroom design options are nearly endless. You are sure to find a color and pattern that fits with the design you want.

Is travertine the right stone for your bathroom renovation project?

Browse our selection of classically beautiful Travertine Tile here. Discover the right look for your space!


(11) Comments

  1. I have travertine tile in my bathroom floor and shower(floor and walls). The lower part of the walls are getting dark areas. I’m thinking it may be mild dew. What is safe to use on the tile to remove the dark areas? The tile is about 9 years old.

  2. Jennifer Tesinsky

    Hi there.

    I have a question about Travertine tiles. We recently bought a home that has travertine tiles all throughout the bathroom, including the whole shower. The house is 8 years old, and I do not think the previous people sealed the shower tiles as often as they should have. The reason I think this is because the tiles often get a musty smell( likely because the tiles are so porous that they hold everything in). Is it too late to seal the tiles if they have not been sealed in years? Also, is it absolutely necessary to seal them?

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team

      Hi Jennifer,

      Thank you for your inquiry! It is not too late to seal the tiles, just make sure to give them a good clean beforehand. It is necessary to seal the tiles to avoid stains and keep the tile in the best condition as possible. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  3. Pingback: How To Tile A Bathroom Floor With Travertine | Information

  4. We are about to put Travertine on our bathroom floor, also in the shower. I am wondering about sealers can I put the high gloss sealer on it. We were going to put Miracle511 Impregnator on the pool room floor. What is your opinion?

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team

      Hi Julie. Thanks for reaching out to us! There are many different types of sealants on the market that offer different benefits (high gloss, color enhancing, etc.), but you need to make sure that whichever sealant you purchase, is for natural stone usage and has a penetrating feature. This means that it acts as a barrier between the product and any liquids that are spilt on it. We don’t sell the 511 Impregnator Sealer, but it looks like it is rated for Travertine materials, so you should be fine. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  5. What are your thoughts on Filled Travertine for a shower surround. I bought some Honed Filled Travertine. I’m worried it’s an inferior stone for a shower. The sales rep thought it was ok but the filled surface has me worried.

    Please help.

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team

      Hi Robert,

      Thank you for getting in touch! Filled Travertine will work just fine for a shower surround, just be sure to seal the product and continue with the proper upkeep so it stays in good condition. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  6. BuildDirect Product Expert Team

    Hi Mary,
    There are actually 2 ways that you can go about installing Travertine – one of which is what the Installer is recommending.
    The first way, and most popular, is to lay the Travertine, grout, clean, and then seal it. A problem that can occur going this route, is that if all of the grout isn’t cleaned off before it is sealed, the grout will be sealed right into the stone.
    The other option, which the installer is recommending – is sealing the tile first, laying, and then grouting and cleaning. This option can take quite a bit longer, but does ensure that no grout gets in between the sealant and the tile.
    I hope this answers your question!

  7. Please help!! I am considering putting travertine on my bathroom floor and in the shower area and have a friend who knows a tiler. He has told my friend that if i am considering travertine, that i need to seal each tile before they are laid. I realise that they need sealing but thought that this would be done after they are laid. Which is correct / or even necessary?

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team

      Hi Adrian,
      That is a really good question.
      If you learn best by seeing step by step instructions, like myself, I would highly recommend searching “DIY Hardwood Installation” on youtube. You’ll find many manufactures, and installers, that have posted easy to follow, and incredibly educational videos on how to go about it.
      Happy Youtube’ing:)

Comments are closed.