Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park

Travertine, a type of limestoneTravertine, a type of limestone, can be left in its natural state, with no polishing. It is sedimentary rock formed from the remains of plants and animals, often deposited by mineral springs and hot springs. We often find seashell fossils on travertine tiles. It is natural Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3) and varies in hardness.

The Romans mined deposits of travertine for building temples, aqueducts, monuments, bath complexes, and amphitheaters such as the Colosseum, the largest building in the world constructed mostly of travertine.

Travertine is easily etched by acids. It is also porous with many visible holes, often filled with same-colored epoxy to give it a smooth appearance.

Travertine is one of several natural stones that are used for paving patios and garden paths. It is sometimes known as travertine limestone and as travertine marble, and is characterized by pitted holes in its surface. It comes in a variety of colors from cream to grey to coral-red. The natural shades of travertine ranges from soft ivory and pale creamy white to rich golden shades of walnut and honey, silvery greens, rustic reds, and deep mocha coffee shades. Since travertine is natural stone and the colors depend on local mineral and organic materials, the tiles are never a single solid color, although some travertine varieties are more consistent in color. Colors in each tile will vary with mottling and veins or bands of contrasting color throughout the stone. Each stone has unique character, although stones quarried from the same area will have enough overall similarity to create beautiful floors, walls and decks.

  • Walnut – a variety of mid range browns from dark tan to milk chocolate
  • Noce – shades of walnut that range from medium gold to dark coffee
  • Chocolate – deep, rich dark brown
  • Silver – light ivory tiles with a hint of gray that creates a silvered appearance.
  • Philadelphia – earthy, medium range tan colors with a high degree of natural striation
  • Gold – rich shades of golden honey
  • Light – pale cream or ivory
  • Navona – very light beige (almost white) with a rustic, antique appearance
  • Emerald – pale shades with a greenish tinge
  • Emerald Light –  Pale green veins on white background
  • Onyx Light – Honey yellow onyx veins on white background
  • Mina Rustic  – Blend of beige and walnut and has some yellow and black veins. Has more variation comparing the other colors
  • Mina Dark- One tone darker than Beige, it can be described as “Light Walnut”
  • Scabos – a highly variegated degree of colors ranging from light honey to dark rust
  • Durango – cloudy ivory and light khaki tile speckled with tiny black dendrites
  • Red – travertine that contains a high rust content can range from a pale rust to a vibrant scarlet
  • Rosa – a deep rose pink mottled with cream
  • Gray – a heavily striated dark gray travertine
  • Classico – a uniform color and patterning that resembles natural cork

Travertine Finishes

Tumbled and Unfilled TravertineTumbled and Unfilled Travertine

  • Polished – The travertine is smoothed and polished to a shiny, reflective surface similar to marble. This finish is most common in commercial applications.
  • Honed – A honed finish is flat and satiny smooth with a low-shine matte finish. Honed travertine is the most popular choice for home use.
  • Brushed – Brushed travertine has slightly rough texture and a matte finish. More antique and is less slippery compared to honed or polished finish
  • Saw Cut  – A flat, very matte finish with no honing or polish. No further finishing after being cut with the wet saw.
  • Tumbled – Tumbled travertine is the most natural finish, resulting in a highly textured finish with no shine and edges that are rounded with a worn appearance that resembles ancient stone. Tumbled travertine is most often found in outdoor installations.

Travertine Filling

  • Unfilled – Travertine in its naturally porous state with naturally occurring holes.
  • Filled – Most commonly, the porous holes in travertine are filled with a mixture of a hardener like cement and dust byproducts from the cutting and honing process for a perfect color match.
  • Chiseled Edge – Natural stone with rustic chiseling around the edges. Travertine can be hand or machine chiseled. Machine chiseling is most common because it is less expensive and very consistent. Hand chiseled cuts are more random in size and placement.
  • Tumbled Edge – Tumbling travertine produces a rough, textured finish with rounded corners for a naturally aged appearance.
  • Straight Edge – Sharp 90° corners and edges.
  • Chamfered, eased edge, or beveled – A 90° edge that has been eased by angling tiny portion of the edge to make two 45° angles that fit together.
  • Pillowed Edge – Pillowed edge refers to a rounded bullnose edge all around the tile.

 

Travertine is etched by acids, including soft drinks and juice. Acid-based cleaning chemicals can also etch. Absorbs oils and other liquids and is more easily stained than marble. Therefore, putting Travertine in a kitchen or heavily used bathroom is not a good idea. Travertine should only be cleaned with a neutral or mild alkaline-based cleaner.

Travertine can be used for countertops but it’s not recommended. It is easily scratched and etched by certain food products. It works well for flooring, accessories and smaller spaces. This stone seems to open up small areas and makes them feel more spacious and airy. The surface finishes for travertine stone vary. Not all travertines are capable of the polished high gloss finish – only the harder types. This stone will never achieve the same glossy finish as marble and granite.

Travertine can have four major finishes: polished (shiny), honed (matte), brushed and tumbled (textured surfaces). The type of finish given to the travertine will determine how shiny the surface will be. The most common finish for travertine is honed.

Should be sealed with a penetrating sealer to prevent staining and reduce soiling.

What are the DO’s and DON’Ts of Travertine?

  • DO clean up spills immediately to minimize damage to your stone.
  • DO use trivets or mats under hot dishes and cookware.
  • DO use place mats under china, ceramics, silver and other objects that can scratch the stone’s surface.
  • DO use coasters under glasses, especially if they contain alcohol or citrus juices.
  • DO clean surfaces regularly with StoneTech™ Professional Revitalizer™ Cleaner & Protector.
  • DO use StoneTech™ Professional BulletProof™ Sealer to protect the stone.
  • DO use a tray for toiletry products in the bathroom to protect the surface from the damaging chemicals contained in many toiletry products.
  • DO dust mop marble floor tile regularly.
  • DO use door mats inside and out along with runners and area rugs on marble floors.
  • DON’T wait to clean up spills on stone.
  • DON’T use cleaners that contain acid such as bathroom cleaners, grout cleaners or tub cleaners.
  • DON’T use vinegar, bleach, ammonia or other general-purpose cleaners.
  • DON’T use abrasive cleaners such as dry cleansers or soft cleansers.
  • DON’T use alkaline cleaners not specifically formulated for stone.
  • DON’T use scouring powders and abrasives because they will scratch the surface.
  • DON’T Place toiletry products directly on the countertop surface.

 

Care & Maintenance of Travertine:

Travertine countertops look great in the store or online but they are not a good idea! Travertine is one of the most porous stones available, therefore it is not good for countertops. They will stain quite easily and then you are stuck with it. Travertine is also predisposed to acid, which will etch the surface and stain it. Lemon juice will even mar the surface of the counter.  Avoid using creams and greasy bathroom products where you have travertine.

Travertine is porous, and easily stained and is etched by acids. Avoid setting beverage glasses directly on Travertine as they leave rings. Fruit juice, carbonated beverages or other acids will etch (remove shiny surface) if allowed to remain on any marble. Wipe up acid spill immediately, and wipe surface with wet cloth. If surfaced is etched, polishing may be required.

Care & Maintenance of TravertineNatural stone is very porous. The best way to prevent stains is to treat the surface with a protective sealer. The sealer fills in the pores and repels spills on the surface, allowing you time to completely wipe it away. We usually use 2 coats of sealant generously wiped on the stone.

Dust mop interior travertine floors frequently using a clean non-treated dry dust mop. Sand, dirt and grit do the most damage to natural stone surfaces due to their abrasiveness. Mats or area rugs inside and outside an entrance will help to minimize the sand, dirt and grit that will scratch the stone floor. Be sure that the underside of the mat or rug is a non-slip surface. Do not use vacuum cleaners that have worn wheels: the metal or plastic attachments on the wheels may scratch the surface.

We recommend that you use care and maintenance products from StoneTech™ Professional, a DuPont company, specially formulated to protect and enhance the beauty of your travertine. Once the stone is sealed, clean up is usually easy. We recommend that you use StoneTech™ Professional Revitalizer™ Cleaner & Protector. Revitalizer™ cleans with a gentle, pH-neutral formula that removes soils while reinforcing the original protective seal to help prevent future staining.

Although we usually think of stone as “hard,” it is a porous material. Natural stone has varying degrees of porosity depending on the type of stone. If left unsealed, spills and everyday messes can penetrate the surface and leave a stain.

Removal of oily stains is easily accomplished with StoneTech™ Professional Oil and Stain Remover.

Fluorochemical technology, incorporated into StoneTech™ Professional BulletProof™, StoneTech™ Professional Impregnator Pro, is the most advanced technology available, providing the ultimate shield against both water and oil-base stains. The micro-molecular formula actually bonds with the stone surface to deliver unsurpassed wear resistance and durability. And because the sealer reacts with the stone, you no longer have to worry about the porousity.

 

Travertine and Stone Care, Cleaning, Maintenance and Sealing Products: