What is Travertine?

What travertine is?
Travertine is a sedimentary stone. It is a carbonate minerals natural chemical precipitate which sometimes they crystallized again to Calcite. Calcium carbonate deposits from the water of mineral springs .The spring water can be cold, warm or hot. The water's temperature or other things might increase the amount of deposits.

Travertine tiles are used for garden paths and paving patios. It might call as travertine limestone or travertine marble; but it is not limestone or marble. Travertine tiles have some holes and troughs in the surface. Some installers fill these holes by a grout. But some others leave them open. Travertine is available in tile sizes for floor installations.

How is travertine formation?
When the water that has carbon dioxide drips through rocks in limestone stones, it melts the limestone. When the temperature or pressure changes, the water’s carbon dioxide releases as gas, like fizzy drinks. Then calcium carbonate crystallizes again; small broken remains, plants and living biotic material such as moss and algae cover by that and the travertine form. The rock typically remains full of holes and cavities.
Pure and fine travertine is white, but often is brown to yellow due to impurities.

Where is Travertine Occurrence?
Broad deposits of travertine exist at “Tivoli” a city near Rome in Italy. Travertine has got its name from this town which was known as Tibur in ancient Roman times. The ancient name for travertine was lapis tiburtinus, that means tibur stone, which has been changed to travertine.

Studies about the deposits of travertine of Tivoli revealed diurnal and annual rhythmic banding and laminae which can be used in geochronology.
Where are the places that travertine tiles has been used as a building material?

Travertine tile is most widely used in Italy, Greece and Turkey. The Colosseum in Rome is the largest building that constructed mostly of travertine tiles. In Sacré-Cœur Basilica in Paris and the Getty Center in Los Angeles (California) has been used travertine tiles extensively as well.

Travertine tile is one of the most frequently used stones in modern architecture too, for example the first floor of the Becket-designed UCLA Medical Center has thick travertine tile walls.

What colors does travertine tiles come in?
Travertine tiles have different colors and finishes, like ivory, beige, walnut, gold, creamy white, beige, tan and reddish brown. The color usually depends on the impurities and amount of iron of the Travertine tiles.
Travertine tiles never have one solid color. The color changes throughout the stone. No two Travertine tiles are alike.

What does the finished surface of travertine tiles like?
Travertine tiles have 4 main finishes:
o Polished (shiny)
o Honed (matte),
o Brushed
o Tumbled (textured surfaces).

The most common finish for travertine tiles is honed.
The type of finish determines how shiny the surface will be. Polished and honed Travertine tile surfaces are smooth and flat, but the brushed and tumbled travertine tile surfaces are flat and textured.

What are the Variations in cut for travertine tiles?
Travertine tiles can be cut in two ways:
1. "Vein" cut, that you can see the lines in Travertine tiles.
2. "Cross" cut, that you do not see any vain or movement pattern in Travertine tiles.

Where would I use Travertine tiles?
Travertine tiles can be cut and shape in a way to fit in many areas that is difficult to install other stone.
You can use travertine tiles in entryway floors, kitchen floors , countertops and backsplashes, fireplace surrounds, showers, tub surrounds, interior walls, tables, exterior cladding, outdoor patios and walkways, sinks, bathroom walls and backsplashes, etc... .

What should I consider in using Travertine tiles?
Sealers can protect Travertine tiles to some extant but note that minerals that make up Travertine tiles are very reactive with acidic solutions (e.g. orange juice, vinegar). It is a major consideration that will help you decide where is better to use Travertine tiles.

How to Clean Travertine Tile floors?
A travertine tile is harder than most floor materials but taking care and maintenance of it needs special attention. You need to run a vacuum cleaner or broom over the floor to remove sand particles and grits. When people walking on the surface they can damage and scrape the pits. Running a damp mop over Travertine tile floor can tend to leave residues on the surface. You can use a clean and dry mop with a non-oil based detergent.
Rinse the mop out frequently and after mopping rinse the of Travertine tiles with clean water. In case the water marked the surface you can buff the floor with a dry tea towel. Acid based liquids like wine and fruit juices that have vitamin C can score the travertine tile's surface if left to stand after spilling. In such cases rub the area with fine grade emery paper and then seal it again. Some suggestions to clean and maintenance travertine tiles floors:
Sealing the travertine tiles will strengthen its surface and make routine maintenance easier. So you need to seal the travertine tiles first.

You should clean the spills on travertine tiles immediately. But do not use abrasive cleaners, vinegar or others acid cleaners like grout cleaners, or tub & tile cleaners.

You need to dust mop stone floors frequently and clean stone floors with a stone soap or neutral PH cleaner. Then rinse and dry the Travertine tile floor.
Also you can protect the travertine tile by rugs.

Appling felt bottoms to decorative pieces before placing them on the travertine tiles is beneficial in keeping travertine tiles better. Try not to put any thing hot on the travertine tiles without pad and keep in mind not to cut or slice any thing on travertine tile surfaces.