Travertine is as a variety of limestone with linear striations and prized for their earthy tones. A once popular material in the “Tuscan-rustic” look, Travertines are slowly working their way back into the contemporary look with their ability to “ground” a highly contemporary design.


Travertine is a type of limestone that is created from very high heat and pressure, resulting in an extremely durable stone that can actually last longer than many other materials.

Travertine is the terrestrial (land) formed version of limestone, as opposed to the marine based formations of many other limestone varieties. Since these stones are some of the softer varieties of natural stone materials, they have long been a popular choice for intricately carved features and moldings, as well as statuary. Travertine, like marble, is of a calcium carbonate base, and as such, is vulnerable to alteration by exposure to mild acids. A wide variety of stones are included in this group, and absorption varies from slight (<1%) to high (>10%). The combination of acid sensitivity and absorption limit the number of varieties that are suitable for countertop applications, and the user of Travertine countertops should be well educated in its properties to accurately anticipate its behavior in service.


Along with a variety of beautiful colors, the different finishes for travertine allow the stone to fit whatever architectural or design needs you have. The most common ones are polished, honed, and tumbled. Polished travertine has a smooth and glossy surface, while honed travertine has a matte finish and is often used for flooring. Tumbled travertine has a textured, antique look and is popular for both indoor and outdoor applications, especially with bathrooms and pools because of its non-slippery surface.

Sealing travertine can be important for maintaining its beauty. This natural stone is porous, and therefore susceptible to damage from contact with acidic substances, like juice or wine. Sealing travertine is easy and should be done both during its installation, and regularly afterwards.

Keeping in mind that travertine is a type of limestone, it’s important to note that it can become irreparably damaged in acidic conditions. Common household cleaners, the kind normally used to clean ceramics and artificial surfaces in the kitchen and bathrooms, contain chemicals that prove to be caustic or corrosive to travertine, so you shouldn’t use them, but instead use a cleaning solution that is specifically formulated for travertine. Microfiber cloths are excellent for cleaning travertine countertops, and you can also use them when applying sealant and polish. Scrub pads can be used to remove substances that have stuck to the surface, but only if they’re safe to use on travertine and other natural stone.

Travertine has been used for centuries by cultures across the globe as flooring, wall tile, and other surfaces. Like most types of natural stone, travertine is very durable and stands up well to heavy foot traffic. Travertine has a hardness rating comparable to marble, but it’s able to withstand extreme temperature changes, unlike some other types of stone.
Travertine comes in many different natural colors including beige, brown, gray, and gold. There may also be slight undertones of green, red, and rust, depending on the origin of the stone and the minerals inherent in the specific selection. The color of travertine is the result of iron compounds and other organic impurities.

If a stain occurs on your travertine tile, cleaning it up is a fairly simple procedure. The reason travertine is susceptible to staining is the same reason stains are fairly easy to remove – travertine is porous. A procedure called ‘poulticing’ is a great way to remove stains because it draws the stain up from your travertine and into another material – a mixture of a reducing agent soaked into a cloth or paper towel is the most basic variety of poultice. The best methods should always be measured against the kind of stain you have.

Yes! It is often thought that because travertine is a porous material it is not wise to install in in the bathroom especially not in the shower. But the solution for this is simple. You can use this easy to maintain material in the bathroom shower, floor, or sink as long as you simply seal it!

Limestone is the youngest of all these stones. Most of the buildings around the world have been built with sedimentary limestone. It is the most common building material in the world. Travertine is a type of “morphed” limestone but it is created from Artesian wells which means lime has been deposited by water. Travertine makes an excellent use for any indoor or outdoor area because it never gets hot (no metal content in the stone), it is twice the strength of concrete and is non-slippery. Travertine is durable for any application both commercially and residential – it is about 50 million years old. Marble, on the other hand, is about 100 million years old and is perfect for the same applications as travertine. Since marble is older, it typically will be “veinier” and less “wild” than the travertines.


Get in touch with one of our stone experts to have all your questions about this material answered.




On the Moh’s Scale of Relative Hardness, travertine ranks between 4 and 5. Daily impacts will not cause damage to travertine. Even the uncommon heavy impact should not cause damage to it. Chipping, scratching, and cracking are rarities with this type of material.



Non-acidic spills will not harm travertine, regardless of whether the spill is cleaned up right away or left to sit. Honed and tumbled travertine are the two types most likely to pick up stains and thus require sealing. Polished travertine is highly stain-resistant so you probably won’t need to seal it.



Acidic substances like wine or juice can easily etch travertine’s finish. This is because it’s a natural stone formed from calcium carbonate which can break down over time when exposed to acidic substances like vinegar, wine and any citric acids. Acidic materials should be wiped up immediately!



Because of the way travertine is formed, it is particularly resistant to heat and pressure, making it an ideal building material for both indoor and outdoor projects such as fireplaces, bathroom floors and showers, and around swimming pools.

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Delta Granite and Marble did all of the counter tops in my house, which included two bathrooms, kitchen, and a bar area. The kitchen also had a large island so it was a significant amount of product, about $11,000 worth of counter tops. We really enjoyed working with the sales rep, Rick: he was very willing to revise pricing, change products and find us the best value. The thing I was most impressed with was the measurements. They laser measured everything and everything fit perfectly, David the install guy was great and we were absolutely happy with the end result. They are a very professional organization. In fact, I will be giving them business again on a commercial property I am working on
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