What is travertine stone: uses and applications

What is travertine stone: uses and applications

30 November, 2022

Travertine stone is a building and decorative material used since Roman times. Find out about its uses and applications in the home.

Formed in thermal waters and limestone caves, travertine stone has been used since ancient times as a constructive, architectural and ornamental element.

Nowadays, and due to its properties and aesthetics, this material has many applications as paving or cladding, giving indoor or outdoor spaces an unusual and suggestive beauty. 

What is travertine stone? 

Travertine is a porous limestone formed by calcium carbonate deposits. 

It is quarried in various parts of the world. In Europe, the deposits in Turkey and Italy, where it is called “Tivoli stone”, are well known. 

In fact, travertine stone was one of the most widely used natural resources during the Roman Empire: we can see it in ancient open-air baths and it was quarried in the form of blocks or chairs for the construction of the Colosseum, the Teatro Marcello, St. Peter’s Basilica or the church of Santa Maria Maggiore.

Travertine monuments can also be seen in squares, promenades, staircases and historical sites on all five continents. 

→ You may be interested in discovering all the natural stone options at L’Antic Colonial

Characteristics and uses of travertine stone 

Travertine stone is composed of calcite and gypsum. 

Although 99% of the minerals that form it are colourless, the remaining 1% has traces of yellow sulphur, brown iron and organic pigments that give it soft tonal ranges in honey, beige or pink. 

Although travertine stone is usually light in appearance, there are dark varieties in brown and even black

In addition to its colour, this material is very recognisable by its fibrous and porous texture. 

This is partly due to the gas bubbles that are often trapped between the layers of stone, creating spherical hollows, as if they were pores or cavities. 

Travertine stone

Other characteristics are: 

  • Resistance. Travertine stone resists bending and other external agents such as thermal shock, aggressive agents, abrasion or humidity.
  • Durability. Travertine stone has a great durability. Proof of this can be seen in centuries-old buildings, which have not deteriorated over time.
  • Ease of cleaning. The fact that a material is easy to clean is fundamental when choosing it for our home. In this sense, travertine stone is a great alternative: we only need to use soap and water, and never abrasive products.
  • Beauty. The personality and elegance of travertine stone is unquestionable. For this reason, this type of cladding is a great alternative if we want to create exclusive and peaceful environments.

Why choose travertine stone for your home? 

The versatility and variety of formats makes travertine stone perfect for covering floors, walls and facades, but also functional rooms in the house such as the shower. 

In fact, this material is originally extracted from aquifers, so its resistance to moisture is beyond doubt. 

In addition, it withstands exposure to UV radiation well, so it keeps its colour as good as the first day, even outdoors.

Another reason to choose travertine is its timelessness, making it an aesthetic base for (practically) all kinds of styles. It can even remain in the same room of the house, even if the decoration changes. 

As for the uses of travertine stone, it is employed in blocks, slabs or sheets, whether hand-worked, rudimentary or polished, or even aged. 

In interiors, we can see it on walls and floors, and also in bathroom furniture such as bathtubs, washbasins or worktops.

When this material is used, polished or honed, it is advisable to seal its surface with a special paste to increase the durability of its gloss effect. 

Outdoors, the use of travertine stone is concentrated on façades, floors or pool edges, as it resists the weather very well.  

In these cases, it is usually used with an aged finish that, in addition to its appearance, enhances its anti-slip properties.

Travertine stone flooring

A trip to Tuscany with L’Antic Colonial 

Natural stone is one of the best options for home decoration: it brings freshness, elegance and a lot of personality, and it is a sustainable material.  

This natural stone has been very present in our range of products during our 20 years of history, and, in recent times, it has been updated in finishes to meet the needs of our most demanding customers, who are looking for quality and exclusivity. 

Due to its origin, our catalogue could not miss a travertine collection that refers to Italy.  

Our TOSCANO ANTICATO collection stands out because of its toasted tone, being ideal for outdoor spaces (it includes Bioprot to reduce the appearance of bacteria on the surface). 

Other of our coverings with this material are:

  • MOKA ANTICATO. Beige, slightly more porous, and perfect for combining with minimalist decoration with whites and browns as protagonists. Its elegant finish also makes it perfect for designing staircases.  
  • OCEAN WOOD. Our most “risky” travertine. With bluish reflections, it is recommended for bathroom countertops. It stands out for its oblique cut, made on the four edges of the piece, to highlight the finish and avoid the deterioration of the material. 
  • SILVER WOOD. With a slightly more modern touch, this light-coloured travertine stone is perfect for covering bathroom walls and floors. Its aesthetics and finishes make it a good choice for showers and washbasin fronts. 

At L’Antic Colonial we have a catalogue of natural stone that will certainly serve as a source of inspiration. You can consult it on our website.

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