What is Travertine?
What is Travertine?
Travertine is a sedimentary limestone deposited by mineral springs with formations located all around the world, notably Tivoli, Italy, where the name travertine was derived.
Travertine is a natural stone such as Marble, Granite, Onyx, Limestone, Slate, etc. The key difference between Travertine and other natural stones lies in the formation of the rock, the hardness of the stone, and the appearance. Travertine is formed in hot springs and/or limestone caves. Travertine is not the same as Marble or Limestone which falls in the metamorphic rock category. Key characteristics of Travertine stone are the holes within the stone which are caused by carbon dioxide evasion.
The first mention of a travertine discovery dates back to 75 BC during the reign of Julius Caesar. The springs of Tivoli had an abundance of stone due to the volcanic activity from Mt. Etna, making it the prime building material for the Ancient Romans.
The most well-known Roman marvel, the Colosseum, was constructed using travertine and remains structurally intact due to the durability of travertine – one of its main characteristics.
Michelangelo also chose travertine as the outside border of the dome in St. Peters Basilica. Part of the appeal of the material was its durability as both the Romans and Michelangelo wanting to create structures that lasted.
As you can see, travertine has a fascinating history that’s worth discovering more about. The following guide allows you to gain a better understanding of the stone and what makes it comparable and different than marble or granite. Here we’ll explore more about the stone’s origin, uses, cost, and patterns, so you’ll know precisely why it’s the ideal material to use for your building project.
What is a Travertine Quarry?
A travertine quarry is nothing more than a mine for Travertine stone. Most quarries are huge and look like open large pits. Travertine rocks are dug up in quarries and broken down into travertine blocks which are then transported to factories for the purpose of cutting. After cutting the blocks into slabs, tiles, pavers, mosaics, etc. the proper Travertine finish is applied.
How is Travertine imported into the USA?
Most of the Travertine found in the USA comes directly with ships from Turkey in form of containers. There are many ocean freight services that transport this material across the Atlantic ocean. It takes the ships approx. 6 weeks to arrive from Turkey. 95% of the Travertine containers arrive at the Port of Miami. Next they are distributed from the port to several different warehouses and wholesalers via freight forwarders.
What is the difference between premium grade travertine, commercial grade or A grade?
The grade of travertine is most of the time determined based on the holes within the stone. Holes within Travertine stone are part of the stones nature and criteria. Within the travertine industry today, the rule of thumb is …the less holes there are within travertine stone, the higher the quality. Travertine pavers with barely any holes in it are considered A Grade or Premium Grade quality while a porous stone with a lot of holes in it (looking like a sponge) is considered commercial quality. Obviously, price differences apply. Also, keep in mind that there are Travertine tiles that come with a honed and filled finish. A filled travertine finish indicates that the holes were filled. Since the filling is always the same color throughout the tile it is fairly easy to tell apart the filling. In these cases, the difference between Premium Grade and Commercial grade lies in the amount of filling used. A honed and filled travertine tile with a whole lot of filling is considered of lower quality compared to a tile with minimal filling.
What is the difference between Travertine Tiles and Travertine Pavers?
Travertine Tiles are used for indoor projects such as floors and walls while Travertine pavers are primarily used for outdoors such as driveways, pool decks, patio areas, and walkways. Travertine tiles are 0.5” thick while the standard thickness for Travertine pavers is 1 1/4”.
What is a Travertine French Pattern Set?
A Travertine french pattern set covers exactly 8 sqft and consists of the following pieces. 1 piece 16×24, 2 pieces 16×16, 1 piece 16×8 and 2 pieces 8×8. The french pattern set is often referred to as the Versailles Pattern or Leonardo Pattern and exists for Tiles and Pavers.
Which pieces do Travertine Jumbo Patterns consist of?
A travertine jumbo pattern carries the following sizes: 24×36″, 24×24″, 18×24″, 18×18″
Which colors do Travertine Tiles, Pavers, Mosaics, etc. come in?
Some of the most popular colors are Ivory, Beige, Walnut colors (light, medium, dark), Noche (Dark brown), Silver, and Gold. Combinations of these colors are also possible. Colors variations and color name variations are quite common within the Travertine industry i.e. Cream, Cappuccino, Chocolate
What finish is applied to Travertine Products?
Travertine products usually have the following finishes: Tumbled, Honed, Brushed, Filled, Filled & Honed, Chiseled, Bush Hammered, Polished
How thick is a Travertine Tile?
A standard travertine tile is 0.5” inches thick
How thick are Travertine Pavers?
Standard Travertine Pavers in the USA are 1 1/4” thick. Pavers can also be 2” thick or more.
What is a Travertine Bullnose?
Travertine bullnose is a term used in combination with Travertine Pool Copings. It implies that 1 side of the stone is rounded off. Double Bullnose Copings also exist and imply 2 rounded offsides.
What is a Travertine Medallion?
A Travertine Medallion is a floor centerpiece or wall decoration piece crafted out of Travertine stone. Most Medallions are build using Travertine Mosaic pieces and broken travertine stones.
What are the most popular sizes and patterns for Travertine Mosaics?
Travertine Mosaics come in all kinds of sizes and all kinds of color and shape variations. Some of the most popular sizes are 1×1, 1×2, 2×2, 2×4, 4×4. There are really no standards when it comes to Mosaics. Mosaics can be created in almost any size. Some of the most popular mosaic patterns are: Regular (square), Spiral, Herringbone, Stagger (Brick), and Sticks.
How large is a Travertine Pool Tile?
Travertine Pool Tiles usually come in sizes 4×4 and 6×6.
What Travertine Floor Tile sizes are most popular in the USA?
The most popular sizes for indoor Travertine Tiles are French Pattern, 12×12, 16X16, and 18×18. 24×24 travertine tiles are also gaining popularity among American homes. Some folks even use travertine tiles for pool decks in order to cut down on the material cost, since tiles are usually cheaper than pavers.
What is the difference between Cross Cut and Vein Cut Travertine?
99% of the travertine which you see online or displayed throughout retail locations such as flooring companies, pool builders, home improvement companies, etc. is by default crosscut. This refers to the default way of cutting the travertine blocks which are harvested from the quarry. In order to produce vein cut travertine, the travertine blocks are rotated and the cuts take place across the vein. Think of it as cutting a tree. You can cut a tree vertically or horizontally. If you cut it vertically, the veins come out, same with Travertine.
What is a Travertine Remodeling Coping?
Travertine Remodeling Copings can be placed on top of existing pool copings as opposed to having to remove your current pool copings while remodeling your pool. Using remodeling pool copings can be more cost-effective during your pool remodeling process but the drawback is that you can only remodel once. Should you decide to remodel again, obviously you’d have to remove the existing remodeling copings. In other words, you can not place a remodeling coping on top of another remodeling coping.
What size does a Travertine Pool Remodeling Coping come in?
The most popular sizes for Pool Remodeling Copings are 4x9x4 and 12x12x4.
What is the most popular Travertine Paver size in the US?
Depending on the region, one of the most popular size for Travertine Pavers is 6×12. Other paver sizes also exist such as 4×8, 12×12, 12×24, 16×16, 16×24, 24×24 and even 36×36. But none of these sizes are as popular as the compact 6×12 travertine paver which finds it’s primary home on American driveways and around pool borders.
What size Travertine Pool Copings are on the market?
The most popular Pool Copings come in sizes: 4×9, 6×12, 12×12 and 12×24. Most Copings have a tumbled finish while some have a honed finish. Coping is the same thickness as travertine pavers: 1 1/4”. Pool Copings that are 2” thick are available as well. Further, any travertine paver can be turned into travertine coping using a coping machine. Pavers are fed into the coping machine which creates a paver with a round side. A travertine paver with one round side is also referred to as a Single Bullnose Coping while pavers with both sides rounded off are called Double Bullnose Copings.
What are the most popular uses of Travertine?
History teaches us that there are no limits when it comes to the usage of Travertine stone. Even before Christ, Travertine used to be among the top building stones in Ancient Greek and Rome. Romans took advantage of Travertine for various construction projects such as buildings and temples, aqueducts, baths, stairs, steps, and amphitheaters such as the Colosseum, the largest building in the world constructed mostly of travertine. Travertine was also used for sculptures and monuments. Even today in the 21st century, Travertine stone is being used for a huge variety of indoor and outdoor projects. There are no exact design guidelines when it comes to travertine. It can be used practically anywhere to enhance any area. The most popular uses in the US include but are not limited to the following.
Most common indoor travertine usage in the US:
Most common outdoor travertine usage in the US:
How much does a travertine pallet weigh?
A standard Travertine Pallet, which is packed with 1 1/4” thick pavers and has the dimensions 48” (length) x 24” (width) x 37” (height) holds up to 200 sqft of material and weighs between 3100 and 3200 lbs. The pallets which are used for transporting 16×16 or 16×24 travertine pavers can hold up to 267 sqft of material and weigh up to 4250 lbs. These are critical numbers for logistic calculations. A full truckload of travertine pavers would imply 15 x 200 sqft pallets which can weigh up to the max load of 48,000 lbs and cover an area of 3,000 sqft.
What is the weight of a travertine crate?
A standard Travertine crate, which is packed with 0.5” thick tiles and has the dimensions 4′ x 3′ x 4′ can hold up to 2100-2200 lbs of Travertine tiles. The most common use of travertine crates is for the transport of 18×18 and french pattern tiles which is two of the most demanded travertine tile sizes in the USA. 99% of the time, travertine crates contain 160 pieces of 18×18 tiles which covers an area of 360 sqft. The french pattern tiles are packaged into bundles of 8 sqft which is referred to as a French Pattern Set. There are 52 sets per crate which cover a total area of 416 sqft. French pattern crates can weigh up to 2500 lbs.
How many sqf (square feet) fit on a Travertine Pallet?
Pallets are used to transport Travertine Pavers long and short distances. While most French Pattern aka. Ashlar Pattern aka. Versailles Pattern pallets (48” x 24” x 37”) contain 200 sqf of pavers, you may also encounter pallets that contain 176 sqf or 208 sqf. The largest travertine pallets can hold up to 100 pieces of 16×24 pavers which is equal to 267 sqf with a total weight of 4500 lbs. .
How many sqf (square feet) can fit into a Travertine Crate?
Crates are used to transport Travertine Tiles and Mosaics. Crates differ in size. Some crates can contain up to 54 boxes of travertine mosaics which will cover an area of 540 sqft. Most crates however will either carry 360 sqft of 18×18 tiles or 416 sqm of french pattern tiles since these are the single most popular sizes for travertine tiles in the USA.
How many crates / pallets are part of a Travertine Container?
A standard Travertine Container contains up to 19 pallets of pavers or up to 24 crates of tiles.
What is a Travertine Pencil or Travertine Ogee?
These are Travertine molding pieces that are most often used for borders. Pencil sizes are usually 0.5 x 12 or 1 x 12. The most common size for a Travertine Ogee is 2 x 12. Other Travertine Molding pieces include but are not limited to: Chair rails, Bases, Crowns and Mulduras.
What is a Travertine Corner Shelf?
Travertine Corner Shelves are most often used in Showers. An oval area in the middle allows for placement of soaps, shampoos etc.
Can Travertine be used outdoors in ice-cold, freezing temperatures?
Yes, it can be but it’s not necessarily recommended. Due to the nature of travertine, the holes in the stone are likely to absorb water which freezes during ice-cold temperatures and is likely to cause the pavers to crack. Paver installers tend to grout porous pavers and recommend premium grade material in order to avoid most of these possible cracks.
What is the best way to get Travertine delivered to my home?
Due to the weight of the material, Travertine is delivered with semis and flatbeds. The best way to have Travertine delivered is with a flatbed which has a forklift in the back. This is referred to as a Piggyback or Moffett. This has the advantage of being able to maneuver around the pallets or crates anywhere around your premises and place the material as close as possible to your job site.
If you are building a pool deck in the back of your home, the delivery companies can place the pallets or crates right next to your pool deck by using the forklift as opposed to curbside delivery which could be achieved with a truck that has a liftgate.
If you require long-distance delivery (states outside of Florida), the most cost-effective solution is to have your order delivered to a business location which has a loading dock and a forklift on-premises. Business to business deliveries are more affordable than Business to Residence deliveries. Further, if you can unload yourself as opposed to requiring a truck with a liftgate or a Flatbed with a Forklift (piggyback, Moffett) you can – most of the time – save significant transportation costs as well.
Another option would be to have your order delivered to a close-by truck terminal. Terminals are equipped with loading docks and forklifts and will even store your order for a certain period of time. The drawback is that you’d have to arrange for delivery from the terminal to your residence. If you have an installation crew for your indoor or outdoor project in mind, please consult with them in regards to travertine delivery. A lot of these businesses are willing to accept the delivery of the material. For more information about this subject, please review my travertine delivery guide.
How often does Travertine need to be sealed?
There are no strict guidelines in regards to the sealing of Travertine. It’s a personal preference and depends on various aspects. For example, the quality of the sealer plays an important role. Some sealers include color enhancers, others are water-based. If you are sealing a high traffic area such as a busy floor which is used on a daily basis, the sealer may not last as long as opposed to sealed travertine wall tiles. You can get away with sealing travertine once every couple of years while some areas may require more frequent sealing. Some people don’t to seal at all although. My rule of thumb is as follows. If you splash water on the tile or paver and the stone color becomes significantly more vibrant, it’s probably time for a round of sealing.
Travertine Split Face has a rough surface and usually comes in a free length size in boxes of 5.5 sqf with an assortment of 4 different sizes: 4×4, 4×8, 4×12, 4×16. Free length split face is as thick as a travertine paver and finds it’s the main usage on outdoor walls. Splitface though can be used indoors and outdoors. Some interior designers prefer to apply split face layers in between wall-tiles to create additional contrast. Split face mosaics are available as well in sizes 1×1, 1×2, 2×4, and various different colors such as ivory, noce, gold, silver, scabos, multi-color, etc.
Travertine slabs refer to large pieces of Travertine which are i.e. custom cut with CNC machines to produce countertops. Travertine slabs are usually 2-5 cm (centimeters) thick. The width of a slab is up to 67″, the length of a travertine slab is up to 115″. Travertine slabs are usually exported by the bundle.
Where Does Travertine Come From?
Travertine originally came from Italy but can be found in many locations across the globe. One such place is the United States, but the absence of mines prevents it from being extracted here.
The majority of travertine comes from Turkey, Iran, Peru, Mexico, and Italy. Distributors have it imported to the US where it is used by builders who seek to use it in their building projects for commercial and residential clients.
Sellers of travertine in the United States have locations throughout the nation. The product that they sell, however, is not from quarries in the US.
Other countries import it, which is one of the reasons why it’s sought-after because it is more unique than other materials such as marble and different types of building stones.
Where is Travertine Mined?
Travertine comes from quarries all over the world, including some of the largest quarries in Turkey, Italy, and Mexico. Although there are natural formations of travertine scattered within the United States, there aren’t any travertine quarries that mine travertine in the United States.
In the 1980s, travertine came from only Italy, but now Turkey, Iran, Peru, and Mexico are frequent exporters.
Distributors of travertine in the United States pay close attention to where it is mined so that they can preserve the material’s quality. They’re able to bring more value to their customers that way.
When you shop for travertine, you want to know that it will last a long time, so you’re not stuck replacing your flooring prematurely.
How Much Does Travertine Cost?
Distributors determine the cost of travertine by the square foot. Prices can fluctuate from year to year based on the availability of the limestone. It’s typically $9 to $17 a square foot for pavers.
A large building project can easily cost thousands of dollars to build with travertine. Some of the most historic buildings are made from the travertine because it was readily available at the time, and they had the budget set aside to spend on the expense.
Sometimes, you’ll find it for a reduced price because it’s a smaller amount than many projects require. If you have a smaller project that needs travertine flooring, you can opt to buy the discounted stone and use it. It’s an option that you can consider if it appeals to you.
How Durable is Travertine?
Travertine is very durable, making it an ideal material to use inside and outside a home. It is very sensitive to acidic substances, though. Metal abrasion is also an issue to be wary of. Regular care and maintenance of travertine help it last for years.
Applying a sealant over the top of the stone makes it easier to clean. It’s something that can be done relatively quickly and helps increase the longevity of travertine. It’s a maintenance step that pays off quickly over time.
Sealing it protects it from damage as well as creates a barrier between substances and the stone. Although travertine isn’t difficult to clean if done quickly, it can take a bit more time to get stains out.
It’s also imperative that the stone doesn’t come into contact with acidic substances, so the sealant keeps that from happening.
How to Clean Travertine?
Cleaning travertine is imperative to maintain its longevity. It’s important to clean it regularly to prevent the build-up of dirt, grime, and debris. There are several ways to do just that.
The first involves using a soft cleaning cloth and wiping up spills and other messes that have pooled in one spot. Acidic substances such as orange juice or lemon juice can cause degradation in the travertine which is something that you’ll want to avoid.
Using a soft broom and a vacuum cleaner are effective ways to clean up large amounts of build-up at once. Making it a point to care for your travertine tiles like you would any other type of flooring is imperative. Adopting a cleaning schedule that effectively addresses the tiles is highly suggested.
If a stain has set into the travertine, don’t worry. The porous nature of the stone makes it relatively easy to remove substances. A method known as ‘poulticing’ is among the most effective way to get rid of a set-in stain.
It is similar to creating a poultice for medical reasons. It requires a stain remover solution and a clean rag placed on top of the stain where it can be ‘drawn out.’ It’s one way to prevent your tile from becoming damaged and looking significantly different than the rest of the floor, tiled shower, or deck area.
Travertine vs. Marble and other stones
Travertine is often confused with marble, granite, onyx, limestone, and slate, but the main difference is the formation process of the stone.
Travertine forms when carbonate materials rapidly precipitate, caused by rain, sleet, and snow undergoes extreme heating or cooling caused by weather fluctuations usually at the mouth of a hot spring or limestone cave. Both marble and limestone fall into the category of metamorphic rock and forms under extreme heat and pressure.
Travertine is easily distinguishable from other stones due to the deposits that form in the rock when precipitation from the heat and air erodes the stone underground, which is why it resides in springs, lakes, and valleys. Travertine is also an environmentally friendly alternative to other building materials because it doesn’t go through a rigorous manufacturing process.
Travertine is also distinct from other stones due to the fibrous pores in the stone. The holes in the stone can be filled for a smooth finish or left untouched, giving a rugged and natural look. The pores in the travertine are not only aesthetically appealing but they also quickly absorb water, making travertine a perfect choice for an outdoor area for a pool.
It’s quick to dry and easy to care for. If used indoors, you can clean it quickly. Many people choose travertine because of its natural look and appeal, as well as its durability. In homes with pets and children, having a material that can take a lot of abuse from everyday wear and tear is ideal.
How is Travertine Used Today?
You can find travertine structures all across the United States, such as the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, California, to the natural formations that line the Grand Canyon. Travertine is also becoming a popular choice for home designers, so you may have seen it in homes or office buildings.
Travertine is becoming the preferred building material for the design of the facades of buildings and walls, the linings of pools, outdoor decks, and tiling in showers and tubs. It doesn’t require extensive maintenance or upkeep and can withstand extreme temperatures, making it durable in any weather condition. It looks fantastic and is easy to clean.
It is also a cost-effective solution to other stones – unlike the alternatives, if one of your tiles or the travertine material gets damaged, it’s easy and simple to replace. You’re not stuck replacing an entire section of the flooring to match marble or other comparable stones.
Travertine Designs and Patterns
Travertine comes in several finishes, such as polished, tumbled, brushed, and honed, depending on your preference. Polished and honed travertine is glossy and is smooth to the touch.
A tumbled finish gives travertine a textured look and has a non-slip surface. Smooth finishes are ideal for indoor surfaces, and liners and tumbled travertine pavers make beautiful outdoor columns, decks, and pool areas.
Due to the fluctuations in weather and carbonate materials, travertine comes in an array of natural colors that range in hues and design. Smoothing travertine makes it an excellent choice for indoor shower and tub liners. It resembles other types of stone and doesn’t get moldy like other materials do when exposed to water regularly.
Travertine comes in several different patterns, and its versatile nature also makes it a great choice for pavers, mosaics, tiles, and moldings, depending on your project. Every piece of travertine is different, which is what adds a unique touch to your space. Travertine ranges in size and thickness, consult Texas Travertine for help with your project.
Why Choose Us as Your Travertine Distributor?
Unlike other distributors, Texas Travertine works directly with the quarries to get travertine delivered to you. We supply the highest-grade travertine and guarantee that everything you buy will be of premium quality.
If you’re looking for the best travertine available in the US, you’ve come to the right place.
You’ll find the colors and patterns that you enjoy most for your home improvement project. It doesn’t matter if you’re planning on using the travertine indoors or outdoors because it looks fantastic in either space. You’ll notice a significant difference in the way your property appears to others once you’ve installed travertine flooring.
It just hit mid-July and the summer’s scorching heat is making you retreat to the confines of your air-conditioned living room, but with summer vacation, the kids are desperate to play outside, which is why you keep hearing the phrase “I’m bored.” Sound familiar? At this moment you’re probably putting together a list of responses and dreaming of finally building that swimming pool for the backyard so that the family can once again enjoy the sun and heat that summer so generously provides.
If you’ve finally made the jump to designing the pool for your backyard, travertine is a perfect choice for pool decking, not only for beautiful aesthetics but also for functional reasons that will keep you in the pool area for long hours. You’ll no longer hear the phrase “I’m bored” again because both you and your kids will be pleased with your choice of a travertine designed pool area. Besides our gallery, there are plenty of travertine pool deck photos online to help you with ideas.
Travertine Pool Decking – Pros
There are several pros when it comes to designing your new pool with Travertine pool deck. Read our list and find out if it works for your space.
One of the biggest concerns when it comes to swimming pool surfaces is if it will prohibit children from slipping and falling on a wet surface. The outer surface of your pool is bound to get wet, but with travertine’s porous nature, the water is absorbed making it not slippery.
The holes that are naturally occurring as a part of travertine’s facade easily retain the water that is pushed to the surface while you’re enjoying the pool. The absorption also makes it more difficult for water to remain in puddles or flood the inside of your house. It is also a good choice if you’re in a place with high amounts of rain, the travertine pool deck once again will prohibit any runoff or flooding.
If safety is an important issue for you, a travertine pool deck has you covered. Not only does it prevent slips and falls due to its non-slip surface, but also it is heat resistant.
If you live in an area with temperatures exceeding 85 degrees, have no fear – travertine decking will keep your feet cool. Travertine transfers the cool, low temperatures from the Earth underneath while reflecting the sun’s rays. The movement of cool air allows travertine’s surface remains cool to the touch, which is great when you want to have BBQ’s or play in the pool midday without the worry of people burning the bottoms of their feet.
Not only is travertine good for safety, but it is also well known for being durable and can withstand high heat. It doesn’t matter how high the temperature gets in your city, travertine is naturally made to last. There is sometimes confusion between indoor travertine (or travertine tile) and outdoor travertine (or travertine pavers) but the type of travertine that is used for pool decking is travertine pavers, which are thick and durable.
This is also true in extreme weather conditions such as heavy rain or sleet.
Rocks, spills, shoes, or whatever it may be that you want to move by the pool also won’t damage travertine decking. The durability makes it an easy choice when you want to enjoy your backyard and won’t get ruined when you have parties, bbq, or move patio furniture near the surface.
Travertine Pool Decking – Cons
Travertine drives a hard bargain. It looks nice, won’t get ruined easily, can withstand the heat, is great for safety, and is extremely functional when it comes to design – but there is one drawback for travertine pool decking, and that is that travertine pool decking is its porous nature.
Sealing is an Option
Unfortunately, one of the cons of travertine is, although the pores make it easier to absorb water (which is beneficial during hot summers), this can be a disadvantage if your pool decking is near loose soil, where dirt can get trapped in the pores.
This will reduce the natural beauty of the travertine. Although this may seem problematic, you can keep your travertine decking looking beautiful year-round by sealing it once every 3-5 years.
Sealing travertine is not required, but many installation professionals will seal the stone to ensure their customers enjoy the look of that natural travertine and its pores for years to come.
If you consider that the Roman Coliseum has stood the test of time, and it is made of Travertine, you shouldn’t worry about the material breaking down. Travertine stone is one of the most durable and beautiful applications that a home or business owner could invest in.
If you have any questions about which travertine is right for you, or want more information about the types of travertine for your next swimming pool or other project, feel free to contact a Travertine expert at Texas Travertine: (855) 588-7272.
Texas Travertine sells premium travertine at Wholesale prices to the public.
Call us at 1-855-588-7272 for pricing for your next project. We can ship anywhere and beat any price!
Standing in the midst of what was the epicenter of an empire, the Roman Colosseum, remains an emblem of the legacy of the Roman Empire. Built from the finest travertine mined from areas in central Italy, the Colosseum wouldn’t be the same structure it is if it was constructed with something other than the durable, natural material.
Originally named the Flavian Amphitheater, construction began under Vespasian in AD 7 as a place for wealthy Italian aristocrats to gather to watch dramatic events unfold. Vespasian never made it to the opening of the amphitheater, his son and successor Titus, opened the Colosseum to the public in AD 80.
History of the Colosseum
The Colosseum was the largest amphitheater in the world and could hold between 50,000 to 80,000 spectators, which was impressive during this time period. It was also one of 250 amphitheaters situated around Italy, noting the importance of public events for the Romans.
The Colosseum held several events such as public spectacles, animal hunts, dramas based on Classical mythology, executions, re-enactments of famous battles, and most notoriously for gladiatorial competitions.
Despite withstanding the test of time, the Colosseum was not easy to build. Vespasian gave the order that it was to be constructed on top of a lake, which made planning a more tedious process and required building materials that were resilient to water. It was also a large structure with four stories and 76 arches, allowing for mass audiences to get in and out of the entrances easier.
Notable for its arches and the square designs in its facade, travertine was an ideal material to create beautiful aesthetics and remain functional for a design choice. The travertine was quarried from neighboring Tivoli and sent back to Rome for construction. The Romans built a special road designed to transport the travertine from Tivoli straight to Rome for construction.
Travertine and the Colosseum
Travertine was used for the main pillars, ground floor, and external wall. Travertine slabs were also paved in the area surrounding the Colosseum to support the outer realm of the building. The seats inside were also designed with travertine, although it is no longer exists in the modern structure. The remaining areas were constructed with a mixture of concrete, which was a new invention in this era and helped make building the structure easier.
The outer wall is estimated to have required over 100,000 cubic meters of travertine stones. Unlike traditional travertine, set in mortar or plaster, the Colosseum was held together with 300 tons of iron clamps. This made the structure susceptible to damage during extreme weather conditions; earthquakes, for example, caused significant damage to the outer wall.
Gilded bronze shields line the exterior of the Colosseum. The Romans etched markings in the travertine for a unique and original touch.
Travertine in Today’s Building Projects
Although your next project may not reach the same heights and require the help of hundreds of Romans, travertine building material is a viable option to express individual tastes and fulfill the design requirements you may have for your next project. If you want your project to last as long as the Roman marvel, travertine is an easy choice for the job, because it is durable and doesn’t require a lot of maintenance.
Travertine can also be constructed in a myriad of ways, similar to the Roman arches. Although it is typically cut into squares and rectangles to form travertine pavers and tiles, you can deviate from the original cuts to form your own patterns. Travertine is also an easy material to form columns and poles. The sturdy nature of the stone allows it to remain intact without losing its appealing aesthetics.
If you want a project that lasts as long as the Roman Colosseum with all the beauty, travertine should be your first option.
Travertine comes in many different patterns, thickness and cuts, sizes, and variations depending on your next project.
Choosing the right type of style of travertine from pavers to tiles, split face or standard mosaics, and moldings and copings are important for the functionality of your project, but travertine pavers are a great choice for any outdoor needs you may have.
Travertine Pavers vs. Tiles
Travertine pavers are durable, long-lasting, can withstand fluctuating weather conditions, and its porous nature – which easily absorbs water – makes travertine’s surface cool to touch. These characteristics make pavers the most popular choice of travertine for walkways, driveways, areas surrounding pools, decks, and patios.
They are a cost-effective solution to expensive alternatives and have the benefit of being environmentally friendly and won’t lose their original color.
Travertine Pavers are also distinct from travertine tiles due to the thickness of the material, which ranges from 1 1/4 – 2″ inches thick and are cut into blocks. Pavers are usually rough to the touch and have chiseled edges, unlike tiles, which have a smooth finish.
Pavers are likely to be installed on top of sand and gravel and mortared (a mixture of cement, water, and sand laid beneath the stone) on mud due to the thickness of the material.
Most popular designs of Travertine Pavers
Travertine pavers can be arranged in any formation and cut in a distinct pattern based on your needs. They can be finished in three ways: tumbled, honed, and polished.
A tumbled finish is designed to look “worn in” or rustic, so the travertine is tumbled to provide more texture. This process can take 3-5 weeks and requires the travertine to be coated with rubber or plastic barrel with grit and water. The holes in the travertine can be filled or unfilled depending on the look you want to achieve.
A honed finish appears glossy and has a matte or sheen look with a smooth texture. In order to achieve a honed finish, the travertine is ground on one side. Travertine with honed finishes are the most common in the United States are frequently used in bathrooms and outdoor patios.
A polished finish requires filling the holes in the travertine. Similar to the honed finish, the travertine is sleek and smooth to touch.
Noce and silver travertine pavers are the most popular variations and colors of travertine pavers. Noce pavers consist of earth tones that vary between deep browns, yellows,
and red coloring. Noce pavers are a great way to make your space more vibrant and sunny. Silver pavers usually consist of darker hues of grey and white and have speckles of black coloring within them, adding a unique touch to any design.
Travertine Pavers vs. Concrete Pavers
When weighing the options for planning the design of outdoor spaces, people typically go back and forth between travertine and concrete pavers. Travertine pavers can typically only be cut into squares or triangles, but the characteristics and unique appearance make it a much aesthetically appealing choice.
Although builders may try to replicate travertine pavers’ natural appearance, concrete pavers simply won’t achieve the same look because it is man-made and not all natural like travertine. Concrete pavers also come in pieces, 2 ⅜” thick, and require more finishing to achieve the same texture as travertine.
The surface temperature is also a big factor when deciding whether to buy concrete or travertine pavers. Travertine is usually 20% -30% cooler than its concrete counterpart, once again due to its porous nature. This fits in well with safety requirements and won’t be a cause for concern during hot summers. Travertine pavers within pools are also non-slip and can be sealed to prevent mold and deterioration.
Concrete pavers are not protected during extreme weather conditions and are likely to crack in freezing conditions. Also, rain, sleet, and snow can cause the color to fade, so this will require re-staining every 2 years. Travertine’s colors are naturally derived from the Earth, so there will be no need to stain the surface.
Travertine pavers also don’t require lengthy installation times and is a stronger material than concrete pavers. To get a better idea about how much a travertine install might cost in your area, you can check the typical cost considerations over at Home Advisor.
There are many great advantages of using travertine pavers for your next project. But if you have any questions at all, please feel free to give the experts a call at Texas Travertine: (855) 588-7272.
Dug from large quarries in Turkey, shipped to the United States on a cargo ship, driven to our warehouse for distribution, then delivered across the country (well, depending on your location) by truck to you – stone distributors in the United States don’t have travertine on hand and it travels a long way to arrive at your doorstep. Here’s how we get travertine directly to your location, so you can get started on your project right away.
Our Direct Travertine Source
Wondering where Texas Travertine gets its high quality travertine that comes in an assortment of colors and is found in very few places in the United States? At Texas Travertine we are the single largest producer of travertine in the United States and with 13 of our own quarries in Denizli, Turkey we don’t require a middleman, unlike other distribution companies.
Texas Travertine only sells Turkish travertine because compared to other places in the world, such as Peru, Mexico, and Italy – Turkish travertine is more abundant, dense, the highest quality, and has the most expansive range of colors in the world.
Travertine is located underground and is dug from one of our 13 quarries and then delivered to our 3 factories for distribution within the United States. Travertine has to travel a long way to get to you because there is a very small amount of domestic travertine and it is not as dense, which is less ideal for building or a remodel.
Turkish Travertine availability
As the only one of the five sellers in the United States, we want it to be easy for you to get high quality travertine at a low price and with no minimum or maximum amount you are required to buy, so that your project turns out perfect.
We get a shipment of Turkish travertine delivered to our warehouse in Houston, Texas once daily. We don’t waste time once the travertine is dug from our quarries. It is briefly stored in our factory and then shipped directly in a cargo container to the Port of Houston.
You shouldn’t be required to wait months to get started on your project, which is why we have a significant amount of travertine stored in our warehouse. All of our travertine is ready for delivery as soon as you want with no limits on how little or how much you can buy. Bulk orders do require some wait time, which is as little as six weeks; custom orders are about 10-12 weeks.
With our roots in Turkey, we continue to maintain a strong relationship with our factories and quarries there so we can continue to keep prices low and the quality high.
Texas Travertine’s mission is to empower our visitors to make an informed decision when purchasing travertine products. To achieve this mission we regularly supply value adding content to further educate about travertine. As the popularity of travertine has grown the industry has seen wider range in quality of travertine products. Some companies have preyed on the vulnerability of less versed customers and have overpriced and mis-marketed the quality of their stone.
Before becoming a go-to flooring option travertine begins as a limestone mineral that is usually deposited by hot springs. A natural phenomenon a rapid precipitation causes much of the coloring of the stone. As owners of over 13 quarries where this occurs our team is able to hand select the finest stones to fabricate and create a final product with unmatched precision.
These products ultimately become travertine tiles, mosaic, split face, pavers, and copings. In addition to the aesthetic beauty travertine has become a go to product for many of it functional capabilities as well. As a pavement it provides a unique slip-resistant grip. This along with its heat resistance has made travertine a favorite for outdoor and particularly pool sidings, pavers and copings.
Trying to decide on French pattern, Versailles, or Ashlar travertine tiles and pavers – well, the choice may be easier than you think.
If you’ve been scouring the stone market in search for the perfect travertine tile or paver but can’t decide on a particular pattern you like, the choice may be easier than you think. Although the names are different, French, Versailles, and Ashlar pattern are all pre-assigned patterns of travertine with the same dimensions, size, and layout.
These patterns are compromised of a 12-piece set that covers an area of 16 sq. ft. The patterns are pre-assigned with a combination of four pieces of 8” × 8” and 16” × 16” and two pieces of 8” × 16” and 16” × 24”. Patterns are distinguished by colors gradients. Despite the name difference, there is little difference in the pattern. For instance, the name “French pattern” is mainly used in the South, especially in Texas, Oklahoma, and Florida. In the east coast, the term “Ashlar pattern” is coined to represent this combination of travertine. West coast distributors have opted out of using Ashlar or French and call it “Versailles pattern”.
In the stone market, distributors and sellers are notorious for not naming things uniformly across the industry. This is why you may have a “coffee” colored travertine paver you like in French pattern but another distributor may have a “cappuccino” colored paver in Ashlar pattern – despite them being exactly the same. It’s important not to be swayed by the names of the travertine pavers and tiles and focus on the color and pattern you want instead. You may start to feel frustrated when you reference “mocha” pavers in Versailles pattern and the seller you’ve chosen doesn’t have it, although they may but with an entirely different name.
Tips: Focus on colors and patterns, not so much on names. If you attend stone outlets or markets, take pictures of the color you like or specific styles so that you can show the seller later without confusion. Don’t get frustrated if you’re not finding exactly what you want, chances are that they have what you’re looking for.
At Texas Travertine all of our products come in a French pattern or in 6×6, 6×12, 12×12, or 12×24, 16×16, 16×24, 24×24 size pieces. Review our product listing to find the color and style you want. Feel free to send us an email or call about any inquiries you may have.
Finding the right color of travertine or any stone can be a daunting process due to the range of color gradients and industry names that frequently change based on the distributor, but with knowledge of what to look for in your next stone can help eliminate the unnecessary stress.
It may have taken weeks and many searches online, but when you finally decided to make the commitment to buy the “Alaskan Silver” color of travertine pavers for your outdoor project and your distributor only had “Silver” or “Shell Stone”, you felt a sting of frustration – a problem we hear too often from our clients. The good news is, despite the myriad of hues and their given names, a lot of names are decided by the distributor, even though the patterns or stones may be the same. Finding the right material for your next project is extremely important, but color can help express individual tastes, preferences, and really set your project apart from others. The color of travertine is made naturally and cannot be manufactured or replicated, which is why each groove and color in a travertine tile or paver is truly unique.
How Travertine Gets its Color
Travertine is a form of pure calcium carbonate and releases carbon dioxide once its heated, which is why its commonly found in warmer regions where there are a lot of precipitation, or in colder climates where there is a presence of hot springs. Travertine gets it color naturally once it’s exposed to extreme temperatures.
Travertine becomes white, red, yellow, orange, and brown once the carbonate material aragonite is activated through extremely warm temperatures and precipitation. Travertine gets the gray, white, and yellow, and sometimes green color from calcite, which is released in cooler temperatures where hot springs occur.
Due to the formation of travertine, all of the tiles and pavers come in pre-assigned patterns. Travertine is arranged based on the size of the pieces and are put together in a consistent way so that your project looks natural. You won’t have to worry about piecing together each tile, paver, or mosaic – that is already determined and it is guaranteed to match.
In order to avoid backing out on your design because you can’t find the pattern with the exact name, here are some tips to help you navigate the warehouses or online travertine stores. Next time you are trying to find the perfect color for your project, avoid looking at names and focus on the patterns or colors that make your project pop. Take pictures or get samples of the travertine you like, so you can keep in mind what you’re looking for. Consult a professional at Texas Travertine so that we can help closely match, if not get the exact color you want. Remember not to get frustrated if you can’t find travertine matching with the same name, usually the names range even though the travertine is the same! Visit Texas Travertine so we can help find a match that’s right for you.
Designing your next indoor or outdoor project but don’t know what type of stone to use? Here are 5 benefits for using travertine materials, so that you can get the design, style, and look you want without the worry.
Your project is important, and you want everything to be perfect so you can enjoy your new space, but picking the right material may be a long, frustrating process. Although some stones may be referenced more frequently when you’re doing design research, travertine is one of the best stones to use compared to the alternatives.
Here are some benefits:
Travertine is Durable
Travertine materials are extremely durable and long-lasting, check out the Colisseum in Rome if you don’t believe us! The architectural wonder was built out of travertine and has managed to withstand seasonal changes and the test of time.
The durability of travertine makes it a better solution for outdoor projects, especially in places where the weather is constantly changing and temperatures are extreme.
When designing an outdoor or indoor space, you want people to feel comfortable moving or placing things without damaging or scratching the stone – with travertine you won’t have to monitor these activities, your stone will withstand damaged. When you use travertine you rarely have to change or replace travertine tiles or pavers, there’s not a lot of wear and tear.
Travertine is Safe
Watching your kids playing around the pool may have led you to yell from the kitchen window, “don’t run around the pool” to try to prevent a dangerous slip, but most of the time kids don’t heed our safety advice. But instead of getting in a screaming match trying to avoid a trip to the ER, purchase travertine for your pool design.
Travertine is the safest option when it comes to choosing a lining or flooring in the area surrounding your pool. Travertine is not slippery because the porous nature of the stone absorbs the water, making it the safest option for your pool project.
Installing a pool in your backyard as a way to find some relief from the scorching summer heat? Don’t forget to get travertine tiles and pavers as a way to protect your feet. Travertine reflects heat unlike other materials and the nature of the stone allows for it to absorb cooler temperatures from the Earth below. Travertine is also resistant from freezing temperatures, so it won’t be slippery or difficult to walk on during snow season.
Travertine is Affordable
Remember the granite craze? When builders and homeowners were desperate to build countertops with granite – well, what a lot of people don’t know is that travertine is a much more affordable option and has the same glossy look compared to other stones. Travertine, which can have a matte or smooth finish, is ideal for any indoor project.
Stones like granite, marble, and limestone may be more of a household name than travertine, but installing travertine in your project is a much more cost-effective solution and you won’t have to compromise on the beauty of the design.
Travertine is Easy to Maintain
Although travertine is known for its durability, you may encounter a problem and need a tile replaced. For some stones that is an exhausting and a dramatic process, but not for travertine! Installing or replacing travertine materials is a quick and easy process, that won’t be costly.
Travertine is also incredibly easy to clean. Depending on the style of travertine you use, hone-finish or polished-finish, you can use regular cleaning products to get out stains or simply clean the surface.With a little bit of maintenance, travertine retains its natural color and shine, making it ideal for years to come!
Travertine is Versatile
Have a vision of what you want, but don’t know if you can pattern the stone to get exactly what you dreamt of? Well, with travertine, pieces can be cut or shaped in any pattern of design so you can get exactly what you want.
Also, the various finishes, colors, and styles of travertine allows for several different options when designing your project. Travertine can be used for walls to linings, ceilings to walkways, the inside of bathrooms to the inside of pools – the uses are endless.
The range of styles, cuts, and patterns makes travertine the easiest choice when it comes to picking your stone. Its uses are endless and it can be used for a range of building uses. Don’t limit travertine to just your bathroom or pool, it can even be used for the façade of your house or the structure inside.
Travertine Pavers have detonated in ubiquity as a deck and finishing choice. The regular stone include a rich profundity and layer to any extend. Travertine pavers are particularly helpful in pool and porches. In light of its cool temperature it won’t overheat on hot days when the sun is out. This is particularly valuable in Houston in light of the fact that commonly individuals around a pool will walk shoeless.
This normal protection can keep the consuming of benefactors strolling around the pool right now. Travertine Pavers ingest water which is vigorously advantageous in amid rain seasons. Moreover the stone oppose solidifying and defrost conditions.
This makes it a standout amongst the most tough choices accessible. Pavers can hold their shading all through every climate condition. Concrete is frequently defenseless against staining once the sun and different conditions start affecting it after establishment. Travertine has a broadened life time far more prominent then different stones. It can keep going for over a century, so the likelihood of you replacing it are thin.
Support and upkeep of travertine pavers in negligible, a discretionary yearly sealant will be sufficient to guarantee a durable paver. Outwardly travertine pavers give a large group of choices we offer 16 sorts of pavers. Our shading choices extend from exemplary light to walnut. Clients appreciate this range and adaptability that different stones don’t offer. Travertine Pavers have huge resale esteem also, in the event that you are ever to put your home available purchasers tend to esteem travertine pavers all the more at that point concrete.
Over all travertine pavers are the best all around choice for porch or pool decks. There are different alternatives that can give you an extraordinary looking pool deck yet none with the general accumulation of advantages as travertine pavers. It’s sheltered, water protection, tough and esteem adding to any home.