Travertine is a natural stone such as Marble, Granite, Onyx, Limestone, Slate falling somewhere between marble and limestone. However Travertine is not the same as Marble or Limestone which falls in the metamorphic rock category The key difference between Travertine and other natural stones lies in the formation of the rock, the hardness of the stone and the appearance . Key characteristics of Travertine stone are the pores within the stone , which are result of gases escaping as the travertine is formed . Commonly extracted from Ital and Turkey, Travertine tile is a popular choice for architect and interior designers by its antique unique veins and rich color-range ,textures and sizes and used as floor and wall tile in both residential and commercial projects.
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 a beautiful floor.
Travertine is removed from the earth in large blocks before it is cut into what can be recognized as travertine tile. It may be cut in any of the following ways:
• Cross-cut – The travertine is cut with the grain of the stone bedding and on the same layer as it is formed in the earth. This makes for a more uniform texture and color
• Vein cut – the travertine is cut across several layers of the stone bedding, making for a more mottled, tiger-stripe effect when cut into tiles
After the travertine is quarried, it is strictly selected for color variances, and further assessed after it is cut for holes and chipped edges. Beyond the selection process, the travertine may be subject to any of the following processes
• Honed – the surface of the tile is sanded to create a matte finish
• Tumbled – the travertine is literally tumbled with gravel and bearings, giving it a rough-hewn, aged appearance
• Brushed – a wire brush is used to give the surface of the travertine tile a worn, textured surface
• Filled – The pores in the travertine tile are filled with colored resin or cement to produce a pristine, solid surface.
• Polished – the travertine is sanded and polished, producing a shiny look