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Travertine is a type of limestone that has been used for centuries in building materials. It was popularized by the Romans, who were known to use travertine in most of their buildings. Today, travertine flooring is an attractive option for many homeowners looking to beautify their homes with this classic material. The following article discusses the advantages and disadvantages of travertine flooring so you can decide if it’s right for your home!

Travertine Is a Natural Stone, Meaning It’s Environmentally Friendly

Travertine Flooring

Travertine is a natural stone that combines silica, calcium, and magnesium. It has been around in nature for millions of years and is environmentally friendly because it does not take up any heavy metals from its surroundings nor produce any toxic byproducts during production.

The use of limestone in buildings stretches back to ancient Rome when they would use Aqua Traiana, a very pure water source to create the smooth white-colored marble stones. 

Travertine Is a Porous Material, Which Means It Will Need to Be Sealed

It’s important to seal your travertine with a quality sealant after installation, but the frequency of application depends on what you use. A different product will be necessary for mildew resistance than what is needed if staining has already occurred. How often seals need to be reapplied really depends on how often your travertine is exposed to moisture and cleaning products.

Travertine Is Durable and Lasts for Decades with Proper Care 

Travertine Flooring

Travertine is durable and can last for decades. For the most part, this durability is due to the stone’s high surface hardness which makes it resistant to scratching and scrubbing. It should be noted that most normal wear-and-tear happens on surfaces, not on edges or corners where they are most vulnerable.

There are two kinds of problems with travertine stone – lack of maintenance (leading to staining buildup) or mutilation by aggressive cleaning methods (which remove the original patina). 

If You Have Pets, Travertine May Not Be the Best Option Because of Its High Maintenance

In general, it is not recommendable to have travertine floors in a home with pets because debris from their paws needs more frequent cleaning, and a sealer that penetrates stains can be necessary for hard-water issues. Travertine counters work well but require some care—especially when pets are active around food preparation surfaces. 

Travertine Can’t Be Used in Outdoor Applications Because It Will Get Damaged from Weather and Sun Exposure

Travertine Flooring

Travertine can tolerate weather and sunshine, but like any stone, it will eventually get damaged and need to be replaced. It’s especially susceptible to freeze-thaw cycles that can create hairline cracks within the stone, which easily widen into larger fractures with time if not properly cared for.

The other place you should avoid using travertine is in your garden or on your back patio because it doesn’t hold up well outside under constant moisture conditions. 

Travertine Flooring Is Very Heavy So Installation Costs More Than Other Types of Floors

It’s true that travertine flooring is heavy (more than 400 pounds per square foot). The installation costs are high because the product must be thick to hold up its own weight, and even then it can break. Travertine flooring also requires more material screws, guards against movement of the slabs, and needs a 1-inch expansion room during installation. 

The Color Variation in Travertine Makes Each Tile Unique and Beautiful

The natural colors range from white with grey veining to rusty red with white veins, and light brownish tones with cream, beige or orange tones. A single tile can contain layer upon layer of pastel colors as well as various patterns like stripes and vein work too.

Vein patterns range from horizontal striations to vertical stripes that look almost explosive – resulting in a stunningly varied “patchwork” look which is difficult to replicate without going through a lengthy quarrying process.