Travertine is the second most popular stone used as a building and finishing material after marble. But the second place doesn’t mean that travertine is inferior to marble in either practical or decorative characteristics. All the more so because travertine is actually marble, but young and “non-ripened”.
Travertine represents a transitional phase between limestone and marble, and thereby combines the key features of both. To turn into travertine limestone has to experience great load during several thousand years. Likewise peat is transformed into coal over time. And if travertine is kept pressurized for a few thousand years more, it turns into marble – like coal becomes diamonds.
Traditionally travertine is formed in caves as a result of deposition of calcium carbonate in underground water. This process forms amazing fanciful shapes – stalactites and stalagmites.
One of the most spectacular travertine deposits is registered in Pamukkale, Turkey, where you can find marvelous travertine terraces with hot springs.
Characteristics and advantages of travertine
Travertine is a wonderful nature’s gift. Its color range is enormous – from white to dark brown and even scarlet red. The color of the final material depends on multiple factors: temperature, age of the stone, natural impacts and entering of various particles – sand, silt, dead plants and animals. Moreover, travertine color is apt to changes after extraction: pale hues become significantly brighter due to oxidation of iron salts.
If you had your heart set upon using natural stone in interior or exterior design, a vast diversity of colors and patterns travertine offers will surely let you choose the right option. And you will make sure that your home is decorated with a one-of-a-kind finish of natural origin.
As a finishing material, travertine combines all advantages of natural stone: solidity, durability and environmental sustainability. It wouldn’t burn, go rusty or rot. And thanks to porous structure it has low density. Due to these features it is more light-weight and has higher thermal performance and soundproof characteristics than marble.
Besides, travertine is frost resistant, which makes it possible to use it in external facing of buildings in northern regions. And soaked in a water-repellent solution, this porous stone becomes waterproof, which enhances its potential application in exterior and landscape design.
As flooring material, travertine is a credible alternative to marble and even granite. Travertine is resistant to friction and can easily handle high traffic. That’s why it’s so commonly used in paving embankments and walkways.
One more benefit of this stone is that it’s easily processed: it can be polished without any difficulty and sawn with a common circular saw. This makes it possible to produce tiles and other travertine products with high geometrical accuracy and create seamless patterns.
As for care aspects, travertine is as easy to care of as marble: initial coating with self polishing wax and buffing compound will protect it from any harmful impacts for many years ahead.