What is Travertine?
Travertine is a form of Limestone which is a naturally occurring Sedimentary Rock. It is slowly formed by deposits of Calcium Carbonate in bodies of water, i.e. lakes or particularly in hot springs. Travertine stone often contains organic materials such as leaves and tree debris, which rots away and leaves small voids behind.
What are the characteristics of Travertine?
Travertine is one of Tile Giant’s most popular natural stones ranges, and for many reasons! With an array of warm earthy colours to choose from, including; Cream, Ivory and White, we have a wide range to match your chosen colour scheme.
Small voids are formed in the stone which are caused by decaying organic matter, leaving a beautiful natural texture. These are usually filled on the front and not the back of the tile with a high grade epoxy resin.
Travertine is a very affordable natural stone, yet like all stone, Travertine is naturally porous so requires sealing for maximum protection and longevity. This is essential for both Commercial and Premium grades that are available for different uses.
Types of Stone Finishes
Travertine tiles are available in a range of different finishes, so that you can choose the best style to suit your room and personal preference. Whether you’re looking for a rustic aesthetic, or a high shine deluxe finish, these should be considered in relation to the feel you are looking to achieve within your space.
Honed and filled tiles are tiles where the surface has been filled and sanded to a soft and flat finish.
Tumbled finish tiles have been tumbled in a machine, which rounds off the edges; this is a great finish if you are trying to achieve a rustic style.
A chiseled finish is similar to tumbled, but it also gives the effect that the edges have been chiseled off for a natural and rugged feel.
A polished finish is a really popular choice; where the surface has been mechanically polished to give it a flat and shiny surface. If you’re aiming to get a grand and lavish feel in a room, then a polished finish tile would fit perfectly.
You can find the finish that suits your personal style most by taking a look at all of the available finishes in our dedicated area for Travertine Tiles.
Using Travertine Tiles in Your Home
As Travertine is a naturally occurring stone, it has huge versatility and is particularly known for its use in building; it has been used in building since Roman times! The Romans used Travertine to build strong structures such as bath complexes and amphitheatres such as the Colosseum; showing the strength and durability of this natural stone.
Our selection of Travertine tiles range in colours, from grey to tan, and in a multitude of sizes; all with unique features to be used across your home, to add a warm and cosy feel to your chosen room.
With a rustic and worn appearance with its natural veining, Travertine adds a rustic sophistication with its earthy tones, to any traditional or country style room. We love our Classic Kremna Honed & Filled Travertine Floor Tiles against neutral cupboard doors and furniture in a kitchen area for a classic look.
The high shine finish is also typical of a hotel-look, which is popular in bathrooms and adds prestige to any home.
In a kitchen area, experiment with a mosaic style splash back for a weathered-look backdrop to a neutral tone kitchen area; making your space truly unique! Especially as with being a natural stone, no pattern or veining effect is the same on any two tiles!
Be aware though, as Travertine are a natural stone, this means that they may mark and scuff easily, so we recommend using a sealant like LTP Mattstone Sealer to preserve your tiles, and prevent stains and marks as a result of wear and tear on the tiles.
Fixing of Travertine Tiles
How to prepare Travertine Tiles
Travertine firstly be laid dry, mixing up tiles from different packs/crates to ensure an acceptable shade blend, as shade variation is inherent in all natural stone.
Before fixing and grouting, we highly recommend that Travertine is thoroughly cleaned to remove any dirt and grime using LTP Grimex, then allowed to thoroughly dry.
Once the tiles have dried, they should then be sealed. This helps to prevent adhesive and grout from staining the surface of the tiles.
Either LTP Mattstone or LTP Colour Intensifier are ideal for sealing Travertine. For Polished Travertine, we recommend LTP MPG.
Fixing Travertine Tiles
Adhesive and the way it is used is a very important stage during the fixing of Natural Stone.
Firstly, we would always recommend using a White Adhesive, like Keraquick White, when fixing Natural Stone. This is to prevent any staining or dark shadowing from the back of the tile that could occur if grey adhesive is used.
When choosing adhesive, something else to bare in mind is the substrate that you wish to tile on. Please contact customer service or speak to one of our expert staff in store for more information.
Another important aspect when fitting Travertine Tiles are the small voids that naturally appear in the tile. These voids are formed as organic matter decays in the stone leaving the holes and are weak points in the tile that need to be backfilled to reinforce the strength of the tile.
The way we fill these small voids is known as ‘back buttering’. This means filling the small voids with adhesive by applying a thin layer of adhesive onto the back of the tile, using the flat edge of a trowel.
Now that the tiles are installed we need to consider grouting. It is recommended that only light coloured grouts are used with Travertine. This is to prevent staining on the surface of the tile and any bleeding of the grout into the edge of the tiles when grouted.
Ultracolour is ideal for grouting Travertine tiles. It is important that you clean off the excess grout as you go, so that it does not have time to dry onto the surface and cause any marks on the tile surface.
Now that your tiles are fully grouted, we need to do a final clean and seal to bring the tiles to a wonderful finish.
The tiles should be cleaned with LTP Grimex and sealed again with the sealer used during the first seal (LTP Grimex, LTP Mattstone or LTP MPG). This will provide the final seal for the stone.
To keep your Travertine tiles looking like new, we need to think about how to look after your tiles correctly.
LTP Waxwash is a gentle cleaner, which is PH neutral, which can be used regularly to help protect your new tiles. It is really important that the correct maintenance products are used, as many “off the shelf” cleaners have a high acid content, which can attack the surface of the tiles.
As we have found out, the surface of Travertine is often filled with an epoxy resin. During the first 12-18 months it is not uncommon for these small voids to ‘pop’ out or collapse. This does not mean that the stone is faulty but is part of the wearing cycle of the stone. These can easily be repaired using Mapei Kerapoxy Jasmine.
Please contact customer service or speak to one of our expert staff in store for more information on caring for the tiles you have chosen to use.
Things to consider
Although personal taste and style is obviously a huge factor when choosing your Natural Stone tiles, there are also some other areas below which should be considered.
A very important consideration when tiling on walls is the weight of the tiles, as Travertine tiles are heavier than a ceramic tile.
Listed below are some popular substrates and what they can hold. Also bare in mind that the weight of the adhesive will add approx 2-3kg per sq metre.
- Gypsum Plaster - Max 20kg/m²
- Gypsum Plasterboard - Max 32kg/m²
- Gypsum Fibre Boards - Max 40kg/m²
- Plywood (WBP) - 30kg/m²
- Tile Backer Board (No More Ply) - 40kg/m²
- Glass reinforcement cement sheets (Aquapanel) - max 50kg/m²
Share your photos with us on Twitter or Instagram to be featured, using #TileGiant
We would love to see your newly installed Travertine Tiles, so please tag us in your photos on social media! Alternatively, head over to our YouTube channel to browse our how-to videos, or contact our team for further expert advice.