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October 5, 2011

A Quick Look At: Travertine

Lexington Travertine BacksplashTravertine is sometimes called travertine marble or travertine limestone, but it is technically classified as limestone. It is made from deposits of mineral springs, particularly hot springs. In the United States, Yellowstone National Park is the most well-known area for travertine formation. Travertine falls and formations can also be found in Oklahoma and Texas.

Travertine has been used hundreds of years as architectural building materials. The Roman Colosseum is the largest building in the world constructed primarily of travertine. More modern applications include the lobby walls of the Sears tower in Chicago, IL, and the thick travertine walls of the UCLA Medical Center first floor.

Most of the travertine used for archetecture or flooring and patios is imported from areas like Italy, Mexico, or Turkey. There are a few small producers in the United States.

Since it is a natural product, travertine can vary in color from ivory to brown to gold. The stone’s softness combined with natural holes and troughs make it a particularly difficult material to install and finish.

Travertine can have a shiny or a matte surface. It can look flat and textured or flat and smooth, depending on whether the travertine is honed, polished, brushed or tumbled. Consulting with your installer is important before choosing travertine as it can react with certain substances like wine or coffee.

Travertine is most commonly used on floors and countertops, but it can also be used in showers, on patios, and in backsplashes.

Lighthouse Tile Design can install travertine as well as other natural stone tiles. Please contact us to find out how we can work with you for the best use of travertine in your installation.

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