Travertine is formed by subterranean springs, underground rivers and other water sources which carry mineral elements that build up over long periods of time. When water with a high content of carbon dioxide seeps through limestone, the limestone will eventually dissolve leading to the release of a gas. This process will result in re-crystallisation and the forming of algae, moss and other mineral debris. The result is a rock often full of cavities with varying degrees of purity. The purest Travertine is white but due to impurities is mostly yellowy brown. Extremely porous Travertine is known as Calcareous Tuff.
Travertine was first discovered in Tivoli in the Lazio region of Italy and hence the name Travertine evolved from the Latin name for Tivoli stone which changed over the centuries to become Travertine.
Travertine takes thousands of years to evolve and is found around natural water sources such as lakes and valleys and was used widely during the middle-ages as an important building material.
Travertine was in great demand in the construction industry throughout Italy, Turkey and Greece and has been used in many famous buildings including The Getty Centre in California, the Colosseum in Rome and the Sacre Coeur in Paris to name but a few. All of this travertine was mined and imported from Tivoli. Travertine is now more widely imported with the UK using this versatile stone extensively as a flooring material.
The unique qualities of Travertine make this an ideal material for floors and walls enhancing any dÃƒÂ©cor from rustic to contemporary with a vast range of different colours, textures and finishes. From the tumbled rustic unfilled to the honed glass-like finish of the vein cut there is a Travertine to suit everyone.
Due to its formation, Travertine has natural formed pitted holes which are either filled or left open in the factory depending of preference:
Honed Travertine Tiles
Honed travertine tiles will usually have their holes filled with an epoxy resin at the factory. This gives the stone a smooth, flat appearance with clean, even edges.
Tumbled Travertine Tiles
Tumbled travertine tile is used where a more rustic or natural look is desired. The “tumbled” finish gives a tile that has a worn face and edges, chipped corners and visible fissures. Tumbled travertine is frequently left un-filled, meaning that its holes are intact. These holes should be filled with grout during the installation process. This protects the tile from filling up with debris and helps the stone to maintain its structural integrity.
The tiles are usually cut across the vein which enhances their natural colour and are suitable for use in kitchens and bathrooms and also with under-floor heating.