Here’s the truth: not all natural stones are created equal. Some stain without a sealer, some etch and scratch, while others hold up over time with little to no maintenance. When choosing a material for your home project, we know the possibilities are overwhelming. Not only do you have to think about your daily lifestyle (Do you hate scratches or will you enjoy an aged look? Do you have kids that are prone to sticky fingers and spilled drinks?), but you also can choose from hundreds of colors, patterns, and textures.
Through our countertop maintenance series, we have talked you through caring for materials such as marble and granite, and weighed the pros and cons of a variety of surfaces for your home. Today, we are jumping into one of the oldest building materials on Earth – Travertine!
Travertine is a type of limestone that has been used for construction throughout history. Some of the oldest iconic buildings – think the Colosseum in Rome, the Basilique du Sacre Coeur in Paris, and the ancient theater of Hierapolis in Turkey – were constructed using versions of travertine. Today, travertine is used for much more than just construction of buildings. From polished floors and tiled walls to kitchen backsplashes and an outdoor space, you will be surprised just how many ways travertine can be used in your home.
Tumbled, honed, brushed or polished – it doesn’t really matter when it comes to Travertine, because no matter what you choose, you’ll fall in love with the classic pattern and earthly tones of this ancient stone.
Here are five versatile ways to install this timeless and beautiful stone in your home!
Transform your bathroom from ordinary to extraordinary with travertine tiles. We recommend choosing a tumble-finish (antique appearance) or a hone-finish (matte appearance) on a bathroom countertop or floor because these finishes can withstand spills that often occur in a bathroom (think makeup spills, hairspray and beauty product residue). But your options don’t stop there! You can use travertine tiles in your shower as well!
Bring out the drama in your living space (or even an outdoor patio) by adding a floor to ceiling travertine fireplace. Not only will it add charm to a rustic space and a contemporary centerpiece to an airy home, but an addition like this will have your house guests swooning. And you’re able to choose from an array of different finishes, textures, and colors to fit your home’s aesthetic!
Want to make a statement in the interior of your home? Use travertine as an accent piece! From a sleek coffee table to a killer dining room table, travertine instantly demands attention in traditional and modern homes alike!
Travertine pavers are perfect for outdoor use! Not only can the material withstand weathering and erosion, but it also stays cool to the touch and has a non-slip surface, making it ideal for around the pool or on a patio. Travertine pavers also require little to no maintenance, so you can go ahead and design an outdoor space of your dreams – it’ll stay looking great for years to come!
If there is one room where you should pull out all the stops, it should be in the kitchen! While many would advise using granite countertops (travertine is particularly sensitive to acidic liquids and is susceptible to staining and etching!), there are many ways to keep it looking great. Just like any natural stone, travertine does require a sealer to keep liquids from seeping into its pores. If you prefer to stick with a low-maintenance stone, opt for a one-of-a-kind travertine backsplash or install a unique pattern above the stove!
Travertine care and maintenance:
Travertine can be left in its natural state with no polishing. However, it is prone to etching and stains if untreated. To avoid etching and stains by acids, travertine should be cleaned regularly with neutral or alkaline-based cleaner. Travertine should also be protected with a penetrating sealer to prevent staining and reduce soiling. Also, be sure to be proactive and take precautions to protect your surfaces. You can read the DO’s and DON’Ts of countertop maintenance here!
For more information about choosing a material for your home, you can visit our countertop comparison guideline, where we break down different options and materials you can use in your home.