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Travertine Tile

A type of limestone characterized by its formation by mineral springs, travertine has been appreciated for its natural colors and used in construction for thousands of years. But there’s more to travertine than meets the eye. Travertine tiles are available in shades from warm brown to silvery grey to black, assorted mosaics and unique shapes and finishes that wow in any space.

Shower with grey travertine and marble tile.

A type of limestone characterized by its formation by mineral springs, travertine has been appreciated for its natural colors and used in construction for thousands of years. But there’s more to travertine than meets the eye. Travertine tiles are available in shades from warm brown to silvery grey to black, assorted mosaics and unique shapes and finishes that wow in any space.

Shower with grey travertine and marble tile.

The Natural Beauty of Travertine Tile

 

It’s easy to see why travertine has remained one of the world’s most popular building materials for thousands of years. Whether you go with a travertine tile backsplash, entryway, shower or fireplace hearth, this stone’s timeless look and natural strength mean it will stand the test of time, literally and figuratively.  

And the inherent variations of natural stone guarantee your space will be one of a kind; even if they are quarried from the same location on the same day, no two pieces of natural travertine are ever the same.

Travertine Tile Finishes

Another likely reason for travertine’s enduring popularity is the variety of finishes that can be achieved by this natural stone, depending on how it is treated after cutting. These are some of the most common travertine tile finishes, from the rustic texture of tumbled travertine to the more formal-feeling high shine of polished travertine.

Walk In shower tiled in natural travertine stone with metallic profiles and corner shelves.

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A living room fireplace is tiled with dark honed limestone tiles. The tile extends up to the ceiling and is also used on the hearth.

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Tumbled Travertine: Because of how it forms in the earth, travertine naturally contains holes and other negative space that lends even newly cut slabs a textured, time-worn look. This is most evident in tumbled travertine tile, which is made by literally tumbling newly cut tiles in a machine with other rocks. Tumbling ever-so-slightly distresses the surface and softens the sharpness of the tiles’ cut edges. 

Brushed Travertine: This finish is created by lightly smoothing the surface with a rotating wire brush. The surface still contains holes and troughs, but they are less pronounced than in pieces of tumbled stone. Although slightly more refined in appearance than their tumbled counterparts, brushed travertine floor tiles are a popular choice for creating spaces with a relaxed, Tuscan feel.

Honed Travertine: Honed travertine is created when the holes in the surface of the stone are filled, after which the surface undergoes grinding and buffing, creating a finish that is mostly smooth to the touch, but still matte (no shine). Honed travertine tile is an especially popular choice for bathroom floors, as it still provides some traction when wet.

Polished Travertine: Looking at a gleaming piece of polished travertine, you’d never know how much texture this stone naturally has. All of the crevices on the surface have been filled in and polished to a smooth, glassy shine. “Luxurious” and “elegant” are two words to describe this high-shine finish.