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What is Travertine Natural Stone?

Science Class in Session

When getting ready to purchase natural stone, it is important to know what you are getting. Although it is important to get the look you want, aesthetics should not be the only consideration when making your selection.  Which type of stone is best suited for your application marble, travertine, granite, limestone, or flagstone? Does the way stone is formed matter when making your selection? Should you purchase stone that is sealed or not sealed?

Don’t worry, StoneHardscapes -the stone experts- is here to sort it all out. In this first in the three-part Science Class in Session series of lessons, we will explain everything you need to know about natural stone. You won’t be graded, as you were in middle school geometry class, but you will learn which stone is best for your project.

We kick off our series this week with a look at one of the most popular stones: travertine.

Its Creation:  Travertine is a sedimentary rock, formed when underground water becomes saturated with limestone. As the rock approaches the surface, it releases gas because of the change in pressure, re-crystallizing and hardening the rock. Carbon dioxide later evades the stone, leaving it pitted and rough.

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Where It Is Excavated: Travertine Natural Stone is extracted from quarries around the world, where the stone is dug up and broken down into blocks. The stone is then transported to a factory and cut into slabs, tiles, pavers and mosaics.

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What Makes It Different: Natural color variation and pitting are travertine’s unique characteristics. The pitting creates a rough appearance, and the natural color variation creates the rustic appeal for which travertine is known. Travertine is an excellent choice when you want your project to have a rustic or natural “outdoorsy” appearance. Natural color variations ensure that no two projects will ever look alike.

With lower quality travertine, many factories and installers will choose to fill these holes because of the quantity and size being too great. Other may choose to leave the top open.

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What Finish Does a Travertine Stone Have: Travertine intended for exterior application is most-commonly left with a tumbled finish, as it is the most skid-resistant of all the finishes and is very durable. Travertine intended for interior application is honed, leaving it with a smooth texture achieved by grinding one side of the unfinished stone.

Sealing the stone is also optional for lower quality stone, more on that on another article.

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Please feel free to leave any questions or comments, we love to hear from you!

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