Travertine cross cut

Tile flooring is a popular choice in the warmer, southern states, and that is especially true in the greater Spring Branch, Spring Valley, Jersey Village area. At Floor Coverings International Spring Branch Houston, TX we carry a wide selection of tile, including ceramic, porcelain, and natural stone tile. While this gives you a wealth of options, we often suggest that our customers go with natural stone because it offers unrivaled beauty. One of the standouts in this area is travertine.

Some History of Travertine and Its Uses

Travertine has been used as a building material for many millennia, dating all the way back to ancient Egypt. In fact, it is such a durable material that some historical examples still survive to this day. The most famous of these examples is probably the Roman Colosseum. You can also find travertine in many modern buildings. For example, it covers the lobby of the Willis Tower in Chicago (formerly the Sears Tower). You will also find travertine in many other commercial and residential settings on countertops, walls, steps, patios, fireplaces, pool decks, driveways, and certainly floors. It’s versatility and durability lets it shine in many diverse applications.

How and Where Travertine Is Formed

Travertine is a sedimentary stone that is a member of the limestone family. It forms when calcium carbonate in ground water from hot springs or limestone caves precipitates as the water evaporates. While pure travertine is almost completely white in color, most examples contain other organic and inorganic compounds, which create interesting color variations. Travertine is also known for its natural pitting, which is the product of the release of carbon dioxide bubbles during its formation. These factors all come together to create one of the most varied appearances available in natural stone tile.

There was a time where travertine was almost exclusively sourced from Italy. These days, the travertine market extends around the world, most notably into Turkey, Hungary, Afghanistan, China, Guatemala, Spain, and a couple areas of the US. Differences in the specific physical conditions in these locations produce travertine samples that are unique between the different regions.

Different Styles or Cuts

Aside from the different looks you can achieve with travertine based on the different areas of the world it may be sourced from, travertine also varies in appearance according to how it is harvested. There are essentially two ways that travertine is cut that give it very different looks.

The more common cut is the cross cut (see above). This cut is made parallel to the bedding plane so that it produces what is essentially a top-down view of the stone. This style of cut reveals the stone’s marbled pattern and its natural pitting. It is a cut that you will often see when travertine is used as a flooring material.

A vein cut is a cut made perpendicular to the sedimentary layers, across the bedding plane of the stone (see below). The effect of this cut gives what is essentially a side view of the stone, which reveals the layers and the veins that have formed from variations in the stone’s composition in each layer. You commonly see this cut in applications like countertops, but it is a nice option for travertine tile flooring as well.

Travertine vein cut

The Benefits of Travertine

Travertine’s non-uniform appearance enables it to be a fantastic compliment to almost any décor. This is a major benefit of this type of natural stone tile. Put quite simply, it looks great. Travertine is also a durable flooring material that only requires minimal upkeep and should continue to provide excellent styling for many years. And, finally, travertine also offers a high re-sale value, and so a great return on your investment. It remains a highly sought after flooring option in the greater Spring Branch, Spring Valley, Jersey Village area, and should command a high price if you ever decide to sell your home.

Photo Credit: ZINGAYA, maninthebox