What is Travertine?

The first time I ever saw the word travertine I reread it probably a dozen times simply trying to figure out how to pronounce it let alone knowing what it is made of.  It is pronounced trav-er-teen and turns out is one of neatest forms of natural stones because it is a form of limestone that is deposited by hot springs.  It is frequently found in Italy where it is also extremely popular.

It is formed in a process of rapid precipitation of calcium carbonate often at the mouth of a hot spring or a in a limestone cave.  Travertine often creates stalagmites, stalactites, that you commonly see in a cave which are the cone things coming from the ceiling or seeming to grow from the floor.  One of the most popular locations in the United States for travertine is Yellowstone National Park because of it’s natural hot springs.

Travertine has been used as building materials for centuries. The Romans absolutely loved to use this stuff  to build their temples, monuments, and even the Roman Coliseum which is the largest structure made from travertine in the world.  Modern architecture uses travertine for flooring, walls, and facades. The relative softness of the stone and its porous nature do make it difficult to maintain sometime but when done properly is very manageable.

Please, if you have a moment, check out our selection of travertine tiles here.


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