Are you familiar with “travertine tiles ” ? What is travertine? Despite sounding like the first name of a really smart kid from your high-school chemistry class, travertine is actually the name of a naturally occurring sedimentary rock. It was used extensively by the Romans since its primary source was Tivoli, Italy. In fact, the very name “Travertine” is from the Latin name for this city. However, we say the primary source “was” Tivoli because now travertine is mined elsewhere as well. Some other sources include Eastern Europe, Mexico, and even parts of the American southwest.
Travertine tiles are considered a type of luxury or upscale flooring. As with other types of tile, they are available in a variety of attractive finishes and styles and given names to match their aesthetic appeal such as “supremo classic”, “country light” and “French”. Depending on the minerals present in the sediment, the color of travertine stone will vary. Some colors are beige, yellow, white, cream, or red.
Other than the color of travertine, there are several ways of processing them to create a desired finish. For example, there is what is called saturnia. With saturnia the stone is cut against the grain rather than the normal process of cutting it with the grain. This departure from the norm creates a distinctive appearance that many find appealing.
Another popular finish is tumbled travertine. Though the natural texture of it is rough and porous, the tumbling process somewhat polishes the stone, subdues the color pattern, smoothes and rounds the edges, and gives the tile an attractive antique look which adds personality to your décor. It also makes the tiles easier to walk on.
Yet another type of finish involves filing the tile down and filling the holes that naturally occur in the stone. This gives the stone a smoother surface, although some do prefer the rustic look of the naturally occurring marks.