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What is Travertine?

Travertine floor

What is Travertine?

Travertine is an especially attractive form of limestone. Its fibrous, marble-like texture and attractive earth-tone colors make it one of the most popular and historical stones used as building materials. The main difference between Travertine and other natural stones lies in the formation of the rock, the hardness of the stone and the appearance. Travertine is formed in hot springs and/or limestone caves. Travertine is not the same as Marble or Limestone which falls in the metamorphic rock category.
Historically, much of the travertine used in architecture and artwork came from the mountains of Italy, but today, most of the travertine sold is from Turkey, Iran, Mexico.


What is a Travertine Quarry?

A travertine quarry is nothing but a mine of Travertine stone. Most quarries are huge and look like open large pits. Travertine rocks are dug up in quarries and broken down into travertine blocks which are then transported to factories for the purpose of processing. After cutting the blocks into slabs, tiles, pavers, mosaics etc. the proper Travertine finish is applied.

Tarvetrtine stone quarry


How is Travertine imported into the Australia?

Most of the Travertine found in the Australia comes directly with ships from Turkey in form of containers. There are many ocean freights services which transport this material across ocean. It takes the ships approx. 8 weeks to arrive from Turkey. Most of the Travertine containers arrive at the Port of Sydney and Melbourne. Next, they are distributed from the port to several different warehouses and wholesalers via freight forwarders.

Ocean Shipment Transport


What is the difference between premium grade travertine, commercial grade or A grade?

The grade of travertine is mainly determined based on the holes within the stone. Holes within Travertine stone are part of the stones nature . The rule of the thumb is : the less holes there are within travertine stone, the higher the quality. Travertine pavers with minimum holes in it are considered A Grade or Premium Grade quality while porous stone with a lot of holes in it (looking like a sponge) is considered commercial quality. Obviously price differences apply. Also keep in mind that there are Travertine tiles which come with a honed and filled finish. A filled travertine finish can indicate that the holes were filled. Since the filling should normally be the same color throughout the tile it is rather easy to tell apart the filling. In these cases, the difference between Premium Grade and Commercial grade lies in the amount of filling used. A honed and filled travertine tile with a whole lot of filling is considered of lower quality compared to a tile with less filling.


What is the difference between Travertine Tiles and Travertine Pavers?

Travertine Tiles are used for indoor applications such as floors and walls while Travertine pavers are primarily used for outdoors such as driveways, pool decks, patio areas and walkways and landscaping. Travertine tiles are normally 10mm to 15mm  thick while the standard thickness for Travertine pavers is 12 ,15 and 30mm.


What is a Travertine French Pattern Set?

A Travertine French Pattern set covers exactly 0.75 sqm or 8 sqf and consists of the following pieces. One piece 600 x 400 mm, 2 pieces 400x400mm, 1 piece 400x200mm and 2 pieces 200x200mm. The french pattern set is often referred to as Versailles Pattern or Leonardo Pattern and exists for Tiles and Pavers.


Which colors do Travertine Tiles, Pavers, Mosaics etc. come in?

Some of the most popular colors are Ivory, Beige, Walnut colors (light, medium, dark), Noce (Dark brown), Silver , Red, Yellow and Gold. Combinations of these colors are also possible. Colors variations and color name variations are quite common within the Travertine industry i.e. Cream, Titanium , Chocolate, Cappuccino travertine.

a set travertine stone pieces with different colours


What finish is applied to Travertine Products?

Travertine products usually have the following finishes:

  • Tumbled
  • Honed
  • Brushed
  • Filled
  • Filled & Honed
  • Chiseled
  • Bush Hammered
  • Polished
  • Sawn Cut

Chiseled Travertine refers to the edges while all the other finishes refer to the actual surface. Combinations are also possible such as Chiseled & Honed, Chiseled & Brushed or Honed & Filled & Chiseled.


What is a Travertine Bullnose?

Travertine bullnose is a term used in combination with Travertine Pool Copings. It implies that 1 side of the stone is rounded off with a machine.

What are the most popular patterns for Travertine Mosaics?

Travertine Mosaics come in all kinds of sizes and all kinds of color and shape variations.. There are really no standards when it comes to Mosaics. Mosaics can be created in almost any size. Some of the most popular mosaic patterns are: Regular (square), Spiral, Herringbone, Chevron.

Image of different types of travertine mosaics


What Travertine Floor Tile sizes are most popular in Australia?

The most popular sizes for indoor Travertine Tiles are French Pattern, 300x300mm, 400X400mm and 600×600, 300×600, 600×400 ,800x400mm travertine tiles are also gaining popularity among Australian homes. Some people even use travertine tiles for pool decks in order to cut down on the material cost, since tiles are usually cheaper than pavers.



What is the difference between Cross Cut and Vein Cut Travertine?

Most of the travertine which you see online or displayed throughout retail locations such as flooring companies, pool builders, home improvement companies etc. is by default cross cut. This refers to the default way of cutting the travertine blocks which are extracted from the quarry. In order to produce vein cut travertine, the travertine blocks are rotated and the cuts take place across the vein. Always think of it as cutting a tree. You can cut a tree vertically or horizontally. If you cut it vertically, the veins come out, same with Travertine.

Travertine Vein Cut and Cross Cut

                                                         Travertine Vein Cut                                                                          Travertine Cross Cut                                                                                 

What size Travertine Pool Copings are on the market?

The most popular Pool Copings come in sizes: French pattern , 400x600mm, 600x600mm and 800x400mm. Most Copings have a tumbled finish while some have a honed finish. Coping are the same thickness as travertine pavers: The most popular thicknesses for Pool Copings are 12mm , ,15mm, 20mm , 30mm thick are available as well. Further, any travertine paver can be turned into a travertine coping using a coping machine. Pavers are fed into the coping machine which creates a paver with a round side. A travertine paver with one round side is also referred to as a Single Bullnose Coping while pavers with both sides rounded off are called Double Bullnose Copings


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We hope these information on this blog ideas have inspired Travertine! 

If you’d like more inspiration for your patio decor, contact Pietra Stone Gallery today and one of our experts will help answer any questions. We have many more exciting ideas for creating the travertine project of your dreams.

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